Founders, Directors and Advisors

CohBar's founders and scientific advisors are pioneers and thought leaders within the fields of mitochondrial biology, diabetes, aging, drug discovery, and clinical medicine. They have made innumerable contributions to our understanding of mitochondrial biology and to the development of novel therapeutics.

Dr. Nir Barzilai co-founded our company in 2007 and has served as a member of our board of directors since our conversion to a Delaware corporation in 2009.

Dr. Barzilai is the Director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, where he also holds the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research, is a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics and a member of the Diabetes research Center. Dr. Barzilai is also Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging Research and of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging.

Dr. Barzilai has received numerous awards, including the Beeson Fellow for Aging Research, the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging Award, the Paul F. Glenn Foundation Award, the NIA Nathan Shock Award, and the 2010 Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction in Aging Research.

Dr. Pinchas Cohen co-founded our company in 2007 and has served as a member of our board of directors since our conversion to a Delaware corporation in 2009. He served as our President from 2009 until 2013.

Since April 2012, Dr. Cohen has served as Dean of the Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. He holds the William and Sylvia Kugel Dean’s Chair in Gerontology and acts as Executive Director of the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center. Dr. Cohen was a member affiliated with the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, where he was a member of the faculty, until 2012. At the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital Dr. Cohen served as Director of Endocrine/Diabetes Research and Training (from 1999 until 2012), Chief of Endocrinology and Diabetes (from 2001 until 2012) and as Vice Chair of Research (from 2011 until 2012). Dr. Cohen was also co-director of the UCSD-UCLA Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center from 2007 until 2012.

Dr. Cohen has received several awards for his work in the field of aging, including a National Institute of Aging EUREKA Award, the National Institutes of Health Director’s Transformative Research Award and the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging. He serves on the boards of several professional journals and societies, including the American Federation for Aging Research and the Growth Hormone Research Society.

Dr. Amatruda was formerly the Senior Vice President and Franchise Head, Diabetes and Obesity at Merck Research Laboratories. He is board certified in internal medicine, endocrinology and metabolism and has a proven track record in academics and pharmaceutical discovery research and development, including several novel candidate compounds, INDs, translational studies, development programs and four NDAs.

Dr. Amatruda comes to CohBar with over 15 years of experience in academic medicine and 17 years’ experience in industry. He has an extensive history as a Principal Investigator for NIH funded basic and clinical research, as well as in teaching, clinical practice, and management. At Bayer he created and managed a Metabolism drug discovery group for 10 years where he was responsible for the strategy of multiple drug candidates while he also developed external collaborations and was on the senior leadership team of the Company’s international drug discovery platform. At Merck he led Drug Development groups in Diabetes, Obesity, Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Disease. These groups filed four worldwide submissions. Dr. Amatruda also has experience with Advisory Committee meetings, agency interactions, labeling and launches. As Franchise Head, Dr. Amatruda was also responsible for discovery research. He is often published in peer reviewed journals and also has served as a reviewer for several journals including Diabetes Care and JCEM. Dr. Amatruda received his B.A. from Yale University his M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine and fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

David A. Sinclair, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a co-joint Professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of New South Wales. He is the co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging and a Senior Scholar of the Ellison Medical Foundation. He obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics at the University of New South Wales, Sydney in 1995. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at M.I.T. with Dr. Leonard Guarente where he co discovered a cause of aging for yeast as well as the role of Sir2 in epigenetic changes driven by genome instability. In 1999 he was recruited to Harvard Medical School where his laboratory’s research has focused primarily on understanding the role of sirtuins in disease and aging, with associated interests in chromatin, energy metabolism, mitochondria, learning and memory, neurodegeneration, and cancer. He has also contributed to the understanding of how sirtuins are modulated by endogenous molecules and pharmacological agents such as resveratrol. Dr. Sinclair is co-founder of several biotechnology companies and is on the scientific advisory board of several others. He is also co-founder and co-chief editor of the journal Aging. He has received numerous awards including The Australian Commonwealth Prize, a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Award, a Leukemia Society Fellowship, a Ludwig Scholarship, a Harvard-Armenise Fellowship, an American Association for Aging Research Fellowship, The Nathan Shock Award from NIH, Scholarships from The Ellison Medical Foundation, The Merck Prize, the Genzyme Outstanding Achievement in Biomedical Science Award, a “Bio-Innovator award” and the David Murdock-Dole Lectureship.

Scientific Advisory Board

Amir Lerman, MD, is Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. He serves as the Director of research of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and is Director of the Chest Pain and Coronary Physiology Clinic, and is a Consultant for the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.

Dr. Lerman graduated with honors from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, School of Medicine, in Haifa, Israel.

Dr. Lerman is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the European Society of Cardiology, as well as holding membership in such prestigious organizations as Sigma XI, The Scientific Research Society, the American College of Physicians, Minnesota Medical Association, and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, among others. Dr. Lerman is on the editorial boards of several medical journals.

Dr. Lerman has a special interest in the role of the endothelium in vascular tone with emphasis on the coronary circulation in atherosclerosis, acute coronary syndrome, plaque vulnerability, cardiovascular disease in women. His areas of interests also include the clinical approach to the patient with chest pain and non-obstructive disease; coronary physiology and coronary imaging.

Dr. Kahn is the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and was formerly the President of the Joslin Diabetes Center. He also has served as Research Director of Joslin for more than 17 years. During his tenure, the Joslin Diabetes Center research program has grown from $2 million to over $25 million, with a staff of over 220 people. Dr. Kahn has received numerous honors and awards, including the highest scientific awards of the American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, International Diabetes Federation, the American Federation of Clinical Research, and the Endocrine Society of the U.S. In 1999, Dr. Kahn received two prestigious national honors — election to membership in the National Academy of Sciences and election to the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Livingston provides a consulting service (Nick Livingston Consulting, LLC) to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies on metabolic diseases. He also holds the position of Vice President of Biology for NovaTarg Therapeutics, a company that is developing AMPK activators to treat metabolic disorders and cancer. Before starting his consulting company and joining NovaTarg Therapeutics, he was Vice President at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in charge of biology for the Metabolic CEDD, the Center of Excellence in Drug Discovery for diabetes, obesity and the diseases of aging. Prior to joining GSK, Dr. Livingston was Vice President of Metabolic Diseases at Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Here, he was responsible for developing and managing the early discovery programs for type 2 diabetes and obesity. Over his 20 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Livingston has participated in numerous IND applications at Bayer and GSK, writing the preclinical pharmacology sections and reviewing the safety and DMPK sections for products in diabetes, obesity and the diseases of aging. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Livingston had a successful career in academic medicine at the University of Rochester Medical School, attaining the rank of Professor of Medicine, Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Biochemistry. He has held academic appointments at Yale University School of Medicine and at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Livingston is the author or co-author of over 90 full-length articles on topics in metabolic diseases.

Frank J. Calzone, Ph.D. has over 22 years of experience in the isolation and preclinical development of protein therapeutics for cancer and other diseases. He is a member of the UCLA Translational Oncology Research Laboratory (TORL) and his research specialties are tumor genomics and drug discovery.  He also serves as Vice President of Discovery Research for REMD Biotherapeutics, a company focused on antibody therapies for diabetes and cancer.

Dr. Calzone gained his biotechnology expertise at Amgen. He joined the company as a research scientist in 1993 to identify novel growth factors and cytokines using genomics and transgenic mice. He is an inventor on the Amgen patent that first described osteoprotegerin. His research shifted in 2000 to antibody therapeutics targeting growth factor and cytokine receptors in cancer. He led the team that generated ganitumab, an inhibitory IGF1R antibody, and he served as scientific lead as it advanced clinically. He was a member of the Amgen Ventures SAB, and departed the company as a Scientific Executive Director in 2012.

Dr. Calzone has a long history of public service in breast cancer research and advocacy. He has been a scientific advisor to the Artemis Project of the National Breast Cancer Coalition from the beginning of the program in 2010. He serves on the DOD-CDMRP-BCRP integration panel (2007-present) which has overseen the investment of over $3 billion in breast cancer research.

Dr. Calzone received a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Rochester. He performed his postdoctoral research in developmental biology at Caltech.  He was an Assistant Professor (tenure track) at the University of California, Irvine in Developmental and Cell Biology (1989-1993).

Scientific Consultants

Dr. Rohit Loomba is Professor of Medicine (with tenure) in the Division of Gastroenterology, and Adjunct Professor in the Division of Epidemiology at University of California, San Diego. He is a leading expert in translational research and innovative clinical trial design in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and steatohepatitis (NASH).

Dr. Loomba is the founding director of the UCSD NAFLD Translational Research Unit where his team is conducting cutting edge research in all aspects of NAFLD including non-invasive biomarkers, genetics, epidemiology, clinical trial design, imaging end-points, and integrated OMICs using microbiome, metabolome and lipidome. This integrated approach has led to several innovative applications such as establishment of MRI-PDFF as a non-invasive biomarker of treatment response in early phase trials in NASH, and first prospective study of MRE in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD, and MOZART Trial being the first trial in NASH with comprehensive MRI and 2D and 3D MRE assessment paired with liver biopsies in NASH. He follows one of the largest cohort of well-characterized patients with NAFLD and applies evidence-based medicine to answer clinically relevant questions to improve management of patients with chronic liver disease.

He is the founder and principal investigator of the San Diego Integrated NAFLD Research Consortium (SINC). His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Gastroenterology Association, National Science Foundation as well as several investigator initiated research projects funded by the industry. He is the Principal Investigator for adult hepatology for the NIDDK-sponsored NASH Clinical Research Network (2009-19) and is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Dr. Loomba is an elected member of the board of directors of the American Liver Foundation. He serves as the co-chair of the Research Award Panel for the American Liver Foundation. In addition, he serves on various committees of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). He is also an elected member of the steering committee of the Steatosis and Steatohepatitis Special Interest Group of the AASLD. He serves on the editorial board of several leading journals, and is the Associate Editor for Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, a leading journal in the field of Gastroenterology.

Paul Aisen, M.D., has conducted therapeutic research on Alzheimer’s disease for the past two decades.

After graduating from Harvard College, Dr. Aisen received his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1979 and pursued his clinical training as a Resident in the Department of Medicine at the University Hospitals of Cleveland, and in the Department of Medicine at the The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. He completed his Fellowship in the Division of Rheumatology at the New York University Medical Center before returning to The Mount Sinai Hospital as Chief Resident in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Aisen is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine, with specialty certification in Rheumatology and Geriatric Medicine.

After 15 years on the faculty at Mount Sinai, Dr. Aisen moved to Georgetown University in 1999 as Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Medicine and became Vice Chair of the Department of Neurology in 2004. Since 2007 he has been Professor of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Aisen has collaborated extensively with the biotech and pharmaceutical industries for many years. He has led numerous multicenter trials, and has authored over 250 scientific papers. He is Director of the Alzheimer’s disease Cooperative Study, a consortium funded by the National Institute on Aging to develop assessment instruments and conduct clinical trials.

Changhan David Lee, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Gerontology in the Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California (USC) and a member of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. He obtained his Ph.D. in genetics, molecular, and cellular biology at the USC Keck School of Medicine with Dr. Valter Longo where he discovered that fasting could selectively protect patients while sensitizing cancer cells to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He worked with Dr. Pinchas Cohen as a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA where he discovered a novel gene encoded in the mitochondrial DNA, MOTS-c. He returned to the USC Davis School of Gerontology where, since 2014, his lab has been focused on understanding the role of MOTS-c in aging and age-related diseases with emphasis on cellular and organismal metabolism, mitochondrial biology, and genetic and epigenetic regulation, as well as the basic genetics and molecular biology of MOTS-c. His research has been supported by the Ellison Medical Foundation, SC CTSI, Zumberge Funds, and the Hanson Thorell Family. He received multiple awards including those from the Ellison Medical Foundation, USC Norris Cancer Center, and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).