IMBCR’s Board of Directors

Chief Executive Officer & President | Medical & Scientific Director – James R. Berenson, MD

Dr. Berenson is the founder of the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (IMBCR) and has specialized in research related to myeloma and metastatic bone disease both in the basic and clinical areas for more than 20 years.

He has been involved in many of the major breakthroughs that have brought new treatments for patients with these diseases resulting in both an improvement in the length and quality of their lives. Click to read Dr. Berenson’s complete bio.

Treasurer – Roger Townsend

Roger Townsend has over 30 years of business experience including 10 years of financial management in private industry and 20 years in public accounting. He has worked with a variety of different companies, including the Automobile Club of Southern California, Hon Development Company, Stayner Development Company and Health Industries, Inc. He is a former land developer and currently is the owner of a productive avocado farm in San Diego County.

He has worked with IMBCR on its Audit Committee since 2008 and has held other civic positions within his community.

Roger served during the Vietnam War as a LTJG in the Navy and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduate studies in accounting and business from UCLA.

Roger is married to Mary Townsend, a former director of the Orange County Department of Education. The couple has two children and when they’re not participating in extreme sports, they quietly reside in San Clemente, California.

Vice President – George (Geo) Rynn Hartley Esq.

Mr. Hartley is a founding Board member of the IMBCR.

Graduating from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a magna cum laude in history in May of 1971, he is Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. He then went on to Georgetown University Law Center where he received his Juris Doctor in May of 1974. At Georgetown, he was Phi Delta Phi, Law Review Editor and belonged to the Moot Court Team.

He is a member of the California Bar (1974) and the District of Columbia Bar (1984). He was a practicing attorney for Los Angeles, CA law firms (Musick, Peeler & Garrett; Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Heine, Underberg & Manley). In the California judicial system, he has been a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. Mr. Hartley has been Senior Counsel / Senior Vice President of Home Savings of America in Los Angeles, California.

A man of many talents, Mr. Hartley is also known for being the founder and artistic director of “Theatre Geo” in Los Angeles, California. Also in the film/television/theater realm, he is known for being an acting and interview coach. He has produced and/or directed 184 plays and musicals as well as being a playwright of 4 plays (“The Care and Custody of Barbara Moon,” “Un-Buttoned,” “Ghost Light” and the musical, “Twisted”). Mr. Hartley wrote a regular column called “SightLines” for LA Stage Magazine. His credits also include Adjunct Professor of the University of Southern California (USC) College of Theatre.

Mr. Hartley currently resides in Washington, District of Columbia and Charlestown Beach, Rhode Island.

Eugene “Gene” Berman

Mr. Berman is currently the principal broker at For Buyers Only Realty, an exclusive buyer’s brokerage, and Truth-in-Lending Mortgage, both in Santa Rosa, California. He has been a real estate broker in the North Bay region of California since 2001 and an active real estate professional since 1999 (click more for more info). He has also been an adjunct faculty member at Santa Rosa Junior College since 2005.

Prior to his career in real estate, Mr. Berman was a senior management executive at an Omnicom-owned San Francisco advertising agency; managing director at Lowe McAdams SF, and president at Grey Advertising SF. During his 16 years in advertising, he handled major U.S. and global accounts including: American Cancer Society, Baxter and Gillette brands (including Oral–B Laboratories and Braun), Johnson & Johnson’s Lifescan division, Smithkline Diagnostics, Lifetime Medical TV, Meridien Hotels, 24-Hour Fitness and VISA.

Gene’s accomplishments include receiving the “Best-of-Show” Addy and EFFIE, numerous Gold “In Awe” Awards from the Medical Marketing Association; GD Crain Public Service Gold Award for the San Francisco Child Abuse Council and has served on advertising juries in numerous local and regional competitions.

Mr. Berman received his Bachelor of Science degree from Tulane University in 1970 and is married to Enid Berman. Gene has one son. Enid, with a B.S. in Journalism from the New School, NY, is former non-profit board of directors’ president of American Communications Foundation. Enid continues as a valued consultant to non-profits, for-profits, city and county governments, in internal communications and team-building. The Berman’s reside in Santa Rosa, California.


Shahrooz Eshaghian, MD FACP

Shahrooz Eshaghian, MD FACP is a board certified medical oncologist with expertise in treating patients with myeloma and a broad spectrum of hematological & oncological malignancies. Dr. Eshaghian graduated from UCLA Summa Cum Laude, with College Honors and Phi Beta Kappa. He then received his MD from the prestigious Albert Einstein College of Medicine with a distinction in research. He completed his internship & residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and went on to complete a fellowship in hematology & oncology at UCLA, serving as Chief Fellow.

Throughout his career, Dr. Eshaghian has been involved with cancer research, which has received recognition at national conferences and has been published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. He also is involved with various local and national organizations, including: Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, American Society of Clinical Oncology, & American Society of Hematology.

Dr. Eshaghian is an active attending physician and clinical instructor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and at Cedars-Sinai. As a highly respected medical oncologists and hematologists, Dr. Eshaghian is considered among the best oncologist and has received several prestigious awards throughout his career, including Super Doctor Southern California Rising Star, annually since 2013.

Dr. Eshaghian is married to Yael (JD) and has three daughters (Navah, Naomi, & Shaya).

Ethan Horwitz

Ethan Horwitz is a partner in King & Spalding’s Intellectual Property practice and is resident in the New York office. Mr. Horwitz maintains a diverse practice and has over 25 years of experience in the full range of intellectual property law. He has advised clients and has litigated patent, trademark, trade dress, copyright and false advertising cases in the United States and internationally. Mr. Horwitz’s practice includes worldwide acquisition and enforcement of intellectual property and advising clients on the enforcement of their intellectual property.

For the past 30 years, Ethan has been an active board member and is a past president of Dorot. He also serves as a trustee of The Shalom Hartman Institute and of the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel.

Mr. Horwitz received his Juris Doctorate from St. Johns University, a Masters of Science from New York University and undergraduate degree from Brooklyn Polytech.

Executive Director – Geoffrey M. Gee Esq.

Born in England, Mr. Gee practiced law first in London and then in Sydney, Australia. In Sydney, while engaged in his legal practice, he was also involved in the world of business and was active in the management of several corporations, including a medical facilities’ management company. Mr. Gee has spent a considerable amount of time engaged in charitable work both within and outside the Jewish community during and after his retirement from his legal practice and the business world.

In 1985, he relocated to Los Angeles, California. He has served on the Board of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, Western Region and worked with the American Society of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and United Jewish Appeal.

Mr. Gee is a past President of University Synagogue and served as President of the Friends of Fox, a community-based organization that has helped to ensure Twentieth Century Fox’s continued occupation of its Pico Boulevard studio lot. He also serves on several non-profit Boards and has volunteered as a ‘mentor’ at Shenandoah Elementary School.

Mr. Gee has previously worked with several non-profit organizations that have included Save the Children Fund, UCLA’s “Imagination Workshop”, The Wellness Community, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, HIV/AIDS Legal Services Alliance, Cure FD Foundation,
The Wall-Las Memorias Monument Project, Temple for the Arts and the Los Angeles County Library Foundation as well as many others. He has also helped raise funds for the Israel Humanitarian Foundation, an organization that undertakes humanitarian projects both in the United States and in Israel.

Mr. Gee is married to Steffanie, who was born in Los Angeles, California. He has one married son, Adam, a daughter-in-law, Deborah, and two grandchildren, Hannah and Daniel, who all still live in Sydney, Australia.