Board of Directors

Gregory Benford, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board

Cristina Rizza, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer and Director

James N. Benford, Ph.D.
Director

Yaron Brook, Ph.D.
Director

Peter LePort, M.D.
Director

Gregory Benford, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board

Gregory Benford is a Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine, where he was a Professor of Physics.
He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and was Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University and the Universities of Turin and Bologna. In 1995 he received the Lord Prize for contributions to science. With more than 200 scientific publications, his research encompasses both theory and experiments in the fields of astrophysics and plasma physics. His research has been supported by NSF, NASA, AFOSR, DOE and other agencies. He is an ongoing advisor to NASA, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the CIA.

Dr. Benford is also the author of more than thirty books, nearly all still in print. His work has won many awards, including the Nebula Award for his novel Timescape. His non-fiction Deep Time received much praise in 1999 and he won the United Nations Medal in literature in 1994.

Gregory Benford became Emeritus from the University of California, Irvine, in 2006 in order to found and develop Genescient.

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Cristina Rizza, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer and Director

Dr Rizza is an Internist and a Cardiologist. She has spent the past thirty years caring for mostly geriatric patients and has a life-long interest in the molecular genetics of aging. Dr. Rizza graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of Bologna, Italy in 1975. After moving to the U.S. in 1976, she received her training in Internal Medicine at the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York and her Cardiology training at the UCLA VA program in Los Angeles. The author of several published papers, she has experience in basic and clinical research as-well-as drug testing for efficacy and toxicity.

In her role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rizza is responsible for the biological and clinical annotation of Genescient’s inventory of genes associated with the diseases of aging. She is also involved in the selection of therapeutics for testing and in the recruitment and testing of successful therapeutic substance candidates in human subjects.

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James N. Benford, Ph.D.
Director

James Benford is President of Microwave Sciences, Inc. a contracting firm specialized in High Power Microwave (HPM) systems.  Microwave Sciences provides expert services from conceptual designs to hardware, HPM effects testing and power beaming.

Dr. Benford has been active in advanced research in private companies for 40 years.  He is experienced in transitioning research results into commercial products.

In 1997, James Benford was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering for “transferring high power microwave sources and systems into custom commercial products”.  In recent years, his clients have included 25 private companies, including the aerospace primes, 10 government agencies (NASA, DoD), and 3 universities.

Dr. Benford’s education includes a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, San Diego.  He has 135 scientific papers and has written 6 books on physics topics.

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Yaron Brook, Ph.D.
Director

Dr. Brook was born and raised in Israel. He served as a first sergeant in Israeli military intelligence and earned a BSc in civil engineering from Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, Israel. In 1987 he moved to the United States, where he received his MBA and Ph.D. in finance from the University of Texas at Austin; he became an American citizen on May 28, 2003. For seven years he was an award-winning finance professor at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, where he focused on financial institutions and market ethics. He is co-founder of BH Equity Research, a financial advisory company, of which he is presently managing director and chairman.

Yaron Brook is also president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, and a frequent guest on radio and television shows. He has appeared on Fox Business News, Fox News (The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, At Large with Geraldo Rivera), CNN (Talkback Live and the Glenn Beck Program), CNBC (Closing Bell and On the Money), and C-SPAN.

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Peter LePort,M.D.
Director

Dr. LePort, is a full-time surgeon in Orange County, CA. He lectures nationwide on free market reform in healthcare, particularly on the benefits of medical savings accounts.

Peter LePort is a member of the board of directors of The Ayn Rand Institute and of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. He is co-author of a healthcare reform proposal that discusses voluntary, tax-free medical savings accounts and high-deductible personal health insurance, and which includes a method to privatize Medicare.

Dr LePort earned his medical degree from Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, and is a former assistant professor of surgery at that institution. He is a member of the Faculty of the American College of Surgeons.

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