Keynote Speakers

Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, MBA


 Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Virginia M.-Y. Lee is the John H. Ware 3rd Professor in Alzheimer’s Research in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.  She studied music at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1962-1964), obtained an MS in Biochemistry from the University of London (1968), and received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of California at San Francisco in 1973. Dr. Lee did postdoctoral studies in pharmacology at the Rudolf Magnus Institute at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands (1973-1974) and in experimental neuropathology at Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston (1974-1979) 

after which she became Associate Senior Research Investigator at Smith-Kline & French, Inc. in Philadelphia from 1979-1980. She joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 where she rose to the rank of Professor in 1989.  Dr. Lee completed the Executive MBA program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1982-1984), and obtained her MBA degree in 1984. 


Currently, she is Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and Co-director of the Marian S. Ware Alzheimer Drug Discovery Program at Penn. Dr. Lee recieved the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease (1991,1996), the Potamkin Prize for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease (1998), the Bristol-Myers Squibb Biomedical Research Grant in Neuroscience Research (2003),  the 24th Annual Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Award in Neuropsychiatry Research (2012), the John Scott Award (2012) and the 2014 J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine, Molecular Basis of Neurological Disorders from the Robarts Institute, London, Ontario, Canada. She was a member of the National Advisory Council on Aging (NIA) and the NIA Board of Scientific Counselors and was elected to the Institute of Medicine (2006) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2013).  


Dr. Lee’s research focuses on proteins that form pathological inclusions in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related neurodegenerative disorders. Her work demonstrated that tau, alpha-synuclein and TDP-43 proteins form unique inclusions in neurodegenerative diseases and that aggregation of these proteins is a common mechanistic theme in AD, PD, FTLD, ALS and related disorders.  Significantly, Dr. Lee’s studies implicated the abnormal aggregation of tau, alpha-synuclein and TDP-43 in mechanisms that compromise neuronal viability. Major accomplishments include discovery of tau, alpha-synuclein and TDP-43 as the diseases proteins in AD, PD and ALS/FTD, respectively, elucidating the roles of these proteins in neurodegeneration, pursuing pathological tau as a target for AD and FTD drug discovery, and how the transmission of pathological tau and alpha-synuclein explains the progression of AD and PD. Most importantly, this research has opened up new avenues of research to identify targets for drug discovery to develop better treatments for these disorders. Because of the broad impact of her research, Dr. Lee’s h-index is 158 and she is listed among the 10 most highly cited AD researchers from 1985-2008 (JAD, 16:451-465, 2009) as well as among the top 400 most highly influential biomedical researchers from 1996-2011 (Eur J Clin Invest, 43:1339-1365, 2014). ISI has recognized Dr. Lee as an ISI Highly Cited Researcher which places her in the top 10 most highly cited neuroscientists from 1997 to 2007 (

Marissa Rosenberg, PhD



NASA Johnson Space Center

Marissa Rosenberg, Ph.D. is a Neurophysiologist at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. She has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from  Leiden University in the Netherlands and a M.Sc. in Space Physiology & Health from King’s College London in the UK. Dr. Rosenberg studies astronauts balance and coordination immediately after they return from the International Space Station and tracks their recovery. She also uses virtual reality to simulate these negative effects of spaceflight with the intention of using it as an astronaut training tool to increase astronaut safety on future missions to the Moon and Mars.

Faculty Presenters

Daniel I. Simon, MD


Chief Clinical & Scientific Officer, University Hospitals Health System 

President, UH Cleveland Medical Center 

Dan Simon is Chief Clinical & Scientific Officer for the University Hospitals Health System (UH) and the President of UH Cleveland Medical Center. He is also Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve 

University School of Medicine, affiliated with UH. 


UH serves the needs of over 1.2 million patients through an integrated network of 18 hospitals, over 50 health centers and outpatient facilities and more than 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio.  


As Chief Clinical & Scientific Officer, Dr. Simon leads UH’s 14 clinical care delivery institutes and manages all UH clinical department chairs.  He is also charged with shaping a new approach to UH’s academic mission in a changing and challenging environment for academic medical centers nationally. Additionally, Dr. Simon oversees the region’s only  freestanding cancer hospital: UH Seidman Cancer Center; the internationally renowned UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital; and Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals -- part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. 


As President of UH Cleveland Medical Center, Dr. Simon is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating clinical and safety standards and practice for the academic medical center. Additionally, he provides oversight for the full spectrum of research activities spanning basic/translational research to clinical and population research as well as graduate medical education, continuing medical education, undergraduate medical education and community education.  


Dr. Simon joined UH in 2006 as Division Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at UH Cleveland Medical Center and as Director of the UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. In 2016, he was promoted to President of UH Cleveland Medical Center and in 2018, he became Chief Academic Officer for the entire health system and assumed leadership for all UH community hospitals. Dr. Simon is an active interventional cardiologist and continues to play a leading role in national and international clinical trials investigating new devices, antithrombotic drugs, and regenerative medicine therapies.   


Prior to UH, Dr. Simon served as Associate Director of Interventional Cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and was an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. 


A recipient of numerous research awards, Dr. Simon was elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of University Cardiologists, and the Association of American Physicians.  He is a recipient of the prestigious MERIT Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the 2016 Distinguished Scientist Award from the American College of Cardiology.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions. 


He has published extensively in peer-reviewed basic science and clinical journals.  Dr. Simon has served on the Editorial Boards of Circulation and Journal American College Cardiology and was recently appointed to the Editorial Board of JAMA Cardiology.   


He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College.  After earning his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, he completed his internal medicine residency and cardiovascular medicine fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and interventional cardiology training at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School.   


Dr. Simon is the Co-Founder of Sujana Biotech, a start-up biotechnology company developing novel monoclonal antibodies for a range of inflammatory and vascular disorders.  The company’s lead product is in the early preclinical phase of development.  


Dr. Simon serves on the Board of Directors of Playhouse Square and University Circle Inc. 

Mukesh K. Jain, MD, FAHA

Ellery Sedgwick Jr. Chair & Distinguished Scientist

Chief Academic Officer, University Hospitals Health System

Chief Scientific Officer, Harrington Discovery Institute

Vice Dean for UH Hospital Affairs, Case Western Reserve University

Visiting Professor, University of Oxford, UK

Dr. Jain is widely recognized for pioneering studies establishing KLF proteins as nodal regulators of metabolism, immunity, and aging. He has translated this work from animals to humans and established KLFs as key pharmacologic targets for therapeutic gain. His work has been published in top-tier peer-reviewed journals and he has been continuously supported for 17 years through funding from the National Institutes of Health

(including the Outstanding Investigator Award), American Heart Association (including the Established Investigator Award), the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, Leducq Foundation, and diverse philanthropic organizations.


Dr. Jain is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI, 2005), American Association of Physicians (AAP, 2009), and National Academy of Medicine (NAM, 2016). He is also recipient of numerous honors including the American Heart Association’s Honorary Russell Ross Memorial Lectureship in Vascular Biology (2012), the North American Vascular Biology Organization’s Judah Folkman Award in Vascular Biology (2015), and the SUNY Buffalo Distinguished Alumnus Award (2016). Dr. Jain is past President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, one of the oldest honorific physician societies in the country. He is a gifted mentor with mentorship awards from Harvard Medical School and University Hospitals/Case Western Reserve University. 

Visit the Jain Lab for more information.

Paul Tesar, PhD



The Dr. Donald and Ruth Weber Goodman Professor of Innovative Therapeutics

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences

Paul Tesar was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and received his undergraduate degree in biology from Case Western Reserve University. Paul went on to earn his DPhil (PhD) from the University of Oxford as a recipient of a prestigious scholarship from the National Institutes of Health. 

His graduate studies, under the tutelage of Professor Sir Richard Gardner and Dr. Ron McKay, provided a paradigm shift on how we understand and utilize stem cells for research and medicine. This work culminated in

a landmark paper in Nature describing the discovery of a new type of pluripotent stem cell, epiblast stem cells.

This work stands among the most recognized in all of stem cell biology and earned Paul some of the highest graduate student accolades, including the Beddington Medal from the British Society for Developmental Biology and the Harold M. Weintraub Award from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Paul returned home to join the CWRU School of Medicine faculty in 2010 as a Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation Scholar. Paul is currently a Professor and the Dr. Donald and Ruth Weber Goodman Professor of Innovative Therapeutics at CWRU School of Medicine in the Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences. His laboratory has pioneered new regenerative approaches to treat myelin disorders of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, pediatric leukodystrophies, cerebral palsy, and brain cancer.

Paul’s scientific achievements have been recognized with a number of prestigious awards including being named a Robertson Investigator of the New York Stem Cell Foundation in 2011. One of only four international awardees, the honor recognizes and supports scientists leading their generation in stem cell research. 

Additionally, Paul received the International Society for Stem Cell Research Outstanding Young Investigator Award in 2015, the New York Stem Foundation – Robertson Stem Cell Prize in 2017, and the Diekhoff Award for Graduate Student Mentoring in 2018. In 2019, Paul was recognized as one of Crain’s Cleveland Business’ “Forty Under 40” and named a “HomeGrown Hero” in Academic Research by Plain Dealer. Paul also co-founded a Cleveland-based biotechnology company, Convelo Therapeutics, now partnered with Genentech, to advance new therapies from the laboratory into clinical testing to better the lives of patients and their families.

Visit the Tesar Lab for more information.

Andrew Pieper, MD, PhD

Professor and Morley-Mather Chair in Neuropsychiatry

UH Cleveland Medical Center

Investigator, Harrington Discovery Institute

Psychiatrist, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

Dr. Andrew Pieper has focused his laboratory on studying the underlying molecular processes of neurodegeneration and neuropsychiatric disease, with the ultimate goal of developing new treatments for patients. He is also Morley-Mather Chair of Neuropsychiatry and Director of the Neurotherapeutics Center of the Harrington Discovery Institute of University Hospitals of Cleveland, as well as a member of the Geriatric Research Center at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center of Cleveland. At the VA, Dr. Pieper has a weekly

outpatient clinic in the Psychiatry Department that complements his focus on cognitive and mental health aspects of neurodegenerative disease and brain injury. He also serves as Professor of Neuroscience at Case Western Reserve University, and is Director of the Case Western Reserve University Translational Therapeutics Core for the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. 

Dr. Pieper grew up in Evansville, Indiana, and graduated in 1992 from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. He earned his MD and PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, graduating in 2001. He conducted his PhD thesis work in Neuroscience under the mentorship of Sol Snyder, and conducted his Medicine Internship and Psychiatry Residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Pieper has received numerous honors and awards, including induction into the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He holds over 2 dozen issued patents for his work.

Visit the Pieper Lab for more information. 

Aasef G. Shaikh, MD, PhD

Penni and Stephen Weinberg Chair in Brain Health

Neurological Institute University Hospitals

Associate Professor Department of Neurology

Case Western Reserve University

Aasef Shaikh, MD is the Penni and Stephen Weinberg Chair in Brain Health at The University Hospitals in Cleveland. His academic work focuses on approaching the complex disorders of the vestibular system, eye movements, head movements, gait, and balance with biomedical engineering concepts. The overarching goal is to discover the novel network connections and leverage their influence to modulate the motor circuits artificially to treat intractable neurological conditions. Dr. Shaikh had received the prestigious American Academy of

Neurology (AAN) Alliance Founders Award, The American Neurological Association Grass Foundation Award in Neuroscience, The AAN Career Award, Jon Stolk Award for Excellence in Movement Disorders from the AAN, and George C. Cotzias Memorial Fellowship by The American Parkinson's Disease Association. 

Martha Sajatovic, MD


Professor of Psychiatry

Willard Brown Chair in Neurological Outcomes

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Dr. Sajatovic is a Professor of Psychiatry and of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.  She is a researcher, educator, and clinician who has devoted herself to the study and treatment of traditionally hard-to treat populations with psychiatric and neurological disorders.  Dr. Sajatovic holds the Willard Brown Chair in Neurological Outcomes at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (UHCMC) /Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the Rocco L. Motto Professorship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. She is board-certified in Behavioral Neurology/Neuropsychiatry.


Dr. Sajatovic’s research interests have focused on the assessment and treatment of chronic mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as well as neuropsychiatric aspects of neurological disorders such as dementia and epilepsy.  She has been the recipient of multiple research grants including support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), a variety of Mental Health/Private Foundations, and Industry Sponsored clinical trials.  


Dr. Sajatovic has been a guest lecturer at numerous academic and community settings, including speaking to consumer and family advocacy groups.  She has a strong track-record of teaching and mentorship and was recognized with the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 2013 and a university faculty mentorship award in 2016.  She has authored or co-authored 300 peer-reviewed publications and over 40 book chapters or books on psychiatric and neuropsychiatric topics.  Dr. Sajatovic has been a recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award bestowed by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), was a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) Gerald Klerman Investigator Award winner in 2006 and in 2016 and was awarded the Rebecca Goldberg Kaufman American Epilepsy Society (AES) Clinical Award in Ethical Neuropsychiatry in 2018. 

Brian D. Rothstein, MD

Director of Pediatric Skull Base and Neuro-oncologic Surgery

Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital

Director of Neurosurgical Innovation, Department of Neurosurgery

UH Cleveland Medical Center

Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Brian D Rothstein, MD is the Director of Pediatric Skull Base and Neuro-oncologic Surgery at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and the Director of Neurosurgical Innovation for the Department of Neurosurgery at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. He is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Case Western

Reserve University School of Medicine and is the Inaugural Clinical Ventures Fellow for UH Ventures where he serves as the chief clinical advisor supporting their platform. Brian attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL where he received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Marketing and worked in the Sports Marketing and Marketing Consulting industry before attending Medical School at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine for his MD. He also obtained a Master’s of Science in Applied Anatomy while attending Medical School. Brian completed his Neurosurgery residency at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and a fellowship in Pediatric Neurosurgery at The Ann and Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.


Brian’s clinical interest include Pediatric Neurosurgical Oncology, Skull base surgery, and neuro trauma. He works closely with the University Hospitals Concussion program, and serves as an Independent Neuro Consultant for the NFL. Academically he has research interests in neuro oncology and player safety in high school contact sports. Outside of work, Brian enjoys spending his free time with his wife and two young children. 

Warren Selman was born in Toledo, Ohio to Dr. Morris William and Helen (Big H) Marilyn Selman. Dr. Selman attended the University of Toledo where he graduated summa cum laude in 1973. He then attended Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha and graduated in 1977.  After finishing his surgical internship, he became the Dudley P Allen Research Fellow, and completed two years of research on focal cerebral ischemia under the direction of Dr. Robert

Spetzler at University Hospitals in Cleveland. He obtained his neurosurgical residency training at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland, under the leadership of Dr. Frank Nulsen and then Dr. Robert Ratcheson. Prior to the completion of residency, he received specialty training in transsphenoidal surgery at the Mayo Clinic from Dr. Edward Laws.

In 1984, Dr. Selman was appointed to the staff of University Hospitals Cleveland as Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery. In 1990, he was promoted to Associate Professor. He was named Director of the Cerebrovascular Center at University Hospitals in 1992, and in 1994, was promoted to Professor and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery. In 2005 Dr. Selman was appointed Chair of Neurosurgery at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and The Harvey Huntington Brown Jr Professor of Neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Selman has been active in organized neurosurgery, holding several leadership and editorial positions. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and served on the Board of Directors of the AANS, the Chair of the AANS Publications Committee, and was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Neurosurgery. He is a member and served as the Vice President of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and served as Chairman of the Board. He is a member and served as Vice-President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). He is a member of the AANS/CNS Section on Cerebrovascular Surgery and served as Chairman of the Section. He is a member of the Society of Neurological Surgeons and served as Vice-President and President-Elect in 2020. His bibliography includes over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, chapters, and books. Dr. Selman was the recipient of The Golden Apple Teaching Award from the neurosurgery residents in 2017. In 2019 he received The Scholarship in Teaching Award from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and was named a Distinguished Attending Surgeon at University Hospitals. The Warren R Selman Chair in Neurosurgery was established in his honor at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in 2020.

Dr. Selman’s clinical specialties include the surgical management of cerebrovascular and pituitary disorders, and traumatic brain injury, and his research interests focus on those disorders as well. He is also actively involved in the development and application of virtual and augmented reality in preparation and navigation for neurosurgical procedures, and for resident and medical student education, and patient education and engagement.

Warren is a co-founding member of the classic rock cover band, The Nerve, based in the home of Rock & Roll, Cleveland Ohio, and although ever hopeful, reports of their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame remain unsubstantiated at this time.

Warren Selman, MD

Professor and Chairman

Department of Neurological Surgery

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Abstract Oral Presenters

Vanessa El Kamari, MD

Yeojung Koh, MS

UH Research and Innovation Day