we are fortunate to assemble a unique multidisciplinary team allowing a collaborative effort in the intersection of neuroscience, nanotechnology, information technology, and entrepreneurship
MAX SIGNAEVSKY, MD, PHD
neuroscience / neuropathology
Dr. Signaevsky received his MD from the Medical Military Academy in St. Petersburg. His medical research passion led to a PhD thesis originated in Erasmus University Rotterdam and defended in Petrov Research Institute of Oncology, St. Petersburg. Max continued his research career at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In 2005 he moved to New York and assumed the position of Assistant Professor at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. In 2016, Max graduated the Neuropathology training program from the University of British Columbia, followed by a fellowship in Neuropathology of Neurodegenerative diseases.
In 2016, Max returned to New York to become a Brain Bank Fellow at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is a recipient of the Career Development Award from NIH/NIA (2017). Since 2019 he holds an Instructor/Scientist and then an Assistant Professor positions at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and NIH NeuroBioBank. In 2020, Max completed training at the Bio and Health Technology Entrepreneurship Lab NYC – a “mini-MBA” curriculum geared towards biotechnology and regulatory affairs.
In 2017 Max co-founded NeuroSilica, and since then he leads its multidisciplinary team through the exciting journey of R&D, patenting, and business development.
IGOR YAROSLAVSKY, PHD
chemistry / nanotechnology
Dr. Yaroslavsky obtained his Masters in Chemical Engineering in 1980. In 1987, he defended his PhD in Applied Sciences, with the PhD thesis: "Hydro thermal crystal growth of the piezoelectric crystals" at the Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology, Moscow. He graduated the post-doctoral research program at Crystal Growth and Nuclear Spectroscopy Laboratory at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and subsequently assumed the position of Research Assistant Professor at the same university. In 1996 Igor accepted a Research Associate position at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, where he developed a multi-crystalline thin layer deposition technology for the semiconductor industry. In 2002, he joined Northwest Mettech Corporation as a Senior Research Chemical Engineer. Igor has authored 32 peer-reviewed publications and holds over 20 US and international patents.
BRIAN E. ALBEE, PHD
chemistry / nanotechnology
A native of Chicagoland, Brian received his B.S. in Chemistry at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Upon graduation, he did some collaborative work with Fermi National Lab as a research assistant, followed by pursuing a PhD in Physical Chemistry at UC Irvine under the direction of Dr. Eric Potma. During this time, Brian largely worked with plasmonic sensors, quantum computing nanomaterials, and single-molecule spectroscopic imaging systems, developing a world-class capacity for fabrication, design, and characterization of nanosystems with sub 10nm feature resolution. Since finishing his thesis, Brian has worked almost exclusively in the startup world, focusing on emerging nanomaterials applications. He also serves as the current facility manager of LA BioSpace, bridging his knack for merging entrepreneurship, science, and education in the goal of helping startup companies in the LA Area achieve the same potential success as Dr. Albee has found in his short career to dates. Beyond the lab, Brian is an avid musician, skater, and all-around collector of Star Wars memorabilia. He prides himself on taking these diverse and seemingly disconnected influences to create a mind and vision for next-generation technology that is paralleled by few.
Thinh holds a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering with a concentration in neuro-engineering from Drexel University. During his time at Temple University Hospital, he conducted research on brain-computer interfaces and actively contributed to a multidisciplinary team focused on enhancing the quality of life for ALS patients across different stages of the disease. Additionally, Thinh conducted research at Jefferson University Hospital, specifically in their radiation oncology department, where he played a supportive role in the hyperthermia clinical program. Utilizing COMSOL and finite element analysis experiments, he gathered essential preliminary data for a novel multimodal brain implant, resulting in the publication of his findings in the esteemed International Journal of Hyperthermia. Thinh's work, in which was included in his mentor’s publication and conference presentations, successfully secured a grant from the NIH.
J. ALAN CRUNKLETON, MD, PHD
Alan Crunkleton has over 35 years of experience building companies from concept through to commercialization, establishing regulatory approvals, reimbursement channels and global distribution. His expertise includes nuances of medical device go-to-market strategy with deep understandings of physician behavior and motivation. As cofounder, President and CEO of Correx, Inc, he led development and commercial introduction of a new implantable device for the treatment of aortic valve stenosis. As President and CEO of TriFoil Imaging, he led the turnaround of this preclinical imaging equipment manufacturer. He started his career by spinning his PhD work out of MIT to commercialize a cryogenic refrigeration system for MRI and superconducting electronics, where he served as CEO for eight years until its acquisition. He has financed companies with venture capital, family offices, high-net-worth individuals, private equity, and SBIR. His education includes PhD and MS degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, an MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and BS in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech.
MARK STEWART, MD, PHD
Dr. Stewart currently serves as Professor in the Departments of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neurology, Dean of the School for Graduate Studies and Vice Dean for Research at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York, NY. Dr. Stewart is an accomplished academician, researcher, and administrator with proven leadership skills and a deep understanding of both Downstate and SUNY academic strengths and regulations. Dr. Stewart received his MD and PhD degrees in 1991 from Downstate. His PhD and a postdoctoral fellowship were in Neuroscience, and his current research is focused on the systemic consequences of epileptic seizure activity including sudden death. His lab has developed a unique animal model that has permitted the most complete understanding of autonomic, cardiovascular, and respiratory pathophysiology during seizures and suggested the mechanism for sudden death in epilepsy. This work has led to the development of several technologies to prevent death or resuscitate patients, including a vagus nerve stimulation-based cardioverter/defibrillator that received funding from SUNY’s Technology Accelerator Fund. Dr. Stewart joined the Physiology faculty in 1994 and was promoted through the ranks to a tenured professor in 2008. He was appointed Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Vice Dean for Research in 2009. He has played major roles in establishing an MD/PhD Program in Nanomedicine with the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, a PhD Track in Developmental Neuroscience in partnership with the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities in Staten Island, and numerous other research training and pipeline programs with area universities, including the first major research training grant for CUNY Medgar Evers College.
YANA BROMBERG, PHD
Dr. Yana Bromberg is a Professor of Computational Biology in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at Rutgers University. She is also a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Technical University of Munich. Dr. Bromberg has Bachelors degrees in Biology and Computer Sciences from SUNY Stony Brook and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics from Columbia University. She has over 20 years of experience in developing clinically relevant methods and tools in the bioinformatics/biotech space and has co-authored over 50 peer reviewed scientific articles. Her work has been recognized by the NSF CAREER Award, the PhRMA Foundation Young Investigator Research Starter Award, and the Hans-Fischer Award for outstanding early career scientists, among many others.
Dr. Bromberg serves as an editor and reviewer of several top journals and is one of the Directors of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB).
IRINA TANENBAUM, BS, MBA
Irina holds a BS in finance from Rutgers University School of Business, and an MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York University. Irina spent first 15 years of her career investing across traditional and alternative asset classes. She currently hold a CFO position at Adam Leitman Bailey. For a number of years she served as a Chief Executive Officer at BRIGHT, a health and technology company that designs products, platforms and experiences fast-tracking cutting-edge scientific research. Prior to BRIGHT, Irina had a 15-year career in investment due diligence. My finance experience spans non- and for-profit organizations, with coverage including venture capital, buyout, real estate, energy, infrastructure, hedge funds and long only managers. She also serves as an advisor to FinTech, BabyTech, MedTech and Industrial IoT companies. Previously, at The Juilliard School, she focused on evaluating and monitoring investment managers for the School’s $1B endowment. Prior to Juilliard, Irina was an alternative investments analyst at the YMCA Retirement Fund supporting the Fund’s private equity, real estate and energy programs. She started her career at Metropolitan Life Insurance, working in private equity, capital markets, and international investments.
LEO GRZHONKO, BA
Leo Grzhonko is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Economics and Harvard Business School. He is Founder and CEO of MonDevices, a health technology company which manufactures MonBaby, an award winning movement monitor sold around the world. Prior to MonBaby, Leo was a Founder and President of AdoTube - a technology company that sold to Exponential Interactive in 2011. Before moving into the private sector, Leo worked on Wall Street in equity and fixed income derivatives in the late 1990's. He has also been a partner and board member of several start up technology companies, including many in the Pharma and Biotech space. He has a portfolio of angel investments, with several successful exits, and over a decade of experience helping new technology companies grow.
ANA GREENBERG, BS
Ana is a junior at Yale University and a Neuroscience major. She is pre-med and plans to pursue a career in neurosurgery in the future. In the past, she has done research at Rockefeller University on the molecular mechanism responsible for sex discrepancies in stress susceptibility, and she continues work on the effects of stress on the developing brain at the Clinical Affective Neuroscience and Development Lab at Yale. In her free time, she volunteers at Yale New Haven Hospital, and helps to run a women’s mental health and wellness organization at Yale.
JOHN G KRAL
Dr. Kral received his MA in Education and Behavioral Neuroscience in 1961, his MD in 1967, completed surgical residency in 1972 and defended his PhD thesis, “Surgical reduction of Adipose Tissue”, in 1976 at the University of Göteborg, Sweden. In 1988 Dr. Kral came to Downstate as Professor of Surgery and Director of Surgical Services at KCHC. In 1991, he initiated and co-organized the NIH Consensus Development Conference, “Gastrointestinal Surgery
for Severe Obesity”. He served as President of the NY State Society of Surgeons 1995-7, was co-chairman of the NIH Workshop, “Research Considerations in Obesity Surgery”, in 2001 and has served on numerous scientific organizing committees, editorial boards, and scientific societies. As Professor of Surgery and Medicine, and faculty member of the School of Graduate Studies, Dr. Kral was a standing member of the Downstate Institutional Review Board and the Credentials Committee.
Dr. Kral has published over 50 chapters and reviews and more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in high impact
journals. His research interests included: Brain implants, Neuro-modulation, Central and Autonomic Nervous
Systems, Cognitive function, Molecular genetics, Rehabilitation and many more.
Dr. John G. Kral, our advisor, a mentor, and a friend, succumbed unexpectedly to a brief and serious illness on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019.