TEDMED’s Board of Advisors

Our advisory panel of leaders and innovators helps TEDMED in our mission to re-imagine and promote the future of health and medicine.


John E. Abele

Co-Founder, Boston Scientific Corporation

John Abele is a co-founder and director of Boston Scientific Corporation, a pioneer and leader in the field of "Less Invasive Medicine." John holds numerous patents and has published and lectured extensively on the technology of various medical devices and on the technical, social, economic, and political trends and issues affecting healthcare. His major interests are science literacy for children, education, and the process by which new technology is invented, developed, and introduced to society.


David Agus

Professor of Medicine, University of Southern California

David B. Agus is a Professor of Medicine and Engineering at the USC Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering, and heads USC's Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. His research focuses on the application of proteomics and genomics for the study of disease, and the development of new therapeutics for cancer.

Dr. Agus is an international leader in new technologies and approaches for personalized healthcare. He is the founder of Oncology.com, the largest cancer Internet resource/community; Applied Proteomics; and Navigenics, a genomic health care technology and wellness company.


Alexandra Drane

President and Co-Founder, Eliza Corporation

Alexandra Drane has devoted her career to inspiring people to lead healthier, happier and more engaged lives through the use of innovative technology. Her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for technology and design have led to the launch of four successful healthcare ventures over the past 15 years. Alexandra is currently president and co-founder of Eliza Corporation, a leading provider of integrated healthcare communication strategies and one of Entrepreneur magazine's "100 Brilliant Companies" (2009).

Alexandra is also a co-founder of Engage with Grace, a not-for-profit movement launched in October 2008 to help people understand, communicate and have honored their end-of-life wishes.


Richard N. "Dick" Foster

Senior Faculty Fellow at Yale School of Management

Richard Foster is a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Yale School of Management. Prior to teaching at Yale, Mr. Foster was a Director and Senior Partner with McKinsey & Company, where he founded several practices including the Technology and Innovation practice, the healthcare practice and the private equity practice. From 1995 to 1998 he led McKinsey's worldwide knowledge development.

Mr. Foster's research interests are in the relationships between capital formation, innovation and regulation. He was the external leader of the Council on Foreign Relations Study Group on Innovation and Economic Power, which led to the publication of "Technological Innovation and Economic Performance" by Princeton University Press (2001).


Jamie Heywood

Co-Founder & Chairman, Patientslikeme

A former MIT engineer, Jamie Heywood is founder and chairman of PatientsLikeMe, where he provides the scientific vision and architecture for its patient-centered medical platform. In 1999, Jamie founded the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), the world's first non-profit biotechnology company, where he served as CEO until 2007. Pioneering an open research model and an industrialized therapeutic validation process, Jamie led ALS TDI to become the world's largest and most comprehensive ALS research program.

The scientific and business innovations Jamie developed at ALS TDI and PatientsLikeMe have been transforming the intersection of biotechnology and pharmaceutical development, personalized medicine, and patient care.


Dean Kamen

President, DEKA Research & Development

Dean Kamen is the founder and president of DEKA Research & Development Corporation, where he develops internally generated inventions and provides research and development for major corporate clients. He holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents for innovative devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide.

Some of his notable inventions include the first wearable insulin pump for diabetics, the HomeChoice™ portable peritoneal dialysis machine, the INDEPENDENCE IBOT Mobility System, and the Segway Human Transporter.

Among Mr. Kamen's proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997, received the Heinz Award in 1998, and was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000. In 2002 he received the Lemelson-MIT Prize, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005.

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Simmi Singh

Head of Healthcare Services, Egon Zehnder

Simmi Singh is a life-long student of history, human health and public policy.  She is a nationally known innovator and technology entrepreneur having served in a range of governance, advisory and operating roles over the course of her twenty year career. 

She serves as head of healthcare services at Egon Zehnder and as a core member of the Firm’s CEO Succession, Leadership Strategy and Board practices.  

Simmi is deeply committed to public policy work, having completed a 2012 secondment to the United States Government, as Senior Advisor on Health Innovation to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  


Daniel Kraft

Founder and CEO, IntelliMedicine

Daniel Kraft is a Stanford and Harvard trained physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur and innovator.

Dr. Kraft has over 20 years of experience in clinical practice, biomedical research and healthcare innovation. He chairs the Medicine track for Singularity University and is Executive Director for FutureMed, a program that explores convergent, exponentially developing technologies and their potential in biomedicine and healthcare.

Dr. Kraft recently founded IntelliMedicine, focused on enabling connected, data- driven, and integrated personalized medicine. He is also the inventor of the MarrowMiner, an FDA approved device for the minimally invasive harvest of bone marrow, and founded RegenMed Systems, a company developing technologies to enable adult stem cell based regenerative therapies.


Willard D. "Bill" Nielsen

Corporate Management Consultant, former VP of Johnson & Johnson

Willard D. "Bill" Nielsen is a management communications consultant. He specializes in organizational vision and values, corporate communications, public relations, public affairs and corporate coaching, drawing on experience gained over 30 years in both industry and agency leadership positions.

Mr. Nielsen serves on the Boards of Trustees of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Arthur W. Page Society and The Josephson Institute of Ethics. He also serves on Advisory Boards for the TEDMED Event and The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity In Public Communications at Penn State University.

Mr. Nielsen retired as Corporate Vice President, Public Affairs, of Johnson & Johnson in 2004, after 17 years with the Company.


Leonard Sender

Medical Director of the Hyundai Cancer Institute

Dr. Leonard Sender is Medical Director of the Hyundai Cancer Institute, and Division Chief of Pediatric Oncology for Pediatric Subspecialty Faculty at CHOC Children's Hospital in Orange, California. Further, he is Medical Director of Clinical Operations and Program Development and Director of the Young Adult Cancer Program at U.C. Irvine Medical Center's Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, also in Orange.

Dr. Sender also serves as chairman of the I'm Too Young for This (i[2]y) Cancer Foundation and is the founding member and chairman of SeventyK.org, an adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer advocacy foundation.

Dr. Sender's primary research interests lie in better understanding cancer and its impact on the AYA cancer patient. This interest is comprehensive and multidisciplinary, extending from epidemiological components and biological factors to the psychosocial impact of the disease.


Regina Benjamin

Former US Surgeon General

Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA is the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. As America’s Doctor, she provides the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation. Dr. Benjamin also oversees the operational command of 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, and protect the health of the American People.

Dr. Benjamin is Founder and Former CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Alabama, former Associate Dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile, and Past Chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States.

Dr. Benjamin is a member of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She was a Kellogg National Fellow and a Rockefeller Next Generation Leader.

Dr. Benjamin has a BS in chemistry from Xavier University, New Orleans; attended Morehouse School of Medicine, and received her MD degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham; She also has an MBA from Tulane University and fifteen honorary doctorates.