IEEE Brain: Future Directions in Consumer Neurotechnology
This workshop brings together the various groups involved in delivering neurotechnology to a much broader consumer audience. Participants include top scientists developing the next generation of brain imaging and stimulation devices, leading startups translating this research directly to consumers, VCs investing in these companies, and technology companies addressing neurotechnology at scale.
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Dr. Amy Kruse, Prime Movers Lab, Co-Program Chair
Dr. David Jangraw, University of Vermont, Co-Program Chair
Dr. Jack Gallant, University of California, Berkeley, Co-General Chair
Dr. Paul Sajda, Columbia University, Co-General Chair
Dr. Ramses Alcaide
Dr. Alcaide is a neuroscientist, inventor and the CEO and founder of Neurable. As a researcher at the University of Michigan Direct Brain Interface Laboratory, he has worked extensively to develop brain-computer interface technology for people with amputations, severe cerebral palsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Previously he was the CEO of Pharo LLC, where he managed numerous high-impact health projects, such as a rehabilitation technology for stroke patients.
Alcaide’s honors include the National Science Foundation Fellowship, McNair and Ford Foundation Fellowship. Alcaide is a two-time Neuroscience Innovators Award winner, a Rackham Merit Fellow and recognized as Medtech 35 Under 35 and a Zell Lurie Top 20 Entrepreneur.
Ramses has a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington.
Ramses was named a 2021 Next 1000 member by Forbes magazine as a top 1000 entrepreneur in the world.
Dr. Erdrin Azemi
Erdrin Azemi leads the Biosignal Intelligence Group within Apple’s AI and Machine Learning organization. Prior to Apple she was a consultant, co-founder, and a visiting research professor. Erdrin received her Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh with interdisciplinary training from Carnegie Mellon University and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. Her thesis focused on neural engineering and biocompatibility of brain computer interfaces. She holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. Her work has been awarded with patents and several publications in peer reviewed journals.
Julia Brown has extensive experience bringing innovative, early-stage technologies to market in the US through her roles in multiple startups. Julia is currently the CEO and founder of MindX, a deep-tech company creating next-generation brain-computer interface technologies, which she launched out of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in 2018. Julia has a background in computational biology, engineering, and human-centered design.
Prior to starting MindX, Julia co-founded EpiWatch Inc., a digital health spin-out from Johns Hopkins that developed a seizure detection and chronic condition management platform for wearable and mobile devices. Julia created the technology underlying the EpiWatch software in collaboration with Apple Inc., a partnership that ultimately led to the formation of a joint venture responsible for the continued development and support of the product. Earlier in her career, Julia helped to create and then manage the Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Technology Innovation Center, where she oversaw a team of engineers, entrepreneurs, and clinical champions to create novel digital solutions that improve patient care.
Dr. Laura Cabrera
Dr. Cabrera is an Associate Professor of Neuroethics at the Center for Neural Engineering, Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State University. She is the Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Neuroethics, and a Research Associate at the Rock Ethics Institute. Dr. Cabrera is an honorific member of the Mexican Neuroethics Society, chair of the IEEE Brain Neuroethics Subcommittee, and member of the International Neuroethics Society (INS) Emergent Issues TaskForce. Dr. Cabrera’s interests focus on the ethical and societal implications of neurotechnologies used for treatment as well as for non-medical purposes.
Dr. Todd Coleman
Todd P. Coleman received B.S. degrees in electrical engineering (summa cum laude), as well as computer engineering (summa cum laude) from the University of Michigan. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from MIT in electrical engineering and did postdoctoral studies at MIT in neuroscience. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. Dr. Coleman’s research is very multi-disciplinary, using tools from applied probability, physiology, and bioelectronics. His research spans from developing fundamental information theory and machine learning techniques to developing technologies to monitor and modulate physiology of the nervous systems in the brain and visceral organs. He has been selected as a National Academy of Engineering Gilbreth Lecturer, as a TEDMED speaker, and as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
Dr. Joseph Culver
Dr. Joseph P. Culver, Ph.D. is the Sherwood Moore Professor of Radiology, at Washington University in St. Louis USA. Prof. Culver’s group has developed a series of improvements to high-density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT). The improved image quality of HD-DOT systems has enabled optical angular and eccentricity mappings of the human visual cortex and mapping of a collection of language tasks. While isolated functional tasks are powerful tools for validation, many brain mapping applications require more naturalistic approaches to evaluating brain networks. To address these needs Prof. Culver’s group developed a seminal task-less approach to mapping functional connectivity (FC). More recently his group has been exploring designs for wearable HD-DOT, and the use of naturalistic movies to both encode and decode brain function.
Jeff Eggers is the Managing Partner of Risk and Return, an early-stage venture fund accelerating human performance solutions for high-risk public servants. Jeff is also co-author of the U.S. best-selling book “Leaders: Myth and Reality” and formerly served as the Executive Director of the McChrystal Group Leadership Institute, where he led research and client training on human and organizational performance. Previously in public service, Jeff served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and also served over 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He holds an M.A. from Oxford University and a B.S. from the United States Naval Academy.
Dr. Ryan Field
Ryan is the Chief Technology Officer for Kernel and has led the development of the Kernel Flow TD-fNIRS product since 2018. He holds B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics from North Carolina State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University.
Dr. Jack Gallant
Jack Gallant is Chancellor’s Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, and he is affiliated with several other departments and graduate programs at UCB (EECS, Bioengineering, Neuroscience, Biophysics, Vision Science). He received his Ph.D. from Yale University, and he did post-doctoral work at the California Institute of Technology and Washington University Medical School. He is known for his neurophysiology work on the representation of natural scenes, the function of area V4 and its modulation by attention; and for the development of the voxel-wise modeling approach in human fMRI and its application to vision, attention and language perception.
His current research program focuses on computational modeling and mapping of human brain activity under a wide variety of naturalistic conditions. Further information about ongoing work, links to talks and papers and links to an online interactive brain viewer can be found at the lab web page: gallantlab.org
Niall Holmes is a Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham and Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor to Cerca Magnetics Limited. His research is focused on using quantum technologies to enable wearable Magnetoencephalography (or MEG), a functional neuroimaging technique which measures magnetic fields generated by neuronal currents. By combining quantum magnetic field sensors and novel magnetic shielding to screen interfering sources, he and his colleagues were able to perform the first MEG recordings which allowed significant participant movements. This has opened up a wealth of possibilities including scanning children, patients with movement disorders and incorporating technologies such as Virtual Reality headsets to provide an immersive environment.
Dr. Judy Illes
Dr. Judy Illes is Professor of Neurology and UBC Distinguished University Scholar. She is Director of Neuroethics Canada, and faculty in the Centre for Brain Health and at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. She received her PhD in Hearing and Speech Sciences, and in Neuropsychology at Stanford University, and became one of the pioneers of the field of neuroethics formally established in early 2000.
Dr. Illes’ research, teaching and outreach initiatives are devoted to ethical, legal, social and policy challenges at the intersection of the brain sciences and biomedical ethics, with a special focus on neurotechnology.
She was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2012 and appointed to the Order of Canada in December 2017. Her latest books, a series on Developments in Neuroethics and Bioethics, feature neuroethical issues in pain, global mental health, do-it-yourself brain devices and sensors, and neurolaw.
Dr. David Jangraw
David Jangraw is an Assistant Professor in the University of Vermont’s Electrical and Biomedical Engineering Department with experience in signal processing and machine learning. He completed his BS at Princeton, his PhD at Columbia, and his postdoctoral work at the National Institute of Mental Health. Jangraw currently directs the Glass Brain Lab, whose focus is “naturalistic neuroengineering”: the use of new technology to study the human brain in realistic situations. By understanding the brain in real life, we can pave the way for devices that detect problematic brain states in real-time and provide support, a sort of pacemaker for the brain.
Dr. Dion Khodagholy
Dion Khodagholy is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Birmingham (UK) in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. This was followed by a second Master’s degree in Microelectronics at the Ecole des Mines. He attained his Ph.D. degree in Microelectronics at the Department of Bioelectronics (BEL) of the Ecole des Mines (France). He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in systems neuroscience at New York University, Langone Medical Center.His research aims to use unique properties of materials for the purpose of designing and developing novel electronic devices that allow efficient interaction with biological substrates, specifically neural networks and the brain. This process involves design, characterization, and fabrication of high-performance biocompatible electronics to acquire and analyze neural data. The ultimate goal is to translate such advances in electronics, materials and neuroscience into more effective diagnostics and treatments for neuropsychiatric diseases.
Dr. Amy Kruse
Dr. Amy Kruse is a General Partner of Prime Movers Lab where she leads their life sciences investments. As a neuroscientist and biologist, she discovers emerging new companies and leads in-depth due diligence into potential investments across areas including neuroscience, human augmentation, synthetic biology, longevity/regeneration and agriculture. She also supports portfolio companies in evaluating and overcoming scientific and implementation challenges, with a specific emphasis on deploying complex technology into real-world environments. She serves on the boards of portfolio companies, Paradromics, Gilgamesh Pharmaceuticals, and Attune Neurosciences.
Prior to Prime Movers Lab, she was formerly the Chief Scientific Officer at Optios, an applied neuroscience company. Amy also served as the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Cubic Global Defense overseeing innovation and the R&D portfolio across the entire defense enterprise. Early in her career, she served as a government civilian program manager at DARPA where she created and oversaw the Agency’s first performance-oriented neuroscience programs, with a combined budget of over $300M. She earned a BS in Cell and Structural Biology and a PhD in Neuroscience from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, where she was awarded an NSF Graduate Fellowship.
Dr. Henry Mahncke
Dr. Henry Mahncke joined Posit Science at its inception as Vice President of Research & Outcomes, where he led the first large-scale clinical trials of a publicly available cognitive training program. He now serves as CEO of Posit Science, where his focus is ensuring that the breakthrough science of brain plasticity can help every brain on the planet. Previously, he worked as consultant at McKinsey focused on health care and video games, and then as a science and technology advisor to the British government. Dr. Mahncke earned his PhD in Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Patrick Malone
Patrick Malone is a physician-scientist turned VC. At Northpond Ventures, a science-driven venture capital firm with over $2B in committed capital, Patrick invests in and supports portfolio companies at the intersection of tech, life sciences, and healthcare. Previously, Patrick completed his MD and PhD in neuroscience at Georgetown University, where his thesis work focused on computational cognitive neuroscience and ML applications in neuroimaging. Prior to graduate school, Patrick was a research fellow at NIH where he investigated MRI biomarkers of neurodegenerative disease, and completed a B.S. with honors in neuroscience and behavioral biology from Emory University.
Dr. Nicole Martinez
Nicole Martinez-Martin is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Ethics, in the Department of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Stanford University. She has graduate degrees in social science research and law, and her research interests include neuroethics and the ethics of digital mental health and medical applications of AI.
Juan-Pablo is a partner at Action Potential Venture Capital in Santa Cruz, CA. He represents APVC on the Boards of Cala Health, Exo Imaging, Neuspera Medical, Presidio Medical, Saluda Medical, SetPoint Medical, and previously CVRx (NASDAQ: CVRX). He is also on the boards of Gradient Denervation Technologies, and was previously an investor at Lightstone Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures, where he served as a Board observer at Ardian (acq. by Medtronic), Twelve (acq. by Medtronic), Nuvaira, Cabochon Aesthetics (acq. by Ulthera/Merz), and Miramar Labs (acq. by Sientra).
Prior to investing, Juan-Pablo led efforts in R&D and Strategy in Medtronic’s CardioVascular Division. He was named “Medtronic Inventor of The Year.” Subsequently, he was on the Global Brand Strategy team at Eli Lilly within the Cardiovascular business.
Juan-Pablo earned an MBA and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He serves on the Oversight Committee for Stanford’s Neuroscience Institute (Wu Tsai), the Advisory Board for UCSF’s Rosenman Institute, and is a founding Board Member of LatinxVC which is dedicated to increasing the representation and advancement of Latino and Latina VCs across industry verticals. Juan-Pablo previously served eight years on the Board of InnerCity Weightlifting, a non-profit reducing youth violence and incarceration rates by fostering social inclusion and economic mobility. He played Division I men’s lacrosse at the University of Massachusetts, and is originally from Puerto Rico.
Meredith Perry is the Co-Founder and CEO of Elemind, a company developing bleeding-edge noninvasive neuromodulation technology. Prior to Elemind, Meredith founded uBeam, a company that develops long range wireless power systems. Meredith invented uBeam’s technology as an undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania, which won the Penn Invention competition. She holds numerous patents related to both Elemind and uBeam’s technologies.
While at Penn, Meredith served as a student ambassador for NASA, where she worked on technology to detect life on Mars, experimented in zero gravity, and researched and published papers in astrobiology and medicine. She graduated in 2011 with a degree in paleobiology.
Meredith has been recognized by Forbes’ “30 Under 30”, Vanity Fair’s “The New Establishment”, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, and Fast Company’s “Most Creative People”. She is also the recipient of Elle Magazine’s Genius Award. Meredith resides in Los Angeles.
Conor Russomanno 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.
Dr. Paul Sajda
Dr. Paul Sajda is Vice Chair and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Radiology (Physics) in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. He founded the Laboratory for Intelligent Imaging and Neural Computing (LIINC) at Columbia University in 2000, with a focus on developing and employing multimodal neuroimaging technology and state-of the-art machine learning techniques to elucidate the neural correlates of decision-making in the human brain. His area of research is part of the field of Neuroengineering, with specific work focusing on using non-invasive measurement techniques to make inferences about brain state in both healthy individuals and those with psychiatric illnesses. Dr. Sajda received a BS in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1989 and an MSE and PhD in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, in 1992 and 1994, respectively. He is a fellow of the IEEE, AIMBE and AAAS.
Dr. Ivan Tashev
Dr. Ivan Tashev received his Diploma Engineer degree in Electronic Engineering in 1984 and PhD in Computer Science in 1990 from Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He was Assistant Professor in the Department of Electronic Engineering of the same university in 1998, when joined Microsoft in Redmond, USA. Currently Dr. Tashev is a Partner Software Architect and leads the Audio and Acoustics Research Group in Microsoft Research Labs in Redmond, USA.
Ivan Tashev is IEEE Fellow since 2021, member of Audio Engineering Society since 2006. Served or serving as member of IEEE SPS Audio and Acoustics Signal Processing Technical Committee, IEEE SPS Industrial DSP Standing Committee, IEEE SPS Applied Digital Signal Processing Technical Committee, he is Chair of the IEEE SPS Industrial Technical Working Group. Since 2012 Dr. Tashev is affiliate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. Since 2019 he is honorary professor at the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria.
Dr. Tashev published two scientific books as the sole author, wrote chapters in two other books, authored or coauthored 100+ publications in scientific journals and conferences. Ivan Tashev is listed as inventor of 55 USA patent applications, 50 of them already granted. The audio processing technologies, created by Dr. Tashev, have been incorporated in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Auto Platform, and Microsoft Round Table device. Dr. Tashev served as the audio architect for Kinect for Xbox and Microsoft HoloLens.
More details about him can be found in his web page microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/ivantash/.
David Wang is the Co-Founder and CTO of Elemind, a company developing bleeding-edge noninvasive neuromodulation technology. He invented and co-authored the patents on Elemind’s core signal-processing technology. Prior to Elemind, David co-founded NuVu Studio, a school in the heart of Cambridge with a focus on teaching creativity. NuVu now has facilities around the world and is internationally recognized for its success in innovating education. NuVu’s students have founded startups and been invited to the White House. In fact, it was through a course at NuVu that Elemind’s founders were brought together. 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. David continues to advise A.I. research at MIT.
Dr. Jason Worchel
I am a neuropsychiatrist focused on developing noninvasive neuromodulation technology to improve cognitive functions and treat neuropsychiatric disorders. From the beginning of my professional career in obstetrics/gynecology and psychiatry, I was fascinated with the integration of mind and body to achieve wellness. This became the focus a research fellowship in the medical applications of EEG technologies. Fortunately, the rapid advancements in computer technology and neurosciences opened opportunities to translate basic neuroscience discoveries into clinical applications. While EEG biofeedback was my initial interest, it became evident that the wider field of direct neuromodulation held greater potential to improve health. I worked with an early pioneer in cranial electrical stimulation (CES) on clinical efficacy studies for insomnia as well as neuroimaging to discover the physiological mechanisms of action of electrical stimulation. Emerging neuromodulation research showed that acoustic stimulation during slow wave sleep significantly improved cognitive functions, including implicit memory. With our mutual goals and passions to improve health, cognitive performance and wellbeing through translational neuromodulation interventions, Karen Crow and I co-founded Neurogeneces.
Dr. Rachel Wurzman
Dr. Rachel Wurzman is a PhD neuroscientist and neuroethicist with a multidisciplinary background in noninvasive brain stimulation, social-cognitive neuroscience, and defense science policy. Her ongoing work addresses neuroethical issues arising from the use of neuroscience in national security, defense, and intelligence; neuroethical obligations in public representations of brain science and technology; the ethical, legal, and social issues pertaining to non-invasive brain stimulation; and applications of social health technologies to reduce epidemic deaths of despair and social polarization. Dr. Wurzman is currently a Senior Fellow with the Institute for Biodefense Research in addition to serving as Affiliate Faculty with the Neuroethics Studies Program of the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University. She also serves as Neuroethicist for the DARPA N3 program team at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
Previously, Rachel served as a Fellow with the Center for Neuroscience and Society as well as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Neurology with the Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wurzman received her PhD in Neuroscience from Georgetown University’s Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, MS degrees in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University and Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University, and a B.A. in Neuroscience from Smith College.