Robert Storey

Bob Storey is a managing partner at The LaunchPort™, a medtech manufacturing accelerator. He has extensive experience in working with NIH initiatives in innovation and investment. He is one of the eight national portfolio managers for the NIBIB RADx program and has been the sole medical device instructor for the biannual national NIH I-Corps program since its inception in 2014. These activities, combined with operations of LaunchPort, have resulted in the assessment of hundreds of early stage medtech and life sciences companies and technologies each year. Storey’s involvement with Johns Hopkins University and its School of Medicine has included a number of neuroscience and technology deployments. LaunchPort, under Storey’s leadership, will support NeuroTech Harbor’s equitech vision and its innovators.

Kebreten Manaye, MD

Kebreten Manaye is a Professor and Chair of Physiology and Biophysics at one of the premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Howard University. Kebreten is the past Director of Graduate Studies in her department and has enhanced the participation of minorities in cutting-edge STEM programs. She is co-PI of the NIH-funded Howard University Advancing Diversity in Aging Research (HUADAR) program that identifies bright minority students from STEM disciplines early during their undergraduate years. She prepares them to successfully compete for graduate studies and other professional careers through extensive mentoring and training. She also has contributed to the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines (CBMM), one of the NSF Science and Technology Centers, and for two decades has trained and mentored promising students through the Step-Up NIH program. Dr. Manaye is a gifted mentor to her students and faculty and fosters diversity and equity in medical school. Dr. Manaye has received numerous teaching and research awards. In 2023 she was elected as the first black woman to serve as the President of the Association of Chairs of Physiology Departments.

For NeuroTech Harbor she will serve as PI. Dr. Manaye and her team’s major role is to increase the number of women and URMs innovators through outreach and education, and to enhance equity and accessibility of neuromedical solutions. Her Pathways program will expand diversity amongst neurotech innovators and increase participation by women, Black, LatinX, and communities of color.

Evaristus Nwulia, MD, MHS

Evaristus Nwulia, M.D. MHS, is a Johns Hopkins trained physician and a neuroscientist, with over 15 years history in leading educational and training programs aimed at enhancing representation of underrepresented minority STEM and MD-Ph.D. students from HBCUs in the neuroscience workforce. He is also a Professor of Neuroscience at Howard University, who pioneered the development of home-based olfactory sensory stimulation platforms as disease modifying interventions for early Alzheimer’s disease. He holds several patents for devices and drugs, and for olfactory transcellular drug delivery methods for CNS disorders. He is co-Founder of three neuromedical device companies, including Evon Medics LLC, a neuroTech company tackling neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injuries and chronic pain; with over 65% employees from URM populations, Evon Medics has become a harbor for nurturing career development of highly talented young minority innovators. Evaristus has been a member of several NIH neuroscience-based scientific peer review panels over the past 10 years and has chaired the NIH Fogarty Global Brain Disorders Special Emphasis Panel. Ergo, he has extensive experience for recognition of projects with potential transformative impact. As a Neuroethicist and Chair of the Institutional Ethics Committee Board at Howard University, he brings substantial expertise in the ethical, legal, and societal implications of neuroscience and neurotech devices, particularly from the standpoint of several under-represented minority populations.

Ralph Etienne-Cummings, PhD

Ralph Etienne-Cummings is a pioneer in mobile robotics and legged locomotion. His innovations over the past three decades have the potential to produce computers that can perform recognition tasks as effortlessly and efficiently as humans, and he has developed prosthetics that can seamlessly interface with the human body to restore functionality after injury or to overcome disease. Etienne-Cummings’ research includes developing systems and algorithms for biologically inspired and low-power processing, biomorphic robots, closed-loop neural prosthetics and computer integrated surgical systems and technologies. He is the founding director of JHU’s Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering and consults for numerous technology firms, including Nova Sensors, Inc., Innovative Wireless Technologies, Singular Computing, Panasonic North America, Avago Technologies, Micron Technologies. He was a visiting scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a visiting African scholar at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and an eminent visiting professor at the University of Western Sydney (Australia). At Johns Hopkins he holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Computer Science and is former chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Etienne-Cummings was Associate Director for education and outreach for the National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Engineering Research Centers on Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology.