Leadership Team

Bernard Siegel

Bernard Siegel

Founder & Director
Jerry Frenz

Jerry Frenz

Chief Financial Officer
Alan Jakimo, JD

Alan Jakimo, JD

Senior Public Policy
Research Fellow
Joseph Dawson

Joseph Dawson

Director of Communications
Kevin McMahon

Kevin McMahon

Web Developer
Alyssa Rudinsky

Alyssa Rudinsky

Assistant to the
Executive Director

SELECT A BIO FROM TABS ABOVE

Mr. Siegel first became involved with the scientific community when, in 2002, he filed a landmark case seeking a guardian for the alleged clone, “Baby Eve.” The case was widely credited for exposing Clonaid, the so-called “human cloning company” as a sham. This case, and the media attention which ensued, allowed Mr. Siegel to meet with scientists and policy experts to discuss the need for legal and policy advocates for the scientific community. This led to Mr. Siegel’s founding of the Genetics Policy Institute (today Regenerative Medicine Foundation) and his commitment to advocacy work on behalf of patients, doctors and researchers involved with the regenerative medicine community

In 2004, Mr. Siegel played a pivotal role in galvanizing a global movement that successfully lobbied the United Nations to reject a treaty that called for a prohibition of nuclear transfer, or therapeutic cloning.

As a recognized policy expert on stem cell research, regenerative medicine and cloning, Mr. Siegel works with the world’s leading stem cell researchers and advocates. He works with grassroots activists throughout the United States, raising public awareness and educating lawmakers, the media and public on stem cells and regenerative medicine.

Mr. Siegel is a frequent panelist and keynote speaker on the subject of stem cells, public policy, patient advocacy and the societal implications of longevity. Among his many presentations, he has spoken at the United Nations, the Salk Institute, the German National Academy of Science (The Leopoldina), and others. He has lectured at more than 40 colleges and universities around the globe.

Mr. Siegel frequently works with the media as a policy expert. His media appearances include interviews with CBS Evening News, the CBS Early Show, CNN, MSNBC, Fox and Friends, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Wired News, The Scientist, New Scientist, The London Times, Le Monde, Pravda, The Peoples Daily and many other publications.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, he received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Miami (BA 1972, JD 1975). He is a member of the Florida Bar, since 1975.

Mr. Merchant is the founder of The Merchants Financial Group, Ltd. a privately held capital investment company founded in 1986, incorporated in 1990 and headquartered in Atlanta. The Merchants Financial Group, Ltd., concentrates its business model, on identifying and developing National and International business growth opportunities in multiple sectors including banking, commercial real estate development, hospitality, Assisted Living Facilities,, Multifamily housing, Industrial Warehouses, manufacturing, franchising and underwriting of traditional and alternative financial products. Mr. Merchant’s vast business experience with public and private companies spans over thirty-six years.

Mr. Merchant is the Chairman of his family’s projects and equities fund, a position he has successfully served in for thirty years. The Merchant family enterprise is a fourth- generation global operation that invests its own and syndicated capital with offices and business interests throughout the United States and Internationally. Many of these companies are operated by the family group members after development, investment or acquisition of the business operations. Through family management and internal capital resources, many of these companies have expanded operations to multiple global regions and throughout the United States. The key sectors of activity include healthcare projects such as biotech, MedTech, medical devices, nano technology, cell and gene therapy, artificial intelligence, as well as traditional healthcare facilities and state of the art GMP medical labs. Real estate related projects include private as well as public/private development of urban mixed-use real estate for hotels, restaurants, transportation hubs and retail space. Equity investments also include investments in agriculture, manufacturing, technology, Free Trade zones, Opportunity zones and Tax-free zones. Mr. Merchant has developed a selective network and partnered in complex business transactions with High Net Worth Individuals/ Family offices, Private Equity Funds, Fortune 500 companies, traditional hedge funds, alternative investment groups, strategic investors and businesses local to regions throughout the world. He has been instrumental in the growth of major franchise brands in multiple regions of the world through creative debt and equity capital structures.

As an active resident of Atlanta since 1981, Mr. Merchant served on the Atlanta Regional Commission Board for seven years starting and was a stakeholder member of Atlanta Vision 20/20 commencing in 1990. This expanded his knowledge of addressing and solving problems of governments and municipalities. Mr. Merchant, recognized for his effectiveness in Atlanta, thereafter, went on to serve for six years on President George W. Bush’s Advisory Board for Economic Development and the Small Business Sub-committee. Mr. Merchant has interacted with governments throughout the world at the highest levels and is a well-respected global businessman.

Mr. Merchant’s business interests include the development of technologies which can make a positive impact on people’s lives. He is a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of a preclinical biotech company BioCurity Pharmaceuticals Inc., located in Jupiter, FL. He guided the company through the process of licensing proprietary technology from the University of Central Florida Office of Research and Commercialization. He also assembled the team for capital raises, patent portfolio development and essential steps for early stage biotech companies to drive toward clinical trials. Mr. Merchant is also a co-founder of MerchantCass Advisors LLC, a boutique business advisory group which can perform interim operations support and investment banking expertise for growth companies. Mr. Merchant is well informed on the JOBS Act and capital distribution in the RIA and Broker-Dealer community. Mr. Merchant intends to expand his work with early stage companies by leading quality driven investment opportunities for the retail investor marketplace. He believes it is important to allow access to investment opportunities that to-date have been limited to other family offices, strategic investors, hedge funds and private equity funds. Making a commitment to economic growth for all is an impact investing commitment whose time has come.

Mr. Merchant operates daily and long-term strategic plans for businesses with a strong sense of organizational checks and balances for all corporate governance. His operational methods result in efficient and effective management to the companies he owns and advises. Coming from an international background both personally and through business, Mr. Merchant is also fluent in multiple languages. Through his extensive execution and management of global transactions and businesses, Mr. Merchant has an in-depth knowledge of business practices globally, providing Mr. Merchant the capacity, network, experience and knowledge to source and execute on business opportunities throughout the world.

In July 2019, Mr. Merchant was unanimously elected to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors to the Regenerative Medicine Foundation. In addition to this position he continues to serve as the financial team leader of the World Stem Cell Summit, one of the largest international conferences of its kind.

Mr. Merchant has been a United States Citizen since 1986. He is currently a resident of South Florida and often travels to his office headquarters in Atlanta. In his academic achievements, he obtained his B. Sc and BBA prior to attending Georgia State University. Mr. Merchant’s graduate level academic interests included but was not limited to, physics, math, economics and business with an emphasis on accounting and information systems technology while attending Georgia State University. Mr. Merchant is described by those who know him as humble yet proud, resolute yet ethical, logical, practical and rational yet spiritual. Mr. Merchant is grateful for his ability to give back philanthropically in multiple regions of the world, where he is known and respected in the communities of all whose lives he has touched.

Jerry Frenz brings more than 30 years of experience in accounting, budgeting and forecasting to the Genetics Policy Institute. Jerry has been a part of theRegenerative Medicine Foundation team since 2008, when he began serving as a financial consultant. In 2010, Jerry became the Chief Financial Officer and has recently expanded his role to include the duties of Chief Operating Officer.

Jerry’s experience includes accounting, budgeting, forecasting and strategic planning at a variety of diverse organizations, including large multi-billion dollar corporations, small corporations and nonprofit organizations.

As a CPA and auditor for a “Big 8” accounting firm, Jerry conducted international budget reviews for operations in Brazil, Australia, South Africa and throughout Europe. One of his projects included a $600 million acquisition. He moved to Florida in 1987, working for FPL Group in acquisitions and divestitures. In the early 1990s, he became the controller of a South Florida retail chain and was instrumental in taking the company public.

Over the past decade, Jerry has brought his expertise to the nonprofit sector. He has served as the CFO in three established and successful nonprofit organizations. He helped grow one organization from a $500,000 operation to a $5 million operation in eight years. Jerry has been a consultant for the Nonprofits First Agency Certification program, which promotes sound business practices in the areas of nonprofit governance, administration, board governance, human resources and financial management. He has provided training to more than 150 nonprofit organizations in South Florida on topics including financial management, budgeting, indirect cost analysis, and financial strategic planning.

In 2008, Jerry was nominated and became a finalist in the South Florida Business Journal CFO Awards. A member of Toastmasters International, Jerry has won several speaking awards.

Jerry earned his BBA in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Alan L. Jakimo is a member of the Board of Directors of Regenerative Medicine Foundation, which he joined in 2019.  He also serves RMF as a Senior Policy Research Fellow, a position that he also held at Genetics Policy Institute, a predecessor of RMF.  Mr. Jakimo began working with GPI in the fields of policy research and patient advocacy in 2007.  His involvement in the field of developmental biology began during his tenure as a securities and technology transactions lawyer in the New York office of Brown & Wood LLP, which merged in 2001 with Sidley & Austin LLP (ultimately becoming Sidley Austin LLP).  He joined a predecessor of Brown & Wood as an associate in 1980 and, after taking retired partner status from Sidley Austin in 2017, he joined the investment banking group at T.R. Winton & Company, LLC.  Mr. Jakimo is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Hofstra University where he teaches courses on health law and how the law influences the discovery-to-development-to-commercialization pathway followed by regulated medical products and therapies.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of The Cancer Trust, a not-for-profit organization focused on the formation of collaborative research consortia comprised of comprehensive cancer centers, as well as on the Advisory Council of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University and the Corporate Advisory Board at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  Mr. Jakimo holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Colgate University and an M.B.A. and J.D. from Harvard University.

Board of Directors

Sam Merchant

Sam Merchant

RMF Chairman

Sam Merchant is the founder of The Merchants Financial Group, specializing in underwriting a broad spectrum of loans from traditional United States Government Loans to hard to place specialized financing.

Atlanta, Georgia

Jeanne Fontana, PhD, MD

Jeanne Fontana, PhD, MD

RMF Vice Chair

Experienced senior executive of health-related business ventures.

Los Angeles, California

Bernard Siegel, JD

Bernard Siegel, JD

Board Member

Founder and Director of Regenerative Medicine Foundation

Wellington, Florida

Antony Atala, MD

Antony Atala, MD

Board Member

Director, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
W.H. Boyce Professor and Chair, Department of Urology
Wake Forest School of Medicine

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Rick Blume

Rick Blume

Board Member

Managing Director
Excel Venture Management, LLC

Boston, Massachusetts

Steven A. Davis, MD

Steven A. Davis, MD

Board Member

Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer StemBioSys, Inc.

San Antonio, Texas

J. William Futrell, M.D.

J. William Futrell, M.D.

Board Member

He is currently Chairman and co-founder of The GID Group, Inc.

Louisville, Colorado

Richard S. Grossberg

Richard S. Grossberg

Board Member

Currently Chairman Education Committee CavAngels

Richmond, Virginia

Connie Koch Harrell

Connie Koch Harrell

Board Member

President Keiretsu Forum Southern California

Costa Mesa, California

Alan Jakimo, JD

Alan Jakimo, JD

Board Member

Regenerative Medicine Foundation

New York, New York

S. Peter Ludwig

S. Peter Ludwig

Board Member

Principal
Fish & Richardson P.C.

New York, New York

Sam J. Milstein, PhD

Sam J. Milstein, PhD

Board Member

Mortar and Pestle Consulting
New York, New York

Ann Murphy, PhD

Ann Murphy, PhD

Board Member

Co-Founder and Executive Editor of AlphaMed Press

Durham, North Carolina

 

Science Advisory Board

Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Nobel Laureate. Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Physiology, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
University of California -San Francisco. Former president, American Society of Cell Biology. 
Former member of the President’s Council on Bioethics
.

 

William (Bill) Brinkley, PhD.


William (Bill) Brinkley, PhD.


Founding Member, Science Advisory Board

Dean Emeritus
, Baylor College of Medicine, 
Houston, Texas

Curt Civin, MD

Curt Civin, MD

Member, Science Advisory Board

Associate Dean of Research, Director of Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine
. University of Maryland School of Medicine. Baltimore, Maryland

Jose B. Cibelli, D.V.M., PhD.

Jose B. Cibelli, D.V.M., PhD.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Professor
, Cellular Reprogramming Laboratory
. Michigan State University. 
Lansing, Michigan

W. Dalton Dietrich lll, Ph.D.

W. Dalton Dietrich lll, Ph.D.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Scientific Director, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
, Miller School of Medicine
. University of Miami
. Miami, Florida

 

Juan Dominguez Bendala, MSC, PhD.

Juan Dominguez Bendala, MSC, PhD.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Director of Stem Cell Development for Translational Research. Diabetes Research Institute
, Miller School of Medicine
. University of Miami
. Miami, Florida

Fred “Rusty” Gage, Ph.D.

Fred “Rusty” Gage, Ph.D.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Adler Professor
, Laboratory of Genetics
, Salk Institute for Biological Studies. 
La Jolla, California

John Gearhart, MSc, Ph.D.


John Gearhart, MSc, Ph.D.


Founding Member, Science Advisory Board

James W. Effron University Professor. Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Cell and Developmental Biology Department, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Prof. Raphael Gorodetsky


Prof. Raphael Gorodetsky


Member, Science Advisory Board

Head, Biotechnology and Radiobiology Labs
. Sharett Institute of Oncology
, Hadassah Medical Center
. Jerusalem, Israel

Joshua M. Hare, MD, FACC, FAHA

Joshua M. Hare, MD, FACC, FAHA

Member, Science Advisory Board

Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine, Molecular and Pharmacology, and Biomedical Engineering. 
Director, Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, 
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. 
Miami, Florida.

Rudolf Jaenisch, M.D.

Rudolf Jaenisch, M.D.

Founding Member, Science Advisory Board

President’s National Medal of Science. Past President, International Society for Stem Cell Research. 
Member, Whitehead Institute
. Professor of Biology
, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
. Cambridge, Massachusetts

Timothy J. Kamp MD, PhD

Timothy J. Kamp MD, PhD

Member, Science Advisory Board

Professor of Medicine and Physiology. 
Co-director, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, Cellular and Molecular Arrhythmia Research Program. University of Wisconsin Medical School
. Madison, Wisconsin.

Stephen E. Levick, M.D.

Stephen E. Levick, M.D.

Founding Member, Science Advisory Board

Author of the book, “Clone Being: Exploring the Psychological and Social Dimensions”. Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry,
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jeanne F. Loring, Ph.D.


Jeanne F. Loring, Ph.D.


Member, Science Advisory Board

Professor of Developmental Neurobiology. Director
, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Molecular Medicine
 at The Scripps Research Institute. La Jolla, California

Chris Mason MBBS, PhD, FRCS

Chris Mason MBBS, PhD, FRCS

Member, Science Advisory Board

Chief Science Officer, AvroBio. 
Senior Editor, “Cell and Gene Therapy Insights” and “Regenerative Medicine”. Boston, Massachusetts.

Douglas A. Melton, Ph.D.

Douglas A. Melton, Ph.D.

Founding Member, Science Advisory Board

Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, 
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
. Harvard University. 
Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Stephen Minger, PhD.


Stephen Minger, PhD.


Member, Science Advisory Board

Director, SLM Blue Skies Innovations Ltd. London, United Kingdom.

Mark Noble, PhD.

Mark Noble, PhD.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Professor of Genetics and of Neurobiology and Anatomy. Director, UR Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute,
Department of Biomedical Genetics
. University of Rochester Medical Center. 
Rochester, New York.

Roger Pederson, Ph.D.


Roger Pederson, Ph.D.


Member, Science Advisory Board

Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine and Cambridge Stem Cell Initiative. University of Cambridge. Cambridge, 
United Kingdom

Raj Rao, Phd.

Raj Rao, Phd.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Professor and Department Head, Biomedical Engineering. Holder of the George M. and Boyce W. Billingsley Endowed Chair in Engineering in the College of Engineering, University of Arkansas. Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

Founding Director, Science Advisory Board

Director, Diabetes Research Institute. Stacy Joy Goodman Professor of Surgery. Distinguished Professor of Medicine. Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Microbiology and Immunology. Miller School of Medicine
, University of Miami
. Miami, Florida.

Evan Snyder, M.D., Ph.D.


Evan Snyder, M.D., Ph.D.


Member, Science Advisory Board

Professor, Human Genetics Program. Director, Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Sanford Children’s Health Research Center, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. La Jolla, California.

Clive Svendsen, PhD
.

Clive Svendsen, PhD
.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Director
, Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute
. Los Angeles, California.

Sally Temple, PhD.

Sally Temple, PhD.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Scientific Director, Principal Investigator and Co-Founder
, New York Neural Stem Cell Institute.
President, International Society for Stem Cell Research. 
Albany, New York.

Alan Trounson, MSc, PhD, LLD, hon Dr, FRCOG, FRANZCOG, FATSE, FAHMS

Alan Trounson, MSc, PhD, LLD, hon Dr, FRCOG, FRANZCOG, FATSE, FAHMS

Founding Member, Science Advisory Board

Distinguished Scientist, Hudson Institute of Medical Research
. Emeritus Professor, Monash University. Past- President, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Victoria, Australia.

Sir Ian Wilmut, Ph.D.

Sir Ian Wilmut, Ph.D.

Founding Member, Science Advisory Board

Group Leader, Professor Emeritus, Chairman, SCRM building, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine. The University of Edinburgh. 
Edinburgh, Scotland.

Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D.

Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Distinguished Professor. Founding Director, W. M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience. Richard H. Shindell Chair in Neuroscience.Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. The State University of New Jersey. New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Fanyi Zeng, MD, PhD.


Fanyi Zeng, MD, PhD.


Member, Science Advisory Board

Professor, deputy director of the Institute of Medical Genetics of Shanghai Jiaotong University, deputy director of the Shanghai Stem Cell Institute and director of the Research Office of Developmental Biology of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. Shanghai, China.

Len Zon, M.D.

Len Zon, M.D.

Member, Science Advisory Board

Grousbeck Professor of Pediatric Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Director of the Stem Cell Program, Boston Children’s Hospital. Harvard Stem Cell Institute
. Boston, Massachusetts.

Thomas P. Zwaka, M.D. Ph.D.


Thomas P. Zwaka, M.D. Ph.D.


Member, Science Advisory Board

Professor and Director
, Black Family Stem Cell Institute
Department of Developmental Medicine. 
Icahn School of Medicine at
 Mount Sinai. New York, New York.

The Regenerative Medicine Foundation is a non-profit organization, granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

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