Michael Almstetter, CEO, Origenis
Michael Almstetter studied chemistry at the Technical University of Munich. He wrote his thesis about “Simulation and Optimisation of Multi Component Reactions with the Use of Genetic Algorithms" at the Organic Chemistry department of Prof. Dr. Ivar Ugi. He applied these theories in an internship at Roche AG. Michael Almstetter laid the fundaments for the later MOREsystem® with the invention of MolMind® as Head of Discovery Chemistry at Morphochem AG. He applied MOREsystem® to a variety of drug discovery projects with success. At Origenis he is responsible for the development and implementation of parallel chemistry, automated synthesis and analytics.
Robert Bagdorf, Vice President, Biopharmaceuticals Search and Evaluation, Pfizer
Robert Bagdorf leads Pfizer’s Search and Evaluation business development group. This function is responsible for company outreach, asset identification and due diligence activities across all therapeutic areas for Pfizer’s innovative pharmaceutical business unit. He has more than 15 years of experience in the identification and evaluation of licensing and acquisition opportunities on a global and regional basis. Before assuming his current role, Bob was responsible for opportunity assessment and the negotiation of transactions for the Specialty Care Business Unit.
Rahul Ballal, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Versant Ventures
Rahul is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) and serves as Chief Business Officer of Northern Biologics, a Versant-backed immune oncology & fibrosis start-up. Prior to Versant and Northern, Rahul was VP of Business Development at Flexion Therapeutics (FLXN) where he led the company through several key transactions, including a $125M strategic manufacturing partnership with Patheon UK. Prior to Flexion, he ran business development at the Broad Institute where he completed several out-licensing deals, including the one that founded Verastem (VSTM). Rahul started his career in Silicon Valley as the founder/CEO of Redmind, a venture-backed data analytics start-up that he sold to Ikimbo Inc. in 2002. Rahul has a Ph.D. in cancer biology from Georgetown School of Medicine, an MS in bioinformatics from Johns Hopkins, and a BA from Brown University. He also completed his Kauffman Fellowship (Class 15) at Novartis Venture Funds.
Jamil Beg, Principal, 5AM Ventures
Jamil M. Beg joined 5AM Ventures in 2017 as a Principal. Prior to 5AM, Mr. Beg was at Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SAGE) where he contributed to building the company through business development, corporate strategy, medical affairs, health economics & outcomes research and commercialization roles. Prior to Sage, Mr. Beg was an investment professional at Quaker Partners and an operator in several of the firm’s portfolio companies, including EKR Therapeutics (acquired by Cornerstone Therapeutics), Transave Inhalation Therapeutics (acquired by Insmed), NuPathe (NASDAQ: PATH, acquired by Teva) and Cempra (NASDAQ: CEMP). Mr. Beg started his career at Cambridge Pharma Consultancy (acquired by IMS Health) with a focus on pricing, market access and health economics outcomes research strategies for the biopharma industry. Mr. Beg earned his B.S.E. in Bioengineering and Master of Biotechnology degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his M.B.A. in Healthcare Management and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he was a recipient of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Merit Award. Mr. Beg is based in the Boston, MA office.
Stephen Brannan, CMO, Karuna Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Brannan is a neuroscience drug development expert who has held senior positions overseeing both clinical development and medical affairs with more than 15 years of industry experience. Previously, Dr. Brannan was the Therapeutic Head of Neuroscience at Takeda and Vice President for Clinical Research and Medical Affairs at Forum Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Brannan has been active in the development of multiple important central nervous system treatments including Cymbalta, Exelon Patch, Trintellix, and VNS for Treatment Resistant Depression while holding various senior roles at Forum, Takeda, Novartis, Cyberonics, and Eli Lilly. His experience includes drug development, registration, medical affairs, launch and lifecycle management across psychiatry and neurology. Dr. Brannan is a board certified and is a member of several scientific societies and groups, including ISCTM, ISCDD, AARR, IOM Neuroforum, and CNS Summit (founding member). Prior to joining the Pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Brannan worked on the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) where he specialized in seeing Mood and Anxiety disorder patients, ran a clinical research unit, and did neuroimaging research at the Research Imaging Center. Dr. Brannan trained in psychiatry at UTHSCSA and holds a M.D. degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas (Southwestern Medical School). He has over 40 publications and routinely gives invited talks and presentation at industry conferences.
Carlos Buesa, CEO, Oryzon
A founder of the Company in 2000, he has held the position of Chair of the Board of Directors since then. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Barcelona, and has completed various programs on finance and negotiation. He also completed the Senior Management Program (PADE) at IESE in 2005. In recent years, he has been a member of the board of various biotechnology companies: ONCNOSIS PHARMA AIE, NINFAS AIE, ORYCAMB-PROJECT AIE, GEADIG-PHARMA AIE, NEUROTEC PHARMA, S.L., PALOBIOFARMA, S.L. He has been a member of the Advisory Board of NEUROSCIENCES TECHNOLOGIES and is a member of MENDELION, S.L. He is ORYZON’s representative on the Governing Board of the Asociación Española de Bioempresas (ASEBIO), of which ORYZON has been a member since 2005, except for the period between 2009 and 2011, during which ORYZON was appointed as Vice Chair of such Governing Board. The first vice chairmanship of ASEBIO is held by Oryzon since the last elections held in December 2015 and until the next elections, which must be held before the end of 2017. Finally, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of INVEREADY SEED CAPITAL and of INVEREADY BIOTECH since September 7, 2008 and October 10, 2012, respectively.
Daniel Burch, Global Medical Officer, PPD Biotech
Dr. Daniel Burch is the global medical officer for PPD Biotech. Previously, he led global neuroscience product development at PPD since 2012. Before taking the role at PPD, he served as executive vice president and chief medical officer at CeNeRx BioPharma, a venture backed, clinical-stage biotech, where he managed a portfolio of medicines focused on neuropsychiatric diseases. Prior to that, he headed the Neuroscience Medicines Development Centre at GlaxoSmithKline where he had global responsibility for Phase II through lifecycle management.
Earlier in his career at GSK, Dr. Burch held roles of increasing responsibility in the anti-infective, pulmonary/metabolic and oncology/inflammation therapeutic areas. He began his career in pharma as director in antibiotic and anti-viral ventures at Abbott Laboratories. Having worked for more than 20 years in many aspects of medicines development, and more than 10 years in in neuropsychiatric drug development, his personal goal is to promote and facilitate the development of medicines in areas of highest unmet need.
Dr. Burch earned his medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he completed a residency in internal medicine. Subsequently, he completed a fellowship and postdoctoral research in infectious diseases at The Washington University School of Medicine. He earned his MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and currently serves on the Institute of Medicine Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders.
James Cavuoto, Editor & Publisher, Neurotech Reports
James Cavuoto is editor and publisher of Neurotech Business Report and the founder of Neurotech Reports. He was the lead author of “The Market for Neurotechnology,” a market research report published by Neurotech Reports. Cavuoto was previously the founder of Micro Publishing Press, Inc., a publishing company that helped pioneer the market for electronic publishing, digital imaging, and computer graphics. He holds a degree in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University, where he studied under pioneers in the field of functional electrical stimulation. He has also studied human factors engineering at University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Cavuoto spent three years as a member of the technical staff at Hughes Aircraft Company in Los Angeles, where he worked on simulation, training, and publication products produced for the U.S. Department of Defense. Cavuoto is an adjunct professor at Rochester Institute of Technology and the author of eight books on computer graphics, electronic publishing, and digital imaging. He is a member of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. He has authored a chapter in the textbook Neuromodulation (Elsevier), as well as articles in Journal of Neural Engineering, Medical Device Daily, IEEE Spectrum, MX magazine, and the International Journal of Medical Marketing.
David B. Clissold, Director, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C.
David B. Clissold has broad-based experience advising pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, food, and dietary supplement clients on regulatory and legislative matters. He provides guidance throughout the product lifecycle, which includes clinical trials and drug development, advertising and promotion, orphan drug designations, and Hatch-Waxman exclusivity. Mr. Clissold also helps clients with a range of enforcement actions, including FDA inspections and Application Integrity Policy actions. In recent years, Mr. Clissold has steered Hyman, Phelps & McNamara’s team of attorneys focusing on FDA’s regulation of tobacco products and nicotine replacement therapies.
Stephen Collins, CEO, Biscayne Neurotherapeutics
Dr. Collins was formerly President and Chief Executive Officer of Insero Health, a developer of novel drugs for epilepsy and pain that was acquired by Biscayne Pharmaceuticals, where Dr. Collins also served as President and CEO. Previously, he was CEO of NeuroTherapeutics Pharma, a developer of novel CNS therapies, and Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President, Clinical Affairs at specialty pharmaceutical company Ovation Pharmaceuticals, where he oversaw research and development, won FDA approval for the orphan drugs Sabril® and Onfi®, and directed multiple late stage and post-approval development programs in oncology and neuroscience. Ovation was acquired by Lundbeck in 2009. Prior to Ovation, Dr. Collins was Global Senior Director of CNS and Pain at Johnson & Johnson, overseeing early-stage development of neurologic, pain and psychiatric agents. At Abbott Laboratories, Dr. Collins developed drugs for CNS and pain indications and contributed to the FDA approval of the epilepsy drugs Depakote ER® and Depacon®. He earned an AB degree in biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley and MD and PhD degrees at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Collins completed residency and fellowship training at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also served on the faculty.
Abhishek Datta, CTO, Soterix
Christine de los Reyes, Vice President, Strategic Planning & Business Development, Alopexx Enterprises, LLC
Christine de los Reyes has over twenty five years of pharmaceutical experience and most recently was founder and Managing Director of BiotechPartnering Solutions, a business development consulting firm that advises life science companies on partnering strategy, search for potential partners, coordination of technical evaluation and due diligence, deal structure and transaction negotiation. She is also on the advisory board of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization. Prior to starting her own company, she was Executive Director of Licensing & Development at Pfizer, where she spent twelve years in their licensing group with a focus on in-licensing. She also was responsible for external search activities for new opportunities and led multidisciplinary teams conducting technical evaluation, due diligence, and financial valuation for licensing, co-promotion and M&A transactions with biotech and SPEAKER PROFILES pharma companies. While at Pfizer, she also held senior positions in their US and international marketing and medical groups. Christine began her career as Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Texas. From there, she became Director of Clinical Research at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York, before joining Pfizer in 1989. Christine earned her Doctorate in Clinical Pharmacy from the University of Texas, a Master’s in Business Administration from St. Joseph’s University, and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree from Wayne State University.
Jim DeMesa, CEO, Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals
Jim DeMesa, MD, MBA, is CEO of Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Emerald Health Sciences Inc., the Company’s largest shareholder) with 28-years’ experience in pharmaceutical product development, co-founder of MedXcel, a medical education company, member of the Boards of Directors of OncoSec Medical and Induce Biologics, and a former practicing physician.
Michael J. Detke, CMO, Embera Therapeutics
Dr. Detke leads Embera’s clinical research and development. He has 16 years of experience in CNS drug development. At Eli Lilly he was Global Medical Director for Cymbalta, a $5B/year drug for depression and pain, and later head of all CNS assets in early phase clinical development. Since then, he has served as Chief Medical Officer at multiple other companies. He has over 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications, is an adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine, and is an active member of selective scientific organizations such as ACNP, SOBP, etc.
Rick Doblin, Executive Director, MAPS
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master's thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary's Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife and empty rooms from three children who are all in college.
Lynn Durham, CEO & Founder, Stalicla
Lynn is a biotech entrepreneur and the founder of STALICLA SA. Her lifelong involvement with the Autism community has brought her to develop a unique patient centric vision of Drug Development to address the unmet medical needs of patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Fostering on a strong network within the neuroscience, clinical research and data science communities, she launched STALICLA in early 2017 and is leading its early fast-paced growth to bring personalized medicine to patients with ASD. Lynn has extensive experience in Business development and has worked in the past for the World Economic forum, venture capital & start-up promoting initiatives. Lynn holds a double degree in economic history and political sciences and a Master’s degree from Rouen Business School. She has also received a Post Graduate Degree in Drug Discovery and Clinical Development from the Faculty of medicine of the University of Geneva.
Jeff Erb, Senior Director, Strategy and Business Development, Medtronic
Cross functionally trained professional who has led active portfolio management in multiple multi-billion dollar businesses to drive global growth from multiple functions including Marketing, Strategy, Corporate Development, Business Development, Finance and Alliance Management. Able to critically assess target markets to determine areas of high growth and develop a strategy to create a portfolio of products, through organic and inorganic investment, to drive differentiated market share and revenue growth in selected markets.
Alison Fenney, Member, Board of Directors, Neurotechnology Industry Organization
Alison Fenney is a Manager of Business Development and Licensing at Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP) in New York, and currently serves as a member of the board for the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO). Prior to joining MSIP, Alison served as Executive Director for NIO, expanding the membership and initiating new communication tools and partnerships to bring the global neurotechnology community together. Alison’s previous experience includes developing and launching several innovative funding programs for seed stage and product development investments, raising public and private capital for over 25 new ventures, advocating on behalf of academic researchers and young entrepreneurs developing cutting edge neurotech products. Alison has a PhD in Neuroscience and an MBA from McMaster University.
Stephanie Fertig, MBA, Director, NINDS Small Business Programs, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
Stephanie J. Fertig joined the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in 2004 and currently serves as the Director for the NINDS Small Business Programs, which includes both small business innovative research (SBIR) and small business technology transfer (STTR) projects. Prior to this role, Ms. Fertig was part of the Repair and Plasticity cluster at NINDS, where her primary scientific interests included neural engineering and neuroprosthesis, as well as traumatic brain injury. Before coming to NINDS, Ms. Fertig earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry with a major in Physics from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. After completing her degree, she joined Nova Research, Inc. and worked as a researcher in the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington D.C. At NRL she contributed to multiple bioengineering projects, including the development of molecular switches, microbial fuel cells, microfluidics for use in biosensor applications, and a wide variety of biosensor systems. Ms. Fertig also received a M.B.A. from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business in 2007.
Pushkal Garg, Chief Medical Officer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Garg joined Alnylam in 2014 with 15 years of experience in clinical drug development, and oversees our clinical research, clinical operations, biometrics & data management, and medical writing groups. Prior to joining Alnylam, he served as Vice President, Global Clinical Research, Immunoscience at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). In this role he was responsible for strategic leadership of the Immunoscience franchise and the successful development of multiple clinical assets across immune-mediated diseases in the areas of rheumatology, gastroenterology, nephrology, and transplantation. During his eight-year tenure at BMS, he was instrumental to the late-stage development and approval of Nulojix® (belatacept) for kidney transplant recipients, and for supplementary biologics license applications (BLAs) for Orencia® (abatacept) around the world. Previously, Pushkal was at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he worked in various roles of increasing responsibility, overseeing the clinical development of multiple small molecule and biologic therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory disorders. Pushkal received a Bachelor of Arts with high honors in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. He completed residency training in Internal Medicine at UCSF, was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Johns Hopkins University, and served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston prior to joining industry.
Michael Gold, Vice President, Development Neurosciences, AbbVie
Dr. Gold joined AbbVie after serving in leadership roles in major pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as academia. Most recently, he spent time at PPD, UCB Bioscience and Allon Therapeutics. At UCB, he served as vice president of and head of CNS practice, and at Allon Therapeutics, he served as chief medical officer. From 2005-2011, Dr. Gold was with GSK, where he served as medicines development leader for Alzheimer’s disease and vice president of neurosciences, medicines development center. Among his many responsibilities at GSK, he was accountable for all aspects of the execution of the clinical development plans for two late stage assets in the area of Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier in his career, he held positions of increasing responsibility within clinical research at J&J and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Murali Gopalakrishnan, Head, Neuroscience Search and Evaluation, AbbVie
Murali Gopalakrishnan is currently Senior Director and Head, Search & Evaluation Neuroscience, at AbbVie, North Chicago, Illinois, USA. Murali joined Abbott/AbbVie in 1993 and subsequently held various positions of increasing responsibility leading research programs and research teams in neuroscience, pain, renal and urology - advancing multiple clinical candidates across these therapeutic areas. He has extensively published in scientific journals and was inducted to the Volwiler Research Society in 2002. From 2009-2013, Murali took on the role as Head of the then newly formed Global External Research group, leading a team focused on developing external innovation strategies with various therapeutic areas, and enabling the identification, diligence and establishment of external collaborations around emerging science, targets, technologies and preclinical assets. He was also responsible for the leadership of AbbVie China R&D Center in Shanghai, since its inception in 2009 and subsequently led the Renal Discovery Therapeutic Area, advancing research programs in Chicago & Shanghai, and via a network of external academic partnerships. Since 2015, he has taken on a leadership position within AbbVie’s Search & Evaluation team, with responsibilities for accessing and advancing opportunities in in the Neuroscience Therapeutic area. Murali obtained his undergraduate training in pharmacy from Banaras Hindu University, India and a PhD in pharmacology from the School of Pharmacy, SUNY at Buffalo, New York. He completed his post-doctoral training in molecular biology at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas and has an MBA degree from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, Illinois.
Matt Gunderman, Director, New Business Development, Neuromodulation, Boston Scientific
Matt has been with Boston Scientific since 2003 and is currently the Director of New Business Development for Boston Scientific Neuromodulation. In this role Matt is responsible for acquisitions and venture capital investments as well as R&D and commercial partnerships. Over the past two years in this role Matt has led the acquisition of Cosman Medical, numerous venture capital investments and several strategic partnerships. Prior to this role Matt was Director of Health Economics & Reimbursement (HE&R) for Boston Scientific Neuromodulation. In this role Matt was responsible for developing and directing global health economics and reimbursement strategies. Previous to this, Matt spent seven years working in HE&R at Boston Scientifics’ Cardiac Rhythm Management division in Minnesota. Prior to joining Boston Scientific, Matt held a variety of economic, engineering, and consulting positions within several different industries. Matt has an MBA in Finance and Strategy from the University of Minnesota and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University. He currently resides in Valencia, CA with his wife and two boys.
Paulina Hill, Principal, Polaris Partners
Paulina Hill joined Polaris in 2012 and focuses on investments in healthcare from the Boston office.
Paulina serves on the boards of Arsenal Medical, Faraday Pharmaceuticals, Kala Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KALA), KinDex Pharmaceuticals, CAMP4 and Neuronetics. She is an observer on the boards of 480 Biomedical, Microchips Biotech and Sofregen.
In addition to her investing role, Paulina has served as founding CEO of Polaris-backed CAMP4, a biotech startup based in Cambridge, MA. She also serves on the board of The Capital Network, a non-profit that provides fundraising education to startup entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Polaris, Paulina completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Chemical Engineering department at MIT in Bob Langer’s lab. Paulina is the founding President of the MIT Postdoctoral Association and served on the MIT Intellectual Property Presidential Committee. Paulina completed her PhD in Molecular Medicine with a Tissue Engineering focus at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Paulina graduated magna cum laude from East Carolina University with a quadruple major in biochemistry, neuroscience, biology and chemistry. ECU honored Paulina with the Incredible Women’s award in 2017. Paulina was born in Poland and grew up in Toronto. She attended East Carolina on an athletic scholarship, serving as Captain of the women’s tennis team.
Leen Kawas, President and CEO, M3 Biotechnology
Leen Kawas has led the company in business and financial growth through two oversubscribed financing rounds. The funds raised will support and accelerate growth of the company and take the lead candidate through the early stages of human testing.
For her leadership and accomplishments at M3 Biotechnology, Leen has won many awards and recognitions including: 40 under 40 in Life Science Leader (2017), PharmaVOICE 100 honoree (2017), Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Association of Washington Business (2016), was selected as one of EY’s Winning Women Entrepreneur (2016), 40 under 40 award from the Puget Sound Business Journal (2016), Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist for EY (2016) and a Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist for GeekWire (2016). She was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People by Seattle Magazine (2015) and one of the Women to Watch in Life Sciences by the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (2015). As a company, M3 Biotechnology was also just named as one of Seattle’s 10 hottest startups by GeekWire in 2016. She also serves on multiple boards, including the Washington Governor’s Life Science Advisory Board, the Scientific Review Board for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association-Washington Chapter Board, She also co-chairs the International Alzheimer's Association Business Consortium.
She earned a doctorate in molecular pharmacology from Washington State University in 2011, and received the Harriett B. Rigas and Karen DePauw awards for academic achievement and leadership skills. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD.) from the University of Jordan (2008). Dr. Kawas also completed the Executive Training Program at the Foster School of Business, University of Washington (2014)
Ralph Kern, COO and CMO, BrainStorm Therapeutics
Ralph Kern MD MHSc is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer at BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics. He completed neurology training at McGill University, practiced neuromuscular neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and was head of the post graduate academic neurology program at the University of Toronto. He completed further post graduate training in heath administration at the Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Ralph received his MD degree from Queen’s University, is board certified in neurology and neuromuscular disease, and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Ralph joined Genzyme in 2006 where he led Genzyme medical activities in Canada and moved to Boston where he led Fabrazyme global commercial activities as general manager in the personalized genetic health business. Subsequently he joined Novartis in 2011, where he assumed the role of VP and head of the neuroscience medical unit, leading the global launch of Gilenya. Subsequently Ralph moved to Biogen in 2015 where he assumed the role of SVP and head of the worldwide medical organization- his team launched Zinbryta in MS and Spinraza in SMA and developed the medical and scientific strategy for MS, SMA and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dan Kincaid, CEO, Sense Diagnostics
Mr. Kincaid leads the effort to bring the SENSE technology to market. He is an experienced health care entrepreneur, having taken a medical information technology company from start-up to successful exit. He has been a an active Angel investor as part of the Queen City Angels where he leads the review of many life-science investment opportunities. The QCA was recently ranked as the second most successful angel investment group in the United States. Prior to joining Sense Diagnostics, Mr. Kincaid consulted for start-up life science companies. Clients included individual companies, health care focused accelerators, incubators and universities. Dan has over 20 years experience in the health care and health insurance industries. He was a founder of Provider Synergies, a pharmaceutical management company that generated more than $2 billion in savings for state Medicaid programs during a five-year period and delivered significant returns for the company’s investors. He began his career at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield where he was responsible for a wide variety of issues related to health care provider contracting, quality of care initiatives and cost management.
Shashidhar H. Kori, CMO, Trigemina
Shashidhar Kori, MD joined Trigemina as chief medical officer in 2015. He brought more than 30 years of research and drug development experience in neurosciences. Before joining Trigemina, he served as chief medical officer at Autonomic Technologies, Inc. (ATI), where he was responsible for clinical research, clinical outcomes and regulatory submissions. He oversaw development and execution of all clinical research, including ATI’s clinical trials in the United States and in Europe. Prior to Joining ATI, he was vice president of clinical development and medical affairs at Allergan. Prior to Allergan, Dr. Kori was vice president of clinical development and medical affairs at MAP Pharmaceuticals, where he built the Medical Affairs department from the ground up, helped submit an NDA and multiple INDs, ran clinical operations and oversaw an active publication strategy. Prior to his time at MAP, he was senior director of clinical development at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). In this role, Dr. Kori oversaw the design and execution of clinical studies and coordinated responses to FDA for migraine and pain products in development. In addition, Dr. Kori participated in the development of new chemical entities and managed market support for marketed products.
Carla Lema Tome, Advisor, Neurotechnology Industry Organization
Carla Lema Tome is a Commercial and Medical Strategy consultant working with pharmaceutical and medical device companies focused in the CNS space to develop integrated clinical development plans, evaluating assets and markets and supporting launch planning. Previously, Carla was Director of Research at NeuroInsights, a market research and consultancy firm. She was also an Editor at Neurotech Insights, the monthly investment newsletter focused on drugs, devices, software and diagnostics for the brain and nervous system. Prior to that Carla worked at Georgia Tech Research Corporation and Wake Forest Innovations, where she collaborated with researchers and entrepreneurs on new ways to get therapeutics, vaccines, and medical devices to market faster. Carla has a PhD in Neurobiology and Anatomy and an MBA, both from Wake Forest University. Carla maintains an Adjunct Assistant Professor’s appointment at Wake Forest School of Medicine where she lectures on neurotech commercialization, developmental neuroscience and regulatory affairs. She is also an advisor to the Neurotechnology Industry Organization.
Andrew Lim, CEO, Circumvent Pharmaceuticals
Andrew Lim has prior experience as an investor in public equities at the Caltech Endowment and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors where he focused on biotechnology and pharmaceutical investments in the lysosomal storage disease space. He was then involved in several biotechnology start-ups including Avidity Biosciences where he helped close the company’s Series B financing as well as multiple biopharma partnerships. He has held a business development role at Calibr, an evergreen therapeutics development accelerator, where he has helped manage several large pharma partnerships and created a number of companies as spin-outs. He co-founded Circumvent Pharmaceuticals in 2014 to develop small molecule modulators of palmitoylation as therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.
Manuel López-Figueroa, Venture Partner, Bay City Capital
Manuel López-Figueroa, PhD, is a Venture Partner at Bay City Capital and has been with the firm since 2001. He specializes in evaluating investment opportunities with an emphasis on CNS. In addition, Dr. López is the Scientific Liaison for the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium, a collaborative research enterprise comprised of a group of leaders in psychiatry, neuroscience, and genetics from Stanford University, University of Michigan, Cornell University, and the Universities of California at Davis and Irvine. The consortium aims to discover the neurobiological and genetic determinants of mood disorders and schizophrenia with the goal to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics. Dr. López is responsible for planning and directing all aspects of the consortium including strategy, R&D, legal (IP & contracts) and financial, to facilitate the commercialization of discoveries to fund additional research. Dr. López has over 15 years of experience in the field of neuroscience, has won numerous awards during his academic research career, and has published extensively. He completed postdoctoral work at the University of Michigan and at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr. López received a PhD in Medicine and Surgery, and a MS in Molecular and Cell Biology from the Universities of Las Palmas and La Laguna, Spain, respectively.
Remy Luthringer, CEO, Minerva Neurosciences
Dr. Remy Luthringer is the Chief Executive Officer of Minerva Neurosciences, Inc. He has been involved in the development of more than 150 active molecules for clinical trials in the central nervous system. Dr. Luthringer is an Advisor at Medicxi Ventures, formerly Index Ventures, a venture capital firm comprising all of the life sciences portfolio companies, funds and team from Index Ventures. Previously, he served as Chief Medical Officer for Index Ventures, with a focus on investments in healthcare infrastructure. He was also the head of the FORENAP Institute for Research in Neurosciences and Neuropsychiatry in France. Dr. Luthringer has extensive experience in clinical psychiatric practice and holds a PhD in neurosciences and clinical pharmacology.
Casey Lynch, CEO, Cortexyme
Casey is the cofounder and CEO of Cortexyme, a privately funded company focused on developing treatments for Alzheimer’s and other degenerative disorders based on a novel disease modifying mechanism of action. Casey is a serial entrepreneur including co-founder and Managing Director of NeuroInsights and CEO of Aspira Biosystems. Previously, Casey conducted primate preclinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease treatment at the Wadsworth Medical Center in Los Angeles and researched the neurological basis of schizophrenia and epilepsy at UCLA. Her graduate work on Alzheimer’s disease was carried out in the Mobley lab at UCSF/ Stanford University. In addition to a BS in neuroscience from UCLA, she has an MS in neuroscience from UCSF and has completed the Management Development for Entrepreneurs (MDE) program of the Anderson School of Business.
Atul Mahableshwarkar, Vice President, Clinical Development, BlackThorn Therapeutics
After studying Medicine at the Armed Forces Medical College in India, Dr. Mahableshwarkar completed a residency in Psychiatry and a fellowship in Neuropsychiatry at the University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School. During 13 years of clinical practice he ran an inpatient ward, was Director of ECT services for 8 years and ran the Consultation/Liaison services. He was chief of Mental Health Services at the North Chicago VA Medical Center and Associate Professor and Vice Chair at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School. During 15 years in the Pharmaceutical Industry he has designed and conducted clinical trials globally in Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia and has lead the development program leading to the approval of a new antidepressant. His interests are in clinical trial methodology and he has been a founding member of the ISCTM and CNS Summit and a member of the Scientific/Program Committees for both societies. He has published in all, over 140 articles/posters/abstracts/invited commentaries and book chapter.
Ana Maiques, CEO, NeuroElectrics
Ana was nominated by IESE as one of the most influential entrepreneurs under 40 in Spain in 2010, she was the only woman on that list. She received the EU Prize for Women Innovators from the European Commission EC in 2014. Also in 2014, she was an award recipient of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge. In 2015 & 2016, she was named one of most inspiring women on the Inspiring Fifty list in Europe of women technological leaders and innovators. Ana continues to break the barriers for women and entrepreneurs bringing together science and technology in an impactful way.
As a company, Neuroelectrics received the Best Start-up in Health Award in 2015 by Wired UK magazine and in 2016 was recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur 360™ List, the most comprehensive analysis of private companies in America.
Also, currently we are conducting studies on the effects of brain stimulation to slow down degenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and dementia in the elderly population. That is being done with a Harvard University healthcare subsidiary.
Another interesting technology she can discuss is our cloud platform which enables doctors to monitor and stimulate patients without them having to come to a doctor's office or hospital in terms of the future of healthcare.
Neuroelectrics is being featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal about what's next in Artifical Intelligence that is going to print in March or April. We are being featured in the Member Spotlight for the MassBioCouncil in March as well.
Marc Martinell, CEO, Minoryx
Marc is co-founder and CEO of Minoryx Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotech company from Barcelona focused on the development of new drugs for rare diseases. Minoryx’s lead compound (MIN-102) is now in a phase 2/3 clinical trial targeting X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy, an orphan CNS disease. Prior founding Minoryx, Marc gained broad experience in drug discovery at Crystax Pharmaceuticals and Oryzon Genomics where he managed several research projects and led the team in charge of target selection, structural biology, computational chemistry and hit ID through a fragment-based approach. At Oryzon, Marc actively contributed to the identification of the first-in-class inhibitors for the epigenetic target LSD1 currently in clinical studies for oncology and neurodegenerative diseases. Marc obtained a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona and co-authored several patents and publications
Louis Mayaud, CSO, Mensia Technologies
Louis Mayaud is currently in charge of Advanced Neuroscience at Mensia Technology and relations with the industry. He earned a D.Phil. in Healthcare Innovation from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME - University of Oxford) with a thesis on the prediction of mortality in Intensive Care Unit patients with severe sepsis and hypotension population, which was completed using the MIMIC-3 relational database at Harvard-MIT and machine learning techniques such as Genetic Algorithm for feature selection and parameter optimization. Simultaneously, project leader at the Paris Hospital Trust (APHP) on a national project aiming at the transfer of Brain-Computer Interface to patients' bedside in the ICU.
Gregory T. Mayes, President, CEO & Founder, Engage Therapeutics, Inc.
Greg, a biopharma leader for more than 20 years, has been personally affected by epilepsy. After years of absence seizures, which often precede epilepsy, his son Conner was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2014. Greg is dedicated to leveraging his drug development experience and working with key opinion leaders (KOLs) to identify new therapeutic options for patients affected by epilepsy. He, along with his team of KOLs, believe they have finally found that option with Staccato Alprazolam.
Prior to founding Engage Therapeutics, Greg played an integral role in the growth of Advaxis Immunotherapies, a Princeton, N.J., based biotech company developing immuno-oncology therapies for patients with hard-to-treat cancers through its bacterial vector system, Lm Technology™. As its chief operating officer, he was instrumental in helping to secure more than $200 million in funding and in identifying and negotiating partnerships with companies such as Amgen, AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc.
Greg also served as a president of Unigene Laboratories, Inc. As ImClone’s general counsel, Greg played a key role in managing multiple clinical and regulatory activities that led to the 2008 acquisition by Eli Lilly for $6.5 billion. Earlier in his career, Greg was responsible for providing legal advice to the AstraZeneca oncology franchise as senior counsel and he started his biopharma legal career at the national law firm of Morgan Lewis.
Greg earned his bachelor of science from Syracuse University and his JD from Temple University School of Law.
Eric J. Messika, President and CEO, Coronis Neurosciences Ltd.
Dr. Messika has over 20 years of experience as entrepreneur, lead investor, and director in emerging Biotech companies. As President and CEO of Coronis Partners, which he founded in 2003, he led multiple investment rounds in a dozen of emerging Israeli Biotech companies bringing five of them to public trading in the US and Israel. In 2016 he founds Coronis Neuroscience, focused as its primary indication on the treatment of ADNP-Syndrome, a orphan structural synaptopathic disease encompassing global developmental delay and cognitive dysfunction in children. He holds a Ph.D. in Immunology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, was a HHMI research associate at Stanford University, CA and an MBA degree from the Harriot-Watt University, UK.
Christopher U. Missling, President and CEO, Anavex Life Sciences
Dr. Missling, President and CEO of Anavex, has over 20 years of healthcare industry experience within large pharmaceutical companies, the biotech industry and investment banking. Prior to joining Anavex®, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Curis and ImmunoGen. In addition, at Aventis (now Sanofi), Dr. Missling worked as head of financial planning on all aspects of financial strategy and M&A. His career experience also includes working as an investment banker in the healthcare practice at Deutsche Bank, serving pharmaceutical, biotech, and diagnostic companies, as well as serving as the head of healthcare investment banking at Brimberg & Co. in New York. Dr. Missling has an MS and PhD from the University of Munich in Chemistry and an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
Randall W. Moreadith, CEO, Serina Therapeutics
Randall joined Serina Therapeutics in September 2010 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Serina, Dr. Moreadith, 64, was Chief Development Officer at Nektar Therapeutics where he built a clinical and drug development program that successfully moved several of the company’s PEGylated small molecule drugs into the clinic, including the launch of NKTR-102 into four clinical indications (ovarian, breast, cervical and colorectal cancer) and the out-licensing efforts for NKTR-118 (approved product now known as Movantik®, Astra Zeneca and Daiichi Sankyo). He was formerly the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Cardium Therapeutics where he led the advancement of novel DNA-based therapeutics into Phase 2b and Phase 3 late-stage development. Before Cardium, Dr. Moreadith served as Chief Medical Officer of Renovis, Inc. where he led the Clinical, Regulatory and Quality Assurance Groups. Prior to that, Dr. Moreadith was co-Founder, President and Chief Operating Officer of ThromboGenics Ltd., a leader in the field of thrombosis drug development. During his tenure at ThromboGenics, the company advanced four biologics into mid-stage development, and one product was later approved (Ocriplasmin™). Dr. Moreadith began his career in the pharmaceutical industry as Principal Medical Officer of Quintiles, Inc., the world’s leading pharmaceutical services organization, where he led the Cardiovascular Therapeutics Group.
Dr. Moreadith has published more than 50 scientific papers and multiple book chapters, is an inventor on multiple patents, and has received numerous awards for his achievements. He received his MD from Duke University and is trained clinically in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases. He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University, and following his Fellowship in Cardiology at Duke University he joined the laboratory of Professor Philip Leder where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow in Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Moreadith was a member of the faculty of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he was an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association.
Michael Mullan, CEO, Archer Pharmaceuticals
Michael Mullan, M.B.B.S.(MD), Ph.D., has served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer for Archer Pharmaceuticals since its inception in 2008. He is also Chairman of the Archer Board. Dr. Mullan has previously served as CEO or CSO of both publicly traded and private drug development companies including the Roskamp Institute which he co-founded in 2003 with Dr. Fiona Crawford and Bob and Diane Roskamp. Prior to becoming a US citizen, Dr. Mullan trained and worked in London, UK, as a physician where he co-discovered (and was co-inventor of the patents covering) the first-known genetic causes of Alzheimer's disease in the amyloid gene. Throughout his career, Dr. Mullan has received major grants and contracts from private, national and federal organizations to work on the causes and cures of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Mullan earned his medical degree from The Royal Free Hospital Medical School, University of London and his Ph.D. in the molecular genetics of Alzheimer's Disease from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, University of London.
Daniel O’Connell, Founding member & Managing Partner, NeuroVentures; President and Chief Executive Officer, Acumen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dan O’Connell has over 15 years of early-stage venture creation and investment experience, with a particular emphasis on start-up life sciences companies and their scientific and entrepreneurial founders. Since December 2014, he has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Acumen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Mr. O’Connell is a founding member and managing partner of NeuroVentures, a specialty venture capital firm he helped establish in 2001 to invest in emerging biopharmaceutical and medical technology companies seeking to develop novel treatments for diseases and disorders of the Central Nervous System.
In 2010, Mr. O’Connell co-founded and until August 2014, served as CEO of Functional NeuroModulation Ltd., a medical technology company developing deep brain stimulation therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions of impaired memory. Mr. O’Connell is also a co-founder and CEO of Direct Spinal Therapeutics, Inc., a company developing novel spinal cord modulation technology licensed from the University of Iowa and University of Virginia.
Mr. O’Connell serves as an advisor to The Epilepsy Therapy Project, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and the Brown Institute for Brain Science. He holds a B.A. from Brown University and M.B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Michael Panzara, Franchise Lead, Neurology, WAVE Life Sciences Ltd.
Michael A. Panzara, MD, MPH has been Franchise Lead of Neurology at Wave Life Sciences Ltd. since July 2016. Dr. Panzara oversees Wave’s portfolio of neurological therapeutic candidates, from target discovery through clinical development, regulatory approval and post-approval activities. He has over 16 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience developing therapies for neurological disorders. Prior to joining Wave, he served as the Head of the Multiple Sclerosis, Neurology and Ophthalmology Therapeutic Area for Global Development at Sanofi Genzyme, where he oversaw global regulatory approvals of the multiple sclerosis (MS) drugs LEMTRADA (alemtuzumab) and AUBAGIO (teriflunomide) and managed the neurological and ophthalmological portfolios across Sanofi from preclinical development through regulatory approval. Prior to joining Genzyme, Dr. Panzara served as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Neurology at Biogen. During his time there, he served as the global clinical lead for the development of TYSABRI (natalizumab) for multiple sclerosis, overseeing its clinical program and global approvals and managed clinical development activities for all late-stage MS products including AVONEX (interferon beta-1a), PLEGRIDY (PEG-interferon beta-1a), and TECFIDERA (dimethylfumarate). Dr. Panzara received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine. He trained in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, received his post-doctoral training in immunology and rheumatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and received his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Craig A. Pierson, CEO, Centauri Medical
Mr. Pierson, interim CEO and Director of Centauri Surgical Systems has over 20 years of experience as a Life Science investment banker with such firms as Gruntal & Co., Janney Montgomery Scott, and Legend Merchant Group before becoming a founding partner at LifeTech Capital. He has been a serial entrepreneur in the medical industry for many years and by virtue of his involvement with high tech medical device company; he met Prof. Greg Fischer and Dr. Julie Pilitsis (co-inventors) and through WPI he founded & funded Centauri Surgical Systems. Mr. Pierson attended Rochester Institute of Technology for mechanical and chemical engineering and completed the executive pharmacology program at MIT. He remains active as an investor and banker in medical technology & biotech and has been involved with disease-based charities such as the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Diabetes Research Institute and the Radiological and Imaging Alliance.
Julie G Pilitsis, Chair Dept of Neuroscience & Experimental Therapeutics, Professor of Neurosurgery, Albany Medical College
Julie G. Pilitsis MD, PhD is a Professor of Neurosurgery and of Neuroscience at Albany Medical College and Chair for the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics. She completed her neurosurgery residency at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. During that time, she also obtained a PhD in neurophysiology and became active in both basic science and translational research. She went on to complete a fellowship in Functional Neurosurgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. To date, she has served as Chair of the Joint Section on Pain of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)/Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) as well as AANS/CNS Chair of Joint Section for Women in Neurosurgery. She is currently an Executive Council Member of the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, Scientific Program for the AANS, and on the NANS Board of Directors. With the support of the NANS Board of Directors, she began the NANS Women in Neuromodulation Section where she was the first chair and currently serves as senior advisor. Dr. Pilitsis maintains an NIH sponsored research program focused on device optimization for neuromodulation and has published over 100 journal articles, 4 books, and numerous chapters. She serves as section editor of functional neurosurgery in Operative Neurosurgery, is on the editorial board of Neuromodulation, and sits on multiple NIH study sections.
Joshua Pinto, Vice President, Healthcare Investment Banking, Credit Suisse
Josh Pinto, Ph.D. is a Vice President in the Healthcare Investment Banking group at Credit Suisse where he covers the life science sector. He joined Credit Suisse in 2015 from Piper Jaffray where he worked in the Healthcare Investment Banking group. Prior to banking, he worked at Eli Lilly. Dr. Pinto received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from McMaster University.
John Reppas, Director, Public Policy, Neurotechnology Industry Organization
John Reppas is a technology expert who operates at the intersection of academic, government, and private-sector innovation. Currently he is responsible for government engagement, advocacy, and public-private collaboration to advance commercial neuroscience and is the industry representatitive the the FDA’s Neurological Devices Advisory panel at CDRH. He spent fifteen years in academic medicine, at Harvard Medical School and the Stanford University School of Medicine, focused on translational neuroscience. He is an expert in brain-machine interfaces, therapeutic neuromodulation, the biological basis of choice behavior, and brain imaging. His current entrepreneurial focus is on using mobile devices and cloud-based analytics to predict real-world behaviors in the consumer, healthcare, and national-security setting. Dr. Reppas is active angel investor in early-stage life science, gaming, and healthcare information-technology companies. He advises emerging companies on developing and commercializing new therapeutics, medical devices, and diagnostics to best address unmet medical need. John also collaborates with private-equity and public-market investors, as well as family offices, on healthcare investment strategy. John graduated from Oxford University with a Bachelors of Medicine, received his MD from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and a PhD from the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. He completed further fellowship and postgraduate training at the Stanford University School of Medicine and at the Wharton School.
Robert H. Ring, Founder & President, Autós Consulting and Advisory Solutions
William Robb, Founding Partner, NovaQuest Capital Management
William Robb, Founding Partner, is a member of the investment committee of the General Partner of NovaQuest Pharma Opportunities Fund III and IV. He has over 20 years of experience in the global healthcare industry. From the formation of the NovaQuest unit at Quintiles in 2000 through 2010, Mr. Robb led or had material involvement in the structuring, negotiation and management of over $1.4 billion in product-based and company investments. These included investment commitments of between $30m – $450m into both private and global biopharmaceutical companies, and in many cases, investment syndicates.
From 1997–2000, Mr. Robb led strategic consulting engagements for multiple healthcare industry clients at The Wilkerson Group in New York. His previous experience also includes business strategy consulting for A.T. Kearney and the management of World Bank global development projects.
He graduated with honors from Princeton University and holds an MBA in finance and strategy from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Susan Rosenbaum, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Lauren Sciences
10 years successful biotech visionary entrepreneur & strategic executive; founder (present): biotech companies (Lauren Sciences LLC/Lauren Biotech LLC; Maya Sciences LLC/Maya Biochem LLC); 20 years prior corporate finance, law, development & management; founder (past): investment banking firm (Rosenbaum & Co.), law firm (Rosenbaum, P.C.); private & public company boards of directors; national/international author & speaker
Kate Rosenbluth, CEO, Cala Health
Kate Rosenbluth is co-founder and CEO of Cala Health. She has developed cutting-edge neurotherapies with Brainlab, Autonomic Technologies, and Genentech. She was a lecturer and fellow in Stanford Technology Ventures Program and Biodesign and a Postdoctoral Fellow in UCSF Neurosurgery. She is a committed educator and has launched forward-looking programs including the Masters of Translational Medicine at UC Berkeley and the Accel Innovation Scholars at Stanford. She serves on the Strategy Group of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and the McKinsey Women’s Executive Roundtable. Kate has authored more than 50 patents and peer-reviewed publications.
Eric Schaeffer, Senior Director, Neuroscience Innovation, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Eric Schaeffer has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, and has delivered multiple drug candidates to the clinic in both large and small company environments. Eric has an extensive background in the biology and pharmacology of CNS disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In his current role at Johnson & Johnson, Eric is responsible for establishing and managing external partnerships with biopharma companies and academic groups in the areas of Mood Disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. Previous roles held by Eric include Senior Director of Neuroscience Discovery at Pfizer where he was responsible for leading the preclinical pharmacology group, Director of Neuropharmacology at CHDI where he initiated and managed biotech and academic partnerships focused on Huntington’s disease, and Director of Clinical Biomarkers at Bristol-Myers Squibb where he was responsible for development and execution of the translational strategies for early clinical programs in the areas of schizophrenia, depression and neuromuscular diseases. Eric received his PhD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and did postdoctoral work at MIT and Rockefeller University prior to initiating a career in the pharmaceutical industry.
Michael Singer, CEO, Brainscope
Michael Singer has over 25 years of executive leadership with significant operating, healthcare and financial experience.
As CEO of BrainScope, Michael has guided the company from technology development, clinical studies, product validation, Intellectual Property creation, organizational build, and multiple regulatory clearances to commercial launch of the first FDA-cleared medical device for assessment of the full spectrum of brain injury, including concussion. Michael also secured significant equity investment and research funding through government and military research contracts.
Before Michael joined BrainScope, he was President of Revolution Health Investments, where he managed its sale to Everyday Health. He was previously the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development for Data Critical Corporation, a Seattle-based venture-backed medical device company. At Data Critical he was responsible for facilitating the company’s IPO and eventually led the sale of Data Critical to General Electric (GE). He has also worked as an executive at Microsoft Corporation responsible for developing small business and healthcare strategies. For a decade Michael was a healthcare investment banker and M&A generalist for Wolfensohn & Co., Alex. Brown and Montgomery Securities in New York and San Francisco. He started his career at Union Bank of Switzerland in Zurich.
Tina Soulis, PhD, CEO, Neuroscience Trials Australia
Tina is an experienced driver of clinical drug development, particularly in the design, management and implementation of clinical trials and has worked in senior roles within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for over 25 years. Her experience encompasses all stages of drug development in many therapeutic areas and geographical regions.
Laura Tadvalkar, Senior Associate, MP Healthcare Venture Management
Laura Tadvalkar joined MP Healthcare Venture Management in 2017, where she focuses on early-stage investments in therapeutics and platform technologies. Prior to MPH, Laura was a Manager at Clarion Healthcare, a boutique life sciences consulting firm in Boston. At Clarion, she worked with both emerging and established biopharmaceutical companies on commercial strategy for therapeutics & drug/device combinations in rare disease and oncology. Laura holds a BS in Chemistry from Yale University and a PhD in Chemical Biology from Harvard University, where her research focused on mitochondrial physiology, disease, and role in cancer metabolism.
Harry Tracy, President, NI Research
Harry Tracy PhD is the founder and President of NI Research. NIR’s bimonthly publication, NeuroPerspective, is utilized by pharmaceutical companies and venture capital professionals around the world. NIR has also published NeuroLicensing and the Private CNS Company Review. NIR provides consulting services to pharmaceutical companies, ranging from the largest of major pharma companies to small startups, and to venture capital/private equity group assessing CNS investment opportunities.
Dr. Tracy’s background includes twenty-five years of experience as a clinician and consultant in a variety of psychiatric and neurological settings. He received his PhD from the University of Miami, and completed his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He has been a Research Associate in the Dept. of Neurology at the University of California, Davis.
Isaac Veinbergs, Head, External Innovation, Sanofi
Gary Wynn, MD, Associate Professor, Uniformed Services University
Dr. Wynn is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Assistant Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He is a Scientist at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and on the editorial board of the Journal of Neuroscience Research.
Dr. Wynn received his education at the United States Military Academy at West Point and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He completed a dual residency in psychiatry and internal medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. During his military career Dr. Wynn has served as a Division Psychiatrist (2nd Infantry Division, Korea), Assistant Chief of Inpatient Services (Walter Reed), and as a Research Psychiatrist (Walter Reed Army Institute of Research) prior to transitioning to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
Dr. Wynn has served as a frequent member of DoD level committees and working groups on the topics of PTSD and suicide. He currently serves as the Chair for the DoD’s Joint Program Committee working group on Diagnosis and Treatment of PTSD. Dr. Wynn has served as a member of VA Merit Review Boards, as a member of a National Institutes of Mental Health Data Safety and Monitoring Board, and as US Representative to a NATO Human Factors in Medicine panels. He is a member of the Order of Military Medial Merit and recipient of the AMEDD “A” Proficiency Designator, the Rundell Award, and the Artiss Award. Dr. Wynn is Past President of the Society of Uniformed Services Psychiatrists and Chair of the Amygdala, Stress, and PTSD conference currently in its 13th year. In addition, Dr. Wynn has over 70 publications including three books.
Nader Yaghoubi, President and CEO, PathMaker Neurosystems Inc.
Nader Yaghoubi, M.D., Ph.D. is Co-Founder, President and CEO of PathMaker Neurosystems, a clinical-stage bioelectronic medicine company with operations in US and France. He has over 20 years of experience in the creation, operations and financing of life science companies. Before starting PathMaker, he established, as President and CEO, Symbiotix Biotherapies, a pioneering venture-backed microbiome company developing novel molecular therapeutics based on the human microbiome. Previously, he was the first employee at Selecta Biosciences (Nasdaq:SELB) and BIND Therapeutics (Nasdaq:BIND), nanoparticle companies emerging from MIT. Earlier, he was at Zero Stage Capital, a venture capital firm where he was responsible for investing in the life sciences sector, and completed an internship at Advent International. Prior to this, he was the Health Care Entrepreneurship Program Fellow at Boston University and in the Dept. of Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. Dr. Yaghoubi received an M.D. and Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from the combined degree program at Boston University School of Medicine. His doctorate work on the development of high-throughput automated electrophysiological systems resulted in five issued US patents, received one of Boston University's highest awards for dissertational research, and was the basis of a venture-backed neuroscience company. He is extensively involved in mentoring young companies, and has served/serves as a mentor, advisor and reviewer with Massachusett’s Biotechnology Council’s MassCONNECT program, Mass Life Sciences Center programs, Springboard Venture Capital Forum and numerous university business plan competitions.