Dr. Aubrey de Grey was once known for claiming that aging could be ‘cured’ in coming decades.
Now, the nonprofit SENS Research Foundation (Mountain View, Calif.) he co-founded in 2009 has fired him amidst a sexual harassment probe. The organization, which aimed to pioneer a field known as “rejuvenation biotechnology,” was concerned that de Grey would impede its investigation of the allegations of Celine Halioua, the CEO of veterinary biotech Loyal (San Francisco) and Laura Deming, a partner at the Longevity Fund (San Francisco).
In a statement, SENS noted that it had learned that Dr. de Grey was “indirectly attempting to apply pressure on one of the investigation’s participants.”
Deming accused de Grey of writing her an email when she was 17 that boasted of having “an ‘adventurous love life.’”
Halioua reported that de Grey encouraged her to use sexual tactics to entice donors to contribute to the SENS Research Foundation.
De Grey has denied the allegations, stating on Facebook that he had been “set up.”
He also said in a separate message that Celine Halioua’s “career is absolutely over as things stand, and the only reason it actually isn’t is because I am a man of honour who refuses to let somebody (especially a meteoric rising star) be burned at the stake while an actual [villain] gets away scot free and is thereby emboldened.”
The SENS Research Foundation initiated a third-party investigation of the allegations of Halioua and Deming in June. The investigation is ongoing.
On Facebook, De Grey stated that he could form a new foundation, “proceeding as if nothing had happened,” but that he prefers to “get the truth known, my foundation back, and the bad actors excised from our community,” he wrote.
SENS Research Foundation has installed Lisa Fabiny-Kiser as acting executive director. Fabiny-Kiser was previously the organization’s vice president of operations.
SENS is an acronym for “Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence.”