Advisory Board

Vivian Ho
Global Medical Advisor
Vivian Ho is a pre-eminent global expert on medical travel, health & wellness tourism. She has successfully led and participated as a strategic leader in global initiatives ranging from cancer research, tobacco control and private-public health ventures. Vivian often writes about the intersection of medical travel, global health and developing trends in healthcare. She founded and serves as President of AGHP, the Academy for Global Health Philanthropy whose mission it is to foster global health philanthropy projects. Previously, Vivian served as President & CEO of Queens International, a first-tier subsidiary of Queens Health Systems in Honolulu, Hawaii. She holds a BA in Economics, an MBA in Finance & International Business and is an alumnus of Stanford University Graduate School of Business, University of Washington and Whitman College. Ms. Ho has been a recipient of healthcare fellowships inclusive of the Duke Endowment Healthy Community Fellowship, and she received the International Emerging Leaders Healthcare Award from the American Hospital Association - Health Forum which is granted to five outstanding national healthcare leaders annually.
Alex Wissner-Gross, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor
Dr. Alexander D. Wissner-Gross is an award-winning scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He serves as an Institute Fellow at the Harvard University Institute for Applied Computational Science and as a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Laboratory. He has received 108 major distinctions, authored 15 publications, been granted 18 issued, pending, and provisional patents, and founded, managed, and advised 4 technology companies, 1 of which has been acquired. In 1998 and 1999, respectively, he won the U.S.A. Computer Olympiad and the Intel Science Talent Search. In 2003, he became the last person in MIT history to receive a triple major, with bachelors 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. His work has been featured in over 100 news outlets worldwide including The New York Times, CNN, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek.
Prof. Irene Pepperberg
Scientific Advisor
Pepperberg received her SB from MIT and MA and Ph.D. from Harvard. She is currently a Research Associate and Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Harvard and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Brandeis University's Psychology Department. She has been a visiting associate professor at MIT's Media Lab, later accepting a research scientist position there, leaving a tenured professorship at the University of Arizona. She has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, won a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, was an alternate for the Cattell Award for Psychology, won the 2000 Selby Fellowship (Australian Academy of Sciences), won the 2005 Frank Beach Award for best paper in comparative psychology, was nominated for the 2000 Weizmann, L'Oreal, and Grawemeyer Awards, the 2001 Quest Award (Animal Behavior Society) and was renominated for the 2001 L'Oreal Award. She has also received fellowships from the Harry Frank Guggenheim and Whitehall Foundations, and numerous grants from NSF. Her book, The Alex Studies, describing over 20 years of peer-reviewed experiments on Grey parrots, received favorable mention from publications as diverse as the New York Times and Science. Her memoir, Alex & Me, was a New York Times bestseller and won a Christopher Award. She has presented her findings nationally and internationally at universities and scientific congresses, often as a keynote or plenary speaker, and has published numerous journal articles, reviews, and book chapters. She is a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the American Ornithologists' Union, AAAS, the Midwestern Psychological Society, the Eastern Psychological Association (where she is now also a board member), and presently serves as consulting editor for three journals and as associate editor for The Journal of Comparative Psychology.
Dr. Omondi Nyong'o
Medical Advisor
Dr. Omondi Nyong’o received his bachelor’s of science degree in Neuroscience from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He then completed his Doctorate in Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is an elected fellow of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus. He has sub-subspecialty fellowship training and expertise in pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus ophthalmology. He is an advocate of patient-centered care and patient/doctor shared decision making. He conducts research into the discovery of useful tools, such as the platform offered by MetaMed, that integrate the interface of accurate aggregate evidence based medicine as applied to the individual preferences and characteristics of a patient. Dr. Nyong’o is a volunteer Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at UCSF at the San Francisco General Hospital and is a Board Director of the Africa Cancer Foundation (ACF).
Stephen Jordan, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor
Dr. Stephen P. Jordan is a theoretical physicist specializing in quantum computation. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from Pennsylvania State University in 2003, and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008. After a brief postdoctoral position at RIKEN in Wakoshi, Japan, he was awarded the Sherman Fairchild prize postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, which he held until 2011. Since then, he has worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, researching quantum algorithms and post-quantum cryptography. He lectures frequently internationally and has published in top journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Physical Review Letters.
John Wilbanks
Scientific Advisor
John Wilbanks is the Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks and a Senior Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He has worked at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the World Wide Web Consortium, the US House of Representatives, and Creative Commons. John is a past affiliate of MIT’s Project on Mathematics and Computation and also started a bioinformatics company called Incellico, which is now part of Selventa. He sits on the Advisory Boards for Boundless Learning, Genomic Arts, Curious, and Genomera, is a Research Fellow with Lybba.org, and is Special Advisor on the Research Commons to the University of California San Francisco. John holds a degree in Philosophy from Tulane and studied modern letters at the Sorbonne.
Prof. Matthew Putman
Scientific Advisor
Prof. Matthew Putman has a Ph.D. in Applied Physics. He is the founder and CEO of Nanotronics Imaging, where he works on super resolution imaging, and pattern recognition for health care and material sciences. He has been a Professor and Researcher at Columbia University. He was an owner of Tech Pro, Inc., which was acquired by Roper Industries in March of 2008. Matthew holds 8 patents (and patents pending), and has published over 20 technical papers, and in 2002 he won the ACS Best Paper Award. In addition to Columbia, Matthew has lectured at The University of Paris, USC, University of Michigan, and The Technical University of Sao Paulo among many others, as well as giving several TEDx talks. He and his work have been profiled in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Pando Daily. Matthew has also produced several plays and films, and is an accomplished composer. He is on the Executive Board of the Montauk Observatory, and is on the advisory board of Imagine Science Films. He is an Executive Producer of the upcoming film "The Fly Room". He is also a mentor for the Thiel Fellowship.
Dr. Heather Heine
Medical Advisor
Dr. Heather Heine received her Honor's Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biotechnology from The University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC. She then completed her Doctorate in Medicine and Doctorate of Philosophy in Pathology investigating vascular regeneration and repair. At Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, Dr. Heine also undertook NASA Aerospace Medicine training and research alongside and specifically tailored for individual NASA astronauts. Dr. Heine also invented a research platform to accelerate research in the fields of drug screening and regenerative medicine and is actively pursuing improving the tools available for medical diagnostics. She is also the Founder of Talking20 Inc., a company providing a novel at-home direct-to-consumer blood testing service to empower individuals to track and investigate known and emerging blood biomarkers. Dr. Heine believes the key to the most effective patient care will depend on innovations that accelerate access to high quality medical evidence most relevant to the individual.
Paul Roossin
Scientific Advisor
Paul trained as a neurobiologist at Rockefeller University, where he performed pioneering investigations into the neural substrates of memory consolidation and recall. Seduced by computer technology, he then spent the next fifteen years at IBM's Research Division, where he and his team created the world's most accurate machine translation system, for translating French texts into English. At IBM he also produced the first commercial continuous speech, large vocabulary speech recognition system, which had an accuracy rate of over 99%. As an entrepreneur, he and two friends founded ConsumerSearch.com, a shopping meta-review website; it grew to be one of the largest shopping sites on the web and was sold to The New York Times in 2007.
Dario Amodei, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisor
Dario Amodei is a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford Medical School, where he focuses on quantitative proteomics with applications to clinical biomarker discovery. He received his PhD in biophysics from Princeton University in 2011 with the support of Hertz and NDSEG fellowships, and was recently the recipient of the Hertz Foundation doctoral thesis prize. He is broadly interested in using mathematical models of biological systems to improve our understanding of human health and disease.
David Dalrymple
Scientific Advisor
David Dalrymple took his first class at UMBC at age nine, and graduated with B.S. degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics four years later. During this time he also spoke at TED 11, took a summer at sea, and worked with Kurzweil Technologies to create the earliest prototypes of the KNFB reading device for the blind. After he worked for a year as an independent consultant, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts at age 14 to begin graduate studies at the MIT Media Lab, becoming the youngest person to ever enroll in an MIT graduate program. In June 2008, David received his M.S. in Media Technology, with a thesis titled "Asynchronous Logic Automata," and began the Ph.D. program in Media Arts and Sciences as a member of the Mind Machine Project under Marvin Minsky. In the summer of 2010, David attended Singularity University at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, which inspired him to refocus from the world of computer architecture, programming language design, and artificial intelligence to the world of biophysics and neuroscience. On the advice of the faculty, in 2011, David left the Media Lab Ph.D. program at MIT for the Biophysics Ph.D. program at Harvard. In 2012, David went on leave from Harvard and signed a research grant agreement with the Thiel Foundation to pursue his research goals in an independent context, known as Project Nemaload, to create a complete computer simulation of a nematode's neurons.
Taylor Milsal
Marketing Advisor
Taylor Milsal is a partner in the SF based innovation practice, Milsal + McCaull, serving companies such as Autodesk, Estee Lauder and TEDMED in mapping new markets and developing innovation strategies. The company brings to market world changing biotech, software and learning technology startups in the Bay Area, NY, and Boston. Taylor is also co-founder of the Laboratorium, a center for science and invention, which will be launching soon in San Francisco. Taylor’s early career as founder and CEO of a mechanical engineering and design firm with clients such as Apple and HP expanded into B2C and B2B sales of hardware, peripherals and CAD. Later sales experience included: megawatt-scale alternative energy solutions to food manufacturers, hospitals and large industry, and SaaS solutions to corporate clients and big box retailers. In her seven years in commercial real estate, she closed over $500M in transactions. Taylor co-founded the first TEDx, and LoveSpring. She is active in TED and Summit Series communities.
Prof. David Madigan
Scientific Advisor
Prof. David Madigan is Chair and Professor of Statistics at Columbia University. He received a bachelor’s degree in Mathematical Sciences and a Ph.D. in Statistics, both from Trinity College Dublin. He has previously worked for AT&T Inc., Soliloquy Inc., the University of Washington, Rutgers University, and SkillSoft, Inc. He has over 100 publications in such areas as Bayesian statistics, text mining, Monte Carlo methods, pharmacovigilance and probabilistic graphical models. He is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He recently completed a term as Editor-in-Chief of Statistical Science.
Dr. Natalie Rasgon
Medical Advisor
Dr. Natalie Rasgon is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Associate Dean at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Rasgon has conducted longitudinal, placebo-controlled neuroendocrine research for 20 years, and she is the founder of the Research in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Program, which focuses on the interaction of reproductive hormones and brain function. Her current work includes estrogen use in protection from cognitive decline and the relationship between endocrine function and mood in bipolar disorder.