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CNS Diseases Summit

2017-11-182018-08-112018-07-14
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The 2018 speaker list is currently being formed.

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BELOW ARE THE SPEAKERS FROM 2017

PLENARY KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
John Dunlop

John Dunlop
Vice President, Neuroscience
Amgen
John Dunlop
Vice President, Neuroscience
Amgen
 
About Speaker:

John is currently Vice President of Neuroscience discovery research at Amgen based at the Kendall Square facility in Cambridge, MA, leading efforts focused on neurodegenerative disease, migraine and analgesia. Previously John was VP and Head of the Neuroscience Innovative Medicine Unit at AstraZeneca leading discovery and early development efforts. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, John was Executive Director in the Neuroscience Research Unit at Pfizer with responsibility for the preclinical portfolios in Neurology and Psychiatry. John joined Pfizer as part of the Wyeth integration and at Wyeth held roles as head of Psychiatry and Acting head of Neuroscience. Trained as a neuropharmacologist, John’s current research interests include the role of proteostasis mechanisms, innate immunity and mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and ALS, and on the emerging genetics of brain disorders. John is a member of the Executive Scientific Advisory Board for the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s disease, a board member of Target ALS, and serves as a scientific advisor to the ALS Association, the frontotemporal dementia biomarkers SAB, the Weston Brain Institute of Canada and the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke for translational programs in neurological disorders.

Phyllis Ferrell

Phyllis Ferrell
Vice President and Alzheimer's Disease Global Platform Leader
Eli Lilly
Phyllis Ferrell
Vice President and Alzheimer's Disease Global Platform Leader
Eli Lilly
 
About Speaker:

Phyllis Ferrell is the vice president of the global late-stage Alzheimer’s therapeutic and diagnostic team for Eli Lilly and Company. Ferrell and her team are responsible for the late-development and global registration of solanezumab, Amyvid and lanabecestat, including global launches and commercialization. The team is also planning for several other earlier stage assets targeted for patients who are battling Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Ferrell has been with Lilly for more than 20 years and has held many leadership roles throughout the organization. She has led efforts in sales, marketing, alliance management, strategy, Six Sigma, and corporate financial planning.  

 

Ferrell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and management with minors in computational mathematics and Asian studies from DePauw University.  She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with Magna Cum Laude honors in 1994.  She received an MBA in general management and a certificate in public management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 2001 and graduated with both Arjay Miller Scholar honors and as the Arbuckle Award recipient.

 

In 2014, Phyllis was recognized with the Rising Star Award from the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.  She is also a member of the Indiana Chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association; on the Boards of Directors for the Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Stanford Associate Board of Governors, Indianapolis 500 Festival, and the Lebanon Area Boys & Girls Club; a founding member of Women Against Alzheimer’s and Women of Impact Boone County; the alumna sponsor of the Women in Economics and Business Program at DePauw University; a member of the Washington C. DePauw Society; an active supporter of Boone County Special Olympics; and a wife and mother of two boys (ages 15 and 10).

Dennis A. Steindler

Dennis A. Steindler
Senior Scientist and Director, Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory
JM USDA HNRCA, The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University
Dennis A. Steindler
Senior Scientist and Director, Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory
JM USDA HNRCA, The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Steindler previously was the Joseph J. Bagnor/Shands Professor of Medical Research in the Department of Neurosurgery of the University of Florida College of Medicine and the McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin Madison and received his doctorate in anatomy studying neurobiology from the University of California, San Francisco. After postdoctoral research at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany, Dr. Steindler continued his studies of brain development and disease, repair and cancer as a faculty member including an endowed professorship in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine where he also became the Executive Director of the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute. 
Dr. Steindler’s research is focused on the growth, transplantation and therapeutic applications of normal and cancerous stem cells, many of which his lab was the first to clone and characterize. Recent studies in his lab focus on testing stem cell biology and regenerative medicine therapeutics in models of brain cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition to creating patient- and disease-specific avatars for the testing of new molecular and biologic therapies, novel cell culture assays and biomarker screenings, including exosomal analysis, are used to screen for therapeutics including omically-designed combinations of nutrient phytocompounds and other precision medicine therapeutics.
He has served on or retains positions on government grant review panels as well as the editorial boards of the journals: The Journal of Neuroscience, GLIA, Experimental Neurology, The Journal of Neurocytology, Gene Expression, Developmental Brain Research, Brain Research, and The Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. He also has held or holds positions on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure Foundation. He has issued patents in the stem cell biology and regenerative medicine field, and has co-founded three biotech companies.

Rudolph Tanzi

Rudolph Tanzi
Vice-Chair Neurology Research
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Rudolph Tanzi
Vice-Chair Neurology Research
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Rudolph Tanzi is the Vice-Chair of Neurology and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, and serves as the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Tanzi received his B.S. (microbiology) and B.A. (history) at the University of Rochester in 1980 and his Ph.D. (neurobiology) at Harvard Medical School in 1990. In his research achievements, Dr. Tanzi served on the team that was the first to find a disease gene ((Huntington’s disease) using human genetic markers, helping to launch the field of neurogenetics.
Dr. Tanzi co-discovered all three early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease genes and identified several others as leader of the Alzheimer’s Genome Project supported by the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, for which Dr. Tanzi also serves Chair of the Research Consortium. He also discovered the Wilson’s disease gene and several other neurological disease genes. He and his team used Alzheimer’s genes and human stem cells to create “Alzheimer’s-in-a-Dish”. This is a three-dimensional human stem cell-derived neural culture system that is the first to recapitulate both pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease: plaques and tangles. This model has made drug screening for Alzheimer’s disease considerably faster and more effective. Dr. Tanzi has developed several novel therapies for AD including gamma secretase modulators aimed at plaque pathology. Most recently, Dr. Tanzi and his team have discovered that beta-amyloid, the main component of senile plaques, may play a role in the innate immune system of the brain operating as an anti-microbial peptide, suggesting a possible role for infection in the etiology and pathogenesis of AD.
Dr. Tanzi has published over 500 research papers and has received the highest awards in his field, including the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award, Potamkin Prize, Ronald Reagan Award, Silver Innovator Award, and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, the top national award for invention and innovation. He serves on dozens of editorial boards and scientific advisory boards and was named to TIME magazine’s list of TIME100 Most Influential People in the World (2015). He co-authored the popular trade books “Decoding Darkness”, New York Times bestseller, “Super Brain”, and international bestseller “Super Genes”.

Neurodegenerative Diseases Research & Development 2017
DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS
Robert Bell

Robert Bell
Associate Research Fellow, Gene Therapy Translational Science, Rare Disease Research Unit
Pfizer
Robert Bell
Associate Research Fellow, Gene Therapy Translational Science, Rare Disease Research Unit
Pfizer
 
About Speaker:

Robert “Bob” received a PhD in Pathology studying the role of cerebral vascular dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease under the supervision of Dr. Berislav Zlokovic at the University of Rochester. He then completed an AHA funded postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular biology in the Laboratory of Dr. Joseph Miano and held a Research Assistant Professor position in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Rochester before joining Pfizer in 2012. Bob’s research has helped to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate neurovascular functioning in health and disease.  As the Neurovascular and BBB Biology Lab head at Pfizer, Bob led a group focused on identifying neurovascular targets for the treatment of CNS disorders and the delivery of therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier. Bob has recently taken on a new role at Pfizer in the Rare Disease Research Unit, Gene Therapy Translational Sciences department where he leads a laboratory group focused on the development of novel gene therapy clinical candidates for peripheral and CNS genetic disorders.

 

Gabriela Chiosis

Gabriela Chiosis
Professor
MSKCC
Gabriela Chiosis
Professor
MSKCC
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Gabriela Chiosis received her graduate training at Columbia University in New York and joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 1998, first as a fellow and, since 2005, as faculty. She has authored over 130 scientific articles which were published by virtually all well respected scientific and medical journals, holds over 190 patents and patent applications which are related to the discovery of novel compounds as therapeutic agents or diagnostics in human medicine, is serving as a reviewer for over 50 well-known scientific and medical magazines and on several scientific panels. She is also a co-founder of Samus Therapeutics Inc, and also serves on its Board of Managers. Novel compounds and diagnostics discovered by her lab are the platform for the development of inhibitors currently in clinical evaluation in Alzheimer’s disease and cancer patients.

Errol De Souza

Errol De Souza
President & Chief Executive Officer
Neuropore Therapies
Errol De Souza
President & Chief Executive Officer
Neuropore Therapies
 
About Speaker:

Dr. De Souza is currently president and Chief Executive Officer of Neuropore Therapies a biopharmaceutical company developing disease modifying treatment for Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders by targeting molecular mechanisms of autophagy and neuro-inflammation to facilitate clearance of misfolded proteins. He has substantial experience as an executive in the biopharmaceutical industry, having founded companies (Neurocrine Biosciences, Nasdaq: NBIX) and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of several public (Biodel, Nasdaq: BIOD; Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp., Nasdaq: SNAP) and private (Archemix) biotech companies.

Dr. De Souza has raised hundreds of million dollars in capital in private (venture) and public sectors. Also, he has been involved in taking companies public (Neurocrine Biosciences IPO), executed M&A deals including Synaptic Pharmaceuticals sale to H. Lundbeck A/S, and has served in a number of high-ranking R&D roles, including Senior Vice President and U.S. head of R&D for Aventis (now Sanofi; 1998-2002), co-founder and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Neurocrine Biosciences (1992-1998), and Head of CNS Diseases Research at DuPont Merck (1990 – 1992). He has extensive Board experience and serves or has served on the Board of Directors of several private companies and public companies.

Dr. De Souza received his B.A in physiology and his Ph.D. in neuroendocrinology from the University of Toronto and he received his postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Roopali Gandhi

Roopali Gandhi
Assistant Professor in Neurology
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Roopali Gandhi
Assistant Professor in Neurology
Brigham and Women's Hospital
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Roopali Gandhi is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard and Head of MS biomarkers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

 

Dr. Roopali Gandhi obtained her PhD. degree in Immunology from Jamia Milia Islamia and National Institute of Immunology (2005, India). She did her post doc fellowship at Harvard Medical School with Dr. Howard Weiner. Dr. Gandhi joined as faculty at Harvard in 2013.

Dr. Gandhi has more than 10 years experience in studying human immunology related to autoimmune diseases. She has made seminal contribution in identifying pathways related to regulatory immune cells induction and their function. Dr. Gandhi helped in developing several novel projects for identifying biomarkers for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). During her research with circulating miRNAs, she identified several miRNAs, linked with MS disease and its clinical parameters.  Currently, her laboratory is focused on identification of immune biomarkers in MS and understanding immune pathways linked to treatment effects. Her lab is funded by NIH and industry collaborations. She has published more than 30 peer reviewed papers and is reviewer of neurology journals and grants.

Arti Gaur

Arti Gaur
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
Arti Gaur
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Gaur is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Member of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth. She received her BS from Rochester Institute of Technology, NY; an MS from University of Rochester, NY and her PhD from University of Cologne, Germany.

At Dartmouth, her group studies the molecular basis of neurological pathologies, specifically gliomas. Dr. Gaur is the Study Chair on an Alliance funded, multi-institutional, prospective clinical trial that is establishing a comprehensive panel of diagnostic and prognostic markers as well as biomarkers of tumor burden, treatment efficacy and toxicity. Furthermore in this trial her group is testing patient tumors ex vivo and establishing novel therapies to treat gliomas.  The other sites for this trial are University of Vermont Medical Center, Tufts Medical Center and Massachussets General Hospital.  Additionally, Dr. Gaur’s group is also developing innovative, in vivo wireless, nano scale devices, to measure multiple biomarkers of health that can predict and track the course of diseases, enable real-time evaluation of treatment efficacy and deliver targeted therapies in patients suffering from incurable and debilitating neurological disorders.

Michelle Hastings

Michelle Hastings
Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy
Rosalind Franklin University/Chicago Medical School
Michelle Hastings
Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy
Rosalind Franklin University/Chicago Medical School
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Michelle Hastings, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at The Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Dr. Hastings earned an undergraduate degree in biology from St. Olaf College and went on to receive a Ph.D. in biology from Marquette University. She was a postdoctoral and senior fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory before joining the faculty at the Chicago Medical School in 2007. Dr. Hastings’ work focuses on the molecular mechanisms of RNA processing and how defects in this process can cause diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Usher syndrome, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Her studies also aim to develop therapeutic approaches to treat these disorders using antisense technology. Her work describing an antisense molecule that rescues hearing and vestibular dysfunction in Usher type 1C was one of the first studies to demonstrate the feasibility of recovering hearing and vestibular function in an animal model of a human disease involving congenital neurosensory hearing loss.

Thomas Kukar

Thomas Kukar
Assistant Professor
Emory University School of Medicine
Thomas Kukar
Assistant Professor
Emory University School of Medicine
 
About Speaker:

Thomas Kukar began his research career at the University of Florida where he obtained his BS in Microbiology and Cell Science and subsequently earned a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical science. Dr. Kukar completed his post-doctoral training at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville where he focused on the molecular pathogenesis and development of therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. He competed successfully for an NIH Pathways to Independence Award and started his lab in 2010 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Neurology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and joined the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease. He is a member of the Executive Steering Committee for the Emory Neuroscience graduate program and training faculty of the Molecular and Systems Pharmacology graduate program.

 

Dr. Kukar’s laboratory is broadly interested in deciphering the pathogenic mechanisms to enable development of novel therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. A major research focus has been studying dominantly-inherited genetic forms of disease and the contribution of the environment to Frontotemporal dementia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent work from the Kukar lab suggests that particular mutations linked to neurodegeneration (i.e. PGRN/GRN, C9ORF72, Trem2, GBA, LRRK2) are pathogenic through dysregulation of the lysosomal-inflammatory axis, opening up new avenues for therapeutic intervention in the clinic. 

 

Stephen Moriarty

Stephen Moriarty
Director, Neurosciences
SRI International
Stephen Moriarty
Director, Neurosciences
SRI International
 
About Speaker:

Stephen Morairty received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles where his research focused on homeostatic regulation of sleep.  He joined SRI in 1999 following a posdoctoral position at Harvard University in the laboratories of Dr. Robert Greene and Dr. Robert McCarley.  Current research focuses on the search for translational electrophysiological biomarkers for therapeutic efficacy in rodents and non-human primates.  Using the electroencephalogram (EEG), Dr. Morairty investigates electrophysiological changes following pharmacological manipulations and that are associated with disease, disease progression and cognitive processes.  Recent investigations study the relationship between behavior, EEG patterns and neurodegenerative diseases. Quantitative analysis of the EEG (qEEG) provides a rich data set that shows measurable changes prior to the onset of behavioral changes. His hope is to discern reliable EEG biomarkers for the presence and progression of disease.

 

Katrina Paumier

Katrina Paumier
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Washington University School of Medicine
Katrina Paumier
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Washington University School of Medicine
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Paumier received her undergraduate training in psychology at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati. She then completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratories of Dr. John Dunlop and Dr. Warren Hirst at Pfizer Inc, where she focused on autophagy enhancers for Parkinson’s disease. She was previously an Assistant Professor on the neuroscience faculty at Michigan State University where she focused on treatment strategies for Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Paumier joined the Bateman team in 2015 and is actively involved in several research activities related to misfolded proteins involved in neurodegeneration including alpha-synuclein and amyloid-beta. At present, Dr. Paumier contributes to several studies including: 1) Development of a stable isotope labeling kinetic (SILK) method to measure the turnover rate of alpha-synuclein in human CSF; 2) Investigation of genetic protective factors against Alzheimer's disease; 3) Examination of effects of ApoE4 on beta-amyloid clearance in the human central nervous system. She also serves as the Administrative Core Leader and Deputy Director of the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network (DIAN). In this role, Dr. Paumier helps coordinate efforts and facilitates the day-to-day progress toward the core goals of the DIAN observational study (grant # U19AG032438).

Francisco Quintana

Francisco Quintana
Associate Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Francisco Quintana
Associate Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
 
About Speaker:

Francisco J. Quintana, PhD is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the Center for Neurologic Diseases, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Member at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

Dr. Quintana, a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires (1999, Argentina), obtained his PhD in immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science (2004, Israel). He received postdoctoral training at the Weizmann Institute of Science and at Harvard Medical School. In 2009, Dr. Quintana joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Quintana’s research investigates signaling pathways that control the immune response and neurodegeneration, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers for immune-mediated disorders. Dr. Quintana has published over 140 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. In addition, Dr. Quintana’s research has resulted in multiple patents which have been the foundation of three companies: ImmunArray Ltd, Alma Bio Therapeutics and AnTolRx Inc.

Dr. Quintana is the recipient of the Lady Anne Chain Prize for Academic Excellence and Scientific Achievements, the Junior Investigator Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Pathway to Independence Award of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Award for Outstanding Research Achievement form Nature Biotechnology and the Tecan Award for Innovation, the Harry Weaver Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Gayathri Ramaswamy

Gayathri Ramaswamy
Lab Head, Internal Medicine Research Unit
Pfizer
Gayathri Ramaswamy
Lab Head, Internal Medicine Research Unit
Pfizer
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Gayathri Ramaswamy is the head of Lipids and Lysosomes lab and Senior Principal Scientist in the Internal Medicine Research Unit at Pfizer Inc. Dr. Ramaswamy obtained her Ph.D. from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, University of Tennessee (Memphis) and did her post-doctoral training at Gladstone Institute of Neurological Diseases, University of California (San Francisco). She has more than 18 years of experience in lipid metabolism and is considered an expert in apolipoprotein E (apoE) and its role in Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Ramaswamy has made seminal contributions to understanding the underlying mechanism(s) by which apoE4 contributes to AD. Additionally, she is an expert in small molecule phenotypic screen deconvolution, molecular biology and cell biology. She has also developed reagents for identifying bio-threat agents and for evaluating target gene expression. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications. Currently, Dr. Ramaswamy is leading drug discovery programs for treating Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease respectively. Areas of research in her laboratory include understanding the underlying mechanisms that regulate apoE in the brain, mechanistic role of apoE4 in AD, and interrogating the role of lipids and lysosome dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases.

Sharon Rosenzweig-Lipson

Sharon Rosenzweig-Lipson
Vice President of R&D
Agenebio
Sharon Rosenzweig-Lipson
Vice President of R&D
Agenebio
 
About Speaker:

Sharon Rosenzweig-Lipson, Ph.D., is President of IVS Pharma Consulting. In 2011, Dr. Rosenzweig-Lipson founded IVS Pharma Consulting to bring her expertise in screening strategies, in vivo models, translation and early clinical development strategy to the neuroscience scientific community in pharma, biotech and academia. She has over 20 years experience developing compounds for psychiatric and neurologic indications in the pharmaceutical industry. She has successfully led teams from the earliest exploratory studies through to Phase II Proof of Concept Trials. Prior to her current positions, Dr. Rosenzweig-Lipson held the roles of Head of Translational Neuroscience and In Vivo Head of Psychiatry at Wyeth Research.   Dr. Rosenzweig-Lipson received her B.A. in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Harvard University.

James Salzer

James Salzer
Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology
NYU School of Medicine
James Salzer
Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology
NYU School of Medicine
 
About Speaker:

Dr. James Salzer is Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology and of Neurology at the NYU School of Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, an M.D., Ph.D. from Washington University, and completed a neurology residency at New York Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College.  He has been on the faculty at NYU since 1984, serving as the Head of the Neurology Clinics at Bellevue Hospital, Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program, and Co-Director of the NYU Langone Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence.  Dr. Salzer’s research focuses on myelinated axons – nerve fibers essential for the rapid conduction of electrical impulses in the nervous system.  Myelinated axons are the main target in a large number of neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis.  His lab identified the key signal that promotes myelination in the PNS and elucidated the organization of axons that underlie their ability to rapidly conduct electrical impulses.  Current studies are focused on promoting myelin repair by endogenous stem cells in the adult CNS by targeting novel targets in the hedgehog signaling pathway.

 

Sudeepti Southekal

Sudeepti Southekal
Principal Imaging Scientist
Avid Radiopharmaceuticals
Sudeepti Southekal
Principal Imaging Scientist
Avid Radiopharmaceuticals
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Sudeepti Southekal serves as Principal Imaging Scientist at Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc., where she leads image acquisition and analysis efforts to support the clinical development of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. She is currently researching novel techniques to maximize the clinical potential of tau PET using tracer Flortaucipir F 18.

Dr. Southekal has over 10 years of experience in the development, physics and clinical applications of medical imaging systems, specializing in quantitative PET. She has previously held roles at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s hospital, and GE Healthcare.

Dr. Southekal received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Medical Physics from Stony Brook University, NY. She has co-authored 15 peer-reviewed articles and over 40 abstracts and conference proceedings.

Malu Tansey

Malu Tansey
Professor, Physiology
Emory University
Malu Tansey
Professor, Physiology
Emory University
 
About Speaker:
Bruce Trapp

Bruce Trapp
Founder, Chairman of SAB and Chief Scientific Officer
Renovo Neural
Bruce Trapp
Founder, Chairman of SAB and Chief Scientific Officer
Renovo Neural
 
About Speaker:

University. Dr. Trapp received his Ph.D. from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, IL.  He received postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD and then was appointed Assistant and subsequently Associate Professor of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.  He joined the Cleveland Clinic as Chairman of the Department of Neurosciences in 1994. He is the recipient of the Jordi Folch-Pi Award from the American Society of Neurochemistry, The Weil Award from the American Association of Neuropathologists, the Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), the Jacob Javits Award in Neuroscience from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the John Dystel Prize for MS Research from the American Academy of Neurology and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Scientific Achievement Award in Basic Science and the Award for Excellence in Science from the Cleveland Clinic and Dr Trapp is a Fellow of the AAAS. Dr. Trapp’s research investigates the cause of neurological disability in multiple sclerosis patients, cellular mechanism of brain repair in neurodegenerative diseases, and the molecular biology of myelination in the central and peripheral nervous systems.  He is internationally known for his work on mechanisms of neurodegeneration and repair in multiple sclerosis and has published over 185 peer-reviewed articles and over 30 book chapters.  Dr Trapp sits on the advisory board of major biotech companies, the National Institutes of Health and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and he is active in organizing national and international conferences related to Neurodegenerative diseases.

Cheryl Wellington

Cheryl Wellington
Clinical Professor, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
University of British Columbia
Cheryl Wellington
Clinical Professor, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
University of British Columbia
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Wellington, Professor at the University of British Columbia, integrates research on genetic and environmental risk factors for dementia, with particular attention to lipoprotein metabolism, cerebrovascular dysfunction, and traumatic brain injury. Over the past 16 years, her laboratory has used a variety of genetic and pharmacological approaches to show that the amount of fats carried on apoE regulates clearance of beta-amyloid peptides, which are neurotoxic species that accumulate as amyloid in the AD brain. She has also demonstrated that apoE plays additional critical roles in diffuse axonal injury after closed-head traumatic brain injury TBI and in endothelial function. The newest area of research in Dr. Wellington’s laboratory explores tissue engineered human cerebral blood vessels as model to investigate lipoprotein mediated beta-amyloid clearance across cerebrovasculature.

 

Michael Yeaman

Michael Yeaman
Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine
UCLA
Michael Yeaman
Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine
UCLA
 
About Speaker:

Michael arrived in Roswell, New Mexico in 1963 – a land of mystery set amid Santa Fe to the North and Mayan pyramids to the South. Elements that bring meaning to this Land of Enchantment have indelibly etched his extraordinary successes in medicine and art. Michael was raised in Southern California prior to earning undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral degrees in medical science from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and the UCLA School of Medicine. In 1990, he returned to Los Angeles to conduct NIH and AHA Fellowships in Infectious Diseases and Molecular Immunology at UCLA and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. In 1992, he was appointed to the Faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine – and by age 40 became among the youngest to earn the rank of full Professor of Medicine at UCLA. In 2005 he was named the Vice Chair of Medicine, and in 2010 was appointed Chief, Division of Molecular Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Over three decades, Michael has pioneered medical solutions at the interface between infection and immunity. He led a team that discovered a new universal code in immune defense molecules. This breakthrough – published by the National Academy of Sciences – launched an entirely novel class of antibiotic compounds called kinocidins. He then discovered how the kinocidin molecular code accelerates adaptation of the human immune system to fend off even the most resistant pathogens. This advance was published by Nature. Based on these discoveries, Michael invented context-activated protides, or “smart antibiotics", which target only microbes that cause disease. In 2003, he discovered the structural relatedness in bacteria and fungi that enabled development of the first cross-kingdom vaccine against Candida and Staphylococcus, including MRSA. This vaccine has now completed Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. He and colleagues founded NovaDigm Therapeutics, Inc. to develop this and other next-generation vaccines. Most recently, he invented an exciting new class of anti-infective agents that exploit ancient programmed cell death pathways in pathogens. His groundbreaking work has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense since 1995. Today, he is Principal Investigator and Director of the only NIH Systems Immunology program focused on MRSA infection and immunity, and PI of an NIH Innovation Award to catalyze breakthroughs in treating MRSA infection. Michael has received numerous honors & awards, including the Weitzman Memorial Research Award (Harbor-UCLA Medical Center), Alexander Research Award (American Heart Association), the National Research Service Award (National Institutes of Health) and Excellence in Teaching Awards from multiple institutions. He has published over 200 medical & scientific papers and related works, and holds 18 issued patents and many patents pending. He teaches medical students and Fellows at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, lectures internationally, is an appointed NIH expert in infectious diseases and immunology, and serves on editorial boards of preeminent journals. These examples illustrate his goal to discover, invent and develop innovative anti-infective agents and immunotherapeutic strategies to meet the challenge of antibiotic-resistant infections.

CNS Partnering & Deal-Making 2017
DISTINGUISHED SPEAKERS
Mark Allegretta

Mark Allegretta
Associate VP, Commercial Research
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Mark Allegretta
Associate VP, Commercial Research
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Allegretta is the Associate Vice President of Commercial Research at the National MS Society, whose responsibilities include providing leadership and direction for the Society’s commercial research programs and portfolio, including partnerships developed through Fast Forward. He works to engage the academic and commercial research community to develop innovative solutions for MS treatments, and works with other members of the research team to assure integration and alignment of commercial research programs with the Society's overall research goals. He joined the Society in 2014 with 28 years of experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical operations. Most recently, he was President, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of BioMosaics Inc. in Burlington, Vermont, where he managed all aspects of cancer biomarker development, licensing deals and business partnerships. Prior to that, he worked in various positions at InterMune Pharmaceuticals and Connetics Corporation. Mark earned his Bachelor’s degree from Hartwick College and his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Vermont. He was the recipient of a National MS Society postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University.

Kevin Bitterman

Kevin Bitterman
Partner
Atlas Venture
Kevin Bitterman
Partner
Atlas Venture
 
About Speaker:

Kevin Bitterman focuses on creating and investing in companies that translate groundbreaking science into innovative medicines.

Kevin was the founding CEO of Editas Medicine (NASDAQ: EDIT), Morphic Therapeutic and Visterra, and co-founded Genocea Biosciences (NASDAQ: GNCA). He previously served as a director of InSeal Medical, Kala Pharmaceuticals, Neuronetics, Taris Biomedical (acquired by Allergan) and Vets First Choice among other ventures. Prior to joining Atlas Venture in 2017, Kevin was a partner at Polaris Partners, where he had been a member of the healthcare team since 2004.

Kevin is active in the local life science and healthcare start-up community, serving on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) and as Board Chair of the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA).  He received a BA in biology, summa cum laude, from Rutgers University before completing his PhD in genetics at Harvard Medical School.  He has published numerous scientific articles and is an inventor on several issued patents.

Outside of work Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters.  He also enjoys trail running and whiskey, though generally not at the same time.

Christine Brennan

Christine Brennan
Partner
MRL Ventures Fund
Christine Brennan
Partner
MRL Ventures Fund
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Brennan joined MRL Ventures Fund in June 2017. Prior to joining MRL Ventures Fund she spent 3 years as Principal at Novartis Venture Fund (NVF). Prior to NVF, she spent 3 years at Vitae Pharmaceuticals as Chief Business Officer responsible for strategy & business development. Prior to Vitae, she spent 5 years at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Strategic Alliances, most recently as Executive Director and Head of Strategy & Operations. Prior to Novartis, she held positions in business development and marketing at the biopharmaceutical companies, EnVivo Pharmaceuticals (now FORUM Pharmaceuticals), Biovail (now Valeant Pharmaceuticals) and Cogent Neuroscience. In addition, she was Director at Fidelity Biosciences Group (now F-Prime Capital Partners), a venture capital company. She received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Dartmouth Medical School in 1995 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in 1999.

Hans Christinger

Hans Christinger
Vice President, Business Development & Alliance Management
Ovid Therapeutics
Hans Christinger
Vice President, Business Development & Alliance Management
Ovid Therapeutics
 
About Speaker:

Hans Christinger, Vice President Business Development & Alliance Management at Ovid Therapeutics. Hans is responsible for Ovid business development activities to expand the company’s portfolio of Bold Medicines for rare neurological disorders through strategic partnerships. Additionally, Hans is responsible for the alliance management of Ovid’s relationships including Takeda and Lundbeck.

Hans has more than 25 years of bio-pharmaceutical experience, primarily focused on partnering, licensing (in- and out), and acquisitions as well as divestments. Hans has been based both in the US and abroad. He has led and executed numerous transactions at Ophthotech, Abbott, Roche and Vertex. Hans has established and led teams enabling global, regional and local deals across more than 30 countries in emerging and developed markets. He is currently serving on several advisory boards to early-staged biotechnology companies.

Hans began his career as a bench scientist at Genentech where he authored 15 structural biology related peer-reviewed papers. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Babson College, a Master of Science in Chemistry from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Vermont.

Charles Duncan

Charles Duncan
Managing Director, Senior Analyst, Equity Research/Emerging Biopharma
Piper Jaffray
Charles Duncan
Managing Director, Senior Analyst, Equity Research/Emerging Biopharma
Piper Jaffray
 
About Speaker:

Charles Duncan, Ph.D., joined Piper Jaffray in 2012 as a managing director and senior research analyst focused on small- and mid-cap emerging growth biotechnology companies. Duncan brings more than 20 years of sell-side experience during which he has covered a broad range of biopharma companies, most recently serving as an analyst at JMP Securities since 2002. Previously, Duncan covered the sector at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Vector Healthcare Group - Prudential Securities, Tucker Anthony Cleary Gull and Chatfield Dean & Co. Duncan has been recognized by industry sources, including the Financial Times and StarMine Analyst Awards, as being among the best analysts for his fundamental and timely analysis. Duncan began his career as a manager of clinical development at Global Drug Development, Inc., a pharmaceutical development consulting firm, and he also launched InfusionVision Medical, a
venture-backed start-up medical device company. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences with a concentration in neuropharmacology from the University of Colorado.

Joseph Foss

Joseph Foss
Founder
NeuroTherapia
Joseph Foss
Founder
NeuroTherapia
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Foss is a founder of NeuroTherapia and Staff at the Cleveland Clinic in the Anesthesiology Institute. . He received  training in clinical pharmacology at the University of Chicago and led the development of methylnaltrexone, a peripherally active opioid antagonist. He later worked f or Adolor, a small biotech company, which was developing alvimopan, another peripherally acting opioid antagonist, which also has been approved for clinical use. He was also responsible for the translational program there that was developing novel analgesics.He has been working with Dr. Naguib, co-founder of NeuroTherapia, to support to the development program for NTRX-007, a novel CB2 agonist, for the treatment of pain and neurodegenerative diseases.

David Glass

David Glass
Technology Transfer Consultant
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth & D. Glass Associates, Inc.
David Glass
Technology Transfer Consultant
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth & D. Glass Associates, Inc.
 
About Speaker:

David Glass is an independent consultant with over thirty years’ experience in biotechnology and related life sciences fields, with much of that time devoted to patents, licensing and technology transfer. Dr. Glass has served as associate director of the tech transfer office at Massachusetts General Hospital, and has also managed technology transfer as a consultant or part-time employee at other academic institutions including McLean Hospital, Joslin Diabetes Center, and Baystate Medical Center. Since 2014, he has directed tech transfer as a consultant at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, and he recently completed a one-year assignment as interim licensing manager at Partners HealthCare Innovation, managing and licensing neuroscience and psychiatric technologies from McLean Hospital and the MGH Psychiatry Department. Dr. Glass has also consulted for several other academic institutions and life sciences companies on various aspects of technology licensing and academic-industry partnering., He is a longstanding member of LES and AUTM, and was awarded the Certified Licensing Professional certification in July 2008 (recertified July 2011, expired June 2014) and the Registered Technology Transfer Professional certification in November 2013 (active). He holds a B.S. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Linda Hedley

Linda Hedley
President
Hedley Consulting
Linda Hedley
President
Hedley Consulting
 
About Speaker:

Linda was previously a Principle Research Scientist and the Research Manger, CNS Division of Roche Palo Alto LLC. She has thirty years of experience in pre-clinical pharmacology and drug development. Linda Hedley is the former Global CNS Technical Director at a CRO; Eurofins Panlabs/Cerep (formally MDS Pharma Services/Ricerca Bioscience) where she spent 6 years working with Business Development and Operations to conduct efficacy studies for Pharma and Biotech clients worldwide. Currently, Linda provides Business Development consulting services for CRO's and consults with biotech clients to implement custom study designs to determine the efficacy of novel compounds in CNS in vivo models. She has expertise in several therapeutic areas such as epilepsy, pain, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, MS, psychosis, anxiety, and depression.

Ole Isacson

Ole Isacson
Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Ole Isacson
Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Ole Isacson is Professor of Neurology (Neuroscience) at Harvard Medical School and is the Founding Director of the Neuroregeneration Research Institute at McLean Hospital. Since 1990, Prof. Isacson’s laboratory at Harvard has focused on the understanding and treatments of neurodegenerative disease, with particular emphasis on distinguishing critical mechanisms and treatments of neuronal vulnerability before the full onset of disease, or new restorative treatments using stem cell derived neurons after symptoms. Prof. Isacson is Principal Faculty of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute since it was founded in 2005. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation and member of the Executive Scientific Advisory Board (2014-2016). He has received several international prizes, research awards and lectureships. Prof. Isacson served as an advisory committee member at the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) (2014-2016). He also served as SVP & the Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s former Neuroscience R&D Unit (2016-2017). He is the author or co-author of over 350 scientific research articles and 3 books in his field. He was the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience from 2010-2016, and currently serves on the editorial board. Prof. Isacson was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2013.

Ginger Johnson (Moderator)

Ginger Johnson
Vice President
Defined Health
Ginger Johnson
Vice President
Defined Health
 
About Speaker:

Ginger Johnson, Ph.D. is CEO and CNS Practice Lead for Defined Health, where she manages core opportunity assessments and strategic consulting projects. Her background spans both the science and business of healthcare, ranging from basic scientific research to private equity investment and corporate development. Ginger was Vice President, Corporate Development at Skila (an e-Health company), and the Director of Life Science Research at Chase Capital Partners private equity firm (now JP Morgan Partners). Ginger was Associate Director of the Center for Biotechnology at Northwestern University and spent eight years in basic and applied scientific research, primarily in the field of Alzheimer's Disease, at the National Institute of Mental Health. Ginger holds B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. in Genetics from the George Washington University.

Daniel Klamer

Daniel Klamer
​Vice President, Business Development​ & Scientific Strategy​
Anavex Life Sciences
Daniel Klamer
​Vice President, Business Development​ & Scientific Strategy​
Anavex Life Sciences
 
About Speaker:

Dr Daniel Klamer, Vice President of Business Development and Scientific Strategy of Anavex, has more than 15 years of experience in neuroscience and the orphan disease space, with acquisition, partnering and R&D experience in Europe and the USA. Prior to Anavex he worked at e.g. Retrophin and NeuroSearch. At NeuroSearch, Dr Klamer led and evaluated multiple discovery-phase neuropharmacological research products with an emphasis on strategic evaluation of preclinical and clinical development and commercialization.

Dr. Klamer earned his PhD in Pharmacology at The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Sweden, his MBA at Fordham Gabelli School of Business, and his Post-Doctoral training at the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Klamer holds a position as an Associate Professor at the Department of Pharmacology, at The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.

Bill Kohlbrenner

Bill Kohlbrenner
Chief Executive Officer
NeuroLucent
Bill Kohlbrenner
Chief Executive Officer
NeuroLucent
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Kohlbrenner joined NeuroLucent as President and CEO in June 2017 after serving several months as an advisor.  His primary responsibility is helping to develop and implement a small-molecule drug discovery program aimed at bringing NeuroLucent’s early-stage AD program to the clinic.  He is also CSO of Life Science Nation (since 2014), which is an emerging company that provides a suite of tools and services to life sciences entrepreneurs seeking investment capital.  Prior to joining LSN, Bill was a business development director at AbbVie (formerly Abbott pharma) where he led a global scouting team with the mission of identifying and pursuing external research opportunities and early-stage assets around the globe.  Earlier in his career, Bill led drug discovery programs in the oncology, antiviral and antibacterial areas (AbbVie and Pfizer).  He has extensive experience managing collaborations, outsourcing and business development. 

Lara Mangravite (Moderator)

Lara Mangravite
President
Sage Bionetworks
Lara Mangravite
President
Sage Bionetworks
 
About Speaker:

Lara Mangravite, PhD is President of Sage Bionetworks. This organization is focused on the development and implementation of practices for large-scale collaborative biomedical research. Previously, Dr. Mangravite served as Director of the Systems Biology research group at Sage Bionetworks where she focused on the application of collaborative approaches to advance understanding of disease biology and treatment outcomes at a systems level with the overriding goal of improving clinical care. Dr. Mangravite obtained a BS in Physics from the Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular pharmacogenomics at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

Michael McGurk (moderator)

Michael McGurk
Partner
DLA Piper
Michael McGurk
Partner
DLA Piper
 
About Speaker:

Mike McGurk has more than 30 years of experience in virtually all
aspects of patent law. Working with clients ranging from small startups
to large Fortune 100 companies, he provides counsel in due
diligence matters, global portfolio development and adversarial
proceedings, including litigation, post-grant reviews, interferences
and re-examinations. Mike works primarily with pharmaceutical,
chemical, medical device and mechanical technology businesses.
Mike's practice is informed by his background as a patent examiner
in the chemical arts for the United States Patent and Trademark
Office (USPTO), as a litigator for ten years, and as an expert in due
diligence matters. He regularly provides strategic litigation
counseling support to clients across the nation, and has handled
numerous patent matters before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
of the USPTO. His extensive due diligence experience includes prelitigation,
acquisition, in-license, freedom-to-operate product and/or process clearance, design around,
validity and patentability matters. Mike works with teams having the appropriate technical and legal abilities.

Parag Mehta

Parag Mehta
Chief Executive Officer
Aveta Biomics
Parag Mehta
Chief Executive Officer
Aveta Biomics
 
About Speaker:

Parag G. Mehta, PhD, is the Co-founder and CEO of Aveta Biomics, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company based in Bedford, MA. 

 

Parag is a serial entrepreneur with a track record of commercializing novel chemistry based innovations. He has strong background in biotechnology, organic, macromolecular and biochemistry and material science. His experience encompasses product R&D, manufacturing, global business development, strategic alliances, and capitalization of companies through public and private financing. 

 

At Aveta Biomics, Parag played a key role in developing robust pipeline of three drug candidates and gaining IND approval for company’s first-in-class multi-targeted, polypharmaceutical drug. He helped establish three academic partnerships and two industrial partnerships encompassing pre-clinical research & development and a clinical trial.

 

Parag has been active in Boston area entrepreneurial community mentoring many entrepreneurs. He has authored/co-authored twenty-six scientific papers and is inventor/co-inventor of 18 patents. Parag received his PhD in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY and MSc in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India.

 

Suzana Petanceska

Suzana Petanceska
Senior Advisor for Strategic Development and Partnerships
National Institute on Aging, NIH
Suzana Petanceska
Senior Advisor for Strategic Development and Partnerships
National Institute on Aging, NIH
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Petanceska is a senior advisor for strategic development and partnerships and a program director for systems biology and systems pharmacology at the Division of Neuroscience of the National Institute on Aging (NIA).  During her tenure at the NIA she has been overseeing and developing a number of research portfolios and innovative programs in basic and translational research for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Her recent program development efforts have been focused on developing systems biology and systems pharmacology capabilities for AD research and drug development within an open science framework.    Dr. Petanceska was instrumental for the development of NIA’s AD Translational Research Program and leads NIA’s open-science, systems biology programs for target and biomarker discovery: the AMP-AD Target Discovery and Preclinical Validation Project and the M2OVE-AD Consortium

 

Dr Petanceska holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from New York University.  Following her postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University and Cornell University, she established her independent research career at the Nathan Kline Institute in Orangeburg, N.Y., and joined the faculty of New York University Medical Center. Her research focused on the role of disrupted sterol metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis and on the mechanisms by which estrogens and cholesterol-lowering drugs exert neuroprotection.

Kiran Reddy

Kiran Reddy
Partner
Clarus Ventures
Kiran Reddy
Partner
Clarus Ventures
 
About Speaker:

Kiran Reddy is the President & CEO of a Praxis Precision Medicines, a recently launched biotech company focused on precision medicine in genetically defined epilepsy and autism disorders. He is also a Venture Partner at Clarus Ventures where he focuses on new company formation, venture investments, and risk sharing partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.

Prior to Clarus, Kiran was at Biogen and led the CAPITA team within Corporate Development where he focused on sourcing new technologies and product opportunities to support the Company's growth via acquisitions, partnerships, and equity investments.

Prior to Biogen, Kiran was an Associate Partner at Third Rock Ventures. He supported and managed various portfolio companies in addition to focusing on new company formation and new investments.

Kiran was a key member of the founding team at SAGE Therapeutics, and served as its CBO and CMO through its IPO (NASDAQ: SAGE). He is also the co-inventor of SAGE-547 the Phase 3 program for an orphan epilepsy disorder and postpartum depression. SAGE has a market capitalization of ~$3.0B USD with greater than 250 employees, and named 2016 “Best places to work” in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In addition, while at Third Rock, Kiran was part of the team that launched Foundation Medicine [NASDAQ: FMI] that has a market capitalization of greater than $1.0B USD and greater than 275 employees.

Before Third Rock Ventures, Kiran was a management consultant at the Lewin Group within in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical practice, and advised clients on clinical development and commercial strategy. Kiran holds MD and MBA degrees from Georgetown University. He completed his internship in medicine and his neurology residency at Harvard / Massachusetts General Hospital and is a board certified neurologist. Kiran was previously a Howard Hughes science fellow, and has authored several peer-reviewed scientific papers in the field of  epilepsy, neuroimmunology and neurodegenerative diseases. 

 

Robert Scannevin

Robert Scannevin
Vice President
Yumanity
Robert Scannevin
Vice President
Yumanity
 
About Speaker:

In early 2016 Dr. Scannevin joined Yumanity Therapeutics as the Vice President of Discovery Biology, where he now oversees all biology research. Yumanity utilizes a transformational discovery platform which can deliver new neurodegenerative disease-relevant targets and identify therapeutic agents that can ameliorate pathological cellular phenotypes. Dr. Scannevin’s career has spanned more than 16 years in neurology drug discovery research, and he has been a research leader at Wyeth (now Pfizer), Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development (now Janssen), and Biogen.
Dr. Scannevin has focused on the discovery of disease modifying therapies for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Most of these efforts center around identifying molecular mechanisms that contribute to pathological states and developing approaches to combat these disease processes. In his time at Biogen, Dr. Scannevin was involved with the preclinical development of BIIB037 (aducanumab), the anti-amyloid beta antibody now in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Scannevin also was the Preclinical Research Lead for the development and marketing approval of Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate), an oral drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Joshua Sestak

Joshua Sestak
President and Chief Scientific Officer
Orion BioScience
Joshua Sestak
President and Chief Scientific Officer
Orion BioScience
 
About Speaker:

Inventor of Orion technologies with industry formulations and regulatory experience. Recipient of Madison and Lila Self and Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation Graduate Fellowships and a 2013 Pipeline Fellow.

Nadim Shohdy

Nadim Shohdy
Office of Therapeutics Alliances
NYU
Nadim Shohdy
Office of Therapeutics Alliances
NYU
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Shohdy is an Assistant Dean at NYU School of Medicine, and is both the co-founder and Director of its Office Therapeutics Alliances (OTA), a drug discovery accelerator that utilizes a novel “virtual biotech” approach to help advance NYU biomedical research to a far more validated stage to enable greater quality dealmaking with biopharma and investors. Since its inception in 2013, OTA has transformed the way NYU de-risks its therapeutic projects, currently has a pipeline of over 15 projects, and 7 of its projects have been successfully partnered with biopharma or investors to launch new startups. He received his PhD with Distinction in Microbiology from Columbia University, and completed his postdoctoral training at the Rockefeller University.

Ambuj Singh

Ambuj Singh
President & Chief Executive Officer
Acelot
Ambuj Singh
President & Chief Executive Officer
Acelot
 
About Speaker:

The founder of Acelot, Prof. Singh, has authored over 140 scientific papers in the areas of bioinformatics, data mining, databases, and graph algorithms. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology. He is currently a professor in the departments of Computer Science and Biomolecular Science & Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He works on developing the basic data and graph analysis methods that form the core IP of the company.

Sudeepti Southekal

Sudeepti Southekal
Principal Imaging Scientist
Avid Radiopharmaceuticals
Sudeepti Southekal
Principal Imaging Scientist
Avid Radiopharmaceuticals
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Sudeepti Southekal serves as Principal Imaging Scientist at Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc., where she leads image acquisition and analysis efforts to support the clinical development of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. She is currently researching novel techniques to maximize the clinical potential of tau PET using tracer Flortaucipir F 18.

Dr. Southekal has over 10 years of experience in the development, physics and clinical applications of medical imaging systems, specializing in quantitative PET. She has previously held roles at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s hospital, and GE Healthcare.

Dr. Southekal received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Medical Physics from Stony Brook University, NY. She has co-authored 15 peer-reviewed articles and over 40 abstracts and conference proceedings.

Barbara Tate Venture (Tech Pitch Judge)

Barbara Tate
Venture Partner
Dementia Discovery Fund/SV Life Sciences
Barbara Tate
Venture Partner
Dementia Discovery Fund/SV Life Sciences
 
About Speaker:

Dr. Barbara Tate is a neuroscientist who has worked in both large and small pharmaceutical companies. Prior to joining DDF, she was Vice President and Head of Biology at Rodin Therapeutics, an Atlas Venture company, where she also consulted on other portfolio companies. Prior to Rodin, Barbara was Vice President for Research at Satori Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company developing a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. At Pfizer, Barbara managed the neurodegenerative disease area group in Groton, CT. Prior to working in industry, Barbara was an academic researcher at Brown Medical School and Harvard Medical School. Barbara has a BA in Biology, a PhD in Physiology, and she was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Iva Toudjarska

Iva Toudjarska
Principal Consultant
Halloran Consulting Group
Iva Toudjarska
Principal Consultant
Halloran Consulting Group
 
About Speaker:

Iva Toudjarska, PhD, MBA, is a principal Consultant at Halloran Consulting Group, Boston, MA. Iva joined Halloran with more than 15 years of experience, she has served biopharmaceutical companies across all phases of drug discovery, development and commercialization.  Iva’s expertise spans across diverse range of therapeutic areas with focus on neurodegenerative diseases among several others. At Halloran Iva spearheads development strategy engagements as well as due diligence, indication assessment and product and portfolio prioritization work, integrating scientific, clinical, regulatory and early commercial insights.

 

Prior to joining Halloran, Iva spent 4 years as a consultant to start-ups and pharma clients. As part of Putnam Associates’ team, she informed strategic insights and decisions pertaining to new product development, portfolio prioritization, clinical development, and commercial opportunity assessments for large pharma clients. She has informed launch of new therapeutics, as well as strategic brand planning and product positioning. Previously, she was a founding employee at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, the leader in RNAi therapeutics. During her nine year tenure at Alnylam, as part of a multi-disciplinary team she advanced several programs to clinic, most notably ALN-RSV (a virology program) and ALN-VSP (an oncology program). She led the evaluation and initiation of two hematology programs ALN-AT3 for the treatment of hemophilia (currently in clinic) and ALN-TMP for the treatment of beta-thalassemia. 

Harry Tracy

Harry Tracy
President
NI Research
Harry Tracy
President
NI Research
 
About Speaker:

Harry Tracy PhD is the founder and President of NI Research. Following his training at the University of Miami and Massachusetts General Hospital, and twenty-five years of clinical expertise in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, Tracy launched NIR and NeuroPerspective (formerly NeuroInvestment) in 1995. NeuroPerspective has set the standard for in-depth, independent, and frank appraisals of the companies and programs advancing new treatments and technologies in neurotherapeutics. NIR has also published NeuroLicensing since 2007. NIR formed its strategic consultation arm ('Second Opinion') in 2000, providing services to companies ranging from the largest major pharma companies to early-stage startups, featuring strategic portfolio reviews and licensing consultation.

Shafique 	Virani

Shafique Virani
Chief Executive Officer
BridgeBio
Shafique Virani
Chief Executive Officer
BridgeBio
 
About Speaker:

Shafique Virani is currently CEO in Residence at BridgeBio, LLC based in Palo Alto, CA. Until June 2017, he was Vice President, Global Head of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology & Rare disease (NORD) Roche Partnering. Shafique’s responsibilities in this role encompassed all partnering activities within Roche’s NORD franchise, from academic collaborations to licensing and acquisitions. Shafique joined Roche in 2004 and served various roles within medical affairs, marketing and business development in the UK, USA and Switzerland until 2012, when he transitioned to South San Francisco. Shafique is trained as a neurosurgeon in Cambridge, UK and Boston, USA and holds the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Yaron Werber

Yaron Werber
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer
Ovid Therapeutics
Yaron Werber
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer
Ovid Therapeutics
 
About Speaker:

Yaron Werber, M.D., MBA, has served as our chief business officer since July 2016, as our chief financial officer since June 2015, as our secretary since July 2015 and as our treasurer since April 2017. Prior to joining us, Dr. Werber worked at Citigroup Global Markets Inc. from March 2004 to June 2015, where he most recently served as a managing director, starting December 2011, and the head of U.S. healthcare and biotech equity research teams. Previously, Dr. Werber was a senior biotech analyst and vice president at SG Cowen Securities Corporation. He began his career in academic research and was director of business development at NotifyMD, Inc., an e-health company. Dr. Werber earned his B.S. in Biology from Tufts University and a combined M.D./MBA degree from Tufts University School of Medicine.

Kent Werner

Kent Werner
Chief Executive Officer
Cogentis Therapeutics
Kent Werner
Chief Executive Officer
Cogentis Therapeutics
 
About Speaker:

Kent Werner is a board-certified neurologist and neuroscientist.  He holds Assistant Professor appointments in the Departments of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University and adjunct at Johns Hopkins University. He has 14 years of experience in biomedical research and seven years in clinical training. Kent received his MD and PhD in Cellular and Molecular Medicine in the department of Neuroscience in 2012 at the Johns Hopkins University under Dr. Solomon Snyder. His areas of research include  neurodegenerative conditions to include dementia and traumatic brain injury and their relationship to sleep.