Scientific Advisory Board

The Scientific Advisory Board includes Dr. Low and distinguished scientists in the fields of Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine, Neuroscience, Oncology, Physics & Sleep Research.

Dr. Sonia Ancoli-Israel is a Professor Emeritus and Professor of Research in the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and Director of the Gillin Sleep and Chronomedicine Research Center. Dr. Ancoli-Israel received her Bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, a Master’s Degree in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ancoli-Israel’s expertise is in the field of sleep disorders and sleep research in aging. Her current interests include the longitudinal effect of sleep disorders on aging, the effect of circadian rhythms on sleep, therapeutic interventions for sleep problems in dementia, and fatigue, particularly the relationship between sleep, fatigue and circadian rhythms in cancer and other chronic illnesses. Dr. Ancoli-Israel is Past-President of the Sleep Research Society (SRS), Past-President of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms and was on the founding Executive Board of the National Sleep Foundation. She was honored in 2007 with the National Sleep Foundation Life Time Achievement Award and the SRS Mary A. Carskadon Outstanding Educator Award, in 2012 with Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine Distinguished Career Award and in 2014 with the SRS Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Ancoli-Israel is published regularly in medical and psychiatric journals with over 450 publications in the field. 

Dr. Sydney Brenner (in Memoriam) Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Crick-Jacobs Center at the Salk Institute, was one of the leading pioneers in genetics and molecular biology. Dr. Brenner also studied vertebrate gene and genome evolution. His work in this area resulted in new ways of analyzing gene sequences, which has developed a new understanding of the evolution of vertebrates. Among his many notable discoveries, Dr. Brenner established the existence of messenger RNA and demonstrated how the order of amino acids in proteins is determined. He also conducted pioneering work with the roundworm, a model organism now widely used to study genetics. His research with Caenorhabditis Elegans garnered insights into aging, nerve cell function and controlled cell death, or apoptosis. Dr. Brenner was a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, a recipient of the Lasker Award and of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, among many other awards.

Dr. Michael Castro is an expert in molecular oncology, precision medicine, immunotherapy of cancer and immunomics. He received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and has been in practice for more than 20 years. His practice is based in Beverly Hills, California.

Dr. Utkan Demirci is a pioneering bioengineer, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and its Co-director and Co-division Chief at the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection in the Department of Radiology. He received his PhD, a M.S. in EE and a M.S. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed research articles, 24 book chapters and editorials, 4 books, and over 25 pending or granted patents which were the basis of new FDA and CE approved products and of companies that serve patients across the globe. His group focuses on developing innovative point-of-care technologies, including label-free rare cell sorting, and microfluidic platforms with broad applications to multiple diseases, including cancer. His seminal work was the basis of 3-D bioprinting of cells and biomaterials, of a portable HIV biosensor which was successfully launched in Tanzania, and of novel FDA approved sperm selection methods widely used by fertility clinics that have led to over 10,000 live child births globally. Dr. Demirci is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, a recipient of the Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research (ARBIR) Distinguished Investigator Award, the Stanford Basic Scientist of the Year Award, the MIT Top Young Innovator TR-35 Award, the Harvard Medical School-Young Investigator Award, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Bright Future Award, the EEE EMBS Early Career Award, the IEEE EMBS Translational Science Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the Coulter Foundation Early Career Award and the Chinese International Young Scientist Award.

Dr. Gozde Durmus is an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Stanford University School of Medicine and a member of the Cardiovascular Institute. She conducted her postdoctoral research at Stanford; working with Prof. Ronald W. Davis and Prof. Lars Steinmetz at the Stanford Genome Technology Center. She received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University, with a minor in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, a M.Eng. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University and B.S. degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Middle East Technical University (METU). Her work has been featured in scientific and popular media including Science, PNAS, Nature Materials, Advanced Materials, Nature Scientific Reports, New Scientist and Popular Mechanics. Her many distinctions include a Fulbright Scholarship, the ITI Young Investigator Award from Stanford University, the Entrepreneurial Fellowship from National Science Foundation (NSF) & Slater Technology Fund, a World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship fellowship, the MIT TR-35 Top Young Innovator Award, the METU Presidential Alumni Achievement and Recognition Award and the Career Award at Scientific Interface from Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF-CASI). Recently, she has been named as a "Rising Star in Biomedicine" by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Dr. Fred “Rusty” Gage is the President of the Salk Institute and its Adler Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics. Dr. Gage is a pioneer in Neuroscience. His work concentrates on the adult central nervous system and unexpected plasticity and adaptability to environmental stimulation that remains throughout the life of all mammals. Dr. Gage's lab showed that, contrary to accepted dogma, adult human beings are capable of growing new brain cells, a process called Neurogenesis. Dr. Gage is the co-founder of Stem Cells, Inc., a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a former president of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), a recipient of the Christopher Reeve Research Medal, the Max Planck Research Prize, the IPSEN Prize in Neuronal Plasticity, and the MetLife Award for Medical Research. Dr. Gage was named one of Time magazine's 100 Innovators in Science for the 21st century. Dr. Gage was elected to the American Philosophical Society in April 2010.

Dr. Ronald L. Graham (in Memoriam) is the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Chief Scientist at the California Institute for Telecommunication and Information Technology (CalIT2) at UCSD. He is widely credited as one of the principal architects of the rapid development worldwide of discrete mathematics in recent years. A longtime collaborator of the late Paul Erdos, Dr. Graham is the author of over 300 hundred papers and five books. He is a former Chief Scientist at Bell laboratories and president of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, a recipient of the Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement and is currently serving his third four-year term as treasurer of the National Academy of Sciences. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Graham discovered the largest number used in a mathematical proof, a.k.a Graham's number. Dr. Graham is also the former president of the International Jugglers Association.

Dr. Roger Guillemin is a founding member of the scientific advisory board of NeuroVigil, from which he retired prior to his appointment as President of the Salk Institute, where he is also a Distinguished Professor. Dr. Guillemin has discovered an entire new class of substances shown to be important for the regulation of growth, development, reproduction and responses to stress. The impact of Dr. Guillemin's studies has been profound for a variety of diseases and disorders, including thyroid diseases, problems of infertility, diabetes and several types of tumors. One of these hormones, called growth-hormone releasing factor, is used to treat growth deficiencies in children; another, called somatostatin, is used to treat acromegaly and other types of pituitary diseases. Dr. Guillemin also was among the first to isolate endorphins, brain molecules known to act as natural opiates. Dr. Guillemin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Lasker Award, the Dickson Prize in Medicine, the National Medal of Science and the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Guillemin is also a talented artist and one of the early proponents of digital computer paintings.

Dr. Stephen W. Hawking (in Memoriam) was the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time which was an international bestseller. He was also Director of Research at the Institute for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge, his other books for the general reader included A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universes, and The Universe in a Nutshell. In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. He went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. Since 1979 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Professor Hawking had over a dozen honorary degrees and was awarded the CBE in 1982. He was a fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Science. Stephen Hawking was regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. [Source:]

Dr. Patrick Mercier is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and co-founder/co-director of the Center for Wearable Sensors at UCSD. He holds a B.Sc. from the University of Alberta, Canada, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from MIT. His pioneering research in the area of low-power wireless integrated circuits for medical applications has been the subject of numerous awards and recognitions from the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Engineering, DARPA, Biocom, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Hellman Foundation, the San Diego Engineering Council, the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, UCSD, Intel, among others. Dr. Mercier has published over 130 peer-reviewed papers in high-impact venues, has co-authored 4 books, and is an associate editor and member of the Technical Program Committee of various leading journals and conferences in the areas of solid-state circuits and biomedical devices. Moreover, Dr. Mercier has extensive entrepreneurial experience, including as a consultant, co-founder, board member, and scientific advisor.

Dr. Terrence “Terry” Sejnowski is the Francis Crick Professor and Director of the Crick-Jacobs Center for Theoretical and Computational Biology at the Salk Institute. He is one of the world's foremost experts in Neuroscience and a Pioneer in the field of Computational Neuroscience. His laboratory has developed diverse and powerful techniques to understand neurophysiological activity and addresses the computational resources which the brain uses at many levels. Dr. Sejnowski is the founder of the journal Neural Computation, the president of the Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) conference, the director of the Institute for Neural Computation at UCSD and the director of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute. He is the author of several books including "Thalamocortical Assemblies, how ion channels, single neurons, and large-scale Networks organize sleep oscillations" and “The Deep Learning revolution”, and an editor of "The Regulation of Sleep". He is the recipient of the Wright Prize, the Hebb Prize and the Neural Network Pioneer Award. He is a co-founder of NeuroVigil, and one of only ten living individuals elected to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013 and was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2014. He also received the 2015 Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience.

Dr. Jerome “Jerry” Siegel is Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the Center for Sleep Research at UCLA. Dr. Siegel is a world known authority in the sleep field. His laboratory has made discoveries concerning the role of molecules called hypocretins in narcolepsy. Dr. Siegel is also an expert in sleep phylogeny. He has discovered that the platypus, a primitive mammal, has REM sleep and that marine mammals can go without sleep for long periods without ill effects. Dr. Siegel is a former president of the SRS, the author of "The Neural Control of Sleep and Waking" and the recipient of the NIH MERIT and Javits awards.

Dr. Donald “Don” Spencer is currently a staff scientist in the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute and a visiting scholar in the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD. His studies focus on how brain cells store, process and transmit information both individually and in networks. He is also an expert in digital image processing and spread spectrum communications. Dr. Spencer is an alumnus of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a former director of TRW's Avionics Systems Division. He installed the first American Broadband VLF recording equipment and the first radio noise synoptic recording station in Antarctica.

Dr. Jean-Paul Spire (in Memoriam) is a Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Director of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratories and Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Chicago. Dr. Spire's major clinical interests have been in the surgical management of intractable epilepsies and in the diagnosis and treatment of the organic sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and sleep apneas. His research interests include true spatial reconstructive imaging with PET, MRI, functional topography of the brain, and three-dimensional evoked potential studies.

Dr. Andrew Viterbi is the co-Founder of Linkabit Corporation and Qualcomm, Inc., Professor in the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD and the President of the Viterbi Group. He is the inventor of the famous Viterbi algorithm and an alumnus of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr. Viterbi is widely regarded as a pioneer in the field of Wireless Communications, especially Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Wireless Technology. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Viterbi graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1957, and the University of Southern California (USC), where he earned his PhD in 1962. In 2004 the USC School of Engineering was renamed the Viterbi School of Engineering. Dr. Viterbi serves on numerous boards and committees including the USC, MIT Visiting Committee for Bioengineering, Scripps Research Institute, and the National Academies’ Computer Science and Telecommunications Board. Source: NeuroVigil and IEEE Information Theory Society.

Dr. Stephen Wolfram (service terminated) is a scientist, author, and business leader. He is the creator of Mathematica, the author of A New Kind of Science, and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research. His career has been characterized by a sequence of original and significant achievements. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Caltech by the age of 20. In recognition of his early work in physics and computing, Wolfram became in 1981 the youngest recipient of a MacArthur Prize Fellowship. Having started to use computers in 1973, Wolfram rapidly became a leader in the emerging field of scientific computing, and in 1979 he began the construction of SMP--the first modern computer algebra system--which he released commercially in 1981.