DAVID BACH, MD | Chief Executive Officer
Dr. David Bach is a Harvard-trained scientist, physician, and serial entrepreneur. After spending a decade maximizing his physical and mental performance, he created the Platypus Institute to bring scientific rigor to, and create commercial applications in, the rapidly expanding arena of applied neuroscience. Prior to becoming a scientist and physician, Dr. Bach attended Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. He worked as a research scientist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and did his residency training in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. As a business entrepreneur, David founded and built three healthcare companies, each of which became a $100M enterprise. He has also been a management consultant, a venture capitalist, a competitive martial artist, and a professional cellist. Dr. Bach has always had a passionate interest in human development. After a successful exit from his third company, David decided to pursue his interest in human development while simultaneously returning to his scientific roots, and with this, he founded the Platypus Institute.
AMY KRUSE, PHD | Chief Scientific Officer
In 2005, as the Program Manager for DARPA’s performance-focused neuroscience research program, Amy effectively created the field in which we work. As a starting point, she named the field, coining and popularizing the term “Applied Neuroscience.” She also conducted the seminal research in our industry - a series of studies where she definitely demonstrated that, with biofeedback and brainwave analysis, one could dramatically (and rapidly) enhance military sniper’s performance. Since that time, in a variety of capacities, Amy’s extensive research has addressed a broad range of foundational questions including: how human performance is affected by different natural conditions like sleep deprivation and stress; how elite performance can be enhanced with the use of electrical brain stimulation; and how video gaming technology can be leveraged to accelerate learning speeds. Most recently, prior to joining The Platypus Institute, Amy served as the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Cubic Global Defense.
STEVE MILLER, PHD | EVP: Innovation
Dr. Miller works as an applied neuroscience and education technology executive with more than 25 years of industry experience. As an academic, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses and conducted a sponsored research program in neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology including a large multi-site research initiatives on the neural basis of brain plasticity and learning. Dr. Miller authored or co-authored more than 100 publications including numerous research studies, commercial software programs and U.S. Patents. A majority of his patents have been licensed, brought to commercial practice and in 2000 he was a co-recipient of the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in Medicine for this work. As a business executive, he is a passionate collaborator with broad business experience in technology transfer, translational research, business incorporation, venture funding and the start-up phases of several companies, including a successful IPO.
TOM NUGENT | VP: Elite Performance
Mr. Nugent leads the Platypus Institute’s Elite Performance Solutions division, which provides state-of-the art neurocognitive assessment and training programs to professional sports teams, military operator communities, and eGaming teams. In addition to being an avid gamer and former Division I athlete, Mr. Nugent has nearly twenty years of experience in neuroscience research and over a decade of experience in program management. Prior to joining the Platypus Institute, Tom was the Senior Director of Neurotechnology, New Media, and Training Solutions at Cubic Global Defense overseeing a wide spectrum of R&D projects that supported the warfighter with an emphasis on Special Operations Forces. Prior to that, he was a Senior Scientist at Strategic Analysis Inc., where he offered program management and technical consultation to neuroscience programs at DARPA.
JAMIE GALLO | Chief Marketing Officer
Prior to joining Platypus, Jamie built companies worth more than $550M, raised $57M in capital, led ten acquisitions, and negotiated strategic partnerships with companies including Yahoo, MSN, and Interactive Corp. Jamie spent 10 years at Primedia building five successful digital media businesses that she grew to more than 100 million in revenue, 6 million monthly unique users and 100 million page views. She then went on to start and sell RentAdvisor, the leading reputation management platform in the apartment industry. Jamie also has extensive experience in: management consulting (at A.T. Kearney); consumer products (at Procter & Gamble and Ford Motor Company); and R&D (at AT&T Bell Labs). Jamie has an undergraduate degree in Engineering and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from The Wharton School of Business.
WILL MCBURNETT | VP: Engineering
Will has over 30 years of experience as a software developer, technology director and game producer. He led the development of several million-selling software products and was also a Principal Investigator on several DARPA and Department of Defense projects. Will’s development experience spans a wide range of product types including PC games, console games, VR games, web applications, and wide area financial systems. He shipped multiple entertainment titles as an engineer, project manager, and producer – including the Jane’s Combat Simulations Longbow series. At Multimedia Games, Will led a team that designed, installed, and supported wide area video lottery systems for several governments, and he was also responsible for developing systems that tracked billions of dollars of revenue during the implementation of Sarbanes Oxley. As a defense contractor working for DARPA, Will was a Program Manager and a Principal Investigator on multiple simulations, software test beds, and neuroscience R&D programs. He also conceived of and wrote several successful program proposals, with a value nearing $25 million.
Genevieve is a technology entrepreneur and thought-leader who also serves as an advisor to several rapid-growth companies. Genevieve has built and sold numerous business enterprises during the past 17 years including: IdeaString, the world’s first social innovation and collaboration SaaS platform; and PINK, the first national magazine and website devoted to professional women. Her newest venture, Thought Capital, is a technology-enabled sales and marketing consulting platform that seeks to disrupt several components of the traditional management consulting industry. Genevieve lives in Atlanta with her husband and her VR Alienware platform.
A former Navy SEAL Commander, Jeff is a Senior Advisor with the McChrystal Group where he coaches and consults with executive leaders and their teams. Mr. Eggers is also a Senior Fellow at New America, a Washington, D.C. based think tank, conducting research on the behavioral science of organizational performance. Jeff is a highly sought out advisor to many of the world’s most senior leaders. He has worked directly with two United States Presidents as a national security and special advisor. Jeff graduated from the US Naval Academy and thereafter received a master of arts in mathematics and philosophy from Oxford University.
ROGER J. QUY, PHD
Roger is a Managing Partner at Technology Partners, a venture capital firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has worked with many healthtech and life science companies for more than 25 years, and has served on over 30 public, private, or not-for-profit boards. He focuses on neuroscience, neurotechnology, and digital health. He is an advisor to the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and to the neuroscience Bakar program at UC Berkeley. Roger has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and a MBA.
JUDSON BREWER, MD, PHD
Judson Brewer MD, PhD, is a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and addiction specialist who currently serves as the director of research at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Brewer’s research focuses primarily on the neurobiology of habit formation and how to “rewire” addictions and habits. His numerous scientific accomplishments include: identification of brain regions that are activated with addiction and research into the influence that meditation has on brain activity. He is the author of “The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love—Why We Get Hooked & How We Can Break Bad Habits” (Yale University Press, 2017).
AMIR KALALI, MD
Amir Kalali is a globally recognized thought leader and innovator focused on the rapidly growing intersection between life sciences and technology. In his capacity as a neuroscientist, Dr. Kalali is: the Founding Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Society for CNS Drug Development (ISCDD); Editor of the journal Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience; Founder and Co-Chair of the Scientific Program Committee of the CNS Summit; a founding member of the International Society for CNS Clinical Trials and Methodology (ISCTM); and a member of the Scientific Program Committee of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP). He was also the lead editor of the book Essential CNS Drug Development.
ARNE DIETRICH, PHD
Dr. Arne Dietrich, a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the American University of Beirut, is among the world’s preeminent thinkers on the neuroscience of human performance. Arne’s research focuses primarily on the neural basis of creativity, altered states of consciousness (including what’s commonly known as the flow state) and the psychological effects of physical exercise. Arne has written a large number of professional articles and multiple books, including classic texts on the nature of consciousness and creativity. His work is also prominently featured in the international press.
VIVIENNE MING, PHD
Named one of Inc. Magazine’s “Top 10 Women to Watch in Tech,” Dr. Vivienne Ming is a wildly accomplished theoretical neuroscientist, technologist, and entrepreneur whose guiding mission is to use neuroscience to optimize human potential. Among her many accomplishments, Vivienne recently co-founded Socos, a company that applies cognitive modeling to create adaptive, personalized educational technologies. She is also a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience where she pursues research in neuroprosthetics.
JONATHAN SCHOOLER, PHD
With nearly 200 published journal articles cited over 17,000 times, Dr. Jonathan Schooler is a prolific American psychologist and currently Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research focuses on topics ranging from: the neural correlates of mindfulness, how mind wandering facilitates creativity, and how our behavior is mediated by philosophical beliefs.
VINCENT WALSH, PHD
Dr. Vincent Walsh is Professor of Human Brain Research at University College London where he directs the Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Group. He is one of the few neuroscientists alive who has garnered success and respect in both the elite academic and applied neuroscience arenas. Dr. Walsh’s academic reputation was formed on research focused primarily on human brain stimulation and how the brain processes visual stimuli. He has extended his research into several areas and is now primarily working on sleep and wellbeing, decision making under pressure, and improvements in elite performance.
K. ANDERS ERICSSON, PHD
K. Anders Ericsson is the Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. His research focuses on the question of how expert performers – in fields ranging from music, to chess, to sports – attain superior performance. In addition to a series of groundbreaking scientific articles on the topic of expert learning, Dr. Ericsson has published several books including, most recently (2016) “Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise,” which he co-authored with Robert Pool. He is a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science, and a member of Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. His research has been featured in cover stories in Scientific American, Time, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, and New York Timesand was also the centerpiece of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers.
ANDY WALSHE, PHD
Formerly the Director of the High Performance Athlete Program at Red Bull, Andy has a long history of working with the world’s most elite performers, studying and testing their performance limits. Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Walshe: created and led the Red Bull Stratos Jump, in which Felix Baumgartner successfully jumped from space reaching a velocity exceeding the speed of sound; coached multiple Olympic teams including the US Olympic ski and snowboard team; and has worked closely with the US military, training many of their most elite operatives.multiple successful drug development programs.
“Decades of investment in basic neuroscience research have now, for the first time in history, yielded practical tools that fundamentally stretch the limits of the possible.”
—-Amy Kruse, PhD (Chief Scientific Officer, Platypus Institute)
WHY THE NAME?
In 1798, when European naturalists first learned about the platypus, they thought the animal a hoax. The naturalists believed that a taxidermist had stitched together a hodgepodge of creatures, including a beaver, a duck, and a rat.
Even today, more than two centuries later, the animal almost defies rational comprehension: a duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, semi-aquatic mammal that lays eggs, dispenses venom, and is, at the same time, adorable? What gives?
IT’S A SYMBOL OF THE QUEST FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE
In a peak performance (or flow) state, time and space dissolve, as we merge with our environment and access information and capabilities our minds say we can’t possibly access. These components of the peak performance state have, for decades, been documented; yet the state still somehow defies comprehension.
To provide humanity with consistent access to this peak performance state, to make Human 2.0 a reality, will require that we integrate knowledge from multiple disparate fields in a new and powerful way.
The integration of multiple disparate components to create something new and magnificent is, of course, the essence of the platypus. How could we not make it our emblem?
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