Bradford Clark Dickerson, MD

Brad Dickerson, MD is Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Fronto temporal Disorders Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital, an integrated multidisciplinary unit dedicated to the highest level of care of patients with these conditions. Dr. Dickerson is also on staff as a behavioral neurologist in the MGH Memory Disorders Unit.Dr. Dickerson is an active clinical consultant in many aspects of cognitive and behavioral neurology of neurodegenerative and related disorders, including frontotemporal dementia, primary progressive aphasia, Alzheimer's, mild cognitive impairment, posterior cortical atrophy, and related conditions, and the use of neuroimaging and other diagnostic markers in neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Dickerson has published extensively in the field of neurodegenerative disease, neuroimaging, aging, and cognitive neuroscience. He is on the advisory board of the Massachusetts Alzheimer's Association and the national Association for FTD. He is active in teaching, leading an annual course on Cognitive Neurology at the American Academy of Neurology and co-directing the annual Harvard Dementia Course. He is also an active mentor of trainees in neurology, psychiatry, and psychology, and of graduate and medical students, as well as undergraduate and high school students interested in this field.

Dr. Dickerson has published more than 70 manuscripts and book chapters and is in the process of editing 2 textbooks in the field of cognitive neurology and dementia, and runs a brain imaging laboratory affiliated with the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging.

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Al Sandrock, Chief Medical Officer at Biogen

Alfred W. Sandrock, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., is Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Biogen, and has served on the Executive Committee since 2015. 

He was named Chief Medical Officer in 2012 and since joining the company in 1998, has held several senior executive positions, including Senior Vice President of Development Sciences, Senior Vice President of Neurology Research and Development, and Vice President of Clinical Development, Neurology. Dr. Sandrock received his B.A. in human biology from Stanford University, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Harvard University.

He completed an internship in medicine, a residency and chief residency in neurology, and a clinical fellowship in Neuromuscular Disease and Clinical Neurophysiology (electromyography) at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Katie Brandt, M. S.

Katie Brandt is the Director of Caregiver Support Services and Public Relations in the MGH Frontotemporal Disorders Unit where she is an educator, advocate and fundraiser for families living with young-onset and atypical forms of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia. Katie is a former FTD caregiver to her late husband and a current Alzheimer’s caregiver for her father.  Katie’s personal experience caring for loved ones with dementia, and her work with families at MGH today, inspires her as a global advocate and fundraiser for clinical care and research efforts dedicated to FTD and Alzheimer’s Disease. Katie is a member of the federal National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services, a member of the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Advisory Council and a co-facilitator of the Boston-area FTD Support Group.

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Richard Ranti, Bassoon

Associate principal bassoon Richard Ranti joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 1989-90 season; he is also principal bassoon of the Boston Pops Orchestra.

He teaches bassoon at New England Conservatory and Boston University College for The Arts, as well as teaching private lessons and master classes throughout the United States and Canada. He runs the Bassoon Seminar at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute with his BSO colleague, Suzanne Nelsen. Mr. Ranti is an active chamber musician and recitalist in groups formed within the BSO and as a founding member of the Walden Chamber Players. Born in Montreal, Mr. Ranti started bassoon at the age of ten, studying with Sidney Rosenberg and David Carroll. After graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy, he studied with Sol Schoenbach at the Curtis Institute of Music. At the age of nineteen, he won the second bassoon position in the Philadelphia Orchestra; he spent six years with that orchestra, the last as acting associate principal.

A 1982 fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Mr. Ranti has also participated in the Spoleto and Marlboro festivals. He won second prize in the 1982 Toulon International Bassoon Competition and is the recipient of two Canada Council grants.

When not engaged is musical activities, Mr. Ranti enjoys outdoor recreation, woodworking, and reading.


Keith Lockhart, Piano

Having celebrated his twentieth anniversary as Boston Pops Conductor in 2015, Keith Lockhart is the second longest-tenured conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. He took over as conductor in 1995, following John Williams's thirteen-year tenure from 1980 to 1993; Mr. Williams succeeded the legendary Arthur Fiedler, who as at the helm of the orchestra for nearly fifty years. During his tenure, Keith Lockhart has significantly expanded Pops programming, focused on national annual touring, and participated in major media events. He has solidified the orchestra's place in the fabric of the New England community and has led the Boston Pops in countless performance situations. The list of more than 250 guest artists with whom he has collaborated is a virtual "who's who" of performers and pop culture icons.

Having just completed an eight-year tenure as principal conductor, Keith Lockhart is now chief guest conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in London, which he led in the June 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II; he is also artistic director of the Brevard Music Center summer institute and festival in North Carolina. Prior to his BBC appointment, he spent eleven years as music director of the Utah Symphony, which he led at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He has appeared as a guest conductor with virtually every major symphonic ensemble in North America, as well as many prestigious orchestras in Asia and Europe. Prior to coming to Boston, he was the associate conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras, as well as music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, Keith Lockhart began his musical studies with piano lessons at the age of seven. He holds degrees from Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University, and honorary doctorates from several American universities. Visit keithlockhart.com for further information.

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Jason Snider, Horn

Jason Snider joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops as fourth horn in 2007. Prior to that he held positions as second horn with Lyric Opera of Chicago and associate principal horn of the San Antonio Symphony. A native of Arkansas, Mr. Snider attended Northwestern University and performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for two seasons. After graduating with honors, he earned his graduate degree at Rice University. Mr. Snider has performed with the Chicago and Houston symphony orchestras, Houston Grand Opera, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Boston Chamber Music Society, and Collage New Music. He has also played with such varied music festivals as Sun Valley, Grant Park, the Grand Tetons, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, the Jerusalem International Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria in Mexico City. Currently on faculty at the New England Conservatory and Boston University, Mr. Snider teaches and performs regularly in recitals and master classes.

Michael Wayne, Clarinet

Clarinetist Michael Wayne is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining the BSO in 2008, Wayne was Principal Clarinet of the Kansas City Symphony and a member of the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra.

In addition to being on faculty at NEC, Wayne is on the woodwind faculty at the Tanglewood Music Center and has been a visiting professor at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Wayne has given masterclasses across the country, including the Manhattan School of Music, University of Michigan, and New World Symphony.

Wayne made his Carnegie Hall solo debut with the world premiere of Michael Daugherty’s clarinet concerto, Brooklyn Bridge, and subsequently recorded it for Equilibrium Records. His festival performances include Verbier, Music Academy of the West, NOI, and Hot Springs. Wayne has been the recipient of the Paul Boylan Award (University of Michigan), Whitaker Advanced Study Grant (Music Academy of the West), Earl V. Moore Award (University of Michigan), and a Fine Arts Award (Interlochen).

Studies at Interlochen Arts Academy, and at the University of Michigan. Studies with Richard Hawkins and Fred Ormand.

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Joel Bard, Oboe

Joel Bard received his Bachelor of Music in oboe at the Cleveland Institute where he was a student of John Mack. He went on to get his Master of Music degree, studying oboe and orchestral conducting at The Julliard School.

Joel is the principal oboist and artistic advisor of the Kendall Square Orchestra. He has worked as a freelance oboist and conductor in the Philadelphia and Boston areas and served on the faculty of the Longy School of Music. He was director of the Repertory Orchestra at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras from 1989 until 2011. Joel currently performs with a variety of chamber orchestras in the Boston area and, together with his wife, pianist Sayuri Miyamoto, puts on an annual chamber music concert to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Center through the Pan Mass Challenge.

In 1989 he also began to pursue his interest in science more seriously, first at UMass Boston and then as a graduate student at Harvard. After receiving his Ph.D in biochemistry working on muscarinic signaling in the lab of Ernie Peralta, he did a postdoctoral fellowship in x-ray crystallography working with Andrew Bohm at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute where he solved the structure of yeast poly-A polymerase which was published in Science.  He is currently an Associate Research Fellow at Pfizer where he leads a bioinformatics team supporting biotherapeutic drug discovery.

In his free time, Joel is an avid cyclist, speed skater, and back country skier.


Kristo Kondakçi, Conductor

27–year–old conductor Kristo Kondakçi, known for his vivacious and infectious musical energy, has acquired wide-ranging musical skills and an impressive list of accomplishments. He made his professional conducting debut with the Albanian National Orchestra in fall 2014 and his opera conducting debut with the Vienna Summer Music Festival Opera in summer 2018.

Based in Boston, MA (USA), he is the co-founder and conductor of Eureka Ensemble and the music director of Kendall Square Orchestra. Kondakçi’s other conducting activities include concerts the National Albanian Orchestra as guest conductor and the Narragansett Bay Symphony as Music Director Designate. He has also conducted the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Rivers Symphony Orchestra, Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Pro Musica, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Music for Food Ensemble, Harvard's River Charles Ensemble, among many other groups, professional and academic. In 2018, Kondakçi cofounded the Women’s Chorus, bringing together women experiencing homelessness and poverty.

Off the podium, Kondakçi coaches chamber music at Harvard University as a non-resident music tutor and has served as a guest lecturer at New England Conservatory and Longy School of Music. He has also made a significant contribution to Mahler research through his reconstruction of the original version of Mahler's 1st Symphony and has assisted his mentor, critically-acclaimed composer Michael Gandolfi—among other Boston based composers—in the preparation and publishing of new works.

Learn more at: www.kristokondakci.com

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Morris Birnbaum, M.D. Ph.D

Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Research Unit, Pfizer, Inc.

Morris J. Birnbaum is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for the Internal Medicine Research Unit at Pfizer located in Cambridge, MA.  In this role, Dr. Birnbaum leads the discovery of novel transformative therapies to reduce the prevalence of cardiometabolic dysfunction, thereby eliminating or diminishing the impact of common diseases on life expectancy and quality.  He is responsible for guiding the portfolio and technology strategies to bring programs from discovery through to proof of concept in the clinic.  Dr. Birnbaum is on the board of directors of Cerevel  Therapeutics, a start-up company focused on developing drug candidates to treat disorders of the central nervous system.

Dr. Birnbaum joined Pfizer in 2014 after an almost 30-year distinguished career as a Physician Scientist, leading an academic laboratory focused on basic research aimed at understanding fundamental mechanisms in metabolic regulation. He occupied roles as Associate Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Birnbaum also served as Associate Dean for Biomedical Cores and Associate Director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.  He completed his undergraduate, graduate, and medical training at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island before clinical training in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital of Washington University School of in St. Louis, MO, and postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute. 

In his long academic career, Dr. Birnbaum published over 200 refereed papers in the world’s leading scientific journals, including Cell, Science and Nature. His research focused on the study of insulin action, metabolism and how organisms respond to both a deficit and a surfeit of food.  Among his many scientific contributions, Dr. Birnbaum is credited with the cloning of the insulin-responsive glucose transporter and the elucidation of insulin signaling pathways critical to both normal physiology and the development of metabolic disease.  Throughout his career, Dr. Birnbaum has been active in national and international scholarly activities, including serving as a member of the Research Policy Committee of the American Diabetes Association, on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Biological Chemistry, Diabetes and Endocrine Reviews, and Deputy Editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation; he is currently on the Editorial Boards of Cell Metabolism and Science Signaling.   Dr. Birnbaum was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians and is a fellow of the AAAS.