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Disruptive Neuroscience Technologies Changing the World Today - Leaders in the field from Rhode Isla

The Rhode Island-Israel Collaborative (RIIC), in collaboration with RI Bio, will present an event

Disruptive Neuroscience Technologies Changing the World Today.

Neuroscience thought leaders from Rhode Island and Israel will provide their insights and perspectives on how disruptive neuroscience technologies are changing the world today.

More now than ever people are working to improve our understanding of the human brain and discovering ways and technologies to enhance its health and performance. From mind-controlled driving, to paralyzed individuals moving their limbs, cutting-edge brain computer interfaces are materializing at a rapid pace. Our understanding of the human brain—as well as our ability to influence it—will shape the future of law, commerce, art, warfare and religion.

The event will include a light breakfast and luncheon and after the luncheon a round-table workshop.

The event charge is $75 with a SPECIAL DISCOUNT for members of the Rhode Island Israel Collaborative (RIIC) and RI-Bio . Both options require prior registration.

Early Bird Ticket - purchase ticket before August 30th.

We are honored to have Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce, Stefan Pryor who will participate and give remarks on behalf of the state.

Keynote Speaker

The keynote speaker will be Professor Alon Friedman, a leading Neuroscientist and groundbreaking researcher, Prof. Alon Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., led the establishment of the Inter-Faculty Brain Sciences School at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU). He holds the Dr. Helena Rachmanska-Putzman Chair in Neurology and is also the former director of the University’s Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience. Prof. Friedman's expert research focuses on the early diagnosis and cure for brain injury, including a new drug under development that repairs the blood-brain barrier. Among his team’s accomplishments are new MRI and EEG-based imaging techniques that enable early diagnosis of brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and chronic trauma encephalopathy (CTE)—a progressive degenerative brain disease found in athletes and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma, and which, until now, could only be diagnosed postmortem. Prof. Friedman, who is also the Dennis Chair in Epilepsy Research at Dalhousie University in Canada, recently led a multidisciplinary study on the “Havana Syndrome”—a mysterious brain injury affecting North American diplomats in Cuba.


The event will be moderated by Kunal Mankodiya, PhD is the Director of Wearable Biosensing Lab and is an associate professor in the Dept. of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Rhode Island, RI, USA since 2014. He is a recipient of NSF CAREER (2016) Award enabling research on “Internet of e-textile wearables for telemedicine". In 2018, he received TechConnect Defense Innovation Award for his work on “Smart Textile Trouser". He was recognized as the “Innovator-of-the-year” by Future Textiles Awards, Frankfurt, Germany in 2017. Mankodiya was also selected among “40 under 40” by Providence Business News in 2017. His embedded computing design of a smart-textile ECG system earned him the 2010 SYSTEX Award, University of Ghent, Belgium. He regularly organizes scientific workshops/symposiums on IOT for healthcare at various international conferences. He also organizes an annual 48-hour HealthHacks event to promote entrepreneurial thinking in the areas including IOT, healthcare, and aging. His course on Wearable IOT blends design thinking with IOT concepts to nurture entrepreneurial skills in students from various backgrounds. He pursued his postdoctoral research at Intel Science & Technology Center (ISTC) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, PA, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Luebeck, Germany. He holds MS (University of Luebeck, Germany) and BE (Saurashtra University, India) degrees in Biomedical Engineering.

Panelists and Speakers

Professor Walter Besio, Electrical, Computer, & Biomedical Engineering, Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, University of Rhode Island (URI)

Dr. Besio is a Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rhode Island (URI). Dr. Besio received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Miami and a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Central Florida. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Besio worked 12+ years in the biomedical device and electronics industries. Dr. Besio specializes in research to develop innovative biomedical instrumentation for diagnosis and therapies for enhancing the lives of persons with neurological disease and disability. This work involves unique patented concentric electrodes for neuromodulation and brain computer interfacing (bidirectional). Dr. Besio is a co-founder of the URI Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program that has since spawned the Ryan Institute for Neuroscience. He is an Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Senior Member, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) (representative to TBioCAS and BioCAS, past EMBS Sensors Council representative, past Vice President of Finance, past North American Administrative Committee Member, past Wearable Biomedical Sensors and Systems Technical Committee Chair, past Chair Providence Chapter, and Faculty Advisor URI Student Chapter), and an active member of the American Epilepsy Society (Technical Committee). Dr. Besio has also developed intellectual property that forms the basis for his medical device startup company CREmedical Corporation. Dr. Besio is passionate about moving his research beyond the laboratory to help relieve disease, disability, pain, and suffering.

Dr. Elinor Amit, Assistant Professor of the Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University and Research Scientist at Brown University

Elinor Amit is an Assistant Professor at the Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University and a Research Scientist at Brown University. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Tel Aviv University in 2009 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at New York University and Harvard University. Amit’s research is concerned with how domain-general systems such as the visual and language systems affect people’s thoughts, feelings, judgments, and behavior in the social world. An additional research interest of Professor Amit is moral decision-making. Amit’s work was published in leading academic journals, including Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Psychological Bulletin, and NeuroImage, and has been covered in media outlets such as NPR, The Huffington Post, and Scientific American.

Dr. Rachel Rac-Lubashevsky, Fulbright scholar and a postdoc fellow at the Neural Computation and Cognition lab at Brown University Dr. Rachel Rac-Lubashevsky is a Fulbright scholar and a postdoc fellow at the Neural Computation and Cognition lab at Brown University. She graduated from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Her PhD research focused on studying the neural correlates of cognitive decisions responsible for selecting information relevant to behavior. Her research at Brown University aims to incorporate electrical brain activity measures with machine learning and computational modeling techniques to learn more about the brain functions that support these cognitive decisions. Her main goal is to leverage these techniques to understand the cognitive deficits in Parkinson’s patients who suffer from a malfunction in the biological circuits that supports both motor and information selections.

Dr. Wael Asaad, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Neurosurgery & Neuroscience at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Wael Asaad, MD, PhD received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College in 1993, then earned a PhD in systems neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, and his MD from Yale University in 2003. Dr. Asaad completed a general surgery internship and neurosurgical residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. During his residency, he completed additional training in functional and epilepsy neurosurgery. In 2011, he joined the department of neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Assad's clinical interests include functional neurosurgery for movement disorders, epilepsy and psychiatric disease, as well as traumatic brain injury. His clinical work incorporates the latest technical advances in neurosurgical instrumentation and implantable devices for neuromodulation. His lab studies the links between neural activity and cognition in humans and animal models and aims to elucidate how perturbations in activity underlie disease states and symptoms.

"Neurosciences will change the world in the 21st century. Nothing is more important than human thinking - and with Neuroscience, we can focus exactly on that".

Dr. Roey Tzezana, Future Study Researcher, Tel Aviv University

The event charge is $75 with a SPECIAL DISCOUNT for members of the Rhode Island Israel Collaborative (RIIC) and RI-Bio . Both options require prior registration.

Early Bird Ticket - purchase ticket before August 30th.

Location: Event will take place at the new District Hall/Venture Cafe Innovation Center in the main conference room in Providence, RI at 225 Dyer Street.

The event is co-organized by the Rhode Island Israel Collaborative and RI Bio.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, see link. For more information, contact If you would like updates about the conference, send email to

To receive more information about the event, go to this link.

Thank You to Our Sponsors and Supporters.

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