Dr. Wataru Akahata

Dr. Wataru Akahata is a senior researcher at National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has over 10 years’ experience in vaccine development against emerging infectious disease such as HIV, influenza and alphaviruses. In particular, his vaccine developments against alphaviruses utilize patented virus-like particle technology, resulting in strong immune responses and protection from lethal challenge. The ckikungunya virus (CHIKV) vaccine, which is against categorized priority pathogens C according to CDC, is now in Phase I trial. This is of particular importance to Africa, South East Asia and a part of Europe as outbreaks have infected 1-6 million people. He has a number of collaborators including the US army, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other universities related to emerging infectious disease.

Dr. Kerry Cheung

Dr. Kerry Cheung is an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the U.S. Department of Energy in the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. He supports strategic planning efforts and interoffice collaborations for grid modernization and the integration of renewable energy with an emphasis on power electronics, energy storage and smart grids. His policy interests include sustainability, clean energy, urban redevelopment and rural electrification.
Kerry holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research specialties at MIT were in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology, nanofabrication techniques and instrument miniaturization.

Nathaniel L. Forbes

Mr. Forbes is certified as a Member of the Business Continuity Institute (MBCI) and as well as a Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP) by the DRII. He was President of the Singapore Computer Society’s Business Continuity Group from 1999 to 2001and manages Forbes Calamity Prevention (FCP) Pte Ltd, which has provided business continuity, crisis and emergency management planning for multinational companies in Asia and Europe for 16 years. He has lived and worked in Singapore since January 1996.

Mr. Forbes is the author of the Calamity Prevention blog, an online source of fact and opinion about emergency management and business continuity in Asia. He is also a speaker and trainer and has served as President of the Asia Council of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), a professional association that administers the worldwide Certified Emergency Manager® (CEM®) program.

Prof. Hajime Hirose

Hajime Hirose is an Emeritus Professor of the Japan Coast Guard Academy and a professor in the Department of Social Information Science at Hiroshima Bunka Gakuen University. As the leader in the field of maritime police authority in Japan, his research areas are Police Administration and Japan Coast Guard Law. He is a specialist of legal theory behind the inspection of premises and the use of force and has been involved with the practice in the Japan Coast Guard as a legal adviser. He also serializes an ongoing “Case Study of Japan Coast Guard Activities” in a business journal. Currently, Dr. Hirose is researching maritime policy and developing a theory of maritime order that should be maintained by the coalition of Coast Guard organizations of each country. He is also a member of the administrative committees in his hometown of Kure City.

Dr. Devang Thakor

Dr. Devang Thakor received his B.S. degree in Mathematics/Applied Science and Psychobiology as well as his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His Ph.D. research involved sodium channels in chronic pain and the development of a new gene therapy technology. At UCLA, Dr. Thakor was a teaching fellow in neuroscience and psychology for over four years and eventually became one of two Master Teaching Fellows in the psychology department. He also served as the Director of Corporate Outreach for the UCLA Biomedical Society for three years, where he developed renewable funding sources and founded the UCLA Science Expo.

After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Thakor was a research fellow of the Clinical Implant Society of Japan (CISJ) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) at Kyoto University, where he developed new technologies for biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. He also studied stem cells and spinal cord injury at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Thakor has published his research findings as the first author in leading journals including Molecular Therapy, Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, and Molecular Pain, and he has contributed book chapters on gene therapy and stem cell transplantation to Translational Pain Research: From Mice to Man and the Methods in Bioengineering series. His work on gene therapy and stem cells has also been featured twice in the press book of the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Thakor founded, and is currently the principal consultant for, Anioplex, a strategy consulting firm focused on the biotechnology and life science sectors. The firm advises clients in academia and industry as well as clinical medicine and dentistry on research design, publication and funding.

Dr. Thakor also serves as a peer reviewer for several journals including Brain Research, Tissue Engineering, and Recent Patents on Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Thakor’s goal is to promote innovation at all levels and crystallize basic research concepts to real products that improve people’s lives.

Prof. Masao Tao

Dr. Masao Tao is a Kyoto University Emeritus Professor and a professor of the Faculty of Management at Aichi Gakuin University. He is one of the first generation of organization theory researchers in Japan and received his Ph.D. in Economics from Kyoto University in 1993. Dr. Tao was a visiting scholar at Chicago University in the 1986-1987 academic year and has been an associate professor of the Faculty of Economics at Kyoto University since 1992. He was also a professor of the Graduate School of Economics at Kyoto University from 1999-2008. His original expertise was in the field of organization psychology and he has conducted many research projects in that discipline. He has also been involved in education program development for public management, health care systems and NPOs. He has published numerous articles and books and has received widespread recognition and awards from the Japanese Organization Science community.