Dr. Michael D. West, Ph.D., is the Chief Executive Officer of BioTime, Inc., of Alameda, Calif., as well as its subsidiaries. The companies are focused on developing an array of research and therapeutic products using human embryonic stem cell technology. He received his Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in 1989, concentrating on the biology of cellular aging. He has focused his academic and business career on the application of developmental biology to the age-related degenerative disease. He was the Founder of Geron Corporation, of Menlo Park, Calif., and from 1990 to 1998, he was a Director and Vice President. At Geron, Dr. West initiated and managed programs in telomerase diagnostics, oligonucleotide-based telomerase inhibition as anti-tumor therapy, and the cloning and use of telomerase in telomerase mediated therapy wherein telomerase is utilized to immortalize human cells. From 1995 to 1998, he organized and managed the research collaboration between Geron and its academic collaborators, James Thomson and John Gearhart, leading to the first isolation of human embryonic stem and human embryonic germ cells. From 1998 to 2007, Dr. West was President and Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., where he managed programs in animal cloning, human somatic cell nuclear transfer, retinal differentiation and ACTCellerate, a technology for the multiplex derivation and characterization of clonal human embryonic progenitor cell lines. Profile
TWST: Would you start with a brief overview of the history and evolution of BioTime?
Dr. West: BioTime (BTX)began as a biotechnology company focused on the development and marketing of solutions for