Speakers (by order of appearance)
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas, an honors graduate of Duke University and the University of Florida law school, is CEO of Ivanhoe Broadcast News, a national news service reaching 80 million television households weekly and a worldwide audience through the internet. Marjorie, a distinguished philanthropist, business woman and mentor, has served on many boards including the Duke Board of Visitors and Florida Hospital.
P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, FRCP is Professor and Director, Neurocognitive Disorders Program in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke Medicine and a member of the executive committee of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. He directs a leading clinical trials unit that evaluates biomarkers and therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Doraiswamy has served as an advisor to many government agencies, businesses and advocacy groups. (Co-Chair)
Joanne Kurtzberg, MD is Professor and Chief Scientific Officer, Robertson Clinical & Translational Cell Therapy Program at Duke Medicine and Co-Director, Stem Cell Laboratory at Duke Medicine. Dr. Kurtzberg pioneered the use of banked umbilical cord blood as an alternative stem cell source for unrelated marrow transplantation and is an internationally renowned expert in umbilical cord blood transplantation and cellular therapy. (Co-Chair)
Mahendra Rao, MD, PhD, a renowned international expert in stem cell biology, is the Vice President of the New York Stem Cell Foundation. He has served as Chief of the Neurosciences Section at the NIA, as the Vice President of Regenerative Medicine at Life Technologies, Co-Founder of Q Therapeutics, a neural stem cell company, and, most recently, the Director of the NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine, a trans-NIH initiative that focuses on the clinical translation of stem cell technology. (Keynote Speaker)
Joshua Hunsberger, PhD is currently a research associate at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM). Prior to this, Dr. Hunsberger was a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health at the Center for Regenerative Medicine (NIH CRM). His efforts focus on clinical translational of stem cell technologies. (Conference organizer)
Lon Schneider, MD is Professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences and neurology at Keck School of Medicine of USC where he directs the USC State of California Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Clinical Center and the clinical core of the USC NIA Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He is a renowned expert in Alzheimer’s therapeutics and has served as a senior advisor to leading government agencies and businesses.
Larry Goldstein, PhD, UCSD is Distinguished Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Department of Neurosciences, Director, UC San Diego Stem Cell Program and Scientific Director, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, and Director, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center. Dr. Goldstein is a renowned authority on the biology of neurodegenerative disorders and is cofounder of Cytokinetics, Inc.
Chris Henderson, PhD, is Co-Director, Motor Neuron Center & Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology in Neurology at Columbia University. Previously he directed the INSERM research unit on Neuronal Development and Pathology, as a visiting scientist at Genentech, Inc. and is a co-founder of Trophos, S.A., a drug discovery biotech focused on neurodegenerative diseases.
Akira Sawa, MD, PhD, is Director, Johns Hopkins Schizophrenia Center; and Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Mental Health, Neuroscience, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine and Pulbic health where his work focuses on understanding how risk factors contribute to neuropsychiatric disease and on translating patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hopefully for treating neuropsychiatric diseases.
Alexandra Capela, PhD, is Director, Neurobiology at StemCells Inc. where she is funded to work on a neuroprotection strategy to treat Alzheimer’s disease using human neural stem cell therapy.
Jeff Bulte, PhD is Professor of Radiology , Biomedical Engineering and Director, Cellular Imaging Section, Institute for Cell Engineering at Johns Hopkins where his lab has pioneered methods to label cells magnetically with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, making them visible by MR imaging; this technology is being tested in the clinic for dendritic cell cancer vaccines and using mesenchymal stem cells for treating multiple sclerosis.
Frank LaFerla, PhD is Chancellor’s Professor and Chair, Neurobiology and Behavior, and Director, Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) and Dean of the School of Biological Sciences at UC Irvine. He is one of the world’s leading experts in the neurobiology and experimental therapeutic models of Alzheimer’s disease.
Min Cho, PhD is a Senior Editor at Nature Neuroscience where he manages the selection of original research manuscripts for publication, particularly in neurodegeneration, animal models of psychiatric diseases and glial dysfunction. He is an expert on the molecular mechanisms underlying mammalian learning and memory as well as genetic engineering techniques.
Anthony Atala, MD is Director, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the W.H. Boyce Professor Chair of the Department of Urology at Wake Forest University. Dr. Atala was named by Scientific American as a Medical Treatments Leader of the Year for his contributions to the fields of cell, tissue and organ regeneration, and listed as Time Magazine’s top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year, and as Discover Magazine`s Number 1 Top Science Story of the Year in the field of medicine in 2007. In 2011, Time Magazine listed his work as one of the top 5 medical breakthroughs of the year.
Ellen Feigal, MD is Sr. VP for Research and Development at California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Prior to this she was Executive Medical Director, Global Development, at Amgen and also worked in clinical research and drug development in positions at the Federal Government, non-profit and for-profit institutes and companies.
Stephen Chang, PhD is Vice President for Research and Development at The New York Stem Cell Foundation. Prior to joining NYSCF, Dr. Chang served as Chief Scientific Officer of Stemgent and as CEO of Multicell Technologies. Dr. Chang is president of CURES, a coalition dedicated to ensuring the safety, research, and development of innovative lifesaving medications.
Thomas Finn, PhD is a CMC reviewer in the Office of Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies in CBER at the Food and Drug Administration where he evaluates a wide range of cellular therapies at all stages of product development. His expertise is in neurodegenerative disorders, and his background includes microbiology, immunology, protein purification, cell culture, small animal models, and bioassays. He serves on the Neuroscience Steering Committee for the FNIH Biomarker Consortium, and is a member of the inter-center Neurology across the FDA working group.
Hank Greely, JD is the Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law at Stanford where he is one of the world’s leading experts in the ethical, legal, and social implications of new biomedical technologies, particularly those related to neuroscience, genetics, or stem cell research. He is chair of California’s Human Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee and a member of the Advisory Council of NIH/NIGMS.