Alcor Board of Directors

Catherine Baldwin

Catherine Baldwin

Catherine is Chief Operating Officer of Suspended Animation, Inc. (SA). Before joining SA in mid-2007, Catherine served as Director of Business Development for Pharmaceutical Platforms at Symyx Technologies and as a Strategic Marketing Manager for Applied Biosystems. As a cell biologist in Neurobiology at UCLA and in Cardiopulmonary Physiology with the Lovelace Institutes, she pursued research interests in the molecular mechanisms of glutamate in the brain and thermoregulatory responses to hypoxia and ischemia.



Ravin Jain

Ravin is a physician practicing in California. He received his education and training from Northwestern University, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and UCLA Medical Center. He has been an Alcor member since 1989.


Ralph Merkle

Ralph Merkle, Ph.D.

Dr. Merkle received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1979 where he co-invented public key cryptography. He joined Xerox PARC in 1988, where he pursued research in security and computational nanotechnology until 1999. He was a Nanotechnology Theorist at Zyvex until 2003, when he joined the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Professor of Computing until 2006. He chaired the Fourth and Fifth Foresight Conferences on Nanotechnology, was co-recipient of the 1998 Feynman Prize for Nanotechnology for theory, co-recipient of the ACM’s Kanellakis Award for Theory and Practice and the 2000 RSA Award in Mathematics. Dr. Merkle has fourteen patents and has published extensively. He is now a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing. In 2001 he and Robert Freitas co-founded the Nanofactory Collaboration and in 2008 he and Freitas published "A Minimal Toolset for Positional Diamond Mechanosynthesis" which describes positionally-controlled atom-by-atom fabrication of diamondoid materials. In 2011 Dr. Merkle was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Dr. Merkle's home page is at He joined Alcor in 1989 and joined the Alcor Board in 1998. See video of Dr. Merkle's presentation on Nanotechnology and Cryonics at the 2006 Alcor Conference.


Michael Riskin

Michael Riskin, Ph.D., CPA

Michael Riskin, Ph.D. / CPA, has been an Alcor member since the mid 1980's and a board member since 1993. Michael has served Alcor in various capacities over the years including that of Membership Ombudsman, Vice President, and Chairman of the Board. He is currently the Alcor Board representative to the Alcor Patient Care Trust Board. Michael's wife, Anita Banker Riskin, also an Alcor member since the 80's, suffered legal death in early 2006 and is now in long term bio-stasis in Scottsdale. He is both a California State Licensed Psychotherapist and Certified Public Accountant, with a private psychology practice in Santa Ana, California. The other half of his professional life is that of a business consultant to startups and more mature companies facing a variety of organizational and marketing challenges. Michael believes that being alive, healthy, and happy is a good thing. He intends to enjoy as much of that trinity as long as is possible.


Michael Seidl

Michael Seidl, Ph.D., J.D.

Michael R. Seidl has been an Alcor member since 1998, served as a director from 2002 until 2013, and returned to the board in 2016. Mr. Seidl has lived in Delaware since 1998, where he practices law in a boutique firm specializing in corporate insolvency and related litigation. From 1996 to 1998, he served as the judicial law clerk to the Honorable Jonathan R. Steinberg on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1996), where he served as managing editor of the Journal of Law & Policy in International Business. He is also a graduate of the University of Delaware (Ph.D., English, 1995) and James Madison University (M.A., 1990; B.A. 1988). Mr. Seidl dates his interest in cryonics from his fortuitous (and nearly simultaneous) reading of both Engines of Creation by K. Eric Drexler and Society of Mind by Marvin Minsky in the summer of 1990. Mr. Seidl’s wife, Lisa L. Lock, is also an Alcor member.


Brian Wowk

Brian Wowk, Ph.D.

Brian Wowk, Ph.D., is a biophysicist employed as a Senior Scientist at 21st Century Medicine, Inc., a company specializing in low temperature preservation of tissue and organs for medical applications. He holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in medical physics, specializing in radiation oncology physics and magnetic resonance imaging. He is a leading expert in cryopreservation by vitrification. Dr. Wowk has maintained an interest in cryonics since 1986. He has served on Alcor’s board of directors since 2004.