The pandemic brought on by COVID-19 has had a substantially impact on all our lives in many ways. Like so many others, we’ve been adapting to a new normal that includes substantially more uncertainty. These are indeed challenging days.
With that said, it’s time again to press forward.
Tommy Wood, Spencer Nadolsky, and myself have had a series of meetings in preparation for the next steps of the LMHR study with IRB submission. We are also coordinating with potential locations for our testing. Yes, the current crisis may further offset scheduling and/or create other unanticipated hurdles, but we are very committed to getting this study executed.
As per my message before, I know these are difficult times and I fully expect everyone to take care of themselves and their family’s needs throughout this pandemic. In other words, don’t give what you can’t give easily.
I’m very pleased to announce we now have official designation from the Department of Treasury as a 501(c)(3) Public Charity.
The Effective Date of Exemption is October 23, 2019, which precedes all donations made (the foundation was announced after that date). Thus, if you’ve made any donation to the Citizen Science Foundation now or previously, it will meet this exemption status. Please consult your tax preparer for further details.
I realize this news comes at an unusual time given the COVID-19 pandemic. As mentioned before, we’d expect everyone to take care of themselves and their family at this difficult time — don’t give what you can’t give, of course. But with that said, we’re still very much moving forward, even if briefly slowed down by this crisis, and I’m beyond ecstatic this designation will help further pave the way.
I want to give you some important updates on the Citizen Science Foundation, the LMHR project, and possible impacts with the coronavirus pandemic.
Firstly, I was incredibly excited in February when we got confirmation the CSF would be moving from a private foundation to a public charity. We’re actively in contact with the IRS to make this change as the response and support from so many of you have taken us to the next level.
Second, while I wasn’t able to announce it publicly before, I can now confirm that we are indeed looking to convert the Lean Mass Hyper responder project to a formal study. Not only are we in the process of preparing for review with an IRB for approval, but we’re excited to be partnering with a very senior researcher and their team to execute this groundbreaking study.
While much of this news was confirmed near the end of February, I’ve held off discussing it until we could gain greater certainty on how the emerging pandemic of covid-19 might affect the timing of our study. As I’ve mentioned many times before, we were hoping to have this project launching in the summer, but of course, that timing is less certain right now.
Regardless, I can assure everyone that — outside of processing fees — every single penny collected from your generous contributions will remain entirely untouched. It’s earmarked strictly for this project. We have no administrative contractors or employees, and all business expenses for the foundation are paid solely by me.
The anonymous donor who will be matching a $100,000 is still very much dedicated to doing so when we close the final gap of $24,000, which we will do. But for now, I will not be doing any active fundraising. While we are still accepting donations and will continue to do so, I certainly expect everyone will first look after their family and wellbeing in these challenging times.
In the mean time, rest assured nothing will stop us from making this study happen. There’s no question of if, just when.
Spencer Nadolsky, Tommy Wood, and I have been having a series of meetings regarding the next major phase, which will soon result in an announcement to come. Please stay tuned as we hope to have it ready in the coming weeks.
We have some powerful news today – we now have it on strong authority that the followup time for the LMHR Measurement Project will be more than sufficient at one year, not five.
Spencer, Tommy, and I have been consulting many people both individually and together, including a very high level imaging expert. And we’re now confident progression of atherosclerosis for the LMHR population should be observable with CT Angiogram imaging at one year apart.
Needless to say, this is some very unexpected news. But I’d argue it is certainly more positive than negative. This does introduce a new slate of changes we’ll need to adjust for:
Our existing budgetary timing will be tighter. We have been seeking $2,000 per LMHR for this initial round of tests with the assumption we’d be raising the same amount for the second round in five years time. Given we’re now talking one year, the turnaround time will need to be much sooner.
However, with regard to (1) above, our high level expert has helped us figure out ways to save on the overhead per participant, but we can’t speak on that just yet. We now think we may be able to still keep the price to $2,000/each, but manage to cover both the first and second round testing.
This may change my own plans for the documentary and book. Given how close we are to having data in hand, it may be worth chronicling the effort in real time until it is wrapped, thus having a more compelling story for each medium given the big ending.
It’s pretty hard to express in words how seismic this news has been for us. Instead of a long stretch for half a decade once we break ground, we could instead be bringing forward powerful new data in just a twelve months regarding diet-induced high cholesterol and risk of atherosclerosis.
I’m beyond ecstatic to announce a new anonymous donor has come forward and is offering to match our total donations once we reach $100,000!
As of this writing, we’re sitting at $66,150, which means we have just $33,850 to unlock the match.
In other words, every $1 you contribute now is worth $4!
The Dream Scenario of 100 LMHRs
It was barely two months ago on the stage of Low Carb Houston that I announced the start of this project and that my dream scenario would be getting 100 Lean Mass Hyper-responders to participate. At 100, we’d have a very powerful population given the effect size reflected in their LDL levels.
Our back-of-the-envelope math suggests all the testing we wish to do (CT Angiogram, CIMT, CAC, etc) will probably be around $2,000 each. Thus, $200,000 gets us there.
Please Contribute and Share
We’ve come so far, so fast — but we couldn’t pull this off without your help. Please continue to contribute and share to help us cross that $100,000 line!
Tommy brings a wealth of experience and research aptitude that Spencer and I are quite excited to have onboard.
Tommy Wood’s Background
Tommy Wood is a Research Assistant Professor in the Pediatrics Department at the University of Washington. He received a bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences and Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge before studying medicine at the University of Oxford. He worked as a junior doctor in central London for two years after medical school, and then moved to Norway to complete a PhD in physiology and neuroscience at the University of Oslo.
Tommy is currently President of Physicians for Ancestral Health, is a director of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine, and is on the scientific advisory board of Hintsa Performance. Tommy has also coached and competed in multiple sports including rowing, CrossFit, powerlifting, and ultra-endurance racing. Alongside his career in medicine and research, Tommy has published and spoken on multiple topics surrounding lifestyle-based approaches to health.
Big Things Ahead, But We’re Not Allowed to Say Yet
The good news is that the LMHR Project may soon be getting upgraded into something much better with Tommy Wood’s help.
The bad news is that I can’t tell you what yet. The potential improvement requires that we follow specific rules, including our not talking about the process itself. I’ll simply say this will make sense once the initial part of this process is finalized, and I’ll be sharing it here when or if it is.
Update on Signing Up
IMPORTANT — we will not have a signup area for the LMHR Measurement Project for at least two or more months. The reason for this has to do with what I was explaining in the previous section. The direction we’re looking at will be very likely a big improvement, but it requires we don’t sign anyone up until a certain conditions are met first.
In the mean time, keep checking back here at the website for announcements as they develop. Thanks again for your patience!
The following is a roadmap I put together to help everyone get a sense of the intended scheduling.
This roadmap includes the documentary schedule as well, which will be substantial, particularly in January and February. We’ll be developing the project in parallel and getting it ready for a summer launch. I can’t announce too much on the specifics yet as we’re still in the designing stages.
Please Keep Sharing and Contributing!
We currently estimate around $2,000 in testing overhead expenses for each LMHR participant. Which means that as of this writing, we can fund nearly 33 total. But as I mentioned in Houston, I’d love if we could get to the magic number of 100. At that level, we’ll have a very sizable population given the effect size. I know it’s a stretch goal, but we’re already 1/3rd of the way there!
The process of putting it together in a hurry was extremely difficult. But to be fair, I really didn’t think we’d actually meet that goal in the first place! Once it was clear we were within striking range just a couple days before the race, I jumped into gear.
The following thread on twitter details the many foibles I ran into during the process. It’s quite a comical read:
1/ Massive costume thread…
Spoiler alert: A software engineer I am… I costume engineer, I am not. 😳
I secretly started working on getting the costume together Friday morning as I figured if there were a 1% chance it could happen, I should at least be prepared… pic.twitter.com/XnjKC0uieE