Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Full Recordings Available Now: 2011 SharpBrains Summit

We are pleased to announce that full recordings for all presentations delivered during the 2011 SharpBrains Summit: Retooling Brain Health for the 21st Century (March 30 – April 1, 2011) are now available both to Summit Participants and to non-Participants.

You can Learn More Here and Access 40+ Talks and 20+ hours of up-to-date information and analysis of brain science, technology and innovation, delivered by nothing short of a world-class faculty.

–> Reg­is­tered Sum­mit Par­tic­i­pants can access all Ses­sion Record­ings by click­ing on the ses­sion titles in the Agenda page and using the same Username and Password they used to participate in the Summit.

–> Didn’t Reg­is­ter to Par­tic­i­pate in the 2011 Sharp­Brains Sum­mit but want to access all Ses­sion Record­ings (20+ hours, 40+ speak­ers) Now? You can secure your log-in here.

We hope the information and analysis provided by these 40+ world-class speakers addressing this 3-day agenda provide excellent value to you:

Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, Assis­tant Sec­re­tary for Voca­tional and Adult Edu­ca­tion, US Depart­ment of Education

Brenda Dann-Messier was nom­i­nated by Pres­i­dent Obama as assis­tant sec­re­tary for voca­tional and adult edu­ca­tion on July 14, 2009. On Oct. 5, 2009 she was con­firmed by the U.S. Sen­ate and began her offi­cial duties on Oct. 13, 2009. As the first assis­tant sec­re­tary for the Office of Voca­tional and Adult Edu­ca­tion (OVAE) who is also an adult edu­ca­tor, Dann-Messier leads the Department’s efforts in adult edu­ca­tion and career and tech­ni­cal edu­ca­tion, as well as efforts sup­port­ing com­mu­nity col­leges and cor­rec­tional edu­ca­tion. She over­sees the admin­is­tra­tion of 11 grant pro­grams in these areas, total­ing approx­i­mately $1.9 bil­lion annu­ally. Dann-Messier is com­mit­ted to col­lab­o­ra­tion, both within the Depart­ment and across fed­eral agen­cies, includ­ing work­ing with the U.S. Depart­ments of Labor, Agri­cul­ture, Health and Human Ser­vices, Home­land Secu­rity and Com­merce. OVAE’s vision is for all youths and adults to have mul­ti­ple oppor­tu­ni­ties to obtain life­long edu­ca­tion and train­ing in order to achieve reward­ing careers and fam­ily lives, par­tic­i­pate in their com­mu­ni­ties, and attain their per­sonal goals. You can read more Here.

Dr. Molly Wag­ster, Chief of the Behav­ioral and Sys­tems Neu­ro­science Branch in the Divi­sion of Neu­ro­science, National Insti­tute on Aging (NIA)

Dr. Wag­ster over­sees admin­is­tra­tion and devel­op­ment of research in cog­ni­tive and emo­tional change with age and in sen­sory and motor dis­or­ders of aging. She directly man­ages a port­fo­lio of research in mech­a­nisms of cog­ni­tive (mem­ory, learn­ing, atten­tion, lan­guage) and affec­tive (emo­tion) change with age that spans research from mol­e­cules to behav­ior. She serves as the NIH Project Offi­cer for the devel­op­ment of the NIH Tool­box for Assess­ment of Neu­ro­log­i­cal and Behav­ioral Func­tion (con­tract sup­ported by the NIH Blue­print for Neu­ro­science Research) and directs the trans-NIH Cog­ni­tive and Emo­tional Health Project. Dr. Wag­ster received her MS and PhD in Biopsy­chol­ogy from Tulane Uni­ver­sity and com­pleted a post­doc­toral fel­low­ship in Neu­ropathol­ogy at The Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity School of Medicine.


Michael Merzenich, Emer­i­tus Pro­fes­sor, UCSF

For more than three decades, Dr. Merzenich has been a lead­ing pio­neer in brain plas­tic­ity research. In the late 1980s, Dr. Merzenich was on the team that invented the cochlear implant, now dis­trib­uted by Advanced Bion­ics. In 1996, Dr. Merzenich was the found­ing CEO of Sci­en­tific Learn­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (Nas­daq: SCIL), and in 2004 became co-founder and Chief Sci­en­tific Offi­cer of Posit Sci­ence. Dr. Merzenich has pub­lished more than 200 arti­cles, received numer­ous awards and prizes, and been granted more than 50 patents for his work. His work was fea­tured on the PBS spe­cials “The Brain Fit­ness Pro­gram” and “Brain Fit­ness 2: Sight and Sound.” Dr. Merzenich earned his BS degree at the Uni­ver­sity of Port­land and his PhD at Johns Hop­kins. He retired from his long career as Fran­cis A. Sooy Pro­fes­sor and Co-Director of the Keck Cen­ter for Inte­gra­tive Neu­ro­science at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at San Fran­cisco in 2007. He was elected to the National Acad­emy of Sci­ences, the Insti­tute of Med­i­cine, and recently launched the research/ tech­nol­ogy incu­ba­tor Brain Plas­tic­ity Inc.

Tracy Pack­iam Alloway, PhD, Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Mem­ory and Learn­ing in the Lifes­pan, the Uni­ver­sity of Stir­ling, UK

Tracy was recently awarded the pres­ti­gious Joseph Lis­ter Award by the British Sci­ence Asso­ci­a­tion for her con­tri­bu­tion to sci­ence. Tracy has devel­oped the only stan­dard­ized working-memory tests for edu­ca­tors pub­lished by Psy­cho­log­i­cal Cor­po­ra­tion, which to date has been trans­lated into 15 lan­guages and used to screen for work­ing mem­ory prob­lems in stu­dents with dyslexia, motor dys­praxia (Devel­op­men­tal Coor­di­na­tion Dis­or­der), ADHD and Autis­tic Spec­trum Dis­or­der. She pro­vides con­sul­tancy to the World Bank and her research has received wide­spread inter­na­tional cov­er­age in hun­dreds of media out­lets, includ­ing Sci­en­tific Amer­i­can, the BBC, Reuters, ABC News, and NBC.

Daphne Bave­lier, Pro­fes­sor, Depart­ment of Brain and Cog­ni­tive Sci­ences at the Uni­ver­sity of Rochester

Daphne Bave­lier is a Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Brain and Cog­ni­tive Sci­ences at the Uni­ver­sity of Rochester. Her work focuses on brain plas­tic­ity and exam­ines the role of expe­ri­ence in shap­ing the func­tional orga­ni­za­tion of the human brain as well as in push­ing the bound­aries of behav­ior. She stud­ies pop­u­la­tions with altered expe­ri­ence such as deaf indi­vid­u­als, video game play­ers or indi­vid­u­als using a visual rather than a spo­ken lan­guage (e.g. users of Amer­i­can Sign Lan­guage), and asks basic ques­tions such as: Do deaf indi­vid­u­als see bet­ter? What is the impact of video gam­ing on vision and cog­ni­tion? How does the use of a visual, rather than spo­ken lan­guage, change the cere­bral orga­ni­za­tion for language?

Pro­f. Cary Cooper, Sci­ence Co-ordination Chair, Fore­sight Project on Men­tal Cap­i­tal and Wellbeing

Pro­fes­sor Cooper chaired the Sci­ence Co-ordination team of the Fore­sight Project on Men­tal Cap­i­tal and Well­be­ing. He is a Pro­fes­sor of Orga­ni­za­tional Psy­chol­ogy and Health at the Lan­caster Uni­ver­sity Man­age­ment School, Pres­i­dent of the British Asso­ci­a­tion for Coun­selling and Psy­chother­apy, and Direc­tor and founder of Robert­son Cooper Ltd. Prof. Cooper is recog­nised as a world-leading expert on stress and work­place issues, and received his BS and MBA degrees from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Los Ange­les, and his PhD from the Uni­ver­sity of Leeds.

Dr. David Darby, Chief Med­ical Offi­cer, CogState

Dr. David Darby is a Founder and Chief Med­ical Offi­cer at CogState Ltd devel­op­ing com­put­er­ized cog­ni­tive test­ing instru­ments includ­ing for early detec­tion of demen­tia and con­cus­sion in sports, and is also adjunct Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor at the Cen­tre for Neu­ro­science, and Senior Research Fel­low of the Flo­rey Neu­ro­sciences Insti­tute, Uni­ver­sity of Mel­bourne. Prof Darby com­pleted a PhD in neu­rol­ogy and neu­ropsy­chol­ogy and neu­rol­ogy train­ing in 1991, and served as an instruc­tor in Behav­ioral Neu­rol­ogy at Beth Israel Hos­pi­tal, Har­vard Med­ical School from 1992 to 1995.


Jerri Edwards, Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor, Uni­ver­sity of South Florida

Dr. Edwards’ research is aimed toward dis­cov­er­ing how cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties can be main­tained and even enhanced with advanc­ing age. Ulti­mately, the goals of Dr. Edwards’ research are to extend the mobil­ity and inde­pen­dence of older adults thereby improv­ing their qual­ity of life. She is par­tic­u­larly inter­ested in how cog­ni­tive inter­ven­tions may help older adults to avoid or at least delay func­tional dif­fi­cul­ties and thereby main­tain inde­pen­dence. Much of her work has focused upon the func­tional abil­ity of dri­ving includ­ing assess­ing dri­ving fit­ness among older adults and reme­di­a­tion of cog­ni­tive decline that results in dri­ving difficulties.

Dr. Martha Farah, Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Neu­ro­science and Soci­ety, Uni­ver­sity of Pennsylvania

Dr. Farah is the Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Neu­ro­science and Soci­ety at the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia and Annen­berg Pro­fes­sor of Nat­ural Sci­ences. Much of her career has been devoted to under­stand­ing the mech­a­nisms of vision, mem­ory, and exec­u­tive func­tion in the human brain. In recent years she shifted her research focus to a new set of issues that lie at the inter­face between cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science and “the real world.” These new issues of inter­est to me include the effects of socioe­co­nomic adver­sity on children’s brain devel­op­ment and emerg­ing social and eth­i­cal issues in neu­ro­science (“neu­roethics”), mood reg­u­la­tion, and deci­sion making.

Alvaro 3920

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO, SharpBrains

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez is Sharp­Brains’ co-founder and Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer. He has been quoted by The New York Times, The Wall Street Jour­nal, CNN, and oth­ers. Alvaro is a mem­ber of the Global Agenda Coun­cils ini­tia­tive run by the World Eco­nomic Forum, and recently co-authored The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. He started his career at McK­in­sey & Com­pany and led the launch of sev­eral pub­lish­ing and edu­ca­tion com­pa­nies in the US and Europe. Alvaro has an MBA and MA in Edu­ca­tion from Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity, and enjoys teach­ing The Sci­ence of Brain Health at UC-Berkeley Osher Life­long Learn­ing Institute.

Lind­say Gask­ins, CEO, Mar­ble: the Brain Store

Lind­say started Mar­bles: The Brain Store in 2008 with the sim­ple idea of find­ing the best brain games out there and putting them all in one place. Not just prod­ucts for aging baby boomers con­cerned about mem­ory loss and vic­tims of brain dis­or­ders, but also any­one who wanted to improve focus and atten­tion, enhance cre­ativ­ity, become bet­ter multi-taskers. Mar­bles opened three more Chicagoland stores in 2009 and four more stores in 2010. Pre­vi­ously, Lind­say was a Vice Pres­i­dent at Sand­box Indus­tries, a Chicago-based ven­ture cap­i­tal fund and incubator.


Adam Gaz­za­ley, Direc­tor of the Neu­ro­science Imag­ing Cen­ter at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Francisco

Dr. Gaz­za­ley is a fac­ulty mem­ber in the Neu­rol­ogy, Phys­i­ol­ogy and Psy­chi­a­try depart­ments, and prin­ci­pal inves­ti­ga­tor of a cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science lab­o­ra­tory that con­ducts research on the neural mech­a­nisms of atten­tion and mem­ory. A major focus of his research has been to expand our under­stand­ing of the alter­ations in the aging brain that lead to cog­ni­tive decline. His most recent stud­ies explore how we can pre­serve and improve atten­tion and mem­ory as we get older. He has received many awards and hon­ors for his research, includ­ing the 1997 Cor­ti­cal Scholar Award, Pfizer/AFAR Inno­va­tions in Aging Award and the Elli­son Foun­da­tion New Scholar Award in Aging.

Ken Gib­son, Pres­i­dent, LearningRx

In 2002, Dr. Gib­son founded Learn­ingRx, a net­work of more than 60 cen­ters across the United States and abroad offer­ing cog­ni­tive skills test­ing and train­ing. The com­pany has been named to Fran­chise Times “Fast 55” and Fran­chise Mar­ket­ing Magazine’s “Top 100 New Fran­chises,” as well as an hon­or­able men­tion on the Fran­chise 50 list put out by Fran­chise Busi­ness Review.

Prof. James Gior­dano, Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Neu­rotech­nol­ogy Stud­ies and Vice Pres­i­dent for Aca­d­e­mic Pro­grams, Potomac Institute

Prof. James Gior­dano is Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Neu­rotech­nol­ogy Stud­ies and Vice Pres­i­dent for Aca­d­e­mic Pro­grams at the Potomac Insti­tute for Pol­icy Stud­ies. He is also a Senior Research Asso­ciate, Well­come Cen­tre for Neu­roethics and Uehiro Cen­tre for Prac­ti­cal Phi­los­o­phy, Uni­ver­sity of Oxford, Oxford, UK, and Vis­it­ing Pro­fes­sor of Neu­rophi­los­o­phy and Neu­roethics at Rheinis­che Friedrich Wil­helms’ Uni­ver­sität, Bonn, Ger­many. Prof. Gior­dano is Editor-in-Chief of the jour­nal Phi­los­o­phy, Ethics and Human­i­ties in Med­i­cine, and author of more than 120 pub­li­ca­tions in neu­ro­science, pain, neu­rophi­los­o­phy, and neu­roethics. His ongo­ing research addresses the role of neu­ro­science and tech­nol­ogy in med­i­cine, social, and national defense appli­ca­tions, and explores the neu­roethics of pain, pain care, and impli­ca­tions for the treat­ment of human and non-human organisms.

Evian Gor­don, CEO, Brain Resource

Dr Evian Gor­don, PhD, MBBCh, is the Chair­man and Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer of Brain Resource. Dr Gor­don has over 20 years of expe­ri­ence in human brain research. He was the found­ing direc­tor of the Brain Dynam­ics Cen­tre at West­mead Hos­pi­tal and a senior lec­turer in the Depart­ment of Psy­cho­log­i­cal Med­i­cine at the Uni­ver­sity of Syd­ney. He edited the first book on “Inte­gra­tive Neu­ro­science” and has more than 160 publications.

Dr. Wal­ter Green­leaf, CEO, Vir­tu­ally Better

Wal­ter Green­leaf, Ph.D. is a research sci­en­tist trained in Neuro– and Behav­ioral Sci­ences at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity, and founder and CEO of Vir­tu­ally Bet­ter. His research, writ­ing, and pre­sen­ta­tions focus on the use of sim­u­la­tion tech­nol­ogy to improve phys­i­cal med­i­cine and neu­ro­log­i­cal and cog­ni­tive reha­bil­i­ta­tion. Dr. Green­leaf is known inter­na­tion­ally as a pio­neer in med­ical appli­ca­tions for advanced com­puter tech­nol­ogy, and he has designed and devel­oped sev­eral inno­v­a­tive prod­ucts in clin­i­cal med­i­cine in areas such as vir­tual real­ity, telemed­i­cine tech­nol­ogy, clin­i­cal infor­mat­ics, point-of-care data col­lec­tion via hand­held devices, ergonomic eval­u­a­tion tech­nol­ogy, as well as reha­bil­i­ta­tion technologies.

Muki Hansteen-Izora, Senior Design Researcher and Strate­gist, Intel’s Dig­i­tal Health Group

Muki is also the Intel lead and co-PI for the Tech­nol­ogy Research for Inde­pen­dent Liv­ing (TRIL) Centre’s Cog­ni­tive Func­tion research strand, which is inves­ti­gat­ing how inter­ac­tive media and gam­ing tech­nolo­gies can sup­port cog­ni­tion in older pop­u­la­tions. Prior to join­ing Intel, Muki served as a lead researcher at Philips Research Labs. He holds a degree in Cul­tural Anthro­pol­ogy from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Santa Cruz, and com­pleted his grad­u­ate train­ing in Learn­ing, Design, and Tech­nol­ogy at Stan­ford University.

Dr. Joe Hardy, Senior Direc­tor of Research and Devel­op­ment, Lumos Labs

Dr. Hardy works with a net­work of research col­lab­o­ra­tors from insti­tu­tions such as Stan­ford and Har­vard to val­i­date and improve the cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams. Dr. Hardy has over 15 years of expe­ri­ence study­ing the brain, and has pub­lished 20 peer-reviewed sci­en­tific arti­cles on neu­ro­science and cog­ni­tion. He received his Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley in Cog­ni­tive Psy­chol­ogy and com­pleted a Post­doc­toral Research Fel­low­ship at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Davis Med­ical Center.

Kath­leen Herath, Asso­ciate Vice Pres­i­dent Health & Pro­duc­tiv­ity, Nation­wide Insurance

Kath­leen Herath, RN, BSN CRRN, over­sees the Health and Pro­duc­tiv­ity strat­egy at Nation­wide for the company’s 33,000 asso­ciates. She is respon­si­ble for the company’s inte­grated health and pro­duc­tiv­ity pro­gram, which includes: health screen­ings, well­ness pro­grams, dis­abil­ity and dis­ease man­age­ment, health edu­ca­tion, work life resources and walk­ing pro­grams and occu­pa­tional health clin­ics. The Health and Pro­duc­tiv­ity pro­gram at Nation­wide has been awarded more than six awards in the last three years includ­ing the pres­ti­gious C. Everett Koop National Health Award and Sharp­Brains’ Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion Award.


Jonas Jendi, CEO, Cogmed

Jonas Jendi joined Cogmed in 2001 as its chief exec­u­tive offi­cer. In 2007, Jendi opened Cogmed’s North Amer­i­can head­quar­ters in Naperville, IL, where he is now based. Prior to Cogmed, Jendi pro­vided strate­gic con­sult­ing for the Boston Con­sult­ing Group in Stock­holm and Paris, and held man­age­ment and con­sult­ing roles for var­i­ous tech­nol­ogy start-ups. He holds a MS from the Stock­holm School of Economics.

Dr. Jef­frey Kaye, Direc­tor, NIA — ORCATECH

Dr. Kaye is Pro­fes­sor of Neu­rol­ogy and Bio­med­ical Engi­neer­ing at Ore­gon Health and Sci­ence Uni­ver­sity (OHSU). He directs the NIA — Lay­ton Aging and Alzheimer’s Dis­ease Cen­ter at OHSU and the Port­land Vet­er­ans Affairs Med­ical Cen­ter. He also directs ORCATECH — the Ore­gon Cen­ter for Aging and Tech­nol­ogy. He cur­rently leads a large NIH study using ubiq­ui­tous, unob­tru­sive tech­nolo­gies for assess­ment of elders in their homes to detect changes sig­nal­ing cog­ni­tive decline is imminent.

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., Pres­i­dent and Med­ical Direc­tor, Alzheimer’s Research and Pre­ven­tion Foundation

He is a grad­u­ate of Creighton Uni­ver­sity School of Med­i­cine in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Khalsa received his train­ing in Anes­the­si­ol­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Fran­cisco, where he was Chief Res­i­dent. He is also a grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Los Ange­les Med­ical Acupunc­ture for Physi­cians Pro­gram and has stud­ied mind/body med­i­cine at Har­vard Med­ical School’s Mind/Body Med­ical Institute.

Robin Klaus, Chair­man and CEO, Club One

Robin has more than 20 years of exec­u­tive man­age­ment expe­ri­ence in the fit­ness indus­try, includ­ing being pres­i­dent and chief oper­at­ing offi­cer of fit­ness man­u­fac­turer Star Trac, chair­man of Planet Fit­ness, and for­mer chair­man of Amer­i­can Sports Insti­tute. Mr. Klaus cur­rently serves on the board of direc­tors of Napa Sonoma Sum­mer Search. Mr. Klaus holds a bachelor’s in inter­na­tional rela­tions from Amer­i­can Uni­ver­sity, a master’s in inter­na­tional eco­nom­ics from Uni­ver­sity of Pitts­burgh and a master’s in busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion from Stanford.


Ken­neth Kosik, Co-Director, UC Santa Bar­bara Neu­ro­science Research Institute

Dr. Kosik is the Co-Director of UCSB Neu­ro­science Research Insti­tute and Founder of CFIT. He received his M.D. degree from the Med­ical Col­lege of Penn­syl­va­nia, com­pleted a neu­rol­ogy res­i­dency from Tufts New Eng­land Med­ical Cen­ter, and held var­i­ous appoint­ments at the Har­vard Med­ical School. In the fall of 2004 he assumed the co-directorship of the Neu­ro­science Research Insti­tute and the Har­ri­man Chair at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Santa Bar­bara. He has received mul­ti­ple awards, includ­ing a Whitaker Health Sci­ences Award from Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, the Derek Denny-Brown Neu­ro­log­i­cal Scholar Award from the Amer­i­can Neu­ro­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion, the Zenith Award from the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion, and a NASA Group Achieve­ment Award.

Veronika Litin­ski, Direc­tor, MaRS Ven­ture Group

Veronika Litin­ski coor­di­nates the MaRS ven­ture ser­vices pro­grams deliv­ered to entre­pre­neurs, investors and high-growth com­pa­nies. She also pro­vides advi­sory ser­vices to entre­pre­neurs and high growth com­pa­nies, with a spe­cial focus on life sci­ences mar­kets, spe­cial­iz­ing in cor­po­rate finance and busi­ness devel­op­ment. Veronika started her career as a research sci­en­tist at Lawrence Liv­er­more Lab in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia. Tran­si­tion­ing to the busi­ness world, Veronika founded a med­ical jour­nal, earned her MBA (Finance) at the Uni­ver­sity of San Fran­cisco, and worked in cor­po­rate finance with Union Bank and GATX Finan­cial Cor­po­ra­tion. Veronika is a mem­ber of Finan­cial Women Asso­ci­a­tion (FWA) and Finan­cial Exec­u­tives Inter­na­tional (FEI).

Henry Mah­ncke, CEO, Posit Science

Dr. Mah­ncke is Posit Science’s new CEO. Pre­vi­ously, he led their Research & Out­comes team, design­ing sci­en­tific research and imple­ment­ing out­comes tri­als to advance the company’s prod­uct devel­op­ment. Dr. Mah­ncke did his grad­u­ate work and earned his doc­tor­ate in neu­ro­science in Dr. Merzenich’s lab at UCSF. He then worked as an Engage­ment Man­ager for McK­in­sey & Com­pany. While at McK­in­sey, Dr. Mah­ncke worked with lead­ing global health­care and con­sumer prod­ucts com­pa­nies in devis­ing mar­ket strate­gies. Dr. Mah­ncke has also served in the con­sulate of the British gov­ern­ment as a Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy con­sul­tant. He holds a BA from Rice Uni­ver­sity and a PhD from UCSF.

Alexan­dra More­house, Chief Mar­ket­ing Offi­cer, AAA NorCal

Alexan­dra More­house is a vet­eran of membership-driven orga­ni­za­tions hav­ing spent more than a decade with Amer­i­can Express, as well as a stint at Charles Schwab before join­ing AAA nearly nine years ago, where she became Chief Mar­ket­ing Offi­cer of AAA’s second-largest club, North­ern Cal­i­for­nia Nevada and Utah, with 4.2-million members.

Mar­garet Mor­ris, Senior Researcher in Intel’s Dig­i­tal Health Group

Mar­garet stud­ies the ways that emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies can enhance men­tal and phys­i­cal well­be­ing. She con­ducts ethno­graphic research to iden­tify needs and works with engi­neers to develop and eval­u­ate exploratory pro­to­types. Prior to join­ing Intel in 2002, she stud­ied tech­nol­ogy adop­tion in Sapient’s Expe­ri­ence Mod­el­ling group. Margie com­pleted her Ph.D. in Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­ogy with a minor in Behav­ioural Neu­ro­science at the Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico, her clin­i­cal intern­ship at the San Fran­cisco VA Med­ical Cen­tre, and her post­doc­toral fel­low­ship at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity. She has a B.A. in Eng­lish from Haver­ford College.

Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Direc­tor of the Berenson-Allen Cen­ter for Non-Invasive Brain Stim­u­la­tion, Har­vard Med­ical School

Dr. Pascual-Leone researches the phys­i­ol­ogy of higher cog­ni­tive func­tions and the study of brain plas­tic­ity in skill acqui­si­tion and recov­ery from injury. He is also the Pro­gram Direc­tor of the Harvard-Thorndike Clin­i­cal Research Cen­ter of the Beth Israel Dea­coness Med­ical Cen­ter. Dr. Pascual-Leone obtained an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Neu­ro­phys­i­ol­ogy from the Fac­ulty of Med­i­cine of Albert Lud­wigs Uni­ver­sity in Ger­many, and trained at the Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota and the US National Insti­tutes of Health. He greatly enjoys teach­ing and is the recip­i­ent of numer­ous awards.

Lena Perel­man, Direc­tor Com­mu­nity Out­reach, SCAN Health Plan

At SCAN Health Plan, one of the largest not-for-profit Medicare Advan­tage plans in the United States, Lena over­sees SCAN’s com­mu­nity involve­ment pro­gram­ming, includ­ing the recently launched SCAN Van, the first mobile resource cen­ter built specif­i­cally for seniors and their care­givers. Perel­man has more than 10 years of expe­ri­ence in health­care and senior ser­vices, hav­ing worked at Tal­bert Med­ical Group, Secure Hori­zons and Los Ange­les County Com­mu­nity and Senior Ser­vices. Perel­man earned a master’s degree in geron­tol­ogy and a master’s degree in pub­lic admin­is­tra­tion from the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern California.

Paula Psyl­lakis, Senior Pol­icy Advi­sor, Ontario Min­istry of Research and Innovation

Paula Psyl­lakis is a Senior Pol­icy Advi­sor at the Ontario Min­istry of Research and Inno­va­tion, in Canada. From 2007–2009 Paula served as Chair of the Board of Direc­tors of the Advo­cacy Cen­tre for the Elderly. Prior to join­ing gov­ern­ment, Paula worked for the Alzheimer Soci­ety of Toronto as the Edu­ca­tion Coor­di­na­tor and before that, with indi­vid­u­als with demen­tia. She has a Mas­ters degree in Applied Lin­guis­tics and is pri­mar­ily inter­ested in lan­guage processes and dementia.

Patty Pur­pur, Direc­tor, Stan­ford Health Pro­mo­tion Network

The Stan­ford Health Pro­mo­tion Net­work (SHPN) is an asso­ci­a­tion of employ­ers, health plans, med­ical care providers, and local gov­ern­ment offi­cials who aim to improve employee health and pro­duc­tiv­ity through focused health pro­mo­tion ini­tia­tives and strate­gies. Patty grad­u­ated with a BA in Psy­chol­ogy from Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity in 1989. In 1992, she founded Time­Out Ser­vices to offer per­sonal fit­ness ser­vices and expanded to Cor­po­rate Well­ness Pro­gram design and man­age­ment. Her com­pany grew to 100 employ­ees and over 5 mil­lion in sales in 2008.


William Reich­man, Pres­i­dent, Baycrest

Dr. William E. Reich­man is Pres­i­dent and Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer of Bay­crest, one of the world’s pre­mier aca­d­e­mic health sci­ences cen­tres focused on aging and brain func­tion. Dr. Reich­man, an internationally-known expert in geri­atric men­tal health and demen­tia is also Pro­fes­sor of Psy­chi­a­try on the Fac­ulty of Med­i­cine at the Uni­ver­sity of Toronto. He is a noted author­ity on the deliv­ery of men­tal health and demen­tia ser­vices in nurs­ing home set­tings. His pre­vi­ous aca­d­e­mic activ­i­ties have focused on the phar­ma­co­log­i­cal treat­ment of Alzheimer’s dis­ease and its asso­ci­ated apa­thy and neg­a­tive symp­toms. Dr. Reich­man is a for­mer Pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion for Geri­atric Psy­chi­a­try and the Geri­atric Men­tal Health Foundation.

Peter Reiner, Co-Founder, National Core for Neu­roethics at the Uni­ver­sity of British Columbia

Dr. Reiner’s cur­rent focus lies in the area of neu­roethics, spe­cial­iz­ing in the non-medical impact of tech­nol­ogy on the brain, with par­tic­u­lar inter­ests in the neu­roethics of cog­ni­tive enhance­ment as well as the impact of mod­ern tech­no­log­i­cal soci­ety upon brain func­tion. Dr. Reiner has a dis­tin­guished track record as a bench research sci­en­tist study­ing the neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy of behav­ioural states and neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease, and also was the Pres­i­dent & CEO of Active Pass Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, a drug dis­cov­ery com­pany that he founded to tackle the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. John Rep­pas, Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pol­icy, Neu­rotech­nol­ogy Indus­try Organization

Pre­vi­ously, Dr. Rep­pas was a fel­low in the Depart­ment of Neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy, Howard Hughes Med­ical Insti­tute, and Bio-X pro­gram at the Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity School of Med­i­cine. Rep­pas is an expert in next-generation neu­ro­mod­u­la­tion tech­nolo­gies, brain-machine inter­faces, and human brain imag­ing. He is an advi­sor to early-stage life sci­ence com­pa­nies and their investors, and also an angel investor. He grad­u­ated from Oxford Uni­ver­sity with a Bach­e­lors of Med­i­cine, received his MD from the Harvard-MIT Divi­sion of Health Sci­ences and Tech­nol­ogy, and a PhD from the Depart­ment of Neu­ro­bi­ol­ogy at Har­vard Med­ical School.

Car­los Rodriguez, Chief Tech­nol­ogy Offi­cer, CogniFit

Mr. Rodriguez earned an Indus­trial Engi­neer­ing Mas­ter Degree from the Poly­tech­nic Uni­ver­sity Car­los III of Madrid, and is a grad­u­ate of the Grande Ecole INSA Lyon, France. Car­los began his pro­fes­sional career at Peu­geot Group before join­ing the Uralita Group as a con­sul­tant in the New Tech­nolo­gies depart­ment in Madrid. Fol­low­ing this, Car­los joined the Con­sumer and Mar­ket Knowl­edge depart­ment at Proc­ter & Gam­ble for 5 years, ini­tially work­ing in the West­ern Europe head­quar­ters in Geneva before mov­ing to Madrid, where he was respon­si­ble for over­all con­sumer strat­egy design for sev­eral Euro­pean brands and key dis­tri­b­u­tion chan­nels. Today Car­los is part­ner at Milk Cap­i­tal in Paris and leads the Cog­niFit oper­a­tions in Spain & South America.

Bev­erly San­born, Vice Pres­i­dent of Activ­i­ties and Mem­ory Pro­grams, Bel­mont Vil­lage Senior Living

Bev­erly has over two decades of expe­ri­ence design­ing and man­ag­ing older adult ser­vices across the con­tin­uum of care, includ­ing healthy aging, Mild Cog­ni­tive Impair­ment and demen­tia. She is a grad­u­ate of U.C. Berke­ley with a Mas­ters in Social Work from UCLA.


Lisa Schooner­man, Co-founder, vibrantBrains

Lisa held a vari­ety of tech­ni­cal and edi­to­r­ial posi­tions with the Thom­son Cor­po­ra­tion in the Legal Pub­lish­ing divi­sion (now Thom­son­Reuters), begin­ning in Rochester, NY and then com­ing to San Fran­cisco to work for what was then Ban­croft Whit­ney. Lisa’s work for Thom­son included a 3-year assign­ment in the UK, where she was Edi­to­r­ial Direc­tor of the group pro­vid­ing con­tent for West­law UK, the first inter­na­tional appli­ca­tion of the West­law database.

Dr. Gary Small, Direc­tor of the Cen­ter on Aging, UCLA Semel Insti­tute for Neu­ro­science & Human Behavior

Dr. Small is a pro­fes­sor of psy­chi­a­try and his research, sup­ported by the National Insti­tute of Health, has made head­lines in the Wall Street Jour­nal, New York Times, and USA Today. Sci­en­tific Amer­i­can mag­a­zine named him one of the world’s lead­ing inno­va­tors in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy. Dr. Small lec­tures through­out the world and fre­quently appears on The Today Show, Good Morn­ing Amer­i­can, PBS, and CNN. He has writ­ten five books, includ­ing The New York Times best seller, The Mem­ory Bible.

Nigel Smith, Strat­egy and Inno­va­tion Direc­tor, AARP

Nigel is respon­si­ble for devel­op­ing decen­tral­ized inno­va­tion mod­els for AARP and for con­sult­ing with busi­ness units in the exe­cu­tion of inno­va­tion processes. Prior to AARP, Nigel was the Direc­tor or Prod­uct Inno­va­tion for Visa USA. Other pro­fes­sional expe­ri­ences have been with McK­in­sey & Com­pany, Gold­man Sachs Group, and KPMG. Nigel holds a Mas­ters in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion degree from Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity and a Bach­e­lors in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion degree from Howard University.

Joshua Stein­er­man, Asst. Pro­fes­sor, Albert Ein­stein Col­lege of Med­i­cine – Mon­te­fiore Med­ical Center

Edu­cated and trained at Har­vard, Yale, Colum­bia, and the State Uni­ver­sity of New York, Dr. Stein­er­man is a behav­ioral neu­rol­o­gist and neu­ropsy­chi­a­trist who com­bines patient care with clin­i­cal research in brain aging and cog­ni­tion. Dr. Stein­er­man co-directs the Einstein-Montefiore Cen­ter for Healthy Brain Aging and is the sci­en­tific founder of ProG­evity Neuroscience.


Yaakov Stern, Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science Divi­sion Leader, Colum­bia University

Dr. Stern directs the Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science Divi­sion of the Sergievsky Cen­ter and is Direc­tor of Neu­ropsy­chol­ogy for the Mem­ory Dis­or­ders Clinic at the New York State Psy­chi­atric Insti­tute. He also directs the post-doctoral train­ing pro­gram Neu­ropsy­chol­ogy and Cog­ni­tion in Aging, and is a Pro­fes­sor of Clin­i­cal Neu­ropsy­chol­ogy in the Depart­ments of Neu­rol­ogy, Psy­chi­a­try, and Psy­chol­ogy, as well as the in Sergievsky Cen­ter and the Taub Insti­tute for the Research on Alzheimer’s Dis­ease and the Aging Brain, at Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity Col­lege of Physi­cians and Surgeons.

Kate Sul­li­van, Direc­tor of the Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter, Wal­ter Reed Army Med­ical Center

Kate Sul­li­van M.S., CCC-SLP, CBIS com­pleted her under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate degrees in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sci­ences and Dis­or­ders at James Madi­son Uni­ver­sity. She has been a speech-language pathol­o­gist at Wal­ter Reed Army Med­ical Cen­ter for 10 years where she recently helped launch the Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter (BFC), located in the WRAMC’s Mil­i­tary Advanced Train­ing Cen­ter, to com­ple­ment tra­di­tional care approaches.

Dr Michael Valen­zuela, Leader of the Regen­er­a­tive Neu­ro­science Group, UNSW

Dr Michael Valen­zuela is a Research Fel­low at the School of Psy­chi­a­try, Uni­ver­sity of New South Wales and Leader of the Regen­er­a­tive Neu­ro­science Group at UNSW. His cur­rent research is aimed at under­stand­ing the com­pet­ing forces of neu­ro­plas­tic­ity and degen­er­a­tion in the human brain, and includes stud­ies of adult stem cells, ani­mal mod­els, neu­roimag­ing, clin­i­cal tri­als and epi­demi­ol­ogy. In 2006, he was awarded the pres­ti­gious Eureka Prize for Med­ical Research for his research on the rela­tion­ship between demen­tia and com­plex men­tal activity.

Sophia Vino­gradov, Interim Vice Chair of Depart­ment of Psy­chi­a­try, UCSF

Dr. Vino­gradov is a Pro­fes­sor of Psy­chi­a­try in Res­i­dence; Interim Asso­ciate Chief of Staff for Men­tal Health, Asso­ciate Chief for Edu­ca­tion and Research, Men­tal Health Ser­vice, at the San Fran­cisco VA Med­ical Cen­ter; and Research Co-Director of the Pro­drome Assess­ment, Research, and Treat­ment pro­gram at Lan­g­ley Porter Psy­chi­atric Insti­tute, Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Fran­cisco. She received her M.D. from Wayne State Uni­ver­sity School of Med­i­cine, obtained her psy­chi­a­try res­i­dency train­ing at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity School of Med­i­cine, and com­pleted a Psy­chi­atric Neu­ro­sciences Research Fel­low­ship at the Palo Alto VA Med­ical Cen­ter and Stan­ford University.


Thomas M. War­den, Vice Pres­i­dent, Allstate’s Research and Plan­ning Cen­ter (ARPC)

Mr. War­den is Vice Pres­i­dent and Leader of Allstate’s Research and Plan­ning Cen­ter (ARPC), where he helps set ARPC’s research agenda and man­age its exe­cu­tion by 60-member ARPC staff, lead­ing the devel­op­ment of sig­nif­i­cant inno­va­tions that con­tribute to Allstate’s prof­itable growth. In 2010 All­state received Sharp­Brains’ Brain Fit­ness Inno­va­tion Award.  Tom is a Char­tered Finan­cial Ana­lyst and has an M.B.A. from Har­vard University.


Keith Wesnes, Prac­tice Leader, United BioSource Corporation

In 1986 Pro­fes­sor Wesnes founded Cog­ni­tive Drug Research (acquired in 2009 by United BioSource) to offer this sys­tem as a ser­vice in clin­i­cal tri­als. Pro­fes­sor Wesnes has pub­lished over 270 peer-reviewed research arti­cles as well as more than 20 chap­ters and lit­er­a­ture reviews. He holds Pro­fes­sor­ships at the Human Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science Unit at Northum­bria Uni­ver­sity, New­cas­tle, UK and the Brain Sci­ences Insti­tute at Swin­burne Uni­ver­sity, Mel­bourne, Australia.

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