Babak Parviz is a Vice President at Amazon.com. He received his BA in Literature from University of Washington, BS in Electronics from Sharif University of Technology, MS in Physics from University of Michigan, MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Univ. of Michigan; and completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. Prior to joining Amazon he was with Google as a Google Distinguished Engineer and a Director at Google [x]. He is the creator of Google Glass. He founded, built, and led the Glass program till 2013, founded the robotics surgery program (now an independent company, Verb Surgical), and co-founded the Smart Contact Lens program at Google (now a joint collaboration with Novartis). He co-invented the biosensing technology resulting in the founding of Claros Diagnostics Inc. (acquired by OPKO). His research, engineering, and development interests span novel computing and communication paradigms, high-tech with social impact, bionanotechnology, bioengineering, MEMS, nano-scale devices, and photonics. His work has been put on display at the London Museum of Science and has received numerous recognitions and awards including National Science Foundation Career Award, MIT Technology Review 35, Time magazine’s best invention of the year (2008 and 2012), IEEE CAS Industrial Pioneer Award, Your Health Top 10 Medical advance of the year, and About.com top invention and has been reported on in thousands of articles worldwide. He was selected by Ad Age as one of the 50 most creative people in the United States. Last year he received the University of Michigan Bicentennial Alumni Award.
Babak Parviz will briefly discuss two examples on how science helped drive an exploratory project at Google and how a customer-need driven approach informs technology development at Amazon.
Dorothee von Laer
ViraTherapeutics is committed to developing new treatments for people living with cancer and improving their quality of life. The company was founded in 2013 by Dorothee von Laer as a spin-off of the Medical University of Innsbruck and currently focuses on the development of a new class of immunotherapeutics based on oncolytic (cancer-destroying) viruses. 2016 a cooperation with Boehringer Ingelheim was initiated leading to the acquisition of ViraTherapeutics by Boehringer in 2018. ViraTherapeutic’s patent protected virus is designed to be safe for human beings and to efficiently destroy cancer cells, while leaving normal tissues unharmed. It is effective against a broad range of different types of cancer in cell culture and animal models. ViraTherapeutics currently performs preclinical safety and efficacy studies for our modified Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV-GP) and aims to conduct first clinical trials in cancer patients in the near future.
Stephan joined Merck in 2007 and is currently Head of Technology of the New Business Builder where he manages and develops a portfolio of internal startups that extends Merck‘s activities between and beyond Life Science, Health Care, and Performance Materials. Current activities span from digital platforms based on blockchain technology, neuromorphic and quantum computing to agricultural technologies and adjustable intraocular lenses. From 2013 – 2016 Stephan led the Japanese Advanced Materials division headquartered in Tokyo where Merck’s emerging business in OLED, quantum materials, and photovoltaic have been bundled.
Stephan studied Chemistry at the University of Würzburg, Göttingen, and Munich. He did his Diploma work in physical chemistry with Prof. H. Gg. Wagner at the Max Planck Institute of Flow Research in Göttingen and doctoral thesis in neuroscience with Prof. Peter Fromherz at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. After a post-doctoral stay with Prof. George Whiteside at Harvard, Stephan started his career in industry with Infineon Technologies Munich in 2001 working on chip-based DNA diagnostics and 3D chip packaging.