NobleReach Foundation

Daniel Aharoni – University of California, Los Angeles

Sensing and recording brain activity in real-time

*NSF-funded, Diagnostics

Initiative Description

Dr. Daniel Aharoni, assistant professor of neurology at UCLA, and his lab specializes in the development and deployment of engineering solutions to address key challenges in neuroscience and medicine. Dr. Aharoni has led the development of the Miniscope, groundbreaking technology that allows for real-time monitoring of complex neuronal networks in freely behaving animals while they perform tasks. By providing a dynamic understanding of brain states, their relation to behavioral outputs, and response to different interventions the Miniscope technology has significant implications for the development of novel therapies. Unlike existing methods and technologies, the Miniscope eliminates the need for immobilizing or sacrificing animal models, allowing for a more accurate and rich assessment of complex neuronal networks that underpin brain functions. Currently, over 850 academic labs worldwide rely on Miniscope to explore different brain mechanisms, functions, and disease-causing states. Miniscope was developed with the support of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Neuronex grant and multiple NIH BRAIN Initiative grants.

Dr Aharoni’s lab has been awarded a grant to identify commercial opportunities and business plans to deploy Miniscope technologies worldwide, advancing neuroscience research and revolutionizing the field as part of partnership between NSF and the NobleReach Foundation. The aim of the partnership is to speed biotechnology development, translation, and commercialization for NSF-funded investigators. See here for a link to the press release. NobleReach aids in the identification of experts to facilitate commercialization as well as on the translation of science into business.

Job Description

Dr. Aharoni and his team are hiring a business lead to assess, drive, and establish the strategy for commercialization of the miniscope technology. This effort will span a period of 12 months with a non-dilutive grant of approximately $280k. This role is pivotal in guiding the team to driving product specification, market fit, and early commercialization of the technology.

Core areas of accountability:

  • Develop a business model suitable for the miniscope customers/market need, determining whether open source, service-based, license, or any other models are most applicable
  • Identifying target market(s) and conducting a market analysis
  • Developing an MVP engagement plan including product roadmap, resources needed to develop the MVP, and evaluate existing manufacturing relationships
  • Driving a funding plan

Key experience desired:

  • Business development and strategic planning in the medical technology or related field.
  • Experience in engineering design, product development, and launching hardware and associated algorithm based (e.g. AI/ML) products in the life sciences sector. Preference for experience with early-stage medical device or diagnostics companies.
  • Exposure to neurological devices (e.g. sensor technologies) either in humans or animal models.
  • Knowledge of open-source and/or outsourcing models for scientific and research tools and services.
  • Background in working with or pitching investors on early-stage research commercialization.

This is a consulting role. Location can be remote, as long as candidates are open to appropriate regular travel to meet with the science and innovation team at UCLA. There may be opportunities to join the team in a full-time capacity as an organization leader in the future.

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