Postdoctoral Fellowship, Neuroscience
Cambridge, MA 02/2003 – 08/2006
Doctorate of Philosophy, Behavioral Neuroscience
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
Birmingham, AL 09/1998 – 01/2003
Bachelor of Science
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL 09/1991 – 08/1998
PROFESSIONAL & ACADEMIC POSITIONS
Associate Professor of Biological Engineering, Arizona State University, School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering (SBHSE), 06/2014 – Present
· Serve as an invited academic expert on industry, government, and foundation panels to address the societal, regulatory, security, and technological impact of digital/mobile health, neuromodulation, and human performance enhancement.
· Develop technology for non-invasive brain stimulation and neuromodulation for a variety of forward-looking applications.
Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Thync, Inc., 08/11 – 3/16
· Developed the scientific vision and foundation for the company.
· Responsible for overseeing scientific activities related to internal and subcontracted R&D, product/pipeline development, prosecuting and managing intellectual property portfolio (6 issued patents, 59 patent applications), regulatory compliance (navigated direct-to-consumer FDA exemption as a lifestyle/wellness device via 513(g)), external communications (public/press, government, and investor relations), strategic network development and operations.
· Managed scientific support for all stages of the company’s product lifecycle from product conceptualization and prototyping to industrial design and usability testing, manufacturing, launch and distribution. This required cross-department coordination of up to 50 employees spanning software, hardware/engineering, research, marketing, operations, and customer support teams.
· Spearheaded the deployment of company technology to restore or enhance performance in healthy individuals and elite performers. Secured and managed a contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and VTC School of Medicine, 02/2011 – 06/2014
· Recruited, led, managed, and worked a with research team that was established to optimize noninvasive neuromodulation systems.
· Served as an invited academic expert or an industry consultant to study, present, and forecast trends in noninvasive brain stimulation for therapeutic applications and human performance enhancement to medical device, biotech, pharmaceutical companies, and others.
· My research group developed methodological approaches (including all safety validation) for human neuromodulation using transcranial focused ultrasound. We showed that transcranial pulsed ultrasound can enhance sensory discrimination when targeted to intact human cortex. These observations represented the translation of ultrasonic neuromodulation from brain slices, mice, non-human primates, pigs, and humans pioneered and led by my research groups. We also validated a method of improving the targeting accuracy of transcranial magnetic stimulation using finite element simulations of electric field distributions on a personalized basis. We further conducted basic investigations into how the viscoelastic properties of neurons affect brain function and neuronal signaling.
Co-Founder & President, SynSonix, LLC , 08/2006 – 02/2011
· Proposed, negotiated, and secured contracts from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to develop ultrasonic neuromodulation technology for the control of post-traumatic pain. Managed and directed performance efforts to achieve research and development milestones per contract obligations.
· Established and managed all company relations. Negotiated licensing of intellectual property.
Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Bioimaging, Arizona State University, 08/2006 – 02/2011
· Contracted, performed on, and managed federally funded research projects for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and U.S. Army Research Office to conduct basic research on and develop noninvasive neuromodulation approaches using pulsed ultrasound.
· Disclosed inventions (16 issued patents, 15 pending) for methods, systems, and devices intended to modulate and regulate brain function, human behavior, and cellular physiology using pulsed ultrasound.
· Fulfilled primary obligations as a tenure track faculty member in the School of Life Sciences. Began and instructed the flagship undergraduate neuroscience course at Arizona State University. Lectured on optical systems, synaptic plasticity, and neural circuits in graduate student courses. Supervised research efforts of undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.
Our primary R&D interests are focused on developing and applying noninvasive neuromodulation methods and devices intended to optimize human performance and brain health. We are particularly interested in developing electrical, ultrasonic, and alternative technologies or interfaces that are capable of precisely regulating the human autonomic nervous system, as well as deep-brain circuits to regulate arousal, attention, learning, and sleep/wake cycles. In addition to developing methods and tools for enhancing human performance, we also work on developing technologies that can be useful to treat some neurological diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders. Our collective goal is to enhance human brain health and performance through the development of robust, scientifically-validated, and safe neurotechnologies.