Autism Speaks: Autism Investment Conference Confirmed Speakers | February 2013 #AutisticHistory #StopBigAutism #AutismMarket

Autism Speaks: Autism Investment Conferenc

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Confirmed Speakers

Faheem Ahmed

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

SAP Labs

Faheem is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at SAP, one of the largest software companies in the world.  Ahmed oversees the research, design, development, and product management for SAP’s consumer healthcare initiatives. Faheem also serves as Founder and “Entrepreneur-in-Residence” for Care Circles, a social platform to connect families with experts and caregivers around the world.  Previously, Faheem was vice president for portfolio marketing where he led the development and rollout of a series of social CRM applications.  Before that, he held various management roles in strategic planning, market strategy and solution management for multiple product lines.  Ahmed began his career in South Africa in 1997, and spent several years advising businesses and governments in sub-Saharan Africa on the role of technology in emerging nations. Faheem Ahmed has a B.S in Physics from the University of Warwick, UK and a M.S. in Information Systems from the London School of Economics, UK.

Peter Bell, MBA

Executive Vice President of Programs and Services

Autism Speaks

Peter Bell is Executive Vice President for Programs and Services at Autism Speaks. He oversees the foundation’s government relations and family services activities and also serves as an advisor to the science division. Prior to his role at Autism Speaks, Peter was president and CEO of Cure Autism Now, which merged with Autism Speaks in February 2007. Peter serves as President of Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism (AFAA) and was recently appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities as a Citizen Member. Peter and his wife Liz live in New Jersey with three teenage children, the oldest has autism.

David Cappellucci, MBA

CEO and Co-founder


Mr. Cappellucci has spent over thirty years in the education industry.  He has held a number of senior management positions running businesses at the start-up stage through established units with $350M of revenues.  He has held a variety of positions overseeing strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and planning and operations.  Prior to joining TeachTown in February, 2012, Mr. Cappellucci founded two education companies – Cambium Learning Group in 2002, where he served as President, CEO, and a Director.  He founded Classwell Learning Group in 2000 – and served as President and CEO, and a Director through 2002. Before founding Cambium in December of 2002, Mr. Cappellucci spent 13 years with Houghton Mifflin Company where he served in a variety of senior management positions, at both the corporate level and within a number of business units, including the K-12 School Publishing Group and the Educational and Business Software Divisions.  Mr. Cappellucci also served for five years as Senior V.P. & General Manager with Simon & Schuster’s Education Publishing Group. Cappellucci received his B.A. in Economics from Boston College in 1978 and his Masters of Business Administration from Babson College in 1986.

Randall L. Carpenter, MD

CEO and Co-founder

Seaside Therapeutics

Dr. Carpenter is Co-Founder, President and CEO of Seaside Therapeutics.  He has over 25 years experience in medicine, basic science and clinical research and pharmaceutical drug development including leading several research and development teams to submit successful INDs and NDAs. His experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries include President and CEO of Sention, VP of Clinical Research & Development and Regulatory Affairs at Adolor Corporation and member of Astra Pain Control’s Global Therapeutic Area Team.  Prior to joining industry, he held academic faculty appointments at Virginia Mason Medical Center and Wake Forest University where he specialized in anesthesiology and pain medicine.  Dr. Carpenter has served as editor-in-chief or on the editorial boards of several medical journals and is the author of more than 70 peer reviewed articles.  He received the Pioneer Award from the FRAXA Research Foundation and currently serves as a member of National Advisory Mental Health Council, as a Director of EnVivo and on the Scientific Advisory Board of EU-AIMS.

Bernard Courtieu, MBA

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


Bernard Courtieu joined IntegraGen as CEO in September 2007. Prior to joining IntegraGen, Mr. Courtieu achieved significant success as Practice Leader, and later as Vice President within Gemini Consulting’s Life Sciences Division in France. His tenure with Gemini Consulting and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young yielded hands-on experience in improving the operational performance of pharmaceutical companies in the fields of research and development, industrial operations, supply, sales & marketing and information systems. Previous to this, Mr. Courtieu held the position of Country Manager, France, at Ariba (2004), the world leader in Spend management. In this role he assisted companies in analyzing and managing their corporate spending to achieve increased business process efficiency.  Mr. Courtieu holds a MBA from the “Instituto de las Estudios Superiores de la Empresa” (IESE) in Barcelona, Spain. He received his doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Ecole Vétérinaire d’Alfort and University Paris XII, France. 

Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D.

Chief Science Officer

Autism Speaks

Geraldine Dawson is Chief Science Officer for Autism Speaks where she oversees $25 million in annual research funding. She is Professor of Psychiatry at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at University of Washington (UW). Dawson is a licensed clinical psychologist and researcher, having published over 200 scientific articles and 9 books on autism, with a focus on early detection and intervention, brain imaging, and genetics. With Sally Rogers, she developed and empirically-validated the Early Start Denver Model, the first comprehensive intervention for toddlers with autism. From 1996-2008, Dawson was Founding Director of the UW Autism Center where she directed three NIH Autism Center of Excellence research programs on genetics, neuroimaging, early diagnosis, and treatment.  There, she also oversaw a multi-disciplinary autism treatment center. Dawson has been a consultant to the NIH since 1989, including as a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society, American Psychological Association, and Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and is on editorial boards of 4 scientific journals.  She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Psychological Science and Autism Society of America Awards for Valuable Service and Research Contributions. Her research on early intervention was recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2012.  Dawson received a Ph.D. in Developmental and Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington and completed a clinical internship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.

Daniel Etra, MBA

CEO and Co-founderRethink Autism

Daniel Etra, MBA

CEO and Co-founder

Rethink Autism

Mr. Etra currently serves as CEO of Rethink Autism, Inc. Prior to co-founding the company, Mr. Etra was CEO of R.E.R. International, a supplier of printed materials to the retail industry. Mr. Etra was a Consultant at Bain & Company, helping establish their NY office and also served as a Managing Director of Promodex Ltd., an Israeli importer and distributor of consumer appliances and industrial equipment. In addition, Mr. Etra served in the Israel Defense Forces and worked at Wasserstein, Perella & Co., specializing in M&A in the fields of healthcare, technology and natural resources.Mr. Etra has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Yale University.

Gailynn Gluth

Founder and CEO

Wynsum Arts

Gailynn Gluth, is Founder and CEO of Wynsum Arts, a social-enterprise dedicated to helping parents of children with special needs find the most relevant, effective and affordable mobile technology and online solutions available. She started Wynsum Arts after a successful career as Director at Starbucks Coffee Company, Regional Human Resources and Training Manager at Host Marriott, and an Organizational Career Development Consultant for Conceptual Systems, Inc. Her training, consulting, and executive-level project management experience provided her with extensive opportunities working with partners and consumers, as well as firsthand experience with project management and taking concepts to global implementation. Gailynn: a 2011 LEND Fellow; through the AUCD (Association of University Centers on Disabilities) in partnership with the CDC: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, NIH, MCHB, through Georgia State University. She is actively involved in the special needs, developmental disabilities, and autism communities. She is on a number of Autism Non Profit boards, including iStar at the University of Utah.

Matthew Goodwin, PhD

Co-Director, Autism Communication Technology Initiative

MIT Media Lab

Dr. Matthew S. Goodwin is an assistant professor at Northeastern University with joint appointments in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and College of Computer & Information Science, where he co-administers a new doctoral program in Personal Health Informatics. He is a visiting assistant professor and the former director of Clinical Research at the MIT Media Lab, and continues to co-direct the Media Lab Autism & Communication Technology Initiative. Goodwin serves on the Executive Board of the International Society for Autism Research, is chair of the Autism Speaks-Innovative Technology for Autism Initiative, and has adjunct associate research scientist appointments at Brown University. Goodwin has over 15 years of research and clinical experience at the Groden Center working with children and adults on the autism spectrum and developing and evaluating innovative technologies for behavioral assessment and intervention, including telemetric physiological monitors, accelerometry sensors, and digital video/facial recognition systems. He received his B.A. in psychology from Wheaton College and his MA and PhD, both in experimental psychology, from the University of Rhode Island. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Affective Computing in the Media Lab in 2010.

Stanley Lapidus

Founder and CEO

SynapDx Corp.

Stan Lapidus is founder and CEO of SynapDx Corp. of Southborough, MA, a company developing novel tests to help with early identification of children with ASD’s. He is an experienced life-science entrepreneur and inventor with over 30 issued US patents. He founded and led diagnostics companies Cytyc Corporation & EXACT Sciences. (NASDAQ: CYTC, EXAS) and single-molecule sequencing company Helicos BioSciences (NASDAQ: HLCS). Stan holds academic appointments at Tufts Medical School and MIT. Since 2002, he has served as a trustee of Cooper Union, from which he graduated with a BSEE.

Eddie Martucci


Akili Interactive Labs

Dr. Martucci is the Co-Founding Director of Research and Development of Akili Interactive Labs, a company bringing together clinical validation and top-tier game design in the development of therapeutic mobile video games.  Dr. Martucci is also a Senior Associate with PureTech Ventures, a life-science venture creation firm, where he co-founded Akili and two other health-focused start-ups, and helped launch PureTech’s HealthcareIT initiative.  He was previously a Kauffman Entrepreneur Fellow, a program sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation.  Dr. Martucci completed his doctoral work at Yale University in the Departments of Pharmacology and Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, focusing on the rational design of novel allosteric inhibitors for pathogenic parasites.  He led a research project that characterized a potential enzyme drug target and identified two novel chemical scaffolds as potent proof-of-concept compounds for novel therapy.  Dr. Martucci received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Providence College, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

Brian Mullen, PhD

Founder and CEO

Therapeutic Systems

Brian is an entrepreneur, design engineer, and researcher with a passion for designing innovative medical products and assistive technologies. Brian’s doctoral research covered many disciplines, from exploring the safety and effectiveness of treatments for people with mental illness, to the design and development of therapeutic devices. His focus has been on the testing and design of deep touch pressure interventions. His work has led to publications, awards, and presentations in multiple fields as well the submissions of provisional patents. Brian founded Therapeutic Systems to ensure the research he conducted and the technology he developed as a graduate student made it into the marketplace, to help people across the life spans who are struggling with sensory processing disorders. He has been featured in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Medical Device + Diagnostic Industry (MDDI) and Mass Device. Brian holds a BS, MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Steven Perricone

CEO and Founder


Steve has over 25 years executive experience building organizations and worldwide sales channels for new technologies in emerging markets. He is a serial entrepreneur having been involved in 5 consecutive start-up companies. Most recently he spent 4 years as founder and CEO of a cleantech company, BioFuelBox. BioFuelBox was recognized by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as one of 25 Technology Pioneers for 2010 which are the companies that they feel have the best chance of making a positive impact on the world.

Rosalind W. Picard, ScD

Chief Scientist and Chairman of the Board


Dr. Picard is co-founder, chief scientist and chairman of the board for Affectiva. She is a renowned researcher and inventor of affective technologies and their uses, and the author of two hundred scientific publications. She is the author of Affective Computing, the book that helped give rise to the field by that name. She is professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Laboratory, co-director of the Things That Think Consortium and Co-Director of the Autism & Communication Technology Initiative at MIT. She holds a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and masters and doctorate degrees, both in electrical engineering and computer science, from MIT.

Robert Ring, PhD

Vice President of Translational Research

Autism Speaks

Dr. Ring joined Autism Speaks in June of 2011 as Vice President of Translational Research.  In this newly created position, he is responsible the organization’s expanding translational research portfolio and oversees efforts to facilitate medical product development to address the diverse unmet needs of the autism community. Rob also serves as President of DELSIA, a new launched venture philanthropy arm of Autism Speaks that works for-profit sector to accelerate the development of commercial products with potential to improve the quality of life and health for individuals with autism. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Rob served as Senior Director and Head of the Autism Research Unit at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development in Groton, Connecticut. There he led the first dedicated research group in the pharmaceutical industry focused specifically on the discovery and development of medicines for neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorders. Prior to Pfizer, Rob worked for over 10 years in psychiatric drug discovery and development at Wyeth Research in Princeton, NJ. Most of that time was spent focusing on innovative therapeutic approaches to mood and anxiety disorders. He holds adjunct faculty appointments in Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York) and Pharmacology and Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine (Philadelphia). 

Daniel Smith, PhD

Senior Director Translational Research

Autism Speaks

Dr. Smith joined Autism Speaks in May of 2012 as Senior Director of Discovery Neuroscience. Dan is responsible for advancing a portfolio of targeted projects and grant programs that facilitate the discovery and development of treatments and diagnostic tools to address the unmet clinical needs of individuals living with autism. He serves as a partner and collaborator in the European Autism Interventions multicentre study (EU-AIMS), an unprecedented public-private partnership to facilitate making new medicines for autism. Dan also serves as an officer in DELSIA LLC, a new venture philanthropy arm of Autism Speaks that partners with the for-profit sector to develop products that improve outcomes for individuals with autism. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Smith was senior principal scientist and laboratory head in the Autism Research Unit, and acting head of autism and neurodevelopment, at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dan was a principal scientist at Lundbeck Research USA doing CNS drug discovery and development.

Rob Tedesco, MBA

Cofounder and SVP of Research & Development

Handhold Adaptive

Rob Tedesco is Co-Founder of HandHold Adaptive, developer of iPrompts, StoryMaker, SpeechPrompts, AutismTrack, and other mobile apps designed to benefit those with autism. Rob has lead the company’s research, product and business development efforts since 2009, and is Principal Investigator of several SBIR awards from the U.S. Department of Education, which fund research of the company’s software in U.S. schools. Previously, Rob lead R&D at Walker Digital, a patent laboratory in Stamford, CT. He is named as an inventor on more than 200 pending and issued U.S. patents. Rob holds an M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Platinum Sponsor: BNY Mellon

Silver Sponsor: Dynamis & Shire

More Autism Investment Conference


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

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