Stanford | Cambridge
Stanford | Cambridge
BrainMind is cultivating conscientious leadership and investment in the science of brain and mind. This non-profit organization is convening an invite-only summit at Stanford University, one of the world’s pre-eminent neuroscience research institutions. Participants will include accomplished entrepreneurs, select investors from venture capital and foundations, respected thought leaders, and esteemed researchers from mind-focused fields. Attendees will be engaged in dialog on the state of the field and brought together to thoughtfully apply the most important findings in mind and brain science.
How do you better align the needs of society with the cost of research and development? Discoveries at the convergence of neuroscience and human consciousness have the power transform life as we know it. Yet, innovation in these fields is limited by a "valley of death" of investment separating basic science research from mass-scale innovations. What’s more, as research reveals the science of motivation, behavior, awareness, and even consciousness itself, important questions of access, authority, and responsibility will govern how these discoveries impact humanity.
The Vision of the BrainMind Summit Series is to create a platform to take scientific discoveries in the neuroscience field and bring them to the world in the form of tangible inventions designed to benefit humanity. The Summit at Stanford and other meetings will foster the vital impact investing and values-aligned stewardship needed to catalyze transformative and ethical proof-of-concept development in this field.
The Mission of BrainMind is to build an ecosystem of neuroscience institutions, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors with the shared purpose of accelerating values-driven brain endeavors – intellectual, entrepreneurial, and ethical.
Over $33 billion dollars are donated annually to healthcare causes, much of which goes to basic research at universities. Government grants amount to over $72 billion annually for basic scientific and medical research. At the other end of the spectrum, venture capital invests $10 billion in healthcare companies. While basic research and commercial companies with high expected returns are funded readily, a "valley of death" of investment separates promising research from mass-scale innovations, particularly for ideas that promise significant health impact but modest financial gain. BrainMind seeks to harness collective and distributed capital sources across philanthropy and venture capital to deliver stewardship of fundamental neuroscience to impact-focused stakeholders. Better targeting this capital source will generate explosive scientific discovery. There is latent value in applying private capital market principals to research and product development, such as selecting and incentivizing managers.
Today, a global network of neuroscientists, programmers, technologists, and futurists are doing tremendous work to uncover the underlying mechanisms of the human mind to understand the process by which consciousness arises. The neurological underpinnings of the mind are being explored in the nation’s most prestigious institutions, with the creation of multiple centers of excellence for these academic pursuits at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and more.
Just as the scientific community has made significant strides in neurobiological research with the advent of fMRI, the medical community is converging on transformative discoveries of the phsyical and psychological impact of the human mind. The human mind is also being studied in the context of real-life interventions, including medical, personal, and social approaches. These practices are being studied for applications in stress and anxiety management, cognitive behavioral therapy, stroke recovery, chronic pain management, cancer treatment, child self-regulation, and more.
By exploring the intersection of brain and mind, we gain insight not only into the mechanisms by which the mind affects the brain and the body, but into consciousness itself. By convening the world’s top thinkers, researchers, and innovators on the convergence of neuroscience and the study of human consciousness, we open the door to collaborations and discoveries that will shape the world as we know it. The BrainMind team is uniquely equipped to execute on this strategy, with experience in medicine, venture capital, private equity, and donor development.
Laura Roberts, M.D., M.A. serves as Chairman and the Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is an internationally recognized scholar in bioethics, psychiatry, medicine, and medical education. Over two decades, Dr. Roberts has received scientific, peer-reviewed funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, and private foundations to perform empirical studies of modern ethical issues in research, clinical care, and health policy, with a particular focus on vulnerable and special populations. Her work has led to advances in understanding of ethical aspects of physical and mental illness research, societal implications for genetic innovation, the role of stigma in health disparities, the impact of medical student and physician health issues, and optimal approaches to fostering professionalism in medicine.
Dr. Roberts has written hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and other scholarly works, and she has written or edited several books in the areas of professionalism and ethics in medicine, professional development for physicians, and clinical psychiatry. Dr. Roberts was recently appointed as the Editor-in-Chief, Books for the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Roberts has been the Editor-in-Chief for the journal Academic Psychiatry since 2002 and serves as an editorial board member and peer reviewer for many scientific and education journals.
David Eagleman, Ph.D. is an American writer and neuroscientist, serving as an adjunct associate professor at Stanford University in the department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. He also independently serves as the director of the Center for Science and Law. He is known for his work on brain plasticity, time perception, synesthesia, and neuro law. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a council member in the World Economic Forum, and a New York Times bestselling author published in 28 languages. He is the writer and presenter of the international six-hour television series, The Brain with David Eagleman.
Reid Hoffman focuses on building products that can reach hundreds of millions of participants and businesses that have network effects. An accomplished entrepreneur and executive, Reid has played an integral role in building many of today’s leading consumer technology businesses, including LinkedIn and PayPal. He possesses a unique understanding of consumer behavior and the dynamics of viral businesses, as well as deep experience in driving companies from the earliest stages through periods of explosive, “blitzscale” growth.
Reid co-founded LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking service, in 2003. LinkedIn is thriving with more than 400 million members around the world and a diversified revenue model that includes subscriptions, advertising, and software licensing. He led LinkedIn through its first four years and to profitability as Chief Executive Officer. Reid currently serves as a Partner at Greylock Partners.
Helen Fisher, Ph.D. Biological Anthropologist, is a Senior Research Fellow, The Kinsey Institute, member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Internet dating site Match.com. She has conducted extensive research and written six books on the evolution and future of human sex, love, marriage, gender differences in the brain and how your personality style shapes who you are and who you love. She is currently using her knowledge of brain chemistry to discuss the neuroscience of business leadership and innovation.
Bill Newsome, Ph.D. is Professor of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Director of Stanford’s interdisciplinary neuroscience institute. Professor Newsome was a co-chair of early work on President Obama’s Brain initiative and coordinates
Professor Newsome completed his undergraduate degree in physics from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, and a dotorate in biological sciences from the California Institute of Technology in 1980. He did postdoctoral research at the National Eye Institute, and then served for four years as an assistant professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Newsome is an international leader in the fields of systems and cognitive neuroscience. He has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of neural systems in the primate brain that mediate visual perception, and is currently exploring cortical mechanisms that underlie simple decision processes. The high quality of his research has been recognized by several awards and prestigious lectureships, including the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics in 1992, the Spencer Award for Highly Original Contributions to Neurobiology in 1994, and the 13th Annual David Marr Lecture at Cambridge University in 1996. In 1997, he was appointed as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and in 2000 he was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences.
Mary Lou Jepsen, Ph.D. creates bold visions of the future, takes them through R&D and delivers them to scale. She is acclaimed for her work at Google [x], Facebook, Oculus, and One Laptop per Child in consumer electronics, computers, TV, software and web services. Her breadth spans further into design, internet, automotive and medical devices.
She currently leads advanced consumer electronics at Facebook and Oculus. Previously she had a similar role at Google and Google [x], where she was also a close advisor to Sergey Brin. She co-founded One Laptop per Child (OLPC) with Nicholas Negroponte, and was the lead inventor and architect of the $100 laptop. She built OLPC’s partnerships throughout Asia to deliver the $100 laptop into high volume production. She has worked extensively with the Asian manufacturing hubs in Taiwan, China, Japan and Korea, living in Taiwan for six years. Her startup CEO experience includes the world’s only fabless display screen company which was based in Taipei.
Paul Ekman, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus in Psychology at UCSF, is the researcher and author best known for furthering our understanding of nonverbal behavior, encompassing facial expressions and gestures. In addition to his own distinguished academic career, Ekman has authored more than 100 published articles and holds several honorary doctoral degrees. A pre-eminent psychologist and co-discoverer of micro expressions with Friesen, Haggard and Isaacs, Ekman was named by the American Psychological Association as one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, and TIME Magazine (2009) hailed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2014, Dr. Ekman was ranked fifteenth among the most influential psychologists of the 21st century by Archives of Scientific Psychology.
Juan Enriquez is one of those unique individuals who lives in the future and works on the cutting edge of discovery. He is an active investor in early-stage private companies in the life sciences sector, and is one of the world’s leading authorities on the uses and benefits of genomic research. His book, with Steve Gullans, is Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth. In Evolving Ourselves, Juan and Steve Gullans conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution — sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.
Bio-science is beginning to affect the way we live, work, and do business, and Juan is an articulate and effective advocate of its promise. Synthetic Genomics, which he co-founded, is a company developing breakthrough genomic-driven solutions for major global issues. They are focused on energy and chemical solutions first but researching a wide range of business solutions in human health (vaccines) and food and water production and the environment.
In addition to his entrepreneurial work in the life sciences, Juan writes and speaks engagingly about the profound changes that genomics and other life sciences will cause in business, technology, politics and society.
Michael McCullough, M.D., M.Sc. is an entrepreneur, impact investor and Partner at Capricorn Healthcare, social entrepreneur, and emergency room professor at UCSF. Michael’s personal interest in the brain extends from a childhood brain hemorrhage which resulted in hydrocephalus and a severe stutter, partially corrected by brain surgery at age 10 and requiring Michael to retrain himself to speak through high school and early college at Stanford. Accomplishing fluent speech also required extensive biofeedback and meditation practice. After returning from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, Michael co-founded QuestBridge during free hours in medical school at UCSF and his surgical residency at Stanford. QuestBridge, a national non-profit, now places more talented low-income students into top colleges like Stanford, Yale, Caltech, and MIT than all other non-profits combined. Michael has since founded or co-founded 12 successful companies and non-profits.
Michael is a founder of RegenMed Systems, a co-founding investor of HeartFlow, and on the founding board of 2U -- all top performing impact investments. Michael also served/serves on the boards of the Metabiota, Apnicure, the Global Leadership Incubator, QuestBridge, and the Dalai Lama Foundation among others, and serves as an on-call ER physician for the Dalai Lama during his visits to the West Coast.
Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. is the D. H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He earned his AB in biochemical sciences from Harvard University and his MD/PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University in 1998, and completed medical internship and psychiatry residency at Stanford Medical School.
Karl is known for creating and developing the technologies of CLARITY and optogenetics, and for applying integrated optical and genetic strategies to study normal neural circuit function as well as dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disease. He has led his laboratory at Stanford University since 2004, serves as an attending physician at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, and has been affiliated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) since 2009. Since 2014 he is a foreign Adjunct Professor at Sweden's prestigious Karolinska medical institute.
Thomas Insel, M.D. is an American neuroscientist and psychiatrist who led the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) from 2002 until November 2015. Prior to becoming Director of NIMH, he was Director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is best known for research on oxytocin and vasopressin, two peptide hormones implicated in complex social behaviors, such as parental care and attachment. He announced on Sept. 15, 2015, that he was resigning as the director of the NIMH to join the Life Science division of Google X.
Leslie Prichep, Ph.D is Chief Scientific Officer of BrainScope. Until early 2015 Dr. Prichep was the Director of the Brain Research Laboratories (BRL) and Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, where she remains a Professor in retirement. She has extensive experience and recognition as a pioneer in the field of quantitative electrophysiology, clinically applied translational research, source localization and multivariate classification methodologies. She was responsible for the direction of the largest existing database of quantitative electrophysiological data from normal subjects and neuropsychiatric patients, which includes traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome PTSD and dementia patients. Dr. Prichep and her colleagues at BRL were the first to publish normative equations demonstrating that features of the EEG could be were lawful as a function of age. Dr. Prichep has over 125 publications, with another 55 book chapters, books, published proceedings and monographs, holds a number of patents and is considered one of the preeminent research scientists in the field of computerized electrophysiological. Dr. Prichep has been working with BrainScope since its inception in 2006.
Julie Hanna is an entrepreneur, investor and advisor working with purpose-driven, tech companies and public institutions to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. In 2015, President Obama appointed her Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs. Hanna is Executive Chairman of Kiva, the world's largest crowdfunding marketplace for underserved entrepreneurs. During her tenure, Kiva has reached 190 countries and delivered $1 Billion loans to over 2 million people.
Serving in roles that ranged from founding executive to founder and CEO, Hanna has pioneered products and led companies that have allowed millions of people to connect, communicate and collaborate globally. She has been founder, CEO or founding executive of five venture-backed technology companies, including Healtheon (WebMD), onebox.com, ($850M acquisition NASDAQ: UPIP), Portola (acquired by Netscape), and open source pioneer Scalix. Hanna was named the United States Woman Icon of APEC and is a recipient of the 2016 Global Empowerment Award.
The BrainMind Summit at Stanford will convene the world’s top thought leaders in both neuroscience and study of human consciousness with the goal of building an ecosystem of investors, entrepreneurs, and researchers to accelerate innovation in the field.
Summit participants will be engaged on the questions worth exploring in the years to come, and on what the current body of knowledge means for future innovation.=
The Summit at Stanford will be hosted by Juan Enriquez, Ed Boyden, Reid Hoffman, and Michael McCullough.
The Summit will be highly interactive and professionally moderated with graphical facilitation. The event will include state-of-the-field presentations, discussions of present challenges, presentations of exciting findings the nexus of neuroscience and the study of the mind and consciousness.
Field leaders will make presentations on the current state of knowledge on the science of the mind. Neuroscientists will explore the connection between brain biology, epigenetics, and the connectome in context of the mind. Clinical research will present findings on MBIs and the evidence for their mechanisms of action. Technology innovators will present how their technologies can be used to better understand the mind or harness the power of mindfulness practices.
Professional moderation and graphic facilitation will be used to foster discussion, intensive group interaction, and collaborations on future research and technological innovations. The summit will also include a special exhibit room with hands-on interactive technology showcases, meals centered around discussion verticals, and special invite-only evening dinner events and performances.
The event will be recorded and transcribed by a professional science writer to generate a Summit Report that will summarize the discussions and presentations of the event.
All BrainMind Summit participants are carefully selected for potential contribution, influence, and moral intent. The goal is to foster vital impact investing needed to bridge the resource gap for rapid and impactful innovation in medicine and technology, catalyzing transformative proof-of-concept development in this field.
The first BrainMind Summit has already attracted attendees with over $15bn of personal and directed capital (including founders of LinkedIn, PayPal), and other technology and healthcare researchers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and engineers. We are inviting our supporters to be a part of the next high-level convening shaping the future of the field.
The event follows a successful pilot program that convened 45 elite experts in neuroscience, behavioral psychology, medicine, VR technology, and social networks. Up to 250 attendees will be able to attend the event. The selected venue for the summit will be the Arrillaga Room on the Stanford University campus.
Verticals are topic areas around which meals at the summit will be centered: they are a great tool to bring support, energy and resources to the summit. Participants will select specific verticals of interest, which will convene concurrently in the meeting space during mealtimes. Each vertical will include a host and an expert scientist to lead the discussions. Participants will be given pre-reads and homework as preparation for the discussions. The following topics are proposed as sample verticals for the upcoming Stanford summit:
1. Depression, Behavior Change
2. Optimal Performance/Flow
3. Longertivity and Mental Vibrancy
4. Parkinson’s Disease
5. Positive Psychology
6. Advanced Technology Applied to the Human Brain