Computational Science Ventures speakers
About the speakers
Luke Burns (Thursday, Jan. 19) joined Ascent Venture Partners in 2006. He has extensive experience advising growth businesses and has been part of the founding team for a number of ventures. Prior to joining Ascent, Burns was a management consultant with Bain & Company, where he focused on the technology and pharmaceutical sectors. Before Bain, he was cofounder and CEO of e-commerce software provider Emercis Corporation which he led from product concept to successful exit. Burns has also held roles with venture firm Navigator Technology Ventures, and was cofounder of Cognika Corporation, a provider of cognitive computing solutions.
Dean Kamen (Tuesday, Jan. 17) is the founder and president of DEKA Research & Development Corporation. Technologies developed by DEKA include the HomeChoice™ portable dialysis machine, the iBOT™ Mobility System, the Segway™ Human Transporter, a DARPA-funded robotic arm, a new and improved Stirling engine, and the Slingshot water purifier. Kamen has received many awards for his efforts, including the National Medal of Technology in 2000 and the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005 and has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering since 1997. Among Kamen’s 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.
As vice president and global head for medical and scientific affairs at Pharmanet/i3, Maria Lopez-Bresnahan (Tuesday, Jan. 18) holds executive responsibility for the medical and scientific affairs area and its key role in the therapeutic area specialization strategy. A board-certified neurologist, Lopez-Bresnahan trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where her academic focus was on neuroimmunology and stroke. She received her M.D. at NYU School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University. She has 16 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Prior to joining Pharmanet/i3, she worked for EMD Serono, Inc., and Astra. At EMD Serono, she was responsible for developing and executing clinical development plans for central nervous system drugs for worldwide registration and launch. Lopez-Bresnahan has experience in all phases of clinical development, global registration, and post-launch/commercialization. She is also recognized as an international expert in the field of drug development for multiple sclerosis. She retains an academic appointment as assistant clinical professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and as assistant in neurology at MGH.
Stephen Wolfram has been responsible for three revolutionary developments: the Mathematica computation system, A New Kind of Science and the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine. Wolfram was educated at Eton, Oxford and Caltech, receiving his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at the age of 20. Wolfram's work in basic science led him to a series of discoveries about the computational universe of possible programs. Summarized in his best-selling 2002 book A New Kind of Science, these discoveries have launched major new directions in research, scientific modeling and technology discovery. Mathematica, launched in 1988, has revolutionized the way technical computation is done, and has been responsible for countless advances. In 2009 Wolfram launched Wolfram|Alpha--an ambitious, long-term project to make as much of the world's knowledge as possible computable and accessible. Used by millions, Wolfram|Alpha defines a new kind of computing platform that is turning science-fiction computer intelligence into reality.
Wolfram has been the CEO of Wolfram Research since its founding in 1987. Under his leadership, Wolfram Research has become a powerhouse of technical and intellectual innovation and a major contributor to education and research.
About the organizer
Alexander D. Wissner-Gross is a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Laboratory and the first Institute Fellow at IACS. He has received 102 major distinctions, authored 14 publications, been granted nine issued, pending, and provisional patents, and founded and advised three technology companies, one of which has been acquired. In 1998, he won the USA Computer Olympiad and represented the U.S. at the International Olympiad in Informatics. In 2003, he became the last person in MIT history to receive a triple major, with bachelor's in physics, electrical science and engineering, and mathematics, while graduating first in his class from the MIT School of Engineering. In 2007, he completed his Ph.D. in physics at Harvard, where his research on smart matter, pervasive computing and machine learning was awarded the Hertz Doctoral Thesis Prize. Following his Ph.D., he was named a Ziff Fellow in Computer Science at Harvard University. His work has been featured in Technology Review, Business Week, Scientific American, The New York TImes and The Wall Street Journal. Website: www.alexwg.org.