2016 Neurotech Leaders Forum

October 24-25, 2016

Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport Waterfront

Keynote Speakers

Douglas Weber, Ph.D., Program Manager, DARPA Biological Technologies Office

Doug Weber joined DARPA as a Program Manager in 2013. His research interests are in the field of neural engineering, specifically: neural interface systems and how to apply these technologies to acquiring and decoding neural signals for controlling assistive and prosthetic devices; and neural stimulation technologies for restoring or retraining sensory, motor and autonomic functions. Dr. Weber came to DARPA from the University of Pittsburgh, where he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He also served the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a Research Biomedical Engineer in the VA Pittsburgh Health System. Dr. Weber is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and a senior member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and has mentored several undergraduate and graduate students in bioengineering, medical students and postdoctoral fellows. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Bioengineering from Arizona State University. He completed post-doctoral training in the Centre for Neuroscience at the University of Alberta.

Adam Roth, Ph.D., Head of Business Development and Operations,
GSK/Galvani Bioelectronics

Adam Roth leads the business development and business operations functions for the Bioelectronics R&D unit at GSK, and is the designate for that position in the future Galvani Bioelectronics. Prior to joining the Bioelectronics unit, he was employed in a variety of roles within GSK’s Pharmaceutical R&D unit focusing on business development, strategy, and departmental operations. In this work Adam designed cross-R&D initiatives including scientific/portfolio prioritisation, planned process improvements, and led new business integrations. Prior to joining GSK, Dr. Roth worked in the healthcare practice of McKinsey and Company, consulting on projects in pharmaceutical R&D, private equity, and merger management. Earlier work includes time as a Senior Financial Analyst within the manufacturing division of Intel Corp. as well as years in laboratory based roles within the field of cellular and molecular biology. Adam holds a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Texas, an MBA specializing in finance and entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado, and a B.S. in engineering science and mechanics with a concentration in biomedical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

Conference Moderators

James Cavuoto, Editor and 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 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, 2009), as well as articles in Neuromodulation, Journal of Neural Engineering, Medical Device Daily, IEEE Spectrum, MX magazine, and the International Journal of Medical Marketing.

Jennifer French, Senior Editor and Associate Publisher, Neurotech Reports

Jennifer French is senior editor and associate publisher of Neurotech Reports. She is the founder of Neurotech Network, a nonprofit organization founded in Florida in 2003. Jennifer acquired her C6-7 incomplete spinal cord injury in 1998. Prior to her injury, she was recreationally active with such sports as canoeing, snowboarding/skiing, sailing, fly fishing, biking. After her injury, she still participates in all those activities. She is an active user of an FES system. Now residing in Tampa, FL, Jen is active in the community accessible sailing program, Sailing Alternatives as well as the national US Sailing, Sailors with Special Needs. French has helped launch successful divisions is such organizations as Bombardier Capital and PC Connection, Inc. With an MBA specializing in marketing & strategy, she works with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, large and small, emerge into new markets, profile target customers and create and build systems to support sales efforts. She is the author of On My Feet Again (Neurotech Press, 2013), her personal story of rehabilitation using neurotechnology.

Panelists and Presenters

Jason Richey, President, LivaNova Neuromodulation

Jason Richey is the President of Neuromodulation at LivaNova. With nearly 20 years of experience in the medical technology industry, Mr. Richey most recently served as vice president of global sales and marketing for Cyberonics. With a 15 year tenure at Cyberonics starting in 2001, Mr. Richey began in sales and marketing where he took on roles of increasing responsibility and scope in the U.S. neuromodulation market. In 2011 he was appointed sales and managing director of the European commercial business. Shortly thereafter he became the vice president and general manager of the Cyberonics international business. Before joining Cyberonics, Mr. Richey started his career in sales and account management at B. Braun Medical. Mr. Richey received a Bachelor of Art in Biology from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

Andy Jane, Managing Director, Life Sciences, Talu Ventures

Andy is one of the three founders of Talu Ventures. Andy joined CM Capital in August 2003 and assumed the role of head of the Life Sciences Practice at CM in 2006. Prior to his venture investment roles, Andy has 15 years of experience in biomedical R&D project management, marketing and business development. His primary expertise is in the commercialization and globalization of technology-based products and brings to Talu an extensive network of industry contacts within the biotechnology, high technology, and pharmaceutical industries. Andy has active Board roles across the Life Sciences portfolio and adds to those companies the benefit of his international experience in business development, contractual negotiation, strategic relationship building, and licensing. Andy spent five years at AGEN, where he was responsible for the management of the company’s instrumentation and biosensor program and latterly for the primary business planning and management of the Thromboview Project. More recently he spent four years at Lake Technology as Director of Business Development & Licensing, where he was instrumental in the worldwide business development and marketing of Dolby Headphone and Dolby Virtual Speaker technologies which have since been adopted by leading brand consumer electronics companies, airlines and PC companies.

Jeremy Koff, President, Colibri Partners, Inc.

Mr. Koff is president of Colibri Partners Inc., a strategic and marketing consulting firm with a primary focus in the medical device sector. The company offers services related to market and risk analysis, clinical and technology assessments, business plan development, business/financial modeling, and market research. Mr. Koff has nearly 20 years of global experience in the medical device industry with companies including Advanced Bionics Corp., Boston Scientific, MiniMed Inc., Bioness Inc, and many others. His business plans have attracted tens of millions in start-up capital. Mr. Koff holds a Bachelor's degree in biology from Middlebury College, a Masters of Public Affairs from Indiana University, and a Masters of Business Administration from UCLA. He is an active classically-trained musician, supporter of the arts, and is a board member of the Fender Music Foundation.

Kevin Wasserstein, CEO, Neurotechnology Innovations Translator

Kevin co-founded the NIT with Dr. Ali Rezai after a distinguished career spanning over 20 years in venture capital and operating roles specializing in building medical device companies from concept to commercialization. Kevin brings an experienced and practiced hand to NIT, with roles spanning investment and board leadership, executive leadership, engineering, business development, and marketing. Prior to founding NIT, Kevin founded MentorCatalyst to pursue his passion for MedTech company-building and for working intimately with entrepreneurs with a craftsman-styled approach to working with startup MedTech teams, deeply engaging on a select few startup medical device companies, providing comprehensive leadership and guidance. Prior to NIT and MentorCatalyst, Kevin spent 11 years as a managing director at Versant Ventures, where he focused on investing in and building early stage medical device companies, and participated in the firm’s investments in more than100 healthcare companies across three different investment funds, with investment allocations of over $1.1 billion in capital. Kevin currently serves, or has served, in board or advisory roles with Oculeve (acquired byAllergan), Respicardia, Second Sight Medical, and The Innovation Factory. Kevin previously held numerous operating leadership roles, including marketing and business development at Guidant Corp., business development at Heartstream, and engineering development and management at Hughes Aircraft Company. Kevin holds both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in product design, as well as an MBA, all from Stanford University.

Nick Langhals, Ph.D., Program Director, Neural Engineering, National Institutes of Health

Nick Langhals serves as program director for neural engineering within the Repair and Plasticity Cluster at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. He is heavily involved in both the BRAIN Initiative as well as the NIH SPARC program. Dr. Langhals received his B.S. in Engineering from Arizona State University. He received both an M.S. in Engineering as well as a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan. Dr. Langhals has worked as a senior research engineer within the Center for Neural Communication Technology and also served as a consultant for Neuronexus Technologies, Biotectix, and Michigan State University. He was also a co-founder of Rhythm Solutions, a University of Michigan startup company focused on the development and commercialization of automated algorithms and technologies for the diagnosis and monitoring of atrial fibrillation. Prior to arriving at the NIH in 2015, Dr. Langhals served as a research assistant professor in the plastic surgery section of the department of surgery and assistant research scientist of biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan. Dr. Langhals served as co-director of the Neuromuscular Laboratory, which has developed a regenerative peripheral nerve interface to extract prosthetic control signals and restore lost sensation to amputees for the control of replacement upper and lower extremity prostheses. His previous research activities have spanned: neural engineering, muscle/nerve physiology, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, muscle and nerve grafts and regeneration, tissue histology/immunohistochemistry, neuroprosthetics, neuromodulation, sensory restoration, cardiac electrophysiology, electrode design/fabrication, advanced materials, electrode modification using conductive polymers, signal processing and noise reduction, neural decoding algorithms, brain-computer interfaces, and drug delivery in the brain.

Imran Eba, Partner, Action Potential Venture Capital

Imran is a partner at Action Potential Venture Capital in Cambridge, MA and invests in companies that are pioneering bioelectronic medicines and technologies. He represents Action Potential as a Board Member or Observer on the boards of Axon Therapies and SetPoint Medical. Before joining Action Potential, Imran was in the Worldwide Business Development group of GlaxoSmithKline working in a variety of business development and investing roles. Most recently, Imran led the establishment of and headed up the Investment Management practice at GlaxoSmithKline. The group was tasked with accessing technology and innovation external to GSK by making and managing investments in life science venture capital funds as limited partners and direct investments in biotechs made as part of GSK’s R&D collaborations. During his tenure the group led GSK’s commitments in excess of $200 million in a number of venture capital groups as well as participated in a number of biotech IPOs. Imran received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Concordia University in Montreal and has trained as a Canadian Chartered Accountant.

Joseph Pancrazio, Professor of Bioengineering and Associate Provost, University of Texas at Dallas

Joseph J. Pancrazio earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1984, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, in 1988 and 1990, respectively. His Ph.D. training focused on the ion channel electrophysiology using the patch clamp technique. After postdoctoral training in pharmacology in the department of anesthesiology as a recipient of a National Research Service Award, he received a joint appointment in the departments of anesthesiology and biomedical engineering as an assistant professor of research at the UVa in 1991. In 1997, he joined Georgetown University Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as an assistant professor working at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. In 1998, he joined the NRL as a principal investigator at the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, becoming the Head of Code 6920, the Laboratory of Biomolecular Dynamics, in 2002. Dr. Pancrazio joined the Repair and Plasticity Cluster of NIH in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in January of 2004, where he served as the program director for neural engineering and the neural prosthesis program. In October 2009, he joined the faculty in the Volgenau School of Engineering as professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the new bioengineering program. He served as the founding chair of the department of bioengineering at Mason from 2011 to 2015. In 2011, Dr. Pancrazio was elected to the College of Fellows in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a distinction reserved for the top 2% of the field. Since 2012, he has served as the chair of the steering committee for the Neural Interfaces Conference, an international meeting central to the neurotechnology field. In August 2015, Dr. Pancrazio joined UT-Dallas as a professor of bioengineering and associate provost. He received has M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia.

Jeff Kramer, Ph.D., Vice-President and Fellow, St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation

Jeff Kramer is vice president and fellow for neuromodulation research and development at St Jude Medical. Jeff is now responsible for leading and conducting early phase research in new therapy development and discovery, as well as research focusing on product improvements across multiple therapeutic areas including chronic pain (intraspinal stimulation) and movement disorders (brain stimulation). Jeff holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Illinois and is published extensively in the field of both autonomic and neuromodulation fields. Prior to joining St Jude Medical he held the position of chief scientific officer at Spinal Modulation, where he developed and led the scientific and clinical research efforts from early phase through regulatory approvals and company acquisition.

Heather Dunn, Senior Director of Technology, Cirtec Medical Systems

Heather has more than 10 years of design, development, and manufacturing engineering experience, including more than seven years in medical devices. Her background includes capital equipment design for the semiconductor test industry at Teradyne as well as reseach and development and project management for government research contracts in aerospace materials at Foster-Miller. Heather's medical device background has been focused on active implantable devices in cardiac therapies, neurostimulation, gastric pacing, pain management, and sensory restoration. She holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University and an M.S. in the same field from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Stephen Carcieri, Ph.D., Fellow Research Scientist, Boston Scientific Neuromodulation

Stephen Carcieri is a fellow research scientist at Boston Scientific Neuromodulation, with research interests in neuromodulation, neural prostheses, and neuroengineering. He received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA, where his research focused on neural coding in the retina, and performed post-doctoral research at the University of Southern California in support of an implantable retinal prosthesis. He joined the emerging indications group at BSN in 2008, where he supported clinical studies in occipital nerve stimulation for migraine, and spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain. Since 2009 his focus has been on deep brain stimulation for movement disorders, and he has worked on pre-clinical studies, clinical research, and product development for the BSN DBS device, called Vercise. In his current role he is focused on exploratory R&D for next-generation DBS systems as the DBS technical lead.

Colin Kealey, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, NSVascular, Inc.

Dr. Kealey is chief medical officer of NSVascular and has also served as director of global medical affairs and corporate projects for NeuroSigma since March 2014. Dr. Kealey joined NeuroSigma in 2011, and previously served as manager of business development. In this role, Dr. Kealey spearheaded the introduction of eTNS to major epilepsy centers throughout the EU and Canada, and interfaced with key opinion leaders in the field to convey the science behind eTNS and how it may fit into their current clinical practice. Dr. Kealey also served as co-principal investigator on two National Institutes of Health grants. In addition, he assisted with the preparation of materials submitted to the FDA, which led to the approval of NeuroSigma's IDE application, and has been a major contributor to the design of a planned pivotal trial of eTNS for epilepsy. Prior to joining NeuroSigma, Dr. Kealey was a resident physician in the UCLA department of surgery from 2007 to 2011. During his time at UCLA, Dr. Kealey was responsible for all aspects of the care of surgical patients, ranging from outpatient procedures to critically ill patients in the intensive care unit. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Kealey also served as a post-doctoral researcher at the UCLA Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology, where he performed pre-clinical research and development on novel medical devices. Dr. Kealey earned his B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and his M.D. from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

Daniel DiLorenzo, M.D., Ph.D., Neurosurgeon, Swedish Medical Center

Daniel DiLorenzo is a functional and spine neurosurgeon, inventor/engineer, and serial entrepreneur with an interest in developing high-impact therapies and medical technologies. Dan is presently in a custom tailored fellowship at Swedish Medical Center combining complex spine and cranial neurosurgery with neurotechnology new venture creation in Seattle. He completed his neurosurgical residency at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and advanced subspecialty fellowship training in complex spine neurosurgery at Swedish Medical Center and in functional neurosurgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago previously. He serves as an advisor to Santé Health Ventures in Texas with which he worked as an Entrepreneur in Residence focusing on identifying and creating game-changing new ventures in the neurotechnology field. Based upon his closed-loop neuromodulation inventions and while a neurosurgery resident, Dan founded BioNeuronics, renamed NeuroVista, which developed a fully implanted chronic brain monitoring and seizure advisory system and successfully demonstrated for the first time that seizures can be predicted in humans. This company was launched in Seattle, made a significant impact in the epilepsy and seizure prediction fields, and was acquired by Cyberonics. Dan subsequently founded Barinetics, an early stage medical device venture based upon his autonomic modulation inventions, which is focusing on a novel therapy for obesity. He is an advisor on business, clinical, and technology, and IP strategy to several additional early stage neurotechnology startups. Dan has received several innovation awards, including the Lemelson-MIT $30,000 Student Innovation Award and the MIT Technology Review TR100 Award. He has 30 issued U.S. patents and several dozen pending for medical devices. Dan earned his bachelors and masters degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, M.D. from the joint Harvard Medical School/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, and MBA (M.S. in the Management of Technology) at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has passed the patent bar exam and is registered to practice before the USPTO. In addition to neurosurgical clinical practice and working to identify promising and fundable medical technology ventures for investment, Dan enjoys brainstorming on new ideas as well as consulting and advising startup and later stage companies on strategy, IP, and innovation.

Mark Chamberlain, Chief Operating Officer, Alfred Mann Foundation

Mr. Chamberlain has worked for several Alfred Mann companies over the past 23 years, including Advanced Bionics, LLC, Bioness, Inc., Medallion Therapeutics, and currently at the Alfred Mann Foundation. The earlier part of Mr. Chamberlain’s career was spent in the aerospace and defense industry.

Frank McEachern, CEO, MicroTransponder Inc.

Frank has nearly a decade of executive leadership experience in the implantable neurostimulation field. As the executive chairman and CEO of MicroTransponder, McEachern has led the financing efforts to raise over $22 million in equity financing and over $9 million in non-dilutive financing for the company. McEachern has implemented a sophisticated international IP and licensing strategy and developed an international reimbursement strategy for each of the company’s products. McEachern has hired and led a top class team of scientists, engineers, clinical, and regulatory personnel through the development of multiple implantable stimulation systems through to sales. This process included several large scale U.S. and international clinical trials. Prior to joining MicroTransponder, McEachern worked as a corporate securities attorney at Baker Botts where McEachern represented Advanced Neuromodulation Systems in the merger of ANS with St. Jude Medical, the largest neurostimulation merger to date. McEachern also serves on the board of the University of Texas Biomedical Device Center. McEachern received his BBA from the University of Texas Business Honors Program and completed his JD at the University of Texas at Austin.

Andrew Cornwell, Ph.D., Director for Industrial and Strategic Collaborations, Cleveland FES Center

Andy Cornwell is the Director for Industrial and Strategic Collaborations at the Cleveland FES Center, the leading academic neurotech research alliance in the world. He completed his Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve University under Dr. Robert Kirsch, studying ways for individuals to provide commands to an arm through patterns of joint synergies. This method could allow individuals to command complex devices, such as a prosthesis, robotic arm, or paralyzed arm re-animated by FES, using a small number of commands. After some time as the project manager for the Cleveland BrainGate clinical trial, he was hired by the FES Center to facilitate partnerships between Center investigators and outside groups, including industry and other research centers. The FES Center believes that these industrial partnerships, combining the vast research capabilities and facilities of the FES Center with strategic goals and development expertise in the medical device industry, represent the most efficient way to translate research ideas into effective patient care.

Margot Puerta, Executive Editor, Bioelectronic Medicine

Margot Puerta is the Executive Editor of two journals published by the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research: Molecular Medicine and Bioelectronic Medicine. She is responsible for strategically guiding the development of the journals, including web and multimedia content. Prior to assuming these roles, Margot worked as the laboratory manager for the Laboratory of Biomedical Science at the Feinstein Institute co-authoring papers describing neural control of the immune system. Margot holds a B.S. in biology from Fairfield University, an M.S. in biology from Hofstra University and an M.B.A. in finance from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University.

Jack Judy, Ph.D., Director, Nanoscience Institute for Medical and Engineering Technology, University of Florida

As the Director of NIMET at the University of Florida, Prof. Jack Judy builds teams of scientists, engineers, clinicians to take on challenging multidisciplinary projects that exploit state-of-the-art engineering technology to advance biological science and medical therapies to positively impact people's lives. His lab uses advanced micro/nano-fabrication methods to develop novel neural-interface technologies. Before leading NIMET he served as a Program Manager in the Microsystems Technology Office at DARPA, where he founded Re-NET, which is the Reliable Neural Engineering Technologies, a program focused on addressing the challenges limiting the long-term performance of neural recording interfaces. The focus of the Re-NET program was on creating neural interfaces that improve the ability of amputees to control advanced prosthetic limbs. Prior to DARPA he was a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA, where he created and directed the NeuroEngineering Training Program in 1999. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and his B.S.E.E. in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Leon Ekchian, Ph.D., President and CEO, NeuroSigma, Inc.

Dr. Ekchian has served as a member of the board of directors and as president and CEO of NeuroSigma since its founding in 2008. Prior to co-founding NeuroSigma, Dr. Ekchian served from 2005 to 2006 as president of Arrowhead Research Corp., a publicly-traded company that commercializes innovative nanotechnologies in the electronic and biotech industries. From 1996 to 2005, Dr. Ekchian served as president and CEO of Litex, Inc., a company focused on commercializing an advanced automotive emission-control technology. Dr. Ekchian was a business development executive at Lockheed Martin from 1993 to 1996, where he focused on forming new ventures and evaluating new business plans and licensing opportunities. From 1988 to 1993, Dr. Ekchian was a program manager at Litton Industries, developing ground-based and airborne tracking systems. Dr. Ekchian received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.

Roger Quy, Ph.D., General Partner, Technology Partners

Dr. Quy has been responsible for the life science practice of Technology Partners since 1989. Before joining the firm, he was a member of the founding management team of Hewlett Packard Laboratories in Europe. Dr. Quy began his career as a Research Fellow at the Queen Square Institute of Neurology in London, where he contributed to a textbook on epilepsy and developed a mobile monitoring system for epilepsy and sleep disorders that was acquired by Oxford Instruments. He holds six issued patents and is a recipient of the Gold Electrode neurotechnology achievement award from Neurotech Reports. Dr. Quy has served on numerous private, public and charitable boards. He was a Director of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists for 10 years. He is member of the Advisory Board of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization, and he served on the Advisory Boards of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of California in Berkeley, and the Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Quy earned a B.A. with honors in psychology and law and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Keele, England. He received an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Juan-Pablo Mas, Partner, Action Potential Venture Capital

Juan-Pablo is a partner at Action Potential Venture Capital in Palo Alto, CA, and invests in companies that are pioneering bioelectronic medicines and neuromodulation technologies.  He was previously an investor at Lightstone Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures, where he focused on therapeutic medical devices, mobile health, and biopharmaceutical investments.  There he served as a Board Observer at various portfolio companies, including Ardian, Twelve, Holaira, Miramar Labs, Cabochon Aesthetics, SetPoint Medical, and Relievant Medsystems. Prior to investing, Juan-Pablo led efforts in R&D and Strategy in Medtronic’s CardioVascular Division, including Pipeline Strategy, White-Space exploration, Business Development, and M&A integration efforts. He was named “Medtronic Inventor of The Year” in 2008, and has more than 30 patent, granted or pending. Juan-Pablo also launched Effient (prasugrel) during his tenure on the Global Brand Strategy team at Eli Lilly & Co. Juan-Pablo earned an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He also conducted research in the Neurology Department at Stanford Hospital, while completing an M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. There he  worked on biometric signal processing applications such as neural-prosthetics, and EMG-driven feedback systems, and improved ICD algorithms.

John Scull, Managing Director, Southern Cross Venture Partners

John Scull is a co-founding managing director of Southern Cross Venture Partners and is based in Silicon Valley. Previously, he was a venture partner and member of the investment committee of the venture capital firm Allen & Buckeridge. As an active board member and investor, he brings a wealth of operational experience to the management and board of an investee company, helping build their management teams, define their strategy and improve their sales and business development efforts, secure follow-on funding and even helping them transition their operations and headquarters to the U.S. if required. He is or was a board member or observer of the following portfolio companies: Aurema (acquired by Citrix), Brandscreen, Bislr, ekit (acquired by Jersey Telecom), Effective Measure, Virsto, Fultec Semiconductor (acquired by Bourns), Liaise, VaST Systems (acquired by Synopsys), Wedgetail/Vintela (acquired by Quest), Xerocoat, and Xumii (acquired by Myriad). Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, John had a successful 20-year operational career with leading edge technology companies primarily in Silicon Valley. He has been the CEO of two successful venture backed software companies (Macromind, which merged to form Macromedia and PF.Magic, which was successfully sold to The Learning Company). John was also an innovative marketing executive at Apple Computer, where he helped launch the Macintosh personal computer and then started and grew the company's desktop publishing business to over US$1B in revenues. John holds an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Gaurav Sharma, Ph.D., Principal Research Scientist, Battelle

Dr. Sharma has more than eight years of experience working at the interface of engineering and biology. His research focuses in the areas of blood brain barrier (BBB) engineering, applications of brain computer interfaces for neuromodulation and rehabilitation and nanomedicine. At Battelle, Dr. Sharma is the lead investigator on the NeuroLife program and has led projects involving pre-clinical studies with brain and spinal cord implants for recording and stimulation, development of advanced rehabilitation and assistive neurotechnologies, as well as development of technologies for engineering the BBB for drug delivery to the brain. He has published more than 36 peer-reviewed journal papers, conference proceedings and book chapters. 

Marcus Gerhardt, Co-Founder, Blackrock Microsystems

Marcus is an entrepreneur and investment advisor focused on innovation technologies and alternative investment markets. In 1999, Marcus helped set up his first start-up, Mondus, a pioneering ecommerce platform. As Managing Director UK, he oversaw the growth of the company to 145 employees. He coordinated several funding rounds, raising in excess of $170 million, providing shareholders with a 10-fold exit through a trade sale to Seat Pagine Gialle. Subsequently, Marcus co-founded BBI, which advises technology companies on funding, commercialization and growth, strategies. He holds various board and advisory positions at companies such as ComoneaPro. Marcus has an MPhil from Oxford University.

Steve Miller, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, The Platypus Institute

Steve Miller is an acclaimed and accomplished scientist, researcher and entrepreneur in the fields of neuroscience and experimental & physiological psychology. He recently completed work with the Sally Ride Science Center where he was responsible for overseeing the business development activities to drive revenue and develop long-term partnerships. Previously, Miller was on the executive team at NeuroFocus, managing the staff and operations for their global neurolab laboratories that provided neuromarketing research for Fortune 100 companies in the US and abroad. Miller’s prior leadership roles included the co-founding of Scientific Learning Corp., a neuroscience-based technology company helping to improve the learning abilities of K-12 students. He was a co-investigator on the academic research based at Rutgers University. He worked extensively on the technology transfer, business incorporation; venture financing and start-up phases of the company culminating in a successful IPO. Miller’s academic experience includes serving on the research faculty at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and as a visiting scientist at NYU Medical Center in the Department of Biophysics. He received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bloomsburg University, a Master’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Hartford, and a Ph.D. in experimental & physiological psychology from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Steve has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications including 15 commercial software programs and more than 40 U.S. patents.

Alison Fenney, Ph.D., Director, Industry Alliances, Neurotechnology Industry Organization

Alison Fenney is Director of Industry Alliances at the Neurotechnology Industry Organization where she works with neuroscience companies and organizations to support and advance the global neurotechnology agenda. Alison comes to NIO with a wealth of knowledge and connections across the global neurotechnology and finance industries. Most recently, Alison was Manager of Industry Relations at the Ontario Brain Institute. With a dual goal of stimulating economic development and improving patient lives, Alison’s work involved launching several innovative funding programs for neurotech start ups including seed and product development investments in over 25 new ventures. Prior to the OBI Alison worked in Equity Research at Bloom Burton & Co, a boutique life science investment bank in Toronto, Canada. She also served on the board of AGE Inc. a social venture developing educational tools for frontline healthcare staff. Alison maintains an advisory role with the Alzheimer Society HHNB, where she has been a volunteer since 2008. Alison has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and an MBA from McMaster University, she also holds a Masters in Neurokinetics from the University of Quebec at Montreal, and Bachelor of Kinesiology (honors) from Brock University.

Chad Bouton, Vice-President, Engineering and Advanced Technology, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Prior to joining the the Feinstein Institute and Northwell Health, Mr. Bouton was a research leader at Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization, and was involved in medical device R&D programs for 18 years. He developed cancer detection algorithms in the late 90s to help surgeons pinpoint and remove tumors more effectively. Later, he developed neural decoding methods that allowed the first paralyzed person with a brain implant to move again with their own thoughts. Mr. Bouton’s work has been featured on 60 Minutes and TEDx, and he holds over 70 patents worldwide. He has been awarded two R&D 100 Awards and was recognized by the U.S. Congress for his work in the medical device field. He has been named Inventor of the Year and Distinguished Inventor by Battelle, and was selected by the National Academy of Engineering in 2011 to attend the Frontiers in Engineering Symposium. Mr. Bouton received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Iowa State University and his M.S. in engineering mechanics from Iowa State University with honors.

Kewar Jain. M.D., Founder, Jain PharmaBiotech

Kewar Jain is a neurosurgeon and consultant in neurology, hyperbaric medicine, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical medicine. His research experience is in cell/gene therapy, neuroprotection, and nanobiotechnology. He has served as a reviewer for research grant applications for government agencies in Canada, the U.S. Army, and Europe (European Commission, the Netherlands, Austria and U.K.). He serves as chairman of the scientific advisory board for Genometrica Ltd. He has been elected a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of UK. Prof. Jain is the author of more than 450 publications including 26 books and 50 special reports. His books include Handbook of Nanomedicine, (2nd ed 2012), The Handbook of Biomarkers (2010), Applications of Biotechnology in Neurology (2013), Applications of Biotechnology in Oncology (2014), and Textbook of Personalized Medicine (2015), all published  by Springer, New York. He is an associate editor of Medlink Neurology, as well as the author of 152 articles in an electronic encyclopedia of neurology published by Medlink Corp.

Entrepreneur Presenters

Milton Morris, Ph.D., CEO, NeuSpera Medical Inc.

Milton Morris was appointed CEO of NeuSpera Medical in 2015. Dr. Morris was recently senior vice president of research and development at Cyberonics, Inc., where he had responsibilities for research, product development, advanced manufacturing eEngineering, program management and emerging therapies. During his six-year tenure, the company received regulatory approvals for three implantable neuromodulation devices and a fourth wearable device that provides remote monitoring of patients with epilepsy. One of these new products contains a fundamental advancement to the company’s core therapy – closed-loop vagus nerve stimulation therapy for epilepsy while two others enable the company to enter into two large markets, heart failure and mobile health. Dr. Morris joined Cyberonics from InnerPulse Corp., a medical device startup company in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina, where he served as director, program management and operations. Prior to InnerPulse, Dr. Morris was employed by Guidant Corp. and its successor, Boston Scientific Corp.. During his 11-year tenure, he held several positions, including director, marketing, where he served as the $1.6B arrhythmia franchise leader with responsibilities for both the implantable pacemaker and defibrillator businesses for the Cardiac Rhythm Management division. Dr. Morris holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan.

Brian Blischak, President, Nexeon MedSystems

Mr. Blischak has over 20 years of experience in the medical device field and 16 years of experience in neuromodulation serving in senior commercial operations and executive roles. Mr. Blischak joins from ImThera Medical, Inc., developer of an implantable neurostimulation system for sleep apnea, where he served for four years as senior vice president of sales and marketing. Prior to that, Mr. Blischak spent 12 years in the St. Jude Medical Neuromodulation Division, where he led the commercialization and launch of two major deep brain stimulation product families consisting of over 20 products in more than 15 countries, including the patient recruitment efforts for two pivotal studies for Parkinson's disease and essential tremor and two feasibility studies for major depressive disorder. Mr. Blischak has a bachelor of science in engineering physics degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and a master of science in biomedical engineering and MBA degrees from The University of Texas at Austin. He is an inventor on nine issued U.S. patents for neuromodulation devices.

Roy Katz, Director of Business Development, Rainbow Medical

Mr. Katz brings to Rainbow Medical a strong cross-cultural leadership and business experience in the medical device industry in both start-up and large corporations environments. Prior to joining Rainbow Medical, Mr. Katz served as the marketing director of Rhythmia Medical, a venture backed medical device startup, which was acquired by Boston Scientific in 2012. Previously, Mr. Katz held several marketing positions at Medtronic and led projects at the Israeli based consulting firm Tefen. Mr. Katz holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, and a Masters in Engineering Management from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a B.Sc. in Engineering from the Technion in Haifa. Mr. Katz is based in the Boston area.

Jeff Hendricks, Ph.D., CEO, Biotectix

Jeff Hendrix is founder, CEO, and inventor at Biotectix, an Allied Minds Company. Jeff has developed and commercialized novel biomaterials for medical applications for 14 years. Previously he worked and performed research at NeuroPace, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and Cornell University. He earned his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan.

Christpher Czura, Ph.D., Vice-President, Scientific Affairs, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Christopher J. Czura is Vice President of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, executive publisher of the Feinstein Institute Press’ international, peer-reviewed journals Molecular Medicine and Bioelectronic Medicine, executive producer of the Merinoff Conference Series, and Chief Financial Officer for the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine. Dr. Czura provides oversight of the Institute’s daily operations and $95 million annual budget. He collaborates with the president to develop and execute strategic plans for the Institute, and is committed to building successful programs that nurture the collaborative and interactive environment of the Feinstein Institute. He leads project teams in the design and oversight of construction of new laboratory facilities and renovation projects. A molecular biologist by training, Dr. Czura’s research interests focus on autonomic neural regulation of hemostasis and inflammation. He received his B.S. in biotechnology from William Paterson University in 1996 and a doctoral degree in molecular microbiology from Stony Brook University in 2009. He is author or co-author of approximately 80 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and meeting abstracts, and co-inventor on a patent that describes vagus nerve stimulation to control hemorrhage. Dr. Czura began his research career in the laboratory of Dr. Kevin Tracey, studying the mechanisms of pathological inflammation. Dr. Czura has also studied the inflammatory reflex, a neural mechanism through which the central nervous system detects and regulates immune responses to infection and injury. More recently, Dr. Czura and his colleagues Dr. Tracey and Dr. Jared Huston have made discoveries in the field of bioelectronic medicine. His primary work in this field led to the discovery of the “neural tourniquet,” a field of technology that uses electrical nerve stimulation to control traumatic hemorrhage.

Howard Leonhardt, CEO, CerebraCell

Howard Leonhardt is an inventor and serial entrepreneur. He has 21 U.S. patents with over 100 patent claims for products for treating cardiovascular disease and has over 40 new patent claims pending. His TALENT (Taheri-Leonhardt) stent graft developed in the early 1990s holds a leading world market share for repairing aortic aneurysms without surgery. His inventions have treated over 500,000 patients in 60 countries. In early 1999 Leonhardt founded Bioheart, Inc., a leader in applying adult muscle stem cells to treat heart failure. Leonhardt holds a Diploma in International Trade from Anoka Technical College. He attended the University of Minnesota,Anoka Ramsey College and UCLA Extension. He holds an honorary doctorate in biomedical engineering from the University of Northern California and is an honorary alumnus of the University of Florida and Florida International University. He is co-leader of Startup California and Founder and chairman of The California Stock Exchange, preparing to be the first social good impact stock exchange currently operating the Cal-X 30 Social Good Impact fund powered by Motif Investing. He founded Cal-X Crowdfund Connect, a crowdfunding campaign management co. and Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc., a business incubator and accelerator focused on cardiovascular life sciences and social good impact innovations. There are 30 regenerative medtech and regenerative economy startups in the current portfolio class. His Leonhardt Ventures angels network has raised and put to work over $145 million in 32 companies to date, most of them founded by Leonhardt. BioLeonhardt is developing the first implantable programmable and re-fillable stem cell pump. He leads CerebraCell for brain regeneration. EyeCell for eye regeneration and AortaCell for aorta regeneration and number of other organ regeneration spin offs from his patented core technologies. Leonhardt serves as state spokesperson in California for the JOBS ACT and Crowdfunding for Startup California and has given over 40 speeches on the subject. He has operated Leonhardt’s Launchpads NorCal at the University of Northern California Science & Technology Innovation Center in Rohnert Park, CA since 2008 and recently opened Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah in Salt Lake City just off the campus of the University of Utah. He has served on the Board of Directors of the University of Northern California, a private biomedical engineering school, since 1999.

Andrew Grosser, Founder, Do It by Thinking

Andrew is a biomedical engineer who's had years of experience building software especially for the health industry. His products are currently helping manage and talk to hospital equipment in the largest health provider in the southern hemisphere. Recently he developed the first artificially intelligent business engine and is re-purposing it for use in brain computer interfaces.


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