Plenary Speakers

Richard A. Baird, Ph.D.


Division of Interdisciplinary Training

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Dr. Richard A. Baird obtained the B.S. in Electrical Engineering (1975) from MIT and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (1981) from the University of California, Berkeley. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago (1981-1984), he became a research scientist (1984-1998) at the R.S. Dow Neurological Sciences Institute and an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon, studying the physiology, repair, and regeneration of vestibular hair cells. In 1998, Dr. Baird became Head of the Fay and Carl Simons Center for Biology and Hearing and Deafness at the Central Institute for the Deaf (CID), Spencer T. Olin Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing at Washington University, and an adjunct faculty member of the Departments of Otolaryngology and Anatomy and Neurobiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He also founded and directed the Inner Ear consortium (1999), a group encouraging collaboration among researchers working on the development, physiology and regeneration of the inner ear and supporting state-of-the-art core facilities in confocal and multi-photon microscopy, electron microscopy, molecular biology, and electronic services. In 2002, Dr. Baird became Director of Research of the Harold W. Siebens Hearing Research Center, coordinating both basic and applied research at CID.

Dr. Baird joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in October, 2005, becoming Director of the Division of Interdisciplinary Training at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). In this position, he directs conference, diversity, education, research training and career development programs and coordinates public-private partnerships between NIBIB and other Federal agencies and private foundations. Dr. Baird has also co-chaired the NIH Training Advisory Committee (TAC), co-chaired the NIH-TAC Workforce Committee, and served on working groups on diversity, early independence and interdisciplinary training for the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience and NIH Roadmap programs.

Aaron Friedman , M.D.

Vice President of Health Sciences and Dean of Medical School

University of Minnesota

Dr. Aaron Friedman is vice president for health sciences and dean of the University's Medical School, a role he assumed in January 2011.

Prior to his current role, Friedman was head of the Department of Pediatrics, holding the Ruben-Bentson Chair since his arrival to the Medical School in 2008.

A pediatric nephrologist and dedicated educator, Friedman conducts research on pediatric kidney disease. He examines treatments aimed at preventing kidney failure in children with certain forms of kidney disease at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital.

In addition to his role within the Medical School, Friedman was pediatrician-in-chief at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital, a role he previously held at the Hasbro Children's Hospital/Rhode Island Hospital.

Outside of the University, Friedman is a member of the board of directors of the American Board of Pediatrics, serving as chair in 2008, and is active in the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is the 2010 recipient of the Henry Barnett Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics nephrology section for his contributions to children with kidney disease and to the pediatric nephrology community.

Lothar Krinke, Ph.D.

Vice President & General Manager

Neuromodulation Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Business

Medtronic, Inc.

Lothar was named Vice President & General Manager of the Neuromodulation Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) business in May 2011. Responsibilities include establishing and executing a comprehensive, global business strategy for the DBS Therapies.

In his prior role as Vice President, Research and Business Development, he was responsible for ensuring that the business unit's internal and external research programs align with the strategic priorities of the business, and for developing Neuromodulation's external scientific reputation with leading academic institutions. Krinke's group managed drug infusion therapy programs funded by the Ventures Organization as well as Business Development and IP. Krinke joined Medtronic in 2004 as Senior Director, Bioscience Technology Development, and prior to that served as Vice President for Business Development and executive team member of Endogeny Bio Corporation. Krinke has over 10 years of biomedical strategy expertise from top management consulting firms. Krinke holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University at Albany and obtained his undergraduate education at the Technische Univeritaet Braunschweig in Germany. He is the recipient of the Rumbough Award for Dedication to and Achievements in Diabetes research from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.

Kip Ludwig, Ph.D.

Program Director, Neural Engineering

National Institutes of Health, NINDS

Dr. Kip Ludwig joined the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) as the Program Director for Neural Engineering in 2011, and leads the NINDS Advanced Neural Prosthetics Research and Development Program. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, followed by post-doctoral work at the same institution. Dr. Ludwig's academic work included neural decoding algorithms for brain-computer interfaces (BCI), signal processing techniques to denoise neural recordings, and advanced materials to improve the chronic stimulating and recording performance of microelectrodes. More recently he worked in industry as a research scientist, where his team conceived, developed and demonstrated the chronic efficacy of a next-generation neural stimulation electrode for reducing blood pressure in both pre-clinical and clinical trials. Through this work Dr. Ludwig oversaw several good laboratory practice (GLP) and non-GLP studies supporting both European and FDA Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) human trials, as well as participated in the protocol development and execution of those trials, recently leading to approval for sale in the European Union. His interests are in all aspects of neural engineering, with special emphases on neuromodulation, BCI devices, and neural interface technology for translational development.

Alvaro Pascual-Leone, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Neurology

Harvard Medical School

Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School; Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation; Program Director of the Harvard-Thorndike Clinical Research Unit; and an Attending Neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - all in Boston. He is a practicing behavioral neurologist and movement disorders specialist.

Dr. Pascual-Leone received his M.D. in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1985, both from Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany. Following an internship in Medicine at Staedtisches Klinikum Karlsruhe in Germany and residency in Internal Medicine at Hospital Universitario de Valencia in Spain, Dr. Pascual-Leone completed a Neurology residency at the Univeristy of Minnesota, and then trained in Clinical Neurophysiology and Human Motor Control at the University of Minnesota and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He joined Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 1997, after several years at the Cajal Institute of the Spanish Research Council.

Dr. Pascual-Leone is a world leader in research and development, clinical application, and teaching of noninvasive brain stimulation. Through Harvard's continuing medical education program, Dr. Pascual-Leone and the Berenson-Allen Center offer the longest-running medical education course in the world in noninvasive brain stimulation.

Dr. Pascual-Leone's work has been fundamental in establishing noninvasive brain stimulation, particularly transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), as a valuable tool in cognitive neurology, increasing knowledge about its mechanisms of action, critically improving the technology and its integration with several brain-imaging methodologies, and helping to create the field of therapeutic noninvasive brain stimulation. In clinical trials, he has provided proof-of-principle evidence for the efficacy of noninvasive brain stimulation in treating various neurologic and psychiatric conditions, including epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson disease, chronic pain, autism, and drug-resistant depression. Dr. Pascual-Leone has authored more than 450 scientific papers as well as several books, and is listed inventor in several patents. His work is highly regarded for its innovation and quality and is highly cited. According to the ISI Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar, Pascual-Leone has over 80 papers cited more than 100 times, an average citations per publication of 84, a total number of citations of nearly 30,000, an "h" index of 94 and an i10-index of 319. Dr. Pascual-Leone ranks number 1 among authors worldwide in the specific field of "Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation" and "Noninvasive Brain Stimulation"

Jerrold L. Vitek M.D. Ph. D.

Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology

University of Minnesota

Jerrold L. Vitek is Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Vitek received his medical degree as well as a doctorate of neurophysiology from the University of Minnesota in 1984 and completed his residency in Neurology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1988, Dr. Vitek accepted a faculty position in the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. There, he spent two years studying motor systems in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD) and worked with Drs. F. Lenz and M. DeLong to establish the functional neurosurgery program at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1990, he accepted a position at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA to develop and direct the program for functional and stereotactic neurology. During that time, his program gained both national and international recognition. While at Emory, he also ran a basic science laboratory directed at studying the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders and delineating the mechanism(s) underlying the beneficial effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS). From Emory, he went on to the Cleveland Clinic where he continued to serve as a practicing physician in the field of movement disorders and deep brain stimulation and became the Director of the Neuromodulation Research Center. This center focused on the development of new applications for DBS, improving current application and advancement of functional surgery and DBS techniques for the treatment of neurological disease. Dr. Vitek accepted the Chair of Neurology position at the University of Minnesota in June of 2010 where he continues to see patients specializing in the diagnosis, treatment and management of movement disorders, performing electrophysiology and mapping during DBS surgery and DBS programming. Dr. Vitek is also the Director for the Center for Neuromodulation Research at the University of Minnesota and a principal investigator on numerous basic, preclinical and clinical studies investigating the pathophysiology of movement disorders, mechanisms of DBS and the application of DBS for the treatment of neurologic disorders.



Keith R Carlton

Director of Research and Advanced Concepts

Boston Scientific Neuromodulation

Keith R Carlton is the Director of Research and Advanced Concepts at Boston Scientific Neuromodulation where he is responsible for the next generation of therapeutic research around their Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS), Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), and Emerging Indication therapies. Mr. Carlton joined Boston Scientific in January 2011 as part of the Intelect Medical acquisition. Prior to joining Boston Scientific, he was co-founder and VP of Product Development at Intelect Medical where he was responsible for overseeing all product development activities as well as IP development. Prior to founding Intelect, he also held the roles of Director of Engineering at Texcel Medical (now Cirtec Medical) and of Senior Project Engineer at Medtronic Neurological. Mr. Carlton holds more than a dozen patents around Sacral Nerve Stimulation (SNS) and DBS products and therapies. He has dual B.S. degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from The Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Boston University.

Gregory F. Molnar, Ph.D.

Director of Neuromodulation Research

Medtronic, Inc., Neuromodulation

As Director of the Neuromodulation Research department, Greg Molnar is responsible for providing strategic leadership to his team of 20 scientists to advance neurostimulation therapies for several neurological conditions including Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, intractable pain, epilepsy, urinary incontinence, and gastric dysfunction. Greg oversees the progression of projects and scientific evidence relative to their phase-gate procedure to ensure timely execution of the group's numerous ongoing studies. Greg is also the primary physician contact involved with establishing and maintaining research collaborations. Currently, Greg serves as Chair for both the Non-Clinical Research Board and Brain Modulation Patent Board, and is a representative on the PRL Board of Directors, and Clinical Research Board, and externally on the Ontario Brain Institute Industry Advisory Board, and the Minnesota Neuromodulation Symposium program committee. In addition to his various research roles, Greg is a strong advocate for innovation, championing the Innovation Room and serving as Chair and Executive Sponsor of Innovation Week. Greg earned his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Neuroscience/Clinical Neurophysiology from the University of Toronto/Toronto Western Research Institute where his research focused on the mechanism of action of Deep Brain Stimulation for movement disorders, chronic pain, and epilepsy. Greg also remains an active neuroscientist as part of his leadership role, publishing and participating in international conferences. Greg has been with Medtronic since 2005.


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