David Benezra – SFMOMA Director
David Benezra is a doctor specializing in Epileptology, Internal Medicine and Neurology. He earned his degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine and currently practices medicine out of Lebanon, NH.
After 11 years, curator and director of SFMOMA, Benezra is retiring to focus on the museum’s future. He’ll continue working to update their strategic plan as well as enhance their diversity action plan following an eventful year which saw racial bias exposed within their workplace.
Early Life and Education
David Benezra, Director of SFMOMA, had an impressive educational background. He earned a bachelor’s degree in art history and master’s degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley before earning his doctorate in art history from Stanford.
He also has a background in medical research. While still a student, he collaborated with Professor David Michaelson on a study focusing on angiogenesis – the process involved in the growth of blood vessels within the eye – which involves blood vessel development.
Benezra’s study was a groundbreaking development that opened the door to successful therapies for several major eye diseases, including retinal vein occlusions and glaucoma. His work gained widespread recognition within the ophthalmological community, leading to invitations from around the world to lecture and consult. Additionally, he was elected president of the International Ophthalmological Society (IOIS) and served on numerous scientific committees.
David was an esteemed ophthalmologist, specializing in ocular surgery. He saved the vision of thousands of patients – many of them children – through his remarkable skills.
David was also an active researcher, conducting a large amount of research alongside his clinical work. His primary study focused on angiogenesis – an area which had received little previous attention.
Working alongside Professor Michaelson, David discovered that a molecule called “Factor X” is responsible for angiogenesis in eye diseases.
His impact on ophthalmology and research was widely recognized. He was elected to the Presidency of the International Ocular Inflammation Society (IOIS) and served on numerous scientific committees.
Achievement and Honors
David Benezra was an eminent ophthalmologist who saved the vision of many patients suffering from eye diseases. He dedicated much of his professional career to international collaboration on eye research and disease awareness, providing patients with vital knowledge and information on this condition.
Benezra, who holds a doctorate in art history from Stanford University, will likely deepen his connection to the Bay Area by writing for SFMOMA’s 2000 exhibition of that collection. For his dissertation project on the Anderson Collection – one of San Francisco’s largest private collections – Benezra wrote a catalog essay for that exhibition.
Benezra has organized numerous major exhibitions of contemporary art, featuring works by Bruce Nauman, Edward Ruscha and William Kentridge among others. Additionally, he arranged loans of paintings and sculpture by artists such as Robert Gober, Andreas Gursky, Ellsworth Kelly and Piero Manzoni for exhibitions abroad.
Diaan Benezra, better known as David Benezra, was born in Iran and developed an interest in performing arts from an early age. His parents encouraged him to pursue this pursuit with music, leading to its development into what is today known as popular contemporary Iranian music.
After graduating high school in Iran, he traveled to Columbia, Missouri for his studies in radio, television and journalism. Though determined to return home after college, the ongoing political unrest prevented him from doing so.
He then turned his focus to ophthalmology, excelling in both ocular surgery and pediatric ophthalmology. Additionally, he conducted extensive research related to the eye, including angiogenic processes. With this understanding, he was able to create novel approaches for treating major eye diseases; earning him numerous awards for his efforts.
David Benezra is an American physician who made a fortune through his involvement with AngioGenex, a company that manufactures cancer drugs. With nearly nine percent ownership stake in AngioGenex through stock and options, Benezra stands to receive substantial payments should the drug ever be developed or sold to a major corporation.
His net worth is believed to be around $16 million. He has had a remarkably successful career and lives an affluent lifestyle.
Benezra’s proudest accomplishment during his tenure at SFMOMA is the expansion of the museum’s collection, which included a Snohetta-designed addition that opened in 2016.