We seek the unknown principles of peak performance, so that they can be translated to youth development, athletic excellence, adult resiliency, and long, healthy lifespans.
Bringing together world-class talent to advance the science of human performance.
Clara Wu Tsai and Joe Tsai are committed to improving the lives of people throughout the world through fundamental scientific research, arts and culture, and social justice programs. Their belief in the value of new knowledge to solve society’s biggest challenges motivated them to create the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance. We will explore new directions to help people thrive throughout life, building on decades of scientific research with the goal of improving human health and well-being on a global scale.
The Alliance leverages an untapped reservoir of knowledge through the application of science, technology, and analytical rigor to the study of athletic performance, injury prevention, and injury recovery throughout life. By comprehensively studying athletes of various ages, genders, ethnicities, abilities, and disciplines, we are discovering the biological principles that govern optimum performance, from the molecular level to the whole body.
More than 200 million people in the United States do not get enough physical activity to stay healthy. In fact, inactivity, preventable diseases, and treatable disabilities cost the U.S. economy close to a trillion dollars every year. The time for change is now.
Scientific funding has traditionally been focused on the study of diseases. We are taking the opposite approach and studying the human body at its healthiest and most vital, to enable the thriving of all people – from an Olympic Gold Medal-level athlete to a grandfather lacking the mobility to enjoy a full life.
Clara Wu Tsai
Founder, Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation
Creating societal impact through trailblazing research on health rather than disease
Our research will have profound societal impact by promoting the active, healthy lives of individuals, reducing the economic and societal burden of chronic disease, and improving countless lives that are prematurely compromised by preventable diseases and injuries.
Through the study of human performance, we can optimize potential and transform human health for people worldwide by reducing suffering from musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, including osteoarthritis, dementia, and depression—and by enabling people to thrive at every stage of life.
Looking forward through the lens of innovation
The Alliance is pioneering long-term scientific and societal advances through research and implementation. Below we outline some of the scientific discoveries and innovations we are pursuing to help us transform human health.
- Interactive databases and software
- Digital athlete models
- Multiscale dynamic models
- Personalized regimens of training, nutrition, and sleep
- Functional nutrient or bioactive molecules
- Regenerative rehabilitation therapies
- Precision diagnostic tools
Seminal discoveries about human performance and the biological principles that underlie it will shape human performance and health over the next century. Each discovery we make will have a scientific paper and supporting media to communicate results to diverse audiences. A comprehensive library of knowledge will be accessible not only to scientists, but to coaches, athletes, clinicians, and the general population. Hundreds of millions of individuals around the world will benefit from this actionable knowledge.
Interactive databases and software
Interactive public databases, simulation software, and data-mining tools will catalyze further research and knowledge translation around the world. Tens of thousands of researchers download our software and datasets to conduct groundbreaking research that will further advance the world’s knowledge of the science of human performance.
Digital athlete models
With a worldwide community of users and developers, the democratization of the digital athlete through open-source software and user-friendly, web-based interfaces will enable individuals worldwide to identify and implement personalized biomechanics for peak performance, injury prevention, and faster recovery. These resources will be used to customize the training of athletes, thereby reducing injury rates and enhancing performance.
Multiscale dynamic models
By harnessing new knowledge of the biological processes underlying performance from the molecular level to the whole body, these models will predict strategies for preventing injuries, promoting tissue repair, and optimizing performance.
Personalized regimens of training, nutrition, and sleep
Regimens based on scientific evidence and personalized modeling will enable all individuals to achieve peak athletic potential.
Functional nutrient or bioactive molecules
These treatments will prevent tissue degeneration and accelerate recovery from injury, enabling scarless recovery from injury to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Regenerative rehabilitation therapies
Novel cell and medical therapies will accelerate healing and promote faster and more complete recovery from injury.
Precision diagnostic tools
Novel wearables, imaging methods, and machine learning algorithms will detect internal injury and classify injury types to facilitate the correct treatment course and reduce erroneous or detrimental treatment. Substantial improvement in precision diagnosis, treatment plans, and personalized recovery training will accelerate a return to full performance, and reduce recovery time.
Images courtesy Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab, Stanford University (Discoveries); Linda A. Cicero, Stanford University (Interactive databases and software); Living Matter Lab, Stanford University (Digital athlete models); Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego (Multiscale dynamic models); Boston Children’s Hospital (Personalized regimens); Zeiss Microscopy (Functional nutrient or bioactive molecules); Jonathan Reeder, University of Oregon (Precision diagnostic tools).
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