Meet the Speakers

Speakers (in alphabetical order)

Mr. Oded Agam – Director, Vertical Solutions Strategic Planning, Intel Corporation

Mr. Oded Agam

Oded Agam leads the Vertical Solutions Strategic Planning team at Intel. He is based in Haifa and part of the global Platform Engineering Group of Intel. His multi-disciplinary team is responsible for creating a vision of people’s digital life in the future, identifying and defining new long term strategic directions for Intel including user experiences, system solutions, products and technologies. Prior to this role, Oded led the definition of Intel’s flagship product for 2015 targeting Ultrabooks, Notebooks, Desktops, Data Center and Embedded markets. His first position at Intel was ATOM Strategic Planning where he led the definition of Intel’s first System on Chip for Smartphones that was launched in 2012, as well as several other products for the Tablet, Netbook and Embedded markets.

Prior to joining Intel, Oded held several marketing, technical and management positions in startups both in Israel and the US.

Oded holds an MBA from NYU Stern – he founded and serves as the chair of the Israel Stern Alumni Club since 2002. He also holds a master of science in electrical engineering from Tel Aviv University and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the Technion – Israel’s Institute of Technology.

Ms. Ruti Alon – General Partner, Pitango Venture Capital

No further info at the moment.

Prof. Uri Ashery – Head of the Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University

Prof. Uri Ashery

Prof. Uri Ashery is the Head of TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience and one of the chief initiators of the Sagol School of Neuroscience. His current research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter release under normal conditions and in the case of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.His lab combines multidisciplinary approaches such as electrophysiology, super resolution and TIRF microscopy, Molecular and cellular neurobiology and computer modeling to study synaptic plasticity and correlate between molecular changes and synaptic function and dysfunction.

Prof.Ashery served as a membrane biophysics researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany, where he completed hispost-doctoral studies in 2001 before returning to Israel as a lecturer at TAU in neurobiology. He was a Dan David Prize ScholarshipRecipient in 2002. He has been published in an arrayof scientific journals including the Journal of Neuroscience, Neuron and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Educatedat the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ashery received his BSc in 1990 inbiology and chemistry with distinction, and his PhD in 1996 in neurobiology cumlaude.


Dr. Ilan Cohn – Patent attorney, Senior Partner, Reinhold Cohn Group

Dr. Ilan Cohn

Dr. Ilan Cohn, has many years of experience in the field of patents and other intellectual property fields. Additionally, in the course of his professional career Ilan gained significant experience and expertise in turning intellectual property assets, particularly patents into a first tier asset. In addition to assisting entrepreneurs, investors and companies in dealing with patent matters, Ilan also advises and prepares a custom road map for building up and making use of intellectual property as strategic assets. He was involved in the establishment of intellectual property based companies in general, and in the field of life sciences, in particular, steering the build-up of the intellectual property of such companies into assets that yield profits to investors and shareholders. He is a member of the Board of Directors of a number of several such companies and was also a member of the investment committees of venture capital funds and technological incubators.

Dr. Ilan Cohn, senior partner, manages the life science and chemistry department of Reinhold Cohn & Partners,that includes a very large staff of patent attorneys, trainees, paralegals, and assistant staff. His experience encompasses many technology disciplines including industrial, medical, and diagnostic biotechnology, drug development, molecular biology, biotechnology-based medicaments, formulations, nanotechnology, high throughput screening methods, genomics, proteomics, chemical and biotechnological processes, natural products and extracts, functional food, agricultural products, homeland security against biological hazards and others.

In addition, Ilan lectures on intellectual property matters in Israeli academic forums and other forums.

Ilan has been personally recommended for several years in leading international guides, such as IAM Strategy 300, IAM 1000 (The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners), European Legal Experts , Expert Guides (Patent Law Practitioners) and the Chambers & Partners Global guide.

The IAM Patent 1000 says Ilan is a “Smart and approachable” biologist manages the large life sciences and chemistry department; has “a real talent for instantly getting to grips with a principle, then encapsulating it in a perfectly drafted application”.

In Chambers guide of 2012 they say he “is highly regarded for his global patent work. He is “a very clever guy who takes the right approach,” and clients appreciate his responsiveness”. In the ranking in 2011 they quote clients who said he has “vast experience and international knowledge of IP.” Clients appreciate his “sense of urgency, attentiveness and personal involvement” in their concerns. In 2009 they wrote “he is the leading lawyer on the life sciences front, and is described as “brilliant – he forms foolproof strategies.”

Memberships: AIPPI; Association of Israel Patent Attorneys; FICPI; IsCham (Israel Chamber of Commerce China) LES, INTA.

Dr. Ora Dar – Head of the Life Sciences Sector at the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor

Dr. Ora Dar

Ora Dar is the Head of the Life Sciences Sector at the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of economy.

Being the head of the sector, Dr. Dar leads a team of experts, and is in charge of the evaluations of all projects in the field of Life Sciences that are submitted to the Chief Scientist’s various grant programs.

Dr. Dar is also responsible for defining and implementing tools and new programs required for supporting R&D in Life Sciences companies, and for enhancing the technology transfer between the Academia and the Industry. This has lead to the initiation and maturation of several viable programs such as, funding academic applied research, dedicated scheme for biotechnology incubator(s), tracks enabling collaboration with global Life Sciences companies, tools for upgrading infrastructures, National Tissue Bank and a special government backed Bio VC Fund.

Previously she spent 16 years in academic research (mostly at the Weizmann Institute of Science), has industry experience, and served 10 years as a consultant to venture capital and investment firms as well as foreign funds.

Dr. Dar is a medical sciences graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and holds a Ph.D. from the University of London, UK (St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine).

Dr. Nissim Darvish – Senior Managing Director OrbiMed Healthcare Fund Management

Dr. Nissim Darvish

Nissim Darvish, M.D., Ph.D., is a Senior Managing Director. Nissim is a veteran of the lifescience industry, with 15 years of experience covering medical technology development, corporate leadership and investment management. Nissim spent eight years with Pitango, where he was a General Partner managing life sciences investments. Previously, Nissim was the founder and CEO of Impulse Dynamics, which he led for six years, culminating in a $250 million realization event. Nissim obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biophysics and Physiology from the Technion in Israel, and subsequently conducted his postdoctoral research at the NIH. He has published over 100 patents, authored over 20 publications and received eight prizes and awards.

Prof. Karl Deisseroth – The D.H Chen Prof. of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

Dr. Karl Deisseroth

Karl Deisseroth is the D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and Psychiatry at Stanford University. He earned his A.B. from Harvard and M.D./Ph.D. from Stanford, serves as Director of Undergraduate Education in Bioengineering at Stanford, and is a practicing psychiatrist board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has developed and applied novel technologies for controlling (optogenetics) and imaging (CLARITY) specific elements within intact biological systems, and continues to develop and apply new technologies to study physiology and behavior in health and disease, as well as train researchers around the world. He has received the NIH Pioneer Award (2005), Scheutze Prize (2008), Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award (2009), Koetser Prize (2010), Nakasone Prize (2010), Spencer Prize (2011), UNC/Perl Prize (2012), Zuelch Prize (2012), Pasarow Prize (2013), BRAIN prize (2013) and Lounsbery Prize (2013). Deisserothis a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Rafi Gidron – Founder & Chairman Israel Brain Technologies

Dr. Rafi Gidron

Founder and Chairman, Israel Brain Technologies Dr. Rafi Gidron is an entrepreneur who founded and managed technology companies in multiple disciplines including fields such as telecommunications, nanotechnology, neurotechnology and cleantech. Most notably, Gidron was involved in one of the most successful exits in Israel’s hi-tech industry: the acquisition of Chromatis Networks by Lucent in 2000. Gidron serves as the founder and chairman of Israel Brain Technologies. He’s also an active angel investor in various technology startups. Gidron holds a BSc from Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, where he also served as an associate director of NSF’s Center for Telecommunications Research.

Ms. Anya Eldan – President, Nury Ventures

Ms. Anya Eldan

Anya Eldan is involved in entrepreneurship, seed investment, commercialization of research projects and strategic development for clinical applications in the NeuroTech. Anya has over 25 years of executive experience in high tech, venture capital and technology transfer ventures. Ms. Eldan has a proven track record of private and public fundraising and extensive experience in managing life science companies.

Mr. Elliott Gotkine – Middle East Editor, Bloomberg Television

Mr. Elliott Gotkine

Elliott Gotkine is Bloomberg Television’s Middle East Editor. Based in Tel Aviv, he is the only international broadcaster in Israel focusing on company news, the economy and technology.

Since joining Bloomberg in 2007, Elliott has reported on major international events including the 2012 Greek elections; the Irish bailout; and the nationalization of Royal Bank of Scotland.

He’s interviewed business and political leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and President Shimon Peres. In 2008, he was nominated for a Business Journliast of the Year Award.

Before joining Bloomberg, he spent six years at the BBC, where he served as a business reporter and South America correspondent. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Nottingham, and speaks fluent French and Spanish, and a smattering of Italian. He’s working on his Hebrew.

Mr. Charlie Hartwell – Operating Partner, The Bridge Builders collaborative

Operating Partner, The Bridge Builders collaborative

Charlie Hartwell is the Operating Partner of the Bridge Builders Collaborative, who’s mission is to fund and support the visions of social entrepreneurs with scalable applications in the space of mind-fitness (mind-training). Bridge Builders, the vision of four highly successful businessmen, sees a world where those who imagine deeper, richer connections with themselves and others are offered practical paths to achieve meaningful growth in their lives.


Charlie is a Harvard Business School graduate who is passionate about change, innovation, and growth. He has served in leadership roles in 16 different industries over his career, in the corporate, small-business, start-up, non-profit worlds.

Dr. Michael Hayden CM OBC MB ChB PhD FRCP(C) FRSC – President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

Dr. Michael Hayden

Dr. Michael Hayden is the President of Global R&D and CSO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

and is the Killam Professor of Medical Genetics at the UBC and Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine. He is a Senior Scientist at the Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) and a Distinguished Professor at the Department of Medicine, National University of Singapore, and Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR)

Dr. Hayden is the founder of three biotechnology companies: NeuroVir Therapeutics Inc., Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corp.


Author of over 700 peer-reviewed publications and invited submissions, Michael focuses his research primarily on genetic diseases, including genetics of lipoprotein disorders, Huntington disease, predictive and personalized medicine. Michael and his research group have identified 10 disease-causing genes which includes the identification of the major gene underlying high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in humans. Michael also identified the first mutations underlying Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL) Deficiency and developed gene therapy approaches to treat this condition, the first approved gene therapy in the western world. Michael is also the most cited author in the world for ABCA1 and Huntington Disease.


Michael is the recipient of numerous recent prestigious honours and awards, including the Margolese National Brain Disorder Prize (2011), awarded to Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to the treatment, amelioration, or cure of brain diseases; the Killam Prize by the Canada Council of the Arts (2011), in recognition of his outstanding career achievements; and the Canada Gairdner Wightman award (2011), recognizing him as a physician-scientist who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in medicine and medical science. Michael has also been awarded the Order of Canada (2011), and the Order of British Columbia (2010). He was named Canada’s Health Researcher of the Year by CIHR in 2008, and he received the Prix Galien in 2007, which recognizes the outstanding contribution of a researcher to Canadian pharmaceutical research.


Prof. Talma Hendler – Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Tel Aviv University Founder and Director of the Tel Aviv Functional Brain Center

No further info at the moment.

Dr. Jay D. Kranzler, MD, PhD Global Head, Neuroscience and Pain & Sensory Disorders External R&D Innovation

Dr. Jay D. Kranzler, M.D, PhD

Dr. Jay Kranzler is responsible for strengthening Pfizer’s Worldwide R&D portfolio addressing

CNS Disorders by identifying external acquisitions, licenses, or collaborations and brings 24 years of experience in the Venture and Biotechnology sector to his role at Pfizer. Following a joint MD/PhD in Psychiatry / Pharmacology from Yale University, Jay joined McKinsey as a Management Consultant before taking the role of President & CEO at Cytel Corporation, a start-up biotechnology company focused on Immunology drug development based in La Jolla, CA. During his six years in this role he helped to take Cytel public, increase market capitalization more than ten-fold, and co-founded and spun-out two companies, Glytec and Sequel Therapeutics.


In 1995, Jay took on the role of Chairman & CEO of Cypress Biosciences, Inc., where he was credited for the development of Savella™ (milnacipran) for the treatment of fibromyalgia. After selling the company to Royalty Pharma in 2011, Jay became President & CEO at Karuna Pharmaceuticals, an early Biotech company focusing on the treatment of Schizophrenia. In addition, Jay has held roles as an advisor to Griffin Securities as well as Puretech Ventures and is the Founder and Principal of PRN Ventures Corp. He is the inventor on over 30 patents, recently received the Innovator award from the International Society of CNS Clinical Development, has been nominated twice as the “Entrepreneur of the Year”, and is an Adjunct Professor and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at New York University Stern School of Business and School of Medicine, and an Executive in Residence at UCSD’s Rady School of Management.


Jay is located at Pfizer’s Kendall Square facility in Cambridge, MA.


Dr. Lothar Krinke, PhD – Vice President & General Manager Neuromodulation Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Business Medtronic, Inc.

Dr. Lothar Krinke

Lothar was named Vice President & General Manager of the Neuromodulation Deep Brain

Stimulation (DBS) business in May 2011. He leads the global cross functional DBS Business Team

that is responsible for developing and executing the global strategy.

In his prior role as Vice President, Research and Business Development for the Neuromodulation

Sector, he was responsible for ensuring that the internal and external research programs align

with the strategic priorities of the business, and for developing Neuromodulation’s external

scientific reputation with leading academic institutions. Krinke’s group managed drug infusion

therapy programs funded by the Ventures Organization as well as Business Development and IP.

Krinke joined Medtronic in 2004 as Senior Director, Bioscience Technology Development, and

prior to that served as Vice President for Business Development and executive team member of

Endogeny Bio Corporation. Krinke has over 10 years of biomedical strategy expertise from top

management consulting firms. Krinke holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University at

Albany. He was an American Cancer Society Post‐Doctoral Fellow at the California Institute of

Technology and is the recipient of the Rumbough Award for Dedication to and Achievements in

Diabetes research from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.

Dr. Chris Llewellyn – Partner at McKinsey & Company

Dr. Chris Llewellyn

Chris Llewellyn is a Partner in McKinsey & Company, based in London. He leads McKinsey’s Medical Products practice in EMEA, covering all aspects of our work related to the industry. In addition, he co-leads our Life Sciences R&D practice.

Since joining McKinsey in 2004 he has worked across the entire healthcare value chain – with governments, health systems, payors, providers, pharmaceutical companies, industry associations, medical device companies and private equity firms – in multiple geographies.

Within medical products he works with a number of the world’s leading organisations on corporate strategy, go-to-market model design, portfolio strategy, R&D and M&A. Recently he has been leading development of a white paper looking at the future of the medical products industry and the characteristics of future leaders, in partnership with a group of senior executives from across industry. He has also been a speaker at a number of conferences on the future of the industry.

Within life sciences R&D, Chris works with multinational pharmaceutical companies on a range of topics, with a particular interest in early stage innovation and translational medicine. He also works with a number of governments on policy development focused on unlocking innovation and economic growth through innovation in life sciences.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Chris worked as a surgeon. He also spent time in neuroscience research and taught at Imperial College School of Medicine in London. He trained at Oxford University and Imperial College School of Medicine, graduating with distinction.


Dr. Philip Low – Founder, Chairman and CEO, NeuroVigil


Dr. Philip Low is the inventor, neurotechnologist and computational neuroscientist responsible for the

SPEARS algorithm, the iBrain neural monitor and the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness. At the

University of Chicago, he invented novel neurosurgical techniques. At Harvard Medical School, he

showed in 9 weeks that a collagen inhibitor could successfully neutralize the growth of fibroid tumors —

he was 19 years old at the time. At the Salk Institute, which he joined at the recommendation of the late

Francis Crick, Nobel Laureate of DNA fame, and where he was a Sloan-Swartz, Swartz and Kavli fellow,

he invented the SPEARS algorithm and authored a doctoral dissertation which overturned long-standing

beliefs regarding the nature of human and animal neural sleep patterns and made possible the automated

and non-invasive single channel detection of REM sleep, cortical and subcortical patterns, providing the

foundation for iBrain and the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, which recognized the

overwhelming neurobiological similarities between human and non-human animals. The actual PhD

thesis, a dynamic map of brain activity derived from a single non-invasive EEG channel, was one page

long and was unanimously approved by a committee including four members of the National Academy of

Sciences and two past Presidents of the Society for Neuroscience. His work has been featured in

technical and popular articles including The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, CNN, The

Economist, The New York Times and TIME.

While still in his twenties, Dr. Low was appointed to dual appointments at the Stanford School of Medicine

and the MIT Media Lab and was named President of the 1st International Congress on Alzheimer’s

Disease and Advanced Neurotechnologies, held in Monaco in February 2010. Dr. Low also chaired the

first Francis Crick Memorial Conference in Cambridge, UK, in 2012 and is an advisor to the White House

on matters of Neuroscience, Health and Technology. To bring his innovations to the market, Dr. Low

founded NeuroVigil, the neurodiagnostics company responsible for iBrain, a wireless portable neural

monitoring and analytics platform, used by the Pharmaceutical Industry, Government and Academia to

monitor non-invasively and remotely neuropathologies such as Alzheimer’s, Autism, Depression,

Epilepsy, Gulf War Syndrome, OCD, Parkinson’s, PTSD, TBI and Rett Syndrome, as well as the

response of drugs affecting the brain, and to restore loss of function, such as communication, including in

ALS patients. Dr. Low founded NeuroVigil when he was still in graduate school and enlisted several

Nobel Laureates and Fortune 100 company founders. Under Dr. Low’s leadership, NeuroVigil won the

2008 DFJ Venture and UCSD Entrepreneur Challenges, successfully launched the first outpatient clinical

trial for a CNS drug in 2009, won the CONNECT Most Innovative New Product in the Life Sciences Award

in 2010, closed a financing round at an unprecedented seed valuation on May 1st 2011, began a

partnership with Stephen Hawking on Brain Based Communication systems, was recognized by The

Washington Post and Fast Company as one the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Health Care,

alongside GE and the Cleveland Clinic, and in 2012, its “sleep mining technology” was listed by The New

York Times as one of “32 Innovations that Will Change Your Tomorrow”. He holds numerous patents and

three “extraordinary ability” clearances from the US government, is a 2010 MIT Technology Review TR-

35 Top Young Innovator, an honor shared with the Founders of Google, Linux and Facebook, became in

2011, the Inaugural Jacobs-Rady Pioneer for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship, awarded every

five years to an outstanding tech innovator and Chairman/CEO, and was singled out in 2013 by The

Scientist Magazine as “A Scientist to Watch”. In the Fall of 2013, NeuroVigil expanded its operations to


Mr. Zack Lynch – Founder, Executive Director NeuroTechnology Industry Organization, USA

Mr. Zack Lynch

Zack Lynch is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization, a global trade association representing over 100 companies involved in neuroscience, brain research institutes and patient advocacy groups. He is the author of best selling futurist book, The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing our World. Previously, he co-founded NeuroInsights, a market research and investment advisory firm that advises global organizations on the impact of neurotechnology on business, government and society. NeuroInsights hosts an annual Neurotech Investing and Partnering Conference each May. He is the co-author of NeuroInsights 600-page annual investment analysis of the global neurotech industry. He also developed the NASDAQ NeuroInsights Neurotech Index, a stock tracking index for neuroscience companies. Zack is the founder and CEO of HealthRally, a neurosoftware company focused on crowdfunding for wellness motivation. Mr. Lynch serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, Center for Neuroeconomic Studies at Claremont Graduate University, the Institute for Global Futures and the wiki software company, Socialtext.

Dr. Helen S. Mayberg, M.D. – Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology and the Dorothy Fuqua Chair in Psychiatry Imaging and Therapeutics, School of Medicine, Emory University

Dr. Helen Mayberg

Helen S. Mayberg, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Radiology and the Dorothy Fuqua Chair in Psychiatry Imaging and Therapeutics at Emory University School of Medicine. She heads a multidisciplinary research program studying brain mechanisms mediating depression pathogenesis and antidepressant treatment response using multimodal neuroimaging and pioneered the development of deep brain stimulation for treatment resistant depression.



Dr. Mayberg is a Board Certified Neurologist, trained at Columbia’s Neurological Institute in New York, with fellowship training in nuclear medicine at Johns Hopkins. She received a BA in Psychobiology from UCLA and an MD from University of Southern California. She has held previous academic appointments in Neurology, Psychiatry and Radiology at John Hopkins School of Medicine, The University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio and the University of Toronto, where she was also the first Sandra Rotman Chair in Neuropsychiatry before moving to Emory in 2004.


She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Neurological Association and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and is active in the Society for Neuroscience, The Organization for Human Brain Mapping and the Society of Biology Psychiatry where she previously served as President. She serves on a wide variety of editorial and advisory boards across multiple fields in neuroscience. Among various honors, she is the recipient of the Falcone Prize in Mood Disorders Research from NARSAD, the Arnold Pfeffer Prize from the NY Psychoanalytic Institute, the Raymond Adams Award from the American Neurological Association, the Roche-Nature Medicine Senior Award for Translational Neuroscience and the 25th Annual Pasarow Foundation Award for Outstanding research in Neuropsychiatry.


Ms. Miri Polachek – Executive Director, Israel Brain Technologies

Ms. Miri Polachek

Executive Director, Israel Brain Technologies Miri Polachek is a veteran of the life sciences industry, with 17 years of international experience. She held financial management positions at Teva Pharmaceuticals in Israel, where her responsibilities included leading the company’s annual global operating plan consolidation, and at Pfizer in New York, where her assignments included management of a billion-dollar budget. Most recently she served as Vice President of Finance at IntegraMed America, a publicly listed specialty healthcare services firm. Polachek has been with Israel Brain Technologies since its inception. She manages operations, fundraising, strategic planning and all programming aimed at promoting Israel’s neurotechnology industry and establishing Israel as a global brain-technology hub. She holds a Masters in Health Economics from

Dr. Jeffrey S. Nye – Vice President & Global Head Neuroscience External Innovation Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

No further info at the moment.

Mr. Dan O’Connell – Managing Partner, Neurotech Ventures/ Functional NeuroModulation

Managing Partner NeuroVentures/Functional NeuroModulation

Daniel J. O’Connell has over 15 years of early-stage venture capital experience, with a particular emphasis on working with start-up life sciences companies and their scientific and entrepreneurial founders. He is a founding member and managing partner of NeuroVentures, a specialty venture capital firm, he helped to established in 2001 to invest in emerging biopharmaceutical and medical technology companies seeking to develop novel treatments for diseases and disorders of the Central Nervous System (CNS). During his tenure with NeuroVentures, Mr. O’Connell has reviewed over 1,500 early-stage CNS opportunities and invested in 15 companies andfinancing rounds valued in excess of $750 million. He currently serves as a member of Acumen Pharmaceuticals’ board of directors. He has represented NeuroVentures as a Director or observer on the boards of BrainCells Inc., Concentric Medical Inc. (prior to its sale to Stryker), Cyberkinetics Inc., Kadmus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (prior to its sale to Schering), NanoMed Systems, Inc., NeurAxon Inc., Setagon Inc. (prior to its sale to Medtronic), and Saegis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (prior to its sale to Lundbeck A/S). Currently, Mr. O’Connell is an observer to the board of Naurex, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company working novel therapies in psychiatry and neurology.

Mr. O’Connell is also co-founder and current Chief Executive Officer of Functional NeuroModulation Ltd., a start-up medical technology company established in 2010 to advance deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other conditions of impaired memory. Mr. O’Connell led the efforts to form the company, establish a strategic collaboration and secure funding commitments of $13.4M from Genesys Capital, Foundation Medical Partners and Medtronic. The company is currently conducting the ADvance Study, a multi-center, randomized controlled feasibility study investigating DBS of the fornix in mild Alzheimer’s patients.


Mr. O’Connell currently serves as a Business Advisor to The Epilepsy Therapy Project and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and on the external advisory board of the University of Virginia Patent Foundation. He holds a B.A. from Brown University and M.B.A. from the University of Virginia.


Prof. Bert Sakmann – 1991 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Inaugural Scientific Director, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

Dr. Bert Sakmann

Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Erwin Neher in 1991 for their work on “the function of single ion channels in cells,” and invention of the patch clamp technique. This work provided a breakthrough in understanding the elementary steps in cell communication, as revealed by the measurement of currents passing through a single ion channel. In recent years he studies sensory processing in the somato-sensory (barrel) cortex, using novel molecular, optical and anatomical methods, and using both in vitro, in vivo and in silico modeling methods. He is a long-term and close friend and supporter of Israeli science and scientists.

Mr. Shay Rishoni – Board Member, Prize4Life, Israel

Mr. Shay Rishoni

Shay Rishoni is a board member and co CEO at Prize4life, a Non-Profit Organization Dedicated to accelerate a cure for ALS. He is also partner and CEO at Mediterraneo 365, a Sports Production company that produces Israel’s biggest cycling races.

For 18 years he was part of the Flying Cargo Group where he held various management positions Including VP Logistics and VP Marketing.

He received his MBA from the University of Hartford, Co., USA.

His wide range experience includes being a Tour Guide specializing in the Indian Sub-Continent and Himalayan Treks, a commercial pilot and a Colonel in the Israeli Army Reserves.

He is a passionate athlete and participated in many triathlons, marathons and even Ironman.

Two years ago, at the age of 45 he was diagnosed with ALS.

Dr. Steven Schachter – Chief Academic Officer and Director of Neurotechnology CIMIT – Center of Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology Boston

Dr. Steven Schachter

Dr. Steven Schachter attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed an internship in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a neurological residency at the Harvard-Longwood Neurological Training Program, and an epilepsy fellowship at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He is Chief Academic Officer and Program Leader of NeuroTechnology at the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) and a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS).

Dr. Schachter is Past President of the American Epilepsy Society. He is also past Chair of the Professional Advisory Board of the Epilepsy Foundation and serves on their Board of Directors.

He has directed over 70 research projects involving antiepileptic therapies, and published over 200 articles and chapters. He compiled the 6-volume Brainstorms series, which has been distributed to over 150,000 patients and families worldwide in several languages, and edited or written 26 other books on epilepsy and behavioral neurology. Dr. Schachter is the founding editor and editor-in-chief of the medical journals Epilepsy & Behavior and Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports.


Prof. Idan Segev – The Edmund & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, Hebrew University

Prof. Idan Segev

Idan Segev is the David & Inez Myers Professor in Computational Neuroscience and head of the Department of Neurobiology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, He is a member of the Edmond and Lily Safra Centre for Brain Sciences. His research team utilizes computational and theoretical tools to study how neurons, the elementary microchips of the brain, compute and dynamically adapt to our ever-changing environment. In recent years, his group worked jointly with several experimental groups worldwide in an endeavour to model a whole piece of the mammalian cortex (the cortical column) with the ultimate goal to unravel how local fine variations within the cortical network underlie specific behavioral function and may give rise to certain brain diseases or to a healthy and “individual” brains. His work is published in the top journal such as Science, Nature, PNAS, Neuron and he is the co-founder and Chief Editor of the series of journals “Frontiers in Neuroscience”. Idan Segev takes a keen interest in the connection between art and the brain and recently co-edited an “Artists” book with original etchings by ten top Israeli artists prompted by an encounter with ICNC researchers.

Prof. Micha E. Spira, PhD – The Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnoloy, Hebrew University in Jerusalem

Prof. Micha E. Spira

Prof. at the Alexander Silberman Life Sciences Inst. and the Harvey M. Kruger Family Center for Nanoscience.Director of the Smith family and Prof. Elkes collaborative laboratory for Psychobiology.The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Spira’s main research interests are: The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neuroplasticity during development, after trauma and in relation to short and long term memory. He and his colleagues recently developeda novel neuro-electronic interface consisting of an array of noninvasive gold-mushroom-shaped microelectrodes (gMµEs) that provide intracellular recordings and stimulation from many individual neurons, while the electrodes maintain an extracellular position.


Spira served in a large number of academic and administrative functions among them as Dean of the faculty of Mathematics and Sciences of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Ms. Madhu Venkataramanan – Assistant Editor, Wired UK

Ms. Madhu Venkataramanan

Madhu Venkataramanan is an editor at Wired UK, where she oversees the culture pages that cover the intersection of science, technology and the arts, ranging from neuroaesthetics, bacterial art or algorithmic dance. Madhu also writes for the features and technology sections of the magazine, with a particular focus on science and medical technologies. She has written for publications like Scientific American, Popular Science, BBC Future and Nature Medicine and is a researcher and consultant for WIRED Consulting. Before Wired, Madhumita was an immunologist and worked on a vaccine for the HIV virus.

Dr. Ajey Verma – Vice President-Translational Neurology , Biogen Idec

Dr. Ajay Verma

Ajay Verma studied zoology at the University of Maryland and received his MD and PhD from The Johns Hopkins University. His neuroscience training was in the laboratory of Dr. Soloman Snyder. His neurology training was at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he was a staff Neurologist for 11 years. He was also a tenured Professor in Neurology, Neuroscience, Anesthesiology and Pathology at the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences, the US Military’s Medical School. Since leaving the Army as a Lt. Colonel in 2006, he has worked at Merck & Co., Inc. and Novartis Pharmaceuticals. He is currently a Vice President at Biogen Idec for Neurodegenerative drug development and Translational Neurology.

Dr. Charles Wilson – VP, Global Head of Strategic Alliances, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.

Dr. Charles Wilson

Chuck Wilson serves as Vice President, Global Head of Strategic Alliances, leading a group responsible for research partnering at Novartis. Partnering efforts include both academic / biotech collaborations and in-licensing of compounds prior to clinical proof-of-concept. Prior to joining Novartis, Chuck founded and led Archemix, a company focused on aptamer therapeutics. Responsible initially as its Chief Technology Officer for developing the company’s technology platform and managing its drug discovery efforts, he moved into a business role focused on partnering with pharma and biotech companies. Before moving into industry, Chuck was a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Formally trained in structural biology and molecular biology, Chuck received his PhD from UCSF and completed his post-doctoral training at MGH/Harvard with Nobel laureate Jack Szostak. In addition to his role within the Novartis research organization, Chuck also serves as a director on the boards of the Massachusetts Biotech Council (MassBio), a trade association supporting the interests of biotechnology companies in the Boston area, and on the Novartis Option Fund, a venture fund responsible for investing in biotech platform companies.

Prof. Moussa Youdim – Faculty of Medicine, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology President & Chairman, Naiot Venture Accelerator

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