Berislav V. Zlokovic, MD, PhD
Dr. Zlokovic is Director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, Mary Hayley and Selim Zilkha Chair in Alzheimer’s disease research, and professor and chair of the Department of Physiology & Neurosciences at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC). He is also professor of biological sciences at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences of USC. Zlokovic is recognized internationally as a leader in the fields of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and neurovascular biology. He has a life-long career in studying the role of cerebral blood vessels in Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. He identified the cellular and molecular mechanisms causing blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown, which he showed leads to neurodegeneration. He also discovered molecular mechanisms at the BBB that maintain clearance of Alzheimer’s amyloid-beta toxin, and its re-entry into the brain, reflecting an important physiological function of the BBB in Abeta homeostasis. His basic and pre-clinical findings have contributed to Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease, and a successfully completed phase 2 clinical trial in ischemic stroke patients with activated protein C (APC). Thomson Reuters and Clarivate Analytics listed Zlokovic as one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” in 2002-2018 for ranking in top one percent of the most-cited authors in the field of neurosciences and behavioral sciences for 17 consecutive years. He received numerous awards for his research including the MetLife Award for Medical Research, the Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology, the MERIT Award from NIA, the Javits Award from NINDS, and more recently, the 2019 USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship “the highest honor the university faculty bestows on its members for distinguished intellectual achievements”. He is a fellow of the AAAS, and a member of the Danna Alliance for Brain Initiative, and the European Academy of Sciences. Zlokovic is an active entrepreneur and inventor. He is a co-founder ZZ Biotech.
Thomas P. Davis, PhD
Dr. Davis is Professor of Medical Pharmacology, Physiology and Neurosciences and Director of the Blood Brain Barrier Laboratory at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
Prior to his position in academia, Dr. Davis worked at Abbott Pharmaceuticals as a member of the team that researched, developed and marketed TDX for therapeutic drug monitoring. The focus of his research over the past 30 plus years is the blood brain barrier (BBB)/Neurovascular Unit in health and disease and specifically the effects of pain, inflammation and stroke on the BBB. He studies how tight junctions of the BBB form a uniquely regulated tight seal while remaining capable of rapid modulation and regulation in neuropathological disease states. Dr. Davis holds several honors including Membership in the Loyola Marymount University College of Science and Engineering Wall of Fame and Founders Day Awardee and speaker at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
Dr. Davis has over 210 peer reviewed scientific publications, 30 invited book chapters, and holds awards from the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse, where he has been continuously funded since 1981. Dr. Davis has also served as Chief Scientific Officer for Hansen Beverages Inc., a non-alcoholic beverage company,
John H. Griffin, PhD
Dr. Griffin is Professor of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute. He holds joint appointments in the Center for Integrative Molecular Biosciences and the Kellogg School of Science and Technology.
He serves on several editorial boards and is an honorary member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Dr. Griffin is a world expert on the activated Protein C system.
He is involved in long-term studies of plasma proteins that regulate thrombosis and hemostasis.
His biochemical, molecular biological and clinical research studies have contributed to define molecular mechanisms or defects that are related to development of thrombosis and ischemic stroke.
His work is also focused of protein engineering to establish structure-function relationships for clotting factors. Dr. Griffin has over 350 publications and holds several awards from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Dr. Griffin received a BS in Physics from Santa Clara University and then a PhD in Biophysics from the University of California, Davis, in 1969. Following four years of postdoctoral training in spectroscopic studies of protein structure and function with Dr. Elkan R. Blout at Harvard Medical School and with Dr. Christian B. Anfinsen at the NIH in Bethesda, he continued NMR studies of peptide and protein structure at the French Atomic Energy Commission Laboratory (C.E.A.) in Saclay, France.