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Partial List of Founders and Advisors

The Health Optimizing Institute
and Mandala Society Holistic Health

Herbert Benson MD

Herbert Benson, M.D.
Professor, Harvard Medical School

Herbert Benson, M.D., is an American cardiologist and founder of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He graduated from Wesleyan University and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Benson is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI). He is the author or co-author of more than 175 scientific publications and 11 books. More than four million copies of his books have been printed in many languages. After participating in our Holistic Health Conferences at UCSD, Dr. Benson established a similar conference at Harvard Medical School.

Emanuel Cheraskin, MD, DMD

  Emanuel Cheraskin, M.D., D.M.D.
Authority on Preventive Medicine

Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin devoted more than 50 years of his life to natural health  practice, research, and education. He was Professor Emeritus of the University of Alabama, and well-known pioneer in researching the vitamin and mineral requirements for maintaining “optimal health”. His work and research has laid a foundation for the development of practical nutritional guidelines and superior multi-vitamin/mineral supplements. Dr. Cheraskin has authored and co-authored over 700 publications in international scientific journals and 22 books.


John Diamond, MD

John Diamond, M.D.
Past President, International Academy of Preventive Medicine

Dr. John Diamond is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, a Foundation Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, American Holistic Medical Association, a Diplomat of the International College of Applied Kinesiology and is a Fellow and past-president of the International Academy of Preventive Medicine. He is the founder of Life-Energy Analysis, a system based upon Applied Kinesiology. He is also the author of bestsellers Your Body Doesn’t Lie and Life Energy: Unlocking the Hidden Power of Your Emotions to Achieve Well-Being.


David J. Harris
Founder The Mandala Society, The Association For Holistic Health, Health Optimizing Institute

David is the co-founder of the National Center for the Exploration of Human Potential, which is now the Health Optimizing Institute. He Provided the first ever Holistic Health Conference with a medical school at the University of California, San Diego, in 1975 and continuing for ten years. He also provided the first National Conference on Holistic Education and the first Developing Personal Potential Training at UCSD. This all resulted from his revelation in 1966 birthing the Mandala Society. This was an experience that showed him that all is about learning relationships and our most important relationship is our most intimate with The Supreme Creative Life Force of All Creation which we are one with. Thus, all are encouraged to have their own personal religion.


Dr Howard Hunt

Howard F. Hunt, PhD
Authority on Exercise Physiology, Advisor to NASA

Dr. Howard F. Hunt, is the founder of Life Management Group Inc. and a leading authority on Exercise Physiology. He has played roles as advisor to NASA and in 1965 joined the UCSD Department of Physical Education as the Director of Athletics. He later became chair and served as Vice-Chancellor, Student Affairs, in 1977, and to this day is the longest holder of a chair position in UCSD’s history. Hunt’s contribution to UCSD was profound. He set out to shape a department that would serve each individual student and set the standard for valuing intramural sports and related athletic clubs and activities.  Dr Hunt is President,Life Management Groups, Inc. La Jolla, CA


Gerald Jampolsky, MD

Gerald Jampolsky, M.D.
Founder, Center for Attitudinal Healing

Gerald Jampolsky is a physician and child/adult psychiatrist. His work is based on the power of unconditional love and forgiveness as ways of getting rid of the blocks that many of us have that interfere with our experiencing love each day and passing our love on to others with no exclusions. He has been helping people heal their hearts and minds for over thirty years. He founded the International Center for Attitudinal Healing (ICAH), which has grown to well over a hundred independent centers in twenty-seven countries on five continents. He has also lectured, given workshops, and written books in over fifty countries.


Dr. Robert Livingston

Dr. Robert Livingston, M.D.
Director, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Robert Livingston was co-founder and President of the San Diego chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. He taught as a professor of physiology at Yale University College of Medicine, taught pathology, anatomy and psychiatry at Stanford and Harvard and served on the faculty of UCLA. He was appointed Scientific Director of the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness. He founded the neuroscience department at UCSD and was active in the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. He was also a friend and advisor to the Dalai Lama.


Dr. Paul Brenner

Paul Brenner, M.D., PhD
Psychosocial Oncologist, UCSD Health System/San Diego Cancer Center

Dr. Paul Brenner is a physician and counseling psychologist and has received the Life Devotion Award, The San Diego Enlightenment Award and The University of California San Diego School of Medicine Physicians Teaching Award. He has appeared on Public Television and moderated the award winning K.P.B.S series, Healing Through Communication. He has served as head of the residency program and gynecology oncology service at UC San Diego University Hospital and was also chairman of the obstetrician and gynecology service at Scripps Memorial Hospital. He was also a psychosocial oncologist for San Diego Cancer Center where he saw patients and ran cancer, caregiver and grief support groups. He is the author of numerous books and has lectured throughout the United States, Europe and Asia on the psychology of health and illness and the unconscious patterns that run our lives.


Matthew Gleason, M.D.

Matthew Gleason, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery, UCSD

Dr.Matthew Gleason, M.D., is a past president of the San Diego County Medical Society. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California, San Diego, Medical School. He has also been elected as a past president of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr Gleason made it possible for The University of California Medical School to be the first to provide Holoistic Health training.  This was by sponsoring the Mandala Society and HOI first ever  Holistic Health conferences with a medical school.


Elisabeth Kubler Ross, MDElisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D.
World Renowned in Hospice

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a psychiatrist and a pioneer in near-death studies. She was the founder of the Shanti Nilaya Healing Center, co-founder of the American Holistic Medical Association and a 2007 inductee into the American National Women’s Hall of Fame. She was the recipient of twenty honorary degrees and by 1982 had taught an estimated 125,000 students in death and dying courses. She delivered “The Ingersoll Lectures on Human Immortality” at Harvard University. She encouraged the hospice care movement, believing that euthanasia prevents people from completing their ‘unfinished business.’ She was also the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief.


Dr. Abraham MaslowDr. Abraham Maslow
Founder, Humanistic Psychology

Dr. Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. He was a psychology professor at Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research and Columbia University. Maslow served as the chair of the psychology department at Brandeis from 1951 to 1969. While there he met Kurt Goldstein, who had originated the idea of self-actualization in his famous book, The Organism. It was also here that he began his crusade for humanistic psychology. Maslow spent his final years in semi-retirement in California.


Dr. Jonas SalkDr. Jonas Salk
Founder, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher and virologist. He discovered and developed the first successful inactivated polio vaccine. In 1960, he founded the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, which is today a center for medical and scientific research. He continued to conduct research and publish books, including Man Unfolding, The Survival of the Wisest, World Population and Human Values: A New Reality, and Anatomy of Reality: Merging of Intuition and Reason. Salk’s last years were spent searching for a vaccine against HIV.


Hans Selye, MDHans Selye, M.D.
Leading Authority on Stress Management

Hans Selye was a pioneering endocrinologist who conducted important scientific work on the hypothetical non-specific response of an organism to stressors. He has published more than 1,700 research papers, 15 monographs and 7 popular books and was a nominee to the Nobel prize. He wrote The Stress of Life, From Dream to Discovery: On Being a Scientist and Stress without Distress. He also worked as a professor and director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the Université de Montréal and created the International Institute of Stress, the Hans Selye Foundation and the Canadian Institute of Stress. In 1968 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.


Alex SzekelyAlex Szekely
President, The Golden Door & Rancho La Puerta Health Resorts

Alex Szekely was a leading advocate of the total health concept and a committed leader who served on a number of local boards dedicated to the betterment of the San Diego community. He was president of Rancho La Puerta, The Golden Door and La Jolla Youth, Inc. As an advocate of the University of California, San Diego, he supported the UCSD Cancer Center Luau & Longboard Invitational and was committed to his work in health of body, mind and spirit. He was also one of the founding members and president of the International Spa Association (ISPA) and worked diligently to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.


Edward A. Taub, M.D.Edward Taub, M.D.
Founder of Integrative Medicine

Dr. Edward Taub, as Medical Director of the Tustin-Irvine Pediatric Medical Group and Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the UCI Medical School, founded and introduced the field of Integrative Medicine to the Institute of Medicine in an address entitled: “A Biosocial and Psychospiritual Approach to Health and Healing.” He has authored or co-authored 8 books on Integrative Medicine and wellness. He was also the first Wellness Medicine Director of a major hospital in the U.S. He has appeared on the NBC Today Show, the CBS Morning Show, The O’Reilly Factor, ABC’s Good Morning America Show and he has hosted his own TV show on the QVC network. His book, “Balance Your Body, Balance Your Life,” was made into a national PBS Special.


John Travis, MDJohn Travis, M.D.
Author, The Wellness Workbook

John W. Travis, M.D., M.P.H., is a leading figure in the wellness movement and founder of the world’s first wellness center, the Wellness Resource Center. He is also the founder of Wellness Associates and an adjunct professor in the Master of Wellness Program at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Integral Studies. Dr. Travis has been interviewed by Dan Rather on 60 Minutes and has made many appearances in national media. He wrote and published the Wellness Workbook, which has subsequently been expanded and republished numerous times throughout the past 30 years.



Extended  Partial List of Advisors


George Brolaski, M.D.Capt. R.G. Fosburg, MC, USNKarol Fisher, M.D.
Frederick Frye, M.D.William Goldway, M.D.Leonard Jones, M.D.
A.J. Leckman, M.D.Robert Leichtman, M.D.Seymour Levine, M.D.
Patricia Lindsey, M.D.Pearl McBroom, M.D.Leland Stewart, Dir. of ICC
John Reppart, M.D.Clara Younger, M.D. 



Board of Directors

The Health Optimizing Institute

Dr. Howard Hunt

David Harris


Dr. Ariel Kerman, PhD
VP Research

Dr. Cheryl Geer
VP Institutes

Alice Whittemore

VP Pivotal Project Philanthropy