Keynote Speakers


Gillian Wilson, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California Riverside

gillian-wilsonDr. Wilson is the Interim Deputy Director of the University of California Observatories. Originally from Scotland, Dr. Wilson has been a professor of physics and astronomy at UC Riverside since 2007, specializing in galaxy evolution and cosmology. She leads the international “SpARCS” and “GCLASS” cluster surveys and is a regular user of the University of California Observatories and NASA’s Hubble & Spitzer Space Telescopes. She teaches a popular course for UCR undergraduates called “History of the Universe.”


Homa Akbarian, Ph.D.
Head, R&D, Acclarent Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company

homa-akbarianDr. Akbarian is the R&D Leader for Acclarent Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company, which develops innovative technology to meet the needs of ear, nose and throat patients. Dr. Akbarian is a member of the Cardiovascular and Specialty R&D Leadership team. With 21 years of cross-sector and cross-industry experience, Dr. Akbarian promises to offer insights into industry positions. Previously, Dr. Akbarian worked at the Clorox Company prior to joining Johnson & Johnson ten years ago. Dr. Akbarian provides input to R&D strategic and long-range business plans by creating and leading several innovative products to address unmet patient needs and to stoke the innovation pipeline for better healthcare outcomes for patients.