Board of Directors

Brian Kennedy, PhD, Chairman of the Board

Dr. Brian Kennedy is internationally recognized for his research in the basic biology of aging and is a visionary committed to translating research discoveries into new ways of delaying, detecting, preventing and treating age-related conditions. He leads a team of 20 principal investigators at the Buck Institute – all of whom are involved in interdisciplinary research aimed at extending healthspan, the healthy years of life.

Dr. Kennedy became the Buck Institute’s second CEO in July, 2010, coming from the University of Washington in Seattle where he served in the Department of Biochemistry. He earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is well known for work during his graduate studies with Leonard Guarente PhD, which led to the discovery that Sirtuins (SIR2) modulate aging.

Dr. Kennedy’s current work involves nutrient signaling pathways linked to dietary restriction, particularly the TOR pathway, which generated excitement in the age research field when it was shown recently that the drug rapamycin can extend mouse lifespan. One of the goals of his research is to determine whether pathways like TOR can be regulated to treat the diseases of aging. Specifically, Dr. Kennedy’s lab focuses on cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndromes like type II diabetes. Dr. Kennedy also studies the genetic mutations underlying diseases such as dilated cardiomyopathy, muscular dystrophy and Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, which resembles premature aging.

Dr. Kennedy is the inventor on several patents and co-founder of two U.S. companies aimed at developing treatments for age-related chronic disease. He is actively involved in aging research in the Pacific Rim, which features the largest elderly population in the world. He is a visiting professor at the Aging Research Institute at Guangdong Medical College in China. In the past year he lectured in Korea, Russia, China, Chile, Germany, Norway, Singapore and the United Kingdom. In conjunction with the University of Southern California, he also launched the nation’s first PhD Program in the Biology of Aging.

Dr. Kennedy has published more than 150 manuscripts in prestigious journals including Science and Nature and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Boston Globe, among more than 20 other publications. He serves as a public advocate for interventional strategies to promote health aging, including in a recent nationally broadcasted radio debate available online at the Intelligence Squared Foundation website. He is also co-Editor-in-Chief of Aging Cell, Board Chairman of Mt. Tam Biotechnologies, and serves as a consultant for other biotech, pharmaceutical, and health-related companies.

Chester Aldridge

Chester Aldridge is a Board member and co-founder of Mount Tam Biotechnologies. He also serves as Chairman and CEO of US Equity Holdings. Through US Equity Holdings, Mr. Aldridge has more than 20 years of experience in founding, operating and financing businesses, ranging from start-ups to multi-million-dollar publicly traded companies. Mr. Aldridge has acted or is acting as Chief Advisor to:

  • Prosetta Antiviral, Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel small-molecule antiviral therapeutics. Prosetta has successfully produced highly potent compounds that display activity against multiple strains of many viral families including lead series of molecules that are effective antiviral agents against influenza, HIV and HCV
  • Akonni Biosystems, Inc., based in Frederick, Maryland is a molecular diagnostics company that develops and manufactures systems that can test for multiple disease indicators, industrial contaminants, food pathogens, or bioterror agents with significantly greater accuracy and speed, and at lower cost, than traditional diagnostic tools
  • PuraCath Medical, Inc., a medical device company developing safer and cost-efficient medical devices for the predominant form of home dialysis (peritoneal dialysis). Based in Berkeley, CA, PuraCath has shown impressive reduction of infection (fungal and bacterial) through its proprietary FireFly technology

Mr. Aldridge is a Life Member of the Stanford Business School Alumni Association. Mr. Aldridge is also a member of the Buck Advisory Council (BAC), a committee led by a diverse group of individuals from around the world in areas of government, business, pharmaceuticals, and law, among other fields. As a BAC member, Mr. Aldridge serves as an Ambassador for the Buck Institute, the nation’s first independent research facility focused solely on understanding the connection between aging and chronic disease

James (Jim) Farrell

James (Jim) Farrell is a successful strategist, innovator, entrepreneur and investor across a number of fields from bio-pharma to medical equipment to ground breaking food and energy innovations. Jim is a Cornell University Bio-Agricultural Engineer (B.S. and M.Eng.) by training as well as a Harvard MBA. Jim spent a number of years at McKinsey & Company as a Senior Engagement Manager focused on Strategy Development and Implementation. Jim has owned and participated in multiple businesses from the spark of an idea through company sale, with first-hand experience in all company stages from start-up to rapid growth to positioning for and executing liquidity events. The foundation of Jim’s success is his team-building nature coupled with a strong strategic perspective and a steady focus on the excellence in execution required to accelerate an enterprise forward.

Richard Marshak

Richard Marshak, VMD, MBA, is the Chief Executive Officer of Mount Tam Biotechnologies. Dr. Marshak possesses 18 years of pharmaceutical experience across a wide range of leadership roles, touching virtually all aspects of drug development and commercialization.

While at Abbott/Abbvie, Dr. Marshak occupied roles of increasing responsibility spanning marketing, business development, strategic planning and general management in the Pharmaceutical Products Group. These included marketing roles in the Virology and Cardiovascular Franchises, Director of Marketing for Synthroid, General Manager Pain Care, General Manager Alliance Management and Strategic Planning and Senior Director of Strategic Pricing. Since leaving Abbvie, Dr. Marshak has served as strategic consultant to a range of companies, helping to guide critical decisions including product development, corporate development and commercialization strategies. Prior to his work in the pharmaceutical industry Dr. Marshak spent time as an equine veterinarian in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Marshak holds VMD and BA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

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