After first building her own do-it-yourself artificial pancreas, Dana Lewis founded the #OpenAPS open source movement to make artificial pancreas technology available (sooner) for more people with diabetes. She is also a vocal part of the growing #WeAreNotWaiting movement, collaborating with people across various patient communities to encourage solving healthcare problems in new and innovative ways. Dana is collaborating with researchers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and other government agencies to develop and implement new review processes for the growing number of rapidly-innovating patient-driven research projects. She is also the Director, MDigitalLife for W2O Group, working at the intersection of all things health and digital, to help organizations understand, engage, and activate the online health ecosystem. Before joining W2O Group, she spent years in a digital leadership role supporting a nonprofit health system and other health organizations in connecting patients with health information and services online. Dana is also well known in the health care social media space, first and foremost from founding and leading the global #hcsm Twitter chat community
David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD, is professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh and executive vice chair of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Okonkwo leads one of the premier clinical and research programs for traumatic brain injury in the United States and is the principal investigator of a nationally funded clinical core to study the pathophysiology of traumatic brain injury. Okonkwo completed his undergraduate work at the University of Virginia, where he received the University Academic Achievement Award and was named a Howard Hughes Undergraduate Biomedical Research Scholar. He completed the MD/PhD program at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2000. He joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2006 following completion of neurosurgical residency at the University of Virginia and a fellowship at Auckland Public Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand. He has published more than 130 papers and gives lectures around the world to advance neurosurgery with emerging innovations in traumatic brain injury.
Dean Kamen, CEO of DEKA Research & Development Corporation, is an inventor, entrepreneur, and tireless advocate for science and technology. As an inventor, he has been issued approximately 1,000 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. Kamen has received many awards for his efforts, including the National Medal of Technology and the Lemelson-MIT Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In addition to DEKA, one his proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology. Founded in 1989, this year FIRST® will serve more than 1 million young people between the ages of 6 and 18 in more than 80 countries.
Eric Dishman is the Director of the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program at the National Institutes of Health. In this role, he leads efforts to build a research cohort of one million U.S. participants to advance precision medicine. Previously, Dishman was an Intel Fellow and Vice President of the Health and Life Sciences Group at Intel Corporation, where he was responsible for driving Intel’s cross-business strategy, research and development, and product and policy initiatives for health and life science solutions. He is widely recognized as a global leader in health care innovation with specific expertise in home and community-based technologies and services for chronic disease management and independent living. Trained as a social scientist, Dishman is known for pioneering innovation techniques that incorporate anthropology, ethnography, and other social science methods into the development of new technologies. He also brings his own experience as a cancer patient for 23 years—finally cured thanks to precision medicine—to drive a person-centric view of health care transformation.
Freda C. Lewis-Hall, chief medical officer of Pfizer, leads efforts to ensure safe, effective and appropriate use of the company’s therapies and to improve health outcomes by engaging with all those involved in patient care, including patients themselves. She joined Pfizer in 2009 after senior leadership positions in medical affairs and R&D with Vertex, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pharmacia and Lilly. Before that, she was an associate professor at the Howard University College of Medicine and an adviser to the National Institute of Mental Health. A distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, she is well known for her work on the effects of mental illness on families and communities. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and her master’s degree from Howard. Lewis-Hall is on the board of governors for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, chairs the Cures Acceleration Network Review Board of the National Institutes of Health and serves on the boards of Harvard Medical School, Tenet Healthcare and Save the Children. A passionate advocate for public access to reliable, evidence-based medical information, she speaks frequently in venues like TEDMED, appears regularly as a medical expert on shows including “The Doctors” and “Dr. Phil,” and shares health and medical information at GetHealthyStayHealthy.com.
James Park is cofounder of Fitbit. He has served as a member of the Fitbit Board of Directors since March 2007, as chairman since May 2015, and as president and chief executive officer since September 2007. Previously, Park was director of product development at CNET Networks, Inc., an online media company. He also served as president and co-founder of WindUp Labs, Inc., an online photo sharing company acquired by CNET Networks in April 2005. He also was chief technology officer and co-founder of Epesi Technologies, Inc., a software company. Park attended Harvard College where he studied computer science.
Kevin M. Esvelt is an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, where he leads the Sculpting Evolution Group in exploring evolutionary and ecological engineering. Esvelt received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University in 2010 for his invention of Phage-Assisted Continuous Evolution (PACE), which he used to create a synthetic microbial ecosystem to rapidly evolve useful biomolecules. He subsequently helped pioneer the development of CRISPR, a powerful new method of genome engineering. Esvelt identified the potential for “gene drive” systems based on CRISPR to alter wild populations of organisms. Recognizing the implications of an advance that could enable individual scientists to alter the shared environment, he and his colleagues revealed their findings and called for open discussion and safeguards before demonstrating gene drive in the laboratory. His Sculpting Evolution Group is developing safer “daisy drives” that can only spread locally, and recently began working with island communities on a possible way to prevent Lyme disease in the environment.
Margaret Anderson is the executive director of FasterCures, a Washington DC-based center of the Milken Institute. FasterCures focuses on saving lives by speeding up and improving the medical research system, spurring cross-sector collaboration, cultivating a culture of innovation and engaging patients as partners. She is a founding board member and past-president of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA and a member of the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Advisory Council and Cures Acceleration Network Review Board, the National Health Council board, the Food and Drug Administration's Science Board, Science Looking Forward Committee and the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Drug Discovery, Development and Translation. Prior to joining FasterCures in 2004, Anderson was the deputy director and a team leader in the Center on AIDS & Community Health at the Academy for Educational Development, program director at the Society for Women’s Health Research. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and a master's degree in science, technology and public policy from George Washington University.
At the University of California, San Francisco, Monica McLemore is an assistant professor in the Family Health Care Nursing Department, an affiliated scientist with Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, and a member of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. She was recently named Associate Director for Community Engaged Research for the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative in California. She maintains clinical practice as a public health and staff nurse at San Francisco General Hospital in the Women’s Options Center. McLemore’s research focusses on understanding women’s health and wellness across the lifespan. She is an elected member of the governing council for Population Reproductive and Sexual Health section of the American Public Health Association. Her work embraces complex and intersectional problems associated with sexual and reproductive health, including health disparities, stigma, incarceration, unintended pregnancy, and difficulty accessing services. Women of color are affected in greater proportion by these social determinants of health, and she sees her role as an advocate, connector, and innovator of programs that directly target these determinants in the domains of nursing and community health.
Rafael Yuste is a professor of biological sciences and neuroscience at Columbia University. Yuste is interested in understanding the function and pathology of the cerebral cortex, using calcium imaging and optogenetics to “break the code” and decipher the communication between groups of neurons. Yuste has obtained many awards for his work, including those from the New York City Mayor, the Society for Neuroscience and the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of Spain’s Royal Academies of Science and Medicine. Yuste also led the researchers who proposed the Brain Activity Map, precursor to the BRAIN initiative, and is currently involved in helping to launch a global BRAIN project and a Neuroethical Guidelines Commission. He was born in Madrid, where he obtained his medical degree at the Universidad Autónoma. He then joined Sydney Brenner's laboratory in Cambridge, UK. He engaged in Ph.D. study with Larry Katz in Torsten Wiesel’s laboratory at Rockefeller University and was a postdoctoral student of David Tank at Bell Labs. In 2005, he became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and co-director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Circuits. In 2014, he served as director of the Neurotechnology Center at Columbia.
Steven Keating has developed novel platforms for 3D printing buildings, biological wearables, and designed growth of the next generation of products through his doctoral work at MIT. Curiosity drove his research and also saved his life through the accidental discovery of a large astrocytoma brain tumor found in a voluntary academic scan. With his tumor successfully removed through awake brain surgery in 2014, Keating is an advocate for open patient data and curiosity. From gears to genomes, he is interested in exploring new design possibilities, open health data networks, and asking if we can have a “share” button for health. His work has been covered by outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, and The Boston Globe. Keating is on the Board of Directors for the Open Humans Foundation, has participated as a member of the Precision Medicine Task Force, and he was recently named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Healthcare.
Cellist and composer Zoë Keating is a one-woman orchestra. She uses a cello and a foot-controlled laptop to record layer upon layer of cello, creating intricate, haunting and compelling music. Keating is known for both her use of technology, which she uses to sample her cello onstage, and for her DIY approach, releasing her music online without the help of a record label. Her self-released albums have reached #1 on the iTunes classical chart several times, she has over 1 million followers on Twitter and her grassroots approach and artists' advocacy has garnered her much public attention and press. She serves as a governor for the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy, was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and serves on the boards of the Magik Magik Orchestra and CASH Music, a nonprofit organization that builds open source digital tools for musicians and labels. She is a trustee of the World Economic Forum's Future of the Internet Initiative. In 2014, her husband, Jeffrey Rusch, was diagnosed with stage IV non-smoker's lung cancer. While she halted her music career to care for him and their four-year old son, their struggles with health care and insurance became the new subject of her blog. Rusch died in 2015 and Keating continues to advocate on his behalf for patients, data portability and the simplification of medical insurance.