2024 Bioelectronic Medicine Forum

New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY (and Zoom), April 5, 2024

Conference Moderators

James Cavuoto, Editor and Publisher, Neurotech Reports

James Cavuoto is editor and publisher of Neurotech Business Report and BioElectRx Business Report and the founder of Neurotech Reports. He is the lead author of "The Market for Neurotechnology," and "The Market for Bioelectronic Medicine," two market research reports 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 was 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. He is coauthor, with Jennifer French, of Bionic Pioneers: Brave Neurotech Users Blaze the Trail to New Therapies (Neurotech Press, 2014).

Jeremy Koff, Senior Consulting Editor, Neurotech Reports

Mr. Koff is senior consulting editor for Neurotech Reports and 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 an MBA from UCLA. He is an active classically-trained musician, supporter of the arts, and is a board member of the Fender Music Foundation.

Jo Jo Platt, Senior Contributing Editor, Neurotech Reports

Jo Jo Platt brings more than 10 years experience as a neurotechnology consulant to Neurotech Reports. As the founder and president of Platt & Associates, she has helped leadership identify new opportunities, transform organizations, and build teams from the ground up. Most recently, she was a strategic development consultant for the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, where she helped identify and establish strategic partnerships in the emerging field of bioelectronic medicine and was instrumental in the launch of the Center for Bioelectronic Medicine. Previously, Jo Jo communications director for eDigital, where she managed all internal and external communications and built braand recognition through tradeshows and consumer events. Platt holds a bachelor's degree in communication and media studies from National University. She is currently the finance chair for the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Neural Engineering 2019 meeting.

Victor Pikov, Ph.D., Contributing Editor, BioElectRx Business Report.

Victor Pikov is a contributing editor to Neurotech Report's new publication, BioElectRx Business Report and also co-founder and CEO of Medipace Inc, a startup developing implantable neuromodulation therapies for auto-immune intestinal diseases. Victor previously worked at Galvani Bioelectronics and GlaxoSmithKline, where he oversaw development and testing of implantable pulse generators and stimulation leads for several clinical applications, including auto-immune and metabolic diseases. At the Huntington Medical Research Institutes, Victor developed neural interfaces for various chronic diseases, such as infertility, bladder paralysis, bladder spasticity/hyperreflexia, hearing and vision loss, tinnitus, obstructive sleep apnea, and obesity. At the California Institute of Technology, Victor developed optogenetic viral vectors for neuronal stimulation. Victor has several patent applications for implantable neural interfaces, closed-loop neuromodulation therapies, and noninvasive glucose measurement.

Panelists and Presenters

Diana Saraceni, General Partner, Panakes SGR

Diana is the founder and managing partner of Panakes Partners. She was previously the co-founder and former managing partner at 360 Capital Partners. With 15 years of VC experience, she has invested in a significant number of companies in Italy and all over Europe in the medical device sector, and has generated several exits as IPO and M&A transactions. She holds an MSc in engineering from LaSapienza and an MBA from Luiss University.

David Neustaedter, Ph.D., Venture Partner, Deefield Management

David Neustaedter, Ph.D., is a Venture Partner on the Medical Technologies team and joined the Firm in 2022. Prior to Deerfield, Dr. Neustaedter spent seven years as a Vice President, at Medtronic Ventures and, before Medtronic’s merger with Covidien, spent a further 7 years with Covidien including five years as a Vice President of Venture Capital. He has also held positions at Stryker Development, Leerink Swann/MEDACorp Strategy Consulting, Fletcher Spaght, and Braun Consulting. Dr. Neustaedter holds a B.Sc. in Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology from University of Calgary, an M.B.A from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from University of British Columbia.

Greg Kubin, General Partner, PsyMed Ventures

Greg is a community builder, investor, founder. He is a co-host of Business Trip, a podcast about psychedelic entrepreneurship. He has managemed more than 15 investments in psychedelic medicine  and mental health companies. Greg co-founded HelloSponsor, a SaaS sponsorship platform (AngelPad '15). Ex-Morgan Stanley, Viacom.

Nandan Lad, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chair of Innovation, Duke Neurosurgery

Nandan Lad, MD, PhD is a neurosurgeon, scientist, and innovator, serving as a Professor of Neurosurgery and Vice Chair of Innovation at Duke Neurosurgery. Dr. Lad leads the Duke Neuromodulation Program with the belief that multidisciplinary approaches are key to enhancing patient outcomes. Working with teams at the forefront of medtech and digital health innovation, Dr. Lad is committed to developing and utilizing cutting-edge technologies to treat pain, movement disorders, and a variety of complex neurological conditions. He believes in a blend of personalized care and advanced technological solutions, aiming to not only alleviate symptoms but also significantly improve quality of life and restore function for his patients.

Marom Bikson, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering, City College of New York

Marom Bikson is a Cattell Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The City College of New York of the City University of New York and co-Director of the Neural Engineering Group at the New York Center for Biomedical Engineering. The translational R&D activity of his group spans pre-clinical studies, computational models, device design and fabrication, regulatory activities, and clinical trials. Technologies developed by his group are in clinical trials in over 100 medical centers and include neuromodulation interventions for neuropsychiatric disorders, intra- and post-operative sensors, patient compliance tools, and surgeon training simulators. Dr. Bikson has published over 200 papers and book chapters and is inventor on over 30 patent applications. He is known for his work on brain targeting with electrical stimulation, cellular physiology of electric effects, and electrical safety. Dr. Bikson co-invented High-Definition transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, the first noninvasive, targeted, and low-intensity neuromodulation technology. Dr. Bikson consults for medical technology companies and regulatory agencies on the design, validation, and certification of medical instrumentation. Prior to becoming faculty at CUNY, Dr. Bikson was a research fellow at the University of Birmingham Medical School, U.K. and a Research Associate at Sontra Medical LLC, in Cambridge, Massachuesetts. Dr. Bikson received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, OH and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Entrepreneur Presenters

Nader Yaghoubi, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO, PathMaker Neurosystems Inc.

Dr. Yaghoubi has over 20 years of experience in the creation, operations, and financing of life science companies. Before starting PathMaker Neurosystems, he established, as president and Founding CEO, Symbiotix Biotherapies, a pioneering microbiome company developing novel molecular therapeutics based on the human microbiome. Prior to that, he was the first employee at Selecta Biosciences and BIND Therapeutics, where he worked with the founders to launch the companies and establish operations and corporate development. Previously, he was at Zero Stage Capital, a venture capital firm where he was responsible for investing in the life sciences sector, and earlier completed an internship at Advent International. Prior to this, he was a Health Care Entrepreneurship Fellow at Boston University, where he worked with scientists and physicians to develop new businesses in the healthcare and life science sector. Before his fellowship, he was a surgical resident in the Department of Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. Dr. Yaghoubi received an M.D. and Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from the combined degree program at Boston University School of Medicine. His doctorate work on the development of high-throughput automated electrophysiological systems resulted in five issued U.S. patents, received one of the University’s highest awards for dissertational research, and was the basis of a venture-backed biotechnology company focused on neuroscience. He is extensively involved in mentoring young companies, and has served/serves as a mentor, advisor and reviewer with MBC’s MassCONNECT program, Mass Life Sciences Center programs, Springboard Venture Capital Forum, and numerous university business plan competitions.

Colin Kealey, M.D., CEO, NeuroSigma, Inc.

Dr. Kealey is CEO of NeuroSigma Inc. He was previously chief medical officer of NSVascular and 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.

Dane Andreeff, President and CEO, Helius Medical

Mr. Andreeff is the general partner and portfolio manager of Maple Leaf Partners, LP, and the president of Andreeff Equity Advisors, LLC. Mr. Andreeff has managed investment portfolios since 1996 for Andreeff Equity, LP, Andreeff Overseas Ltd, and Clover Partners, LP. Before to managing portfolios, Mr. Andreeff worked as an associate analyst at Furman Selz and Granite Capital International Group. Currently, Mr. Andreeff serves as a director of TraceSecurity Inc, HDL Therapeutics, Inc and Myocardial Solutions, Ltd. Mr. Andreeff received his Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Economics from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1991 and 1989, respectively.

Christine Aytug, Director of Business Development, Evren Technologies

Mrs. Aytug is a pharmaceutical and biotechnology professional with over 30 years' experience in a variety of commercial experiences at major and small companies. She had a 20 year career at GlaxoSmithKline in a variety of positions from bench research and oncology market research to oncology and respiratory product marketing and sales. As the Director of Marketing, Sales and Contracts for Florida Biologix, a new cGMP biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility (for Phase I and II biologic therapeutics), she conducted all business development and proposal development activities and helped to establish a national presence for the organization. Aytug holds a B.S. in zoology from Duke University and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke.

Amy Baxter, M.D., Founder and CEO, Harmonic Pain Solutions

Dr. Baxter pioneered the field of noninvasive neuromodulation using mechanical stimulation for pain relief. Her new company, Harmonic Pain Solutions, is a spin-out of Pain Care Labs, whose devices block pain in 28 countries for over 114 million procedures. After Yale, Emory Medical School, and two fellowships, Dr. Baxter founded Pain Care Labs while practicing emergency pediatrics and creating a research division. When her devices replaced opioid use for a TKA, with two additional Fast-Track SBIRs for low back pain opioid reduction she founded HPS. Accomplishments include pain and sedation textbook chapters, over 25 first-author papers, 12 issued patents, and successful 510(k) FDA clearances for postsurgical and procedural pain. Her academic service spans a decade of NIH Scientific Review Groups for multiple institutes, and the ACEP COVID-19 Field Guide Task Force. Recognition includes Forbes Ten Healthcare Disruptors, Inc. Top Women in Tech to Watch, a Wall Street Journal “Idea Person,” and the Most Innovative CEO from Georgia Bio. Speaking highlights include HHS testimony, Exponential Medicine “Future of Pain Management," TEDMED, and a recently released TED talk on pain neuroscience close to reaching one million views.

Dan Rizzuto Ph.D., CEO and CTO, Nia Therapeutics

Dr. Rizzuto developed Nia's core technology at the University of Pennsylvania as part of the DARPA Restoring Active Memory Project. He completed his doctorate in the neuroscience of human memory at Brandeis University, his postdoctoral training in brain-machine interfaces at Caltech.

Chris Czura, Ph.D., Senior Director of Scientific Affairs, Five Liters

Chirs Czura is senior director of scientific affairs at Five Liters, a unit of Spark Biomedical in Dallas, TX. He was previously 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 CFO for the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine. 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.