2019 State of the Science Summit:
Paths to Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury(s)

June 5-6, 2019  –  Washington, D.C.

Speakers – 2019 State of the Science Summit

  • Patrick S.F. Bellgowan, PhD
    Patrick S.F. Bellgowan, PhD

    Patrick S.F. Bellgowan, PhD

    Program Director, Repair & Plasticity
    National Institute for Neurological Diseases & Stroke

    Dr. Patrick S.F. Bellgowan received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee where he studied fear conditioning in rodents. He then did neuroimaging-focused postdoctoral fellowships at the Medical College of Wisconsin and at NIMH’s Intramural Research Program. The research focus of these fellowships was on memory function in healthy controls and in epilepsy patients. Following his fellowship training, Dr. Bellgowan joined NIMH’s Intramural Research Program as a Staff Scientist in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition. Dr. Bellgowan left NIMH to join the development of a new neuroimaging-based psychiatric research institute in Oklahoma. He comes to NINDS from the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, OK where he served as Associate Professor and Director of Cognitive Research. While at the Laureate Institute, Dr. Bellgowan developed multiple competitively funded projects. His main research program focused on understanding the neurological and psychiatric sequelae of sports-related concussion using magnetic resonance neuroimaging and blood-based immunological markers.

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  • Lisa Brenner, PhD, ABPP
    Lisa Brenner, PhD, ABPP

    Lisa Brenner, PhD, ABPP

    Director
    VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)

    Lisa A. Brenner. Ph.D. is a Board Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist, and a Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at the University of Colorado, Anschutz School of Medicine, and the Director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 19 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). She is the Research Director for the Department of PM&R. Dr. Brenner is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 22, Rehabilitation Psychology.

    Her primary area of research interest is traumatic brain injury, co-morbid psychiatric disorders, and negative psychiatric outcomes including suicide. She serves as the Research Division Director for the American Association of Suicidology, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Dr. Brenner has numerous peer-reviewed publications, participates on national advisory boards, and is currently co-authoring a book regarding neurodisability and suicide.

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  • David Brody, MD, PhD
    David Brody, MD, PhD

    David Brody, MD, PhD

    Director
    Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, The USU/NIH Traumatic Brain Injury Research Group

    David L. Brody, MD, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) and a Professor of Neurology within the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) in Bethesda, Maryland. He is a board-certified neurologist with both a research and a clinical specialization in traumatic brain injury (TBI) and neurodegenerative diseases. His research focuses on accelerating better outcomes for U.S. military TBI patients.

    Prior to his current position, Dr. Brody was the Norman J. Stupp Professor of Neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Brody was also the Washington University site director for the National Football League’s Neurological Care Foundation.

    He has developed and authenticated advanced imaging technologies to detect injury in the brain’s white matter and showed, for the first time, how to predict neurological function by measuring amyloid, an abnormal protein in the brain. He also helped discover that diffusion tensor imaging, an advanced magnetic resonance imaging technique, can reveal blast-related damage.

    Dr. Brody previously led a team that worked in partnership with U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) researchers at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and at two sites in Afghanistan, treating U.S. military personnel with TBIs. In 2011, he served as a consultant to the medical advisor of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He traveled to Afghanistan at the request of then-JCS Admiral Michael Mullen with the “Gray Team”, a group of civilian and military experts evaluating the status of TBIs in troops within the combat zone.

    His achievements have been recognized with several awards, including a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Brody is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurotrauma and Acta Neuropathologica and a permanent member of the National Institute of Health Acute Neural Injury and Epilepsy Study Section. His clinical monograph entitled “Concussion Care Manual: A Practical Guide” was published by Oxford University Press in 2014.

    Dr. Brody earned a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and his MD and PhD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his neurology residency at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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  • David Cifu, MD
    David Cifu, MD

    David Cifu, MD

    Associate Dean of Innovation and System Integration
    Herman J. Flax, MD Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

    Virgina Commonwealth University

    Senior TBI Specialist
    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    Principal Investigator, Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium
    U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs

    David Cifu, MD is the Associate Dean for Innovation and System Integration in the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine, and the Chairman and Herman J. Flax, MD Endowed Professor (tenured) of the Department of PM&R at VCU-School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. He is also Chief of PM&R Services for the VCU Health System and Founding Director of the VCU-Center for Rehabilitation Sciences and Engineering (CERSE). He is the Senior TBI Specialist for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has been funded on 45 research grants for over $190 million, including currently serving as Principal Investigator of the VA/DoD $62.2 million Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC). In his more than 25 years as an academic physiatrist, he has delivered more than 560 regional, national and international lectures, published more than 225 scientific articles and 65 abstracts, and co-authored or edited 35 books and book chapters. He is the Past President of the American Academy of PM&R (2007-8), Editor-in-Chief of the 5th Edition of Braddom’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation textbook (2015), co-Editor of Braddom’s Handbook of Rehabilitation Medicine (2017), and Editor-in-Chief of the upcoming 6th Edition of Braddom’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation textbook (2020)

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  • Fiona Crawford, PhD
    Fiona Crawford, PhD

    Fiona Crawford, PhD

    President & CEO
    Roskamp Institute

    Dr. Crawford has 20 years of experience in the field of research and development for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Throughout her career, Dr. Crawford has received and managed numerous grants and contracts for neuroscience research.

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  • Thomas DeGraba, MD
    Thomas DeGraba, MD

    Thomas DeGraba, MD

    Chief Innovations Officer
    National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

    Thomas J. DeGraba, M.D., is the Chief Innovations Officer at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland. He is responsible for establishing and nurturing a culture of health care innovation and rapid translation of key medical advances into integrated best practices in support of warrior care.

    Dr. DeGraba is a nationally recognized clinical neuroscience subject matter expert in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Psychological Health (PH) conditions, and has worked as a leader in the field of neurology, with a focus in brain injury and stroke, for over twenty five years. As the founding Deputy Director of the NICoE, he co-authored the concept of operations and led the team that developed and operationalized the patient centered interdisciplinary, holistic, intensive outpatient program (IOP) in 2010.

    As Chief Innovations Officer, Dr. DeGraba is currently leading research efforts focused on identifying novel diagnostic biomarkers to measure the effects of treatment in TBI and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, including genomic expression, cerebral and peripheral autonomic tone, and electrophysiological brain wave patterns as measured by magnetoencephalography. His research program has also shown that an As Chief Innovations Officer, Dr. DeGraba is currently leading research efforts focused on identifying novel diagnostic biomarkers to measure the effects of treatment in TBI and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, including genomic expression, cerebral and peripheral autonomic tone, and electrophysiological brain wave patterns as measured by magnetoencephalography. His research program has also shown that an IOP, including integrative medicine, results in significant improvement in recovery and long term durability of service members suffering from combat related TBI and PH conditions.

    Prior to working at the NICoE, Dr. DeGraba served as Associate Professor of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University and the Head of the Clinical Stroke Program at the National Naval Medical Center. In this capacity he directed the Stroke Program of the Comprehensive Neuroscience Program and coordinated clinical research teams from the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and private academic medical centers. He also served as Senior Staff Fellow and head of the Clinical Stroke Research Unit in the Stroke Branch at NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke (NINDS). During his time at NINDS, Dr. DeGraba established the first Intramural Clinical Stroke Program, directing research in the mechanisms of cerebrovascular disease related to immune-genetic susceptibility.

    Dr. DeGraba served as a neurological consultant to the Office of the Attending Physicians at the U.S. Capitol and the White House Medical Unit for more than ten years. His Cerebrovascular Laboratory provided transcranial Doppler to the brain injury team caring for the severe head injured service members returning from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Dr. DeGraba earned his bachelor’s degree, Summa Cum Laude in Biochemistry, from the Catholic University of America and his M.D. from Georgetown University. He completed his medical internship at the Washington Hospital Center, Neurology Residency at Georgetown University Hospital, and a post-doctoral fellowship in Cerebrovascular Disease at the University of Texas (UT) Medical Center in Houston, where he also served as Assistant Professor and Chief of Service at the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital of the UT-Houston Medical School.

    Dr. DeGraba has served as a subject matter expert on the working group that updated the DoD and Veterans Affairs TBI Clinical Practice Guidelines, and serves on the steering committees for the Federal Interagency TBI Research national database and NINDS TBI Common Data element national panel.

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  • Kristophe Diaz, PhD
    Kristophe Diaz, PhD

    Kristophe Diaz, PhD

    Senior Manager, Scientific Programs
    Cohen Veterans Network

    After earning a doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Diaz investigated key mechanisms of cell division. He has also studied Life Science Innovation at Harvard Medical School and Business Law for Entrepreneurs at MIT Sloan School of Management.

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  • Chantelle Ferland-Beckham, PhD
    Chantelle Ferland-Beckham, PhD

    Chantelle Ferland-Beckham, PhD

    Senior Manager, Scientific Programs
    Cohen Veterans Bioscience

    Dr. Chantelle Ferland-Beckham is a translational neuroscientist with over 12 years of experience in behavioral models of stress-related psychiatric disorders. The major goal of her research has been to develop animal models to investigate the complex molecular and epigenetic underpinnings of stress-induced pathology, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She earned her PhD in Neuroscience from Tulane University under the mentorship of Dr. Laura Schrader and then went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she was awarded the Ruth L Kirschstein National Service Award (T32) from the National Institute of Drug Addiction to investigate the role of the endogenous oxytocin system in a model of comorbid methamphetamine addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Most recently, Chantelle was a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she worked as a Science Policy Analyst, developing policies to promote progress in biomedical research and serving as a legislative analyst to strengthen the relationship between the NIH and Congress. As a fellow, she worked on the Fellows in Innovation initiative, spearheaded by the Obama administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, to analyze current strategies and provide policy recommendations for suicide prevention in current and former members of the US military.

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  • Jam Ghajar, MD, PhD, FACS
    Jam Ghajar, MD, PhD, FACS

    Jam Ghajar, MD, PhD, FACS

    President, Brain Trauma Foundation, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery
    Stanford University School of Medicine

    Jamshid Ghajar MD, PhD, FACS, is a board certified neurosurgeon, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, Director of the Stanford Concussion and Brain Performance Center and President of the Brain Trauma Foundation in New York City and Palo Alto.

    He completed the MD/PhD program at Cornell University Medical College. During his residency training in neurosurgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital, he invented and patented several neurosurgical devices that are currently used worldwide. After residency, he joined the faculty at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and was a founder of the Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) in 1986. The mission of the BTF is to improve the outcome of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). He joined the neurosurgery faculty at Stanford in February 2014.

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  • Jessica Gill, PhD, RN, FAAN
    Jessica Gill, PhD, RN, FAAN

    Jessica Gill, PhD, RN, FAAN

    Deputy Scientific Director of the Division of Intramural Research

    National Institute of Nursing Research

    Dr. Jessica Gill’s interest in research began during her nursing undergraduate (B.S.N.) career, during which she volunteered with women and children whose lives were negatively affected by violence. She observed that this extreme stress resulted in differing outcomes with some women being substantially impaired, whereas others were able to recover. She questioned the mechanisms underlying these divergent responses to extreme stress. This line of questioning led her to pursue a graduate degree (M.S.) from Oregon Health and Science University in psychiatric nursing, which included clinical training in the PTSD program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Research questions about trauma and resiliency were amplified during her work with Vietnam veterans who remained impacted by their combat service decades after returning home. Based on these volunteer and clinical experiences, she decided to pursue a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Nursing. Her dissertation research demonstrated the presence of high rates of PTSD in urban health care seeking women, and that a PTSD diagnosis was associated with perceived health declines as well as with higher concentrations of inflammatory markers and a dysregulation of endocrine functioning.

    Following completion of her Ph.D., she obtained a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) to better understand the biological mechanisms of PTSD and depression, finding central and peripheral alterations in the in-vivo functioning of both immune and endocrine systems. This line of research also led her to become a Clinical Investigator in the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM). She also is involved in leading national biomarker studies in athletes, military personnel and civilians. In these positions, she advises in the design and implementation of biomarker studies to ultimately improve the care of individuals with concussions and TBIs.

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  • Magali Haas, MD, PhD
    Magali Haas, MD, PhD

    Magali Haas, MD, PhD

    CEO and President
    Cohen Veterans Bioscience

    Dr. Haas founded Orion Bionetworks in July 2012 and serves as its CEO and President. Orion Bionetworks was transformed to Cohen Veterans Bioscience in 2015 to specifically dedicate research to improving the detection and treatment of post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and related co-morbidities so that the burden of these conditions may be lessened on service members, veterans, and their families.

    Magali has over 15 years of pharmaceutical executive and clinical research experience, predominantly at Johnson & Johnson, where she assumed broad end-to-end development leadership roles in medical marketing, full clinical development, early development, and translational and biomarker sciences in psychiatry and neurology. She successfully filed NDAs in the US and Europe for risperidone indications in Autism, Adolescent Schizophrenia, Juvenile Bipolar Disorder and Conduct Disorders. She also led Development Teams evaluating compounds for Depression, Neuropathic Pain, Epilepsy, and Migraine Disorder.

    She served 3 years as Chief Science and Technology Officer for One Mind for Research, a nonprofit organization launched in May 2012 by Patrick J Kennedy. She orchestrated the launch of One Mind’s seminal programs, Apollo, an informatics research portal and, Gemini, an international TBI/PTSD research program.

    As an “intrapreneur” at J&J she established the first Neuroscience Translational Medicine & Integrative Solutions department, and co-founded the first Companion Diagnostics Center of Excellence as well as J&J’s Healthcare Innovation team. She serves on several advisory boards including Brain Canada, Prophase, Pear Therapeutics, PAASP and IMEC for nanoelectronics.

    Magali earned her BS in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University, New Jersey, and her MD PhD with distinction in neuroscience from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.

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  • Dallas Hack, MD, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)
    Dallas Hack, MD, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)

    Dallas Hack, MD, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)

    Veterans Science Strategy Advisor (Consulting)
    Cohen Veterans Bioscience

    Dr. Dallas Hack M.D. served as the Director of the US Army Combat Casualty Care Research Program and Chair of the Joint Program Committee for Combat Casualty Care from 2008 to 2014 and as the Senior Medical Advisor to the Principal Assistant for Research and Technology, US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command from 2014 to 2015. He coordinated more than 70% of the DoD trauma research to improve battlefield trauma care of those injured in combat. During this time, the Department of Defense funded more Traumatic Brain Injury research than any organization because of the increasing awareness of the massive burden of Traumatic Brain Injury in the military. He has held numerous military medical leadership positions including Chief of Clinical Services at Fort Knox, KY, Commander of the NATO Headquarters Healthcare Facility, and Command Surgeon at the strategic level during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. COL(R) Hack received numerous military awards including the Bronze Star, two Legion of Merit awards, and seven Meritorious Service Medals and was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Military Order of Medical Merit. He has a BA from Andrews University, a MPH from Johns Hopkins University, a MD from Loma Linda University, a MSS from the US Army War College, and a CPE from the Certifying Commission in Medical Management. He was recognized as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by Loma Linda University in May 2015. After retiring from military service, Dr. Hack has consulted with numerous organizations to advance research in Brain Health and transition the progress to improved clinical practice.

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  • Nicole Harmon, PhD
    Nicole Harmon, PhD

    Nicole Harmon, PhD

    Executive Director, Community Partnerships
    Cohen Veterans Bioscience

    Nicole Harmon brings more than 18 years of experience in psychology, philanthropy, patient advocacy, public health, and clinical research, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff for Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC), FDA’s partner for data standards. During her tenure there she transformed CDISC’s financial roadmaps, program management and global brand. Additionally, she developed and managed complex partnerships with leading U.S and International funding partners, U.S. FDA, Japan PMDA, European Medicines Agency, NIH, WHO, EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiatives, Global Patient Foundations and others to drive data standards and sharing initiatives and oversaw grants cultivation and management successfully achieving funding for and administering multiple large-scale projects.  Prior to her time with CDISC, Dr. Harmon evaluated patients with Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychiatric conditions in a post-acute rehabilitation hospital.

    Nicole earned her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision at Texas Tech University with dissertation focus on understanding the caregivers experience associated with acquired brain injury following discharge from rehabilitation.

    Nicole joins CVB to oversee development and engagement of strategic partnerships, grant management, events and the Brain Trauma Blueprint to further the CVB mission.    

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  • Ronald L. Hayes, PhD
    Ronald L. Hayes, PhD

    Ronald L. Hayes, PhD

    Founder and Chief Science Officer
    Banyan Biomarkers

    Dr. Hayes has 40 years of research experience in brain injury.  For more than 15 years his interests have focused on development of biochemical markers of acute CNS injury including traumatic brain injury (TBI) detectable in blood. During his academic career, Dr. Hayes has published more than 320 peer reviewed publications, 58 book chapters and edited six books or journal special editions. In 2002, he co-founded Banyan Biomarkers, Inc. In 2018, Banyan produced the  first  FDA approved blood biomarker test for diagnosis of brain injury.

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  • Michael Hoffman
    Michael Hoffman

    Michael Hoffman

    Deputy Director, Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

    Michael has worked at FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), Office of Device Evaluation (ODE) since 2007 in the area of neurological devices including various forms of neurostimulation, neurodiagnostics, and rehabilitation as well as BCI devices, providing review of several different types of medical devices before they are marketed and before many are studied in clinical trials. He began his current role as Deputy Director of the Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in CDRH/ODE in 2015, which includes oversight of these premarket activities for a wide variety of devices associated with neurology and rehabilitation including but not limited to prosthetic limbs, brain-computer interface systems, rehabilitation robotics, powered exoskeletons, neurosurgical tools, stereotaxic systems, neurodiagnostic systems, and neurointerventional devices as well as a wide variety of implanted and external neurostimulation systems. Michael received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and his M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University.

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  • Stuart Hoffman, PhD
    Stuart Hoffman, PhD

    Stuart Hoffman, PhD

    Scientific Program Manager for Brain Health & Injury
    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    Dr. Hoffman is the point of contact for VA/ORD on traumatic brain injury research. In this role, Dr. Hoffman has oversight for two VA TBI Research Centers and is the Co-chair of the Government Steering Committee for the VA/DoD Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium, as well as a the VA TBI subject matter expert for the National Research Action Plan for Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families. Dr. Hoffman also serves on several intra- and interagency advisory committees for VA and DoD, including the Congressionally-mandated Traumatic Brain injury Advisory Committee for the Veterans Health Administration. In addition, Dr. Hoffman is the VA representative on the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders.

    Dr. Hoffman received his doctoral degree in behavioral and molecular neuroscience at Rutgers University in 1995 and completed his postdoctoral training in pharmacology at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997. Dr. Hoffman’s professional career began at Emory University as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology in 1998 and was an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine from 2000 to 2006. Immediately prior to joining the VA in 2010, Dr. Hoffman was the Research Director for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Dr. Hoffman has more than 30 years of translational neuroscience research experience and intellectual property development that focused on neuroprotection and methods to promote recovery of function after brain injury.

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  • Grant Iverson, PhD
    Grant Iverson, PhD

    Grant Iverson, PhD

    Director, Neuropsychology Outcome Assessment Laboratory, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Harvard Medical School, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

    Dr. Grant Iverson is a specialist in neuropsychology and a clinician scientist in the area of mild traumatic brain injury and mental health. He has an internationally-recognized research program in outcome from mild traumatic brain injury in athletes, civilians, military service members, and veterans. He served as the Chair for the Canadian Psychological Association Section on Clinical Neuropsychology from 2003-2010. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the International Brain Injury Association (2012-2015). He served as a consensus panel member for the 3rd and 4th International Conferences on Concussion in Sport in Zurich, Switzerland in 2008 and 2012, and the 5th International Conference in Berlin in 2016. He served as an Advisor to the Neurocognitive Disorders Workgroup (Traumatic Brain Injury) for the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V). He also served as a founding member of the Traumatic Brain Injury Subcommittee of the Defense Health Board, a civilian advisory board to the United States Secretary of Defense. He was the President of the National Academy of Neuropsychology in 2015.

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  • William S. Korinek, PhD
    William S. Korinek, PhD

    William S. Korinek, PhD

    CEO
    Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals

    Dr. Korinek is Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals’ CEO and Co-Founded the company in 2014. Previously, he was at Pfizer for almost 10 years in a number of strategic and operational R&D positions, most recently serving as the Vice President of Worldwide R&D Business Operations. Dr. Korinek and his organization managed the Worldwide R&D annual operating plan process, including coordination of annual investment business plans from all of Pfizer’s Research Units and functional Partner Lines and the setting of annual investment and budget targets. He has broad experience from early discovery through full development, small and large therapeutic modalities, and many disease areas. At Pfizer, he championed and secured $24M in capital for a long term Project and Resource Planning productivity program that was successfully implemented over 2011-2014. Dr. Korinek also managed Pfizer’s R&D Program Management Office (PMO) for the Pfizer-Wyeth integration, and the PMO for Pfizer WRD’s 2011 “Engine for Sustainable Innovation” strategic restructuring involving the reduction of Pfizer’s overall R&D 2012 spend from $8.0-8.5B to $6.5-7.0B.

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  • Anthony Kontos, PhD
    Anthony Kontos, PhD

    Anthony Kontos, PhD

    Assistant Director of Research
    University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

    Anthony Kontos, PhD, joined the Concussion Program as assistant director of research in 2010, and the program’s already lengthy list of publications and research began to grow even further. Dr. Kontos brought to UPMC considerable experience as a hands-on researcher, with more than 50 publications and 100 presentations. He also delivered keen insight as project leader and organizer, securing funding from sources ranging from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command to the NFL.
    Previously, he was a professor and chair-elect at Humboldt State and director of the North Coast Sports Concussion Program in northern California, and an associate professor at the University of New Orleans, where he directed its sports-concussion testing program. While in New Orleans, Dr. Kontos also was an Adjunct Professor in the Sports Medicine Fellowship at Louisiana State University-Health Sciences Center.
    Dr. Kontos’ research in sports-related concussion includes psychological issues, neurocognitive and neuro-motor effects, and concussion in youth and underrepresented groups. He is the Program Chair of American Psychological Association’s Division 47, a Fellow of Eastern Psychological Association, and a member of the Association of Applied Sport Psychology and American College of Sports Medicine. He also serves as an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine.
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  • Saafan Malik, MD
    Saafan Malik, MD

    Saafan Malik, MD

    Director of Research/Acting Deputy Division Chief
    Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

    Dr. Saafan Malik is the Director of the Research Division at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). The mission of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center is to serve active-duty military, their beneficiaries and veterans with traumatic brain injury through state-of-the-science clinical care, innovative clinical research initiatives and educational programs, and support for force health protection services. Dr. Malik directs and oversees a portfolio of 66 active clinical research protocols on the topic of TBI across various sites within the DVBIC research network. Dr. Malik has served as the senior research investigator at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, undertook his postdoctoral work at the Department of Neurosurgery University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and clinical neurosurgery training at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Malik has expertise in basic, translational, and clinical research and care related to TBI. He is the recipient of several academic awards and grants, including the National Institutes of Health-National Research Service Award on TBI and the Murray Goldstein Award from the National Neurotrauma Society. He has authored several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.
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  • Retsina Meyer, PhD
    Retsina Meyer, PhD

    Retsina Meyer, PhD

    Manager, Clinical Programs
    Cohen Veterans Bioscience

    Dr. Retsina Meyer pairs pursuit of scientific endeavors with the passionate execution to make real her vision to develop cures for mental illness.

    Dr. Meyer is a translational neuroscientist, scientific founder of Resilience – a startup focused on novel treatments for PTSD and other brain diseases, and is currently consulting Scientific Program Manager for Cohen Biosciences. An active member of the biotech entrepreneurship community, Retsina works on local, national, and international programming to inspire scientist-entrepreneurs. Dr. Meyer has produced over 40 articles, abstracts, and lectures. Her academic discoveries gained international press, earned her a speaking engagement at the local TEDx conference, and served as the instigating discovery to found Resilience.

    As an entrepreneur, Retsina is an alumna of MassBIO’s MassCONNECT program and SpringBoard’s Life Sciences Accelerator and is the 2014 champion of the international OneStart competition awarded by GSK’s SR One.
    She obtained a Neuroscience Ph.D. at MIT where she earned five named fellowships, was a Presidential Fellow, Imperial College of London Global Fellow, and a Graduate Woman of Excellence. She served as a science advocate with the Science Policy Initiative, performing outreach, giving lectures, and meeting with members of congress to appeal for science and scientific funding.
    Prior to her work at MIT, Dr. Meyer was a Fulbright Scholar, serving as a representative of the U.S. to Norway, where she worked in the lab of 2014 Nobel Prize winners Drs. May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser. She holds bachelor’s degrees in applied mathematics, biochemistry and molecular biophysics, and biopsychology from the University of Arizona where she was a Baver Scholar, and worked in the laboratories of Dr. David Rowe, Dr. Carol Barnes, and Dr. Bruce McNaughton.

    Nicole joins CVB to oversee development and engagement of strategic partnerships, grant management, events and the Brain Trauma Blueprint to further the CVB mission.    

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  • Roger Murry
    Roger Murry

    Roger Murry

    Executive Director
    Coalition to Heal Invisible Wounds

    Senior Policy Advisor
    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

    Roger Murry represents clients before Congress, the administration and outside stakeholders on a variety of public policy issues.

    Prior to joining Akin Gump, Roger was managing director at Parven Pomper Strategies (PPS) Inc., representing domestic and international clients on international trade, foreign affairs and health care issues.

    He joined PPS after serving as a trade and health care advisor for Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), chair of the New Democrat Coalition and a leader on pro-trade Democratic policy. Roger served as the congresswoman’s point person for international trade, health care reform, financial services and patent reform. He began his Capitol Hill career with Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA).

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  • Carlos Peña, PhD
    Carlos Peña, PhD

    Carlos Peña, PhD

    Director
    Office of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices,
    (OHT5) Office of Product Evaluation and Quality (OPEQ),
    Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA

    Dr. Carlos Peña is Division Director for the Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices, in the Office of Device Evaluation, Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    Dr. Peña is involved in all aspects of the safety and effectiveness review of neurostimulation, neurodiagnostic, neurosurgical, neurotherapeutic, and physical medicine devices. He also serves as a Principal Investigator on a FDA sponsored clinical study focused on the treatment of pediatric neurologic disorders.

    Prior to joining CDRH, Dr. Peña served on detail as Assistant Director for Emerging Technologies in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in the Executive Office of the President of the United States. His areas of expertise included science, technology, policy, analysis, and regulatory matters related to biology, neuroscience, biotechnology, emerging technologies, agriculture, and STEM education. Before joining OSTP/FDA, Dr. Peña served at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health. He completed his neurosciences doctoral training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He also attended the University of Connecticut for the Masters in Comparative Physiology, and the City College of New York, City University of New York, where he received a Bachelors specializing in Developmental Biology.

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  • Rachel Ramoni, DMD, ScD
    Rachel Ramoni, DMD, ScD

    Rachel Ramoni, DMD, ScD

    Chief Research and Development Officer
    US Department of Veterans Affairs

    Rachel Ramoni, DMD, ScD, is Chief Research and Development Officer in the US Department of Veterans Affairs. She oversees the VA’s nationwide research enterprise, encompassing 2000 active projects at more than 100 sites. The singular purpose of VA research is to address unanswered questions that affect veterans’ health, quality of life, and healthcare. Prior to coming to the VA in January 2017, she was on the faculty at New York University College of Dentistry in the Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, and at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Biomedical Informatics.

    Rachel’s research interests include informatics, genomics, and precision medicine. Her research has focused on deploying information technology innovations to improve real-world healthcare quality and effectiveness. She has led large, multidisciplinary, practical research projects including the NIH-funded Undiagnosed Diseases Network, which has used close bench-bedside-bench collaboration to find answers for scores of people with conditions that have eluded diagnosis. Rachel earned a DMD from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a ScD in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.

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  • Uzma Samadani, MD, PhD
    Uzma Samadani, MD, PhD

    Uzma Samadani, MD, PhD

    Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Medical School, Neurosurgeon
    Minneapolis VA Medical Center

    Rockswold Kaplan Endowed Chair for Traumatic Brain Injury Research
    HCMC

    Uzma Samadani, MD PhD is a neurosurgeon and brain injury researcher at the University of Minnesota.  She moved to Minneapolis in 2015 and was named to Minneapolis St-Paul Magazine’s “Top Doctors in Neurosurgery” lists in 2016 through 2019.  In 2018 she was on the cover of the “Top Doctors” edition with the byline “The Doctor Will Save You Now.”  In 2018 she also was awarded the “Courageous Women in Healthcare” award by the Women’s Health Leadership Trust and named a “Top Doctor in Minnesota”.

    Dr. Samadani is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota with graduate faculty appointments in Neuroscience and Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.  She is also an attending neurosurgeon at Centracare and the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center and founder of the neurodiagnostic start-up Oculogica Inc.

    She is on the Executive Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care and served as Scientific Program Chair for their meeting in conjunction with the National Neurotrauma Society from 2014-7.  She also serves on the board and is President-Elect of ThinkFirst Foundation, the largest brain injury prevention foundation in the world.  She currently chairs the Minnesota State Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Program.  She is a Past-President of Women in Neurosurgery.

    Dr. Samadani has received more than three million dollars in research grants from national and international competitive funding agencies to study diagnostics, risks, outcomes and treatments for brain injury.  She has been funded by the United States Veterans Administration, National Space and Biomedical Research Institute, Abbott Diagnostic Laboratories, American College of Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Thrasher Research Fund, Integra, the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation and several other organizations.

    She is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and American Association of Neurological Surgeons.  Her research on brain injury has been discussed in the New York Times, LeMonde, LeFigaro, Wired, Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, and Minneapolis Star Tribune as well as numerous other media sources.  She has been a speaker at TedMed, the North American Brain Injury Society, National Neurotrauma Society, American Association of Neurological Surgeons meeting and multiple other conferences.  She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers and an additional 30 reviews and chapters including in the Journal of Neurotrauma, JAMA Neurology, Journal of Neurosurgery and the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Dr. Samadani also serves as an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant to the National Football League.

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  • Rosina Samadani, PhD
    Rosina Samadani, PhD

    Rosina Samadani, PhD

    CEO
    Oculogica

    Dr. Samadani has 20 years of experience with medical device companies, including 7 years with McKinsey & Company as a leader in their healthcare practice. Oculogica is her 4th startup. Dr. Samadani has her BS and MS from MIT in Mechanical Engineering, and her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University.

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  • Michael E. Singer, PhD
    Michael E. Singer, PhD

    Michael E. Singer, PhD

    CEO
    BrainScope

    Michael Singer has over 25 years of executive leadership with significant operating, healthcare and financial experience. 

    As CEO of BrainScope, Michael has guided the company from technology development, clinical studies, product validation, Intellectual Property creation, organizational build, and multiple regulatory clearances to commercial launch of the first FDA-cleared medical device for assessment of the full spectrum of brain injury, including concussion.  Michael also secured significant equity investment and research funding through government and military research contracts.

    Before Michael joined BrainScope, he was President of Revolution Health Investments, where he managed its sale to Everyday Health. He was previously the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development for Data Critical Corporation, a Seattle-based venture-backed medical device company. At Data Critical he was responsible for facilitating the company’s IPO and eventually led the sale of Data Critical to General Electric (GE). He has also worked as an executive at Microsoft Corporation responsible for developing small business and healthcare strategies.  For a decade Michael was a healthcare investment banker and M&A generalist for Wolfensohn & Co., Alex. Brown and Montgomery Securities in New York and San Francisco. He started his career at Union Bank of Switzerland in Zurich.

    Michael has served on the Board of Directors of Exact Sciences Corporation (molecular diagnostics), MedEfficiency (medical devices, sold to Derma Sciences), SparkPeople (consumer health), One Reel (entertainment), Data Critical Corporation (medical devices, sold to GE), and the Advisory Board of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

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  • Douglas Smith, MD
    Douglas Smith, MD

    Douglas Smith, MD

    Robert A. Groff Professor Of Teaching And Research In Neurosurgery
    Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

    Douglas H. Smith, M.D. is the Director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair and Professor of Neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Penn’s multidisciplined CBIR includes over twenty-five principal investigators and their laboratory staff collectively studying mechanisms, diagnosis and potential treatments of traumatic brain injury. Over the last 18 years, Dr. Smith has devoted his full-time efforts to neurotrauma research following completion of fellowships in both molecular biology and neurotrauma at the University of Connecticut. He has been an active member of the National Neurotrauma Society and currently serves as an officer. In addition, Dr. Smith is director of a multi-center NIH program grant on mild traumatic brain injury and he oversees an NIH training grant for brain injury research. His laboratory’s research interests include investigating the biomechanical effects of traumatic brain injury, imaging techniques to diagnose diffuse axonal injury, and the link between diffuse axonal injury and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Smith’s laboratory has also engineered nervous tissue constructs that have been shown to repair spinal cord and nerve damage. These collective efforts have resulted in over 170 published reports.
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  • James Stone, MD, PhD
    James Stone, MD, PhD

    James Stone, MD, PhD

    Vice Chairman of Clinical Research, Associate Professor of Radiology and Medical Imaging
    University of Virginia

    James R. Stone, MD, PhD is Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging at the University of Virginia. He is a clinical Interventional Radiologist with a neuroscience background. His laboratory currently explores questions related to improving the clinical diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in both preclinical models and human subjects. Ongoing preclinical work includes the design and investigation of molecular imaging probes for the detection of acute and chronic effects of TBI. He is involved with work exploring neurovascular changes in a preclinical blast TBI model. Human subjects efforts focus upon exploring neuroimaging correlates of repetitive low-level blast exposure in military populations. The goals of this work include determining whether military service members in this environment are at risk for developing long term neurological sequelae. Additionally, Dr. Stone is involved with efforts to build a normative library to support improved population level research and work towards single subject assessment of patients with TBI. Further, he is involved with work utilizing machine learning/deep learning approaches for the automated segmentation of imaging findings diagnostic of TBI as well as the joint analysis of multi-modal imaging and non-imaging data in a common framework. He is a member of the neuroimaging core laboratory for the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium. Dr. Stone collaborates with the Naval Medical Research Center on a number of ongoing projects related to military TBI and subconcussive neurological response to blast exposure. His work receives support from the Defense Health Program through the Military Operational Research Program as well as the Combat Casualty Care Research Program. His work also receives support from the Office of Naval Research and Navy Advanced Medical Development Program Office. His participation on efforts to establish a normative neuroimaging library receives support from Cohen Veterans Bioscience.

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  • Christopher Whitlow, MD, PhD
    Christopher Whitlow, MD, PhD

    Christopher Whitlow, MD, PhD

    Professor, Diagnostic Radiology
    Wake Forest School of Medicine

    Christopher T. Whitlow, MD, PhD, MHA is physician and neuroscientist at Wake Forest School of Medicine, with cross-disciplinary appointments as a Tenured Professor in the Department of Radiology, Department of Biomedical Engineering, PHS Department of Biostatistics & Data Science, as well as the Clinical Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI).  In the Department of Radiology, Dr. Whitlow serves as Chief of Neuroradiology and Vice-Chair of Imaging Informatics.  He also serves as Director of the Translational Imaging Program of the CTSI, leading operations of the institutional research imaging infrastructure.  In addition, Dr. Whitlow is founder and director of the Radiology Informatics and Image Processing Laboratory (RIIPL). RIIPL focuses on high throughput multi-center “big data” processing and analysis across multiple advanced neuroimaging modalities (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, magnetoencephalography).

    As a neuroscientist, Dr. Whitlow leverages his PhD doctoral training as a neurophysiologist and neuropharmacologist to develop new imaging protocols and techniques for novel in vivo imaging that have been applied to ongoing studies of TBI and PTSD.  Dr. Whitlow also has a strong informatics background, and has used a variety of computational informatics techniques to analyze imaging data, including graph theoretical network methods and AI/machine learning.  His extensive training in epidemiology and public health research methodologies as a graduate of the Gillings School of Global Public Health at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has provided him with the critical training necessary to lead important large-scale translational studies of disease at the population level.  As a board-certified clinical neuroradiologist, Dr. Whitlow has interpreted thousands of brain computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and molecular imaging scans to evaluate the effects of TBI at Wake Forest, a high-volume Level-I trauma center.

    Dr. Whitlow’s clinical and research neuroimaging experience has resulted in appointments at the national level, including co-director of the RSNA Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance DTI Profile Committee, and Chair of the American College of Radiology Head Injury Institute, where he is working to develop new neuroimaging biomarkers for exploring pathophysiologic mechanisms associated with TBI and PTSD.

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  • Elisabeth Wilde, PhD
    Elisabeth Wilde, PhD

    Elisabeth Wilde, PhD

    Associate Professor, Director of Research for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Baylor College of Medicine

    Dr. Elisabeth Wilde is a Health Research Scientist in the US Veterans Affairs Health System (VA Salt Lake City Healthcare System), and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Utah and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation  at Baylor College of Medicine. Her research interests include the use of advanced forms of neuroimaging to enhance diagnosis and prognosis, monitor recovery and neurodegeneration, evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic intervention, understand relations with other biomarkers, and elucidate aspects of neuroplasticity in traumatic brain injury. As a clinical neuropsychologist, she has an interest in brain-behavior relationships involving cognitive, neurological, and functional outcome and clinical trials in traumatic brain injury and associated comorbidities. For the last 20 years, she has worked with patients with traumatic brain injury and concussion across a spectrum of age, severity, and acuity, with particular interests in Veteran and Active Duty Service Members, athletes, and children and adolescents, with concussion or traumatic brain injury.  She has participated in over 40 federally-funded clinical projects in TBI, and has authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Wilde is currently the Director of the Neuroimaging Core for the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs co-funded Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) Neuroimaging Core and has been actively involved in the International Common Data Elements (CDE) initiative and co-leads the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics Meta-analysis (ENIGMA) Working Group for TBI.

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  • Stephen Xenakis, MD
    Stephen Xenakis, MD

    Stephen Xenakis, MD

    Brigadier General (Ret.)
    U.S. Army

    Dr. Xenakis is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist with many years of clinical, academic, and management experience. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1998 at the rank of Brigadier General and entered an active career in starting up medical technology companies and clinical practice. He has advised the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior Department of Defense officials on psychological health and the effects of blast concussion. BG (Ret) Xenakis has an active clinical and research practice in leveraging technology to improve healthcare services and sustain military readiness.   He serves on the Executive Board of the Center for Ethics and Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Uniformed Services of Health Sciences (USUHS) of the military medical department. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

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Scientific Planning Committee

  • Stephen Ahlers, PhD
    Stephen Ahlers, PhD

    Stephen Ahlers, PhD

    Director, Operational and Undersea Medicine Directorate
    Naval Medical Research Center

     

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  • Michael Bell, MD
    Michael Bell, MD

    Michael Bell, MD

    Division Chief, Critical Care Medicine
    Children’s National Health System

    Michael J. Bell, M.D., is the Chief of the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Children’s National Health System. A nationally known expert in the field of pediatric neurocritical care, Dr. Bell is also the DC Lawyers Care for Children Professor of Critical Care Medicine.

    Dr. Bell joined Children’s National from Children’s Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he served as director of Pediatric Neurocritical Care and the Pediatric Neurotrauma Center, and established the pediatric neurocritical care program. Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Bell served on the faculty at Children’s National and simultaneously conducted research on the impact of inflammation on the developing brain at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), within the laboratory of the chief of the NINDS Stroke Branch.

    Dr. Bell is a prominent figure in both critical care and neurocritical care research. He has authored or reviewed more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and is a founding member of the Pediatric Neurocritical Care Research Group, an international consortia of 40 institutions dedicated to advancing clinical research for children with critical neurological illnesses. His current research interests include: barriers to implementation of traumatic brain injury guidelines, the effect of hypothermia on various brain injuries and applications for neurological markers in a clinical setting.

    He also leads the largest study to date evaluating the impact of interventions for infants and children with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and analyzing findings to improve clinical practice across the world. The Approaches and Decisions for Acute Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury (ADAPT) Trial, funded by NINDS, has enrolled 1,000 children through 50 clinical sites across eight countries and compiled an unmatched database, which will be used to develop new guidelines for clinical care and research on TBIs.

    During his previous tenure at Children’s National, Dr. Bell played a crucial role in building one of the first clinical pediatric neurocritical care consult services in the country, which established common protocols between Divisions of Critical Care Medicine, Neurology and Neurosurgery aimed at improving clinical care of children with brain injuries.

    Dr. Bell is board certified in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. He completed his medical degree at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, his residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Pa., and a fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

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  • Lisa Brenner, PhD, ABPP
    Lisa Brenner, PhD, ABPP

    Lisa Brenner, PhD, ABPP

    Director
    VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)

    Lisa A. Brenner. Ph.D. is a Board Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist, and a Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at the University of Colorado, Anschutz School of Medicine, and the Director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 19 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). She is the Research Director for the Department of PM&R. Dr. Brenner is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 22, Rehabilitation Psychology.

    Her primary area of research interest is traumatic brain injury, co-morbid psychiatric disorders, and negative psychiatric outcomes including suicide. She serves as the Research Division Director for the American Association of Suicidology, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Dr. Brenner has numerous peer-reviewed publications, participates on national advisory boards, and is currently co-authoring a book regarding neurodisability and suicide.

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  • David Brody, MD, PhD
    David Brody, MD, PhD

    David Brody, MD, PhD

    Director
    Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, The USU/NIH Traumatic Brain Injury Research Group

    David L. Brody, MD, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) and a Professor of Neurology within the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) in Bethesda, Maryland. He is a board-certified neurologist with both a research and a clinical specialization in traumatic brain injury (TBI) and neurodegenerative diseases. His research focuses on accelerating better outcomes for U.S. military TBI patients.

    Prior to his current position, Dr. Brody was the Norman J. Stupp Professor of Neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Brody was also the Washington University site director for the National Football League’s Neurological Care Foundation.

    He has developed and authenticated advanced imaging technologies to detect injury in the brain’s white matter and showed, for the first time, how to predict neurological function by measuring amyloid, an abnormal protein in the brain. He also helped discover that diffusion tensor imaging, an advanced magnetic resonance imaging technique, can reveal blast-related damage.

    Dr. Brody previously led a team that worked in partnership with U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) researchers at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and at two sites in Afghanistan, treating U.S. military personnel with TBIs. In 2011, he served as a consultant to the medical advisor of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He traveled to Afghanistan at the request of then-JCS Admiral Michael Mullen with the “Gray Team”, a group of civilian and military experts evaluating the status of TBIs in troops within the combat zone.

    His achievements have been recognized with several awards, including a Career Development Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Brody is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurotrauma and Acta Neuropathologica and a permanent member of the National Institute of Health Acute Neural Injury and Epilepsy Study Section. His clinical monograph entitled “Concussion Care Manual: A Practical Guide” was published by Oxford University Press in 2014.

    Dr. Brody earned a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and his MD and PhD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his neurology residency at the Washington University in St. Louis.

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  • David Cifu, MD
    David Cifu, MD

    David Cifu, MD

    Associate Dean of Innovation and System Integration
    Herman J. Flax, MD Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

    Virgina Commonwealth University

    Senior TBI Specialist
    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    Principal Investigator, Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium
    U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs

    David Cifu, MD is the Associate Dean for Innovation and System Integration in the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine, and the Chairman and Herman J. Flax, MD Endowed Professor (tenured) of the Department of PM&R at VCU-School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. He is also Chief of PM&R Services for the VCU Health System and Founding Director of the VCU-Center for Rehabilitation Sciences and Engineering (CERSE). He is the Senior TBI Specialist for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has been funded on 45 research grants for over $190 million, including currently serving as Principal Investigator of the VA/DoD $62.2 million Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC). In his more than 25 years as an academic physiatrist, he has delivered more than 560 regional, national and international lectures, published more than 225 scientific articles and 65 abstracts, and co-authored or edited 35 books and book chapters. He is the Past President of the American Academy of PM&R (2007-8), Editor-in-Chief of the 5th Edition of Braddom’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation textbook (2015), co-Editor of Braddom’s Handbook of Rehabilitation Medicine (2017), and Editor-in-Chief of the upcoming 6th Edition of Braddom’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation textbook (2020)

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  • Fiona Crawford, PhD
    Fiona Crawford, PhD

    Fiona Crawford, PhD

    President & CEO
    Roskamp Institute

    Dr. Crawford has 20 years of experience in the field of research and development for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Throughout her career, Dr. Crawford has received and managed numerous grants and contracts for neuroscience research.

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  • Adam Ferguson, PhD
    Adam Ferguson, PhD

    Adam Ferguson, PhD

    Associate Professor, Neurological Surgery
    UCSF

     

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  • Jam Ghajar, MD, PhD, FACS
    Jam Ghajar, MD, PhD, FACS

    Jam Ghajar, MD, PhD, FACS

    President, Brain Trauma Foundation, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery
    Stanford University School of Medicine

    Jamshid Ghajar MD, PhD, FACS, is a board certified neurosurgeon, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, Director of the Stanford Concussion and Brain Performance Center and President of the Brain Trauma Foundation in New York City and Palo Alto.

    He completed the MD/PhD program at Cornell University Medical College. During his residency training in neurosurgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital, he invented and patented several neurosurgical devices that are currently used worldwide. After residency, he joined the faculty at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and was a founder of the Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) in 1986. The mission of the BTF is to improve the outcome of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). He joined the neurosurgery faculty at Stanford in February 2014.

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  • Jessica Gill, PhD, RN, FAAN
    Jessica Gill, PhD, RN, FAAN

    Jessica Gill, PhD, RN, FAAN

    Deputy Scientific Director of the Division of Intramural Research

    National Institute of Nursing Research

    Dr. Jessica Gill’s interest in research began during her nursing undergraduate (B.S.N.) career, during which she volunteered with women and children whose lives were negatively affected by violence. She observed that this extreme stress resulted in differing outcomes with some women being substantially impaired, whereas others were able to recover. She questioned the mechanisms underlying these divergent responses to extreme stress. This line of questioning led her to pursue a graduate degree (M.S.) from Oregon Health and Science University in psychiatric nursing, which included clinical training in the PTSD program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Research questions about trauma and resiliency were amplified during her work with Vietnam veterans who remained impacted by their combat service decades after returning home. Based on these volunteer and clinical experiences, she decided to pursue a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Nursing. Her dissertation research demonstrated the presence of high rates of PTSD in urban health care seeking women, and that a PTSD diagnosis was associated with perceived health declines as well as with higher concentrations of inflammatory markers and a dysregulation of endocrine functioning.

    Following completion of her Ph.D., she obtained a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) to better understand the biological mechanisms of PTSD and depression, finding central and peripheral alterations in the in-vivo functioning of both immune and endocrine systems. This line of research also led her to become a Clinical Investigator in the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM). She also is involved in leading national biomarker studies in athletes, military personnel and civilians. In these positions, she advises in the design and implementation of biomarker studies to ultimately improve the care of individuals with concussions and TBIs.

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  • Patrick Kochanek, MD, MCCM
    Patrick Kochanek, MD, MCCM

    Patrick Kochanek, MD, MCCM

    Ake N. Grenvik Professor of Critical Care Medicine; Director, Safar Center for Resuscitation Research
    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

    Patrick M. Kochanek, MD, is the Ake N. Grenvik Professor of Critical Care Medicine; Director of the Safar Center for Resuscitation Research; and Professor and Vice Chairman of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is also Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Bioengineering and Clinical and Translational Science.
    At the Safar Center, he has a long track-record of leading a translational and multi-departmental team of investigators studying traumatic and ischemic brain injury and neurointensive care, funded by the NIH, US Department of Defense, and the Laerdal Foundation. He has >500 citations on PubMed and was identified by ISI as the most prolific author in the field of TBI from 2001 to 2014. He is PI of Operation Brain Trauma Therapy for the United States Department of Defense and has been PI for 18 years of a T-32 titled “Pediatric Neurointensive Care and Resuscitation Research” funded by the NICHD. He has mentored numerous trainees, many of whom have gone on to receive independent funding and careers of national prominence. He is Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and is on the editorial board of numerous journals in the field of acute brain injury.
    Dr. Kochanek received the Distinguished Investigator Award from the American College of Critical Care Medicine in 2007, the Critical Care Distinguished Career Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2008, was named Master of Critical Care Medicine by the American College of Critical Care Medicine in its inaugural class, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Critical Care Medicine in 2017.
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  • Kimbra Kenney, MD
    Kimbra Kenney, MD

    Kimbra Kenney, MD

    Service Chief, Research Operations, NICoE
    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

    Associate Professor, Neurology
    Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

    Dr. Kenney is Associate Professor of Neurology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) and Service Chief of Research Operations, National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), a role she assumed in May 2016.
    At USUHS she serves as Principal Investigator of the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) with oversight over the CENC Biospecimen Biorepository and the CENC Brain Tissue Biorepository. Dr. Kenney’s research interests have been focused on understanding the molecular, cellular, and tissue level mechanisms and biomarkers of trauma-induced neurodegeneration.
    Dr. Kenney received her BA at the Johns Hopkins University in 1980 and her MD at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1984. After an internship at UCLA-Harbour Medical Center, she trained in neurology at Oregon Health Science University. She completed a year Fellowship in Neuropathology at the University of Washington in 1989. She was a contract general Neurologist at the USNH-Naples from 1989-1992. From 1993-2001 she was a clinical associate and then research medical officer at NINDS, NIH, studying biomarkers of prion disease in Carleton Gajdusek’s Laboratory.
    She joined the Department of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in 2006, where she collaborated with Ramon Diaz-Arrastia MD PhD on TBI diagnostic, traumatic vascular injury diagnostic and pharmacodynamic biomarkers and therapeutics of chronic TBI from 2012 to the present. She became the PI of the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) biomarker core at USUHS in 2016. She is currently billeted at WRNMMC and is the Director of the CENC Biomarker Core. Dr. Kenney has published over 150 research papers and abstracts in peer review journals. She has served on several national committees related to TBI, convened by the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration.
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  • Anthony Kontos, PhD
    Anthony Kontos, PhD

    Anthony Kontos, PhD

    Assistant Director of Research
    University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

    Anthony Kontos, PhD, joined the Concussion Program as assistant director of research in 2010, and the program’s already lengthy list of publications and research began to grow even further. Dr. Kontos brought to UPMC considerable experience as a hands-on researcher, with more than 50 publications and 100 presentations. He also delivered keen insight as project leader and organizer, securing funding from sources ranging from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command to the NFL.
    Previously, he was a professor and chair-elect at Humboldt State and director of the North Coast Sports Concussion Program in northern California, and an associate professor at the University of New Orleans, where he directed its sports-concussion testing program. While in New Orleans, Dr. Kontos also was an Adjunct Professor in the Sports Medicine Fellowship at Louisiana State University-Health Sciences Center.
    Dr. Kontos’ research in sports-related concussion includes psychological issues, neurocognitive and neuro-motor effects, and concussion in youth and underrepresented groups. He is the Program Chair of American Psychological Association’s Division 47, a Fellow of Eastern Psychological Association, and a member of the Association of Applied Sport Psychology and American College of Sports Medicine. He also serves as an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine.
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  • Grant Iverson, PhD
    Grant Iverson, PhD

    Grant Iverson, PhD

    Director, Neuropsychology Outcome Assessment Laboratory, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Harvard Medical School, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

    Dr. Grant Iverson is a specialist in neuropsychology and a clinician scientist in the area of mild traumatic brain injury and mental health. He has an internationally-recognized research program in outcome from mild traumatic brain injury in athletes, civilians, military service members, and veterans. He served as the Chair for the Canadian Psychological Association Section on Clinical Neuropsychology from 2003-2010. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the International Brain Injury Association (2012-2015). He served as a consensus panel member for the 3rd and 4th International Conferences on Concussion in Sport in Zurich, Switzerland in 2008 and 2012, and the 5th International Conference in Berlin in 2016. He served as an Advisor to the Neurocognitive Disorders Workgroup (Traumatic Brain Injury) for the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V). He also served as a founding member of the Traumatic Brain Injury Subcommittee of the Defense Health Board, a civilian advisory board to the United States Secretary of Defense. He was the President of the National Academy of Neuropsychology in 2015.

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  • Mary Jo Pugh, PhD, RN
    Mary Jo Pugh, PhD, RN

    Mary Jo Pugh, PhD, RN

    Professor/Career Scientist
    University of Utah / VA Salt Lake City

    Mary Jo Pugh Ph.D., R.N. is a Career Scientist at the Salt Lake City Veterans Health Care System, and Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Epidemiology at the University of Utah. Dr. Pugh’s research focuses on long-term sequelae of TBI with an emphasis on mild TBI in military service members and veterans.
    Her current work as part of the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium and DoD Epilepsy Research Program examines the emergence of distinct neurodegenerative conditions such as cognitive impairment, dementia, and epilepsy in addition to emergence of clusters of neurodegenerative comorbidity that may have similar biological underpinnings. These longitudinal observational studies of approximately one million veterans currently link DoD combat theatre and health system data with VA health system data, and are in the process of linking to DoD serum repository data and obtaining new primary data related to neuroimaging and serum biomarkers. These studies aim to understand which individuals are at highest risk of neurodegeneration, mental health conditions, and deficits in functional outcomes after TBI with a focus on variation in risk by TBI severity.
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  • Susanna Rosi, PhD
    Susanna Rosi, PhD

    Susanna Rosi, PhD

    Professor & Director of Neurocognitive Research
    University of California, San Francisco

    Susanna Rosi is a Professor in the Departments of Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Science and Neurological Surgery and the Director of Neurocognitive Research in the Brain and Spinal Injury Center. She is a member of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience, Hellen Diller Cancer Center. Originally from Tuscany, Dr. Rosi earned her undergraduate degree and PhD in Biology from the University of Florence, Italy. She trained in the Neural System Memory and Aging center at the University of Arizona before becoming a Faculty Member of UCSF. Her research is focused on understanding the mechanisms responsible for the cognitive dysfunctions observed after brain injury. Her lab develops and implements preclinical models of brain injury along with cognitive and behavioral testing that best parallel human testing. Her final goal is to identify diagnostic tools for treatment and prevention. She demonstrated the key role that neuroinflammation plays in the development of cognitive deficits after brain injury. Most recently she identified therapeutic strategies able to both prevent and restore lost cognition.
    She received the Bridging the Gap Award from the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, the Innovation Award from the Weill Institute for Neurosciences. She serves as PI on multiple NIH (NIA, NINDS and NCI) and NASA grants and she also serves as a standing member of the Molecular Neurogenetic study section at the National Institutes of Health
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  • Douglas Smith, MD
    Douglas Smith, MD

    Douglas Smith, MD

    Robert A. Groff Professor Of Teaching And Research In Neurosurgery
    Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

    Douglas H. Smith, M.D. is the Director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair and Professor of Neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Penn’s multidisciplined CBIR includes over twenty-five principal investigators and their laboratory staff collectively studying mechanisms, diagnosis and potential treatments of traumatic brain injury. Over the last 18 years, Dr. Smith has devoted his full-time efforts to neurotrauma research following completion of fellowships in both molecular biology and neurotrauma at the University of Connecticut. He has been an active member of the National Neurotrauma Society and currently serves as an officer. In addition, Dr. Smith is director of a multi-center NIH program grant on mild traumatic brain injury and he oversees an NIH training grant for brain injury research. His laboratory’s research interests include investigating the biomechanical effects of traumatic brain injury, imaging techniques to diagnose diffuse axonal injury, and the link between diffuse axonal injury and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Smith’s laboratory has also engineered nervous tissue constructs that have been shown to repair spinal cord and nerve damage. These collective efforts have resulted in over 170 published reports.
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  • Donald Stein, PhD
    Donald Stein, PhD

    Donald Stein, PhD

    Asa G. Candler Professor and Distinguished Professor
    Emory University School of Medicine

    Donald G. Stein, Ph.D., is Asa G. Candler Professor and Distinguished Professor in Emergency Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Before returning to full-time teaching and translational neuroscience research, Dr. Stein served Emory as Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and interim Vice President for Research. He was previously Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at Rutgers University, Newark, adjunct professor of Neurology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and before that served on the faculties at Clark University and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester.
    Stein’s research has long focused on recovery of function after traumatic injury to the brain. His group was one of the first to demonstrate sex differences in the outcome of severe cortical injury, findings which led to decades of research on neurosteroid actions in brain repair. His current investigations focus on the effects of neurosteroids, in particular progesterone and its metabolites, in promoting functional recovery through its ability to eliminate cerebral edema and other effects of inflammation and tissue breakdown in traumatic brain injury, several forms of stroke, and the side effects of radiation treatment for glioblastoma, across the developmental spectrum and in conjunction with comorbid conditions. His group works with medical colleagues in emergency medicine, neurology, radiology, oncology, and pediatrics. His work has been supported by a variety of federal agencies beginning in 1965, and by philanthropic gifts. He is the author of over 400 papers, book chapters, and reviews on recovery from brain injury, and has authored or edited more than a dozen books on the topic.
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  • James Stone, MD, PhD
    James Stone, MD, PhD

    James Stone, MD, PhD

    Vice Chairman of Clinical Research, Associate Professor of Radiology and Medical Imaging
    University of Virginia

    James R. Stone, MD, PhD is Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging at the University of Virginia. He is a clinical Interventional Radiologist with a neuroscience background. His laboratory currently explores questions related to improving the clinical diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in both preclinical models and human subjects. Ongoing preclinical work includes the design and investigation of molecular imaging probes for the detection of acute and chronic effects of TBI. He is involved with work exploring neurovascular changes in a preclinical blast TBI model. Human subjects efforts focus upon exploring neuroimaging correlates of repetitive low-level blast exposure in military populations. The goals of this work include determining whether military service members in this environment are at risk for developing long term neurological sequelae. Additionally, Dr. Stone is involved with efforts to build a normative library to support improved population level research and work towards single subject assessment of patients with TBI. Further, he is involved with work utilizing machine learning/deep learning approaches for the automated segmentation of imaging findings diagnostic of TBI as well as the joint analysis of multi-modal imaging and non-imaging data in a common framework. He is a member of the neuroimaging core laboratory for the Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium. Dr. Stone collaborates with the Naval Medical Research Center on a number of ongoing projects related to military TBI and subconcussive neurological response to blast exposure. His work receives support from the Defense Health Program through the Military Operational Research Program as well as the Combat Casualty Care Research Program. His work also receives support from the Office of Naval Research and Navy Advanced Medical Development Program Office. His participation on efforts to establish a normative neuroimaging library receives support from Cohen Veterans Bioscience.

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  • Ina Wanner, PhD
    Ina Wanner, PhD

    Ina Wanner, PhD

    Associate Research Neuroscientist
    UCLA, Geffen School of Medicine, Semel Institute, IDDRC

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  • Elisabeth Wilde, PhD
    Elisabeth Wilde, PhD

    Elisabeth Wilde, PhD

    Associate Professor, Director of Research for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Baylor College of Medicine

    Dr. Elisabeth Wilde is a Health Research Scientist in the US Veterans Affairs Health System (VA Salt Lake City Healthcare System), and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Utah and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation  at Baylor College of Medicine. Her research interests include the use of advanced forms of neuroimaging to enhance diagnosis and prognosis, monitor recovery and neurodegeneration, evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic intervention, understand relations with other biomarkers, and elucidate aspects of neuroplasticity in traumatic brain injury. As a clinical neuropsychologist, she has an interest in brain-behavior relationships involving cognitive, neurological, and functional outcome and clinical trials in traumatic brain injury and associated comorbidities. For the last 20 years, she has worked with patients with traumatic brain injury and concussion across a spectrum of age, severity, and acuity, with particular interests in Veteran and Active Duty Service Members, athletes, and children and adolescents, with concussion or traumatic brain injury.  She has participated in over 40 federally-funded clinical projects in TBI, and has authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Wilde is currently the Director of the Neuroimaging Core for the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs co-funded Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC) Neuroimaging Core and has been actively involved in the International Common Data Elements (CDE) initiative and co-leads the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics Meta-analysis (ENIGMA) Working Group for TBI.

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  • David Wright, MD, FACEP
    David Wright, MD, FACEP

    David Wright, MD, FACEP

    Professor, Emergency Medicine; Vice Chair, Research; Director, Emergency Neurosciences Section
    Emory University School of Medicine

    David Wright, MD, is a professor of emergency medicine, interim chair of the Emergency Medicine Department, and director, Emergency Neurosciences, Department of Emergency Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. He joined the Emory University School of Medicine faculty in 1997. He received his MD at University of Alabama School of Medicine and completed his emergency medicine residency at University of Cincinnati.

    Dr. Wright is actively involved in both the preclinical and clinical assessment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke. He is Principal Investigator (PI) of the NIH funded multicenter Phase III clinical trial, ProTECT™ (Progesterone for TBI, experimental clinical treatment) and serves as PI of the Emory hub for the NIH Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials Network and Co-PI of the Emory hub for the new NIH Stroke Network.

    Another one of Dr. Wright’s goals is to transform healthcare through the development of advanced technologies, especially for neurological diseases. He is an adjunct faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and works closely with an elite team of engineers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute where he participates in numerous concussion research and technology development endeavors. He is currently one of the top 3 NIH funded emergency medicine researchers in the United States.

    Dr. Wright is the recipient of the following awards:

    • Investigator Abstract and Presentation Award, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine 2000
    • Fellow Status in the American College of Emergency Physicians-FACEP 2000
    • Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Young Investigator Award 2001
    • Healthcare Hero Award, Healthcare Innovations, Atlanta Business Chronicle 2008
    • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society Membership – 2011
    • Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Research Fellowship Program – 2011
    • Finalist for Atlanta Magazine Groundbreakers Award – Nov. 2013
    • Woodruff Leadership Academy Class of 2015.

    Dr. Wright is a member of the Brain Injury Association (BIA) – National and Georgia Chapter, National Neurotrauma Society (NNS), American Medical Association (AMA), Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM), (Program Committee Member – 2004), and American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) – National and Georgia Chapters.

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Moderators

  • David Biondi, DO, FAAN
    David Biondi, DO, FAAN
  • Kristophe Diaz, PhD
    Kristophe Diaz, PhD

    Kristophe Diaz, PhD

    Senior Manager, Scientific Programs
    Cohen Veterans Network

    After earning a doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Diaz investigated key mechanisms of cell division. He has also studied Life Science Innovation at Harvard Medical School and Business Law for Entrepreneurs at MIT Sloan School of Management.

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  • Chantelle Ferland-Beckham, PhD
    Chantelle Ferland-Beckham, PhD

    Chantelle Ferland-Beckham, PhD

    Senior Manager, Scientific Programs
    Cohen Veterans Bioscience

    Dr. Chantelle Ferland-Beckham is a translational neuroscientist with over 12 years of experience in behavioral models of stress-related psychiatric disorders. The major goal of her research has been to develop animal models to investigate the complex molecular and epigenetic underpinnings of stress-induced pathology, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She earned her PhD in Neuroscience from Tulane University under the mentorship of Dr. Laura Schrader and then went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she was awarded the Ruth L Kirschstein National Service Award (T32) from the National Institute of Drug Addiction to investigate the role of the endogenous oxytocin system in a model of comorbid methamphetamine addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Most recently, Chantelle was a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she worked as a Science Policy Analyst, developing policies to promote progress in biomedical research and serving as a legislative analyst to strengthen the relationship between the NIH and Congress. As a fellow, she worked on the Fellows in Innovation initiative, spearheaded by the Obama administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, to analyze current strategies and provide policy recommendations for suicide prevention in current and former members of the US military.

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  • Noel Gunther
    Noel Gunther

    Noel Gunther

    Executive Director
    BrainLine

    Noel Gunther is Vice President, Learning Media at WETA-TV, the flagship PBS station in Washington, D.C. He also serves as Executive Director of BrainLine.org, the premiere national website about brain injuries and PTSD.

    Gunther has broad experience in radio, television, print, and the Internet. He has written and produced award-winning documentaries for NPR and Public Radio International, including: Gray Matters: Depression with Mike Wallace (Gold Award, International Radio Festival of New York); Drugs, Alcohol and the Brain with Pat Summerall (Gold Cindy Award, best documentary), and Good Morning Vietnam with Adrian Cronauer (Gold Award, International Radio Festival of New York) For television, Gunther’s work includes the PBS documentary A Tale of Two Schools, narrated by Morgan Freeman (Cine Special Jury Prize), and the five-part public TV series Exploring Your Brain (Gold Cindy Award).

    For the Internet, Gunther developed and now oversees a portfolio of national websites, including BrainLine, Reading Rockets, and Colorin Colorado. Gunther is co-author of Beyond Boardwalk and Park Place (Bantam Books), which was named by the New York Public Library as one of the best young adult books of the year.

    He has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, American Journalism Review, and many other publications. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

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  • Magali Haas, MD, PhD
    Magali Haas, MD, PhD

    Magali Haas, MD, PhD

    CEO and President
    Cohen Veterans Bioscience

    Dr. Haas founded Orion Bionetworks in July 2012 and serves as its CEO and President. Orion Bionetworks was transformed to Cohen Veterans Bioscience in 2015 to specifically dedicate research to improving the detection and treatment of post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and related co-morbidities so that the burden of these conditions may be lessened on service members, veterans, and their families.

    Magali has over 15 years of pharmaceutical executive and clinical research experience, predominantly at Johnson & Johnson, where she assumed broad end-to-end development leadership roles in medical marketing, full clinical development, early development, and translational and biomarker sciences in psychiatry and neurology. She successfully filed NDAs in the US and Europe for risperidone indications in Autism, Adolescent Schizophrenia, Juvenile Bipolar Disorder and Conduct Disorders. She also led Development Teams evaluating compounds for Depression, Neuropathic Pain, Epilepsy, and Migraine Disorder.

    She served 3 years as Chief Science and Technology Officer for One Mind for Research, a nonprofit organization launched in May 2012 by Patrick J Kennedy. She orchestrated the launch of One Mind’s seminal programs, Apollo, an informatics research portal and, Gemini, an international TBI/PTSD research program.

    As an “intrapreneur” at J&J she established the first Neuroscience Translational Medicine & Integrative Solutions department, and co-founded the first Companion Diagnostics Center of Excellence as well as J&J’s Healthcare Innovation team. She serves on several advisory boards including Brain Canada, Prophase, Pear Therapeutics, PAASP and IMEC for nanoelectronics.

    Magali earned her BS in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University, New Jersey, and her MD PhD with distinction in neuroscience from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.

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  • Lee Lancashire, PhD
    Lee Lancashire, PhD

    Lee Lancashire, PhD

    Chief Information Officer
    Cohen Veterans Bioscience

    Lee Lancashire, PhD has over 15 years of experience in machine learning and statistics. His PhD was focused on the development of artificial neural network based methodologies where he was involved in many of the first applications of neural nets to high dimensional datasets in bioinformatics.

    Prior to joining Cohen Veterans Bioscience, Lee spent over five years within the IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters where he established and led the machine learning and statistical data analysis team. Here he held global responsibility for managing and delivering analytical projects, serving the majority of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies, as well as government, academic and non-profit organizations. These projects focused on utilizing advanced machine learning approaches in the molecular profiling of disease for biomarker discovery, patient stratification and drug target identification.

    Lee completed his post-doctoral research in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, a Cancer Research UK core facility. He has also worked as a bioinformatics project lead in personalized medicine and diagnostics companies CompanDX and Almac Diagnostics. He has published in over 30 key industry journals and holds several patents around the use of neural networks in the biomedical domain.

    In his free time Lee devotes time volunteering as a trustee for the Ichthyosis Support Group, a charity that supports individuals and families affected by a group of rare skin disorders.

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  • Rajeev Ramchand, PhD
    Rajeev Ramchand, PhD

    Rajeev Ramchand, PhD

    Senior Vice President, Research
    Cohen Veterans Network

    Dr. Ramchand is Senior Vice President-Research at the Cohen Veterans Network (CVN). In this role, he is responsible for designing and guiding CVN’s research agenda and for conducting research within the network.

    He comes to CVN after working for 12 years as a behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. At RAND, he conducted research on an array of topics including military and veteran mental health, military and veteran caregivers, adolescent delinquency, the impact of disasters on community health, and violent extremism. He has also conducted many studies on suicide and suicide prevention in military, veteran, and civilian populations. This includes epidemiologic studies on risk factors for suicide, evaluations of suicide prevention programs, environmental scans of suicide prevention programs, and has developed tools to help organizations to evaluate their own programs. While at RAND, he received two RAND Gold Medal Awards for his research on suicide prevention and one Presidential Award, RAND’s highest honor, for his work on military and veteran caregivers.

    Dr. Ramchand received his B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in psychiatric epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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