Scientific Advisory Council

Funding Aging Research

William Andrews Ph.D.

William Andrews Ph.D.

Dr. William H. Andrews has worked in the biotech industry for 28 years, focusing the last 15 years on finding ways to extend human lifespan through the intervention of telomere shortening in human cells.

Dr. Andrews earned his Ph.D. in Molecular and Population Genetics at the University of Georgia in 1981. He was a Senior Scientist at Armos Corporation and Codon Corporation, Director of Molecular Biology at Codon and at Geron Corporation, and Director of Technology Development at EOS Biosciences.  He is presently the founder, President and CEO of Sierra Sciences, a biotech company in Reno, Nevada focused exclusively on finding drugs that will transiently induce the expression of endogenous telomerase in human cells.  Sierra Sciences has already identified more than fifty such drugs and is presently characterizing their mechanism of action.

While Director of Molecular Biology at Geron Corporation, Dr. Andrews was one of the principal discoverers of both the RNA and protein components of human telomerase and was awarded 2nd place as "National Inventor of the Year" in 1997 for this work. He is presently a named inventor on 42 US issued telomerase patents.

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Anthony Atala, M.D.

Anthony Atala M.D.

Anthony Atala, M.D., is the Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the W.H. Boyce Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology at Wake Forest University. He is a practicing surgeon and a researcher in the area of regenerative medicine. His current work focuses on growing new human cells, tissues and organs.

Dr. Atala is a recipient of the US Congress funded Christopher Columbus Foundation Award, bestowed on a living American who is currently working on a discovery that will significantly affect society, and the Gold Cystoscope Award for advances in his field. He was named by Scientific American as a Medical Treatments Leader of the Year for his contributions to the fields of cell, tissue and organ regeneration. In 2006, he was named by Fast Company magazine as one of 50 people who "will change how we work and live over the next 10 years. Dr. Atala's work was listed as Discover Magazine`s Number 1 Top Science Story of the Year in the field of medicine, and as Time Magazine's top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year in 2007. A Time Magazine poll ranked him as the 56th most influential person of the year in 2007. Esquire Magazine in 2008 named him one of the 75 most influential persons of the 21st century. Fast Company Magazine named Dr. Atala one of 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2009. He was featured in U.S. News & World Report as one of 14 Pioneers of Medical Progress in the 21st Century, and his work in 2010 was listed by Smithsonian Magazine as one of 40 things to know about the next 40 years.

Dr. Atala has led or served several national professional and government committees and heads a team of over 270 physicians and researchers. He is the editor of nine books, has published more than 300 journal articles and has applied for or received over 200 national and international patents.

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David L. Ayares, Ph.D.

Dr. Ayares is currently President & CEO, Revivicor, Inc. Prior to the formation of Revivicor, Dr. Ayares was Vice President of Research and COO for PPL Therapeutics Inc., where he has directed research since 1997. PPL has a diverse product development pipeline focussed on 1) Development of genetically modified pig organs, and cells, for xenotransplantation applications, 2) Stem cell therapies, 3) Production of human therapeutic proteins in the milk of transgenic livestock, and 4) Development of human polyclonal antibodies in genetically modified cattle for biological warfare countermeasures. PPL is the World leader in animal cloning technology, responsible for "Dolly" the cloned sheep, and the first successful cloning of pigs. In addition the company has strong research efforts in cell biology, molecular biology, embryology, and transgenic technology.

Dr. Ayares has been directing research activities at PPL since 1997. Previously worked for 7 years in the pharmaceutical industry; 2 years (1995-96) as a Senior Scientist and Molecular Biology Manager in the Gene Therapy Division at Baxter Healthcare, working on the development of adenovirus and AAV-based vector systems for in vivo gene therapy applications; and 5 years (1990-1995) at Abbott Laboratories, as Head of Transgenic Technology, developing transgenic mouse models for pharmaceuticals testing. Doctoral research at the University of Illinois Medical Center (1982-1987), and post-doctoral research, in the Dept. of Biology at M.I.T. (1987-1990), focused on the study of homologous recombination and DNA repair mechanisms in mammalian systems

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Robert Bradbury (In Memoriam)

Robert Bradbury

Mr. Bradbury attended Harvard University where he majored in Applied Mathematics. His work in the software industry included managing the largest commercial minicomputer installations in New York City in the late 1970's and playing key roles in the success of Oracle Corporation in the 1980's. He studied microbiology and biochemistry at the University of Washington. In the early 1990's he founded Aeiveos Corporation which initiated and supported a number of research studies related to the molecular biology of aging in the Russian Federation. An Aeiveos, Tako Ventures partnership was formed during 1996 and 1997, the 2nd largest company conducting aging research, after Geron. He is currently CEO of Robiobotics.

Robiobotics will focus on developing whole genome engineering. Its emphasis will be to utilize bioinformatics and biotechnologies resulting from the Human Genome Project in synergistic ways to enable the rapid and inexpensive development of robust therapies for aging related diseases as well as accelerating the development of molecular nanotechnology.

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L.Stephen Coles, M.D., Ph.D.

L.Stephen Coles Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Coles is a Co-Founder and Director of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group and Director of the Supercentenarian Research Foundation. He is a Director of the Los Angeles Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). He served as an Assistant Researcher in the Department of Surgery at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, a Visiting Scholar in the UCLA Department of Computer Science, and is currently a Lecturer in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Molecular Biology Institute) as well as a Visiting Scholar in the Stanford University Department of Developmental Biology. Dr. Coles is the author or co-author of over 154 scientific papers and holds two patents.

He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, his Master's in Mathematics from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. in Systems and Communication Sciences from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After attending Stanford University Medical School, Dr. Coles completed his Clinical Internship in OB/GYN at the Jackson Memorial Hospital of the University of Miami School of Medicine. After teaching at UC Berkeley, Dr. Coles served as a Lecturer at UCLA, USC, and the California Institute of Technology.

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Aubrey D.N.J. de Grey, Ph.D.

L.Stephen Coles Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a non-profit charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in- Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer- reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging.

He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively. His original field was computer science, and he did research in the private sector for six years in the area of software verification before switching to biogerontology in the mid-1990s. His research interests encompass the causes of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism (“damage”) that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. He has developed a possibly comprehensive plan for such repair, termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks aging down into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one.

A key aspect of SENS is that it can potentially extend healthy lifespan without limit, even though these repair processes will probably never be perfect, as the repair only needs to approach perfection rapidly enough to keep the overall level of damage below pathogenic levels. Dr. de Grey has termed this required rate of improvement of repair therapies “longevity escape velocity”. Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organizations.

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Michael B. Fossel, PhD,MD

Michael B. Fossel, PhD, MD.

Born in 1950 in Greenwich, Connecticut in the United States, Michael Fossel grew up New York, and lived in London, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Portland, and Denver. He graduated cum laude from Phillips Exeter Academy, received a joint BA (cum laude) and MA in psychology in four years from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and, after completing a PhD in neurobiology at Stanford University in 1978, went on to finish his MD at Stanford Medical School in two and a half years. He was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship and taught at Stanford University, where he began studying aging, emphasizing premature aging syndromes. Dr. Fossel is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Michigan State University.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member of numerous scientific organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Aging Association (and serves on their board of directors), the American Gerontological Society, the American Society on Aging, and the American Geriatrics Society, among others.

He has lectured at the National Institute for Health, the Smithsonian Institute, and at universities and institutes internationally. He founded and edited the Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine. His numerous articles on aging and ethics in the Journal of the American Medical Association, In Vivo, and elsewhere have sparked discussion and frequent calls for him to speak worldwide to both medical groups and the general public. He is frequently interviewed regarding aging by major media in the US and worldwide.

In 1996, Dr. Fossel published Reversing Human Aging, discussing the cellular causes of aging, how the process can be altered, and the social and financial implications of reversing human aging. The book was reviewed favorably in national full page newspaper articles and in Scientific American. It has now been published in six languages. He has appeared on Good Morning America, ABC 20/20, NBC Extra, Fox Network, CNN, the BBC, the Discovery Channel, and regularly on NPR.

His latest academic textbook, "Cells, Aging, and Human Disease", was published in 2004 by Oxford University Press. With over four thousand up-to-date references, it reviews the entire fields of telomere biology and cell senescence as they apply to human clinical diseases and aging. It includes in depth discussions of Alzheimer's disease, the progerias, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, immune senescence, skin aging, and cancer, as well as analyzing our potential for fundamental interventions in these diseases.

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Robert A. Freitas Jr., J.D.

Robert A. Freitas Jr., J.D.

Dr. Freitas is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (IMM) in Palo Alto, California, and was a Research Scientist at Zyvex Corp. (Richardson, Texas), the first molecular nanotechnology company, during 2000-2004. He received B.S. degrees in Physics and Psychology from Harvey Mudd College in 1974 and a J.D. from University of Santa Clara in 1979.

Dr. Freitas co-edited the 1980 NASA feasibility analysis of self-replicating space factories and in 1996 authored the first detailed technical design study of a medical nanorobot ever published in a peer-reviewed mainstream biomedical journal. More recently, Freitas is the author of Nanomedicine, the first book-length technical discussion of the potential medical applications of molecular nanotechnology and medical nanorobotics; the first two volumes of this 4-volume series were published in 1999 and 2003 by Landes Bioscience.

His research interests include: nanomedicine, medical nanorobotics design, molecular machine systems, diamond mechanosynthesis (theory and experimental pathways), molecular assemblers and nanofactories, and self-replication in machine and factory systems. He has published 27 refereed journal publications and several contributed book chapters, and most recently co-authored Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines (2004), another first-of-its-kind technical treatise.

http://www.rfreitas.com/

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Leonid A. Gavrilov, Ph.D.

Dr. Leonid A. Gavrilov, Ph.D.

Gavrilov is an expert in mechanisms of aging, mortality, and longevity. He has Ph.D in genetics and M.Sc. in chemistry, both from Moscow State University, Russia. Gavrilov has become known world-wide as the author of "The Biology of Life Span" book, cited as a recommended reference by Encyclopedia Britannica. He is currently a Research Associate at the Center on Aging at NORC/The University of Chicago and Principal Investigator in the R01 grant awarded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA).

Gavrilov is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), and Editorial Board Member of scientific journals Advanced Science Letters, Experimental Gerontology, Gerontology, Rejuvenation Research, The Scientific World Journal, and Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling. He appears in Who’s Who in America; Who’s Who in Science and Engineering; and Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare by Marquis Who’s Who. He authored nearly a hundred scientific publications and is an expert (scientific reviewer) for 18 peer-reviewed scientific journals. He also acted as an expert for the National Institute on Aging (USA), the National Research Council at the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Gavrilov is the founder of a new reliability theory of aging (see http://longevity-science.org/), which has already received significant attention (see http://longevity-science.org/Media-Coverage.html).

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Ben Goertzel, Ph.D.

Ben Goertzel, Ph.D.

Dr. Ben Goertzel is a leading authority on artificial intelligence and its applications, including Artificial General Intelligence and also applications of AI to the analysis of biological data. His bio-AI work has been heavily focused on life extension, via his role as founder and CEO of bioinformatics firm Biomind LLC, and CTO of biopharma firm Genescient Corp., which focuses on longevity and age-associated diseases. His AI tools have proved valuable for understanding the mitochondrial basis of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, the impact of calorie restriction on longevity in mice, and the underpinnings of longevity in long-lived fruit flies and healthy long-lived humans. He collaborated with the CDC in uncovering the first evidence of a genetic basis for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Dr. Goertzel is also Chief Scientist of financial prediction firm Aidyia Holdings; Chairman of AI software company Novamente LLC; Chairman of the Artificial General Intelligence Society and the OpenCog Foundation; Vice Chairman of futurist nonprofit Humanity+; Advisor to the Singularity University and Singularity Institute; Research Professor in the Fujian Key Lab for Brain-Like Intelligent Systems at Xiamen University, China; and general Chair of the Artificial General Intelligence conference series. His research work encompasses artificial general intelligence, natural language processing, cognitive science, data mining, machine learning, computational finance, bioinformatics, virtual worlds and gaming and other areas. He has published a dozen scientific books, 100+ technical papers, and numerous journalistic articles. Before entering the software industry he served as a university faculty in several departments of mathematics, computer science and cognitive science, in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

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Challa Kumar, Ph.D.

Challa Kumar, Ph.D.

Challa Kumar is Group Leader for Nanofabrication at the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD) at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is the Editor of a ten volume book series on ‘Nanotechnologies for the Life Sciences’ published by Wiley-VCH. He is also the founding Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology published by American Scientific Publishers. He has authored over thirty scientific publications and holds over ten patents either granted or pending.

He received his Ph.D degree in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prashantinilyam, India.  He was a post doctoral fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemie, Munich, Germany followed by eight years of experience working in different chemical industries in various capacities.

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Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes.   Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries.

As one of the leading inventors of our time, Ray was the principal developer of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s web site Kurzweil AI.net has over one million readers.

Among Ray’s many honors, he is the recipient of the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world's largest for innovation. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. And in 2002, he was inducted into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame , established by the US Patent Office .

He has received twelve honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.

Ray has written five books, four of which have been national best sellers.  The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best selling book on Amazon in science.  Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, which went into its fourth printing after two months, was the fourth best-selling science book of 2005 according to Amazon despite coming out late in the year.

   

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Graham Peter Pawelec, Ph.D.

MA, University of Cambridge 1975 (History and Philosophy of Science); PhD, University of Cambridge, 1982 (Transplantation Immunology). Moved to the University of Tu"bingen, Germany, 1978; Professor of Experimental Immunology, 1997. Research interests: ageing of the immune system and tumour immunology. Peer-reviewed original publications, >100. Number of citations to papers published 1997-1999, >350 (as of summer 2001). Currently coordinator of the 34-member European Union consortium "Immunology and Ageing in Europe, ImAginE" (see http://www.medizin.uni-tuebingen.de/imagine/).

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Michael R. Rose, Ph.D.

Michael R. Rose, Ph.D.

Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary, UC Irvine. His main area of work has been the evolution of aging. His most recent books include "Darwin's Spectre, Evolutionary Biology in the Modern World", (Princeton University Press, 1998) and "The Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging," (Oxford University Press, 2005).

In 1997, he was awarded the Busse Research Prize by the World Congress of Gerontology. Dr. Rose is known for experiments that substantially postpone aging in fruit flies.

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Stephen R. Spindler, Ph.D.

Stephen R. Spindler, Ph.D.

Professor of Biochemistry and former Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, Riverside. For the past 15 years, he has studied the molecular basis for the disease preventing, life-span extending effects of caloric restriction. His work has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Cancer Society, as well as private and corporate donors.

He has served as a member of National Institutes of Health scientific review and advisory committees. He is using genechip technology to discover compounds which delay or prevent the onset of age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

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Bryant Villeponteau, Ph.D.

Bryant Villeponteau, Ph.D.

Dr. Villeponteau has 30 years of scientific leadership experience and about 60 scientific journal and patent publications. Dr. Villeponteau holds a B.A. in Economics, a M.A. in Biostatistics, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UCLA. He was Assistant Research Chemist in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA for 4 years and Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan Medical School for 6 years.

Dr. Villeponteau then led a research group at Geron Corporation for 4.5 years, where he was the lead inventor in cloning human telomerase, thereby winning the Distinguished Inventor Award for the 2nd best US patent of 1997. As the Champion of Telomerase Therapeutics at Geron, he also worked on human stem cells, which were pioneered by Geron in the 90s. Dr. Villeponteau then joined HealthSpan Sciences, Inc. as VP and later served as CEO for three years. For the next 8 years, he served as a VP/consultant for Sierra Sciences.

From September of 2008 to present, Dr. Villeponteau has been the VP of R & D of Genescient Corporation. Dr. Villeponteau also cofounded Centagen, incorporated in January of 2009, and Life Code LLC in October of 2010, which has marketed a successful supplement that doubles
maximum lifespan in model animals and supports stem cells and their niches.

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Richard Weindruch, Ph.D.

Richard Weindruch, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin and an investigator with the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at the VA Hospital in Madison. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Biology at the University of Illinois (Urbana) and his Ph.D. (1978) in Experimental Pathology at UCLA under the direction of Dr. Roy L. Walford. For more than 25 years, Dr. Weindruch has studied caloric restriction (CR), which is known to slow the aging process in experimental animals such as mice and rats. He is the author of two books, more than 75 peer-reviewed research reports, 55 review articles and conference reports. For his research accomplishments, Dr. Weindruch received the 1998 Kleemeir Award from the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the 2000 Harman Award from the American Aging Association, the 2000 Nathan Shock Award from the National Institute on Aging and the 2000 Glenn Foundation Award from GSA. He is a past president of the American Aging Association (1994), former chairman of the Biological Sciences Section of GSA (1996) as well as a former member and chairman of the National Institutes of Health Geriatrics and Rehabilitation Medicine Study Section (1994 - 1999).

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