Keith L. Black, MD | Chairman & Founder
Keith L. Black, MD serves as Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and Director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He also holds the title of Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery. An internationally renowned neurosurgeon and scientist, Dr. Black joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in July 1997 and was awarded the Ruth and Lawrence Harvey Chair in Neuroscience in November of that year. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Black served on the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) faculty for 10 years where he was a Professor of Neurosurgery. In 1992 he was awarded the Ruth and Raymond Stotter Chair in the Department of Surgery and was Head of the UCLA Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program.
Dr. Black pioneered research on designing ways to open the blood-brain barrier, enabling chemotherapeutic drugs to be delivered directly into the tumor. His work in this field received the Jacob Javits award from the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council of the National Institutes of Health in June 2000. Dr. Black, along with patients undergoing the first clinical trials of the drug RMP-7, was profiled in 1996 on the PBS program, The New Explorers, in an episode called “Outsmarting the Brain.”
Dr. Black serves on the editorial boards of the Neurological Research, Gene Therapy and Molecular Biology, Neurosurgery Quarterly and Frontiers In Bioscience. He was on the National Institutes of Health’s Board of Scientific Counselors for Neurological Disorders and Stroke and was appointed to the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council of the National Institutes of Health from 2000 to 2004. He was also selected as a committee member of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Independent Citizens Oversight Committee from 2004-2006. He is also a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Neurosurgical Society of America and the Academy of Neurological Surgery. He also is a Founding Member of the North American Skull Base Society.
Steven R. Verdooner | CEO & Founder
Steve is a seasoned, results-driven executive with over 25 years of experience in the ophthalmology and medical device markets, and a proven track record of launching and leading successful startup businesses. He has expertise in a diverse range of business management including sales and marketing, research and development, operations and regulatory management, brand management, business development and strategic planning. Steve has a proven ability to lead and interface with key opinion leaders, advisory boards, customers, scientists, engineers, Company Boards and the financial community.
Prior to being CEO of NeuroVision Imaging, Steve’s most notable experience was as co-founder and CEO of Ophthalmic Imaging Systems (1984-2007). OIS was a company dedicated to research, development, marketing, selling and manufacturing diagnostic medical imaging systems and informatics software for the eye care market. Steve led the initial research, market analysis, product development, commercialization strategy, and product launch for a revolutionary new imaging system that was the first of its kind in ophthalmology. Steve was involved in establishing and building the company infrastructure that took OIS to a public offering in 1992 and eventually being sold to Merge Healthcare in 2011. In 2007, Steve was recruited to Opko Health, Inc. as Executive Vice President. OPKO is a publicly traded specialty healthcare company ($1.8B market cap) that engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products, medical devices, vaccines, diagnostic technologies, and imaging systems for treatment and management of ophthalmic diseases.
Joanna Coleman, CPA | VP of Finance & Administration
With over 15 years of experience in financial management positions within high tech/med tech industries, Joanna is responsible for the financial planning and forecasting for NeuroVision. In this position, she produces the corporate financial statements, builds financial models and forecasts, reviews corporate contracts and maintains HR and internal controls within the organization.
Prior to joining NeuroVision as the Director of Finance, Joanna was the Controller of Ophthalmic Imaging Systems for approximately nine years, a publicly traded Company that specialized in digital imaging systems for the eye. During that time, she provided oversight for the financial management of the business, maintained compliance with the SEC and upheld communication and reporting to the board of directors and shareholders. OIS was acquired by Merge Healthcare in 2011. Before OIS, Joanna was a senior Accountant for Motion Engineering, Inc., a Company that specialized in high-tech, motion control boards for robotic machines. Joanna is a CPA with a BS in business economics with an emphasis in accounting from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Pepe Davis, PhD | VP of Regulatory Affairs & Quality Assurance
Pepe is an accomplished executive with experience in both startup companies and international medical device businesses. He has a proven track record of building teams and systems that meet business needs and regulatory requirements. He has participated in various industry collaborations with the FDA and served on the UC Santa Cruz Advisory Board for Regulatory Affairs and Medical Device Certificate Programs.
Prior to joining NeuroVision, Pepe spent 14 years at Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. During his tenure at Carl Zeiss Meditec, he worked across business functions from R&D to Operations including Vice President of Business Process Excellence and was responsible for Regulatory Affairs, Quality Assurance, Clinical Affairs and Compliance Officer. Previous to joining Carl Zeiss Meditec, Pepe was trained as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt consultant and spent 12 years at startup companies leading research and development of fiber optic technologies for telecommunications, fiber optic sensors and medical devices. He has a BS in Engineering Physics from UC Berkeley and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from UCLA where he specialized in nonlinear optics and plasma physics.
Branden Coleman, PMP | Senior Director, Commercialization | GM, Eye Care
Branden is a creative and strategic business executive having over 20 years of experience in leadership, healthcare management, healthcare informatics, and medical device & imaging business segments.
Prior to joining NeuroVision, Branden was a Senior Director of Merge Healthcare (now part of IBM Watson Health) where he was responsible for product and business strategy for eye care, orthopedic, ambulatory radiology, and cloud business segments, which accounted for more than 30% of the company’s annual revenue of $250MM. Before Merge, Branden was at Ophthalmic Imaging Systems as National Manager of EHR/PM solutions and interoperability to OIS’s image management solutions.
While pursuing a BS in Business Administration at Augusta State University, Branden founded a successful healthcare IT company in 1995 and was its President & CEO for many years ultimately leading a company segment to develop an electronic health record, practice management, and imaging software solution sold across the US with an emphasis on the eye care market.
Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, PhD | Research Scientist & Founder
Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, PhD is Associate Professor in Neurosurgery & Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Dr. Koronyo-Hamaoui has previously been a researcher at the Danek Gertner Institute of Human Genetics at the Sheba Medical Center, Israel. Dr. Koronyo-Hamaoui has published as the first leading author in various important peer-reviewed journals such as Molecular Psychiatry, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, Neuropsychiatric Genetics, Journal of Psychiatric Research, Journal of Neurochemistry and the European Journal of Neuroscience.
Her research focuses on the genetic basis as well as on the immunological cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia nervosa and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Current research developments include the identification and characterization of a retinal pathology specific to Alzheimer’s disease and its in vivo detection via high-resolution optical imaging modality. Future investigation focuses on early diagnosis and disease-modifying therapeutic intervention by understanding the underlying mechanism of repair for Alzheimer’s disease.
Another focus of the laboratory is to study the role that innate and adaptive immune cells play in the repair and regeneration of the central nervous system under chronic neurodegeneration – especially in Alzheimer’s disease. These studies utilize a systemic immune boosting vaccine to elicit local-brain immunoregulation and to help reverse the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.
She was a member of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, and the Israeli Societies for Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry, and is an active member of the Society of Neuroscience and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Dr. Koronyo-Hamaoui earned her bachelor’s degree cum laude, her master’s magna cum laude and her doctoral research work in the field of psychiatric genetics was obtained from Tel Aviv University. She then completed a fellowship in neuroimmunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Yosef Koronyo, M.Sc., LL.B. | Inventor & Founder
Yosef is a research associate in the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center working with retinal imaging studies in animal models and human cadaver eyes. He has over 15 years experience in biological research. He has been primarily focused on neuroimmunology, neurodegenerative disorders and optical retinal imaging. His work in neuroimmunology involves the role of innate immune cells and their involvement in pathological conditions in the brain and the retina, specifically in Alzheimer’s disease. He developed unique retinal optical imaging approaches ex-vivo and in-vivo for labeling amyloid-beta plaques with curcumin and examining noninvasively pathological processes and immune cell infiltration in live rodent models. His studies of innate immune cells and astroglia in the retina of MCI and Alzheimer’s patients as well as in rodent models of the disease allows for unique investigation of specific pathology occurring at early stages.