MIT SUMMIT SPOTLIGHT ENTREPRENEURS
Allyson Berent, DVM, DACVIM
Allyson Berent, DVM, DACVIM is a veterinary specialist in New York City. She received her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Cornell University. She did her internal medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania, with a fellowship in interventional radiology and Endourology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University. She is a member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and is a specialist in Internal Medicine and Interventional Radiology/Interventional Endoscopy. Dr. Berent has spent the last 15 years doing clinical research and running various clinical trials for novel therapeutics and medical device development in dogs and cats with naturally occurring diseases. She currently holds a position as the Director of Interventional Endoscopy at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. Allyson is the Chief Science Officer of the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST) and the Chief Operating Officer of GeneTx Biotherapeutics, a company targeting the development of an antisense oligonucleotide for the treatment of Angelman syndrome.
Rebecca Brachman, PhD
Dr. Rebecca Brachman is a pioneer in the field of preventative psychopharmacology, developing drugs to enhance stress resilience and prevent mental illness. Current treatments for mood disorders only suppress symptoms without addressing the underlying disease, and there are no known cures. The drugs Dr. Rebecca Brachman is developing would be the first to prevent psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
Dr. Brachman is co-founder and director of the Social Outcomes Initiative—a social impact organization that repurposes generic drugs for the treatment of PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other unmet medical needs—and co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Sunrise—a mission-driven initiative to cure, treat, and prevent depression. Brachman obtained her PhD in Neuroscience from Columbia University, prior to which she was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she discovered that immune cells carry a memory of psychological stress and that white blood cells can act as antidepressants and resilience-enhancers. She is a TED Fellow, NYCEDC Entrepreneurship Lab Fellow, and member of the Helena Brain Trust. Brachman's research has been featured in The Atlantic, WIRED and Business Insider, and her work was recently described by Dr. George Slavich on NPR as a "moonshot project that is very much needed in the mental health arena.” Brachman is also a playwright and screenwriter and previously served as the director of NeuWrite, a national network of science-writing groups that fosters ongoing collaboration between scientists, writers, and artists.
Garten has researched at the Krembil Neuroscience Institute studying hippocampal neurogenesis, displayed work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, DeLeon White Gallery and opened Toronto Fashion Week. The intersections of these diverse interests have culminated into various lectures with topics such as “The Neuroscience of Aesthetics” and “The Neuroscience of Conflict”, featured on TVO’s Big Ideas. Referred to as the “Brain Guru”, Garten has also run a successful real estate business, spent time as the designer of a Canadian fashion boutique, and is a practicing psychotherapist.
In 2007, Garten co-founded InteraXon, one of the world’s leading companies creating brainwave controlled products and experiences. InteraXon debuted with the creation of “Bright Ideas”, Ontario’s feature showcase at the Vancouver 2012 Winter Olympics, where visitors in Vancouver got to control the lights on the CN Tower, Niagara Falls and the Canadian Parliament buildings, with their minds, from across the country. Garten and her team are merging technology, neuroscience, art and design. Muse, InteraXon’s brain-sensing headband, just one example of this innovation, allows consumers to interact with their smart phone and tablet using the power of their mind. Garten and Muse are regularly lauded in global media- CNN, CNET, CNBC, Reuters, Tech Crunch, Wall Street Journal Tech for creating what Huffington Post calls “the beautiful headband that will make you smarter”.
Garten regularly lectures at MIT, Singularity University and FutureMed. Her lecture on Ted.com has over 250,000 views and she gave this year’s opening keynote at Le Web, Europe’s biggest tech conference. Garten is lauded for her style and inspiration as much as her role at the helm of a technology company that is bringing the future to life.
Ana Maiques, MBA
Ana Maiques is the CEO of Neuroelectrics, a company aiming to change the way we interact with the brain; developing innovative technologies to monitor and stimulate the brain. She was nominated by IESE as one of the most influential entrepreneurs under 40 in Spain in 2010, she was the only woman on that list. She received the EU Prize for Women Innovators from the European Commission EC in 2014. Also in 2014, she was an award recipient of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge. In 2015 & 2016, she was named one of most inspiring women on the Inspiring Fifty list in Europe of women technological leaders and innovators. As a company, Neuroelectrics received the Best Start-up in Health Award in 2015 by Wired UK magazine and in 2016 was recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur 360™ List, the most comprehensive analysis of private companies in America. Ana continues to break the barriers for women and entrepreneurs bringing together science and technology in an impactful way.
Graeme Moffat, PhD, HBSc
Graeme work in the fields of neurotechnology, neuroscience, digital health, brain & mental health, data science, and innovation policy. He is lucky enough to work with a fantastic team of scientists, engineers, and creators as Chief Scientist and VP of Regulatory Affairs at Interaxon, where they make the world’s bestselling electroencephalography platform, Muse. Before that, Graeme was Chief Scientist with Meta (now Chan-Zuckerberg Meta), and served as Managing Editor of Frontiers in Neuroscience as it grew to become the largest open access scholarly journal series in the field of neuroscience. He has also done industry-based neurophysiology research and product development at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) at Université Aix-Marseille in partnership with cochlear implant maker Oticon Medical (formerly Neurelec), where he completed a PhD under the direction of Catherine Liégeois-Chauvel and Christine Assaiante. At McMaster University in Hamilton, he did an MSc in the department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (on auditory cortical plasticity in tinnitus) under Laurel Trainor and Larry Roberts, an HBSc in physics (with a senior project on cosmic ray background in low level radiation counting, supervised by Fiona McNeill), and he learned statistical methods from Patrick Bennett. He is a graduate of Chippewa Secondary School where my science and math teachers were (among others) John Mitchell, Dave Chamberlain, Al Garrett, Jim O’Connor, Sandy Peden, Bud McMartin and Pat Kilroy.
Graeme currently a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Public Policy (at the University of Toronto) and an advisor to the OECD’s neurotechnology policy initiative.
Tim Mullen, MS, PhD
Dr. Tim Mullen is founding CEO and Research Director at Intheon, a San Diego based neurotechnology startup pioneering a cloud-scalable platform for neural/bio signal processing and analytics, and brain-computer interfacing. He holds degrees in computer science and computational and cognitive neuroscience from UC Berkeley (B.A.s) and the UC San Diego Dept. of Cognitive Science (M.S. and Ph.D) and Institute for Neural Computation, where awards included the UCSD Chancellor’s Dissertation Medal, IEEE best paper awards, Glushko, San Diego, and Swartz Fellowships, and UC Berkeley highest honors. At Xerox PARC he developed patented applications of wearable brain-computer interface (BCI) technology. His scientific publications over the last decade have focused on the use of machine learning and signal processing techniques applied to electrophysiological data (e.g. EEG, ECoG), to understand neural dynamics and detect mental states and neuronal pathologies. He has performed as a principal investigator or co-investigator on over ten federal grants and contracts focused on advanced neurotechnology R&D, from agencies such as DARPA, NSF, and the U.S. Army Research Labs. He has also been centrally involved in the development and dissemination of open source software and standards for neuroscience data analysis, including the widely used EEGLAB ecosystem. He enjoys moonlighting as a musician and artist whose collaborative works in audiovisual new media, exploring artistic expressions of the inner world of the mind and body, have been presented nationally and internationally. He is founding director of the Mozart & the Mind festival with Mainly Mozart, an annual series of concerts, symposia, and interactive media and neurotechnology exhibitions exploring the impact of music on our brains, health, and lives.
Heather Read, PhD
Heather directs the Brain Computer Interface core at University of Connecticut to develop behavioral interface systems for tracking and optimizing audio attention, perception and decision making. Here she has developed and cross-validated high-throughput, minimally invasive brain recording approaches as well as computational approaches to explore brain mechanisms for perception of real and virtual acoustic scenes. Heather’s research at University of Connecticut and University of California San Francisco has examined the physiology and brain circuits critical for perception of pitch, timbre and spatial location of sound. Her prior research at Rockefeller University examined how looking influences visual saliency through convergent sensory-motor signals in parietal cortex. Heather has been a National Academy of Sciences and Kavli Foundation Fellow and is the recipient of awards including the Schmitt Dissertation Award, the Computational Neuroscience Award from the Max Planck Institute, and federal grants from National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
This Spring, Heather Read, David Wang, Ed Boyden and Nir Grossman founded Elemind Technologies, Inc based on spin-out technology from MIT Media labs and the creativity school, NuVu Studio. Elemind’s closed-loop human interface technology processes and computes instantaneous phase of ongoing brainwaves and delivers audio output with timing precision 100 times faster than the human reaction time. This interface technology is being developed to augment attention, sleep and ultimately the human experience.
Conor Russomanno, MFA
Conor Russomano is an entrepreneur, creative technologist, and lecturer, specializing in the development of advanced human-computer interfaces. He is the co-founder and CEO of OpenBCI, a company dedicated to open source innovation of brain-computer interface technologies. Conor is also a teacher, having taught graduate level courses at Parsons School of Design and NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Ned T. Sahin, PhD
Dr. Sahin is a neuroscientist and neurotechnology entrepreneur. He was trained in neuroscience at Harvard (PhD), MIT (Master’s), Williams College (BA), Oxford (Visiting scholar), as well as UCSD Medical School (Post-doc), and the Salk Institute (Fellowship). His academic work has been published in journals such as Science and Nature Neuroscience, and he has been invited and presented his research and his innovations in dozens of cities in over two dozen countries. His PhD dissertation, which investigate the neural intricacies of the human language system via intracranial electrodes placed inside the brain as part of epilepsy surgery, won the prize for the best dissertation across all departments at Harvard that year. At MIT, he won several teaching prizes.
Susan Solomon, JD
Susan L. Solomon is the CEO and Founder of the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute (NYSCF). Ms. Solomon is a veteran healthcare advocate and stem cell research pioneer who serves on the boards of a number of prominent diabetes and regenerative medicine organizations, including the College Diabetes Network, the Global Alliance for IPSC Therapies, and the strategic planning committee for the inaugural NYSTEM program. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Regional Plan Association, where she is a member of the nominating and governance committee. A lawyer by training and a chief executive and entrepreneur by experience, Ms. Solomon has decades of leadership experience in starting and building effective and focused organizations. Ms. Solomon started her career as an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton, then held executive positions at MacAndrews and Forbes and APAX (formerly MMG Patricof and Co.). She was the founder and President of Sony Worldwide Networks, the Chairman and CEO of Lancit Media Productions, an Emmy award-winning television production company, and then served as the founding CEO of Sothebys.com, prior to starting her own strategic management consulting firm Solomon Partners LLC in 2000. She received her BA cum laude from New York University and her JD from Rutgers University School of Law, where she was as an editor of the Law Review. Ms. Solomon has received numerous awards for her work with NYSCF, including the New York State Women of Excellence Award from the Governor of New York, the Triumph Award from the Brooke Ellison Foundation, and recognition as a Living Landmark from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
Lyn Stoler, MPH
Lyn Stoler is Director of Public Health at Helena, and the Co-Founder of the Social Outcomes Initiative. Her works centers around applying emerging technologies, best practices, and sustainable healthcare finance to pressing public health concerns.
Before Helena, Lyn was the youngest member of the Board of Directors for End World Hunger 2030, and a pioneer Food Security Coordinator for The Suitcase Clinic. These experiences and previous policy work have informed her passion for interdisciplinary collaboration between research, public interest, and the private sector. She earned both a Master of Public Health and BA in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley.
David Wang, PhD, MS
David is an Engineer and Entrepreneur with a love for learning and solving interdisciplinary problems. He received his PhD from MIT in Autonomous Systems, for work developing a fundamentally new approach to solving planning and scheduling problems. He also holds masters and bachelors degrees from MIT in Aeronautics & Astronautics and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. His work in A.I. has spanned collaborations with NASA JPL, DARPA, Lincoln Labs, Boeing, and WHOI, and seen a diverse range of applications, including: rovers in space, fighters in the air, vehicle-routing on land, underwater vehicles at sea, and security for cyberspace. In 2011, David co-founded NuVu Studio, a school in the heart of Cambridge with a focus on teaching creativity. NuVu now has locations around the world and is internationally recognized for its success innovating education. Our students have founded startups and been invited to the White House. In fact, it was a course at NuVu that inspired Elemind’s core technology and brought its founders together.