Event Program and Speaker Faculty

Event Program

Speaker Faculty

Introducing your 40-strong expert speaker faculty:

  • Julie Allickson
    Director, Translational Research
    Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
    Wake Forest School of Medicine

    Biography »

    Julie Allickson focuses on the translation of regenerative medicine products including cell therapy, tissue engineering, biomaterials and devices. This process begins at Proof-of-Concept where early discussion with regulators and clinicians are critical in moving the technology from the bench to the bedside. The Translational Team includes Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Regulatory Affairs, Process Development and the GMP-complaint Manufacturing Facility. Prior to joining the institute, she was an Executive Officer of the company and Vice President of Laboratory Operations and R & D at Cryo-Cell International, Inc., an AABB accredited Cord Blood Bank. As Vice President of the Laboratory Dr. Allickson was responsible for all technical aspects of Laboratory Operations along with Research and Development activities associated with adult stem cells, including the development work related to isolation of a unique stem cell harvested from menstrual blood. Prior to this position, Dr. Allickson worked for the University Of Miami School Of Medicine, Diabetes Research Institute as the Laboratory Director of the cGMP Hematopoietic Cell Processing Facility. She was responsible for the design and implementation of the State Licensed Clinical Flow Cytometry Laboratory. Dr. Allickson was the lead in Regulatory Affairs for the processing laboratory of Islet and Hematopoietic Cell products which included oversight of all Investigational New Drugs (IND) and external regulations. Prior to working for the University of Miami she worked for the American Red Cross managing the Hematopoietic Cell Processing and Platelet Serology Laboratory. During her tenure at the American Red Cross she served as a member of the National Stem Cell Task Force and participated in the preparation of national protocols developed for Hematopoietic Cell Processing Laboratories. Dr. Allickson was part of the team to perform the very first Bone Marrow Transplant at the University of Miami in 1990. Dr. Allickson has 25 years of experience in Cellular Therapy, Cellular Processing and Regenerative Medicine. She has a Doctorate in Health Sciences along with a Master’s Degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences. She is one of the founding members of the International Society of Cellular Therapy in 1992 and has been a member of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) for 25 years. She has presented at national and international meeting related to adult stem cells and translation. She is currently Chair of the AABB Standards Committee for Cell Therapy Product Services. Dr. Allickson is also on the Technical Advisory Board for Tissue Engineered Products under ICCBBA and the ISCT Commercialization Committee.

  • Julie Andersen
    Professor
    Buck Institute for Research on Aging

    Biography »

    As a renowned expert on Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Andersen is pursuing a wide array of leads toward treatments for this complex neurodegenerative disorder. She has identified several early risk signals for Parkinson’s, an age-related illness that causes a progressive decline in movement and muscle control. The symptoms can include shaking hands and difficulty with walking. Amongst the early risk signals identified by Dr. Andersen are elevated levels of iron and declining amounts of a protective antioxidant called glutathione. Recently, the Andersen lab has also discovered valuable clues by examining the roles of enzymes and other proteins involved in nerve cell degeneration. Normally, proteins carry out the routine work inside cells. But some enzymes can promote the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Blocking those enzymes might slow down the disease. Other therapies might result from the opposite tactic: reinforcing the work of different enzymes that guard against Parkinson’s disease. These enzymes seem to prevent damage to genes that protect the nervous system. The Andersen lab is also involved in identifying potential biomarkers for Parkinson’s that may allow early interventional therapy. Dr. Andersen was born in Great Falls, Montana. She earned a doctorate in Neuromolecular Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital before going to the University of Southern California as an assistant then an associate professor at the Andrus Gerontology Center. She joined the Buck Institute in 2000.

  • Richard Barker
    Director
    CASMI

    Biography »

    Richard is a strategic advisor, speaker and author on healthcare and life sciences. He is Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation, a major European initiative aimed at transforming the R&D and regulatory processes in life sciences to bring advances more rapidly and affordably to patients. He is also chairman of the South London Academic Health Science Network, accelerating innovation in this region of the NHS, and Chairman of Stem Cells for Safer Medicines, a public-private partnership developing stem cell technology for predicting the safety profile of new medicines. He is a board member of Celgene, a major US-based bio-therapeutics company and of iCo Therapeutics, a Canadian bioscience company. His 25-year business career in healthcare has spanned biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical informatics – both in the USA and Europe. Most recently he was Director General of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, member of the Executive Committee of EFPIA (the European industry association) and Council member of IFPMA (the international equivalent). As a co-founder of Life Sciences UK, member of the NHS Stakeholder Forum, vice-chair of the UK Clinical Trials Collaboration and in many other roles, he has advised successive UK governments on healthcare issues, especially those relating to developing, valuing and using new healthcare technologies. His past leadership roles include head of McKinsey’s European healthcare practice, General Manager of Healthcare Solutions for IBM and Chief Executive of Chiron Diagnostics. He was also Chairman and Chief Executive of Molecular Staging, a US bioscience company, now part of Qiagen. He therefore has experience in leading and advising a wide range of high-technology companies. His book on the future of healthcare '2030 - The Future of Medicine: Avoiding a Medical Meltdown' is published by Oxford University Press. He speaks frequently on the future of life sciences and the restructuring of healthcare systems that new technology can enable. He lives in London, but maintains an active business network in North America and worldwide.

  • David Brindley
    Research Fellow
    CASMI Translational Stem Cell Consortium

    Biography »

    David is an international thought-leader in the translation of life-science innovations into commercially viable products and services. His expertise spans the ‘Valley of Death,’ encompassing regulation, engineering and finance. This distinctive skill set positions David at the forefront of healthcare translation. Currently David’s professional activities include: research into the optimization of risk: benefit appraisal techniques for healthcare innovations, leading the CASMI Translational Stem Cell Consortium and providing timely and pragmatic advice to a range of stakeholders in healthcare translation, notably the venture capital community. Examples of David’s work can be found in a range of high impact journals including Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Medicine and Cell Stem Cell. Additionally, David serves as an Editorial Board member for a range of international academic and industrial journals. Keen to leverage novel media channels to access all stakeholders, David also produces a popular blog, Cell Therapy Industry 2027, with the Centre for the Commercialisation of Regenerative Medicine. His work is made possible by the invaluable support of the SENS Research Foundation, Technology Strategy Board, the Wellcome Trust and a range of industrial and academic collaborators. Outside academia, David is an active Fellow of the Royal Institution of Great Britain and the Royal Society for the Advancement of Arts and Manufacturing. David has successfully passed the Charted Analyst in Alternative Investments (CAIA) Level 1 examination.

  • Ashley Ian Bush
    Professor of Neuroscience
    Florey Institute, University of Melbourne

    Biography »

    Ashley I. Bush (MB BS, DPM, FRANZCP, PhD, FTSE) heads the Oxidation Biology Unit at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health, is Professor of Neuroscience and Pathology at The University of Melbourne, NHMRC Australia Fellow, co-director of biomarker development for the Australian Imaging Biomarker Lifestyle Study (AIBL), Chief Scientific Officer of the Cooperative Research Center for Mental Health, and has staff appointments in Psychiatry and Radiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has received numerous awards including the Potamkin Prize and the Beeson Award. Professor Bush has authored over 300 publications, with >21,000 citations (the most highly-cited Australian neuroscientist of the last 10 years), 23 patents and founded 4 biotechnology companies. His lab discovered the interaction of beta-amyloid with transitional metals as a major factor in Alzheimer’s disease pathology, as well as the roles of APP and tau in neuronal iron homeostasis.

  • Judith Campisi
    Professor
    Buck Institute for Research on Aging

    Biography »

    Judith Campisi received a PhD in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and postdoctoral training in cell cycle regulation and cancer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. As an Assistant Professor at the Boston University Medical School, she began to focus her laboratory on role of cellular senescence in suppressing the development of cancer, but soon became convinced that senescent cells also contributed to aging. She left Boston University as an Associate Professor to accept a Senior Scientist position at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1991. In 2002, she established a laboratory at the Buck Institute for Age Research, where she is a Professor. At both institutions, Campisi established a broad program to understand various aspects of aging, with an emphasis on the interface between cancer and aging. Her laboratory made several pioneering discoveries in these areas. Her research continues to challenge and alter existing paradigms. In recognition of the quality of her research and leadership, Campisi received numerous awards, including two MERIT awards from the US National Institute on Aging, awards from the AlliedSignal Corporation, Gerontological Society of America and American Federation for Aging Research, and the Longevity prize from the IPSEN Foundation. She serves on numerous national and international editorial and advisory boards.

  • Christy Carter
    Assistant Professor, Department of Aging and Geriatric Research and the UF Institute on Aging
    University of Florida

    Biography »

    Dr. Carter received her PhD in Experimental and Biological Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her post-doctoral training at The Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Globally, Dr. Carter’s current research interests lie in preserving physical function and healthspan during aging; and in particular focuses on the use of a preclinical rodent model of aging to test a variety of late-life interventions designed to mitigate sarcopenia. Furthermore, she has demonstrated that the application of standardized physical performance measures to a variety of animal models of aging may help to define similarities between species in the underlying mechanisms of sarcopenia, the age-related decline in performance, disability, and longevity. Indeed the assessment of behavioral outcomes is essential for measuring the efficacy of any late-life intervention in the context of mitigating declining performance and improving healthspan. She has extended this area of research to other special aging populations such as the frail and obese, and has developed combinatorial therapies, using these compounds in conjunction with behavioral modification such as exercise.

  • George Church
    Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics
    Harvard Medical School and MIT Health Sciences & Technology

    Biography »

    George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of PersonalGenomes.org, which provides the world's only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing & barcoding. These led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994. His innovations have contributed to nearly all "next generation" genome sequencing methods and companies (CGI, Life, Illumina, nanopore). This plus chip-based DNA synthesis and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics (Knome, Alacris, AbVitro, Pathogenica) & synthetic biology / therapeutics (Joule, Gen9, Editas, Egenesis, enEvolv, WarpDrive). He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, environmental & biosecurity policies. He is director of NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS & NAE & Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 330 papers, 60 patents & one book (Regenesis).

  • Bob Clay
    Chief Regulatory Officer
    Kinapse
    Managing Director
    Highbury Regulatory Science

    Biography »

    Bob Clay recently established his own regulatory consultancy practice through Highbury Regulatory Science, prior to this he was a VP Global Regulatory Affairs at AstraZeneca with responsibility for oncology, infection and personalised healthcare. Bob is Chief Regulatory Officer at Kinapse and a member of the board of TOPRA. He is a member of the Expert Scientific Advisory Committee for Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and several working groups at CPTR (Critical Path for TB Regimens). He has an interest in the impact of regulation on the development of innovative medicines and healthcare policy matters. Bob is a regulatory strategist with more than 30 years’ experience in drug development, leading the global regulatory approval of products across a range of therapy areas including metabolic diseases, neuroscience, cancer and infection. Bob graduated in Pharmacy from the University of Bath and subsequently completed an MSc in BioPharmacy, from the University of London, and an MBA, from the Open University. Following completion of his professional training in hospital pharmacy he joined the pharmaceutical industry as a formulation scientist at the UK laboratories of Rhone-Poulenc. Later, he joined the UK Licensing Authority as a pharmaceutical assessor and has held regulatory affairs leadership roles with several pharmaceutical companies including Wellcome, Zambon, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

  • Peter Diamandis
    Founder and Chairman
    X Prize FoundationCo-founder and Vice Chairman
    Human Longevity Inc.

    Biography »

    Ladies and Gentleman, it is with great pleasure that I get to introduce to you a man who was just named one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” – by Fortune Magazine – Dr. Peter Diamandis. Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions and commercial space. In the field of Innovation, Diamandis is Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, best known for its $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight. Today the X PRIZE leads the world in designing and operating large-scale global competitions to solve market failures. Diamandis is also the Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy human lifespan. He is also the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Singularity University, a graduate-level Silicon Valley institution that studies exponentially growing technologies, their ability to transform industries and solve humanity’s grand challenges. In the field of commercial space, Diamandis is Co-Founder/Co-Chairman of Planetary Resources, a company designing spacecraft to enable the detection and mining of asteroids for precious materials. Diamandis is the New York Times Bestselling author of Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think. Abundance was #1 on Amazon and #2 on New York Times. He earned an undergraduate degree in Molecular Genetics and a graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Diamandis’ mission is to open the space frontier for humanity. His personal motto is: "The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself."

  • Rachelle Doody
    Professor of Neurology
    Director, Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center

    Baylor College of Medicine

    Biography »

    Dr. Doody is the Effie Marie Cain Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Professor of Neurology at Baylor College of Medicine, where she directs the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center (ADMDC). She received a B.A. from Rice University, a M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine, and completed internship and residency training at the Royal Victoria Hospital and Montreal Neurologic Institute in Montreal, and at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Doody has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Anthropology from Rice University where she studied the brain and language. She has published over 170 original research articles, most of which deal with the diagnosis, progression, or treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. She has received multiple research grants, including a Zenith Award from the National Alzheimer’s Association, and designed and conducted numerous clinical trials of Alzheimer's Disease therapies. She participates in National and International collaborative efforts, review boards, and advisory boards including Steering Committees for the NIH AD Cooperative Study and AD Neuroimaging Initiatives, and the Steering Committee for the Texas AD Research and Care Consortium. Current research interests include studies to understand and model the progression of Alzheimer's Disease, studies of clinical heterogeneity, and research and development of new medications to treat Alzheimer's Disease. She works with many biopharmaceutical and large pharma collaborators in the assessment and experimental testing of a diverse group of potential AD therapies. Dr. Doody has served on the Texas Council on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders, and the Board of Directors for the Houston and Southeast Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She is committed to advancing the clinical practice related to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of memory disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, and her clinical work has been acknowledged with a listing in Best Doctors in America for over 17 years. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Rice University in 2009 and the Distinguished Faculty award from Baylor College of Medicine in 2011.

  • Laura Esserman
    Director, Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center
    University of California, San Francisco

    Biography »

    Dr. Esserman is a surgeon and breast cancer oncology specialist, and is the Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 1996, she started the Center of Excellence for Breast Cancer Care at UCSF to integrate clinical care and research, automate tools for the capture of patient and clinical data, and develop systems to tailor care to biology, patient preference, and performance. Dr. Esserman is nationally and internationally known as a leader in the field of breast cancer and has published over 200 articles. She served as a member of a taskforce for President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Working Group on Advancing Innovation in Drug Development and Evaluation. The group was tasked with making recommendations to the federal government about how to best support science-based innovation in the process of drug development and regulatory evaluation. She is the Principle Investigator of the I-SPY TRIAL program, a multi-site neoadjuvant clinical trial (which includes a phase 2 and 3 trial) that has evolved into a model for translational research and innovation in clinical trial design. Dr. Esserman has recently launched a University of California-wide breast cancer initiative called the Athena Breast Health Network, a program designed to follow 150,000 women from screening through treatment and outcomes, incorporating the latest in molecular testing and web-based tools into the course of care. Athena is in the final stages of launching a statewide demonstration project and phase 1/2 trial of personalized screening.

  • Caleb Finch
    ARCO/Kieschnick Professor of Gerontology and Biological Science and University Professor
    USC Davis School of Gerontology

    Biography »

    Caleb Finch Ph.D. is ARCO Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California, with adjunct appointments in the Dept of Anthropology, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Psychology, Physiology, and Neurology. Major research interest is the neurobiology of aging and human evolution. Finch received his undergraduate degree from Yale in 1961 (Biophysics) and Ph.D. from Rockefeller University in 1969 (Biology). His life work is the fundamental biology of human aging, started in grad school and continued since 1972 at USC. Discoveries include a new form of neurotoxicity of amyloid peptides relevant to Alzheimer disease and the role of shared inflammatory pathways in normal and pathological aging process. Fifteen of his mentored students hold senior positions in universities or pharmaceutical corporations. Finch has received most of the major awards in biomedical gerontology, including the Robert W. Kleemeier Award (1985), the Sandoz Premier Prize (1995), and the Irving Wright Award (1999). He was founding Director of the NIA-funded USC Alzheimer Disease Research Center (1984), and continues as coDirector and coPI. He also co-founded Acumen Pharmaceuticals, which develops therapeutics for Alzheimer disease. He has written four books, most recently, The Biology of Human Longevity: Inflammation and Nutrition in the Evolution of Lifespans (Academic Press, 2007). Recent interests include the paleopathology of human aging and emerging environmental factors in aging, particularly air pollution components from fossil fuels.

  • Gabor Forgacs
    Professor, Biophysics Laboratory
    Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Missouri-Columbia
    Founder
    Organovo

    Biography »

    Dr. Gabor Forgacs is a theoretical physicist turned bioengineer turned innovator and entrepreneur. He is the George H. Vineyard Professor of Biological Physics at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the Executive and Scientific Director of the Shipley Center for Innovation at Clarkson University and scientific founder of Organovo, Inc. and Modern Meadow, Inc. He was trained as a theoretical physicist at the Roland Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary and the Landau Institute of Theoretical Physics, Moscow, USSR. He also has a degree in biology. His research interests span from topics in theoretical physics to physical mechanisms in early embryonic development. He is the co-author of the celebrated text in the field, “Biological Physics of the Developing Embryo” (Cambridge University Press, 2005) that discusses the fundamental morphogenetic mechanisms evident in early development. These mechanisms are being applied to building living structures of prescribed shape and functionality using bioprinting, a novel tissue engineering technology he pioneered. He is the author of over 160 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 5 books. He has been recognized by numerous awards and citations. In particular, he was named as one of the “100 most innovative people in business in 2010” by FastCompany.

  • Howard Foyt
    Vice President, Clinical Development, and Chief Medical Officer
    Viacyte, Inc.

    Biography »

    Howard Foyt, M.D., Ph.D. FACP, Vice President, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer at ViaCyte, Inc., has over 18 years of clinical development experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology environments. Dr. Foyt’s background as an endocrinologist and his multiple NDA and IND applications position him as ViaCyte’s strategic leader for clinical and regulatory operations. Prior to ViaCyte, Dr. Foyt served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Cebix, Inc., a company focused on treatments for complications of type 1 diabetes. Before Cebix, he was Vice President, Clinical Development at Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Foyt’s pharmaceutical experience includes senior positions at Pfizer Global Research & Development and Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research. As a clinician, Dr. Foyt was Assistant Professor and Medical Director of the University Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine where he also earned a Ph.D. in Cell Biology. Dr. Foyt completed his residency in internal medicine at Baylor and an endocrinology fellowship at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

  • Guillermo García-Cardeña
    Associate Professor of Pathology
    Harvard Medical School
    Director of the Laboratory for Systems Biology
    Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital

    Biography »

    Guillermo García-Cardeña is an Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, and the Director of the Laboratory for Systems Biology at the Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. He received his Ph.D. degree from Yale University, working with William C. Sessa on the molecular regulation of nitric oxide production in vascular endothelium. His postdoctoral research with Michael A. Gimbrone Jr. at Harvard Medical School was on studies of endothelial cell gene expression, hemodynamics, and atherogenesis.

  • Dana Goldman
    Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair and Director of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics
    University of Southern California

    Biography »

    Dana Goldman is a Professor and the Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair in Health Policy at the University of Southern California. He is also the inaugural director of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, one of the nation's premier health policy research institutions. Dr. Goldman is the author of over 150 articles and book chapters, including publications in the most prestigious medical, economic, health policy, and statistics journals. He is a health policy advisor to the Congressional Budget Office, Covered California (California’s insurance exchange), and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Institute. He serves on several editorial boards including Health Affairs and the American Journal of Managed Care, and is the founding editor of the Forum for Health Economics and Policy. Dr. Goldman’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Business Week, U.S. News and World Report, The Economist, NBC Nightly News, CNN, National Public Radio, and other media. In 2009, he was elected to the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine in recognition of his professional achievement. He was the first recipient of the MetLife Foundation’s Silver Scholar Award, honoring his research on aging; the Eugene Garfield Economic Impact Prize, recognizing outstanding research demonstrating how medical research impacts the economy; the National Institute for Health Care Management Research Foundation award for excellence in health policy; and the Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award recognizing contributions of a young scholar to health services research. He is also a founder and managing director of Precision Health Economics, a consulting firm to the health care industry. Dr. Goldman received his B.A. summa cum laude from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.

  • Claudia Gravekamp
    Associate Professor
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine

    Biography »

    Claudia Gravekamp, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and a member of the Albert Einstein Cancer Center. She received her PhD in 1988 in the field of Tumor Immunology at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. From 1987 to 1993, she served as head of the Laboratory for Leptospirosis at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In 1993, she started as a Research Fellow in Medicine at the Channing Laboratory of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and soon thereafter became an Instructor in Medicine until 1998. There, she developed vaccines against Group B Streptococcus and gained expertise in the design and development of gene-driven vaccines. From 1998 to 2006, she was an Associate Member in the Institute for Drug Development of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center and an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, in San Antonio, TX, where she began to develop a program aimed at genetic vaccines for breast cancer. From 2006-2008, she was a Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco, CA, continuing to develop novel immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer using attenuated Listeria monocytogenes as a platform to deliver anti-cancer agents selectively to the tumor microenvironment at young and old age. She has been funded by grants from the NIH (RO1, R21, RO3), other grant agencies and private industry since 1999), published 55 scientific articles, is a member of the Editorial Board of Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, and is ad-hoc reviewer for various scientific journals (Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy, Clinical Cancer Research, British Journal of Cancer, Ageing and Immunity, Transplantation Infectious Disease, Biogerontology, Experimental Gerontology). She has served as reviewer on several NIH study sections and Department of Defense (DOD).

  • Jean Hébert
    Professor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience and Department of Genetics
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine

    Biography »

    Jean Hébert completed his PhD at the University of California, San Francisco, under the mentorship of Gail Martin where he studied cell-signaling factors that regulate some of the early steps in mammalian development. For these studies, he used embryonic stem cells and mouse genetics. As a postdoctoral fellow in Susan McConnell’s lab at Stanford University, he then focused his attention on how the neocortex, the part of our brains that we use for our highest cognitive and perceptual functions, develops. Continuing along these interests, he currently heads his own research lab at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where his group has primarily undertaken two lines of investigation. The first is understanding how a simple sheet of neuroepithelial cells early in embryogenesis develops into the adult neocortex, seat of our consciousness. Conditional genetic approaches in the mouse, whereby candidate genes that regulate neocortex formation are deleted or overexpressed specifically in neural precursor cells, comprise the central method driving these studies. The second line of investigation aims to establish ways of regenerating the principle neurons of the adult cerebral cortex when these neurons are lost due to trauma or degeneration, including degeneration due to aging. Since endogenous precursors do not replace cortical neurons when they are lost, two strategies are being developed: manipulating these precursors with molecular genetic techniques to start generating neurons and transplanting engineered precursors that are programmed to disperse in the cortex and differentiate into cortical projection neurons.

  • Catalina Hoffmann
    Founder
    Catalina Hoffmann Holding Group

    Biography »

    Catalina is graduated in PDD of IESE Business School of Navarra University. She has studied Occupational Therapy and is specialist in cognitive stimulation. She is positioned internationally as a professional reference in the elderly sector for her trajectory as entrepreneur, business woman and Hoffmann Method’s creator. The Hoffmann Method, the core of the holding and registered as a scientific work in the intellectual property, offers an innovative system of care and personalized attention which takes into account the physical, cognitive, psychological and social areas. It has achieved improvements in the health and quality of life of many people. It counts with a network of partners in the social, health, scientific and technological sphere. She is a regular contributor to various media in Spain. Member on Board of Spain Startup’s Governing Council. She has been named President of SECOT (Business Advisory Senior Volunteer) in June 2013 for the next four years. SECOT is a nonprofit association. Their volunteers are seniors, qualified retired professionals, pre-retired or in active. With their altruistic spirit, they wish to offer their experience and knowledge in business management to the person who needs it. She is also an associated and a mentor of the European Professional Women’s Network EPWN in areas of entrepreneurship, leadership, motivation and business innovation. From this network, she is godmother of Mapel Project of Ayuda en Acción (NOG), aimed to craftswoman entrepreneurs in Ecuador. She also received national and international recognitions: The Harvard Business School (they published the Vitalia Group’s experience as case method), Expansion Award for the Entrepreneurship and different awards as a business woman and executive. She has recently been added to The Top 100 Women Leaders in Spain 2012 (Business category). Plataforma Editorial published her first book “Emprender soñando”. The Prince of Girona Foundation granted her the Award of Business Woman 2013, one of the more prestigious recognition in the entrepreneur world in Spain. The Association of Young Entrepreneur of Madrid (AJE) awarded her the Prize of Young Entrepreneur of Madrid 2014. She received this recognition of the business sphere from Ignacio Gonzalez, President of Community of Madrid. In 2013, she created the Catalina Hoffmann Holding Group, a group of companies specialized in different areas of science, health, health care, new technologies, consulting, innovation and development of new products and services. The Hoffmann Method is the core of its process, methodologies, investigations, products and services. The group is formed by Vitalia (day care centers), Hoffman Elderly (certification, training and implementation of Hoffmann Method), Hoffmann HealthCare Innovation (innovation engine of the group: technology, new therapies and treatments, investigations and alliances) and Catalina Hoffmann Foundation (projects aimed to the elder without resources).

  • Chris Hornsby
    Director of Model Development
    LifeRisks, RMS

    Biography »

    Chris' academic background is in applied mathematics and epidemiology, his doctoral research at University College London was focused on probabilistic models of the multistage development of cancer. Chris joined the LifeRisks group at RMS in 2008 working initially as lead developer of the RMS Longevity Risk Model and subsequently more broadly on insurance capital reserving and risk transfer applications in respect of both life catastrophe and longevity. Chris has played a key role, through the provision of expert risk analysis, in the early development of capital markets based solutions for hedging longevity risk.

  • Young Jang
    Assistant Professor
    Georgia Institute of Technology

    Biography »

    Young Jang received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences (Cell Biology) from University of Texas in 2008, and completed his postdoctoral training from Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies and the laboratory of Amy Wagers at Harvard University and Harvard Stem Cell Institute. In 2014, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the School of Applied Physiology and a faculty member in the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Institute of Technology. The primary research focus of Jang laboratory is to understand the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of age-related muscle loss and function. The Jang laboratory applies bioengineering approaches and stem cell-based therapies to study skeletal muscle dysfunction during aging and in age-associated muscle diseases. The lab develops and applies novel tools using a combination of animal and stem cell models.

  • Anant Jani
    Director of Business Development
    Better Value Healthcare

    Biography »

    I am interested in understanding how we can increase value in healthcare (Technical, Allocative and Personal value) through greater patient involvement, healthcare systems, policy change and new technologies (clincial, basic science, diagnostics, IT). My experience in health care started with my work with Sir Muir Gray in the England Department of Health QIPP Right Care program, where I helped localities across England design and implement high value Population-based Health and Care Systems. I currently direct business development for Better Value Healthcare, which focuses on building population-based healthcare systems internationally and creates training materials to help healthcare professionals navigate the complexities of 21st century healthcare. Before working in healthcare I was a card-carrying molecular immunologist. I completed my undergraduate studies in the life sciences at Brandeis University, after which I researched the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying gene regulation in B cells at the National Institutes of Health. Following this, I joined the Immunobiology Department at Yale University for my doctoral studies where I studied the gene regulation and epigenetic mechanisms necessary for T cell development and function.

  • Jay Jerome
    Associate Professor and Director, Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Pathology
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center

    Biography »

    Dr. Jerome is Associate Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University. He is also Co-Director of the Cell Imaging Shared Resource at Vanderbilt. Jay is a Past-president of the Microscopy Society of America, the Co-Editor of a textbook on confocal microscopy, and an Editor for the journal Microscopy and Microanalysis. Jay’s research focuses on intracellular lipid metabolism and how disruption of normal lipid metabolism contributes to disease. His most recent studies investigate how lipids, particularly cholesterol, affects lysosome function and how alterations in lysosome function feedback to influence lipid metabolism. Lysosomes are key homeostatic organelles and lysosome dysfunction is associated with a number of diseases that become more prevalent with age. Dr. Jerome has shown that cholesterol overload inhibits lysosome function and disrupts cell homeostasis, particularly in inflammatory cells which can easily become overloaded with cholesterol. His group has also shown that lysosomal cholesterol-engorgement shifts other aspects of cellular lipid balance in ways that can push cells further into the disease state.

  • Jeffrey Karp
    Associate Professor
    Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

    Biography »

    Jeff Karp is an Associate Professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and is Principal Faculty at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and affiliate faculty at MIT through the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. His research uses materials and biology to solve medical problems with emphasis on nanoscale/microscale materials and bio-inspiration. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and has given over 130 national and international invited lectures and has 50 issued or pending patents. Several technologies that he has invented are currently being translated into medical products to improve the quality of life of suffering patients. In 2011 the Boston Business Journal recognized Dr. Karp as a Champion in Healthcare Innovation and in 2013 the Institute for Chemical Engineers (IChemE) awarded one of his technologies at the Most Innovative Product of the Year. MIT’s Technology Review Magazine (TR35) also recognized Dr. Karp as being one of the top innovators in the world under the age of 35. He has received the Society for Biomaterials Young Investigator Award and his work has been selected as one of Popular Mechanic's "Top 20 New Biotech Breakthroughs that Will Change Medicine". Dr. Karp was also elected in 2013 to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering's College of Fellows and as a Kavli Fellow. Dr. Karp is also an acclaimed mentor. He was selected as the Outstanding Faculty Undergraduate Mentor among all Faculty at MIT and received the HST McMahon Mentoring award for being the top mentor among all faculty who mentor Harvard-MIT students. To date, 13 postdoctoral fellows from his laboratory have secured faculty positions at institutions throughout the world.

  • Daniel Kraft
    Professor
    Singularity University

    Biography »

    Daniel Kraft is a Stanford and Harvard trained physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur and innovator. Dr. Kraft has over 20 years of experience in clinical practice, biomedical research and healthcare innovation. Daniel chairs the Medicine track for Singularity University and is Founding Executive Director for FutureMed (now called Exponential Medicine), a program which explores convergent, exponentially developing technologies and their potential in biomedicine and healthcare. Following undergraduate degrees at Brown University and medical school at Stanford, Dr. Kraft was board certified in the Harvard combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. He went on to complete Stanford fellowships in hematology/oncology & bone marrow transplantation, and to conduct extensive research in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. He has multiple scientific publications (including in the journals Nature and Science) and medical device, immunology and stem cell related patents through faculty positions with Stanford University School of Medicine and as clinical faculty for the pediatric bone marrow transplantation service at University of California San Francisco. Dr. Kraft recently founded Bioniq Health, focused on enabling connected, data driven, and integrated personalized medicine. He is also the inventor of the MarrowMiner, an FDA approved device for the minimally invasive harvest of bone marrow, and founded RegenMed Systems, a company developing technologies to enable adult stem cell based regenerative therapies.

  • Neil Littman
    Business Development Officer
    California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

    Biography »

    Neil Littman is the Business Development Officer at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Mr. Littman is responsible for facilitating opportunities for outside investment in stem cell research in California by biopharma companies, investors, and disease foundations. Prior to joining CIRM in 2012, Mr. Littman was a Senior Associate in the Merchant Banking Group at Burrill & Company, a diversified global financial services firm focused on the life sciences industry based in San Francisco. While at Burrill & Company, Mr. Littman's responsibilities included both strategic advisory and capital raises for biopharma companies throughout the U.S. and internationally. Mr. Littman's strategic advisory experience includes buy-side and sell-side M&A, as well as in-licensing and out-licensing of both development stage and commercial products. Prior to joining Burrill & Company in 2009, Mr. Littman worked in the Healthcare Investment Banking group at Thomas Weisel Partners where he focused on strategic advisory and public and private financings. Prior to Thomas Weisel Partners, Mr. Littman worked in the Healthcare Investment Banking group at Deutsche Bank Securities. Mr. Littman received a Master of Science in Biotechnology with a concentration in Biotechnology Enterprise from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Molecular, Cellular and Development Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder.

  • Jeanne Loring
    Professor
    Scripps Research Institute

    Biography »

    Jeanne Loring, Ph.D., is a Professor and the founding Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. Her research team focuses on large-scale analysis of genomics and epigenetics of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and their derivatives, in order to ensure the quality and safety of these cells for clinical use. The team's translational projects include development of cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer disease, and epigenetic modeling of autism. The team is also producing an ethnically diverse library of iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cell) lines for use in pharmaceutical screening. In addition, her lab is developing a "zoo" of induced pluripotent stem cells from endangered species to aid in their conservation. Dr. Loring is committed to educating both scientists and the public. She has trained more than 400 scientists over the last 10 years in intensive laboratory courses in human ES and iPSC biology, and is author of a comprehensive laboratory manual on human pluripotent stem cells ("Human Stem Cell Manual: a Laboratory Guide, in second edition, 2012). She is frequently quoted in major newspapers, and gives numerous public lectures and interviews to inform the public about biological and societal issues associated with stem cell research, including the ethics of stem cell generation and clinical use, the legal implications of stem cell patents, and public education about the dangers of unregulated stem cell treatments (“stem cell tourism”). Dr. Loring serves on both bioethics and scientific advisory boards.

  • Linda Marbán
    CEO
    Capricor Therapeutics

    Biography »

    Linda Marbán is currently CEO, President and Director of Caprico Therapeutics. She combines her background in research with her business experience to lead Capricor and create a path to commercialization for its novel stem-cell cardiac therapies. Dr. Marbán was the lead negotiator in procuring the license agreements that are the foundation of Capricor’s intellectual property portfolio. Under her direction as Chief Executive Officer, Capricor secured approximately $27.0 million in nondilutive grants and a loan award which funds Capricor’s R&D programs and clinical trials involving its CAP-1002 product. Dr. Marbán’s deep knowledge of the cardiac space in particular, allows her to provide unique direction for the company’s development and growth. From 2003 to 2009, Dr. Marbán was with Excigen, Inc., a biotechnology start-up company, where she was responsible for business development, operations, pre-clinical research, and supervising the development of gene therapy products in a joint development agreement with Genzyme Corp. While at Excigen, she also negotiated a joint development and sublicense agreement with Medtronic Corp. utilizing Excigen’s technology and supervised the building of a lab in which the work was to be performed. Dr. Marbán began her career in academic science at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation working on the biophysical properties of cardiac muscle. She moved to a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University and advanced to the rank of Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, continuing her work on the mechanism of contractile dysfunction in heart failure. Dr. Marbán earned a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in cardiac physiology.

  • Andrew Martello
    Managing Director
    Spoonful of Sugar Adherence

    Biography »

    Andrew Martello is co-founder & CEO of Spoonful of Sugar (SoS). He leads an expert team developing academically-led adherence consultancy and evidence-based adherence solutions to global healthcare providers and the pharmaceutical industry. SoS is a University College London spinout company that applies the learnings of a 15-year research programme in behavioural medicine, specifically, how patients engage with long-term illnesses and treatment. Over the past five years, Andrew has been directly involved in the planning and implementation of multi-country adherence and patient support programmes utilising the latest research into illness and medicines-related behaviour. As part of this work, Andrew has led the development of proprietary software designed to diagnose and treat both perceptual and practical barriers to optimal adherence at an individual patient level. Passionate about the role of digital technology in changing health behaviours, Andrew’s main interest is the role of personalised medicine, from both a clinical and psychological perspective and its real world application. Prior to founding SoS, Andrew spent over ten years working for and consulting with the pharmaceutical industry, predominantly in HIV medicine. Much of his work in this field focused on the development of strategies supporting a greater understanding of the patient’s perspective throughout the drug development and product lifestyle pathway. This included the development of novel formulations and devices, packaging and support services to optimise the use of medicines. This work not only focused on the developed world but also included innovative strategies to widen access to medicines throughout the developing world. Andrew’s previous assignments have been with GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Laboratories, Novartis and Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals.

  • Stephen Minger
    Chief Scientist, Cellular Sciences
    GE Healthcare Life Sciences, UK

    Biography »

    Dr Stephen Minger was appointed the Global Director for Research and Development for Cell Technologies at GE Healthcare in September 2009. Stephen received his PhD in Pathology (Neurosciences) in 1992 from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. After post-doctoral work in central nervous system gene therapy, neural transplantation and neural stem cell biology at UCSD with Professor Fred “Rusty” Gage, he moved to the UK in 1996 and was appointed a Lecturer in Biomolecular Sciences at King's College London in 1998. He was appointed a Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Biology in 2005 and was the Director of the Stem Cell Biology Laboratory from 2002 until joining GE Healthcare in 2009. Over the past 20 years, Stephen’s research group has been at the forefront of human stem cell research. In 2002, his research team was awarded one of the first two licenses granted by the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for the derivation of human embryonic stem (hES) cells and his group was the first to deposit a human ES cell line into the UK Stem Cell Bank. Stephen was also one of the first two groups in the UK to be granted a research license by the HFEA in 2008 to pursue Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) to generate “hybrid human embryos” for fundamental research into genetic forms of neurodegenerative conditions. He was activity involved with the UK Department of Health and with the Minister for Public Health in the consultation with both Houses of Parliament that led to the passage of the Human Embryo Bill of 2009 and the inclusion of new forms of animal-human embryos within primary legislation. In the summer of 2013, Stephen was appointed Chief Scientist for Cellular Sciences, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, and is now responsible for long-term global research strategy for technology development in cell therapy, regenerative medicine, cellular technologies, in vivo diagnostic imaging and molecular pathology/personalised medicine.

  • Dan Nainan
    Comedian

    Biography »

    Dan Nainan got his start by taking a comedy class to get over the nervousness of speaking on stage. In his job as a demo engineer with Intel Corporation, Dan toured the world with CEO Andy Grove, demonstrating the latest technology for audiences numbering into the thousands. After leaving Intel to pursue comedy full time, Dan has toured as a feature act with Robert Schimmel and Russell Peters. Dan has appeared on network television including “Last Comic Standing” as well as in feature films, on radio and in an Apple “Get a Mac” commercial, and he performed for Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Florida. He has performed at TED India, at a Toastmasters International convention, and he recently performed on the Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon live from Las Vegas.

  • Peter Nakada
    Managing Director of Risk Markets
    Risk Management Solutions, Inc.

    Biography »

    Peter Nakada leads the RMS Capital Markets and LifeRisks groups. After joining the company in 2005, he formed the RMS Capital Markets group to provide an infrastructure for capital markets participants to understand catastrophe risk. He focuses on taking the company’s catastrophe risk expertise into adjacent markets and leads the RMS LifeRisks team to provide excess mortality and longevity risk analytics to life insurers and capital markets investors. Nakada began his career in financial services as a general account fixed income portfolio manager for Prudential Insurance Company. Prior to joining RMS, Nakada was a partner at Oliver, Wyman & Company, where he specialized in advising banks and insurers on aspects of risk, capital, and shareholder value. In 2000, Nakada co-founded ERisk, a spinoff from Oliver, Wyman & Company, which provides software-as-a-service for enterprise risk management and economic capital quantification. Nakada has co-authored many articles on topics related to risk, capital, and shareholder value, as well as the securitization of catastrophic risk. His articles include “Risk, Capital & Value Measurement in Financial Institutions – Part I: The Debtholder’s Perspective (1998),"P&C RAROC: A Catalyst for Improved Capital Management in the Property and Casualty Insurance Industry” (1999), “Understanding Longevity Risk: Insights from Structural Cause-of-Improvement Models” (2012) and “Quantifying the Mortality-Longevity Offset” (2013). Nakada holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering sciences from Harvard College and a master’s degree in engineering management from Stanford University. He earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation in 1990.

  • Cecilia Noël
    Musician

    Biography »

    Originally from Lima, Perú, Cecilia’s career began at the age of eight with a starring role in a Peruvian television show. As a teenager, Cecilia’s mother sent her to Argentina and Germany to take voice, violin, and piano lessons. Encouraged by the legendary Stan Getz to move to the US, Cecilia relocated to New York City and briefly performed as a dancer with Jo Jo’s Dance Factory and Menudo. Cecilia moved to Los Angeles in 1989 and in the early 1990s formed Cecilia Noël and The Wild Clams. The group received quick attention for their explosive live shows and were consequently booked at the House of Blues and the Playboy Jazz Festival. Critics have long called her the “Latin Tina Turner.” “Salsoul”, the genre Cecilia created to describe her sound, combines elements of salsa, soul, jazz, funk, and Afro-cuban. Cecilia also performs and records with husband and former Men At Work frontman Colin Hay.

  • Jim O'Neill
    Chief Operating Officer
    Mithril

    Biography »

    Jim O’Neill is partner and chief operating officer at Mithril, a growth fund for transformative and durable technology companies in fields such as cybersecurity; next generation finance; medical robotics; rail integration; enterprise cloud services; 3D seismic technology; and data integration, visualization, and analysis. Mithril invests with conviction and helps teams successfully navigate high-growth periods. Before helping to launch Mithril, Jim was a managing director of Clarium, a global macro investment fund. He also ran the Thiel Foundation and co-founded the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship and Breakout Labs. Previously, as the principal associate deputy secretary of health and human services, Jim helped manage an agency whose 67,000 employees regulate more than 25% of the U.S. economy. His main areas of policy and program responsibility included the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, security, intelligence, preparedness, and health diplomacy. He also made investments in drug, vaccine, and diagnostic research on the steering committee of the $200 million Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Jim lives in Mill Valley with his wife, Lien, and their three children.

  • Brock Reeve
    Executive Director
    Harvard Stem Cell Institute

    Biography »

    Brock Reeve is Executive Director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. In partnership with the Faculty Directors, he has overall responsibility for the operations and strategy of the Institute whose mission is to use stem cells, both as tools and as therapies, to understand and treat the root causes of leading degenerative diseases. HSCI is comprised of the schools of Harvard University and all its affiliated hospitals and research institutions. Under the leadership of the Executive Committee, HSCI invests in scientific research and its faculty has grown to include over 300 Principal and Affiliated members. The Institute is engaged with several leading pharmaceutical companies and foundations in joint research projects and its faculty have founded several stem cell-related start-up companies and serve on leading Scientific Advisory Boards. Brock came to this role from the commercial sector with extensive experience in both management consulting and operations for technology-based companies, with a focus on life sciences. Brock received a BA and MPhil from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • Camillo Ricordi
    Stacy Joy Goodman Professor of Surgery; Distinguished Professor of Medicine
    Director, Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplant Program

    University of Miami

    Biography »

    Camillo Ricordi is Professor and Director of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI; www.diabetesresearch.org) and the Cell Transplant Program at the University of Miami. Ricordi and collaborators developed the method for large scale production of human pancreatic islets, and he led the team that performed the first series of successful clinical islet allotransplants to reverse diabetes. The procedure is now used by laboratories performing clinical islet transplants worldwide. Ricordi was president of the Cell Transplant Society, on the NIH-NIAID Expert Panel on clinical approaches for tolerance induction, on the FDA Biologic Response Modifiers Advisory Committee and on the NIH-NIDDK Strategic Planning Committee. Dr. Ricordi is currently serving as Chairperson of the NIH funded Clinical Islet Transplantation (CIT) Consortium, which standardized cell manufacturing protocols in North America and Europe and just completed the first multicenter FDA Phase III trial for what could become the first biologically active cell product approved in the US by the FDA. Ricordi has received numerous honors and awards and was also Knighted by the President of the Republic of Italy. He is currently serving on the editorial boards of CellR4 (Editor-in-Chief; www.cellr4.org) and Cell Transplantation (Co-Editor-in-Chief). In 2013 he was appointed President of the Ri.MED Foundation by the Italian Prime Minister (www.fondazionerimed.eu), one of the largest European investments in Biomedical Research, Biotechnologies and Regenerative Medicine. Ricordi also serves as President of The Cure Alliance (www.thecurealliance.org) and Chairman of the Diabetes Research Institute Federation (www.diabetesresearch.org). He has authored over 700 scientific publications and 19 awarded patents.

  • David Schaffer
    Professor
    University of California Berkeley
    Director
    Berkeley Stem Cell Center

    Biography »

    David Schaffer is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Bioengineering, and Neuroscience at University of California, Berkeley, where he also serves as the Director of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center. He graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering in 1993. Afterward, he attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned his Ph.D. also in Chemical Engineering in 1998. Finally, he did a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Fred Gage at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA before moving to UC Berkeley in 1999. At Berkeley, Dr. Schaffer applies engineering principles to enhance stem cell and gene therapy approaches for neuroregeneration, work that includes novel approaches for molecular engineering and evolution of new viral vectors as well as new technologies to investigate and control stem cell fate decisions. David Schaffer has received an NSF CAREER Award, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, Whitaker Foundation Young Investigator Award, and was named a Technology Review Top 100 Innovator. He was also awarded the Biomedical Engineering Society Rita Shaffer Young Investigator Award in 2000, the American Chemical Society BIOT Division Young Investigator Award in 2006, and was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering in 2010.

  • Dale Schenk
    CEO
    Prothena Corporation

    Biography »

    Dr. Dale Schenk, Chief Executive Officer of Prothena, plc, was previously Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President at Elan Pharmaceuticals where he provided the leadership and scientific direction for Elan's research and development programs. Prior to joining Elan, Dr. Schenk was a founding scientist of Athena Neurosciences, which was acquired by Elan Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Schenk has pioneered the immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of amyloidosis, as exemplified for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and light chain (AL) Amyloidosis. Dr. Schenk's work in this area, as well as in early detection, testing and other pathways to these diseases, has led specifically to the most advanced potential treatment approach for Alzheimer's disease. Clinical trials are also currently under way for AL amyloidosis and Parkinon's disease that utilize immunotherapy. Dr. Schenk earned his BA and PhD in Pharmacology and Physiology from the University of California, San Diego.

  • Michael Sherratt
    Lecturer, Center for Regenerative Medicine
    University of Manchester

    Biography »

    Following a PhD and postdoctoral positions with Prof. Cay Kielty at the University of Manchester, Michael was awarded an AgeUK Fellowship and Senior Fellowship. He is currently a Lecturer in Molecular Biochemistry at the University of Manchester and director of the BioAFM (atomic force microscopy) Facility at the same institution. For the past four years he has served as treasurer of the British Society for Research on Ageing and his main research interests are in the effects of ageing on tissue extracellular matrix structure and mechanical function. Using biochemical, ultra-structural, bioinformatic and micro-mechanical approaches, Michael’s work suggests that: i) elastic fibre associated proteins (which are highly enriched in Cys, Trp and Tyr amino acid residues) may be differentially susceptible to UV-radiation and oxidation in ageing tissues and ii) the effects of ageing on tissue mechanical properties are localised in large arteries such as the aorta. In collaboration with colleagues in the Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility he is now developing new imaging methodologies to characterise the effects of intra-luminal pressure on the 3D structure of young and aged arteries.

  • Bernard Siegel
    Executive Director
    Genetics Policy Institute

    Biography »

    Bernard Siegel, J.D., is the founder and Executive Director of Genetics Policy Institute (GPI), a nonprofit organization with offices in Palm Beach, Florida; Silicon Valley, California and Washington, D.C. He founded and co-chairs the annual World Stem Cell Summit, founded and serves editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed World Stem Cell Report and is the editor of the 360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine weekly newsletter. He founded and is the spokesperson for the Stem Cell Action Coalition, a 100+ member international alliance of nonprofits and research institutions leading the global "Pro-Cures Movement." In 2002, he filed the first court case relating to reproductive cloning and is widely credited for debunking the claim of the group claiming that they cloned the first baby. He also played a pivotal leadership role in galvanizing a global movement that successfully lobbied the United Nations to reject a treaty that called for a prohibition of nuclear transfer, or therapeutic cloning. As a recognized policy expert on stem cell research, regenerative medicine and cloning, he works with leading scientists and patient advocates, raising public awareness and educating lawmakers, the media and public on stem cells and regenerative medicine. He is a frequent panelist and keynote speaker on the subject of stem cells, public policy and patient advocacy.

  • Eric Siemers
    Medical Director, Alzheimer's Disease Team
    Eli Lilly

    Biography »

    Eric Siemers, M.D. is the Senior Medical Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Global Development Team at Eli Lilly and Company. He earned his MD with highest distinction from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1982. After an internship in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, he completed his residency in the Department of Neurology in 1986. Prior to joining Lilly, he founded and headed the Indiana University Movement Disorder Clinic; his previous research included investigations of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease, and he established one of the first centers for surgical PD treatments in the US. Dr. Siemers currently directs late stage clinical research efforts at Lilly concerning investigational treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, and is more broadly involved with other neurological indications such as Parkinson’s disease. Major research interests include the use of biomarkers in investigational drug research and the development of trial designs that broadly characterize the effects of investigational drugs on chronic diseases. Dr. Siemers is a founding member of the Alzheimer’s Association Research Roundtable and is currently serving as Chair. He is a member of the Steering Committee for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), which is funded by the National Institute on Aging and a consortium of pharmaceutical companies. He served as the chair of the Industry Scientific Advisory Board for ADNI in 2007 and previously served as a member of the Resource Allocation Request Committee. Dr. Siemers is a current member of the New York Academy of Sciences Alzheimer’s Disease Leadership Counsel. He participated as a member of the NIA working group that proposed criteria for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease in 2011. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Experimental Neurotherapeutics.

  • Einar M. Sigurdsson
    Associate Professor
    Department of Neuroscience & Physiology, New York University

    Biography »

    Einar M. Sigurdsson, Ph.D. is a tenured Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology, and Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. A native of Iceland, he received a master’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Iceland, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Loyola University Chicago Medical Center. He subsequently obtained postdoctoral training at New York University School of Medicine. His current research focuses on pathogenesis, therapy and diagnosis for age-related protein conformational disorders, in particular Alzheimer’s disease. His honors include a Zenith Fellows Award and the Margaret M. Cahn Research Award from the Alzheimer´s Association, and the Irma T. Hirschl Career Scientist Award. He is presently serving as a standing member on an NIH study section. Dr. Sigurdsson and his collaborators pioneered the use of modified Aβ derivatives as potential immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, they showed for the first time that active and passive immunization as well as chelators delayed the onset of prion disease in mice, with follow up immunization studies leading to prevention of clinical symptoms in mice. On the diagnostic front, Dr. Sigurdsson and colleagues published the initial report on detection of amyloid plaques in living mouse brains by magnetic resonance imaging. Lately, he has pioneered the approach to harness the immune system to target pathological tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies.

  • Evan Snyder
    Director, Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
    Director, Stem Cell Research Center and Core Facility

    Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

    Biography »

    Evan Snyder earned his M.D. and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980. He completed residencies in pediatrics and neurology at Children's Hospital-Boston, Harvard Medical School and postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School. In 1992, Dr. Snyder was appointed an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School and was promoted to assistant professor in 1996. He is regarded as one of the fathers of the stem cell field, having identified over 2 decades ago that cells that came to be called stem cells were a source of neural plasticity. He was the first to demonstrate that non-hematopoietic stem cells could mediate cell and gene replacement, home to injury, and perform protective, trophic, pro-regenerative, and anti-inflammatory actions. He was also the first to isolate human neural stem cells. In 2003, after 23 years at Harvard, Dr. Snyder was recruited to Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute as professor and director of the Stem Cells and Regeneration Center and Core Facility.

  • Hal Sparks
    Actor, Comedian & Musician

    Biography »

    Currently starring in the Disney XD show, LAB RATS, actor/comedian Hal Sparks began his professional career as a teenager in Chicago. As a member of the famed Second City Troupe, his quick wit and affable personality quickly gained him recognition and acclaim and he was named the "Funniest Teenager In Chicago" by the Chicago Sun Times. Sparks went on to host the Emmy Award-winning "Talk Soup" on E! Entertainment Television, winning rave reviews from fans and critics alike. He starred for five seasons on Showtime's hit series "Queer As Folk" and appeared in the films "Extract", "Spiderman 2" and "Dude, Where's My Car?" Sparks recently starred in his own one hour Showtime comedy special, "Charmageddon", which is now a best-selling DVD. He is a star commentator on VH1's popular "I Love the 80's" series and can be hear every Wednesday on the nationally syndicated "Stephanie Miller Radio Show". Hal is also a pop culture expert and regularly appears on such shows as "Joy Behar" and CNN's "Your Money". His numerous other television appearances include "The Tonight Show", "Larry King Live", "Charlie Rose", "Good Morning America", "The View", "Jimmy Kimmel" and MTV. In addition to a busy acting and stand-up career, he is an accomplished musician. Hal and his band, Zero 1, recently released their debut album.

  • Michael West
    CEO
    Biotime, Inc.

    Biography »

    Michael D. West, Ph.D. became Biotime's Chief Executive Officer during October 2007, and has served on the Board of Directors since 2002. Prior to becoming Chief Executive Officer, Dr. West served as Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chief Scientific Officer of Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., a company engaged in developing human stem cell technology for use in regenerative medicine. Dr. West also founded Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, California, and from 1990 to 1998 he was a Director and Vice-President, where he initiated and managed programs in telomerase diagnostics, oligonucleotide-based telomerase inhibition as anti-tumor therapy, and the cloning and use of telomerase in telomerase-mediated therapy wherein telomerase is utilized to immortalize human cells. From 1995 to 1998 he organized and managed the research between Geron and its academic collaborators James Thomson and John Gearhart that led to the first isolation of human embryonic stem and human embryonic germ cells. Dr. West received a B.S. Degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1976, an M.S. Degree in Biology from Andrews University in 1982, and a Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in 1989 concentrating on the biology of cellular aging.

  • Claude Wischik
    Professor of Old Age Psychiatry
    University of Aberdeen, Scotland
    Executive Chairman
    TauRX Therapeutics, Ltd.

    Biography »

    Claude Wischik is Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Aberdeen and Executive Chairman of TauRx Therapeutics. He studied medicine in Australia, then PhD and post-doctoral research at the MRC Laboratory of Cambridge, UK. He also completed psychiatric training in Cambridge. During his PhD he discovered that the neurofibrillary tangle is composed of the microtubule associated protein Tau. He also discovered that they could be dissolved by diaminophenothiazines. He established a team which developed in vitro and in vivo systems to establish plausibility of developing Tau Aggregation Inhibitor (TAI) therapy for AD. He cofounded TauRx Therapeutics to develop diagnostics and therapeutics for AD based on the TAI approach. In the first ever TAI phase 2 trial, TauRx demonstrated the feasibility of arresting disease progression over 12 months. TauRx is currently conducting a global phase 3 trial of its lead compound in approximately 1,500 subjects in 22 countries.

  • James Yoo
    Professor
    Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

    Biography »

    Dr. Yoo is a surgeon and researcher. He is currently a Professor, Associate Director and Chief Scientific Officer at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Yoo's research efforts have been directed toward the clinical translation of tissue engineering technologies and cell-based therapies. Dr. Yoo's background in cell biology and medicine has facilitated the transfer of several cell-based technologies from the bench-top to the bedside. A few notable examples of successful clinical translation include the bladder, urethra, vagina and muscle cell therapy for incontinence. Other technologies that are being developed for translation include therapies for renal, liver and cardiovascular pathologies, skin bioprinting and skin expander for the treatment of burn patients. Dr. Yoo has served in many institutional, national and international committees and advisory boards. He has successfully organized and directed many scientific meetings and symposia, and managed numerous multi-institutional and international collaborative research projects and programs. He has actively contributed to the scientific community through publication, meeting presentations and lectures internationally.