Scientific Advisory Board Members

The Dolby Family Ventures Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of subject matter experts focused on neurodegeneration (particularly, Alzheimer’s Disease), psychiatry (particularly, depression), and neurotechnology. In their various capacities, the Advisory Board members provide scientific and practical evaluation of early-stage neuro investment opportunities that the Life Sciences Team considers across healthcare sectors, with particular focus on disease modifying therapeutics.

Use the following quick links to skip to each board member’s bio:

Edward Chang, MD

Edward Chang, MD, is the Joan and Sanford Weill Chair and Jeanne Robertson Distinguished Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco.  Dr. Chang’s clinical expertise is surgical therapies for epilepsy, brain tumors, and cranial nerve disorders. He specializes in advanced neurophysiologic brain mapping methods, including awake speech and motor mapping, to safely perform neurosurgical procedures in eloquent areas of the brain.  His research focuses on the discovery of cortical mechanisms of high-order neurological function in humans.  Dr. Chang’s laboratory has demonstrated the detailed functional organization of the human speech cortex and has translated those discoveries towards the development of a speech neuroprosthetic device to restore communication for people living with paralysis.  Dr. Chang is the 2015 Blavatnik National Laureate in Life Sciences and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Related link: UCSF Profiles, Edward Chang

Maurizio Fava, MD

Dr. Maurizio Fava is Chair of the Department of Psychiatry/Psychiatrist-in-Chief of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), executive director of the Clinical Trials Network and Institute, (MGH), associate dean for clinical and translational research and the Slater Family Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fava is a world leader in the field of depression and clinical psychopharmacology. He has edited eight books and authored or co-authored more than 900 original articles published in medical journals with international circulation, articles which have been cited more than 100,000 times in the literature and with an h index greater than 150 on Google Scholar.

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Dr. Fava obtained his medical degree from the University of Padova School of Medicine and completed residency training in endocrinology at the same university. He then moved to the United States and completed residency training in psychiatry at MGH. He founded and was director of the hospital’s Depression Clinical and Research Program from 1990 until 2014. Under Dr. Fava’s direction, the Depression Clinical and Research Program became one of the most highly regarded depression programs in the country, a model for academic programs that link, in a bi-directional fashion, clinical and research work. In 2007, he also founded and is now the executive director of the MGH Psychiatry Clinical Trials Network and Institute, the first academic CRO specialized in the coordination of multi-center clinical trials in psychiatry.

Dr. Fava has been successful in obtaining funding as principal or co-principal investigator from both the National Institutes of Health and other sources for a total of more than $150 million. Dr. Fava’s prominence in the field is reflected in his role as the co-principal investigator of STAR*D, the largest research study ever conducted in the area of depression, of the RAPID Network, the NIMH-funded series of studies of novel, rapidly-acting antidepressant therapies, and of the Clinical Coordinating Center of EPPIC-Net, the NINDS-funded network conducting proof-of-concept trials in pain. Dr. Fava is a well-known national and international lecturer, having given more than 300 presentations at national and international meetings. He is the former President of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and, in 2023, Dr. Fava was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Howard Fillit, MD

Howard Fillit, MD, is a geriatrician, neuroscientist, and innovative philanthropy executive, who has led the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) since its founding. Dr. Fillit has held faculty positions at The Rockefeller University, the SUNY-Stony Brook School of Medicine and the Cornell University School of Medicine. In 1987, he joined the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he is a clinical professor of geriatric medicine and palliative care, medicine and neuroscience. Dr. Fillit also maintains a limited private practice in consultative geriatric medicine with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

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He has authored or co-authored more than 300 publications and is the senior editor of Brocklehurst’s Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. Dr. Fillit is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Rita Hayworth Award from the Alzheimer’s Association. He is a fellow of the American Geriatrics Society, the American College of Physicians, the Gerontological Society of America and the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Fillit earned his Bachelor of Arts in neurobiology cum laude from Cornell University and his medical degree from the SUNY-Upstate Medical University.

Related links: Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

Husseini Manji, MD

Husseini K. Manji, MD, FRCPC is Professor, Oxford University, Visiting Professor, Duke Universities, and co-chair, UK Govt Mental Health Mission. He is past Global Head for Neuroscience at J&J and was previously Chief of NIH Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology, and Director of NIH Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, the largest program of its kind in the world. He has been inducted into the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), is a member of the NIH Novel/Exceptional Technology and Research Advisory Committee, the World Dementia Council, is co-chair of the Board of the Healthy Brains Global Initiative, and is recent chair of the NAM Neuroscience, Behavior, Brain Function group.

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Dr. Manji has helped to discover/develop, and launch several new medications for serious neuropsychiatric/neurodegenerative disorders, including the first novel antidepressant mechanism in over 30 years, the first ever Neuroscience medication to be granted US FDA “breakthrough therapy” designation and novel treatments for schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease, others. He has received numerous International awards, including the NAM International Mental Health Award, NIMH Director’s Career Award for Significant Scientific Achievement, PhRMA Excellence in Research Award, A. E. Bennett & Ziskind-Somerfeld Awards for Neuropsychiatric Research, NARSAD Mood Disorders Prize, Mogens Schou Distinguished Research Award, ACNP’s Joel Elkes Award for Distinguished Research, DBSA Klerman Senior Distinguished Researcher Award, the Global Health & the Arts Award of Recognition, and has also been recognized as one of 14 inaugural “Health Heroes” by Oprah magazine.  He has published extensively on the molecular and cellular neurobiology of severe neuropsychiatric/neurodegenerative disorders and development of novel therapeutics, with over 350 publications in leading peer-reviewed journals (> 50,000 citations; H-index:126)

Lennart Mucke, MD

Lennart Mucke, MD, is the Director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease. He is also the Joseph B. Martin Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience and a Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He has joint appointments in UCSF’s Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences, and Medical Scientist (MD/PhD) Graduate Training Programs.  Dr. Mucke is a graduate of the Georg-August University (Magna Cum Laude) and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Neurobiology) in Göttingen, Germany. He trained in internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, in neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and in neuroimmunology and neurovirology at The Scripps Research Institute, where he was subsequently appointed to the faculty. He was recruited to the Gladstone Institutes and UCSF in 1996.

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Dr. Mucke’s research focuses on processes that result in memory loss and other major neurological deficits, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. He has generated informative experimental models of these conditions and used them to identify novel strategies to prevent neurological decline. As the founding Director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, he has created a leading program for research and training in disease-focused neuroscience.

Dr. Mucke is a member of the American Neurological Association, the Association of American Physicians and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. He has served on the National Advisory Council on Aging for the U.S. National Institutes of Health and on the Scientific Advisory Board of the U.K. Dementia Research Institute at University College London.  He has also chaired the Senate of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE).   Awards and honors Dr. Mucke has received for his accomplishments include the Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology, the Metlife Foundation Award for Medical Research, American Pacesetter Award from the ARCS Foundation, the Kalid Iqbal Lifetime Achievement Award and the Zenith Award from the Alzheimer’s Association, a MERIT Award from the NIH, and an Award for Excellence in Direct Teaching and Mentoring from the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators.

Related link: Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, Lennart Mucke

Rudy Tanzi, Ph. D.

Dr. Rudolph Tanzi serves as Chair of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium. He is also the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit and Vice-Chair of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).  Dr. Tanzi directs the Alzheimer’s Genome Project and over the past three decades discovered many of the genes responsible for Alzheimer’s disease genes and other neurological disease genes including that responsible for Wilson’s disease. He is also developing several novel therapies for Alzheimer’s, two of which are in clinical trials.

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Dr. Tanzi has co-authored over 470 research articles, including three of the top ten most cited AD papers and contributes regularly to Huffington Post and San Francisco Chronicle. He also co-authored the popular trade books “Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease” and New York Times Bestseller, “Super Brain” with Dr. Deepak Chopra.  Dr. Tanzi also hosts the nationwide public television special, “Super Brain with Dr. Rudolph Tanzi” that explores new discoveries in neuroscience to maximize the potential of the brain.

Dr. Tanzi serves on dozens of editorial and scientific advisory boards, and as Chair of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium. He is the recipient of the two highest awards for Alzheimer’s disease research: The Metropolitan Life Award and The Potamkin Prize and also honored by The Chopra Foundation’s 2012 Rustum Roy Spirit Award for his exemplary work in the in science and serving humanity.  Dr. Tanzi has been included on the “Harvard 100 Most Influential Alumni” by 02138 Magazine, and was chosen by the Geoffrey Beene Foundation as a “Rock Star of Science”. Most recently, he was included on the Time magazine “2015 TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World”, and has been acknowledged by as one of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds”, 2014” by Reuters-Thompson, and named one of the “Top 20 Translational Scientists, 2013” by Nature Biotechnology.

Dr. Tanzi’s musical pursuits have lead him to perform the keyboards with Joe Perry, lead guitarist and co-founder of the legendary rock band, Aerosmith as well as appearing on Aerosmith’s 2012 album “Music From Another Dimension. More recently, Dr. Tanzi has teamed up with singer/song-writer, Chris Mann, to create music and music videos to fundraise for Alzheimer’s disease research.

Related link: Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

Michael Weiner, MD

Michael Weiner, MD, is a Professor in Residence in Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Medicine, Psychiatry, and Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is Principal Investigator of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), which is the largest observational study in the world concerning Alzheimer’s Disease, which has enrolled over 2000 subjects (including controls, MCI, and AD) at 60 sites across the USA and Canada for cognitive testing, MRI, PET, and lumbar puncture. Dr. Weiner founded and launched The Brain Health Registry, which is a web-based registry for recruiting, screening, and longitudinally monitoring subjects for neuroscience studies of all types. He founded, and for many years, directed the Director of the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIND) at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

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After graduating from the Johns Hopkins University in 1961, He obtained his M.D, from SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York in 1965, and he completed his internship and residency in Medicine from Mt. Sinai Hospital in 1967. From 1967-1968, Dr. Weiner completed a residency and clinical fellowship in Metabolism from Yale-New Haven Medical Center. In 1970, he completed a research fellowship in Nephrology from Yale University School of Medicine and a research fellowship in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin Institute for Enzyme Research in 1972, followed by a joint appointment in the Department of Medicine, Renal Section from the University of Wisconsin Institute in 1972. In 1974 he became an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Nephrology) at Stanford University, and in 1980 he became an Associate Professor of Medicine (Nephrology) at UCSF. In 1983, he established the Magnetic Resonance Unit at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, which became the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases in 2000. In 1990, he became a Professor of Radiology, Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology at UCSF.

Dr. Weiner’s research activities involve the development and utilization of MRI and PET for investigating and diagnosing neurodegenerative diseases. In 1980, Dr. Weiner was one of the first to perform MRS on an intact animal, and subsequently pursued his goal to develop MRI/S as a clinical tool. During the past 25 years he has worked to develop and optimized the use of MRI, PET, and blood based biomarker methods to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Weiner is also the founder and Principal Investigator of the Brain Health Registry, a web-based patient registry to facilitate recruitment, assessment and longitudinal monitoring of brain function for neuroscience studies and randomized clinical trials.

Dr. Weiner has over 900 published articles and he has written 70 book chapters.  He has won numerous awards including the Young Investigator Award of the American College of Cardiology, the Middleton Award for outstanding research in the VA, the Nancy and Ronald Reagan Award (on behalf of ADNI), and the Potemkin Award from the American Association of Neurology.

Related links: UCSF Profiles, Michael Weiner, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, Brain Health Registry,Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative