CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and the Co-Creator of TEDMED, Marc Hodosh, invite you to be a part of LIFE ITSELF. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and the Co-Creator of TEDMED, Marc Hodosh, invite you to be a part of LIFE ITSELF.
September 28th - October 1st, 2021 / San Diego, California

A new in-person event, celebrating extraordinary minds & ideas intersecting health & medicine.

2021 Speakers

LIFE ITSELF features extraordinary thinkers intersecting health & medicine — from research, technology, government, entertainment & business.

New ideas unveiled Challenging topics debated Trailblazers celebrated


The IconicHotel Del Coronado

San Diego, California

Hotel Del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118


Become a partner

About Us

LIFE ITSELF is a three night retreat, converging about 50 speakers and 500 guests — leaders from multiple disciplines who intersect the fields of health & medicine. Nearly all presenters at LIFE ITSELF attend the entire event. The conference begins at 5pm Tuesday Sept 28th and concludes by 12pm Friday Oct 1st, 2021.

Whether it's dinner on the beach, deep conversation during a break in the hotel’s historic Crown Room, or magical moments late night at the bar, we can ensure from past experience that you’ll create unexpected connections and new long lasting, productive business relationships and friendships. All of this takes place in between mind-blowing talks and entertainment on stage, where new products and ideas will be unveiled and much news will be made. And of course, through our partnership with CNN, that news will be carried worldwide, through CNN’s on-site presence and vast global reach.

Every attendee shares the same experience; it's a single track with no breakouts — so you won’t miss a thing! We promise you’ll never attend a gathering quite like this. We aim to inspire and foster changes in healthcare, while celebrating leaders whose work helps us all to be healthier and happier humans.

We are grateful to host you through this adventure and hope you’ll be a part of LIFE ITSELF.

- Sanjay Gupta & Marc Hodosh

Dr. Sanjay Gupta Founder & Co-Host,

Dr Sanjay Gupta is Founder and Co-Host of LIFE ITSELF.

Best known as the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, Sanjay is also an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and practices at Emory University Hospital.

Sanjay has won multiple national Emmy, Peabody and DuPont Awards, some of the highest honors in broadcast television. For the last twenty years, he has covered the biggest medical and health stories in the world, and has hosted dozens of groundbreaking documentaries on topics such as concussions, medical marijuana, opioids and brain science. Gupta has also distinguished himself as a war zone and natural disaster reporter, having traveled to 153 countries, covering world events, such as the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in South Asia and Japan, the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, as well as the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. On several occasions, Dr Gupta has performed surgical procedures in the field, including five emergent brain operations in the middle of a desert tent during the war in Iraq.

Since early 2020, he has led CNN's worldwide coverage on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Sanjay is the host of the CNN Original Series, Chasing Life, which follows his world travels in search of living longer, healthier and happier. He is also the host, executive producer and writer of the HBO Original Documentary "One Nation Under Stress", which offered a revealing look at the declining life expectancy in the United States.

Gupta has been named one of People Magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive", a pop culture icon by USA Today and one of the "Ten Most Influential Celebrities" by Forbes Magazine. He has been awarded several awards for his humanitarian work.

As a practicing neurosurgeon, Gupta is a member of the American Board of Neurosurgery, the American Association of Neurosurgeons, and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. In 2020, he was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine, considered one of the highest honors in the field.

He is the author of three New York Times best-selling books, Chasing Life, Cheating Death and Monday Mornings. His fourth book, Keep Sharp: Building a Better Brain will be published in 2021.

Marc Hodosh Founder & Co-Host,

Marc Hodosh is Founder and Co-Host of LIFE ITSELF.

Previously, Marc co-created and hosted TEDMED, the health and medical version of the TED Conference. After selling TEDMED he continued to focus on the intersection of health innovations and media, with a particular focus on human aging and longevity.

Prior, Marc led the X PRIZE for Genomics, a $10 million competition to inspire rapid and cost effective genome sequencing technology, which followed the successful $10 million Ansari Space X PRIZE.

He has been a consultant to inventor Dean Kamen at DEKA Research & Development and also chaired Dean's FIRST Robotics competition within the Boston region — a non-profit foundation which inspires high school students to pursue careers in science and technology.

Additionally, Marc founded and sold ID One, specializing in facial recognition technology for the U.S. military and intelligence communities. Earlier he led business development at Viisage Technology, a biometric and secure ID company.

Marc became interested in health and medicine during high school and college, while volunteering as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) with the local ambulance services, as well as through his experiences working in a hospital emergency room. After a year at Boston University Medical School, he decided to pursue business and entrepreneurial endeavors by inventing and patenting consumer products, which were distributed through Bed Bath & Beyond, QVC television, Toys-R-Us, and others.

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Scott Kelly
Commander of International Space Station

Scott Kelly is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. In October 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space, the single longest space mission by an American astronaut. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Alan Lotvin
CVS Caremark

Alan Lotvin, M.D., currently serves as executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Caremark, the company's pharmacy benefits management (PBM) business, which provides coverage to approximately 100 million lives.

Throughout his entire career, Dr. Lotvin has been a champion of making the health care system easier to use, more affordable and convenient – creating products and solutions that keep consumers at the core of their health care. He brings this discipline to the PBM business along with CVS Health's efforts to apply advanced technologies to the treatment of end stage renal disease.

As a cardiologist, Dr. Lotvin brings clinical expertise and practical insights on how to improve health care and accelerate innovation. He is an inventor of a percutaneous device to repair one of the valves in the heart and has a long standing interest in the use of advanced analytics and machine learning in health care, starting with a degree in Medical Informatics from Columbia University.

Dr. Lotvin – also a helicopter pilot – currently resides outside of Boston, MA and is actively involved in his community. He is a passionate and committed advocate for social justice, racial and gender equality and an empowered democracy.

Sekou Andrews
Creator of poetic voice

Sekou Andrews is the Founder/CEO of SekouWorld, Inc., innovator of "poetic voice" and one of the most successful spoken word poets in the world. On any given day, this school-teacher turned artist and entrepreneur, who built a 7-figure company on poetry, can be found keynoting at a Fortune 500 company, inspiring thousands at a concert, or performing for Barack Obama in Oprah's backyard. Sekou is the creator of "poetic voice" – a cutting-edge speaking category that seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry, like "Hamilton" meets "TED". This innovative blend of strategic storytelling, thought leadership, spoken word, theater and comedy humanizes content, making it entertaining, moving and memorable. Sekou's accomplishments include two National Poetry Slam championships, two national poetry tours, two Independent Music Awards, three Helen Hayes Awards, the most "Just Plain Folks" music awards in history, the 2020 ABA "Entrepreneur of the Year" award, and the first "Best Spoken Word Album" Grammy nomination for a poet in 30 years.

It is no surprise that Forbes has called Sekou a "polymath" and "the de facto poet laureate of corporate America." His "wow-factor" is in high demand with the world's most successful organizations, including Google, Viacom, Toyota, Nike, Cisco, Linkedin, Capital One, L'Oreal, Global Green, Paypal, ASAE, The Gap, Paypal, General Mills, the ACLU, and the NBA to name but a few. Sekou's work has also been featured on such diverse national media outlets as ABC World News, CBS, MSNBC, HBO, Good Morning America, Showtime, MTV and BET, and he has given private performances for such prominent individuals as Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones, Larry King, Hillary Clinton, Norman Lear, Sean "Diddy" Combs, and Coretta Scott King. Sekou has also emerged as a powerful voice for health and wellness, routinely evoking tears, cheers, and standing ovations at events for clients such as the Johnson & Johnson, United Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente, TEDMED, Roche, Northwell Health, Genentech, and the American Medical Association.

Doris Taylor
Regenerative Med Scientist

Dr. Taylor is a dynamic innovator, scientist and entrepreneur and a global thought leader in regenerative medicine. She has published over 180 papers, holds over 30 patents, and is the founder of multiple companies. She has trained hundreds of undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate fellows worldwide in her laboratories in the U.S. and Europe. Although she has held academic positions for over 20 years, she recently founded RegenMedix Consulting LLC to enable academic and commercial enterprises in the regenerative medicine space.

Taylor is credited with the first functional scientific repair of injured heart with stem cells in 1998. Her group further transformed the field of organ transplantation science in 2008 by developing a unique cell removal (decellularization) method that makes un-transplantable organs into usable scaffold frameworks for building new organs with stem cells. This was so revolutionary it was recognized as one of the "Top 10 Research Advances" by the American Heart Association and Taylor was nominated as one of "100 most influential people in the world" by Time magazine. Next she turned to disease prevention and has begun to develop "cellular signatures" of heart disease and aging that appear to differ by sex race and ethnicity.

Dr. Taylor frequently appears as an expert on cell therapy, women's health, cardiac repair and organ transplantation in the public media. Her work has been recognized and featured by 60 Minutes, CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Natonal Geographic, BBC Horizon, BBC News Health, ABC, NBC and CBS News, Associated Press, Good Morning America, , the Oprah Winfrey Show, NOVA Science Now, PBS NOVA Transplanting Hope, Discovery Channel's Through the Worm Hole with Morgan Freeman, Science Channel's Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking, NPR's On Being with Krista Tippet and most other worldwide media outlets.

Taylor sits on numerous think tanks and international scientific committees including for the NIH, the FDA, the American Association of Blood Banks, and the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine. She is a member of the Leadership Advisory Committee for the Alliance for Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) and sits on the international jury for the Institut de France LeFoulon-Delalande Foundation Grand Prix which is awarded annually to individuals making worldwide contributions to cardiovascular medicine.

Dr. Taylor earned a B.S. from Mississippi University for Women (MUW) and a Ph.D. from UT Southwestern Medical Center. She is appointed as a Fellow of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and European Society for Cardiology. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by MUW and the national Distinguished Alumnus Award by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. In 2019 she was elected as a Senior member of the National Academy of Inventors and in 2020, was nominated as a fellow to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Her motto is, "Build the Future of Medicine Today."

Christopher Mason
Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Christopher Mason is a Professor of Genomics, Physiology, and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine and the Director of the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction. He also holds appointments at the Tri-I Program on Computational Biology and Medicine (Cornell, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University), Harvard Medical School, and Yale Law School.

The Mason laboratory develops and deploys new biochemical and computational methods in functional genomics to elucidate the genetic basis of human disease and physiology. We create and deploy novel techniques in next-generation sequencing and algorithms for: tumor evolution, genome evolution, DNA and RNA modifications, and genome/epigenome engineering. We also work closely with NIST/FDA to build international standards for these methods (SEQC2, IMMSA, and Epigenomics QC groups), to ensure clinical-quality genome measurements and editing. We also work with NASA to build integrated molecular portraits of genomes, epigenomes, transcriptomes, and metagenomes for astronauts, which help establish the molecular foundations and genetic defenses for enabling long-term human spaceflight.

He has won the NIH's Transformative R01 Award, the NASA Group Achievement Award, the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance Young Investigator award, the Hirschl-Weill-Caulier Career Scientist Award, the Vallee Scholar Award, the CDC Honor Award for Standardization of Clinical Testing, and the WorldQuant Foundation Scholar Award. He was named as one of the "Brilliant Ten" Scientists by Popular Science, featured as a TEDMED speaker, and called "The Genius of Genetics" by 92Y.  He has over 200 peer-reviewed papers and scholarly works that have been featured on the covers of Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Microbiology, and Neuron, as well as legal briefs cited by the U.S. District Court and U.S. Supreme Court. Coverage of his work has also appeared on the covers of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, TIME, The LA Times, and across many media (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, PBS, NASA, NatGeo). He is an inventor on four patents, co-founded five biotechnology start-up companies, and serves as an advisor to many others. He lives with his daughter and wife in Brooklyn, NY.

Dr. Christopher Mason's background and appointments:

  • B.S. in Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2001)
  • B.S. in Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2001)
  • Ph.D. in Genetics, Yale University (2006)
  • Post-doc, Clinical Genetics, Yale Medical School (2009)
  • Fellowship of Genomics, Ethics, and Law, Yale Law School (2009)
  • Assistant Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine (2009)
  • Associate Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine (2015)
  • Director, the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction (2017)
  • Appointments at the Tri-Institutional Program on Computational Biology and Medicine between Cornell, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University, the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, and the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute.
Martine Rothblatt
United Therapeutics
Chairman & CEO
Sirius Satellite Radio

Martine Rothblatt is the Chairman & CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation (UT). She started UT to save her youngest child's life from a rare illness after having previously created SiriusXM satellite radio and other satellite communications systems. She is also responsible for several innovations in aviation and architecture, including holding the Guinness Record for longest flight in an electric helicopter and creating the world's largest zero carbon footprint building. Her company is now saving hundreds of lives a year with medicines for pulmonary hypertension and neuroblastoma, and by manufacturing transplantable lungs out of rejected donor lungs. UT is also in pre-clinical development of manufactured kidneys, hearts and 3D printed autologous lungs to be delivered via autonomously flown electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) systems. Dr. Rothblatt earned her Ph.D. in Medical Ethics from the Royal London College of Medicine and Dentistry after earning JD and MBA degrees from UCLA, which also recently awarded her the UCLA Medal, its highest honor. She is an inventor on several patents and the author of several books, the most recent of which pertain to artificial cognition and cyber-consciousness.

Art Levinson
Founder & CEO

In September 2013, Arthur Levinson was named chief executive officer of Calico, a company focused on health, aging, and well-being.

Levinson joined Genentech in 1980 as a senior scientist, became head of R&D in 1993, and served as chief executive officer of Genentech from 1995 to 2009. Levinson serves as the chairman of the board of Apple, and previously served as a director of Google from 2004 to 2009.

Levinson has authored or co-authored more than 80 scientific articles and has been named an inventor on 11 United States patents. He was inducted into the Biotech Hall of Fame at the 2003 Biotech Meeting of chief executive officers. BusinessWeek named Levinson one of the "Best Managers of the Year" in 2004 and 2005, and Institutional Investor named him "America's Best CEO" in the biotech category four years in a row (2004–2007). In 2006, Princeton University awarded Levinson the James Madison Medal for a distinguished career in scientific research and in biotechnology. In 2008, Levinson was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In 2011 Levinson received the American Association for Cancer Research Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research, and in 2012 he received the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Double Helix Medal. In 2014 he received the Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award from the University of Washington and was honored as a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Obama. The Franklin Institute named Levinson as the recipient of the 2020 Bower Award for Business Leadership, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in an American business or industry while adhering to the highest ethical standards.

Levinson received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington, earned a doctorate in biochemical sciences from Princeton University, and did his postdoctoral work with Mike Bishop and Harold Varmus at UCSF.

Anthony Fauci

Dr. Fauci was appointed director of NIAID in 1984. He oversees an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola and Zika. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies. The NIAID budget for fiscal year 2020 is an estimated $5.9 billion.

Dr. Fauci has advised six presidents on HIV/AIDS and many other domestic and global health issues. He was one of the principal architects of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program that has saved millions of lives throughout the developing world.

Dr. Fauci also is the longtime chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation. He has made many contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of immune-mediated and infectious diseases. He helped pioneer the field of human immunoregulation by making important basic scientific observations that underpin the current understanding of the regulation of the human immune response. In addition, Dr. Fauci is widely recognized for delineating the precise ways that immunosuppressive agents modulate the human immune response. He developed effective therapies for formerly fatal inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases such as polyarteritis nodosa, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Wegener's granulomatosis), and lymphomatoid granulomatosis. A 1985 Stanford University Arthritis Center Survey of the American Rheumatism Association membership ranked Dr. Fauci's work on the treatment of polyarteritis nodosa and granulomatosis with polyangiitis among the most important advances in patient management in rheumatology over the previous 20 years.

Dr. Fauci has made seminal contributions to the understanding of how HIV destroys the body's defenses leading to its susceptibility to deadly infections. Further, he has been instrumental in developing treatments that enable people with HIV to live long and active lives. He continues to devote much of his research to the immunopathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection and the scope of the body's immune responses to HIV.

In a 2020 analysis of Google Scholar citations, Dr. Fauci ranked as the 41st most highly cited researcher of all time. According to the Web of Science, he ranked 8th out of more than 2.2 million authors in the field of immunology by total citation count between 1980 and January 2020.​

Dr. Fauci has delivered major lectures all over the world and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest honor given to a civilian by the President of the United States), the National Medal of Science, the George M. Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians, the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, the Robert Koch Gold Medal, the Prince Mahidol Award, and the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award. He also has received 45 honorary doctoral degrees from universities in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Fauci is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, as well as other professional societies including the American College of Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Association of Immunologists, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He serves on the editorial boards of many scientific journals; as an editor of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine; and as author, coauthor, or editor of more than 1,300 scientific publications, including several textbooks.

Patrice Harris
AMA (American Medical Association)

Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, became the 174th president of the American Medical Association in June 2019, and the organization's first African-American woman to hold this position. Dr. Harris has diverse experience as a private practicing physician, public health administrator, patient advocate and medical society lobbyist.

Dr. Harris currently spearheads the AMA's efforts to end the opioid epidemic and has been chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force since its inception in 2014. During her presidency, Dr. Harris will continue to lead the task force as it works across every state to eliminate barriers to treatment, provide patients with access to affordable, non-opioid pain care, and fight the stigma faced by those with substance use-disorders.

Having served on the AMA Board of Trustees since 2011, and as chair from 2016 to 2017, she has long been a mentor, a role model and an advocate. Prior to serving on the board, Dr. Harris honed her broad knowledge and deep understanding of health care issues through various leadership roles. At the AMA these included having served for many years on the AMA Council on Legislation, including a term as chair, and on multiple AMA task forces on topics such as health information technology, payment and delivery reform, and private contracting. Beyond the AMA she has held positions of leadership with the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, the Medical Association of Georgia, and The Big Cities Health Coalition, where she chaired this forum composed of leaders from America's largest metropolitan health departments.

Growing up in Bluefield, West Virginia, Dr. Harris dreamt of entering medicine at a time when few women of color were encouraged to become physicians. Dr. Harris spent her formative years at West Virginia University, earning a BA in psychology, an MA in counseling psychology and, ultimately, a medical degree in 1992. It was during this time that her passion for helping children emerged, and she completed her psychiatry residency and fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Two themes that govern Dr. Harris's professional life are a passion to improve the lives of children and service

to others. A recognized expert in children's mental health and childhood trauma, Dr. Harris has led efforts on both local and national levels to integrate public health, behavioral health and primary care services with supports for employment, housing and education.

A distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Harris continues in private practice and currently consults with both public and private organizations on health service delivery and emerging trends in practice and health policy. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and an adjunct clinical assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine.

Dean Kamen

Dean Kamen is an inventor, an entrepreneur, and a tireless advocate for science and technology. His roles as inventor and advocate are intertwined—his own passion for technology and its practical uses has driven his personal determination to spread the word about technology's virtues and by so doing to change the culture of the United States.

As an inventor, he holds more than 1000 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. While still a college undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, which rapidly gained acceptance from such diverse medical specialties as oncology, neonatology, and endocrinology. In 1976, he founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to manufacture and market the pumps. Then, working with leading diabetes researchers, Dean pioneered the design and adoption of the first portable insulin pump. It was quickly demonstrated that using a pump could much more effectively control patients' blood glucose levels. . At age 30, he sold AutoSyringe to Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

Following the sale of AutoSyringe, Inc., he founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation to develop internally generated inventions as well as to provide research and development for major corporate clients. Kamen led DEKA's development of the HomeChoiceTM peritoneal dialysis system for Baxter International Inc. The HomeChoiceTM system allows patients to be dialyzed in the privacy and comfort of their home and quickly became the worldwide market leader. Kamen also led the development of technology to improve slide preparation for the CYTYC (now Hologic Inc.) ThinPrep® Pap Test. Kamen-led DEKA teams have also developed critical components of the UVARTM XTSTM System, an extracorporeal photophereisis device marketed by Therakos, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, for treatment of T-Cell lymphoma. An advanced prosthetic arm in development for DARPA should advance the quality of life for returning injured soldiers. Other notable developments include the HydroflexTM surgical irrigation pump for C.R. Bard, the CrownTM stent, an improvement to the original Palmaz-Schatz stent, for Johnson & Johnson, the iBOTTM mobility device, and the Segway® Human Transporter.

Kamen has received many awards for his efforts. Notably, Kamen was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000. Presented by President Clinton, this award was in recognition for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and technology. Kamen was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1997. He was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, as well as many other national and international engineering organizations.

In addition to DEKA, one of Dean's proudest accomplishments is founding both FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and FIRST® Global, organizations dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use and enjoy science and technology.

Kimbal Musk
The Kitchen Restaurant Group, Big Green, Square Roots
Co-Founder & Executive Chairman

Kimbal Musk is chef, restauranteur, and philanthropist. His personal mission is to pursue an America where everyone has access to real food. Mr. Musk has been named a Global Social Entrepreneur by the World Economic Forum. He is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of three businesses - The Kitchen Restaurant Group, Big Green, and Square Roots - with real food missions that are rapidly scaling across the United States.

The Kitchen Restaurant Group -- with its three concepts Next Door, Hedge Row, and The Kitchen -- serves real food at every price point and has created over a thousand mission driven jobs. The restaurants source sustainably grown food from American farmers, stimulating the local farm economy to the tune of millions of dollars a year. Mr. Musk's non-profit organization, Big Green, builds permanent, outdoor Learning Garden classrooms in hundreds of underserved schools across America reaching over 350,000 students everyday. His tech-enabled food company, Square Roots, builds urban farms in climate-controlled shipping containers with the mission to bring real food to people in cities around the world by empowering next-gen farmers.

Mr. Musk is on the board for Tesla and SpaceX. Follow him on Twitter @Kimbal and Instagram @KimbalMusk.

Brian Grazer
Imagine Entertainment

Brian Grazer is an Oscar-winning producer and New York Times bestselling author. His films and television shows have been nominated for forty-three Academy Awards and 195 Emmys. His work includes A Beautiful Mind, 24, Apollo 13, Splash, Arrested Development, Empire, 8 Mile, Friday Night Lights, American Gangster, Splash, Genius, among others. He is the author of the new release Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection and the New York Times bestseller A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life. Grazer was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World and is the cofounder of Imagine Entertainment along with his longtime partner, Ron Howard.

Nicole Shanahan
Bia-Echo Foundation
Founder & President

Nicole Shanahan is a California based attorney and the founder and president of Bia-Echo Foundation, a private foundation that aims to invest in changemakers at the forefront of innovation who are tackling some of the world's greatest challenges: reproductive longevity & equality, criminal justice reform and a healthy & livable planet. Initial investments and projects led by Bia-Echo include, the launch of the world's first Center for Reproductive Longevity and Equality at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and the Stanford Computational Policy Lab to drive social impact on criminal justice reform via data analysis and technical innovation. Prior to launching Bia-Echo, Nicole supported these efforts through the Sergey Brin Family Foundation.

Nicole is also the founder and chair of the Board of ClearAccessIP, an integrated patent management company using AI to help the creators and owners of IP assets effectively develop, manage and transact patent-protected technology. Nicole is a research fellow at CodeX, the Stanford Center of Legal Informatics, a joint center between Stanford Law School and Computer Science, where she launched the Smart Prosecution project, a multi-disciplinary effort applying data science to the prosecutorial process, involving partnerships with district attorneys and community organizations. Apart from the practical applications of legal technology, her academic research centers on an extension of Ronald Coase's work on transaction cost theory. Entitled, "Coasean Mapping" she theorizes on the pace and nature of society's adoption of artificial intelligence for law and government.

Nicole is a graduate of Santa Clara University Law School and the University of Puget Sound. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

Larry Brilliant
Pandefense Advisory
Founder and CEO
Epidemiologist & Philanthropist

Dr. Larry Brilliant is a physician and epidemiologist, CEO of Pandefense Advisory, and Chair of the Advisory Board of the NGO Ending Pandemics. He is also a senior advisor to Jeff Skoll and serves on the board of the Skoll Foundation. Dr. Brilliant was previously the president and CEO of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, vice president of Google, and the founding executive director of He also co-founded the Seva Foundation, an NGO whose programs have given back sight to more than 5 million blind people in two dozen countries. In addition, he co-founded The Well, a progenitor of today's social media platforms. Earlier in his career, Dr. Brilliant was an associate professor of epidemiology and international health planning at the University of Michigan. Dr. Brilliant lived in India for nearly a decade where he was a key member of the successful WHO Smallpox Eradication Programme for SE Asia as well as the WHO Polio Eradication Programme. More recently, he was chairman of the National Biosurveillance Advisory Committee, which was created by presidential directive of President George W. Bush, he was a member of the World Economic Forum's Agenda Council on Catastrophic Risk, and a "First Responder" for CDC's bio-terrorism response effort. Recent awards include the TED Prize, Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People, "International Public Health Hero" and four honorary doctorates. He has lectured at Oxford, Harvard, Berkeley and many other colleges, spoken at the Royal Society, the Pentagon, NIH, the United Nations, and some of the largest companies and nonprofits all over the world. He has written for Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and other magazines and peer reviewed journals and was part of the Global Business Network where he learned scenario planning. Dr. Brilliant is the author of "Sometimes Brilliant" a memoir about working to eradicate smallpox, and a guide to managing vaccination programs entitled "The Management of Smallpox Eradication."

Norman Lear
Legendary Producer
Philanthropist & Activist

Norman Lear is a television and film writer/producer whose dynamic career in Hollywood has encompassed both the Golden Age and Streaming Era. At 98, Norman Lear has no plans to retire.

His production banner, ACT III, has a first look deal with Sony Pictures Television. He serves as executive producer to the critically acclaimed reimagining of One Day At A Time, which was resurrected for a fourth season by PopTV and airing on CBS, Mondays beginning October 5th. He executive produces and co-hosts LIVE In Front of a Studio Audience…, alongside Jimmy Kimmel. The series set record ratings for ABC and won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special for two consecutive years. In addition to the soon to be released feature I Carry You With Me, Lear will also be Executive Producing a reimagining of Good Times – animated --coming to Netflix in 2021.

Lear's social and political activism extend beyond the messaging of his programs and he continues to be a strong advocate for civic duty, and progressive American values.

Born in 1922 in New Haven, Connecticut, Lear attended Emerson College before flying 52 combat missions over Europe during World War II. Upon his return, Norman began a successful career writing and producing programs like The Colgate Comedy Hour, and The Martha Raye Show -- ultimately leading to Lear captivating 120 million viewers per week with his iconic shows of the 1970s and '80s — All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Maude, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

As Lear began witnessing the rise of the radical religious right, he put his television career on hold in 1980 to found People For The American Way. Today, the organization is over one million members and activists strong and continues to fight right-wing extremism while defending constitutional values like free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.

Lear is a 2017 Kennedy Center Honoree; a recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 1999, the Peabody Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016; and a proud member of the inaugural group of inductees to the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984. He has won six Primetime Emmys and a Golden Globe.

Norman Lear is a father to six, a grandfather to four, and the husband of Lyn Davis Lear.

Kizzmekia Corbett
Scientific Lead, Coronavirus Vaccines

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is a research fellow and the scientific lead for the Coronavirus Vaccines & Immunopathogenesis Team at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center. She received a BS in Biological Sciences, with a secondary major in Sociology, in 2008 from the University of Maryland – Baltimore County, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar and a NIH undergraduate scholar. She then enrolled at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from where she obtained her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014. A viral immunologist by training, Dr. Corbett uses her expertise to propel novel vaccine development for pandemic preparedness. Appointed to the VRC in 2014, her work focuses on developing novel coronavirus vaccines, including mRNA-1273, a leading candidate vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19. In response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccine concept incorporated in mRNA-1273 was designed by Dr. Corbett's team from viral sequence and rapidly deployed to industry partner, Moderna, Inc., for FDA-approved Phase 1 clinical trial, which unprecedently began only 66 days from the viral sequence release. Following promising results in animal models and humans, mRNA-1273 is currently in Phase 3 clinical trial. Alongside mRNA-1273, Dr. Corbett's team boasts a portfolio which also includes universal coronavirus vaccine concepts and novel therapeutic antibodies. Additionally, Dr. Corbett spent several years working on a universal influenza vaccine, which is slated for Phase 1 clinical trial. In all, she has fifteen years of expertise studying dengue virus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus, and coronaviruses. Along with her research activities, Dr. Corbett is an active member of the NIH Fellows Committee and avid advocator of STEM education and vaccine awareness in the community. Combining her research goals with her knack for mentoring, Dr. Corbett aims to become an independent principal investigator.

Tom Frieden
Former Director

Dr. Tom Frieden is a national and global leader who has spent his career working to improve health in the United States and around the world. Dr. Frieden is one of the world's top experts in prevention of cardiovascular disease, tobacco control, tuberculosis, and health policy and administration. @DrTomFrieden and

In his career, Dr. Frieden has served as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Commissioner of the New York City Health Department. His work established New York City's tuberculosis control program and overall health department as models for the world, he created effective programs in India, and improved morale, effectiveness, and impact at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Tom Frieden's influential publications have explained what actions are needed to improve health, how to implement them and why they work.

Dr. Tom Frieden is now President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, a $225 million, five-year initiative to prevent epidemics and cardiovascular disease. Resolve to Save Lives was launched in September of 2017 with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and partners countries around the world.

Dr. Tom Frieden is a physician with advanced training in internal medicine, infectious disease, public health, and epidemiology. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Tom Frieden has led and launched numerous initiatives and campaigns, including:

As Director, Dr. Frieden led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) work that ended the Ebola epidemic and launched an initiative that will prevent 500,000 heart attacks and strokes. He sounded the alarm and accelerated progress addressing the epidemic of opioid use, and increased effective action on the front lines to find and fight winnable battles that protect and improve health in the United States and around the world (2009-2017).

As the first Director of International Health Programs of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Dr. Frieden designed and launched the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, a program that has prevented more than 35 million deaths around the world (2006-2009, pro bono).

As Health Commissioner, he led health transformation in New York City, increasing life expectancy by 3 years, preventing more than 100,000 deaths from smoking, and spurring national and global action on, among other areas, better epidemiologic understanding and control of public health problems including HIV, tobacco control, nutrition, as well as the integration of health care and public health. He also reorganized the department to increase financial sustainability and optimize health impact (2002-2009).

Dr. Tom Frieden guided the Indian tuberculosis control program to improve diagnosis and treatment rapidly, creating the largest and most rapidly expanding effective tuberculosis control program in the world that has saved at least 3 million lives (1996-2002).

He led control of the largest outbreak of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis ever to occur in the United States by creating a tuberculosis control program that is a model for the United States and the world. This program emphasized intensive community outreach, clinical excellence, effective integration of health care and public health, ongoing analysis and publication of key epidemiological and program aspects, and rigorous accountability (1990-1996).

Dr. Frieden earned his medical and public health degrees from Columbia University, completed an infectious disease Fellowship at Yale University, and was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at CDC.

Paul Stamets

Paul Stamets, speaker, author, mycologist, medical researcher and entrepreneur, is considered an intellectual and industry leader in fungi: habitat, medicinal use, and production. He lectures extensively to deepen the understanding and respect for the organisms that literally exist under every footstep taken on this path of life.

Paul is the author of six books (including Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms, and Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World), he has discovered and named numerous new species of psilocybin mushrooms. Paul has been awarded more than 40 patents with several patent applications in queue for unexpected beneficial activity of psilocybin analogues stacked with other substances.

He has received numerous awards, including: Invention Ambassador (2014-2015) for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Mycologist Award (2014) from the North American Mycological Association (NAMA), and the Gordon & Tina Wasson Award (2015) from the Mycological Society of America (MSA). His work has entered into the mainstream of popular culture. In the new Star Trek: Discovery series on CBS, the Science Officer is portrayed by an Astromycologist.... a Lt. Paul Stamets. Paul's work with mycelium is a central theme of this series.

Christiana Musk

Christiana Musk is the founder of Flourish*ink, a platform for catalyzing conversations on the future of food and curator of food content for the Near Future Summit.

Previously, Christiana Musk was the Executive Director of Food Choice Taskforce, a focused initiative on sustainable diets and led the food system program for Avatar Alliance Foundation (both founded by filmmaker James Cameron & Suzy Amis Cameron) where she worked to protect the science behind the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Additionally, Christiana Musk worked alongside think tank Chatham House to develop award-winning research Livestock – Climate Change's Forgotten Sector: Global Public Opinion on Meat and Dairy Consumption. Her food policy research at City University of London, which sustainably addresses the demand for animal ­sources foods: A Discourse Analysis of Public Speeches Representing Competing World Views, was awarded the British Farmer's Livery WCF Prize for best dissertation to contribute to food and farming in the UK.

Musk was a co-founder of, an early online social network for people who want to change the world, which was sold to Gaiam, inc. in 2007 and a founding partner of the leading clean energy retail company in the country, Green Mountain Energy, which sold to NRG inc. in 2011. Since 2008, Musk has been an operating partner at Satori Capital and serves on the board of Unreasonable Group, an accelerator for entrepreneurs offering solutions to global challenges. Musk has also been writing about sustainability, clean tech, and food issues for the Huffington Post since 2006, contributes to the World Positive, and Future of Food platforms on Medium and has worked on or advised several documentaries and their social action campaigns, including Leonardo di Caprio's The 11th Hour, as well as Racing Extinction, and Game Changers.

A sought-after public speaker, she has presented to audiences around the world from the United Nations to the Aspen Ideas Festival, the EAT Forum, and Summit Series. Christiana Musk's unique perspective has landed her on the cover of Kiplinger's and inside The New York Times, C Magazine, the Dallas Morning News, and The Herald Tribune, among others.

Christiana lives in Boulder Colorado with food entrepreneur Kimbal Musk, founder of The Kitchen Restaurant Group, urban farm incubator Square Roots, and Big Green—the largest learning garden non-profit in the world. He serves on the boards of SpaceX, and Tesla. They have four delightful children and enjoy cooking and hiking and singing Johnny Cash duets together.

Iya Khalil
Global Head of Artificial Intelligence Innovation Center

Dr. Iya Khalil is a technology entrepreneur and physicist with a vision of transforming medicine and healthcare into a discipline that is quantitative, predictive, and patient-centric via AI and big data. Recognized by President Obama at a White House dinner as a leading entrepreneur in genomic medicine, she has co-founded two AI and machine learning companies: Gene Network Sciences Inc. and GNS Healthcare. Dr. Khalil is the co-inventor of the proprietary AI and machine learning software platform that underpins both entities. Her machine learning and AI expertise spans 20 years with applications in drug discovery, drug development, clinical trial optimization, real world evidence and pharmaceutical commercial applications, and treatment algorithms that can be applied at the point of care. Dr. Khalil has published and presented extensively in AI and machine learning for healthcare, including peer-reviewed journal articles and poster presentations at scientific conferences such as ASCO, AACR, ASH, ISPOR and EASL.

She was directly responsible for accelerating the launch of the GNS' pharmaceutical and precision medicine business, well before machine learning and AI was recognized by pharma as a key strategic need. She excels at commercializing complex and impactful technologies, having launched several successful collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies including Roche, Sanofi, Gilead, Novartis, Pfizer, Celgene with major foundations and providers including MMRF, CHDI, Dana Farber, and Providence Swedish, as well as between pharmaceutical companies and payers to enable value-based reimbursement models.

In 2018, Dr. Khalil was named one of Inc. magazine's list of top female founders. In 2019, she was among Forbes top women-led startups that are "crushing tech" and was profiled as one of the women making artificial intelligence more accessible and less scary. She also was named to the PharmaVOICE 100 list of the most inspiring people in the life sciences industry for her abilities to build bridges across the life science and healthcare industries, bringing people together to harness the power of computational modeling to change the lives of patients. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences including Exponential Medicine, Milken Global Conference, Health 2.0, SXSW, Bio, and TEDX.

Dr. Khalil serves as an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is on the board of the Accelerated Cure Project, the Scientific Advisory Board of Biocentury Innovations, the Advisory Board of the Convergence Forum, and the Board of Advisors of Life Sciences Cares. Recently, she was appointed to the Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) Oversight Council by Governor Baker.

Iya received her PhD and MS in Physics from Cornell University. In her spare time, she loves to advise early startups, spend time with her family and friends, travel, cook Libyan cuisine, and enjoy the outdoors. She is also fluent in Arabic. She is a passionate member of Springboard enterprises, the largest network of innovators, investors and influencers who are dedicated to building high-growth women led technology companies.

David Sinclair
Harvard Medical School
Professor of Genetics

David A. Sinclair, Ph.D. is a New York Times bestselling author and a tenured Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School. He is best known for his work on genes and small molecules that delay aging, including the Sirtuin genes, resveratrol and NAD precursors. He has published over 200 scientific papers, is a co-inventor on over 50 patent and patent applications, and has co-founded a dozen biotechnology companies in the areas of aging, vaccines, diabetes, fertility, cancer, and biodefense. His book Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don't Have To was published in September 2019 by Simon and Schuster. He serves as co-chief editor of the scientific journal Aging, works with national defense agencies and with NASA and has received 35 honors including being one of Australia's leading scientists under 45, the Australian Medical Research Medal, the NIH Director's Pioneer award, TIME magazine's list of the "100 most influential people in the world" (2014) and the "Top 50 people in Healthcare." (2018). In 2018, he became an Officer of the Order of Australia for his work in medicine and national security.

Steffanie Strathdee
Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences
Harold Simon Professor, UCSD Department of Medicine

Dr. Strathdee is an infectious disease epidemiologist who is Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences and Harold Simon Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Diego where she codirects the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH). Strathdee was recently credited with saving her husband's life from a deadly superbug infection using bacteriophages –viruses that attack bacteria. The case, which involved cooperation from three universities, the U.S. Navy and researchers across the globe, shows how phage therapy is a future weapon against multi-drug resistant bacterial infections which are expected to kill 10 million people per year by 2050. Strathdee and Patterson co-authored a book on their story called The Perfect Predator: A Scientist's Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug. For her efforts to revitalize phage therapy in the West, she was named one of TIME magazine's Most Influential People in Health Care in 2018.

Juan Enriquez
Bestselling author, TED All-Star
Excel Venture Management
Managing Director
Author of the global bestseller As the Future Catches You (2000) and of The Untied States of America: Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future (2005). Co-author of Homo Evolutis and Evolving Ourselves, which describe a world where humans increasingly shape their environment, themselves, and other species. MIT/ Penguin will publish RIGHT/ WRONG: How Technology Transforms Ethics in October 2020. Juan is an investor in early stage private companies in the life sciences, brain, and big data sectors, Juan writes, speaks, and teaches about the profound changes that genomics, brain technologies, and other life sciences will cause in business, technology, politics, ethics, and society. He was the founding director of the Harvard Business School Life Sciences Project, is on the Harvard Medical School Advisory Council, and is a Research Affiliate in MIT's Synthetic Neurobiology Group. He is a trustee of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the President's Council of the National Academy as well as the Boston Science Museum and WGBH. He has published papers and articles in a wide variety of forums including The Harvard Business Review, Foreign Policy, Science, Nature, and the New York Times. He earned a BA and MBA from Harvard, with Honors.
Sangeeta Bhatia
Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies

Sangeeta is a biomedical researcher, MIT professor, and biotech entrepreneur who works to adapt technologies developed in the computer industry for medical innovation. Trained as both a physician and engineer at Harvard, MIT, and Brown University, Bhatia leverages 'tiny technologies' of miniaturization to yield inventions such as human microlivers that model human drug metabolism and liver disease, as well as responsive nanoparticles and nanoporous materials that can be engineered to diagnose, study, and treat a variety of diseases, including cancer. She and her trainees have launched multiple biotechnology companies to improve human health. As a prolific inventor and passionate advocate for diversity in science and engineering, Bhatia has received many honors including the Lemelson-MIT Prize, known as the 'Oscar for inventors,' and the Heinz Medal for groundbreaking inventions and advocacy for women in STEM fields. She is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the National Academy of Inventors, the National Academy of Medicine, and Brown University's Board of Trustees.

Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn Foundation
Actress & Founder

Goldie Hawn is an Academy Award winning actress, producer, director, best-selling author and true children's advocate. She is the Founder of The Goldie Hawn Foundation, a public charity with a mission to equip children with the social and emotional skills they need to lead smarter, healthier, happier and ultimately more productive lives.

Alarmed by increases in school violence, youth depression and suicide, and the persistent failure of the education system to help children cope with increasingly stressful lives, Hawn started her Foundation in 2003, applying cutting edge scientific research to create education programs that support the social and emotional development of children. Working with leading neuroscientists, educators, psychologists and researchers, the Foundation developed MindUP™ an evidence-based curriculum and teaching model for grades K-12 that provide tools to help children self-regulate and understand their own emotions, moods and behaviors; reduce stress and anxiety; sharpen concentration; increase empathy; and improve academic performance.

MindUP™ is the signature program of The Goldie Hawn Foundation which is serving over six million children in the US, Canada, UK, Finland, Ireland, Greece, Venezuela, Uganda, Portugal, Serbia, Jordan, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand. The skills and mindfulness practices that are being taught have helped children improve learning and academic performance and learn valuable social and emotional skills that build personal resilience for a lifetime.

Hawn authored two best-selling books, a memoir "A Lotus Grows in the Mud", in 2005 and in 2011, "10 Mindful Minutes", offering guidance on raising healthy, joyful and resilient children. In 2015, Hawn released "10 Mindful Minutes: A Journal", a practical application to her last book, offering prompts and exercises to enhance the reader's daily life through mindfulness practice.

Goldie has lived with her partner Kurt Russell for over 30 years and has four grown children, Oliver and Kate Hudson, Wyatt Russell and stepson Boston Russell. They have also been blessed with six grandchildren. Hawn believes "children light the path to joy" and dedicated much of her life's work to creating innovative solutions to help children thrive.

Geoff Martha
Chairman & CEO

Geoff Martha is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Medtronic, the world's leading medical technology company, with $29 billion in annual revenue, more than 90,000 employees, and operations reaching more than 150 countries worldwide. Medtronic offers technologies and solutions to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including cardiac and vascular diseases, respiratory, neurological and spinal conditions, diabetes, and more.

Geoff assumed the role of CEO on April 27, 2020 and became Chairman of the Board on December 11, 2020. Prior to his role as Chairman and CEO, he served as President of Medtronic from November 2019 through April 2020, leading Medtronic's operating groups and regions, and served as a member of the Board of Directors beginning in November 2019.

Previously, Geoff served as Executive Vice President and President of Medtronic's Restorative Therapies Group (RTG). In that position, Geoff had global responsibility for RTG's four divisions, including Brain Therapies, Pain Therapies, Specialty Therapies, and Spine.

Prior to leading RTG, Geoff was Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Medtronic and was responsible for leading the development of Medtronic's global strategic plan, business development and acquisition-integration.

As head of Strategy and Business Development, Geoff led the acquisition of Covidien, a $10 billion global manufacturer of surgical products and supplies. The acquisition of Covidien was the largest medical technology acquisition in the history of the industry. In July 2014, he was named Chief Integration Officer to lead the integration of Covidien into Medtronic.

An ardent supporter of Medtronic-sponsored philanthropic and diversity initiatives, Geoff is a member of the Medtronic Foundation Board of Directors and serves as Medtronic's Executive Sponsor to FIRST Robotics. He also led the Medtronic African Descent Network ― an internal resource group that focuses on recruitment, engagement, retention and development for employees of African descent.

Prior to joining Medtronic, Geoff served as Managing Director of Business Development at GE Healthcare, where he was responsible for global business development, including acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and equity investments. In his 19-year career with GE, which included significant time with GE Capital, Geoff held several executive roles in business leadership, corporate development, strategic marketing, and sales management.

Passionate about socio-economic issues, Geoff serves on the boards of two Minneapolis-based nonprofit organizations: Children's HeartLink and Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ). Children's HeartLink provides access to care for children around the world with congenital heart defects. NAZ is a community collaborative that works to end generational poverty and build a culture of achievement in North Minneapolis so low-income children of color graduate college and are career-ready.

Geoff received a bachelor's degree in Finance as a member of the Scholar's Program from Pennsylvania State University. He graduated in 1992 with highest honors. Geoff was captain of the Penn State men's hockey team and was inducted into its Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998. The University awarded him the 2016 Penn State Hockey Distinguished Alumni Award. He is also a member of Penn State's College of Liberal Arts Development Council.

Riccardo Sabatini
Orionis Biosciences
Chief Data Scientist

Riccardo Sabatini is a world renown scientist and entrepreneur specialized in numerical modeling of complex system, ranging from material science, financial markets, computational genomics and drug design.

Active supporter of high impact projects, he's co-founder of the Refugees Action HUB center at MIT, educational effort of MIT targeting displaced population around the world; board member of the Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei; member of the advisory board at ENI Next, deep-tech venture fund based in Boston; expert member of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, OECD multistakeholder initiative to guide the responsible development and use of AI; angel investor and BoA of leading startups working in AI.

In the past he's been chairman of the I7/G7 for artificial intelligence; founding member of Aiida and Quantum ESPRESSO, the largest open source suite for quantum modeling of materials; lead research scientist for Human Longevity, Silicon Valley unicorn working at the intersection of genomics and artificial intelligence.

Speaker at international events and conferences, including TED and WEF. Author in top ranking scientific journals, consultant for Fortune500 companies, inventor of several patents in biotech and IT, angel investor and board member for some groundbreaking startups in the field of artificial intelligence.

Today he's working on breakthrough approaches to programmable biology with a stellar team of likeminded scientist at Orionis Biosciences.

Mary Lou Jepsen
CEO & Founder

Dr. Jepsen is the CEO and Founder of Openwater, a company creating MRI-quality medical imaging at 1000x lower price.

Previously she was an engineering executive at Facebook, Oculus, Google, and Intel. She has designed and shipped billions of dollars worth of consumer electronics at the edge of what physics allows.

She has also founded four startups, including One Laptop per Child where she was CTO, chief architect, and delivered to mass production the $100 laptop. She was a professor at MIT and is an inventor of over 250 published or issued patents.

She has been recognized with many awards including TIME magazine's "Time 100" as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, as a CNN top 10 thinker, and in the Forbes 2018 inaugural listing of the Top 50 Women in Tech.   

Rudy Tanzi
Mass General Hospital
Vice Chair, Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Professor of Neurology

Dr. Rudolph Tanzi is the Vice-Chair of Neurology, Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, Co-Director of the Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health, and Co-Director of the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also serves as the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tanzi received his B.S. (microbiology) and B.A. (history) at the University of Rochester in 1980 and his Ph.D. (neurobiology) at Harvard Medical School in 1990.

Dr. Tanzi discovered the first Alzheimer's disease (AD) gene, the amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene, and co-discovered the two other early-onset familial AD genes, presenilin 1 and 2. As leader of the Cure Alzheimer's Fund Alzheimer's Genome Project, Dr. Tanzi identified several other AD genes, including ADAM10 and CD33, the first AD gene shown to regulate neuroinflammation. He also discovered the Wilson's disease gene and contributed to the discovery of several other neurological disease genes.

Dr. Tanzi's team was the first to use human stem cells to create three-dimensional cell culture organoids of AD, dubbed "Alzheimer's-in-a-Dish". This model was the first to recapitulate all three key AD pathological hallmarks in vitro, and first to definitively show that amyloid plaques directly cause neurofibrillary tangles. The 3-D model also made drug screening for AD faster and more cost-effective. Using this system, Dr. Tanzi has developed several novel therapies for AD including gamma secretase modulators targeting amyloid pathology, ALZT-OP1 targeting neuroinflammation and a neuroprotective drug combination, AMX0035, which was successful in a clinical trial of ALS. Dr. Tanzi also discovered that beta-amyloid plays a functional role in the brain as an anti-microbial peptide, supporting a role for infection in AD pathology.

Dr. Tanzi serves as Chair of the Cure Alzheimer's Fund Research Leadership Group and numerous advisory and editorial boards, He has published roughly 600 research papers and has received the highest awards in his field, including the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award, Potamkin Prize, Ronald Reagan Award, Silver Innovator Award, the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, and the Brain Research Foundation Award. In 2015, he was named to TIME magazine's list of TIME100 Most Influential People in the World. He co-authored the books Decoding Darkness, and the three international bestsellers, Super Brain, Super Genes, and The Healing Self, with Dr. Deepak Chopra. Dr. Tanzi has hosted three shows public television, regularly appears on television news programs, has testified to Congress on both Alzheimer's disease and brain health, and on occasion serves as a studio keyboard player for Aerosmith, and other musicians.

David Liu
Harvard & MIT
Professor & Scientist

David R. Liu is the Richard Merkin Professor and director of the Merkin Institute of Transformative Technologies in Healthcare, vice chair of the faculty at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences at Harvard University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator. Liu's research integrates chemistry and evolution to illuminate biology and enable next-generation therapeutics. His major research interests include the engineering, evolution, and in vivo delivery of genome editing proteins such as base editors to study and treat genetic diseases; the evolution of proteins with novel therapeutic potential using phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE); and the discovery of bioactive synthetic small molecules and synthetic polymers using DNA-templated organic synthesis and DNA-encoded libraries. Base editing (a Science 2017 Breakthrough of the Year finalist), prime editing, PACE, and DNA-templated synthesis are four examples of technologies pioneered in his laboratory.

Liu graduated first in his class at Harvard College in 1994. During his doctoral research at UC Berkeley, Liu initiated the first general effort to expand the genetic code in living cells. He earned his PhD in 1999 and became assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University in the same year. He was promoted to associate professor in 2003 and to full professor in 2005. Liu became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator in 2005 and joined the JASONs, academic science advisors to the U.S. government, in 2009.

Liu has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has earned several University-wide distinctions for teaching at Harvard, including the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, the Roslyn Abramson Award, and a Harvard College Professorship. Liu has published more than 200 papers and is the inventor on more than 75 issued U.S. patents. His research accomplishments have earned distinctions including the Ronald Breslow Award for Biomimetic Chemistry, the American Chemical Society David Perlman Award, ACS Chemical Biology Award, the American Chemical Society Pure Chemistry Award, the Arthur Cope Young Scholar Award, the NIH Marshall Nirenberg Lecturer, and awards from the Sloan Foundation, Beckman Foundation, NSF CAREER Program, and Searle Scholars Program. In 2016 and 2019 he was named one of the Top 20 Translational Researchers in the world by Nature Biotechnology, and was named one of Nature's 10 researchers in world and to the Foreign Policy Leading Global Thinkers in 2017. He is the scientific founder or co-founder of several biotechnology and therapeutics companies, including Beam Therapeutics, Prime Medicine, Editas Medicine, Pairwise Plants, Exo Therapeutics, and Chroma Medicine.

D.A. Wallach
Time BioVentures
Musician & Investor

D.A. Wallach is a venture capital investor and an acclaimed recording artist who Fast Company named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. While an undergraduate at Harvard, D.A. studied with professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and received the Andrew Ramroop and Alain Locke prizes as the top graduate in his department. Prior to leaving school, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams discovered D.A.'s band Chester French, and Williams signed the group to Interscope Records, where they released two full-length albums. He has toured with Lady Gaga, Weezer, and Blink 182, performed on TV Shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and appeared in Rolling Stone and Vogue.

In 2011, D.A. stopped touring in order to focus on his other passion, investing. He has since built a parallel career as a venture capitalist, backing a series of industry-defining technology companies including Spotify, SpaceX, Ripple, The Boring Company, and Memphis Meats. Since 2015, D.A. has focused on biotechnology and healthcare, seeking to reinvent medicine through breakthrough start-ups like Beam, Glympse, Doctor on Demand, Devoted Health, and Neuralink. As co-founder and General Partner of Time BioVentures, he brings this experience to a new generation of talented entrepreneurs in the life sciences.

Outside of work, D.A. appeared as an actor in the film La La Land, which received 14 Academy Award nominations. He publishes essays on a range of topics on his website, and is the co-founder of the non-profit Franca Fund for preventive genomics and an advisory board member of No Patient Left Behind.

Rochelle Walensky

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, is the 19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ninth Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is an influential scholar whose pioneering research has helped advance the national and global response to HIV/AIDS. Dr. Walensky is also a well-respected expert on the value of testing and treatment of deadly viruses.

Dr. Walensky served as Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2017-2020 and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2012-2020. She served on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted research on vaccine delivery and strategies to reach underserved communities.

Dr. Walensky is recognized internationally for her work to improve HIV screening and care in South Africa and nationally recognized for motivating health policy and informing clinical trial design and evaluation in a variety of settings.

She is a past Chair of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health, Chair-elect of the HIV Medical Association, and previously served as an advisor to both the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

Originally from Maryland, Dr. Walensky received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, her Doctor of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Penn Jillette
Penn & Teller

PENN JILLETTE is a cultural phenomenon as a solo personality and as half of the world-famous Emmy Award-winning magic duo and Las Vegas headliners Penn & Teller.

Together since 1975, Penn & Teller's live show spent years on Broadway and is now the longest-running headliner show in Las Vegas where it plays nightly at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The pair has been awarded Las Vegas Magicians of the Year an amazing eights times.

His solo exposure is enormous: from Howard Stern to Wendy Williams, from Oprah to Colbert, to the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. He has appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice, Dancing with the Stars, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, and hosted the NBC game show Identity. As part of Penn & Teller he has appeared on hundreds of shows, from The Simpsons and Friends to Billions and Modern Family. He recently co-wrote an episode of the Emmy-winning Netflix series Black Mirror.

He cohosted the controversial Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullshit! which was nominated for thirteen Emmy Awards, won him a Writers Guild award and was the longest-running show in the history of the network. He currently co-hosts the CW Network hit competition series Penn & Teller: Fool Us! which was nominated for a 2017 Critics' Choice award. The series returned for a seventh season in January 2021.

In 2020 he co-wrote the smash West End comedy Magic Goes Wrong, along with Teller and Mischief Theatre, which was nominated for an Olivier for Best Comedy Play.

Penn's latest book, the New York Times Best Seller, "Presto!" takes an insightful and very humorous look at his recent weight loss and wellness journey. His previous book, "God No! Signs You Might Be An Atheist and Other Magic Tales," spent six weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

His weekly podcast, Penn's Sunday School, was the No. 1 downloaded podcast on iTunes during its debut week and was named by iTunes as Best New Comedy Podcast.

On the big screen, Penn produced the critically lauded 2005 documentary The Aristocrats, which features over 100 of the biggest names in comedy telling their versions of the dirtiest joke in history. He produced Tim's Vermeer, which follows the journey of an eccentric inventor determined to solve one of the art world's oldest mysteries. The Sony Pictures Classis release was nominated for a BAFTA and was shortlisted for the 2014 Oscars. He has recently completed the documentary The Gambler's Ballad profiling magic legend Johnny Thompson. It premiered on Showtime in early 2018.

As a philanthropist, his efforts have resulted in raising millions of dollars for Las Vegas-based charities AFAN (Aid for AIDS NV) and Opportunity Village. The annual "Penn & Teller's 13 Bloody Days of Xmas" continues to be the most successful blood drive in the Las Vegas Valley, resulting in an average of 4000 pints donated every holiday season.

Penn & Teller have their very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and triumphantly returned to Broadway recently with Penn & Teller On Broadway, which was the highest-grossing non-musical for the entirety of its run.

John Sculley
Pepsi-Cola & Apple
Former CEO

John Sculley is the former Pepsi-Cola Co CEO during which time Pepsi became the largest selling consumer packaged group product in America. Later recruited to Apple by Steve Jobs to become Apple CEO, a position he held for 10 years. When Sculley left Apple revenues had grown over 1000 percent and Apple was the largest selling PC product in the world. Post Apple, John Sculley became an investor & mentor to many transformational entrepreneur CEOs. MetroPCS, one of the first digital wireless services, Intralinks, the first B2B Internet data services. Zeta Global, now one of the largest AI personalized marketing platforms.

Ten years ago, Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet, said to John, "As we get older people like us should reinvent ourselves." As I thought about the idea of reinventing myself, I was reminded of a moment back in early 1983 when I was with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates late one evening in the Macintosh engineering lab. Steve and Bill were talking about how they were going to change the world one person at a time. Bill had invented shrink wrap software and Steve had his dream for the Macintosh that he called a "bicycle for the mind", a personal computer designed for non-technical people and easy to use and be able to do amazing creative tasks. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates called their dreams a "Noble Cause" for the future of civilization.

Remembering this story decades later led me to choosing my "Noble Cause", to help adapt the next generation of digital technologies- e.g. cloud platforms, automation, sensors, AI data, and virtual telehealth to help new generations of entrepreneurs build amazing digital health companies that will change the world of health and wellness.

Some of the companies I have been involved in as either a mentor or investor: Rally Health, became one of the most successful consumer preventive care & wellness services. Misfit Wearables became one of the first successful wearables with built in tracking sensors for fitness. RxAdvance, became the first AI robotic process automation platform designed to revolutionize the pharmacy services industry. Zedsen, a revolutionary non-invasive blood glucose monitor for diabetics. This same non-invasive electric field technology also works for early detection of cancerous tumors. Celularity has become a next generation bio-tech cell therapy company that is also a major innovator with COVID-19 patient treatment therapies. On Demand Pharma, is a US based manufacturer of generic prescription drugs using innovative pharmacology to create the first US based company to manufacture generic prescription drugs using US sourced active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Brown University undergraduate. Wharton MBA. Ellis Island Medal of Honor 12 honorary PhD's. Frequent CNBC TV guest. Well known lecturer around the world at major universities and other venues, Co-founder with the original Sesame Street creative team along with WGBH in Boston of 'Between-the-Lions' which produced 90 television programs designed to teach young children how to read. These television shows have been running on PBS for over 20 years.

John Sculley and his wife Diane Sculley, a general contractor, computer scientist and mathematician work together as managing partners at their family office, Sculley Advisors, and their Sculley Family Foundation.


Tickets are $4,000 and available on a first-come, first-serve basis (full refund policy below).

All registrations are reviewed to curate an audience of thinkers, leaders, inventors and entrepreneurs — from technology, research, entertainment, government and business — colliding to advance human health & happiness. We aim for this to be a meaningful and impactful gathering. If you share our goals, we welcome you to be a part of LIFE ITSELF.

Learn about vaccination requirements.

* Full refund available until August 1st, 2021 (minus $150 credit card fee), to alleviate any concerns from the pandemic. Discounted rooms at the iconic Hotel Del Coronado start at $299 (link provided upon registration confirmation). Your credit card will only be charged once your registration is approved, usually within 48 hours. Register now to reserve a seat, we expect this event to sell out.



Your credit card will only be charged once your registration is approved.
*Full refund available until June 1st, 2021 (minus $150 credit card fee), to alleviate any concerns from the pandemic.
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September 28th - October 1st, 2021
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LIFE ITSELF is the most prominent, post-covid gathering focused on health & medicine. We remain optimistic on our timing and ability to hold this in-person gathering at the end of September. We particularly trust the guidance of a number of our speakers, including CDC Director Rochelle Walensky and President Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor, Anthony Fauci — whom have announced LIFE ITSELF as their first major in-person event.

Vaccine Requirements: LIFE ITSELF requires all attendees to be vaccinated for Covid-19, by showing your vaccination card at the event or prior to arrival. If you're unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, or if you've recovered from Covid-19 prior to the event and have not been further vaccinated, please contact us at for pre-approval. We may allow a very small & limited number of unvaccinated individuals, but only if societal cases have dropped to low levels and on a case by case basis. We want to ensure that nearly everyone is vaccinated, so that everyone can interact safely and comfortably without concern.

Full Refund policy: In order to alleviate any concerns surrounding the pandemic, LIFE ITSELF will allow full refunds until August 1st (minus $150 credit card processing fee). Tickets are selling fast and we encourage anyone interested in attending to register now to reserve your seat. We understand some corporations have not yet authorized travel, so we hope this allows you to secure a seat and decide later based on your corporate policy. All registrations are reviewed to curate a diverse and amazing audience.

We are confident this will be a meaningful & impactful event. We hope these policies help you feel comfortable to register now and secure your seat, so you don’t miss out on LIFE ITSELF!

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