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About The Vaika Project

Who we are

We are a group of scientists and veterinarians who believe that aging is not an inviolable law of nature, but is rather a condition that can be prevented and/or postponed. This idea is supported by years of our research and we feel that it is time to implement it to practice.

Our non-profit medical research organization is dedicated to extending the health and lifespan of domestic animals. Our company is named in honor of the founders' loyal and beloved friend, a Husky named Vaika.

Our team

Why dogs?

We chose dogs as the first species of mammals to be treated against aging because the canine genome is known for its plasticity and therefore it gives us a unique opportunity to understand how genetic mechanisms can be influenced to slow down aging and extend a healthy lifespan.


Besides, dogs’ short lifespan give us a chance to measure the effectiveness of our approach. We love dogs and want to prolong their lives and reduce the grief of losing them.

Sled Dog Study

In 2018, we recruited 100 retired sled dogs from kennels across the United States, who could no longer race, and provided them with a spacious home designed specifically for the Vaika project. The facility included a large playground where dogs can run freely and enjoy their retirement.

During 2018–2023 we carefully monitored multiple parameters of the natural aging process in our dogs, similar to what is done with elderly humans. To limit stress on our dogs, we restricted research to periodic blood draws and vaccinations to learn about their immune system. To assess their physical and cognitive health, we used play-based tests, such as problem-solving games, and treadmill exercise.

​Our dogs came from various locations across the USA, as indicated on the map below. They had diverse backgrounds, with some being accomplished champions who have competed in prestigious races such as the Fur Rondy and Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. While some dogs resembled huskies and hounds, others had unique features that make them stand out. Each dog had their own personality and preferences — some loved to run, while others preferred to play hide-and-seek with their toys or spend time alone. 

In the current phase of our research, we analyze the vast amount of data we have collected to uncover new insights and develop potential interventions. 

Our Scientific Approach

Our research is based on a recent discovery that links aging to the activity of latent viruses residing in our DNA. As people age, the activation of these viruses, along with weakening immune functions, can cause progressive frailty and increase the risk of cancer and other aging-related diseases. This discovery provides an opportunity to slow down aging through antiviral treatments and immunotherapy.

Learn more about our research

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