Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


2019 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: The Future of Brain Health (May 7–9th)

How to Access the full Recordings (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)

Reg­is­tered Par­tic­i­pants: Sim­ply click on any ses­sion in the Sum­mit Agen­da below to open the cor­re­spond­ing record­ing, using the cre­den­tials we sent you by email. All slid­edecks are freely avail­able via links below.

The 2019 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit (May 7–9th, 2019), pro­duced and curat­ed by our CEO & Edi­tor-in-Chief Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, fea­tured over forty of the world’s top experts and inno­va­tors work­ing to improve brain health for all in light of grow­ing neu­ro­science and dig­i­tal tech. You can read some of the main high­lights here.

Addi­tion­al­ly the Sum­mit host­ed the sec­ond edi­tion of the Brainnova­tions Pitch Con­test to high­light ways in which emerg­ing sci­en­tif­ic find­ings are being trans­lat­ed into prac­ti­cal and scal­able brain health assess­ments, ther­a­pies, plat­forms and solutions.

Summit Agenda

Day 1: Tuesday, May 7th

8–8.45am. Rethink­ing and Retool­ing Brain Health and Men­tal Health (view slid­edeck here)

  • Dr. Tom Insel, Co-founder and Pres­i­dent of Mind­strong Health and for­mer Direc­tor of the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health (NIMH)

9–10.30am. How to detect prob­lems ear­ly: Exam­ples in Alzheimer’s Dis­ease, Parkinson’s, anx­i­ety and PTSD

  • Dr. Sri­jan Sen, Pro­fes­sor of Depres­sion and Neu­ro­sciences at Uni­ver­si­ty of Michigan
  • Jan Samzelius, Co-Founder and Chief Sci­en­tist of Neu­raMetrix
  • Dr. Tony Chang, Asso­ciate at Mer­ck Ventures
  • Chaired by: Dr. Dean­na Bel­sky, Asso­ciate at Dol­by Fam­i­ly Ventures

10.45am-12.15pm. How to inter­vene ear­ly: Exam­ples in depres­sion, epilep­sy and smok­ing ces­sa­tion (view slid­edeck here)

  • Dr. Wal­ter Green­leaf, Research Sci­en­tist at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty’s Vir­tu­al Human Inter­ac­tion Lab
  • David B. Klein, CEO of Click Ther­a­peu­tics
  • Ana Maiques, CEO of Neu­ro­electrics
  • Chaired by: Avery Bedows, Neu­rotech­nol­o­gy Spe­cial­ist at Loup Ven­tures

12.15–1pm. Lunch break

1–2.30pm. How to address pri­va­cy, eth­i­cal and reg­u­la­to­ry issues: Exam­ples in cog­ni­tive enhance­ment, depres­sion and ADHD (view slid­edeck here)

  • Dr. Karen Rom­melfanger, Direc­tor of the Neu­roethics Pro­gram at Emory University
  • Dr. Anna Wexler, Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor at the Perel­man School of Med­i­cine at UPenn
  • Jacque­line Stud­er, Senior VP and Gen­er­al Coun­sel of Akili Inter­ac­tive Labs
  • Chaired by: Kei­th Epstein, Health­care Prac­tice Leader at Blue Heron

2.30–3pm. Water­cool­er chats.

  • We’ll spend some time con­nect­ing with oth­er par­tic­i­pants, dis­cussing high­lights, and exchang­ing ideas and con­tact information.

3pm‑4.30pm. How to pro­mote brain health at scale: Exam­ples in the work­place, K12 edu­ca­tion and con­sumer tech (view slid­edeck here)

  • Louis Gagnon, CEO of Total Brain
  • Dr. Gre­go­ry Rose, Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Inte­grat­ed Research in Cog­ni­tive and Neur­al Sci­ences at SIU Med
  • Ariel Garten, Founder and Chief Evan­ge­lism Offi­cer of Inter­aX­on
  • Chaired by: Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO and Edi­tor-in-Chief at Sharp­Brains

Day 2: Wednesday, May 8th

8–8.30am. Out­smart­ing Smart Tech­nol­o­gy to Reclaim our Health and Focus (view slid­edeck here)

  • Dr. Mar­garet Mor­ris, clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist, author of Left to Our Own Devices and for­mer senior researcher at Intel

8.45–10.15am. Nav­i­gat­ing the Brain Research Landscape

  • Dr. Peter White­house, Pro­fes­sor of Neu­rol­o­gy at Case West­ern Reserve University
  • Dr. Nir Gross­man, Lec­tur­er in the Divi­sion of Brain Sci­ences at Impe­r­i­al Col­lege London
  • Dr. Reza Zomor­ro­di, Project Sci­en­tist at Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to’s Cen­tre for Addic­tion and Men­tal Health (CAMH)
  • Chaired by: Rebec­ca Can­ter, Asso­ciate at the Demen­tia Dis­cov­ery Fund (DDF)

10.15–11am. Water­cool­er chats.

  • We’ll spend some time con­nect­ing with oth­er par­tic­i­pants, dis­cussing high­lights, and exchang­ing ideas and con­tact information.

11am-Noon. Nav­i­gat­ing the Brain/ Mind Inno­va­tion Land­scape & Book pre­sen­ta­tion El Cere­bro Que Cura (The Brain That Heals) (view slid­edeck here)

  • Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, CEO and Edi­tor-in-Chief at Sharp­Brains

Noon-1pm. Lunch break

Giv­en the suc­cess of the first Brainnova­tions Pitch Con­test (details here), the 2019 Sum­mit will host a sec­ond Brainnova­tions edi­tion for select­ed star­tups to pitch their inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants and to our dis­tin­guished Judges — our very own “Sharp Tank.”

1–2.30pm. Top Brainnova­tions to mon­i­tor and improve Brain Health (view slid­edeck here)

  • Final­ist: Kate Sharadin, Founder & CEO of eQui­l­i­ty
  • Final­ist: Nick­o­lai Vysokov, Co-Founder & CEO of Brain­Patch
  • WINNER: Richard Han­bury, Founder & CEO of Sana Health
  • Judged by: Alexan­dra More­house, Chief Mar­ket­ing Offi­cer at Ban­ner Health; Dr. Robert Bilder, Chief of Med­ical Psy­chol­o­gy-Neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy at UCLA; Elan Tye, Investor at JAZZ Ven­ture Part­ners; Dr. Evian Gor­don, Founder, Chair­man and CMO of Total Brain; Dr. Hag­it Alon, VP Sci­en­tif­ic Affairs at Joy Ven­tures; John Cam­mack, Angel Investor; Kath­leen Herath, Vice Pres­i­dent Health & Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty at Nation­wide Insurance

2.30–3pm. Water­cool­er chats.

  • We’ll spend some time con­nect­ing with Brainnova­tions’ Winner/ Finalists/ Judges and with oth­er Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants, dis­cussing high­lights, and exchang­ing ideas and con­tact information.

This will be the Brain­no­va­tions Judg­ing Panel…our very own “Sharp Tank”

Day 3: Expo Day on Thursday, May 9th

Dur­ing Expo Day select­ed Sum­mit Spon­sors and Part­ners show­cased their most promis­ing brain health & well­ness ini­tia­tives and solutions.

8.30am. Dr. Hag­it Alon, VP Sci­en­tif­ic Affairs of Joy Ven­tures, will present their “Neu­ro-Well­ness” phi­los­o­phy and approach to invest in sci­en­tif­ic research and in entre­pre­neurs. (View slid­edeck here)

9.15am. Mar­cel Legrand, Chief Rev­enue Offi­cer of Total Brain, will pro­vide an overview of their new plat­form to bet­ter assess, under­stand and improve brain capac­i­ties. (View slid­edeck here)

10am. Dr. Lew Lim, Founder & CEO of Vielight, will explore the lat­est on pho­to­bio­mod­u­la­tion and brain stim­u­la­tion. (View slid­edeck here)

10.30–11am. Water­cool­er Chats. Final ses­sion to con­nect with oth­er par­tic­i­pants, dis­cuss high­lights, and exchange ideas and con­tact information.

11am. Deb­bie Gilmore, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of The Arrow­smith Pro­gram, will dis­cuss plans to bet­ter equip 100+ schools help­ing stu­dents with spe­cial needs. (View slid­edeck here)

11.45am. Xavier Louis, CEO of Peak, will dis­cuss their plans to bring to mar­ket engag­ing, self-serve and evi­dence-based dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics. (View slid­edeck here)

12.30pm. Mel Barsky, Direc­tor at Cen­tre for Aging + Brain Health Inno­va­tion (CABHI), will intro­duce a new call for inno­va­tion where CABHI will be fund­ing nov­el ideas from point-of-care work­ers that can help to improve brain health in old­er adults. (View slid­edeck here)

1.15pm. Syd­ney Swaine-Simon, Co-Founder of Neu­rotechX, will intro­duce their new learn­ing resources and grow­ing com­mu­ni­ty of neu­rotech experts, entre­pre­neurs, and enthu­si­asts. (View slid­edeck here)


Where will the Sum­mit take place? Online, over the Inter­net. Speak­ers and Par­tic­i­pants can access the vir­tu­al meet­ing room from any loca­tion — all that is required is a com­put­er with Inter­net con­nec­tion. No one needs to travel.

What is a vir­tu­al con­fer­ence? The Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit is just like a phys­i­cal con­fer­ence — reg­is­tered par­tic­i­pants were able to access all pre­sen­ta­tions, ask press­ing ques­tions, and con­nect with speak­ers and fel­low par­tic­i­pants. The main dif­fer­ence is, no one needs to travel.

— Loca­tion of the par­tic­i­pants in the 2017 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit. 190 were based in the US, and the rest in Cana­da, Aus­tralia, Europe and oth­er regions

What is the typ­i­cal pro­file of Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants? By design, the Sum­mit is cross-sec­tor and mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary, so there’s not just one “typ­i­cal pro­file” — par­tic­i­pants come from acad­e­mia, indus­try and prac­tice. Any­one look­ing to explore and dis­cuss the lat­est in brain health and per­for­mance will find val­ue in this conference.

Over 1,000 pro­fes­sion­als in 20+ coun­tries have par­tic­i­pat­ed in Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mits since 2010. For the 2017 Sum­mit alone, 250+ pio­neers reg­is­tered (rep­re­sent­ed by the dots in the image to the right), in 23 countries.

Who should attend? Inno­va­tors, deci­sion-mak­ers, researchers, and prac­ti­tion­ers inter­est­ed in tech­nol­o­gy, consumer/ behavioral/ occupational/ men­tal health, gam­ing, insur­ance, human resources, dig­i­tal health­care, senior ser­vices, cog­ni­tive and affec­tive neuroscience.

Summit Sponsors and Partners



Arrowsmith Program

The Arrow­smith Pro­gram, avail­able in 80+ schools in the US, Cana­da, Aus­tralia and New Zealand, is a com­pre­hen­sive suite of cog­ni­tive pro­grams for stu­dents with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties to train key brain func­tions involved in learning.


Ban­ner Health is one of the largest non­prof­it health sys­tems in the USA, employ­ing more than 50,000 staff mem­bers in 29 hos­pi­tals and oth­er set­tings rang­ing from home care and long-term care, to lab­o­ra­to­ries and reha­bil­i­ta­tion services.


The Cen­tre for Aging + Brain Health Inno­va­tion (CABHI), led by Bay­crest, helps inno­va­tors devel­op, dis­sem­i­nate, scale, and pro­mote adop­tion of promis­ing inno­va­tions in the aging and brain health sector.

Joy Ven­tures is a pri­vate­ly fund­ed invest­ment com­pa­ny found­ed by Corun­dum Open Inno­va­tion and ded­i­cat­ed to spear­head­ing the Neu­ro-Well­ness are­na by sup­port­ing break­through sci­en­tif­ic research through grants and invest­ing in star­tups and entre­pre­neurs which bring inno­v­a­tive prod­ucts to con­sumers in ways that are fun and easy to use.


Total Brain is a ful­ly owned sub­sidiary of Brain Resource Lim­it­ed (ASX:BRC), at the fore­front of apply­ing clin­i­cal­ly val­i­dat­ed brain assess­ment and brain train­ing to improve behav­ioral health out­comes. For­mer­ly called MyBrain­So­lu­tions, Total Brain is the world’s first brain per­for­mance mon­i­tor­ing and train­ing plat­form pow­ered by the largest stan­dard­ized brain database.


VieLight has a mis­sion to engi­neer and com­mer­cial­ize non-inva­sive devices based on pho­to­bio­mod­u­la­tion that are safe and effec­tive, easy to use and afford­able. It focus­es on devel­op­ing new-gen­er­a­tion home-use brain stim­u­la­tion devices that are enjoy­ing a grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion to be help­ful for men­tal acu­ity in var­i­ous presentations.


If you’re inter­est­ed in becom­ing a Sum­mit Spon­sor or Part­ner, con­tact us to dis­cuss details.


What Participants Say

The Sharp­Brains Sum­mit is unique in its impres­sive abil­i­ty to unite a diverse col­lec­tion of cut­ting-edge thinkers in a “vir­tu­al” con­fer­ence that is shared glob­al­ly with­out a hitch.” — Dr. Adam Gaz­za­ley, Direc­tor of the Neu­ro­science Imag­ing Cen­ter at UCSF

A per­fect way to keep the pulse of 3 key inno­va­tion themes: con­sumer health, applied neu­ro­science, and apps and wear­ables.” — Jack Young, Head of Qual­comm Life Fund

I know of no bet­ter resource than Sharp­Brains Sum­mits to explore the lat­est fron­tier in brain health pro­mo­tion.” — Dr. Michael P. O’Donnell, Edi­tor-In-Chief of the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Health Promotion

An impres­sive vir­tu­al con­vo­ca­tion of lead­ing sci­en­tists and devel­op­ers and adopters of cog­ni­tive enhance­ment tech­nol­o­gy.” — Dr. Robert Bilder, Chief of Med­ical Psy­chol­o­gy-Neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy, UCLA Semel Insti­tute for Neuroscience

Con­grat­u­la­tions on con­ven­ing, again, such a com­pelling group of speak­ers and par­tic­i­pants.” — Dr. Eddie Mar­tuc­ci, CEO of Akili Inter­ac­tive Labs

“Win­ning the Sharp­Brains Pitch Con­test had a major impact for us. Our lead flow from phar­ma and device man­u­fac­tur­ers has tripled com­pared to pre-com­pe­ti­tion. Addi­tion­al­ly we are being approached by many oth­er play­ers – investors, aca­d­e­m­ic part­ners, you name it. And all this in just a month!” Jam Samzelius, CEO and Founder of NeuraMetrix

Every Sum­mit is a sem­i­nal event, full of won­der­ful insights and remark­able ini­tia­tives, at a time when the brain is going main­stream.”— Dr. Evian Gor­don, Exec­u­tive Chair­man of Brain Resource

I was impressed by the for­ward-look­ing yet prac­ti­cal dis­cus­sions about enhanc­ing human per­for­mance.” — Dr. Susan Jew­ell, Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tional Space Med­i­cine Consortium

“A beau­ti­ful exam­ple of how bring­ing sci­en­tif­ic lead­ers and inno­va­tors togeth­er can spur thought­ful dis­cus­sion about our most vital organ–the brain.” — Dr. San­dra Bond Chap­man, Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Brain­Health at The Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Dallas

“Every Sharp­Brains Sum­mit delves into a well-curat­ed vari­ety of top­ics, both on macro and niche lev­els, mak­ing it the per­fect forum for dis­cov­ery and idea exchange “— Stan­ley Yang, CEO, NeuroSky

Kudos for such a fan­tas­tic con­fer­ence. The dis­cus­sion about human vs. arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence and ethics was espe­cial­ly excit­ing.” — Rajiv Pant, for­mer Chief Tech­nol­ogy Offi­cer of The New York Times

A vir­tu­al sum­mit is the way to go … no trav­el, no wor­ry and no hur­ry. The Sharp­Brains team has again pro­duced the best brain con­fer­ence avail­able today.” — Dr. Dhar­ma Singh Khal­sa, Pres­i­dent of the Alzheimer’s Research and Pre­ven­tion Foundation