2020 Neurotech Leaders Forum

Embassy Suites, San Francisco Airport Waterfront and Zoom

November 16-17, 2020

Keynote Speakers

Konstantinos Alataris, Ph.D., Founder, Nevro Corp.

Konstantinos Alataris was the founder and CEO of Nevro Corp., where he led product development and initial commercialization for Senza, Nevro's market-leading, implantable neurostimulator platform for neurological disorders. Senza’s first FDA approval was for chronic pain, for which it received superiority designation driving rapid market adoption. Konstantinos trained as a computational neuroscientist, worked in corporate business development and at a leading healthcare venture capital firm before founding Nevro. Dr. Alataris continues towork closely with leading academic collaborators, exploring ways to interface with the brain’s operating language to treat more diseases. Dr. Alataris received Master’s degrees in electrical engineering and business and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering with a focus in computational neuroscience from the University of Southern California. He received a B.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece.

Bryan Johnson, CEO, Kernel

Bryan Johnson is the founder and CEO of neurotechnology company Kernel.  Johnson first described his launch of Kernel at the 2016 Neurotech Leaders Forum. Since then, the tech entrepreneur has hired numerous leading neurotech investgators and has developed a brain signal helmet and a concept he calls Neuroscience as a Service (NaaS). Johnson was previously the founder and CEO of fintech firm Braintree. He profitably bootstrapped the company for its first five years of operations and Inc. Magazine named Braintree one of the fastest growing companies in America two years in a row. Braintree acquired Venmo in 2012 and was bought by eBay/Paypal in 2013 for $800 million in cash.

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 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).

Jennifer French, Senior Contributing Editor, Neurotech Reports

Jennifer French is senior contributing editor of Neurotech Reports. She is the founder of Neurotech Network, a nonprofit organization that focuses on education and advocacy for neurotechnology end users. Jennifer became a tetraplegic due to a spinal cord injury in 1998 and is an active user of a neuroprosthetic system. She is a silver medalist from the 2012 Paralympic Games and was named the 2012 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year; the first woman with a disability receive this distinction. She has helped launch successful programs, ventures, and divisions in such organizations as Bombardier Capital, PC Connection, and USMMA Sailing Foundation. Jennifer received her MBA from Wichita State University. She works with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, large and small, to help them penetrate new markets, profile target customers, and create and build systems to support marketing and sales efforts. She is the author of On My Feet Again (Neurotech Press, 2012), her personal story of rehabilitation using neurotechnology and co-author 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, 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.

Panelists and Presenters

Trish Costello, Founder and CEO, Portfolia

Trish founded Portfolia with a vision to activate the capital of women to invest in the companies we want in the world. Portfolia now has nine funds and has made 41 investments in 33 top innovative companies. Trish is globally recognized for her pioneering work in preparing the next generation of general partners in venture capital. As the co-founder, long-time CEO and now CEO Emeritus of the Kauffman Fellows Program, the premier global leadership program for venture capitalists, she mentored hundreds of the world's top VCs, and was referred to as the venture capitalist's 'godmother.' She also served as Founding President of CVE Capital Corp, the holding company of a $1B+ venture capital fund of funds. Trish was on the start-up team of the Kauffman Foundation’s entrepreneurship center, led the Commercialization Sub-Committee of the National Science Foundation, and directed the Arthur Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at the globally-ranked Babson College. Trish’s lifelong passion has been in two areas: supporting and investing in innovative entrepreneurs and unlocking the personal and professional talents of women. She knows that women will be both highly successful entrepreneurial investors and bring along an entrepreneurial renaissance when they back the companies they want in the marketplace.

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.

Faz Bashi, M.D., Director, Angel Capital Association

Faz Bashi has a research background in Immunology and virology from UCSF. He is an active member of Life Science Angels in Silicon Valley. He is also lead venture investor with Portfolia's FemTech Fund I, and soon to be announced FemTech Fund II, focused on female health and wellness. He is very active in the Animal Health space, and is co-founder, board member, investor and advisor to Anubis Bio; an all-natural food-tech platform with first product scaling in revenue in USA and Korea, called DoggyStat. He is advisor to One Health Group with 72 issued patents providing non-contact, highly accurate, medical-grade remote-monitoring animal health data. He served a three-year term as board member of the Angel Capital Association where he continues to be chair of the ACA's Life Sciences Syndication group. He is active with UCSF’s Entrepreneurship Startup 101 and Lean Launchpad, external advisory board member for UCSF's CTSI and Johns Hopkins' CBID, mentor for women entrepreneur leaders at both CSweetener.org and Springboard Enterprises Life Sciences Council. He volunteers his time with Peninsula Bridge program to help the underserved kids of East Palo Alto get inspired about their futures via education.

Emily Caporello, Ph.D., Director, NINDS Small Business Programs, National Institutes of Health

Emily Caporello oversees a portfolio of small business and BRAIN projects focused on the translation of neurological tools, technologies, and pharmaceuticals as a Scientific Project Manager in the NINDS Small Business Program. Prior to this position, Dr. Caporello co-founded two companies (CleverPet and MindX Corp.) and spent four years as a Science and Engineering Technical Advisor to neurotechnology programs at (DARP). Dr. Caporello received her B.S. in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University, and her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California San Diego.

Victor Pikov, Ph.D., CEO, Medipace, Inc.

Victor Pikov is CEO of a recently established Pasadena-based company, MediPace Inc., which is focused on the development of implantable stimulation-based therapies for the GI tract. Prior to that, for the past three years he worked at Galvani Bioelectronics and GSK Bioelectronics division, where he oversaw the development and validation of implantable pulse generators and stimulation leads (nerve cuffs and percutaneous electrodes) for several clinical applications. Prior to Galvani Bioelectronics, while at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes (2002-2015), Victor evaluated PNS and CNS neural interfaces in various models of chronic diseases, such as infertility, bladder paralysis, bladder spasticity/hyperreflexia, hearing and vision loss, tinnitus, obstructive sleep apnea, and obesity. His Ph.D. work at Georgetown University (1995-2000) was on the spinal control of bladder voiding and postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology (2000-2002) was on optogenetic viral vectors for neuronal stimulation. Victor holds several patent applications for noninvasive glucose measurement in the skin, neuromodulation for polycystic ovarian syndrome, and a microfluidic nerve cuff interface.

Tim Marjenin, Vice-President, Neurology Regulatory Affairs, MCRA LLC

Tim Marjenin recently joined MCRA as its new vice president of neurology regulatory affairs. Tim joined MCRA from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he was Assistant Director of the Neurostimulation Devices Neurology Team. Tim's extensive knowledge of medical device regulatory pathways to drive technology from conception to market is attributable to his many positions of leadership over his 16-year career at the FDA. In his most recent position, Tim led the Neurostimulation Devices Neurology Team, where he oversaw all regulatory decisions on PMA, IDE, HDE, De Novo, and 510(k) medical device submissions. He also functioned as a focal point for industry representatives, advisory panel members, scientific experts, and neurological thought leaders in this rapidly evolving device arena.

Victor Krauthamer, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, George Washington University

Victor Krauthamer is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science, where he teaches a course in rehabilitation medicine engineering. H was previously the director of the division of biomedical physics at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. He also serves as acting director of the divsion of neurological and physical medicine devices at the Office of Device Evaluation within the FDA. He serves as an instructor at the NIH's Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, and is a volunteer consultant at Public Citizen. He received his Ph.D. inneuroscience from the University at Buffalo.

Josh Boggs, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, SPR Therapeutics

Dr. Boggs has experience developing an R&D pipeline of patented technologies with competitive advantages to deliver safe and effective neuromodulation therapies to fill unmet clinical needs. Prior to joining SPR, he served as Director of Research for NDI Medical, LLC, where he led the research and development of minimally invasive peripheral nerve stimulation systems to treat neurological disorders. While at NDI, he advanced the development of the intellectual property portfolio and the next generation technology to treat multiple urological indications with NDI’s Medstim system, which was acquired by Medtronic in 2008. Prior to joining NDI, Dr. Boggs conducted research at Duke University and Case Western Reserve University, focused on developing innovative and minimally invasive PNS technology. Dr. Boggs has over 12 years of experience designing, directing, and executing preclinical and clinical trials of medical devices that deliver therapeutic electrical stimulation. He has over 8 years of experience serving as a principal investigator for federally awarded research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. He has several peer-reviewed publications in addition to many patents and patent applications issued and pending. He has received several awards for his work in neurostimulation. He serves on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ Advisory Committee on Prosthetics and Special Disabilities Programs, and other programs that serve veterans with serious incapacities. Dr. Boggs also serves on NIH study sections, VA grant review panels, DoD peer review panels, and the editorial board for a peer-reviewed journal. Dr. Boggs received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia and later obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Rosana Esteller, Senior R&D Manager, Boston Scientific Neuromodulation

Rosana Esteller received her Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2000, co-founded IntelliMedix, Inc. with startup with the goal of developing a closed loop implantable device to treat refractory epilepsy. This startup later merged with NeuroPace, Inc., where she crystalized her goal and the company received FDA approval in 2013. During this time Rosana followed her passion to research neurological conditions, directly oversee clinical studies, and developed the key algorithms for seizure detection and the new generation of detection technologies launched in 2017 by NeuroPace. In 2016 she joined Boston Scientific where she currently is Senior Manager of R&D leading and managing in the NRAC (Neuromodulation Research & Advanced Concepts) a team of scientists with the main goal of research and development of novel and future neuromodulation technologies to treat chronic pain and brain disorders. She has more than 20 years of industry experience mostly in closed-loop medical devices, algorithm development, and clinical studies, and research modeling projects. She has published over 50+ journal and conference articles and has over +40 patents.

Michelle Byers-Robson, Director of Education, American Society of Pain & Neuroscience

Michelle Byers is the director of education at the American Society of Pain & Neuroscience and also the owner of MB Consulting. She was previously the associate director of training at Elan Pharmaceuticals' pain management group and prior to that a district manager for UCB Pharma.

Shadi Dayeh, Ph.D., Professor, UC San Diego

Shadi Dayeh received his B.S. in Physics/Electronics from the Lebanese University in Beirut, Lebanon in 2001 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UC San Diego in2008. He was a Distinguished J. R. Oppenheimer Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he co-led and expanded LANL’s nanowire program before joining the ECE faculty at UC San Diego in November 2012 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted in 2016 to Associate Professor and in 2019 to Professor. His lab specializes in electronic material growth and devices and the utility of material and device advances to probe biological processes from cellular scales to whole intact organs. Shadi’s work in electronic materials earned a number of best paper awards in many conferences beginning at the Electronic Materials Conference in 2006 and most recently the 2018 best paper award at the Compound Semiconductor Week. After joining UCSD, Shadi’s research pivoted to translational neurotechnologies supported by UCSD’s center for brain activity mapping, an NSF early CAREER Award, a scalable nanomanufacturing award from the NSF, and the 2019 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Shadi led the development of the UCSD multi-thousand channel grids that have revealed microscopic functional units of the human brain and spinal cord.

Andrew Cornwell, Ph.D., Associate Director, Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership and Director for Industrial and Strategic Collaborations, Cleveland FES Center

Dr. Andrew Cornwell is the Associate Director of the Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership in the department of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University, and the Director for Industrial and Strategic Collaborations at the Cleveland FES Center. In his role with the Coulter program, he works directly with the program's awardees to ensure the projects are moving efficiently toward patient care, and also interacts on the Program's behalf with strategic partners in industry, finance, and management. Alongside his role with the CCTRP, Andy serves as the Director for Industrial and Strategic Collaborations at the Cleveland FES Center, where he works to find homes for neurotechnology intellectual property coming out of the FES Center, and also maintains strong industrial ties to ensure strategic alignment between clinical needs, market realities, and research priorities. Andy earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University, and performed brain recording research for several years before becoming more involved in ways to accelerate and facilitate the commercialization of academic research.

Hubert Lim, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota

Hubert Lim is an associate professor in the biomedical engineering and otolaryngology departments at the University of Minnesota and was hired as an Institute for Translational Neuroscience Scholar. He completed a B.S.E. in bioengineering at UC-San Diego, followed by a dual masters in biomedical engineering and electrical engineering & computer science and then a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan. In collaboration with Cochlear Limited, Dr. Lim completed postdoctoral research at the Hannover Medical School in Germany, overseeing a clinical trial for a new deep brain stimulation implant to restore hearing. At the University of Minnesota, his lab’s research focuses on neural engineering, neuromodulation technologies, sensory neuroscience, neural plasticity, and neuro-immune physiology with the aim of developing new stimulation treatments for hearing disorders, pain and inflammatory conditions in collaboration with multiple clinicians and companies (Medtronic, Cochlear, Blackrock Microsystems, MED-EL, GE Research, Starkey, Neuromod Devices, SecondWave). Dr. Lim has overseen several clinical trials including evaluating a new deep brain stimulation array for hearing restoration (funded by NIH), a bimodal sound and tongue neuromodulation device for tinnitus treatment (sponsored by Neuromod Devices), and a noninvasive ultrasound stimulation approach of the vagus nerve to spleen pathway to elicit anti-inflammatory control in rheumatoid arthritis patients (funded by DARPA). Dr. Lim is an active member of IEEE EMB, BMES, SFN, ARO, and AAS, and serves as a grant reviewer for NIH, NSF, VA and other funding agencies. Dr. Lim has been awarded the Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award in Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience, the Institute for Engineering in Medicine Faculty Career Development Award, and the Institute for Engineering in Medicine Outstanding Service Award. He has co-organized the annual Minnesota Neuromodulation Symposium since 2013, and has also served on multiple organizing and program committees for key conferences in neural engineering or hearing. Outside his academic activities, he is currently involved with two start-up companies, serving as the Chief Scientific Officer of Neuromod Devices (developing a tinnitus treatment device) and as the Chief Scientific Officer of SecondWave Systems (developing a wearable phased-array ultrasound device for various health conditions.

Renee Ryan, CEO, Cala Health

Renee Ryan has 25 years of building category-creating healthcare companies. She led the medical technology investments for Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJDC) on the West Coast and Asia Pacific for eight years. While at J&J, she made over 15 new investments, including the Series A for Cala Health. Previously, she was a healthcare investment banker at RW Baird, Jefferies and Goldman Sachs.

Robin Davies, Chief Business Officer, MagstimEGI

Robin Davies is the chief business officer for MagstimEGI and has been instrumental in the innovation and evolution of TMS and peripheral magnetic stimulation for many years. Robin was part of the team that introduced TMS to the world, and he continues to work with researchers and universities in neuroscience and non-invasive technologies worldwide. Robin’s work helped gain FDA clearance for Magstim rTMS for the treatment of major depressive disorder, setting Magstim on a major growth pathway. Robin led a winning bid to supply 60 VA Medical Centers with rTMS devices. He works closely alongside Lothar Krinke (group CEO) and will share new insights on the science and future integrations of neuromodulation, EEG, and research.

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.

Vanessa Tolosa, Ph.D., Principal Consultant, Mavato Engineering

Dr. Tolosa runs an engineering consulting firm dedicated to helping research groups and startups develop neurotechnologies for medical applications. Previously, Dr. Tolosa held positions at Neuralink Corp., a startup developing high bandwidth Brain Machine Interfaces for clinical use and beyond. As a founding member and Director of Neural Interfaces, she helped build the company and led the development of implantable microelectrode technologies. Prior to Neuralink, Dr. Tolosa led neurotechnology efforts at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL). The LLNL team received the first Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative grants awarded through DARPA (SUBNETS, RAM, HAPTIX) and the National Institutes of Health. Projects covered technologies to understand neuropsychological illnesses, restore memory, provide haptic feedback through prosthetic limbs, and advance fundamental neuroscience.

Razi Haque, Ph.D., Implantable Microsystems Group Lead, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Razi Haque joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in February 2017 as the Implantables Group Lea . He is responsible for several programs funded by both NIH and DARPA on developing microfabricated flexible arrays for both animal and human applications. The group leverages unique microfabrication techniques and supporting infrastructure to build reliable, long-lasting neural interfaces using polymeric materials. The group produces these arrays including hermetic packaging solutions aiming for long-term implants. Goals for the research group include expanding into new modalities such as optical and chemical sensing and beyond. In the past, he worked on an intraocular implantable microsystem at a startup company in Southern California. Razi received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Electrical Engineering in 2011.

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.

Dave Marver, CEO, GTX Medical

Dave Marver is an accomplished chief executive with a broad range of experience gained leading public, private, and emerging companies in the US and Europe. He has sector expertise in medical technology, wearables, consumer technology, and health monitoring. He is also an experienced Board member with multiple successful exits under his governance. Dave spent almost 15 years with Medtronic in a variety of leadership positions around the world. Representative roles included VP Sales for Medtronic’s Cardiac Surgery business, VP Marketing and interim Business Unit Leader for Medtronic’s CRM business in Europe, and VP Strategy for Medtronic’s Diabetes business. Later, Dave served as CEO for Cardiac Science Corporation, a NASDAQ-listed company with 600 employees that was #2 in the world in AEDs and #1 in the US in stress test treadmills. He then founded and ran a high-profile sports technology start-up, raising $90M and developing two TIME Magazine Inventions of the Year. Dave's corporate Board experience includes Cirtec Medical Systems, (acquired by 3i Group), JointMetrix Medical (acquired by Zimmer), Cardiac Science (acquired by Opto Circuits), PreciSense A/S (acquired by Medtronic), and Precision Wire Components (acquired by Riverside Partners). Dave has been an advisor to the World Bank’s International Finance Group and a member of the Health Industry Distributors Association Board of Directors and Duke University’s Health Sector Advisory Council. He has guest lectured at the graduate business schools for Duke University, University of Washington, and University of California at Los Angeles. Dave earned a BA from Duke University and an MBA from University of California at Los Angeles.

Parag Gad, Ph.D., CEO, SpineX

Parag Gad is an accomplished and technically sophisticated biomedical engineer offering a rich mix of progressive and hands-on experience in designing and improving medical devices focused on diagnosis and treatment of paralysis. He has strong administrative professional skills with an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering specialized in Neuroengineering and rehab from UCLA. Parag is an established researcher in the field of neuroengineering rehabilitation, developing techniques and devices to enable locomotor and autonomic function after paralysis. He has successfully published more than 25 scientific papers using implantable and non-invasive neuromodulation techniques to enable locomotor and bladder function after paralysis.

Ranu Jung, Ph.D., Professor & Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Florida International University

Ranu Jung holds the Wallace H. Coulter Eminent Scholar endowed Chair in Biomedical Engineering at Florida International University where she is professor and head of the department of biomedical engineering since 2011. She served as Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing from 2015 to 2017. Previously she was a member of the faculty at Arizona State University and University of Kentucky. Jung is at the cutting edge between engineering and neuroscience, developing devices that lead to scientific advances with clear pathways to clinical application. Of special interest to her are biohybrid systems that merge biologically inspired technologies with humans for recovery and restoration of lost function. A champion for innovation and entrepreneurship her team developed the first wireless, implantable, neural-interface system for restoring sensations to amputees and received FDA approval to conduct a first-in-human trial. Jung was named a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) in 2020. Her other honors include the FIU 2016 Outstanding Faculty Torch Award, 2012 Top Scholar award, 2011 New Florida Scholar’s Boost Award, 2002 Kentucky Science and Engineering Award, Whitaker Foundation Young Investigator Award, NIH National Research Service Award, AHA NE Ohio Research Fellow and appointment as commissioner, Arizona Biomedical Research Commission. Holder of 8 U.S. patents, 4 pending, founder of one R&D Company, past-President of the “Organization for Computational Neurosciences, Inc”, her publications include an edited book – Biohybrid-systems:Nerves, Interfaces and Machines, and over 130 research articles and book chapters. She serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Springer Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience, Associate Editor of Annals of Biomedical Engineering, and on the Editorial board of Bioelectronics in Medicine. Jung is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, Senior Member of IEEE and Society of Women Engineers, and elected to the International Women’s Forum. She received her Doctoral degree and Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, and her Bachelors with Distinction in Electronics & Communication Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India.

Philip Sabes, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, UCSF

Philip Sabes is a professor emeritus at UC San Francisco, where he served as a professor in the department of physiology and the the Center for Integrative Neuroscience. He was a scientists and founding team member at Neuralink from 2017 until 2020. Dr. Sabes was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Sloan Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at Caltech and also at the Salk Institute. He received his Ph.D. in brain and cognitive sciences at MIT.

Brian Pepin, CEO, Rune Labs

Brian is the Founder and CEO of Rune Labs. He is a health-tech entrepreneur with a focus on neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Pepin spent  about five years at Verily, mostly working with Galvani to launch new bioelectronics therapies. He trained as a circuit designer at University of Washington and UC Berkeley, and morphed over the last decade into mostly working on software and data products.

Stan Rowe, CEO, NXT Biomedical

Stanton J. Rowe, also known as Stan, is CEO of the NXT Biomedical Incubator. He has been the Chief Scientific Officer of Edwards Lifesciences Corp. since 2008 and serves as its Corporate Vice President of Advanced Technology. Mr. Rowe served as a scientific advisor at Ascent Biomedical Ventures. He Founded Percutaneous Valve Technologies (sold to Edwards).  Mr. Rowe served as the president and CEO of Percutaneous Valve Technologies Inc. He served as the corporate Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Planning at Datascope Corp. Prior to this, Mr. Rowe served as a Vice President of Business Development at Johnson & Johnson's Interventional Systems Division, responsible for Johnson & Johnson's coronary stent development efforts. At JJIS and the related Cordis Corporation, he held a variety of positions with increasing levels of responsibility, including heading Johnson & Johnson's Business Development, Advanced Technology, Worldwide Clinical Research and Marketing groups. Mr. Rowe joined Cordis after having held several positions in product management for various medical device companies. He serves as a Director of InSeal Medical Ltd. Mr. Rowe also serves as Director of Remon Medical Ltd. He serves as a board member of NeuralAnalytics and the Discovery Science Center in Orange County. He serves as a Director of Zift Medical, LLC. He served as a Director of Biomerix Corp. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama.

Entrepreneur Presenters

Karen Crow, Co-Founder & CEO, NeuroGeneces

Karen Crow is the CEO and co-founder of NeuroGeneces. She is a former Google executive and management consultant and was the co-founder of WiserGiving.org. Karen and her B.A. in economics at Dartmouth College and an M.S. in business management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Robert Rennaker, Ph.D., Founder, xNerve

Robert Rennaker is a neural engineer who has dedicated his life to developing solutions to empower individuals with neurological injuries to realize their life’s goals. Dr. Rennaker’s team has raised more than $40 million in the past seven years to develop technologies and therapies to treat neurological injuries. The team has participated in five clinical trials over the past seven years. The team has published more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, using custom closed-loop preclinical rehabilitation systems developed by the team. All preclinical and clinical studies are preregistered. The team has designed, developed, and currently manufactures a miniature, wireless class 3 implantable stimulator to enable the delivery of targeted plasticity therapy. The team has also developed an array of technologies that can communicate with the implantable stimulator to deliver motor, sensory, and cognitive rehabilitation. Dr. Rennaker is a U.S. Marine Corp veteran who served in Operations Sharp Edge, Desert Shield/Storm, and Provide Comfort from 1988 to 1993 and he was awarded multiple commendations for his service including the Navy Achievement Medal during Desert Storm. Dr. Rennaker served as the founding director of the Texas Biomedical Device Center from 2012 to 2019, and department chair for the biomedical engineering department at UT Dallas from 2013 to 2019. Dr. Rennaker is currently serving as a professor in neuroscience and bioengineering at UT Dallas. Dr. Rennaker currently has positions with Konan Medical USA, Teliatry Inc., Optokinetix Inc. and several start-ups.

Eric Chanie, Entrepreneur in Residence, Wyss Center/Epios

Eric Chanie joined the Wyss Center in April 2020, bringing more than 25 years of experience in medical devices, neurotechnology, pharma, and digital health in both engineering and business development roles. Chanie holds an electronic engineering degree from the superior national school of electronics, computing science and telecommunications of Bordeaux (ENSEIRB) complemented by an MBA. Eric has been part of different companies from early stage start-ups to big corporations and was also heavily involved in R&D activities through the coordination of several European programs. Eric started his career within a start-up company involved in gas analysis as Research & Development director. The company grew from three people to over 100 with a successful IPO on the Paris stock exchange. In 2007, He then joined a medical device company developing miniaturized sensors for hemodialysis and neurosurgery (biosensing, intracranial pressure measurement, intraoperative neuromonitoring) in which he led the R&D team and was part of the executive team. Eric joined Merck in 2010 as Medical Device Innovation Manager to strengthen product portfolios and contribute to the new generation of electronic devices. He was then appointed Head of Innovation and more recently became more involved in business development and technology scouting in the space of digital health, remote patient monitoring, AI and digital therapeutics.

Ian Halpern, Co-Founder and CEO, Modular Bionics Inc.

Ian is co-founder and CEO of Modular Bionics Inc., a privately held company offering neural interface products to neuroscientists around the world. The company is now transitioning its demonstrated products and technologies to clinical applications. Ian has served as the principal investigator of NIH and DARPA funded projects for the company. His microelectrode inventions were the basis for the granting of the company’s first patent. Prior to Modular Bionics, Ian was the co-founder and CEO of Artivent Corp., where he guided his invention, a life supporting respiratory care device, from concept through FDA 510(k) clearance and a small manufactured run for pilot launch purposes. This device was the first FDA cleared disposable manual ventilator that met the requirements of the 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines to improve neurological outcomes. Halpern is the inventor or lead inventor of 8 U.S. patents, and has held numerous foreign patents. He graduated with a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Brown University and an M.S. in engineering from Stanford University. Ian began his professional career as a mechanical engineering and product development consultant, developing award-winning products for Fortune 500 clients.

Andreas Forsland, Founder& CEO, Cognixion

Andreas is the founder and CEO of Cognixion, a digital health startup based in Santa Barbara, CA and Toronto, Ontario. Cognixion builds accessible and affordable neuroprosthetic software and wearables that use biometric sensors and machine learning in new ways to help people with complex disabilities use their face, eyes, and brain as a direct control interface for mobile and AR accessibility. Cognixion is recognized as a top 21 neurotech startup to watch, and is focused on scaling up the transformation of more than 100 million lives and translating universal design approaches for everyone by focusing on the most challenging human interaction needs.

Lloyd Diamond, CEO, Pixium Vision

Lloyd Diamond is a seasoned medtech executive and CEO with 25 years of disruptive technology commercialization experience in the life science industry. He most recently served as the CEO of Precise Light Surgical, a commercially ready medical device company in Silicon Valley. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Bonesupport AB, a European orthobiologic company, where he drove rapid market penetration in Europe and the US which led to a successful IPO on the NASDAQ OMX in Stockholm. Lloyd has first-hand experience in the ophthalmology segment as he was responsible for managing Lumenis’ global surgical and vision franchises. He has commercialized many other disruptive technology platforms including at Kyphon and Laserscope. Lloyd received a dual degree in biochemistry and marketing from Florida Atlantic University and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.

Nick Halper, Braingrade

Nick’s degree-seeking research focused on the role of signal pathways responsible for microglial activation and subsequent cytotoxicity. Specifically, he sought to manage and control the collateral damage effect of microglia after activation as part of the foreign body response. His foray into electrophysiology began in cognitive science labs where he managed EEG work in an institutional collaboration between Westminster College and the University of Utah, but was continued in his move to Blackrock Microsystems in 2013, where he was product manager for neural interfaces. Nick helped more than 100 labs incorporate Blackrock’s systems into their research.

Victor Pikov, Ph.D., CEO, Medipace, Inc.

Victor Pikov is CEO of a recently established Pasadena-based company, MediPace Inc., which is focused on the development of implantable stimulation-based therapies for the GI tract. Prior to that, for the past three years he worked at Galvani Bioelectronics and GSK Bioelectronics division, where he oversaw the development and validation of implantable pulse generators and stimulation leads (nerve cuffs and percutaneous electrodes) for several clinical applications. Prior to Galvani Bioelectronics, while at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes (2002-2015), Victor evaluated PNS and CNS neural interfaces in various models of chronic diseases, such as infertility, bladder paralysis, bladder spasticity/hyperreflexia, hearing and vision loss, tinnitus, obstructive sleep apnea, and obesity. His Ph.D. work at Georgetown University (1995-2000) was on the spinal control of bladder voiding and postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology (2000-2002) was on optogenetic viral vectors for neuronal stimulation. Victor holds several patent applications for noninvasive glucose measurement in the skin, neuromodulation for polycystic ovarian syndrome, and a microfluidic nerve cuff interface.

Tim Marjenin, Vice-President, Neurology Regulatory Affairs, MCRA LLC

Tim Marjenin recently joined MCRA as its new vice president of neurology regulatory affairs. Tim joined MCRA from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he was Assistant Director of the Neurostimulation Devices Neurology Team. Tim's extensive knowledge of medical device regulatory pathways to drive technology from conception to market is attributable to his many positions of leadership over his 16-year career at the FDA. In his most recent position, Tim led the Neurostimulation Devices Neurology Team, where he oversaw all regulatory decisions on PMA, IDE, HDE, De Novo, and 510(k) medical device submissions. He also functioned as a focal point for industry representatives, advisory panel members, scientific experts, and neurological thought leaders in this rapidly evolving device arena.

Emil Hewage, Co-Founder and CEO, BIOS

Emil Hewage is co-founder and CEO at BIOS, a leading neural engineering startup. Emil undertook Ph.D. research in computational neuroscience and machine learning at the University of Cambridge and has used this knowledge to pioneer the use of artificial intelligence for interpreting neural data. He began working in startups at age 17 and held engineering and leadership roles across a range of industries from clean energy to advanced medical technologies. He was recently named to Forbes 30 Under 30.


©2020 Neurotech Reports. All rights reserved.