List of Top 100 Gerontologists (as of August 17, 2012)
Members of the GRG Discussion Group have recommended the following
"Top Gerontologists Throughout History"
who have significantly influenced the direction of our field:
[This is an on-going effort, and there may be errors of omission and commission, and not all
entries have been checked on the Internet for accuracy.]
Another similar overlapping list has
been compiled by Dr. João Pedro de Magalhães of the University of Liverpool;
Historical Contributors... (in chronological order)
1. Benjamin Gompertz, Mathematician, UK [1779 1865]
2. Charles Darwin, Naturalist, UK [1809 - 1882]
3. August Weismann, Zoologist, Freiburg, GERMANY [1834 - 1914]
4. Raymond Pearl, Biogerontologist, Johns Hopkins University [1879 - 1940]
Recent Contributors (no longer living)... (in alphabetical order)
5. Seymour Benzer, Ph.D. CalTech
6. Robert Bradbury
7. Robert N. Butler, M.D., International Longevity Institute of New York
8. Alexander Comfort, Ph.D. UK
9. William D. Hamilton, Ph.D. Oxford University; UK
10. Chrstopher Heward, Ph.D. Kronos of Phoenix, AZ
11. Joshua Lederberg, Ph.D. Nobel Prize; Rockefeller University in NYC
12. Sir Peter Medawar, Ph.D. UK
13. Nathan Shock, Ph.D.
14. Earl Stadtman, Ph.D., NIH
15. Bernard Strehler, Ph.D. USC
16. Roy Walford, M.D. UCLA Caloric Restriction
17. George C. Williams, Ph.D., UCLA and SUNY
Present-Day Contributors... (in alphabetical order)
18. Bruce Ames, Ph.D. National Academy of Sciences; UC Berkeley
19. William Andrews, Ph.D. Sierra Sciences, Reno, NV
20. (Vladimir?) Anisimov, Ph.D. Russia
21. Robert Arking, Ph.D.
22. Steven Austad, Ph.D. University of Texas
23. Arthur Balin, Ph.D.
24. Andrew Bartke, Ph.D.
25. Nir Barzilai, M.D. New York City
26. James Birren, Ph.D. USC
27. Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D. Nobel Prize; UCSF
28. Holly Brown-Borg, Ph.D.
29. Robert Butler, M.D. International Longevity Center; NYC
30. Judith Campisi, Ph.D. Buck Institute; Marin County, CA
31. James Carey, Ph.D. UC Davis
32. William Clark, Ph.D. UCLA MBI
33. Steven Clarke, Ph.D. UCLA MBI
34. Stephen Coles, M.D., Ph.D. UCLA
35. Irina Conboy, Ph.D. UC Berkeley
36. Antonei B. Coska, Ph.D., Roswell Park Cancer Institute
37. James Curtsinger
38. Ana Maria Cuervo, Ph.D.
39. Richard Cutler, Ph.D Maryland
40. Ronald A. DePinho (Check out the Nature Insight section on "Aging" in the March
25th issue of Nature)
41. Rita Effros, Ph.D. UCLA Immunolgy
42. Pete Estep, Ph.D. Boston, MA
43. Gregory Fahy, Ph.D. 21st Century Medicine; Riverside, CA
44. Milan Fiala, M.D., UCLA Alzheimer's Disease; ALS
45. Caleb Finch, Ph.D. USC
46. Michael Fossel, M.D., Ph.D. Michigan State University
47. James Fries, M.D. Stanford University
48. Leonid Gavrilov, Ph.D. University of Chicago
49. Alan Goldstein, Ph.D., Biochemistry; George Washington University; Thymus Gland
50. Carol Greider, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University
51. Aubrey de Grey, Ph.D. Cambridge University, UK
52. Leonard Guarente, Ph.D. MIT
53. Calvin Harley, Ph.D. Geron Corp.; Menlo Park, CA
54. Sarah Harper, Ph.D., Director, Oxford Institute of Population Aging
55. Denham Harman, M.D., Ph.D.
56. Mitchell Harman, M.D,, Ph.D. Kronos Institute; Phoenix, AZ
57. Leonard Hayflick, Ph.D. UCSF
58. Richard Hodes, M.D., NIA Immunologist
59. Robin Holiday, Ph.D. Australia
60. Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D. Systems Biology Institute; Seattle, WA
61. Thomas Johnson, Ph.D. Boulder, CO
62. Cynthia Kenyon, Ph.D. UCSF
63. Stuart Kim Ph.D., Stanford University
64. Thomas Kirkwood, Ph.D. UK
65. Gordon Lithgow, Ph.D. Buck Institute; Marin County, CA
66 Leo Luckinbill
67. George M. Martin, M.D. University of Washington, Seattle
68. Richard Miller, M,D., Ph.D. University of Michigan
69. S, Jay Olshansky, Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago
70. William Orr, Ph.D. SMU
71. Linda Partridge, Ph.D.
72. Olivia Pereira-Smith
73. Thomas Perls, M.D. Boston University
74. Scott Pletcher
75. Daniel Promislow
76 Thomas Rando, Ph.D. Palo Alto VA Hospital
77. Suresh Rattan, Ph.D., D.Sc.; Aarhus University, DENMARK
78. Arlan Richardson, Ph.D. University of Texas
79. Michael Rose, Ph.D. UC Irvine
80. Gary Ruvkun, Ph.D. Harvard
81. Edward Schneider, M.D. USC
82. David Sinclair, Ph.D. Harvard
83. Raj Sohal, Ph.D. USC
84. Steven Spindler, Ph.D. UC Riverside
84. Marc Tatar, Ph.D. Brown University
86. John Tower, Ph.D., USC
88. Karlis Ullis, M.D. UCLA
89. Holly van Remmen, Ph.D.
89. James Vaupel, Ph.D. Max Plank Institute, Rostock, Germany
90. Douglas Wallace, Ph.D. UC Irvine
91. Huber Warner, Ph.D. Dean for Research at the University of Minnesota
92. Irving Weissman, M.D. Stanford University
93. Michael D. West, Ph.D. BioTime, Alameda, CA
Please send us an E-mail if you have any recommendations or suggestions for how we can
revise this list or make it more accurate. - -
Commentary by Dr. Estep on why we shouldn't be publishing this list at all...
I think I understand the memorial and laudatory intent of this list. Nevertheless, it reminds me of
the list of "GRG Patron Saints" that includes two people whose public views on death and life-
extension are at odds with the stated mission of the GRG.
1. Dr. Richard Dawkins: "We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones."
2. Dr. Craig Venter: Increasing lifespan should not be the goal of science (from
The New York Times)).
[Maybe we should talk to these folk and see if they wish to retract (or refine) their statements.]
If you display this list on the GRG website, I predict it will generate more trouble than it is worth.
Here are some primary reasons:
1. You've reduced a complex science down to a popularity contest with the GRG as final
2. You haven't explained what these individuals have done that is noteworthy and fundamentally
important; [Maybe would should have a brief biographical sketch for each person. This is a
project for an undergraduate student in the future. Would you like to volunteer?]
3. This list magnifies the fringe aspect of this field, especially since so many important scientists
have been omitted in favor of people whose contributions are not even close in importance.
It's a good thing George Williams just made it on at position 60, otherwise you'd have none of
the true giants of gerontological thought. Am I to assume that if someone else gets nominated
then George will get bumped out? [Certainly not. They're in alphabetical order.]
4. The field is in such disarray that, rather than handing out awards and making lists, we should
be spending all our time rebuilding it from the inside, as we simultaneously tear down the
incorrect ideas that absolutely pervade the literature and prevailing thought. This isn't just my
view. Simply look at recent comments by Messrs. Hayflick, Rose, Ruvkun, Holliday, and others
and you'll find they are not only complaining about widespread ignorance and disarray, but that
their positions conflict with one another.
You might at least not number the positions, as if it is a ranking system. If you want to
make it relatively non-controversial yet still celebrate people who have made fundamental
contributions, then list only those people and what they've done, Otherwise, it's sort of like
Groucho Marx's paradox of not wanting to belong to any club that would have him as a