WIB-Southern California: Neurodegenerative Diseases: Insights from Industry, Academia, & the Clinic
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WIB-Southern California: Neurodegenerative Diseases: Insights from Industry, Academia, & the Clinic

When: Wednesday, September 25, 2019
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PST
Where: 4655 Executive Drive
Suite 700
San Diego, CA  92121
United States
Contact: WIB-Southern California

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Millions of people are affected by neurodegenerative diseases worldwide. These include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and others. Please join us for a panel with Jeanne Loring, CSO of Aspen Neuroscience, Stephanie Lessig of UCSD Department of Neurosciences, and Stella Sarraf, CEO of Amydis Inc., who will discuss current developments in therapeutics and diagnostics, and unique challenges related to starting and building companies in the neurodegenerative space. Moderated by Doral Fredericks, medical affairs executive.



5:30  p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Reception and Networking
6:15  p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Presentation
7:30  p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Networking

Speaker Bios 

Jeanne F. Loring, PhD
CSO at Aspen Neuroscience

Jeanne F. Loring is Chief Scientific Officer of Aspen Neuroscience in La Jolla, California and Professor Emeritus at Scripps Research Institute. She founded the Centers for Regenerative Medicine at both the Burnham Institute (2004) and Scripps (2008). Her laboratory studies genomics and epigenetics of human pluripotent stem cells, the remarkable cells that can make every cell type in the body. Her lab’s main focus to develop a patient-specific neuron replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

Other projects underway in the lab are early development of a stem cell-based treatment for multiple sclerosis and a study of the underlying causes of autism during human brain development. With the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, her lab is helping to rescue the nearly extinct Northern white rhino using iPSC technology to generate sperm and eggs for assisted reproduction. Her team also has a project on the International Space Station to study neuroinflammation in brain organoids generated from human iPSCs.

Dr. Loring is an advocate for patients and an outspoken critic of stem cell clinics that operate outside of ethical or scientific oversight. She speaks out against unregulated stem cell therapies that have caused severe injuries and even death, and the clinics who convince desperately ill patients to pay for treatments that are not effective.

Stephanie Lessig, MD
Professor of Neurosciences and Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs, UCSD

Dr. Stephanie Lessig, Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs joined the Department of Neurosciences on July 1, 2007. She completed a fellowship in Neurotherapeutics and Movement Disorders and Neurology residency at University of California San Diego. Dr. Lessig received her medical degree at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. Currently, she serves as Director of Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers Consortium (PADRECC) and head of the Clinical Trials Unit for Neurosciences.

Her clinical focus is treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, such as dystonia and ataxia. She also specializes in deep brain stimulation and botulinum toxin. Dr. Lessig’s research interests are Neurodegenerative Disorders such as Huntington’s disease. She is the Principal Investigator on four clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease.

Stella Sarraf, Ph,D.
CEO at Amydis Inc.

Stella Sarraf, Ph.D., founded Amydis in 2013 after seeing a clinical need for a novel technology for early detection of neurodegenerative diseases. She brings to Amydis a blend of expertise in large pharmaceutical operations, venture investment and entrepreneurship. Dr. Sarraf is viewed as a visionary with a deep understanding of product life cycle and the necessary components to achieve success in product commercialization. Previously, she spent ten years in the venture capital industry at Foresite Capital Management and Prospect Venture Partners, growth capital health care funds with over $2 billion in assets under management, where she established a strong record of success. She led scientific, regulatory and commercial diligence on more than 700 investment opportunities from companies in developing therapeutics and diagnostics in the areas including ophthalmology and neurology. Earlier in her career, Dr. Sarraf worked at Merck Research Laboratories in Rahway, New Jersey, as a senior research chemist responsible for creating novel drugs.


Doral Fredericks, PharmD, MBA  
Executive Consultant at Scientific Commercialization, LLC

Doral Fredericks, PharmD, MBA is currently an Executive Consultant at Scientific Commercialization, LLC, a boutique consultancy firm specializing in Medical Affairs. Prior to joining Scientific Commercialization, she served as Vice President, Medical Affairs at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals where she successfully worked on the company’s first NDA and launch for NUPLAZID®. Dr. Fredericks has 20 years’ experience in all facets of Medical Affairs within the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries. During her diverse and varied career, she has worked in senior several leadership roles in start-up, mid-size and global organizations where she was responsible for setting strategy, building and leading teams, and ensuring operational excellence across a variety of therapeutic areas. Dr. Fredericks received her B.A. in Biological Sciences, as well as her PharmD and MBA degrees, from the University of Southern California. After graduating, Dr. Fredericks continued her education as a Pharmacy Resident in Adult Primary Care at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Harbor City, CA.


Pricing Information

  • Members: $15
  • Non-Members: $45

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* - Walk-ins will be accepted until event capacity is reached.

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Parking Information

Garage parking – lot 4655 (entrance on Judicial Drive)