San Diego Innovation Day
Thursday | September 14
In addition to all of the excitement around the park for Innovation Day, you have the opportunity to indulge in a VIP Experience that includes early access to the event, a curated speaker series, exclusive bars, VIP spaces throughout the park, a happy hour reception in the Loft, and reserved seats to see Ozomatli wrap the night.
VIP Western Metal Building Loft
Enjoy the privacy of a limited entry space where you can enjoy speakers, panels, conversation, drinks, and more in The Western Metal Building Loft.
Also includes a private networking reception to meet with fellow VIPs before heading out to Gallagher Square to your reserved seating to see Ozomatli perform live.
Session 1 – Lab to Orbit: Unlocking the Secrets of Aging by Studying Brain and Cancer in Space
Advancements in space research have opened new frontiers in understanding complex biological processes. By simulating aging processes using brain organoids in space, researchers can uncover cellular and molecular changes related to age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, cancer studies in space provide novel insights into tumor behavior and drug responses, enabling the development of more effective cancer therapies. This cutting-edge research not only sheds light on how space impacts our health but also provides valuable insights into aging, rejuvenation, and drug discovery. Embracing these opportunities to harness the benefits of space research could revolutionize healthcare and foster a healthier and more vibrant future for humankind.
Alysson Muotri, Ph.D.
Professor at the Departments of Pediatrics and Cellular & Molecular Medicine at UC San Diego
Dr. Alysson Muotri earned a Ph.D. in Genetics in 2001 from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He moved to the Salk Institute as Pew Latin America Fellow in 2002 for postdoctoral training. His research focuses on brain evolution and modeling neurological diseases using brain organoids. He has received several awards, including the prestigious NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, NARSAD, Emerald Foundation Young Investigator Award, Surugadai Award, Rock Star of Innovation, NIH EUREKA Award, two Telly Awards for Excellence in Science Communication among several others.
Catriona Jamieson, MD, Ph.D.
Director of the Sanford Stem Cell Institute, Director of the CIRM UC San Diego Alpha Stem Cell Clinic, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Regenerative Medicine, Koman Family Presidential Endowed Chair in Cancer Research
Session 2 – Your Microbiome: The Missing Link Between Your Food and Your Mood
Rob Knight, Ph.D.
Wolfe Family Endowed Chair in Microbiome Research at Rady Children's, Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation, Professor at the Department of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego
Rob Knight is the founding Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation and Professor of Pediatrics, Bioengineering, and Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego. He is the Wolfe Family Endowed Chair in Microbiome Research at Rady Children’s. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology. He was honored with the 2019 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for his microbiome research and received the 2017 Massry Prize, often considered a predictor of the Nobel. He is the author of “Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes” (Simon & Schuster, 2015), coauthor of “Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), and written over 800 scientific articles. He spoke at TED in 2014 which is viewed over 2.1 million times. His lab has produced many of the software tools and laboratory techniques that enabled high-throughput microbiome science, including the QIIME pipeline (cited over 30,000 times as of this writing) and UniFrac (cited over 10,000 times including its web interface). He is co-founder of the Earth Microbiome Project, the American Gut Project, and the company Biota, Inc., which uses DNA from microbes in the subsurface to guide oilfield decisions. His work has linked microbes to a range of health conditions including obesity and inflammatory bowel disease, has enhanced our understanding of microbes in environments ranging from the oceans to the tundra, and made high-throughput sequencing techniques accessible to thousands of researchers around the world.
Panel – AI Explored: From Healthcare Innovation and Artistic Quests to Ethical Quandaries
Professor of Data Science & Philosophy at UC San Diego
He has examined the ethical, psychological, and policy issues around AI and robotics across multiple sectors, and also works on novel AI systems and cognitive models. Danks currently serves on multiple advisory boards, including the National AI Advisory Committee.
Professor in the Halicioglu Data Science Institute at UC San Diego, Director for the NSF National AI Institute TILOS
Prior to joining UCSD, she was Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the Ohio State University, where she also co-directed the Foundation of Data Science Research CoP at Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI)@OSU from 2018-2020. She obtained her PhD degree from Duke University in 2004, where she received the Best PhD Dissertation Award at the Computer Science Department. Between 2004-2005, she was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University. Yusu primarily works in geometric and topological data analysis, where she aims to tame the complexity of modern data by combining geometric ideas with machine learning methodologies. Yusu is a recipient of DOE Early Career Principal Investigator Award and NSF Career Award. She is on the Advisory Committee for AATRN, and the Computational Geometry Steering Committee. She also serves on SIGACT CATCS Committee, as well as on the editorial boards for several journals, including SIAM Journal on Computing (SICOMP).
Pelin Thorogood, M.Eng/MBA
Co-founder and Executive Chairwoman at Radicle Science
Pelin Thorogood is a tech executive turned impact entrepreneur recognized as a INC 200 Female Founder and Stevie’s “Maverick of the Year”. Passionate about data and analytics, she co-founded Radicle Science, an AI-driven healthtech B-corp democratizing access to precision medicines. Formerly, she pioneered the digital marketing industry as CMO of WebSideStory and was CEO of predictive analytics firm Anametrix. An advocate for education and community, Pelin serves as Trustee and Treasurer of the UC San Diego Foundation. Pelin holds a B.S., M.Eng and MBA, all from Cornell.
Robert Twomey is an artist and engineer exploring poetic intersections of human and machine perception, particularly how emerging technologies transform sites of intimate life. He has presented his work at SIGGRAPH (Best Paper Award), CVPR, ISEA, NeurIPS, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the California Arts Council, Microsoft, Amazon, HP, and NVIDIA. He is an Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Arts at the Johnny Carson Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he directs the Machine Cohabitation Lab, and an Artist-in-Residence with the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, UCSD.
Greg Horowitt is the Director of Innovation Design at the University of California San Diego in addition to his role as a lecturer in innovation, entrepreneurship and venture capital at both UC San Diego and Stanford University. Prior to this role, he was a founding managing partner of T2 Venture Capital and has served as a venture partner of both Kai Capital Partners and Jun Capital and is a Kauffman Fellow. He is the co-author of the best-selling book “the Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley” based on his pioneering work in the field of innovation ecosystem design. Mr. Horowitt has invested in and served on the board of directors of more than a dozen companies and nonprofit organizations.
Session 3 – Chasing Fire – Innovation in an Exponential Age
Paul is a Silicon Valley-based forecaster who studies the dynamics of large-scale, long-term technological change. He is an Adjunct Professor in Stanford’s School of Engineering and advises corporate, NGO and governmental clients worldwide. Paul is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Paul holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University, and Stanford University.
Session 4 – From Reading to Writing the Genome
J. Craig Venter, Ph.D
Founder, CEO and Chairman of the J. Craig Venter Institute
Craig Venter is a biologist renowned for his contributions in genomics including sequencing the first draft human genome, the first complete diploid human genome and construction of the first synthetic bacterial cell. He and his teams’ current research programs include continued analysis of the human genome with a focus on the intersection of the genome and all physical characteristics and how this relates to disease and health; the human microbiome; synthetic biology advances; infectious diseases; and discovering and understanding genetic diversity in the world’s oceans. Venter is a recipient of the 2008 National Medal of Science and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of The Voyage of Sorcerer II: The Expedition That Unlocked the Secrets of the Ocean’s Microbiome (Harvard University Press, 2023), Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life (Viking, 2013) and A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life (Viking, 2007).