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Norman Putzki (Senior Vice President & Global Head of Drug Development Neuroscience at Novartis)

Norman Putzki

Senior Vice President & Global Head of Drug Development Neuroscience at Novartis

Norman Putzki, M.D., Ph.D., based in Basel, Switzerland
Global Development Unit Head Neuroscience

Norman Putzki studied Human Medicine in Germany, the United
Kingdom and Switzerland and graduated from Essen University (Essen, Germany) as M.D.

While pursuing medical training with focus on Neurology, he earned his PhD ‘magna cum laude’ in the Department of Neurology at Essen University by investigating postural reflexes and the NDMA pathway in Parkinson’s Disease. Norman performed residency training in Internal Medicine and Neurology in Essen, University College London (Institute of Neurology Queen’s Square) and University of Berne (Switzerland).

During his academic career in clinical Neurology in various settings, his focus was on inflammatory disorders of the central nervous system such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Norman led clinical and research groups in two academic centers of MS before joining pharma industry in 2010 (Medical Research, Biogen Idec, Cambridge, MA, US).

In 2013, Norman joined Global Neuroscience Development in Basel as development lead for fingolimod (Gilenya) and consecutively held leadership roles of increasing seniority in drug development. Later-on he led the US Neuroscience Medical organization 2016-2019 before returning to Global Drug Development. During his tenure, he has been leading teams around the globe to various new indications, approvals and launches within the neuroscience portfolio. Norman has a strong background and broad experience in basic and clinical neurology having performed scientific work in the areas of regulatory T cell function and epidemiologic aspects of MS. Norman is an author/co-author of >50 peer reviewed publications and he has authored 4 books. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

Beth Shafer (Head of Neuroscience, Drug Discovery Sciences and Externalization Business Development at Takeda)

Beth Shafer

Head of Neuroscience, Drug Discovery Sciences and Externalization Business Development at Takeda

Dr. Beth Shafer is the Head of Neuroscience, Drug Discovery Sciences, and all R&D Externalization Business Development at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd and is based in Boston. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals and Arcellx Inc. Before joining Takeda, she was the Head of Ophthalmology and Disease Area X NIBR BD&L, the latter encompassed Hepatology, Nephrology, and Benign Hematology at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in Cambridge, MA. In her current position at Takeda, she drives strategic decisions for Neuroscience Therapeutic Areas and also executes and leads BD professionals to execute industry-leading transactions to reshape the Takeda portfolio with innovative opportunities and capabilities. At Novartis, she sat on the Disease Area Leadership at NIBR and helped to bolster their portfolio and research strategies by fashioning and executing external partnership solutions. Dr. Shafer has led countless transactions teams, global scouting teams, and cross-functional pharmaceutical project teams to enable strategic decisions, execute collaboration, licensing, divestment transactions and equity investments, including her time at F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland, where she was a Business Development Director from 2011-2016. Prior to her time in Pharma, Beth has consulted for Biotechs with her extensive academic background in the neurosciences, molecular biology and biophysics; she also holds Masters degrees in Molecular Biology & Biophysics from Columbia University in New York and PhD in Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She also completed her post-doctoral fellowship at UCSD.

Katharine Grant (Sr. Director, Magnetic Resonance Product Marketing and Sales Operations of Siemens Healthineers)

Katharine Grant

Sr. Director, Magnetic Resonance Product Marketing and Sales Operations of Siemens Healthineers

Katie has been with Siemens Healthineers for over 12 years, most recently with the North American Magnetic Resonance business as Vice President of Research and Development Collaborations. Her first 10 years with Siemens were spent within the CT business as a member of and Senior Director for the CT Collaborations team. Much of Katie’s career has been spent driving innovative research and development projects to keep the Healthineers at the cutting edge of the market by directly engaging the end users in this work. She passionately initiates and supports value-based research studies and partnerships to illustrate the cost and clinical effectiveness of the Siemens Healthineers hardware and software; while simultaneously supporting cross-functional projects in digitalization and diagnostics to strengthen the value Siemens can bring to the customer.

Katie brings over 20 years of healthcare experience. She earned a B.S. in Physics from Miami University and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Mayo Clinic. She has worked for both Medtronic and the Mayo Clinic, and is a Principal Key Expert for Siemens Healthineers. She holds nine patents and has authored/coauthored over 30 publications.

Thierry Laugel (Managing Partner at Kurma Partners)

Thierry Laugel

Managing Partner at Kurma Partners
Raúl Martín-Ruiz (Partner at Ysios Capital)

Raúl Martín-Ruiz

Partner at Ysios Capital

Raúl oversees and coordinates the identification and evaluation of investment opportunities from both scientific and business perspectives at Ysios Capital.

Prior to joining Ysios in 2008, Raúl first worked in corporate business development (Licensing In and Licensing Out) at Laboratorios Almirall. He was subsequently responsible for developing and managing the business of the Company in the Americas and Africa through licensees and distributors.

Raúl was initially trained as a researcher in central nervous system pharmacology within the Department of Pharmacology of the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), and in neurochemistry within the Department of Neurochemistry at the Institute for Biomedical Research of the Barcelona–Spanish National Research Council (IIBB-CSIC).

Raúl holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from UPV-EHU, and a PhD in Neuroscience from UPV-EHU and the CSIC.

Anjan Aralahalli (Venture Partner at CTI Life Sciences)

Anjan Aralahalli

Venture Partner at CTI Life Sciences

Prior to joining CTI LSF in 2017, Anjan worked at a variety of biotechs and pharma companies. He has 25+ years of international experience across several functions including investor relations, corporate development, venture and angel financing, in & out-licensing, sales, marketing, & clinical trial management. Based in New Jersey, Anjan is also a steering committee member of a NYC based angel investment group called Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels (MABA). He received his BSc from Concordia University, MBA from Queen's University and MSc in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. Anjan is a corporate fundraiser for Wings Over Wall Street, a NYC based ALS charity, the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the board of directors of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in the United States.

Andrea Soto (LSP Dementia Fund)

Andrea Soto

LSP Dementia Fund

Andrea joined LSP as an analyst in 2021. Andrea is part of the LSP Dementia fund focused on all stages of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases drug and medtech developments and is involved in all stages of the investment process, particularly on deal flow screening and scientific due diligence.

Before joining LSP, Andrea worked as a senior consultant and team leader at FFUND, a boutique consultancy working with start-ups in health and life sciences. Andrea supported these companies with non-dilutive and dilutive funding applications, business strategy, and consortium building while coordinating a team of consultants and interns working in parallel projects.

Andrea received her PhD from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands in behavioural and cognitive neurosciences. Her research focused on the relation between interval timing and neurodegenerative processes, as well as on the interaction of stress and social environment on brain function and behaviour. She worked in several translational models of these phenomena, from fruit flies to humans. Her research and innovative method are published in several renown journals. Prior to her PhD, Andrea became a Medical Doctor at the National and Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad National Autónoma de México, UNAM), during which she conducted research with animal Alzheimer models and clinical Multiple Sclerosis patients. Andrea lives in Haarlem with her husband and over 40 houseplants.

Manuel Lopez Figueroa (Scientific Liaison at Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium)

Manuel Lopez Figueroa

Scientific Liaison at Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium

- Scientific Liaison, Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium
- Chief Operating Officer (COO), IMIDomics
- Advisor, Bay City Capital

Manuel López-Figueroa, PhD, is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at IMIDomics, Dr. López-Figueroa is part of the Executive team and tasked with overseeing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of IMIDomics.
In addition, Dr. López-Figueroa is the Scientific Liaison for the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium, a collaborative research enterprise comprised of a group of leaders in psychiatry, neuroscience and genetics from Stanford University, University of Michigan, Cornell University, HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotech, and the University of California at Irvine.
Dr. López-Figueroa is an Advisor for Bay City Capital. He had previously served as Managing Director for the firm since 2001. Bay City Capital is one of the world’s premier life science investment firms investing in over 100 companies and with more than $1.6 billion under management.
Entrepreneurial experience starting several innovative companies in the portfolio including BrainCells Inc., and Synchronicity Pharmaceuticals. Dr. López-Figueroa was involved in successful investments including Ion Torrent Systems, (acquired by Life Technologies), NextWave Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer) and Civitas (acquired by Acorda Therapeutics).
Dr. López-Figueroa has over 25 years of experience in the field of neuroscience, has won numerous awards during his academic research career, and has published extensively. He completed post- doctoral work at the University of Michigan and at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Dr. López received a PhD in Medicine and Surgery, and a MS in Molecular and Cell Biology from the Universities of Las Palmas and La Laguna, Spain, respectively.
Dr. López-Figueroa serves on the boards of Oryzon Genomics (ORY.MC) and Orfan Biotech (a BridgeBio’s Pharma (BBIO) subsidiary). He is an investment advisor to Nina Capital.

William Hu (Chief of Cognitive Neurology at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research)

William Hu

Chief of Cognitive Neurology at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research

Dr. Hu is a board-certified neurologist with special certification in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. He completed his medical and graduate school training at Mayo Medical School, and his adult neurology residency at Mayo Clinic where he received both the Henry Woltman Award in Clinical Excellence and the Senior Resident Research Award. He completed his American Academy of Neurology-sponsored cognitive neurology fellowship at University of Pennsylvania, and joined the faculty at Emory University School of Medicine in 2010. He introduced and popularized modern biomarker-based diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia to the Southeastern region, and was recruited to Rutgers in 2020 to head the Division of Cognitive Neurology.

Dr. Hu is also a physician-scientist who has made significant contributions to the field of dementia research. While still a neurology resident, he was the first to identify the brain region in Alzheimer’s disease where a pathology more commonly seen in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), TDP-43, first appeared. The staging scheme he proposed remains in use across neuropathologic laboratories. After beginning his own research laboratory in 2020, he was the first to develop a reliable diagnostic test for FTD due to TDP-43 which has been replicated by four other groups; show that Black/African Americans have different cerebrospinal fluid profiles of Alzheimer’s disease and inflammation than White Americans, a finding which has significant implication in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in Black/African Americans; and identify important methods to better understand the intersection between brain dysfunction and inflammation across multiple diseases.

José L. Lanciego MD, PhD (Staff Scientist and Director, Laboratory of Functional Basal Ganglia Neuroanatomy at Center for Applied Medical Research, University of Navarra)

José L. Lanciego MD, PhD

Staff Scientist and Director, Laboratory of Functional Basal Ganglia Neuroanatomy at Center for Applied Medical Research, University of Navarra

José L. Lanciego, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurosciences
Staff Scientist and Director, Laboratory of Functional Basal Ganglia Neuroanatomy
Center for Applied Medical Research
University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

José L. Lanciego is a Staff Scientist at the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), and Associate Professor of Neurosciences at the University of Navarra Medical School, Pamplona, Spain. Originally trained as a Medical Doctor (University of Salamanca, June 1990), he received his PhD in Neurosciences with honors at the University of Salamanca in October 1994. Later on he joined the Department of Anatomy at the Amsterdam Vrije Universiteit, as a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr. Floris G. Wouterlood (1992 and 1996), with a main focus on neuroanatomical tract-tracing techniques. In February 1997 he moved to the University of Navarra to be engaged in studies dealing with the neurobiology of Parkinson’s disease. At present, he is ahead of the Laboratory of Functional Basal Ganglia Neuroanatomy at CIMA. His recent research interests include a number of projects dealing with the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease using non-human primate models. Ongoing work focuses on gene therapy approaches for Parkinson’s disease. He is co-editor of the third edition of Neuroanatomical Tract-Tracing Methods, Associate Editor of Frontiers in Neuroanatomy and Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience as well as a member of the Editorial Board of Brain Structure and Function, International Journal of Medical Sciences and Frontiers in Neuropharmacology. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN; US), the International Basal Ganglia Society (IBAGS; US) and the Spanish Society for Neurosciences (SENC; Spain). Since January 2017, he is serving as a Board Member of the IBAGS Council. In January 2020, he joined the board of the International Brain Research Organization Pan-European Committee (IBRO-PERC), as well as the Committee for Higher Education and Training from the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS-CHET). He has published 125 papers in international scientific journals. h index is 40 based on the ISI Web of Science (Sept 2021), contributed to ten chapters to scientific books, and co-edited three books. Currently available funding includes research grants from European agencies (H2020; JPND; ERC Advanced, CoEN-Pathfinder and Eranet-Neuron), from the Spanish Ministry of Science as well as from charities (Fundació La Marató TV3 and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research). He has been recognized as “Group of Excellence” in the field of Neurodegenerative Diseases by the Spanish Ministry of Health since December 2006, therefore joining the so-called “Network Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Disorders” as a founding member. In September 2019, he co-founded Handl Therapeutics B.V., a gene therapy company pushing forward the development of novel disease-modifying therapies for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Kevin Noonan (Partner, Chair of the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Practice Group at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP)

Kevin Noonan

Partner, Chair of the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Practice Group at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

Kevin E. Noonan is a partner with McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP and serves as Chair of the firm’s Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Practice Group. An experienced biotechnology patent lawyer, Dr. Noonan brings more than 20 years of extensive work as a molecular biologist studying high-technology problems in serving the unique needs of his clients. His practice involves all aspects of patent prosecution, practice before the PTAB, and litigation. He represents pharmaceutical companies both large and small on a myriad of issues, as well as several universities in both patenting and licensing to outside investors. He has also filed amicus briefs in landmark patent and other cases to district courts, the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court involving patenting issues relevant to biotechnology.

Dr. Noonan is a frequent speaker, commentator and author on a variety of intellectual property law topics. He is a founding author of the Patent Docs weblog, a site focusing on biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent law. In 2010, he was interviewed for a segment that aired on the television program “60 Minutes” that addressed the issue of gene patenting.

Lubor Gaal (Senior Vice President and Head of Europe at Locust Walk)

Lubor Gaal

Senior Vice President and Head of Europe at Locust Walk

Lubor Gaal, PhD is Senior Vice President and Head of Europe. Dr. Gaal is based in London and responsible for executing licensing, M&A, and financing transactions for biopharma companies around the globe.

Dr. Gaal has an extensive and distinguished career in the life sciences. He most recently spent three years with Almirall as Head of External Innovation and Licensing in Barcelona. From 2006 to 2015, Dr. Gaal held four different roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb in London including Head of Europe, Global Search and Business Development. He held various C-suite and executive management roles at NEURO3D in France and Vectron Therapeutics in Germany as well as positions at Berlex Laboratories in New Jersey, Burrill & Company in San Francisco, and Sandoz in Switzerland.

Dr. Gaal has a B.Sc. in Neurobiology from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom and a Ph.D. in Neurosciences from the University of California in Berkeley, California.

Steve Ferguson (Deputy Director of Licensing & Entrepreneurship at National Institutes of Health - NIH)

Steve Ferguson

Deputy Director of Licensing & Entrepreneurship at National Institutes of Health - NIH
Frédéric Destrebecq (Executive Director of European Brain Council - EBC)

Frédéric Destrebecq

Executive Director of European Brain Council - EBC

The EBC is a platform for patients, health professionals, scientists & industry that promotes brain research in Europe and improved quality of life for patients.

Bryon Bhagwandin (Cofounder / CEO of Recalibrate Solutions, PBC)

Bryon Bhagwandin

Cofounder / CEO of Recalibrate Solutions, PBC

Dr. Bhagwandin is the Co-Founder and CEO at Recalibrate Solutions. Recalibrate Solutions is empowering physicians to eliminate the effects of toxic stress from the lives of children.
Dr. Bhagwandin has served as an executive for multiple start-up companies. He has spent more than 20 years in medical product development, and possesses a remarkable combination of technical expertise, leadership, and business acumen. He has been awarded two degrees in physics and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. Dr. Bhagwandin has led multiple product development teams, successfully creating diagnostic, therapeutic, and drug-device combination products.
Dr. Bhagwandin understands the unique business challenges that must be navigated by medical device companies – design-controls, quality-system compliance, internal review boards, clinical testing, regulatory submissions, insurance codes, reimbursement models, hospital purchasing- cycles, and marketing through scientific research and peer review publications – a truly unique space. For more information about Dr. Bhagwandin, please visit

Juan Carlos Lopez (Managing Director of Haystack Science)

Juan Carlos Lopez

Managing Director of Haystack Science

A native of Oaxaca, Mexico, Juan Carlos López obtained his B.S. degree at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, majoring in neuroscience. He got his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University (New York), working in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, and carried out postdoctoral research at the Instituto Cajal (Madrid).

In 2000, Juan Carlos helped launch and became Chief Editor of Nature Reviews Neuroscience in London. Four years later, he returned to New York as Chief Editor of the prestigious journal Nature Medicine.

In 2014, Juan Carlos joined Hoffmann-La Roche as Global Head of Academic Relations and Collaborations, leading a team in charge of fostering scientific interactions between the company and academic institutions worldwide. Juan Carlos has served on the Boards of multiple biotechnology and non-profit organizations, most recently on the Board of Directors of Keystone Symposia.

Vincent Smeraglia (Executive Director, Strategic Alliances, Office for Research of Rutgers University)

Vincent Smeraglia

Executive Director, Strategic Alliances, Office for Research of Rutgers University
Christian Suojanen (CEO of Broadreach Global LLC)

Christian Suojanen

CEO of Broadreach Global LLC

Christian brings over 20 years international and operational advisory experience in strategy, business development, and access to finance for technology transfer, start-ups, industry and investors in the biotech, health and pharmaceutical sectors.

He has seen firsthand that world-class innovation can arise anywhere, and what is most often missing is the expertise and networks needed to ensure that the true potential of that innovation is realized.

Along with his day to day work with biotech companies, industry and funds, Christian has for two past two decades supported innovation stakeholders in the bio, pharma and health sectors; delivering the first pan-European level biotech investment conference (with EASDAQ, now Euronext), the first Biotech sector CEO academy at top MBA schools, advising EU level industry associations for biotech, pharma, and venture capital, and advising the EC and national governments, health systems and universities on innovation strategy, technology transfer and business creation. He has provided training and engagement with finance and industry to over 3,000 innovation stakeholders, primarily representatives of start-up and technology transfer offices, across 5 continents.

Broadreach Global's Confluence-Innovation series of Bio-Health Summits and networking is an on-going initiative to support innovation stakeholders through access, insight, and engagement.