LifeGen was co-founded in November 2000 by Drs. Richard Weindruch and Tomas A. Prolla, professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and leaders in the fields of gerontology and genetics. Drs. Prolla and Weindruch were the first scientists to use DNA microarrays ("gene chips") to measure gene activity in mammalian tissues. Their research is the subject of several pending patents filed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and licensed to LifeGen Technologies. Their groundbreaking work led to the publication of the seminal Science magazine article "Gene Expression Profile of Aging and Its Retardation by Caloric Restriction", published in 1999, as well as subsequent articles published in various leading scientific journals and the popular press.
LifeGen Technologies is discovering the genes associated with aging by using DNA microarrays to compare the activity of tens of thousands of genes in young and aged animals and humans. The same approach is being used to study how the aging process is retarded by caloric restriction (CR), which is the only intervention proven to increase maximum lifespan and retard aging in a diverse array of species. LifeGen has a patent application pending for the use of such "gene expression profiling" as a method to measure the progression of the aging process at the molecular level in individual organs.