Noubar Afeyan is a recognized technologist and entrepreneur, having founded and helped build over 20 life science and technology startups during the past 23 years. A Senior Lecturer at MIT in the Sloan School of Management as well as the Biological Engineering Division, Noubar has authored numerous scientific publications and patents. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT in 1987. In 1999 Noubar co-founded Flagship Ventures, an early stage venture capital and entrepreneurship firm. Prior to that, he participated in creating and launching six highly successful new ventures.
Ben R. Bronstein, a board-certified pathologist, began his professional career on the staff of the Massachusetts General Hospital and on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He has spent the past 25+ years in entrepreneurial roles at life science and venture capital firms. He has founded or held senior management positions at several venture-backed life science firms, including BioSurface Technology, a regenerative medicine company; Peptimmune, an immunotherapeutics company (a spinout from Harvard and MIT); Vidus Ocular, a Yale University spinout developing an implantable device for the treatment of glaucoma; and Neuron Systems, Inc., a company developing a small molecule therapeutic for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Most recently Bronstein has served as a founder and senior vice president of Access BridgeGap Ventures, the life science investment unit of Access Industries, Inc. He is also a member of the Weill Cornell Medical College Faculty Industry Council and the Coulter Oversight Committee at Boston University. Bronstein received his M.D. and M.B.A. from Boston University.
Inventor Chuck Hoberman seamlessly fuses the disciplines of art, architecture and engineering. He demonstrates that objects which are foldable, retractable or shape-shifting have functional benefits: portability, instantaneous opening, and intelligent responsiveness to the built environment. His practice, Hoberman Associates works on diverse projects, from consumer products to deployable shelters, space structures, and buildings. In 2008, Hoberman co-founded the Adaptive Building Initiative – a joint venture with the global engineering firm Buro Happold dedicated to designing a new generation of buildings that optimize their configuration in real time by responding to environmental changes. Hoberman holds a bachelor's degree in sculpture from Cooper Union and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. He won the Chrysler Award for Innovation and Design in 1997 and has several dozen patents and patents pending for his inventions.
Katia Karalis is Senior Researcher at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Greece. She studies the role of the stress response in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases in mammals with emphasis on innate immunity, epithelial injury, and mechanisms of repair and tissue regeneration. Katia uses interdisciplinary approaches to apply findings from animal models to the understanding and modeling of human disease. She received her M.D. and D.Sc. from the University of Athens Medical School and has been trained in Clinical Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Her work has been funded by NIH, non-federal U.S. agencies, and the EU. She holds a faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School and an Honorary appointment at the Dresden Medical School, Germany. Karalis has received the Dept. of Medicine Research Scholar Award from Boston Children's Hospital and a Visiting Scholar Fellowship from Warwick University, UK.
Misia Landau received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Yale University, a Diploma in Human Biology from Oxford University, and taught at Yale, Wellesley, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Boston University prior to becoming the senior science writer at Harvard Medical School. Before leaving Harvard last year, she published over 500 articles on a wide range of cutting edge biological discoveries, and her work has been honored by the American Medical Writers Association and the Association of American Colleges. She also authored a book, Narratives of Human Evolution, and has written numerous essays on the role of narrative in science. She joins the Wyss community to explore how to convey human stories of scientific discovery at the interface between art, science, design, and engineering.
Elias S. Manolakos is an associate Professor of Signal Processing Systems at the University of Athens and Director of the Multidisciplinary Program "Information Technologies in Medicine and Biology" (ITMB), organized in collaboration with the Biomedical Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BFRAA). Before returning to Greece (2004) he was with the ECE Dept. at Northeastern University, where he is currently an Adjunct Professor. While at Northeastern, Manolakos has directed the CDSP Research Center that promotes industry-academia collaboration. His research interests include embedded systems, machine learning, parallel and distributed processing, and their application in computational systems biology, biological, and environmental systems modeling and monitoring. He has received an NSF RI Award (1993) and his research has attracted substantial support from US and EU funding agencies. Manolakos has earned his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from University of Southern California, M.Sc. from University of Michigan, and the Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens.
Kalim Mir has affiliations with the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and the London Centre for Nanotechnology, University College, London. His interests at the Wyss focus on visualizing the architecture of the genome from chromosome structure to DNA sequence. This ties with his longstanding interest in the application of molecular engineering and micro- and nano- technology to problems in biology. As a Wellcome Trust Fellow, he has been PI on grants from the Wellcome Trust, the BBSRC, and the Royal Society. He has also led research efforts in nanofluidics and single molecule genomics in the two large European consortia, READNA, and Cell-O-Matic. In addition to academic research, Mir's career has spanned US biotech and the Japanese electronics industry. He is an inventor of issued and pending patents and is currently taking his first steps in the world of biotech start-up. Mir received his D. Phil. from the University of Oxford in 1995.
Alessandro Puiatti is the co-founder and co-leader of the Networking Laboratory at the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), where he has worked as lecturer and senior researcher since 2002. Before joining SUPSI, he served as Managing Director of R&D in biomedical devices for Medway SA in Mezzovico, Switzerland. After he graduated in Electrical Engineering from Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in 1994, he spent almost two years with the Laboratory of Bioengineering at his alma mater, where he worked on embedded systems for neurophysiology applications. Puiatti's research interests include wearable sensors, mobile health, and wireless sensors networks. He recently founded an international workshop on E-Health research (Interdisciplinary Research in E-Health Services and Systems, IREHSS) and he is on the committees of several international conferences and serves as reviewer for major international journals.
Daniela Rus is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, where she is Associate Director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and co-directs the MIT Center for Robotics at CSAIL. Her research interests include distributed robotics and mobile computing and her application focus includes transportation, security, environmental modeling and monitoring, underwater exploration, and agriculture. Rus is notable for spear-heading research in programmable matter by developing self-configuring robots. Rus is the recipient of the NSF Career Award and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow. She is a Class of 2002 MacArthur Fellow and a Fellow of AAAI and IEEE. Before receiving her appointment at MIT, she was Professor in the Computer Science Department at Dartmouth, where she founded and directed two laboratories in robotics and mobile computing. Rus has earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University.
Pat Sapinsley is President of Build Efficiently, LLC, a company she founded that works to further the successful deployment of energy efficient technologies in the built world. Prior to starting Build Efficiently, she was Venture Partner at Good Energies LLC, a global venture capital firm in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry, where she focused on investing in early stage energy efficiency technology and green buildings materials companies. She is Co-Chair of the Committee on the Environment of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. At the Wyss Institute, Sapinsley will assist in translating emerging technologies into commercial products through collaborations with the construction and design industry, strategic corporate entities, and venture capital investors. She is a LEED AP architect, and she holds a Masters in Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. She has taught at Columbia University, the Pratt Institute, the Parsons School of Design, and the City College of New York.
Mitchell Zakin is a chemist and innovator with 25 years of experience in R&D for defense and medical needs. He is currently Executive Vice President, Government Development and Innovation, at Nano Terra, Inc., a development-stage firm that translates academic inventions into commercial products in partnership with large multinational corporations. He is also the co-founder of Soft Robotics, Inc., which develops soft surgical devices, and CellBridge, which creates tools to support 3D tissue growth. Zakin was formerly a Program Manager at DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), where he created and managed a $100M+ project portfolio of groundbreaking inventions, built on the core concept of InfoChemistry, the fusion of information technology and material science. This included Fracture Putty, a fully load-bearing material that rapidly restores ambulatory function to patients with severe orthopedic injury and dissolves over time as normal bone regenerates; and Chemical Robots (ChemBots), soft robots that move, morph, and squeeze through openings. Zakin received a PhD and AM in Physical Chemistry from Harvard University and a BS in Chemistry (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from the City College of New York.