2019 SPEAKERS

A Biohacker Conference.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) biomedical research charity that performs and funds laboratory research dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also VP of New Technology Discovery at AgeX Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup developing new therapies in the field of biomedical gerontology. In addition, he is Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He received his BA in computer science and Ph.D. in biology from the University of Cambridge. His research interests encompass the characterisation of all the types of self-inflicted cellular and molecular damage that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organisations. He is a highly sought-after speaker who gives 40-50 invited talks per year at scientific conferences, universities, companies in areas ranging from pharma to life insurance, and to the public.

David Li is the executive director of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab which facilitate the collaboration between global smart hardware entrepreneurs and Shenzhen Open Innovation ecosystem. He has been contributing to open source software since 1990. He is member of Free Software Foundation, committer to Apache projects and board director of ObjectWeb. In 2010, he co-founded XinCheJian, the first hackerspace in China to promote hacker/maker culture and open source hardware. In 2011, he co-founded Hacked Matter, a research hub on maker movement and open innovation. In 2015, he co-founded Maker Collider, a platform to develop next generation IoT from Maker community. He is also the executive director of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab which facilitate the collaboration between global smart hardware entrepreneurs and Shenzhen Open Innovation ecosystem.

David Hewlett may not be a brilliant genetic engineer but he has played a few on TV! David is an actor with a contagious curiosity and passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. He has had the pleasure of playing Dr. Rodney Mckay on the International hit TV series Stargate Atlantis and starring in numerous film and TV projects, including Guillermo Del Toro’s Oscar-winning film, “The Shape Of Water” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”. David has created The Tech Terrors, a STEAM Club for kids at my local school. The club is a magnificent, mad, mess of curiosity driven, technology exploration with a focus on assistive tech. Given the kid’s fascination with genetic engineering he is currently working on adding a Bioengineering component to the mix and launching a Makerspace studio to share our adventures from!

Hamilton Morris is a chemist and director of the documentary series Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia.
Morris has authored numerous scientific publications on the pharmacology, chemistry and history of psychoactive drugs. His reporting is focused on the role psychoactive drugs play in different cultures and the international drug trade.

Michael is a vice president at Founders Fund. He runs creative programming including Symposium (F50), the firm’s annual summit, and Shop Talk, the firm’s professional networking series. He also directs content at Founders Fund, and is the creator / producer of Anatomy of Next, the firm’s podcast. He is the author of Citizen Sim: Cradle of the Stars.

Jessica Polka, PhD is Executive Director of ASAPbio, a biologist-driven project to promote the productive use of preprints in the life sciences. Before becoming a visiting scholar at the Whitehead Institute, she performed postdoctoral research in the department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School following a PhD in Biochemistry from UCSF. Jessica serves as president of the board of directors of Future of Research, a steering committee member of Rescuing Biomedical Research, and a member of ASCB’s public policy committee.

Anastasia Synn is a stunt & magic performer, transhumanist and biohacker. A regular at venues in Las Vegas and Los Angeles including Brookledge, Scot Nery’s Boobietrap and the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood; she has performed on television in four countries and has toured North America as a featured performer for Gallagher and her husband of nearly 5 years, The Amazing Johnathan. Of late, she has been working on innovated uses of biohacking in magic and stunt performance for the purpose of advancing her transhumanist goals. She currently has 25 implants which she uses for magic, experimentation, and extended sensory perception. A self proclaimed wearables addict, she tracks many aspects of her life through technology and is working towards a future when we become one with our wearables and create new senses through implants. Anastasia has also been involved in politics, speaking against Nevada Bill 226 at the state capitol twice, which among other things, would make elective microchip implanting illegal.
WWW.SYNNISTER.COM

Gabriel Licina is a Molecular Biologist and Open Source Biology enthusiast who has been building labs and developing biology projects outside of academia for about 10 years. He is currently focused on the areas of human health, longevity, and bioremediation so we don’t all burn to death while we’re drowning.

Ryan O’Shea is an entrepreneur and futurist speaker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the host of Future Grind, a podcast and video series that explores the ethics and implications of emerging science and technology. Ryan currently serves as the spokesperson for Grindhouse Wetware, a group specializing in technology to augment human capabilities. In 2017, Ryan co-founded the artificial intelligence startup Behaivior, which uses artificial intelligence and automated just-in-time intervention to solve the problem of addiction. Behaivior was recently named a Top 10 team in the third and final round of the $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, and has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and others. Ryan has represented NASA and CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a Solar System Ambassador, and serves both as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and an ambassador for Pittsburgh AI. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and currently sits on the boards of numerous non-profits in Western Pennsylvania.

Zach Weissmueller is a producer at Reason. He has produced documentary shorts, video interviews, and feature articles for the platform since 2010. Some of his particular areas of interest include the regulation of the internet and emerging technology, free speech, medical freedom, sentencing reform, and the drug war.

Lars Soraas is a care-giver for wife who has stage IV lung cancer. Blogging about our journey at alunglife.com.

Misti Norris is the Executive Chef and Owner of Petra and the Beast; a small, thoughtful restaurant focused on the use of farms, foraging, fermentation and fire. Norris is a North Carolina native, raised in Houston Texas. 2016 she was named a James Beard Award Rising Star Semifinalist. Since the restaurant’s beginning a little over a year ago, it has already gained much recognition including being named one of Esquire’s Best Restaurants in America 2018, one of D Magazine’s Best New Restaurants in Dallas 2018, and the Dallas Observer’s Best Charcuterie Program 2018, and most recently included in the 2019 Best New Chef class in Food and Wine.

Dr. Mashiach is a Founding Partner at Mesia Ventures, a Bio venture studio. Mesia creates and invests in companies that use biology as software or hardware, to solve real-life challenges. Dr. Mashiach brings entrepreneurial expertise, with two successful Bio startups under his belt as a founder and CEO, and over 20 years of operational experience. His ability to plot the course of Bio ventures resulted in clinical success, market approvals and exits in two out of two companies. Dr. Mashiach personally raised over $40M for his ventures. His innovation is reflected by the 66 US patents he’s been granted, and the prestigious World Technology Award (Fortune, Time) he received in 2014. Previously, Dr. Mashiach founded Nyxoah, a neurotech company that builds the world’s first flexible implantable neurostimulator. The product achieved clinical success and market approval. Prior to Nyxoah, Dr. Mashiach founded Innova Medical which developed a computer vision technology that was picked up by one of the major CT scan manufacturers. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Dr. Mashiach was a physician and computational biology researcher, focusing on modeling cancer cell behavior to enable personalized medicine for patients with non-solid tumors. Dr. Mashiach holds a BSc in Computer Science, BSc in Mathematics and Doctor of Medicine, all from Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Rob Carlson is the Managing Director of Bioeconomy Capital, an early stage venture capital firm focusing on engineering tools and manufacturing infrastructure for biotechnology. Carlson is also a Principal at Biodesic, a strategy, engineering, and security consulting firm that provides services to governments and corporations around the globe, and an Affiliate Professor in the Paul Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. Carlson is the author of the book Biology is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life, published in 2010 by Harvard University Press; it received the PROSE award for the Best Engineering and Technology Book of 2010 and was named to the Best Books of 2010 lists by writers at both The Economist and Foreign Policy. He is a frequent international speaker and has served as an advisor to such diverse organizations as The Hastings Center for Bioethics, the UN, the OECD, the US Government, and companies ranging in size from startups to members of the Fortune 100. Carlson earned a doctorate in Physics from Princeton University in 1997.

Kristen V. Brown is a biotechnology reporter for Bloomberg News in San Francisco, covering the future of health on the West Coast and beyond.
Since becoming a biotech reporter in 2016, Kristen has chronicled the rise of consumer genetic testing, DIY gene hacking and synthetic biology. In the name of journalism, she has probably taken more DNA tests than anyone else on the planet.

Nadja is a cofounder of Massive Science, a science media company that translates science for the public. She has worked for over 10 years at the intersection of research science, media and community.

Over the last five decades Lynn Hershman Leeson has been internationally acclaimed for her art and films. She has made pioneering contributions to the fields of photography, video, film, performance, installation and interactive as well as net-based media art. Among these innovations are the creation of the first computer based interactive environment (1982 Lorna), the first artificial intelligence chat bot (1995 Agent Ruby) and the creation of an Antibody (2018) Her work investigates issues that are now recognized as key to the workings of society: the relationship between humans and technology, identity, surveillance, and the use of media as a tool of empowerment against censorship and political repression.
Lynn Hershman Leeson is a recipient of Prix Ars Electronica Grand Prize, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the San Francisco Film Society’s Persistance of Vision Award, and a USA Fellowship. Her feature films, Strange Culture, Teknolust, Conceiving Ada and !Women Art Revolution – A Secret History and Tania Libre are in worldwide distribution. Her work collected by The Museum of Modern Art, The Tate Modern, The Whitney, Walker Art Center, celebrated private collections. ZKM in Karlsruhe Germany mounted the first comprehensive retrospective of her work titled Civic Radar including a substantial publication. She is Professor Emeritus at the University of California and an A.D. white Professor at Cornell.

Dr. Todd Kuiken is a Senior Research Scholar with the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University. He has numerous projects evaluating and designing new research and governance strategies to proactively address the biosafety, biosecurity and environmental opportunities/risks associated with emerging genetic technologies. Including an initiative evaluating the current capabilities of and developing programs to ensure safety and security of the rapidly expanding community of citizen biologists and growing network of community laboratories across the globe. He is also a member of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Ad-Hoc Technical Expert Group on Synthetic Biology, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) technical and policy task force on synthetic biology and gene drives, and the co-chair of the human practices committee of iGEM.

Rebecca Robbins is STAT’s San Francisco correspondent. She covers the life sciences industry, focusing on the region stretching from Silicon Valley up to San Francisco’s Mission Bay biotech hotbed. She previously reported as an intern for the Washington Post, the Hartford Courant, and the Santa Barbara Independent.

Alex Pearlman is a journalist and bioethicist. Her research and reporting centers on the intersection of ethics and policy with emerging science and technology, with a specific focus on issues of justice and access around health technologies.
Alex has written widely on issues such as the ethics of assisted reproductive technologies, human enhancement, self-experimentation, and biohacking. Her reporting and commentary regularly appears in the mainstream press in outlets such as Stat, New Scientist, Medium, Vice, Al Jazeera and elsewhere.

Dr. Kiki Sanford is a science communicator with over 15 years of experience in media, science journalism, and informal science education. She received a BS degree in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology, and a PhD in Neurophysiology from UC Davis before transitioning into a career focused on translating scientific research to various audiences and helping scientists in their communications efforts. In 2015, Dr. Kiki founded Broader Impacts Productions, a boutique production agency dedicated to science storytelling. Additionally, she founded, produces, and hosts the This Week in Science (TWIS) podcast, a weekly live show that covers a multitude of science topics in a talk-show format. She also currently hosts the Sequenced Podcast and produces an interview segment on the AAAS Science Podcast. She received the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship in 2005, which led her to work at WNBC as a producer for the Health and Medical segment on the five-o’clock news. Subsequently, she hosted and produced science and environment programming for online audiences at Discovery Digital Networks and the TWiT Network, and appeared in a number of programs on the Science and History channels. Dr. Kiki speaks publicly on a variety of science-related topics, and is also on the Board of Directors as VP of Public Relations for Science Talk, a non-profit organization aiming to elevate science and the craft of science communication by creating a national professional network facilitating the sharing of lessons and best-practices. Dr. Kiki really enjoys her work.