Advisory Board

Dr. William H. Andrews

William H. Andrews, Ph.D. is CEO and the key scientist leading the team of Sierra Sciences, now the Research and Development arm of Defytime. He is a molecular biologist, gerontologist, and athlete featured in numerous publications, TV shows, and documentaries on life extension. He is one of the principal discoverers of both the RNA and protein components of human telomerase and was awarded 2nd place as National Inventor of the Year in 1997.

Bill earned his Ph.D. in Molecular and Population Genetics at the University of Georgia in 1981. He earned his two Bachelor’s degrees of Science in Biology and in Psychology from UC San Diego in 1976.

He served as Senior Scientist at Armos Corporation and Codon Corporation between 1983 and 1992. He was Molecular Biology Director at Berlex Biosciences for 10 years until 1993 after Codon was purchased by Schering AG and became Berlex Biosciences. In 1992, he also became the Director of Molecular Biology at Geron Corporation until 1997 as well as Director of Technology Development at EOS Biosciences.

In 1993, Bill convinced Berlex to send him to an anti-aging conference at Lake Tahoe, California, where he met Calvin Harley of Geron Corporation. Calvin gave a speech on the subject of telomeres and telomerase, their discovery in the organism Tetrahymena by Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider, and on the possible connection between telomeres and aging. Calvin mentioned that no one had yet been successful in discovering the genes for telomerase in human beings. After the speech, Bill approached Calvin and told him that he could discover the genes for human telomerase for Geron in three months.

Calvin hired Bill as Geron’s Director of Molecular Biology. Three and a half months later, Bill’s team cloned the RNA component of telomerase (“hTR”). For this discovery, and the demonstration that the anti-sense of hTR could kill every cancer cell tested, Bill and 3 members of his team were awarded second place for “National Inventor of the Year” in 1997 by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (first place having been awarded for the invention of the HIV Protease Inhibitor). His team later co-discovered the protein component of human telomerase (“hTERT”) as well.

In 1998, Bill founded Yonder Technologies, which later became Sierra Sciences in Reno, Nevada, to capitalize on his discoveries at Geron, with the specific goal of curing human aging. Bill assembled a team to search for a small molecule that would bind to the telomerase repressor, causing the body to constitutively express telomerase in the presence of that molecule.

From 1999 to 2005, Sierra Sciences’ focus was to identify the telomerase repressor protein, in the hopes that a drug could be specifically designed to bind to it. During this time frame, Geron Corporation discovered TA-65, a small-molecule telomerase activator derived from Astragalus membranaceus. Sierra Sciences tested its efficacy, and shortly thereafter, Bill became the first paying customer to take the supplement.

Read A Natural Product Telomerase Activator as Part of a Health Maintenance Program.

In 2005, Bill switched to the “brute force” strategy of developing assays to screen large numbers of random chemicals to determine whether they induced the expression of telomerase. In November 2007, after nearly two years of screening, Sierra Sciences discovered the chemical C0056784, the 57,684th chemical they tested, which induces approximately 5% as much telomerase as is found in the immortal cancer cell line HeLa.

In 2008, using C0057684 as a positive control, Sierra Sciences developed a more sensitive real-time PCR-based high-throughput screening assay, the “hTERT RT-PCR assay”, with which they were able to screen 4,000 chemicals per week. In 2010, Bill and Sierra Sciences entered into an agreement with John Anderson, founder of Isagenix International, to use the new assay to screen natural ingredients for telomerase activity. A year later, based on the assay’s results, Isagenix launched Product B, a telomerase-inducing nutraceutical.

His team developed an hTERT Gene Therapy, using the Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) as a vector, for research studies. This gene therapy was later licensed to Libella Gene Therapeutics in 2017 to be used in clinical studies.

Read Breakthrough Gene Therapy Clinical Trial is the World’s First That Aims to Reverse 20 Years of Aging in Humans.

Bill is the inventor of 50+ U.S. patents issued on telomerase and the author of numerous scientific research studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

He is the author of Bill Andrews on Telomere Basics: Curing Aging and Telomere Lengthening: Curing All Disease Including Aging and Cancer and was featured in the TV series Horizon, The Immortalists, and Long Enough to Live Forever.

Bill is also an avid ultramarathon runner. At the age of 68, he regularly competes in 100k and 100+ mile runs often finishing at the top of his age group. He has every indication of breaking all the world records for 70+ year-old runners from 5K’s to 100+ miles when he turns 70 in late 2021. These grueling races have taken him all over the world to race in some of the most extreme environments, from Death Valley to the Himalayas.

He has run races that were 138 miles long and in 2008 and 2009 completed the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile race in Death Valley with temperatures of 120+ °F.

Watch The Immortalists and Bill Andrews on Telomerase Gene Therapy in Florida.

Listen to Immortality & Ultramarathons with Dr. Bill Andrews.

Read The Man Who Would Stop Time, Curing aging is a question of funding, and Against death. Longevity forever!

Visit his LinkedIn profile and Top-100 Longevity Leaders profile. Follow him on Twitter.