Board of Directors
Dr. Robert J. Hariri
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Hariri is considered a visionary serial entrepreneur in biomedicine and aerospace. The Chairman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of one of the world's largest human cellular therapeutics companies, Dr. Hariri has pioneered the use of stem cells and biomaterials to treat a range of life threatening diseases. His activities and experience includes academic neurosurgeon at Cornell, executive, military surgeon and aviator and aerospace innovator. Dr. Hariri has over 80 issued and pending patents, has authored over 100 published chapters, articles and abstracts and is most recognized for his discovery of pluripotent stem cells from the placenta and as a member of the team which discovered TNF (tumor necrosis factor). Dr. Hariri was recipient of the Thomas Alva Edison Award in 2007 and 2011, and has received numerous other honors for his many contributions to biomedicine and aviation.
A jet-rated commercial pilot with many thousands of hours of flight time in over 60 different military and civilian aircraft, Dr. Hariri is a founder and board member of the Rocket Racing League, an extreme aerospace corporation and Jet-A, an FAA certified international heavy jet charter airline. Dr. Hariri serves on numerous Boards of Directors including Myos Corporation and Provista Diagnostics and is a member of the Board of Visitors of the Columbia University School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the Science & Technology Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as a member of the scientific advisory board for the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, which is awarded by the X Prize Foundation. Dr. Hariri is also a Trustee of the Liberty Science Center and has been appointed Commissioner of Cancer Research by NJ Governor Christie. Dr. Hariri received his undergraduate training at Columbia College and Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and was awarded his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Hariri received his surgical training at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and directed the Aitken Neurosurgery Laboratory and the Center for Trauma Research. We believe Dr. Hariri’s training as a scientist, his knowledge and experience with respect to the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries and his extensive research and experience qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.
Dr. Louis Aronne
Dr. Aronne joined us as a Director and member of our Scientific Advisory Board in July 2011. Dr. Aronne is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College and an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is Director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Program, a multidisciplinary obesity research and treatment program affiliated with New York Presbyterian Hospital, which he founded in 1986. Dr. Aronne is former president of the Obesity Society and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. He has authored more than 50 papers and book chapters on obesity and edited the National Institutes of Health Practical Guide to the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Dr. Aronne has won several awards for teaching, including the Leo M. Davidoff Society Prize from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1983 and Eliot Hochstein Teaching Award from Cornell University in 1990. Dr. Aronne graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Trinity College with a BS in biochemistry and from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We believe Dr. Aronne’s skill as a physician and his knowledge and experience with respect to obesity qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.
Dr. Peter Diamandis
Dr. Diamandis joined us as a Director in August 2011. Dr. Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Dr. Diamandis also serves as Chairman of Singularity University and is the founder and past-CEO of Zero Gravity Corporation, a commercial space company developing private, FAA-certified parabolic flights. He is the Chairman and co-founder of the Rocket Racing League as well as the co-founder and Vice Chairman of Space Adventures Ltd., the company which brokered the launches of four private citizens to the International Space Station. In 1987, Dr. Diamandis co-founded the International Space University (ISU), and served as its first managing director. Dr. Diamandis attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his Bachelor of Science in molecular genetics and Master of Science in aerospace engineering. He received his Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School. In 2005, he received an honorary Doctorate from the International Space University. We believe Dr. Diamandis’ training as a scientist and his comprehensive leadership background resulting from service as a chief executive officer of various enterprises qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.
Dr. Buzz Aldrin
Buzz was educated at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating third in his class with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. He then joined the Air Force, where he was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross and later retired with the rank of Colonel. He went on to earn his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and wrote his thesis on manned orbital rendezvous. Selected as an astronaut by NASA in 1963, Aldrin was the first astronaut with a doctorate.
In 1966 on the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz performed the world's first successful spacewalk, overcoming prior difficulties experienced by Americans and Russians during extra-vehicular activity (EVA), and setting a new EVA record of 5 1/2 hours. On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. They spent 21 hours on the lunar surface and returned with 46 pounds of moon rocks. An estimated 600 million people -- at that time, the world's largest television audience in history -- witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor. Upon returning from the moon, Buzz was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest American peacetime award.
Since retiring from NASA and the Air Force, Dr. Aldrin has remained at the forefront of efforts to ensure America's continued leadership in human space exploration. He devised a master plan for missions to Mars known as the "Aldrin Mars Cycler" -- a spacecraft system with perpetual cycling orbits between Earth and Mars. Dr. Aldrin has received three U.S. patents for his schematics of a modular space station, Starbooster reusable rockets, and multi-crew modules for space flight. He founded Starcraft Boosters, Inc., a rocket design company, and the ShareSpace Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to advancing space education, exploration and affordable space flight experiences for all. Dr. Aldrin is an author of seven books including his New York Times bestselling autobiography titled, "Magnificent Desolation" which was released in 2009. For more information, please visit www.buzzaldrin.com.
Dr. Sapna Srivastava
Dr. Srivastava has served as a special advisor to the Company since October 2012, in which role she has advised the Company on its business and financial strategy. She most recently served as the senior equity analyst and team leader for the biotechnology sector at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) from June 2010 to June 2012. Dr. Srivastava served as the senior equity analyst covering the biotechnology sector at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) from April 2004 to September 2009, and at ThinkEquity Partners LLC from January 2003 to April 2004. She began her career at J.P. Morgan (NYSE:JPM), where she served as a research associate from April 1999 to October 2002. In these roles, she was primarily responsible for providing investment advice regarding the biotechnology sector to institutional clients. Dr. Srivastava received her Ph.D. in Biology from New York University and her B.Sc. from University of Bombay (India).