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2015 Autism Investment Conference Speakers and Moderators

2015 Speakers

  • Rajesh Anandan
    ULTRATesting
    Co-Founder
    Rajesh Anandan
    ULTRATesting
    Co-Founder

    Rajesh is a growth strategist, intrapreneur and entrepreneur. Rajesh began his career at Microsoft as a program manager, and then joined Bain & Company where he focused on business incubation and growth strategy for technology, media, financial services, healthcare and retail clients. For the past decade, Rajesh has worked in the social sector, including as head of UNICEF Ventures focused on scaling social innovations, creator of Kid Power, the world’s first wearable-for-good, and co-founder of ULTRA Testing, a software testing company employing individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Rajesh has a BSc and MEng in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT with concentrations in Artificial Intelligence, Systems Dynamics and Economics.

  • Ofer Atzmon
    Compedia Ltd.
    Business Development Manager
    Ofer Atzmon
    Compedia Ltd.
    Business Development Manager

    Ofer Atzmon is a highly experienced manager, specializing in international business development and marketing of high-tech solutions, in the fields of information technologies, eHealth and education. As business development manager at Compedia, an Israel-based leading global education technology company, he is responsible for setting up a new business unit developing virtual games for children with ASD, aimed at enhancing their socio-emotional communication skills, based on a coordinated R&D effort of a pan-European consortium funded by the EU. Ofer has a B.Sc. in electrical engineering from Tel Aviv University.

  • Brad Baird
    RoboKind
    COO
    Brad Baird
    RoboKind
    COO

    Brad Baird serves as the Chief Operating Officer for RoboKind. Mr. Baird has been a leader in the education technology industry since its early days in the 1990s, Mr. Baird has held executive leadership titles, sales and marketing positions, and has worked as an industry consultant for both education startups and established vendors in the education marketplace. Most recently, Mr. Baird was Chief Revenue Officer for Schoology where he was responsible for the strategic direction of the company, helping solidify Schoology as a market-leading Learning Management System (LMS) used by millions of educators and students around the world.

    Prior to joining, Schoology Mr. Baird served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for International Learning Corporation (ILC) which was acquired by Northwest education association. Mr. Baird was also one of the founding members of GlobalScholar. During his tenure of more than a decade with the company, he served as COO and VP of Sales and Marketing at both GlobalScholar and its predecessor, Excelsior Software Inc. During this time, Mr. Baird was responsible for managing all aspects of the business including product, support, sales and marketing.

  • David Berry
    Flagship Ventures
    Partner
    David Berry
    Flagship Ventures
    Partner

    David Berry joined Flagship in 2005 where he focuses on innovating, entrepreneuring, and investing in new ventures in life sciences and sustainability. He is a founder of Flagship portfolio companies Joule Unlimited, Eleven Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: EBIO), Seres Health, Pronutria, LS9 (acquired by Renewable Energy Group) and Symbiota. David has served as founding CEO of Joule, Pronutria and Seres. He currently serves on the boards of Eleven, Seres, Pronutria and Avedro. He was previously a Board member of CGI Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead), Joule and Symbiota.

    Prior to Flagship, David received an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD from the MIT Biological Engineering Division, working in the laboratories of Professors Ram Sasisekharan and Bob Langer, completing the dual degree in just over 5 years.

    David currently serves on the Leadership Council of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is currently on the Boards of the Hackley School, the Juventas New Music Ensemble and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and has served on the MIT Corporation, its Board of Trustees.

    David was elected a 2014 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Previously, David was named the Innovator of the Year by Technology Review, and received the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for invention and innovation. He was also selected by the US State Department as 1 of 12 Innovators Helping to Reshape Reality.

  • Chad E. Beyer
    Promentis
    President and CEO
    Chad E. Beyer
    Promentis
    President and CEO

    Chad Beyer is President & CEO of Promentis, where he leads the global pharmaceutical and business operations. Prior to joining Promentis, Dr. Beyer served as the Head of Neurochemistry and led the Psychiatry Task at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Princeton, NJ. During his career at Wyeth, Dr. Beyer led several early-stage drug discovery teams and managed a group responsible for providing supporting data for the commercialization and life-cycle management of two blockbuster medications: Effexor® and Pristiq®. Dr. Beyer holds a Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from LSU Medical Center and an MBA from the Rutgers Business School. Notably, Dr. Beyer has authored more than 70 manuscripts, 5 patents, co-edited "Next Generation Antidepressants" and is co-founder of the journal "Technology Transfer & Entrepreneurship." Dr. Beyer is also an adjunct faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia where he teaches "Bioventure Management" and the business of doing science.

  • Tom Biggins
    Atlantis Technology
    CEO
    Tom Biggins
    Atlantis Technology
    CEO

    Tom Biggins is the CEO of Atlantis Technology, a Concord, MA-based software development agency. Since its founding, Atlantis has supported over 500 startups building the future. Recently, the firm has helped:

    ● Combat cancer by developing tools to help pathologists and oncologists establish precision medicine as the new standard of care;
    ● Make social crowdsourcing campaigns more successful through AI-based collaboration tools;
    ● Enable genetic discovery and freedom to operate by organizing the world’s genetic intellectual property;
    ● Increase the speed and accuracy of diagnosis through remote digital pathology.

    Tom is in the midst of incorporating adults with autism into Atlantis work teams and is eager to share these experiences and learn additional best practices. Tom lives in Sudbury, MA with his wife and 5 children.

  • Randall L. Carpenter
    MIT
    Research Affiliate; Translational Medicine Consultant
    Randall L. Carpenter
    MIT
    Translational Medicine Consultant;
    Research Affiliate, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

    Dr. Carpenter has over 25 years experience in academic medicine, basic science and clinical research, and pharmaceutical drug development. His experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries include Co-Founder, President and CEO of Seaside Therapeutics, President and CEO of Sention, VP of Clinical Research & Development and Regulatory Affairs at Adolor Corporation and member of Astra Pain Control’s Global Therapeutic Area Team. While in industry, Dr. Carpenter led translational medicine teams responsible for 8 successful IND submissions and dozens of GCP-compliant clinical trials. Prior to joining industry, he held academic faculty appointments at Virginia Mason Medical Center, the University of Washington and Wake Forest University where he specialized in anesthesiology, pain and translational medicine. He currently is a Research Affiliate at MIT and was previously an adjunct faculty member at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Carpenter is the author of more than 70 peer-reviewed articles, holds several patents and has served as editor-in-chief or on the editorial boards of several medical journals. Dr. Carpenter is currently a member of National Advisory Mental Health Council, the Board of Directors of Forum Pharmaceuticals and the Scientific Advisory Board of EU-AIMS.

  • Hao Chen
    DRI Biosciences
    President and CEO
    Hao Chen
    DRI Biosciences
    President and CEO

    Dr. Hao Chen, PhD, CEO of DRI Biosciences, discovered a lead candidate drug (ACT01) for Autism and Fragile X by controlling dopamine levels in the body. ACT01, a small molecule, acts with the specificity of an antibody with no-known side-effects. He has worked 30 years in biotechnology R&D, as Vice President of R&D with PerkinElmer, Caliper Life Sciences, and NovaScreen. He directed teams working on pharmaceutical discovery and development for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. His accomplishments led to advances in several candidates for successful clinical trials as well as eliminating those candidates that were not proving out.

  • Bernard Courtieu
    IntegraGen
    CEO
    Bernard Courtieu
    IntegraGen
    CEO

    Bernard Courtieu is the CEO of IntegraGen, a French Biotechnology firm dedicated to the development of genomic diagnostic tools focused in the field of Autism and GI Cancer. IntegraGen manages one of the largest European Genomic center and operates the clinical sequencing unit of the Gustave Roussy Cancer campus. Prior to joining IntegraGen Dr Courtieu was the managing partner of the Life Sciences practice at Gemini Consulting (Cap Gemini Group) and the Head of the French operations of Ariba (now an SAP Group Company). Bernard is a DVM from the Alfort veterinary School in Paris and holds an MBA from the IESE in Barcelona Spain.

  • Jan D'Alvise
    Pediatric BioScience, Inc.
    CEO
    Company Showcase
    Jan D'Alvise
    Pediatric BioScience, Inc.
    CEO

    Jan is a seasoned life science chief executive in diagnostics, medical devices, drug development. Jan was previously the CEO of Gish Biomedical, a cardiopulmonary med device company, and the CEO of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. Jan was Co-Founder, and CEO of NuGEN, and Co-Founder, Executive VP/COO of Metrika, where she completed dozens of strategic deals, and built both companies from concept through to successful regulatory approvals, product introduction, and revenue growth. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Jan held positions of VP and BU Director, at Syntex/Roche, VP Commercial Ops at SYVA, and held positions of increasing responsibility at DPC. Jan holds a B.S., Mich. Tech. Univ. & M.B.A., Univ. of Mich.

  • Chip Davis
    PhRMA
    Exec. Vice President
    Chip Davis
    PhRMA
    Exec. Vice President

    Chester “Chip” Davis, Jr. is the Executive Vice President for Advocacy and Member Relations at PhRMA. He leads PhRMA’s federal, state and international government relations and advocacy efforts, and is also responsible for membership recruitment and retention.

    Working at the intersection of public policy, healthcare and business, Mr. Davis is a leading national advocate for a strong, innovative biopharmaceutical research sector that seeks to serve patient needs and contribute to a strong US economy. He is a recognized expert on science, healthcare, economic and regulatory policies and how they affect a growing, innovative biopharmaceutical research industry.

    Mr. Davis is a 20 year veteran of the biopharmaceutical sector. Prior to joining PhRMA, he was Vice President of Corporate External Relations for AstraZeneca, where he oversaw the company’s government relations, strategic alliances, community relations and employee volunteer efforts. He also was a member AstraZeneca’s Corporate Affairs Leadership team, and Vice-Chairman of the company Political Action Committee. In 2007, Mr. Davis was one of the inaugural winners of the AstraZeneca CEO Award, given to global executives who best demonstrate AstraZeneca leadership capabilities in their accomplishments.

    Mr. Davis earned an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Global Intellectual Property Center, the University of Delaware Alumni Association, the St. Mary’s High School Royal Blue Club, the Government Affairs Committee for Autism Speaks, and the Member Advisory Board for the National Journal.

  • Cuong Do
    Identifor
    Co-founder
    Cuong Do
    Identifor
    Co-founder

    In 2014, Cuong Do retired from Merck to devote his most of his time to helping address the challenges of autism – the biggest childhood epidemic of our time and a future societal drain. Nearly 1 million autistic teenagers will transition to adulthood in the next decade. However, there currently no tools, approaches, processes to help parents of these individuals understand what their children are able to do and are interested in – without which one cannot help put in place appropriate post-secondary education options, jobs and support for housing and transportation. Cuong is Founder and Chairman of Identifor, which is working with Autism Speaks and other organizations to develop new tools and approaches to address this challenge.

    With Identifor’s platform largely built, he is putting in place a management team to take the efforts forward, thereby enabling him to return to his professional pursuits in leading large companies. Cuong recently joined Samsung Group as Executive Vice President, Global Strategy Group. Prior to Samsung, he was the Chief Strategy Officer for Merck, Tyco Electronics, and Lenovo. He was also a former senior partner at McKinsey & Company, where he spent 17 years and helped build the Firm’s healthcare, high tech and corporate finance practices.

    He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, U.S. and a Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, New Hampshire, U.S. He serves on Autism Speaks’ Executive, Family Services, and Science Committees. He founded Profectum Foundation as a non-profit working to train clinicians and parents on working with autistic children. He currently or previously served on the boards of Celebrate the Children (school for children with special needs), Caring for Cambodia (non-profit working to establish the model schools for Cambodia); the National Youth Science Foundation, the Tuck MBA Advisory Board, and WuXi AppTec (leading pharmaceutical R&D outsourcing company). He was co-founder and Chairman of Callidus Biopharma (a biotech company working in rare diseases that was acquired by Amicus Therapeutics in 2013) and Lysodel Therapeutics (company developing an innovative pharmaceutical product for obesity).

  • Elizabeth L.R. Donley
    Stemina Biomarker Discovery, Inc.
    Founder & CEO
    Elizabeth L.R. Donley
    Stemina Biomarker Discovery, Inc.
    Founder & CEO

    Elizabeth L. R. Donley, J.D., M.B.A., M.S., Ms. Donley is a founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stemina Biomarker Discovery, a biomarker discovery company developing a diagnostic test for autism and toxicology screens, using human embryonic stem cells, for drug development and chemical safety screening. Ms. Donley is a patent attorney who served as General Counsel and Director of Business Development for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the patent and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin, for more than eight years.

    During her tenure at WARF, Ms. Donley also served as Managing Director of both WARF subsidiaries: WiSys Technology Foundation (WiSys) and WiCell Research Institute (WiCell). WiCell distributes human embryonic stem (hES) cells, trains researchers worldwide and conducts research involving many aspects of hES cell research.

    Prior to joining WARF, Ms. Donley practiced law with the law firm of Quarles & Brady in the areas of intellectual property law, business transactions, securities and corporate law. She holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin, an MBA in Finance from UW-Whitewater and a Masters of Science in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin.

  • Marie Duggan
    Technology for Autism Now, Inc.
    Founder
    Marie Duggan
    Technology for Autism Now, Inc.
    Founder

    Marie Duggan, the founder of Technology for Autism Now, Inc. (TAN), is an active advocate for children with autism. As the mother of 6 and a 24 year old son with severe autism, Marie Duggan has experienced first-hand the challenges and triumphs associated with this disorder. Through working with her child she recognized the gap between his needs and the services available, and this deficiency motivated her to create an improved way to communicate with her son and to help him learn and progress towards independence. Her creation of the mobile application AutiKnow led to her establishing TAN in 2009 with the goal of providing efficacious and realistic technology solutions for children with autism, their families, and healthcare and education professionals worldwide.

    Before founding TAN, Marie Duggan tirelessly worked to improve autism services in the City of Boston. She has worked closely with the former Mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino, in order to enact reforms, cut unnecessary expenditures, and bring cutting-edge treatment to children with autism. Marie also worked at Children’s Hospital Boston in the Autism Language Program under the director. Her position there was Family Technology Liaison and she started the first Family Support Group for the Autism Language Program as well as advised and worked on several technology projects involving software for children with autism. She has presented all over the US as well as internationally on the use of visual supports, technology and the importance of evidence based treatment methodologies to treat children with autism.

  • James Emmett
    Poses Family Foundation
    Vice President of Workplace Initiatives
    Company Showcase
    James Emmett
    Poses Family Foundation
    Vice President of Workplace Initiatives

    James Emmett is a national leader in the development of employment services for persons with disabilities (PWD). He was born with a physical disability and is a father to two daughters with developmental disabilities. Drawing from personal, business and educational experience, James empowers persons with disabilities to succeed in job as well as life skills, and trains corporations in outreach efforts to the disability community. James is currently the Vice President of Workplace Initiatives for the Poses Family Foundation where he oversees strategy development & implementation of projects that impact the area of disability & inclusion.

    After earning a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, James Emmett became involved with grant-funded community-based projects in Chicago to provide employment services to people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Later he worked on national initiatives to hire hundreds of people with disabilities, many with ASD, at Walgreens distribution centers in South Carolina & Connecticut, Best Buy distribution center in Shepherdsville, KY and Midway Moving & Storage in Chicago, IL. Also working through APSE HR Connect, James served as the lead consultant for TIAA-CREF's "Fruits of Employment" project. For the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry, James hosted a video entitled, “"Improving Customer Service for People with Disabilities.

    James has served as the Project Director for three award-winning research/demonstration projects. These projects examined career development and transition strategies for individuals with autism and other disabilities, and included the Vocational Alliance Autism Project (VAAP), the Business Approach to Social Integration & Communication (BASIC) Grant, & the EmployAlliance Employment Within Business Project. James was the featured guest on Little City TV - CAN TV (Channel 21) in Chicago discussing autism & employment.

  • Liz Feld
    Autism Speaks
    President
    Moderator
    Liz Feld
    Autism Speaks
    President

    Liz Feld was named president of Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, in June 2012. Feld brings decades of experience in management, strategic communications, and policy expertise in both the public and private sectors. Under her leadership, Autism Speaks has achieved critical milestones in increasing the quality of services, research funding, awareness, and advocacy for autism, most notably, the passage of the ABLE and AutismCARES Acts, and the development of MSSNG, a $50 million whole genome sequencing project with Google.

    Since its inception, Autism Speaks has raised and invested more than $525 million in its mission, the majority in scientific research. During Feld’s tenure, Autism Speaks has raised nearly $140 million for the autism community.

    From 2006-2012, Feld served as mayor of the Village of Larchmont in New York’s Hudson Valley. As mayor, she garnered more than $4 million in state, federal, and local grants to support community projects and earned the Village its first AAA credit rating from Moody's Investor Services. During her time in office, Feld became a member of Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns. She is an award-winning environmentalist and has received acclaim from the New York League of Conservation Voters.

    Feld has worked as the director of news information at ABC News and senior vice president of communications for Nickelodeon. She has appeared on national and local television networks and authored editorial pieces on public policy issues and politics. Feld also served in the Reagan White House; first as a public affairs specialist at the Office of Management and Budget, and then as a press officer for then Vice President George H. W. Bush. She holds a B.A. degree in Government and Political Theory from Georgetown University. She and her husband are the parents of three children.

  • Rem Fox
    NODANow
    COO
    Rem Fox
    NODANow
    COO

    Rem Fox is NODA General Manager, Rem has a 24-year background in telecommunications engineering and business. He has been an executive mentor to more than 15 start-up companies and had held positions with Fortune 500 companies leading new product and market development. Rem is leading the Company’s operational delivery, technology developments and fiscal oversight through his operational expertise in design and delivery of technology platforms to various healthcare markets over the last several years including wound care and behavioral health.

  • Gerald Franklin
    Rangam Consultants
    Junior User Interface Designer
    Gerald Franklin
    Rangam Consultants
    Junior User Interface Designer

    Gerald Franklin is a Junior User Interface Designer with a passion for helping those on the autism spectrum, like himself, and the special needs community. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute he expanded his knowledge of accessibility and inclusive design with his concentration in Human-Computer Interaction. Gerald joined Rangam fresh out of school to improve and expand their already impressive contributions to the autism community. Gerald has a Bachelor’s degree in Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In his spare time he enjoys community service, designing and creating video games and cooking.

  • Dave Friedman
    Autonomy Works
    Chairman & CEO
    Company Showcase
    David Friedman
    Autonomy Works
    Chairman & CEO

    David is the founder and CEO of AutonomyWorks – an innovative social business start-up that hires, trains, and manages a team of people with disabilities to deliver marketing operations work. Since starting the company in 2012, Dave has been directing the development of the concept and the day to day operations.

    Prior to AutonomyWorks, David spent over 25 years assisting retail and consumer organizations in building brands through great customer experiences – digitally, online and in-store. Most recently, David served as President, Marketing for Sears Holdings. David was responsible for the Marketing business unit including customer loyalty programs, branding, market research, advertising and promotion, public relations and creative services.

    Prior to Sears Holdings, David spent 11 years as an executive with Razorfish, one of the world's largest interactive marketing and technology companies. Most recently he served as President, Americas leading the Razorfish business in North and South America. Earlier in his career, David spent 10 years with Accenture as Associate Partner in the strategy practice.

    David earned an MBA from the Booth School of Business and holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University.

  • Katie Hench
    Infiniteach
    Co-founder and CEO
    Katie Hench
    Infiniteach
    Co-founder and CEO

    Katie Hench is the co-founder and CEO of Infiniteach, a start-up developing innovative digital learning apps for children on the Autism Spectrum. Katie is a certified Structured Teaching trainer, and travels throughout Illinois training parents, teachers, and therapists on the development and implementation of structured autism programs. Katie is a former Special Educator and currently serves on the Board of AACTION Autism, a nonprofit that provides autism trainings in developing countries. Katie’s younger brother, diagnosed on the autism spectrum at the age of 6, is the inspiration for the work she does.

  • Robert Herzog
    eCaring
    CEO
    Robert Herzog
    eCaring
    CEO

    Robert has an extensive background in digital media and creative enterprises as an entrepreneur and executive. For several years he was deeply involved in the home and extended care of his mother Grace, which gave him an understanding of the problems eCaring is designed to solve.

    Robert has been a pioneer in applying new technologies to business ventures, working as a senior executive with startup companies such as Motionbox, Diva, ON2 Corp, Softcom, Granite Films and City Winery, major corporations including JPMorgan Chase, Cahners Communications and the Sarnoff Research Center, and not-for-profits including New Jersey Appleseed and Ecotrust. In public service, he was the creator and Director of New York City’s Energy Office, and also taught public school. Robert is also an author and filmmaker.

    He graduated from Williams College and has a Master’s from the New School.

  • Eron Howard
    Novacoast & Full Resolution Health
    VP of Development & Co Founder
    Eron Howard
    Novacoast & Full Resolution Health
    VP of Development & Co Founder

    Eron received his degree in computer science from UCSB College of Engineering. He started his career traveling the country providing enterprise IT and security consulting services. Over the past decade he has built a team of developers and designers that provide a wide range of software development services to everyone from start-ups to the Fortune 500. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and one year old son.

  • Richard W. Inskeep
    On Track Technologies, Inc.
    President/CEO
    Richard W. Inskeep
    On Track Technologies, Inc.
    President/CEO

    Mr. Inskeep joined OTT in 2011, and has been responsible for refocusing the company towards commercial market opportunities of its technologies. He brings to On Track Technologies more than 20 years of leadership experience in the equity banking and securities sectors. During his career, Mr. Inskeep has developed a broad and deep network of relationships in multiple industries which continue to support his leadership initiatives. Most recently, Mr. Inskeep served as managing director at SunTrust Robinson-Humphrey (2003-2011). He led Sun Trust Robinson-Humphrey's extensive Equity Research and Institutional Sales business units. Mr. Inskeep received his BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987.

  • Dana A. Johnston
    S.M.A.R.T Consulting Services
    President
    Dana A. Johnston
    S.M.A.R.T Consulting Services
    President

    A former senior executive in the Printing and Mailing industry, Mr. Johnston is currently founder and President of S.M.A.R.T Consulting Services, a business consulting practice focused on assisting companies develop digital business strategies. These strategies are designed to take full advantage of the “digital transformation” occurring in their business, through the effective and efficient use of digital technologies. Mr. Johnston’s background is in Revenue Generation; Business Development and Strategic Planning. Over the past 30 years, Mr. Johnston has been involved in managing large and small organizations; leading and motivating people with diverse backgrounds, skills and experience; developing new products and services; raising funds to acquire, start and support new business ventures and managing their growth from commencement to full formation. He has developed a strong working knowledge of how organizations operate; emerging technologies to improve efficiencies and new business models that have been created as a result.

    Mr. Johnston received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Managerial Economics from Union College in Schenectady, NY and continued his studies in Entrepreneurial Management at Babson College in Wellesley, MA.

  • Leo Junquera
    Microsoft
    Senior Digital Executive
    Leo Junquera
    Microsoft
    Senior Digital Executive

    Leo Junquera is a senior digital executive focused on providing insight, ideation, and execution on the intersection between technology, business, and innovation. He is a Global Technology Strategist for Microsoft in the Enterprise and Partners Group advising Microsoft’s largest clients on cloud, mobile, and other technologies. Prior to joining Microsoft he was the Chief Information Officer for PartnerRe Capital Markets Group ($20b AUM). He owned his own technology solutions company and has a background in software development. He was Head of Development for Transcentive World Records where he built and ran a high performing development team and determined product direction and strategy. He has a deep understanding of technology and how it can be applied to create business value. Leo and his wife, Allison, have two sons, one of whom was diagnosed with Autism at 16 months.

  • Walter E. Kaufmann
    Harvard Medical School
    Professor of Neurology
    Walter E. Kaufmann
    Harvard Medical School
    Professor of Neurology

    Walter E. Kaufmann, M.D. is the Director of the Rett Syndrome Program, Co-Director of the Fragile X Syndrome Program, and Clinical Co-Director of the Translational Neuroscience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He is also a Simons Investigator at MIT’s Simons Center for the Social Brain. His research uses a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the basis of cognitive and behavioral problems in children with genetic disorders associated with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder, with an emphasis on developing new therapeutic interventions. His work includes laboratory investigations of molecular pathways, neuroimaging, animal models of disease and clinical trials of targeted, disease-modifying therapies for Rett syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, and idiopathic autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Kaufmann is also the Chair of RettSearch, the consortium of Rett clinical researchers, as well as one of the leaders of the FXCRC, the Fragile X Clinical & Research Consortium. He was also a member of the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Work Group of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fifth Edition (DSM-5), responsible for among others the new diagnostic criteria for intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder.

     

  • Marnin Kligfeld
    Diligence Advisory Committee – DELSIA
    Member
    Marnin Kligfeld
    Diligence Advisory Committee – DELSIA
    Member

    Marnin began his career in software as a product manager and then director of business development. He then founded and ran a boutique sell-side technology mergers and acquisitions practice for 29 years. Since closing the practice he has focused his energy on advising companies in the autism sector. He holds an MA and Ph.D. in counseling from the University of Southern California.

  • Stan Lapidus
    SynapDx
    President, CEO and Founder
    Stan Lapidus
    SynapDx
    President, CEO and Founder

    Stan is an experienced life-science entrepreneur and inventor with over 30 issued US patents. He founded and led Cytyc, EXACT Sciences and Helicos BioSciences (NASDAQ: CYTC, EXAS, HLCS). For over a decade, he has been teaching at MIT. From 2002 to 2012 Stan served as a trustee of Cooper Union, his alma mater. He was recently inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

  • Emily Levy
    CIPAC Therapeutics
    Principal, Synergy Partners
  • Stephanie Martin
    College Living Experience
    President
    Stephanie Martin
    College Living Experience
    President

    Stephanie Martin, President of College Living Experience has spent her career working with students with varying disabilities of all ages. Being an Educator first and foremost, Stephanie brings her unique perspective and unwavering passion of supporting the special education community through the innovative services of CLE. Remarkable in inspirational leadership, she focuses on co-creating an environment where students have a maximized opportunity to be their own self-determined advocates with the necessary skills to be successful. Stephanie holds a Masters of Arts in Special Education and two teaching credentials from Saint Mary’s College.

  • Eddie Martucci
    Akili Interactive Labs
    Co-founder and COO
    Eddie Martucci
    Akili Interactive Labs
    Co-founder and COO

    Eddie co-founded Akili Interactive Labs, and as part of PureTech has co-founded two other health-focused start-ups, and helped launch their digital health initiative. He was previously a Kauffman Entrepreneur Fellow, a program sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, MO, focused on healthcare entrepreneurship. Prior to that, he completed his graduate work at Yale University in the Departments of Pharmacology and Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, focusing on structure-based drug design, where he led a research project that identified two novel chemical scaffolds as proof-of-concept compounds for novel therapy. Eddie received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Providence College, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

  • Gerry Maurer
    Birch Family Services
    CEO
    #
    Gerry Maurer
    Birch Family Services
    CEO

    Dr. Gerald F. Maurer, Chief Executive Officer of Birch Family Services, began his tenure at Birch in March 2005, with over 30 years of experience serving people with developmental disabilities. Under Dr. Maurer’s leadership, the agency continues healthy growth of innovative programs and services to address the evolving needs of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and includes 8 schools, 14 residences, 2 adult day programs and a New Frontier Program for young adults who are aging out of school. Prior to Birch, Dr. Maurer was AHRC-NYC’s (Association for the Help of Retarded Children) Associate Executive Director.

  • Mark Mautone
    Hoboken Public School District
    Lead Teacher
    Mark Mautone
    Hoboken Public School District
    Lead Teacher

    Mark Mautone is a lead teacher for the ABA/autism program in the Hoboken Public School District. He was recognized as the 2015 NJ State Teacher of the Year. Mark is an ardent proponent for using technology to enhance instruction for children with autism. He has given presentations from New York City to San Francisco on topics such as using apps in the classroom, instructional strategies, and effectively integrating mobile devices into the classroom. He has authored articles and lent his expertise in interviews for media outlets that include: WCBS 880 (NYC), News12 NJ, Fios 1 News, Parenting.com, SpecialNeeds.com, The Jersey Journal, AllVoices.com (San Francisco), Star Ledger (NJ).

  • Michele McKeone
    Autism Expressed
    Founder
    Michele McKeone
    Autism Expressed
    Founder

    Michele McKeone, M. Ed is an award-winning thought leader & innovator in the autism community. As the founder of Autism Expressed, she designed the first online learning system teaching digital literacy to students with autism. McKeone is changing the paradigm of educating students with autism & increasing their employment opportunities. Autism Expressed was named Startup of the Year & appeared on the cover of Philadelphia Magazine as one of the area’s hottest startups. McKeone shared her vision for mobilizing this growing population on MSNBC, TechCrunch & WHYY. Autism Expressed is the catalyst of innovative education for this generation of adolescents with autism and those who come after.

  • Holly Mero-Bench
    Vivint Gives Back
    Director
    Holly Mero-Bench
    Vivint Gives Back
    Director

    Holly Mero-Bench is the Director of Vivint Gives Back, Vivint’s philanthropic arm. Vivint, the nation’s leading home technology provider is working to create solutions for families who have a child with Autism. Holly has over 10 years of experience in leading various volunteer organizations. Under Holly’s leadership, since 2008, Vivint Gives Back has raised and donated more than $9 million, served 150,000 hours with over 2,000 organizations and communities throughout the world. Holly is committed to making a positive impact for children with Autism through: providing affordable home technology solutions, building sensory rooms in homes and schools and creating meaningful service opportunities within the Autism community. She is currently living in beautiful Provo, UT with her supportive husband, Grant and son, G2 (Grant-2). Holly studied at Brigham Young University.

  • CJ Miyaka
    PixelAtion Labs
    Creative Director
    CJ Miyaka
    PixelAtion Labs
    Creative Director

    CJ Miyake is the creative director of PixelAtion Labs. He received his Master of Education with an emphasis in technology from Azusa Pacific University. Prior to his role at PixeAtion Labs, CJ was a behavioral therapist and has over five years of experience directly assisting children with autism spectrum disorder.

  • Ryan Nicholson
    Learnitech
    Co-founder
    Ryan Nicholson
    Learnitech
    Co-founder

    Ryan is the Co-Founder of Learnitech, an innovative software company that focuses on creating apps for children with Special Needs. Ryan has worked with leading behavioral therapists to manage the overall strategy and development of the Barn Door Four, a learning tool that uses interactive games to teach children fundamental ABA skills.

  • Alex Nicols
    Flagship Ventures
    Associate
    Alex Nicols
    Flagship Ventures
    Associate

    Alex Nichols joined Flagship Ventures in 2014 as an Associate within Flagship VentureLabs. Prior to joining Flagship, he completed his PhD in Biophysics at Harvard University, where he was jointly enrolled in the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and worked in the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Alex is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, the MIT Idea Squared Fellowship, and the Harry Holmes Prize. While in graduate school, he founded an independent consulting firm, Crown Line Consulting LLC, through which he worked with venture-backed firms and local entrepreneurs. His is co-author on multiple patents and patent applications, and his work has been featured on CBS Boston as well as in Science Daily and other industry magazines. Alex graduated from Oberlin College with Highest Honors in Biochemistry.

  • Krystal Odell
    Pennreach
    CEO
    Krystal Odell
    Pennreach
    CEO

    Krystal Odell has been a well- known advocate in the field of disability services within NJ for the last 30 years. Having the personal experience of being a sibling of a person with a disability has fueled her passion for providing the best quality services for people with special needs.

    Past positions include Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Department of Human Services, Pres./CEO, Allies Inc. , COO, Community Options, Director of Community Education for the State of NJ. She has a Master’s degree in Education and Counseling from Rider University and a BSW from Seton Hall University.

    Currently, Ms. Odell is the Pres. /CEO of PennReach, a nonprofit serving the needs of families, seniors and special needs residents of low income housing. She is a consultant for housing developers as they plan to incorporate new models of housing for adults with special needs. The provision of supportive services in affordable housing is her passion; as she believes the provision of a good, safe place to live is the building block of all good service provision.

    Ms. Odell consults both nationally and internationally on innovative supports, self- directed supports, services and housing for people with special needs. Former President of the NJ Supportive Housing Association (SHA), she is still active on the SHA Board, and has been involved in numerous Board such as the NJ Board of the Association of Professionals in Supported Employment (APSE), the NJ Community and Housing Development Network , Women in Finance as well as a contributing member on various task forces on the implementation of the NJ Olmstead Plan, Quality Improvement Measures, Housing Subcommittees and “I Choose Home” planning.

    Her commitment to serving individuals in both the public and private sector in innovative ways has been the hallmark of her career.

  • Hetal Parikh
    Rangam Consultants
    Co-founder
    Hetal Parikh
    Rangam Consultants
    Co-founder

    With an Engineering degree in Computer Sciences, Hetal Parikh co-founded Rangam Consultants, a provider of enterprise wise staffing services to Fortune 500 companies in Telecommunications, Pharmaceutical, Health Care, Energy and Banking industries with triple digit year-over-year growth.

    Hetal has been an integral partner in creating "The Spectrum Careers" employment portal- which enables employers to tap into the contributions that people on the spectrum can make to the work force and the business bottom line.

    Hetal mentors young entrepreneurs; encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers, co-chaired the 2014 Expo of the NYNJ Minority Supplier Development Council and received the prestigious International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge Award in Sweden. She enjoys dancing, yoga, and being inspired forward by her children.

  • Nish Parikh
    WebTeam Corp
    CEO
    Nish Parikh
    WebTeam Corp
    CEO

    Nish Parikh, CEO of WebTeam Corp- a developer of innovative solutions for Special Needs and winner of Verizon’s Half-a-Million dollars Powerful Answers Award for its innovation in autism management is working with Autism Speaks to develop an employment portal. While helping employers strengthen their business, it provides opportunities for individuals with autism.

  • Eric Peacock
    MyHealthTeams
    Co-founder and CEO
    Eric Peacock
    MyHealthTeams
    Co-founder and CEO

    Eric Peacock is the co-founder and CEO of MyHealthTeams – a company creating the fastest-growing social networks for specific chronic conditions. The company launched MyAutismTeam – a social network for parents of individuals with autism - three years ago with just 35 parents in California. Today MyAutismTeam has over 61,000 registered members and has recently expanded to 8 countries. Since then MyHealthTeams has launched 8 more social networks reaching over 150,000 people and raised $5MM in venture backing. Eric is passionate about empowering patients and making it easy for them to engage with others facing the same disease. Over the past year MyHealthTeams has partnered with 5 different pharmaceutical and biotech companies to bring the patient voice to clinical development, market research and safety. MyHealthTeams has also conducted research on its members’ sentiment about pharmacies and specialty pharmacies. Eric incubated MyHealthTeams with his co-founder while running the online review site Insider Pages, owned by IAC. Prior to that he worked at genetics startup Perlegen Sciences, and ETRADE as VP of Strategy. Before that he was a partner at Oliver Wyman. Eric is a graduate of Stanford Business School and Harvard College. He lives in San Carlos, CA with his wife and two children, and is a hopeless Red Sox fan. You can follow Eric on Twitter at @ejpeacock and @MyHealthTeams.

  • Enrico Picozza
    HLM Venture Partners
    Operating Partner
    Enrico Picozza
    HLM Venture Partners
    Operating Partner

    Enrico is a pioneer in the life sciences with a history of recognizing and developing new technologies that change markets. He is currently a director of SensAble Technologies and Board Observer of Aventura and Tandem Diabetes.

    Prior to joining HLM as a Venture Partner, Enrico co-founded HTS Biosystems, Inc., an early developer of platforms for drug discovery and point of care diagnostics, where he served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer. Prior to HTS, Enrico held leadership positions with PerkinElmer, Inc. and Applied Biosystems, Inc. At Applied Biosystems, Enrico was one of the major forces behind the development and commercialization of PCR, the revolutionary DNA-replicating technology that enabled the development of some of the most significant advancements in molecular biology.

    Enrico is the holder of nine patents and has been recognized by the Smithsonian Institute for his achievements in PCR. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and has been a frequent international speaker. In addition he is an advisor to several companies in the field of regenerative medicine and molecular diagnostics and is a board observer for Interlace Medical.

    Enrico earned his master’s degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of Connecticut.

  • Lisa Prock
    Dev. Medicine Center at Boston Children’s Hosp
    Associate Medical Director
    Lisa Prock
    Dev. Medicine Center at Boston Children’s Hosp.
    Associate Medical Director

    Lisa Prock, M.D., MPH is Clinical Director of the Translational Neuroscience Center(TNC) and Associate Medical Director of the Developmental Medicine Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, trained at University of Chicago, Columbia University, Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Prock provides clinical care for children and has been involved in a number of clinical trials with children/adults impacted by a wide range of developmental disorders including autism spectrum disorders and Fragile X syndrome. Her work in the TNC is focused on clinical outcomes and training efforts.

  • Aaron Rakow
    College Steps
    President and Founder
    Aaron Rakow
    College Steps
    President and Founder

    Dr. Aaron Rakow is the founder and President of College Steps. Dr. Rakow has an extensive experience working with children and young adults living with autism. In 2010, he founded the first autism assessment center in Northern New England and launched College Steps the following year. Dr. Rakow has overseen the rapid growth of College Steps from is humble origins in 2011 serving 4 students via a single campus collaboration, to its current status serving over 80 students in seven campus partnership across three states. Collectively, Dr. Rakow has over a decade and a half of experience working within the behavioral health field including at the National Institutes of Health, the University of Vermont, The George Washington University and Georgetown University. Dr. Rakow is a board certified Child Psychologist in Washington, DC as well as in the State of Maryland.

  • Robert Ring
    Autism Speaks
    Chief Science Officer
    Rob Ring
    Autism Speaks
    Chief Science Officer

    Rob Ring was named Chief Science Officer in June of 2013. Upon his appointment Rob said his first goal would be to "put science to work for our families," and that makes perfect sense given his background. Rob first joined Autism Speaks in June of 2011 as Vice President of Translational Research. In that role, Rob was responsible for the development and implementation of the foundation’s expanding translational research portfolio, which serves to accelerate the process of converting scientific breakthroughs and innovations in technology into actual products that address the wide range of unmet needs of the autism community, from healthcare to education to daily living. Rob also serves as President of Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism (DELSIA), the venture philanthropy arm of Autism Speaks that is helping to facilitate translational activities in the for-profit sector required to develop commercial products that will improve the quality of life and health for individuals with autism.

    Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Rob served as Senior Director and Head of the Autism Research Unit at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development in Groton, Conn. There he led the first dedicated research group in the pharmaceutical industry focused specifically on the discovery and development of medicines for neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically ASD. Prior to Pfizer, Rob worked for over 10 years in psychiatric medicines discovery and development at Wyeth Research in Princeton, N.J. Rob earned a B.A. double major in both Fine Art and Biology from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., and a Ph.D. in Molecular Neurobiology from City of Hope in Southern California. He holds adjunct faculty appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (N.Y.) and Pharmacology and Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine (Philadelphia).

  • Tracy Rollins Spann
    Birch Family Services
    Director
    Tracey Rollins Spann
    Birch Family Services
    Director

    Tracey Rollins Spann, LMSW wears multiple “administrative hats” at Birch Family Services, including Director of Birch’s New Frontier Employment Services. Ms. Spann has worked as a non-profit administrator, trainer, supervisor and direct service provider for more than 25 years. Birch’s New Frontier Employment Services supports individuals with autism to develop and/or enhance the skills needed to both obtain and maintain competitive employment. Program participants range in functioning levels from those who require intensive supports and coaching to those who have completed post-secondary education but may need assistance to gain entry and remain employed the corporate world. In her role as Director, Ms. Spann is in part responsible for developing relationships with and training corporate partners who welcome Birch’s program participants into their companies.

  • Ned Sahin
    Brain Power
    Founder
    Ned Sahin
    Brain Power
    Founder

    Dr. Ned Sahin is an award-winning Harvard and MIT trained neuroscientist and inventor. He is an international thought leader at the intersection of autism and technology, and has given talks for Google, Autism Speaks, and a number of prominent international organizations. He is the founder of autism startup, Brain Power.

  • Tamie Salter
    Que Innovations
    Founder
    Tamie Salter
    Que Innovations
    Founder

    Dr. Tamie Salter is researcher and business person who has dedicated her career to developing technology devices for autism therapy. She been featured in a National Geographic documentary in the U.K. and has a chapter in book available on Amazon about pediatric rehabilitation engineering (Paediatric Rehabilitation Engineering: From Disability to Possibility). In this chapter Tamie investigates all the robotic current technologies for autism therapy.

    Tamie holds both a Ph.D. and a Postdoctoral degree in developing robotic devices for children with autism. She has successfully run Que Innovations for 5 years, a company which aims to develop technology devices that really make a therapeutic difference for those living with ASD.

    Currently Que Innovations has a robotic device ‘QueBall’ and an App ‘Learn Emotions’ which have both been developed from a scientific background especially for autism.

    QueBall is currently be used in scientific trials in the U.S.A., Canada and Europe with great results and Que is getting more and more request all the time from as far a field as Australia and Saudi Arabia. The newly released Learn Emotions App has over 1000 downloads. Coming soon from Que Innovations is an App for QueBall that will encourage children with autism to use verbal communication.

  • Art Shectman
    ULTRA Testing
    Co-founder
    Art Shectman
    ULTRA Testing
    Co-founder

    Art Shectman is a technologist and serial entrepreneur. Having spent his career building new technologies and services, Art has extensive software engineering and systems integration experience with clients ranging from Fortune100 companies to venture-backed start-ups. He is the founder of Elephant Ventures, a full service digital agency focussed on cutting edge web, social, mobile and back-end software development, and co-founder of ULTRA Testing, a software testing company employing individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Art has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from MIT with a concentration in Machine Learning.

  • Jo Ellen Slurzberg
    Global Health Policy JR Associates, Inc.
    Vice President
    Jo Ellen Slurzberg
    Global Health Policy JR Associates, Inc.
    Vice President

    Leveraging decades of expertise as a successful senior reimbursement industry and consulting professional, Jo Ellen helps pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, venture capital firms, and investment bank clients develop and implement multinational integrated reimbursement and business strategies. Jo Ellen is a skilled as an independent strategic advisor who adds value to board meetings and due diligence efforts. Jo Ellen is a frequent speaker on health policy trends and reimbursement business issues, and has written numerous reimbursement publications and articles, including two Harvard Business School Notes with Professor Regina Herzlinger.

  • Arshya Vahabzadeh M.D.
    Harvard Medical School
    Arshya Vahabzadeh
    Harvard Medical School

    Arshya Vahabzadeh M.D. is a Harvard Medical School based physician, trained in both medicine and psychiatry. He is committed to addressing the nation’s most pressing healthcare needs through medical innovation, in particular the challenges faced by individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions. He is Vice President of Health Strategy and Communications at Brain Power. Dr. Vahabzadeh has been a judge and/or panelist for multiple health technology competitions including the Google Glass Challenge, the Google Wearables in Healthcare Pilot Challenge, and the Primary Care Innovation Challenge. He is the incoming Chairman of the Council on Communications of the American Psychiatric Association and a consultant to Khan Academy, Neurolaunch, and Anthem. He performs his clinical duties as a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and McLean Hospital. His autism research and publications has encompassed several lines of study, including genetics, novel psychopharmacology and social cognition. He has written numerous media editorials and leads a federally funded program to provide autism educational outreach. He has received over 20 national and international awards from organizations including the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association.

  • Vimal Verma
    Pan Desi
    CEO
    Vimal Verma
    Pan Desi
    CEO

    Vimal is the CEO of Pan Desi, a TV network serving South Asians and the culturally open. Synthesizing vision and results leadership, he leads an Emmy winning team with over 100 years of experience at top American networks.

    Earlier, Vimal rose at American Express from being an Advisor, Senior Advisor to Master Advisor and Managing Principal of Verma & Associates, a division of American Express, delivering outstanding business results.

    He founded the largest cricket league in America and the Ethnic Broadcasters of America. Vimal was recognized among the 101 most influential South Asians and named to America’s top 50 ‘Cool Desis’.

  • Nancy Weinstein
    Mind Print Learning
    Founder
    Nancy Weinstein
    Mind Print Learning
    Founder

    Nancy founded Mindprint Learning from the perspective of a parent. Her business background includes working at Goldman Sachs, Walt Disney, Bristol Myers, and several Internet companies. Her expertise spans from strategic planning to marketing and risk management. Nancy has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS/BSEsumma cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Management and Technology Program, Bioengineering and Finance. As a mother, Nancy recognizes the challenges parents face today, from helping with homework, to navigating the ever-changing pace of education and technology. She is a former board member of Pennington Montessori. She lives in Titusville, NJ with her husband and two daughters.

2015 Moderators

  • Lisa Goring
    Autism Speaks
    Executive Vice President of Family Services
    Moderator
    Lisa Goring
    Autism Speaks
    Executive Vice President of Family Services

    Lisa Goring is Executive Vice President of Programs & Services at Autism Speaks. Lisa first joined Autism Speaks as Director of Family Services in May, 2007; she was promoted to National Director of Family Services in January, 2010, and then to Vice President, Family Services in July, 2013, and most recently to Executive Vice President of Programs and Services. Under Lisa's leadership, Family Services became the fourth pillar of the organization's mission in 2007. In order to meet the needs of individuals with autism and their families, Lisa and her team have developed a wide array of resources and tools for families including a Resource Guide of over 60,000 local resources across the United States; an Autism Response Team to answer phone calls and emails from families looking for resources; and a variety of tool kits such as the 100-Day Kit for newly diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit, a Transition Tool Kit for families of individuals entering adulthood, an Employment Tool Kit to assist adults on the spectrum with finding a job, and more. In addition, Lisa has implemented several grant programs totaling over $7,000,000 to expand services for people with autism and to increase the field of providers serving the autism community. Lisa is also one of the founding members of Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) a coalition of organizations to further adult services throughout the United States. Most recently, Lisa led the Family Services team in establishing the wandering partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and in offering families advice about wandering, an Autism Speaks priority.

  • Dave Kearon
    Autism Speaks
    Assistant Director of Adult Services
    Moderator
    Dave Kearon
    Autism Speaks
    Assistant Director of Adult Services

    Dave is the Assistant Director of Adult Services at Autism Speaks. In this role, he helps manage the organization's mission to promote supports for adults with autism spectrum disorders throughout the country. He works to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities and resources available to adults with autism related to employment, housing and residential supports, postsecondary education and community integration. Prior to joining the Adult Services team in January 2012, Dave worked at Autism Speaks in the role of Psychometrician for the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) for 2 years. In that position, he visited children and families across the United States and collected clinical data. Previously, Dave attended the graduate program in School Psychology at Queens College in New York and spent 8 years working with children and teens with developmental disabilities in public schools on Long Island.

  • Leslie Long
    Autism Speaks
    Director, Adult Services
    Panelist
    Leslie Long
    Autism Speaks
    Director, Adult Services

    Leslie is Director of Adult Services at Autism Speaks. In this role, she manages the organization's mission to promote supports for adults with autism spectrum disorders throughout the country. Leslie has over 20 years of professional experience in leading federal, state and local advocacy efforts to benefit people with developmental disabilities. Her expertise includes supported employment, school to adult life transition issues, residential supports and Medicaid, specifically home and community-based waivers for individuals with developmental disabilities. Most recently, Long served as a consultant to both New Horizons in Autism, Inc. and the North Ward Center's Center for Autism. Working with New Horizons in Autism, Long helped shape public policy efforts affecting constituents, including facilitating partnerships with key federal and state legislators. In addition, she wrote and implemented a grant to employ adults with autism in the area of digital imaging, and provided overall guidance and advocacy to the organization's board, staff and families. Long assisted the North Ward Center's Center for Autism in the development and implementation of its initial program serving adults with autism spectrum disorders -- one of the first adult programs specifically serving an urban community. Previously, Long was director of public policy and director of adult resources for Autism New Jersey. She served on the governor's New Jersey Adults with Autism Task Force, where she was successful in making recommendations for an Office of Autism Services that were later adopted in 2009. In addition, she was instrumental in passing a package of autism-related New Jersey bills that included first responders training and self-directed services protection.

  • Dan Smith
    DELSIA
    President
     
    Dan Smith
    DELSIA
    President

    Dr. Smith holds a dual role as the president of DELSIA and senior director of discovery research at Autism Speaks. He oversees DELSIA's strategy and operations and a research portfolio focused on diagnostics, biomarkers and therapeutic interventions for autism. Daniel joined Autism Speaks in 2012 after leading discovery research laboratories in the pharmaceutical sector, most recently as senior principal scientist and laboratory head in the Neuroscience Research Unit at Pfizer.

  • Paul Wang
    Autism Speaks
    SVP, Head of Medical Research
    Moderator
    Paul Wang
    Autism Speaks
    SVP, Head of Medical Research

    Paul Wang, M.D., serves as Senior Vice President and Head of Medical Research at Autism Speaks. He is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, trained at Harvard College, Yale University School of Medicine, the Salk Institute, and Children's Seashore House/CHOP. During his academic career, Dr. Wang engaged in research on the development of language and memory in children with genetic syndromes. He also worked as a clinician, providing care for many children with developmental disability diagnoses, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

    Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Wang worked in the private sector, at Seaside Therapeutics, a biotech company that was founded to translate the science of learning and memory into targeted treatments for fragile X syndrome and ASD. Dr. Wang continues to serve in professional and academic leadership roles at organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, and he works as a reviewer and consultant for the NIH, the CDC, and other federal and patient advocacy organizations.