How did you first get involved with the VitaDAO community/ DeSci?
I studied the genetics of aging at WashU under Dr. Tim Peterson, who is one of the stewards of VitaDAO’s deal-flow group. At first, I had no interest in VitaDAO because I imagined a group of finance bros and blockchain developers, which is definitely not me. However, I ultimately realized that all kinds of people with all kinds of skills are needed to run a biomedical DAO. In August 2021, I joined the DAO as a science communication contributor, beginning my rapid descent into the crypto rabbit hole, and I have never looked back!
How do you balance your work as a very active DAO community member and full-time Ph.D. student?
Frankly it is very difficult, and I sometimes struggle to establish boundaries and allocate my time appropriately. That said, an important part of the Ph.D. experience is participating in career development opportunities to network and explore options for the future, and VitaDAO has given me more of these opportunities than I ever could have imagined.
Can you walk me through what your position in VitaDAO entails?
My primary position is Managing Editor of our longevity science blog (https://vitadao.medium.com/
). I help onboard new science communication (#SciComm) contributors and guide them through the process of writing articles that match their areas of expertise. It is critical that all of our community members feel informed about the foundational biomedical principles underlying aging and longevity biotech.
What has surprised you most about VitaDAO?
I was surprised by the sheer volume of people from all over the world with various professional backgrounds who have self-aggregated here in our community. The tools we use are native to the gaming and crypto realms but completely foreign to others — and yet, so many people have taken a leap of faith and created their first crypto wallet and Discord messaging account because we all share this common goal of advancing research to extend healthy life.
What are you most excited about in VitaDAO’s future?
There is a lot to be excited about, but one highlight for me is the potential for DAOs to disrupt the broken drug development pipeline by realigning financial incentives around the interests of researchers, physicians, and patients. The biotech valley of death has killed so many potentially groundbreaking initiatives, and I believe VitaDAO is leading the way in building a bridge to finally cross that valley.
Any closing thoughts for readers?
We always need more science writers and illustrators. If you are a science communicator interested in the aging and longevity field, please get in touch!