Joe Betts-LaCroix began as a scientist at Harvard, MIT, and Caltech. He was part of a three-person team at Caltech that first elucidated the factors governing electron-tunneling rates in proteins, which is published in journals such as Science and JACS, with over 1000 citations so far. His first venture-funded startup, OQO, created the world’s smallest windows computer (Guinness world record 2006) with a team of 110 people, more than 100 patents, and over 10,000 units sold; and was sold to Google...
Joe Betts-LaCroix, CEO of Retro Biosciences, presented a broad overview of the extracellular matrix (ECM). He is not an ECM expert but is extremely interested in the biology involved in this particular field. The ECM gets fragmented, glycated, and crosslinked with aging. These processes damage the ECM and make it fragile and rigid. In some tissues, homeostatic turnover regenerates ECM but in places that are far from regenerative cells the ECM does not get repaired. Senescence, inflammaging, advanced glycation endproducts, and circadian rhythm degradation are all tied to ECM health and as it decays these destructive processes proliferate. Studying the ECM is of vital importance to understanding aging.