Past Symposia
April 7, 2017
Bertarelli Symposium: Perception, Learning and Memory: Neuroengineering Perspectives
Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland
View Agenda
Speakers Bios
April 16, 2016

Videos of speakers' presentations from the Bertarelli Symposium, Translating Neuroscience: From Concept to Clinic now available.

View a blog of the Bertarelli Symposium on the Bertarelli Foundation 2016 Symposium site


Susan Hockfield, PhD                             


Susan Hockfield served from 2004 to 2012 as the 16th president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the first life scientist and first woman in that role. She is now president emerita, professor of neuroscience, and a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. As president, Dr. Hockfield strengthened MIT’s finances and campus planning while advancing Institute-wide programs in sustainable energy and the convergence of the life, physical, and engineering sciences. Appointed by President Obama in 2011 to co-chair the steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, she helped shape national policy for energy and next-generation manufacturing. Under her leadership, MIT launched its online learning platform, MITx, and was joined by Harvard University in creating edX, increasing educational opportunities worldwide.

Prior to MIT, Dr. Hockfield was the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1998-2002), and provost (2003-2004) at Yale University. She studied at the University of Rochester and Georgetown University and carried out research at the NIH and UCSF before joining the faculty at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and then Yale. Her research pioneered the use of monoclonal antibody technology in brain research, identifying proteins involved in activity-dependent brain development. Dr. Hockfield also discovered a gene implicated in the spread of cancer in the brain. She currently serves as a director of General Electric, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the World Economic Forum Foundation.

Ricardo E. Dolmetsch, PhD

Ricardo Dolmetsch is Global Head of Neuroscience at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, Mass. He received his PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University in 1997, studying calcium signaling in T-cell activation, and then came to HMS for a postdoctoral fellowship with Michael Greenberg in the Department of Neurobiology, where he elucidated calcium activation of a MAP kinase pathway in controlling gene expression. In 2003, he returned to Stanford as a faculty member in the Departments of Molecular Pharmacology and Neurobiology, where his research shifted to the molecular basis of autism spectrum disorder. He has also served as senior director of the Allen Institute for Brain Research in Seattle. In 2013, Dr. Dolmetsch became Global Head of Neuroscience at the Novartis. In this position, he is moving Novartis beyond conventional neurotransmitter research to concentrate on analyzing the neural circuitry that causes complex neurological and psychiatric diseases, such as autism and intractable epilepsy in children, and addiction, bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia in adults. Dr. Dolmetsch has received Searle Scholar, McKnight Scholar, Klingenstein Scholar, and NIH Pioneer awards, and he received the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience.   

Al Sandrock, MD, PhD

Alfred Sandrock Jr., MD, PhD, is executive vice president of the Neurology Discovery & Development Center, Neurodegeneration Therapeutic Area, and chief medical officer of Biogen. Dr. Sandrock received his BA in human biology from Stanford University and came to Harvard Medical School for his MD and a PhD in neurobiology. At Massachusetts General Hospital, he completed an internship in medicine, a residency and chief residency in neurology, and a clinical fellowship in neuromuscular disease and clinical neurophysiology. Dr. Sandrock joined Biogen in 1998, where he has held several senior executive positions including senior vice president of development sciences, senior vice president of neurology research and development, and vice president of clinical development, neurology. In these roles, he led the development of drugs, including Tysabri, Plegridy, and Tecfidera, for multiple sclerosis, Alprolix and Eloctate for hemophilia, and the antibody aducanumab for Alzheimer's disease. New target diseases for Biogen include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy, as well as neuralgia, stroke, and pain. Dr. Sandrock is a director of FORUM Pharmaceuticals and of Neurocrine Biosciences, and is a frequent lecturer in the HMS neurobiology curriculum.

Bertarelli 2016 Symposium Flyer.pdf962 KB
Bertarelli 2016 Symposium Schedule FINAL.pdf918 KB
Bertarelli 2016 Symposium Presenter Bios FINAL.pdf343 KB