2017 Neurotech Leaders Forum

October 23-24, 2017

Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport Waterfront

Keynote Speakers

Thomas Insel, M.D., Co-Founder and President, Mindstrong Health

Thomas R. lnsel, M.D. is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist. From 2002 to 2015, Dr. Insel served as Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, the component of the National Institutes of Health committed to research on mental disorders. Most recently he led the Mental Health Team at Verily (formerly known as Google Life Sciences). Dr. Insel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has received numerous national and international awards including honorary degrees in the U.S. and Europe. He received his M.D. degree from Boston University School of Medicine.

John Parker, Ph.D., CEO, Saluda Medical

John Parker is CEO of Saluda Medical in Australia. Dr. Parker founded the Implant Systems team at NICTA that developed the company's closed loop feedback technology. He has over 20 years of experience in medical devices, including 13 years at Cochlear Limited, where he served in the role of Chief Technology Officer/executive member of the board of directors.

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 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 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.

Jeremy Koff, Senior Contributing Editor, Neurotech Reports

Mr. Koff is senior contributing 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.

Panelists and Presenters

Stephanie Fertig, Director, NINDS Small Business Programs, NIH

Stephanie Fertig is the Director, NINDS Small Business Programs in the Office of Translational Research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Ms. Fertig manages both the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, which are congressionally mandated set-aside programs specifically for small business concerns. In addition, she also manages two translational device programs at NINDS: the Cooperative Research to Enable and Advance Translational Enterprises program for therapeutic devices and the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative Public-Private Partnership Program. Prior to her position in the Office of Translational Research, she was a member of the Repair and Plasticity group in the NINDS Division of Extramural Research. Before coming to NINDS, Ms. Fertig worked as a researcher in the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. Ms. Fertig has a B.S. degree in chemistry with a major in physics from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Renee Ryan, Vice President, Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovations

Renee is Vice President of Investments at the Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, and is based at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in California. She supports the investments for J&J's medical devices and diagnostics businesses and is a passionate supporter of medical innovation. Formerly, Renee was a managing director at Baird in Palo Alto, CA overseeing the medical device investment banking practice. Prior to Baird, Renee oversaw the build out of the West Coast healthcare investment banking practice at Jefferies & Co. In total, Renee has approximately 20 years of healthcare investment banking experience at firms such as Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. She has structured over $15 billion in transactions during this time including M&A, venture financing, and public offerings of debt and equity. Renee earned her B.A. in economics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and an MBA from Columbia University.

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

Faz K. Bashi, M.D. has a research background in immunology and virology from UCSF. He is the Chair of the Medical Device Screening Committee of Life Science Angels, and the Chair of the Angel Capital Association's Life Sciences Syndication group. He is also active in the LSA screening committee for Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals. He is a member of the Berkeley Angel Network, and a founding member of HealthTech Capital where he served two years on the Board of Directors. Dr. Bashi has been active as a mentor with Pacific Community Ventures, which creates jobs and economic opportunity by increasing investment in local businesses. He served on the Board of Directors of Vascular Cures, serves as a volunteer instructor with the Peninsula Bridge educational program for underserved kids in East Palo Alto. He is an adjunct professor in the Integrative Health Studies program at California Institute of Integral Studies, and an active advisor to the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Previously he worked at San Mateo Medical Center to develop and implement special clinical projects to help the under served, including TeleDermatology, Diabetic Retinopathy Screening, and advancements in electronic medical records.

Jeffrey Erb, Senior Director Business Development, Medtronic Neuromodulation

Jeffrey Erb is the Director of Business Development, Alliances and IP Portfolio Management for Medtronic Neuromodulation. Mr. Erb has worked for Medtronic since 2002 in a variety of roles including Corporate Development, Strategic Pricing, Strategic Planning and Marketing. He also serves as the Co-Collaboration Manager and CFO of MG Biotherapeutics, a joint venture in Cardiac Cell Therapy with Genzyme. Prior to working for Medtronic, Mr. Erb held various finance positions for Lockheed Martin. He earned an MBA degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelors degree from the University of Pittsburgh in economics and business.

Scott Drees, CEO, Nuvectra Medical

Scott Drees has been CEO of Nuvectra Corp. since March, 2016 and also served as its president from March 2016 to April 2016. Mr. Drees served as the CEO and founding partner of QiG Group at Greatbatch, Inc. from November, 2015 to March, 2016. He was previouslyexecutive vice president of sales and marketing of Advanced Neuromodulation Systems Inc., which was sold to St. Jude Medical (now Abbott). Mr. Drees has been a director of Neuros Medical, Inc. and served as a director of Innovative Spinal Technologies, Inc. He holds a B.S. degree in marketing from St. Joseph's University.

Mark Lindon, Managing Attorney, Lindon Law Corp.

Mr. Lindon has over 30 years of corporate, finance, and business experience from both law firm and in-house positions. He has handled numerous corporate, finance, mergers & acquisitions, technology, licensing, intellectual property, development, and distribution deals. He regularly advises companies, investors, and entrepreneurs on transactional and operational matters, and frequently handles the purchase and sale of businesses, financings, distribution agreements, and a wide variety of other contracts. Mr. Lindon has been general counsel for Bioness since 2006, a medical device company founded and majority-owned by Alfred Mann, the legendary medical device billionaire entrepreneur. (Mr. Lindon was in-house from 2006-2009 and has been a consultant and outside general counsel since 2009.) Mr. Lindon also represented Mr. Mann in a wide variety of other matters unrelated to Bioness (including mergers & acquisitions, financings, joint ventures and litigation management) from 2009 until Mr. Mann’s death in 2016, and Mr. Lindon continues to represent the Mann Trust. Mr. Lindon was appointed to the Bioness Board of Directors in 2016 to fill Mr. Mann’s seat, and was appointed chairman in 2017. Mr. Lindon received his A.B. degree from Georgetown University (economics, government, and philosophy) and his J.D. degree from the UCLA School of Law, and spent the first eight years of his legal career as a corporate lawyer at a large New York law firm.

Sean Harz, Director of Business Development, Cirtec Medical

Sean Harz has more than 15 years of experience in the medical device outsourcing industry. Prior to joining Cirtec, Sean was the head of sales North America at Gerresheimer Medical Systems, a $2B global pharmaceutical device contract manufacturer. Before Gerresheimer, he worked for private equity firm Highland Capital Management in Dallas, TX, playing various interim management roles within HCM's newly acquired healthcare assets. As a former director of business development for Avail Medical, Sean worked with some of the world’s largest OEMs from device conceptualization to commercialization, including J&J, Baxter, Boston Scientific, and Stryker. He was part of the team that led to the acquisition by Flextronics Medical in one of the most significant transactions in contracting manufacturing. Sean holds a BA and MA degree in business and organizational management from the University of San Diego, and was an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Tom Hughes, Senior Principal Advisor, RCRI

Thomas Hughes is a senior level executive and attorney with nearly 20 years of experience in the medicial technology industry, specializing in the area of medical device reimbursement. Tom has helped advise and provide leadership for startup and national medical device companies by using a keen eye for strategic planning blended with the unique expertise in developing and executing reimbursement strategies and payer relations initiatives with payers, provider groups, government agencies and other key decision makers. He has built reimbursement teams for medical device companies, negotiated national payer contracts, lobbied federal and state decision makers, advised senior management as well as sales and marketing teams on reimbursement, government regulations, and business development approaches for health economics and reimbursement. Prior to his work in the medical technology industry, Thomas practiced healthcare law with a major Minneapolis law firm where he represented physicians, hospitals and other providers. Tom holds a BA in political science from the University of Minnesota and a JD from the William Mitchell College of Law and is a member in good standing with the Minnesota State Bar Association. He continues active engagement as a member of the Executive Council Member of Health Law Commitee and the FDA Regulatory Committee. Tom is also active in both the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and the Neurostimulation Device Alliance.

Randy Armstrong, CTO, Velentium

Randy Armstrong has 30 years experience in medical device engineering and leadership, from R&D through launch. At Everheart Systems, he was the system and software architect for the first fully-implantable LVAD. At NASA he was Advanced Projects Manager for compact life-support systems and QSR process. Randy was also a senior scientist at Cyberonics, and helped create the company's flagship VNS device platform. Randy was a U.S. Delegate to ISO and Expert Member of Implantable Infusion Pump, Neurostimulator, & MRI joint working group committees. He was past co-chairman of AAMI Neurosurgery and TENS committees and a member of the Medical Device Software, Human Factors, and Neurostimulator committees. Randy received his B.S. in biomedical engineering and electrical engineering from Duke University.

Douglas Weber, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Director of Neuro R&D, Battelle

Dr. Douglas Weber is an associate professor in the department of bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He also serves as director of Neuro R&D at Battelle in Columbus, OH. He recently completed a four-year term as a Program Manager in the Biological Technologies Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, VA, where he created and managed a portfolio of programs providing over $300 millionin funding for neuroscience and neurotechnology research. DARPA’s HAPTIX, ElectRx, and TNT programs are creating implantable, injectable, and wearable neurotechnologies that restore natural motor and sensory functions for amputees, enable novel and drug-free therapies for treating inflammatory disease and mental health disorders, and promote plasticity in the brain to enhance learning of complex cognitive skills. These programs combine basic neuroscience research with device engineering to create new knowledge and capabilities for restoring and enhancing physical, mental, and cognitive performance in humans. Dr. Weber is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Physiological Society, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. He holds eight issued patents and is a cofounder of one start-up company.

Ian Cook, M.D., Chief Translational Innovation Officer, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience

Dr. Cook is a professor and chief translational innovation officer at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. He also serves as chief medical officer fdr NeuroSigma Inc. An inventor of trigeminal nerve stimulation, he brings a track record of innovation in the use of technology in the management of brain disorders as well as of translational research in treatment development. Formerly the Miller Professor of Psychiatry and of Bioengineering at UCLA, he received years of NIH and industry research support for work on biomarker and treatment development, and founded the rTMS Treatment Service at UCLA. Dr. Cook has served as Chief of Staff at the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Chair of the Faculty at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, member of the ACO Governing Board for UCLA Health, and a standing member of the NIH's ITVA Integrated Review Group. Dr. Cook earned his BSE in Bioengineering / Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University and his M.D. from Yale University. He completed his residency training and research fellowship at UCLA before joining the faculty in 1995. He holds ABPN board certification in Psychiatry, was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and is a Fellow of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He is an author of over 115 peer-reviewed original research articles and several dozen review articles, monographs, and book chapters.

Melanie McWade, Ph.D., Vice President, Emerging Therapies, Nexeon Medsystems

As Nexeon Medsystems's Vice President of Emerging Therapies, Melanie is dedicated to the development of the Nexeon Medsystem medical device portfolio. She has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. Her focus is on analyzing the scientific merit of new technologies and translating innovative early stage ideas through preclinical testing to pilot clinical studies. Dr. McWade has more than nine years of experience in research and development for medical devices. She has published in top tier peer-reviewed journals and has developed patents related to medical device discoveries.

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.

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.

Nick Terrafranca, CEO, Neuro Recovery Systems Inc.

Nick Terrafranca, DPM, is CEO and cofounder of NeuroRecovery Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of spinal cord neuromodulators. Teaming up in 2010 with Professor Reggie Edgerton and his team of world-class scientists from UCLA, CalTech, and University of Louisville, he cofounded the company, negotiated and secured an exclusive license for the university intellectual property, then successfully launched commercial development of their breakthrough technology. He is now steering the company through Series A funding and positioning them to begin clinical trials on their first product next summer. A serial entrepreneur with 27 years experienced in the various disciplines of the llfe science industry; his focus has been on developing, operating, growing, and providing innovative solutions for the application of medical devices and healthcare-related services. His professional experience has touched upon every facet in the healthcare delivery system from clinical practice, and product development, to healthcare provider programs. Some of his professional accomplishments have included: conceptualized, designed and developed a healthcare delivery program in conjunction with FHP Life Insurance Co.; launched and administered a mobile diagnostic service providing neurological testing services to over 700 patients within the first year (Spectrum Mobile Diagnostics); consulted on information technology resources for hospital systems (Sphere Healthcare Systems); designed and codeveloped several wireless devices for healthcare applications in conjunction with the Wireless Health Institute of UCLA, with one device being licensed out for $1.5 million plus royalties.


Shai Gozani, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO, NeuroMetrix, Inc.

Shai Gozani, founded NeuroMetrix, Inc. in 1996 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently serves as chairman of the board of directors and president and CEO. Shai has led the company from a venture capital backed start-up, through an initial public offering on Nasdaq, through development of a successful diagnostics business, and presently into the wearable technology sector. More than 2.5 million patients have benefited from the company’s technology over the past 17 years. Shai has published more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has been awarded 25 U.S. and international patents. He holds a B.A. degree in computer science, an M.S. degree in electrical engineering & computer science (biomedical engineering focus) and a Ph.D. in neurobiology, from the University of California, Berkeley. Shai also received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology at M.I.T.

Henry W. Mahncke, Ph.D., CEO, Posit Science Corp.

Henry is the CEO of Posit Science. He originally joined Posit Science when it began operations in 2003 to lead the science and clinical trial teams. He became CEO in 2011. Prior to Posit Science, Henry served as an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company in the healthcare and entertainment practices, and then at the British Consulate General, as a science and technology advisor. Henry holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Rice University, and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco.

Kelly Roman, Cofounder, Fisher-Wallace Laboratories

Kelly Roman co-founded Fisher Wallace Labs, the leading FDA-Cleared wearable neurostimulation company, where he oversees product development, regulatory affairs, marketing, and VR strategy. Most recently, Kelly developed the company’s first neurostimulation device for VR headsets, called KORTEX, which ships in Q3 2017. Prior to Fisher Wallace, Kelly served as a business development executive at several media and technology companies, including Nielsen Media and the scientific journal Nature.

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.

Daniel Chew, Ph.D., Director, Neural Interfaces and In Vivo, Galvani Bioelectronics

Dr. Chew leads the neural interfacing development, and in vivo delivery efforts, at Galvani's Stevenage site in the U.K., and directs the laboratory work conducted there. The Galvani Bioelectronics laboratory drives early-stage feasibility studies of autonomic nervous system neuromodulation across a pipeline of disease indications. R&D efforts focus on exploring the fundamentals of nerve physiology, and optimizing ways to interact with disparate anatomy of autonomic nerves. This involves the pursuit of electrophysiological methods, while delivering the development strategy of compliant neural interfaces for patients. The NIIV team also manages a portfolio of external academic and industrial collaborations focused on driving research into novel and future interface architectures, materials, and therapeutic modalities. Dr. Chew was previously director of the neural interfacing group of GSK, where he led a team of biologists and engineers focused on development and delivery of preclinical and clinical neural interfaces. Dr. Chew received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Queen Mary University of London.

Kip Ludwig, Ph.D., Associate Director, Mayo Clinic Neural Engineering Labs

Dr. Kip Ludwig currently serves as associate director of Mayo Neural Engineering laboratories. He leads the Bbioelectronic Medicines laboratory, with the goal of of developing next-generation neuromodulation therapies that interface with the autonomic nervous system to to elicit benficial changes at end organs, Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, Dr. Ludwig was the program director for neural engineering at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. He served as the co-lead for the Translational Devices Program at NINDS and led the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies project team at the National Institutes of Health, which was responsible for developing and executing programs to catalyze implantable academic and clinical devices to stimulate and record the central nervous system. He also led a trans-NIH planning team in developing and initiating the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions program to stimulate advances in neuromodulation therapies for organ systems. Before his tenure at NINDS, Dr. Ludwig worked in industry as a research scientist, where his team conceived, developed and demonstrated the chronic efficacy of a next-generation neural stimulation electrode to treat blood pressure and heart failure in both preclinical studies and clinical trials. Dr. Ludwig earned his Master of Science and doctorate in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan.

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.

Ann Bunnenberg, Ph.D., President, Electrical Geodesics, Inc. (Now Philips Neuro Diagnostics)

Ann Bunnenberg is the President of Electrical Geodesics, Inc., a manufacturer of EEG measurement and analysis systems located in Eugene, OR that was recently acquired by Philips. Dr. Bunnenberg combines her interests in electrophysiological research with her background as a business lawyer with more than 20 years experience in the representation of emerging companies in the fields of medicine, managed care, and software. Her current primary assignments are the development of a sales and distribution network, creation of strategic alliances, and investor recruitment.

Jim Miller, President & CEO, Neuro Assessments Systems

Mr. Miller has extensive experience in the medical device and life science industries. Since 2001, he has held leadership positions in the cochlear implant industry. He was the president of Cochlear Americas, with responsibility for developing and commercializing cochlear implants and related hearing technology. During his tenure at Cochlear Americas sales exceeded $90 million. He then joined Boston Scientific (Advanced Bionics) as president of the auditory division. He was responsible for development and commercialization of cochlear implants and related hearing technology with management responsibility for an organization of 450 people. During his tenure sales grew to $95 million. In 2012, he co-founded Neuro Assessment Systems. NAS is an early stage neurotechnology company that has developed advanced brain recording technology to transform CNS assessment. The company's proprietary NeuroScreen system uses advanced analysis algorithms to assess changes in central nervous system function, providing an objective and brain-based view of multiple brain health issues that were previously undetectable. These changes are associated with concussion, traumatic brain injury, events associated with aging (strokes, Alzheimer’s disease), and the effectiveness of pharmaceutical agents.

Michael Szymanski, Ph.D., Director of Electrophysiology, TRUUST Neuroimaging

Dr. Szymanski is responsible for helping clients to understand the impact TRUUST provides from a technical perspective. Prior to TRUUST, Dr. Szymanski spent the previous 20 years in various roles across private industry, academia, and government. Within industry he played a key role in successfully commercializing novel applications in neuroscience (Neurofocus acquired by Nielsen) and imaging (Biomagene acquired by Roche). Within academia he worked in clinical research and management at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and in health economics, outcomes and informatics research with a firm affiliated with Stanford University School of Medicine. Within government he served as a neurology research fellow for both The Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Navy. He also worked for the National Institutes of Health on numerous grants and was appointed to an NIH bio-informatics committee in imaging. Dr. Szymanski earned his Ph.D. in physiological psychology from UC Davis in 1996 and had a post-doctoral fellowship in neuroradiology at UCSF.

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.

Jeff Kramer, Ph.D., Vice-President of Clinical Research, Kernel

Jeff Kramer was appointed vice president of clinical research for Kernel in 2017. He was formerly vice president and fellow for neuromodulation research and development at Abbott (formerly St Jude Medical). At Abbott, Jeff was 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.

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.


Entrepreneur Presenters

Tina Chang, Director of International Business, GiMer Medical

Tina Chang is Director of International Business at GiMer Medical, a Taiwan-based neurostimulation startup. Prior to joining GiMer Medical, most recently Tina served as OEM manager for a medical device manufacturer. In earlier years, she engaged in clinical work at a New York City hospital. After obtaining an MBA, she gained international business exposure from large corporations like Colgate-Palmolive (NYC/Taipei), as well as from various consulting boutiques in Shanghai. Her aspiration lies in helping Taiwanese startups to grow and glow internationally.

M. Bret Schneider, M.D., CMO, Zap Surgical Systems

Bret Schneider specializes in brain neuromodulation technologies for interventional psychiatry, neurology, and regenerative medicine including rTMS and stereotactic radiosurgery. He has designed, prototyped, and tested over 100 medical technologies, from computerized surgical navigation systems to implantable devices and biologics. He has founded several startups, including venture-capital-backed Cervel Neurotech, as the principal inventor of multi-coil rTMS. He earned a BA cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.D. degree from Rush University in Chicago, and graduated a clinical residency in Psychiatry at UCLA. He subsequently completed a post-doctoral fellowship in neurosurgical stereotactic radiosurgery and a post-doctoral fellowship in Advanced Psychiatry, both at Stanford University. Bret is presently Chief Medical Officer for Zap Surgical Systems, where he is developing stereotactic radiosurgery as a tool for precise, noninvasive modulation of dysfunctional brain circuits. He is also Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Ben Speck, Vice President of Product Development, Stimwave Technologies

Ben Speck is the vice president of product development for Stimwave Technologies, a medical device innovator for wirelessly powered, minimally invasive neurostimulators. He holds an M.S. in biomedical engineering from Arizona State University. He directs the product development team starting from front-end idealization of concepts through commercialization and market adoption. Ben has worked in the clinical and regulatory arena for several years before coming on with Stimwave, and he has cleared or approved 15 different products through Europe, Canada, USFDA, and Australia. Previous research experience includes biofuels using cyanobacteria (algae), flux-gate magnetometers for eye tracking and rehabilitation, and nitrous oxide flow dynamics for design with dental equipment.

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

Dan Rizzuto, Ph.D., leads strategic neurotechnology initiatives and large-scale R&D collaborations. Dr. Rizzuto is currently developing brain stimulation therapies for patients with memory impairment as part of the DARPA Restoring Active Memory project at the University of Pennsylvania and as CEO of Nia Therapeutics. He previously managed brain imaging projects at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, led the clinical research program at Swedish Neuroscience Institute, and developed an implantable brain stimulator for patients with major depression with Northstar Neuroscience. Dan completed his doctorate in systems neuroscience and human memory at Brandeis University; completed his postdoctoral training in brain-machine interfaces at Caltech; and was the recipient of the 2015 Neurotechnology Researcher of the Year award from Neurotech Reports.

Daniel Mc Donnall, Ph.D., CEO, Ripple LLC

Dr. Daniel McDonnall has more than 10 years of industrial experience as a principal investigator developing implantable neuroprosthetics technology for treating neuromuscular disorders. He received his Ph.D. in bioengineering (neuroprosthesis track) in the lab of Dr. Richard Normann at the University of Utah. Dr. McDonnall’s dissertation was focused on novel microelectrode stimulation strategies for peripheral nerve for improved neuromuscular control in functional stimulation therapies. At Ripple, he has directed a dozen animal and clinical studies investigating implantable neuroprostheses. He is the principal investigator on NIH SBIR and DoD grants to develop an implantable system to restore blink function for patients with unilateral facial paralysis. As the PI on a DARPA Biological Technology Office contract, he has led Ripple as a system integrator on the HAPTIX project to develop and test implantable medical devices to improve control of prosthetic arms and to restore touch and proprioception via selective stimulation of residual peripheral nerves. As president of Ripple, he has led Ripple’s mission to create neural interface and medical devices to advance research and improve the lives of underserved patient populations.

Mark Peshoff, CEO, The FEMR Group

Mark is one of the founders of The FEMR Group. The FEMR Group is a healthcare innovation company that specializes in the development and implementation of programs that improve the delivery of healthcare to an aging population. FEMR undertakes a thorough evaluation of a healthcare organization's current healthcare service programs throughout the care continuum to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses. This includes clinical, foundational, social, environmental, and residential components that contribute to the overall delivery of healthcare. The platform approach familiarizes your organization with its population/community to educate clinicians, non-clinicians, and beneficiaries to be able to manage through technology-supported Pprimary care driving a continuum of support through care plans and re-evaluate outcomes to manage risk. As a former senior executive within the office of the CEO and COO, Mark Peshoff led the company wide restructuring efforts to fundamentally make shifts in the Cisco business and strategic plan to align resources to top priorities, simplify the operating model, enhance the supply chain, restructure engineering, and align the go to market strategy with the company’s five-year plan. Mark is a business leader who drives innovation and strategic vision, and who fosters long-term sustainability, while leveraging deep technology expertise, cross-industry experience, and keen business acumen. He is a decisive and agile leader who inspires, galvanizes, and wins trust from internal and external stakeholders to drive revenue, market share, competitive advantage, and operational excellence across diverse geographic and cultural boundaries.


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