Speakers

Meet the amazing speakers that will teach, enegage and network at IMCC 2017. 

Benjamin Z. Bronfman | U.S.A.

Ben Bronfman first became interested in the cannabis space seven years ago when he moved to Los Angeles, CA. After surveying the industry, he decided to join the board of Americans for Safe Access. At that time there were 16 States which had passed Cannabis laws. Mr. Bronfman has been one of ASA’S most engaged board members. In addition to his work with ASA, Bronfman partnered with various Silicon Valley investors to help elect Kamala Harris, The Attorney General of California, who was locked in a standoff election with Steve Cooley in 2010. This helped ensure that the laws in the country’s largest cannabis market would not be reversed.

Mr. Bronfman is an entrepreneur, environmentalist and Grammy-nominated musician/producer based in New York City. Mr. Bronfman is managing director of Global Thermostat, which he co- founded with Columbia University economist Graciela Chichilinsky and fellow Columbia Professor Peter Eisenberger. Mr Bronfman was responsible for securing the firm’s $100M valuation and has orchestrated various business and strategic partnerships for the firm.  Bronfman is on the board of several organizations including Pioneer Works, a center for art and innovation in Red Hook, Brooklyn.. Mr. Bronfman also has positions in various technology start ups and was recently the recipient of Global Green’s impact Entrepreneur Award alongside the Clinton Foundation. 

ALLAN I. FRANKEL | U.S.A.

Dr. Allan I. Frankel is one of the World’s leading authorities on Dosed Cannabis
Medicine. With over 37 years experience in Internal Medicine, Dr. Frankel applies his knowledge of all aspects of the Cannabis plant, and its therapeutic value as a dosed medicine. He established GreenBridge Medical, Inc. in 2007 to provide the highest quality medical treatment to patients suffering from multiple chronic and serious medical conditions.

Dr. Frankel has presented multiple CME accredited Grand Round Lectures on
Internal Medicine and Therapies in Medical Cannabis and participated in round
table discussions on the topic of future therapies and research for Medical Cannabis sponsored by the California Medical Association and the Los Angeles County Medical Association. He has also been a featured speaker on medical cannabis therapies at the International Pelvic Pain Society conference, The University of Washington, Cedars-Sinai Hospital and numerous support groups and care facilities.

Dr. Frankel developed the Chartscape medical software program used by the UCLA Bowyer Cancer Center, the eScript medical software utilized by Kaiser Permanente Health System, is the founder of GreenlifeDocs and the CEO of GreenBridge Medical Services.

Dr. Frankel graduated second in his class from the UCLA School of Medicine where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honors society. For three years Dr. Frankel was selected by his peers as one of the Top Internists in LA. He was also a Clinical Professor for eighteen years for the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine.

Dr. Frankel lives in Los Angeles, California, has a daughter, two sons, five grandsons and a granddaughter.

LUMÍR ONDŘEJ HANUŠ | ISRAEL

Lumír Ondřej Hanuš obtained his M.S. in analytical chemistry (1972), Ph.D. in analytical chemistry (1974) and associate professor in organic chemistry (1994) from Palacký University (Olomouc, Czech Republic) and his D.Sc. in pharmaceutical chemistry (1995) from Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic). Between years 1971 and 1990 did research and teached at Medical Faculty, Palacký University (Olomouc). Period 1978–1979 spent as research associate at School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, USA. From 1990 up to present time (as researcher, professor haver, and Research Fellow) is with School of Pharmacy (Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel). Between years 1997 and 1998 was visiting associate (NIDDK, NIH, Bethesda, USA) and in 2001–2002 as research fellow at NIAAA (NIH, Bethesda, USA). At present time, he is Research Fellow of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was awarded with Honorary Doctorate degree - Chemiae Doctor honoris causa (2007) and Medicinae Doctor honoris causa (2011), Hanuš medal (2005), Addictology Award (2012), and Olomouc City Award (2013).

Brendan Hughes | U.K.

Brendan Hughes has been working at EMCDDA since 2001 in the field of national drug legislation, after gaining a Masters degree in International Criminal Law (LLM) specialising in narcotics law. He manages the European Legal Database on Drugs (ELDD) which holds various comparative overviews and analyses on different topics relevant to drug laws; not only use, possession and trafficking laws, but also issues such as drug classifications, threshold quantities, alternatives to punishment, drug driving, procedures for classifying new substances as drugs, and regulatory frameworks for substitution treatment. He published the first European quantitative comparison of drug law sentencing and outcome statistics in 2009, and is currently working on a pilot index for comparing drug laws across countries and over time. 

Michel Kazatchkine | Switzerland

Michel D. Kazatchkine was Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from 2007 to 2012. The Global Fund, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is the world’s leading multilateral financier of programs for the three diseases and one of the major financiers of health systems strengthening. In 2012, then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon appointed him as United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Dr Kazatchkine has spent the past 25 years fighting AIDS as a leading physician, researcher, administrator, advocate, policy maker, and diplomat. He attended medical school at Necker-Enfants-Malades in Paris, studied immunology at the Pasteur Institute, and has completed postdoctoral fellowships at St Mary’s hospital in London and Harvard Medical School. His involvement with HIV began in 1983, when, as a young clinical immunologist, he treated a French couple who had returned from Africa with unexplained fever and severe immune deficiency. By 1985, he had started a clinic in Paris specializing in AIDS – which now treats over 1,600 people – and later opened the first night clinic for people with HIV in Paris, enabling them to obtain confidential health care outside working hours.

Dr Kazatchkine was Professor of Immunology at Université René Descartes and Head of the Immunology Unit of the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris. He has authored or co-authored of over 500 articles in peer reviewed journals, focusing on auto-immunity, immuno-intervention and pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS.

In addition to his clinical teaching and research activities, Dr. Kazatchkine has played key roles in various organizations, serving as Director of the National Agency for Research on AIDS (ANRS) in France (1998-2005), Chair of the World Health Organization’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (2004-2007), member of the WHO’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group on tuberculosis (2004-2007), and French Ambassador on HIV/AIDS and communicable diseases (2005-2007). Dr Kazatchkine’s involvement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria began when the organization was established in 2001. He was the first Chair of the Global Fund’s Technical Review Panel (2002-2005) and has served as a Board member and Vice-Chair of the Board (2005-2006).

Philippe Lucas | CANADA

Philippe Lucas has a Masters degree in Studies in Policy and Practice from the University of Victoria and is a PhD student at the University of Victoria’s Social Dimensions of Health program.  He is a Research Affiliate with the Center for Addictions Research of British Columbia and a founding Board member of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies Canada and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.  His scientific research interests, projects and publications include the therapeutic use of cannabis, Canadian and international cannabis policy, and the use of cannabis, ibogaine, and ayahuasca in the treatment of addiction.  Currently, he is a Primary or Co-Investigator on a number of studies examining cannabis substitution theory. In 1999 Philippe founded the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, one of Canada’s longest running non-profit medical cannabis dispensaries, for which he acted as Executive Director until 2009.

Over the years, Philippe has received a number of accolades and awards for his work in the community and academic achievements, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013), the CRFAIR 2012 Food and Agriculture Champion Award, The Land Conservancy Top 50 BC Environmental Heroes 2011, the University of Victoria Blue and Gold Award for academic excellence and community service (2007), and the Vancouver Island Civil Liberties Association Leadership Award (2002).

Ingo Michels | GERMANY

A sociologist and advisor for treatment of drug dependency, former Head of Unit of Federal Drug Commissioner of the Ministry of Health, Germany, Dr. Michels has served as Head of the Drugs and Prison projects department of the German AIDS-Hilfe in Berlin, as Drug Commissioner of the Federal State of Bremen, Germany, and as Head of the Office of the Federal Drug Commissioner, Federal Ministry of Health in Berlin, Germany. 

In 2007 he worked as a Consultant for the German International Development Organization GTZ (Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit – Association for Technical Cooperation) on “HIV prevention among injecting drug users through harm reduction capacity building and advocacy” in Vietnam, Ukraine and Pakistan. Dr. Michels has published widely in international journals on substance use.

Richard Rokyta | CZECH REPUBLIC

As a founding member of the Czech Medical Academy, he was its first vice-chair and now serves as its chair. Vice-Dean Emeritus of the Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague. In 1982–2009, he was the head of the Department of Normal, Pathological, and Clinical Physiology of the Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, and he is a Teaching Professor of physiology and pathological physiology there. He co-established the system of postgraduate studies at Charles University and the Czech Neuropsychopharmacological Society. He has been honored, inter alia, by the award of a Chevalier Des Palmes Academiques by the French Prime Minister. He is a professor of normal and pathological physiology. He is involved in ontogenetical neurophysiology, physiology of talamocortical relations and also physiology of pain and its treatment. He was awarded the title of Professor of Normal and Pathological Physiology in 1991 and from 1990-1996, he was dean of the 3rd Medical Faculty of Charles University.

Ethan Russo | U.S.A.

Ethan Russo, MD, is a board-certified neurologist, psychopharmacology researcher, and Medical Director of PHYTECS, a biotechnology company researching and developing innovative approaches targeting the human endocannabinoid system (“ECS”). The PHYTECS team pioneered scientific understanding of how the ECS regulates physiological functions including immunity, pain, inflammation, mood, emotion, learning, memory, metabolism, appetite, weight, sleep, embryo development, neuroprotection and stress responses.

Previously, from 2003-2014, he served as Senior Medical Advisor and study physician to GW Pharmaceuticals for three Phase III clinical trials of Sativex® for alleviation of cancer pain unresponsive to optimized opioid treatment and initial studies of Epidiolex® for intractable epilepsy.

He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (Psychology) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, before residencies in Pediatrics in Phoenix, Arizona and in Child and Adult Neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was a clinical neurologist in Missoula, Montana for 20 years in a practice with a strong chronic pain component. In 1995, he pursued a 3-month sabbatical doing ethnobotanical research with the Machiguenga people in Parque Nacional del Manu, Peru. He joined GW as a full-time consultant in 2003. He has held faculty appointments in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Montana, in Medicine at the University of Washington, and as visiting professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

He is currently Past-President of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, and is former Chairman of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the American Botanical Council. He is author of Handbook of Psychotropic Herbs, co-editor of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Potential, and author of The Last Sorcerer: Echoes of the Rainforest. He was founding editor of Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, selections of which were published as books: Cannabis Therapeutics in HIV/AIDS, Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science and Sociology, Cannabis: From Pariah to Prescription, and Handbook of Cannabis Therapeutics: From Bench to Bedside. He has also published numerous book chapters, and over thirty articles in neurology, pain management, cannabis, and ethnobotany. His research interests have included correlations of historical uses of cannabis to modern pharmacological mechanisms, phytopharmaceutical treatment of migraine and chronic pain, and phytocannabinoid/ terpenoid, /serotonergic and /vanilloid interactions.

STEPH SHERER | U.S.A.

Steph Sherer is founder and Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the largest US member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists, and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. Her direct experience with the medical benefits of cannabis and her political organizing background led Steph to form ASA in 2002 with the purpose of building a strong grassroots movement to protect patients and their rights. As a powerful advocate, a skilled spokesperson, and an energetic initiator of campaigns, Steph has trained over 100,000 individuals across the country on civic engagement. Steph has become the foremost international leader and expert on medical cannabis patient advocacy and, alongside American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), has created the first US industry standards in the areas of Distribution, Cultivation, Analytics, and Manufacturing, Packaging and Labeling.

Alexandra Šulcová | CZECH REPUBLIC

Professor of Pharmacology, FCMA, FECNP, FCINP, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. After her graduation as M.D. she started her carrier in Pharmacology at the Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University. She has served as a Professor of Pharmacology and Head of the Department of Pharmacology. She has extensive and varied administrative experience, serving as a member of the Scientific Council and the Vice-Dean for Foreign Relations. In 2011, she moved to the position of Leader of the Research Group “Experimental and Applied Neuropsychopharmacology” at the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Masaryk University. In research, she is dedicated to neuropsychopharmacology since her Ph.D. studies completed at the Pharmacological Institute Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic. 

The most cited papers deal with cannabinoids (collaboration with prof. R. Mechoulam`s Jerusalem laboratory) and methamphetamine studies. In 2013, Dr. Sulcova was given the “Milada Paulova Award in Experimental and Clinical pharmacology and Toxicology” by the Czech Minister of Education. In 2014 she was elected as Fellow of the Czech Medical Academy (FCMA). Dr. Sulcova, has been and is, a member of committees of several national and international scientific societies. She is an Honorary Member of the 52 years old Czech Neuropsychopharmacological Society (CNPS), serving as the President in 1999-2000. Her experience is also proved with her membership in the Executive Committees in the Czech Society for Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, European Behavioural Pharmacology Society (EBPS), European College of Neuropharmacology (ECNP). In 2010-2014 she was elected and served for the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) Office of Vice President and for the CINP 2016 elections Dr. Sulcova accepted the nomination as a candidate for the Presidential post.

Mark Ware | CANADA

Dr. Mark A. Ware, MBBS MRCP(UK) MSc is Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Anesthesia at McGill University. He is the Director of Clinical Research of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre, co-Director of the Quebec Pain Research Network, Executive Director of the non-profit Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC) and chair of the International Association for Cannabinoids Medicines (IACM). 

He practices pain medicine at the Montreal General Hospital and at the primary care pain clinic of the West Island of Montreal. Dr Ware’s primary research interests are in evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medicines derived from cannabis (cannabinoids), population-based studies of the impact of pain on the population, and the role of complementary therapies in pain and symptom management. His research is funded by the FRSQ, CIHR, and the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation. 

A graduate of the University of the West Indies (MBBS 1992), Dr. Ware worked at the MRC Sickle Cell Unit in Kingston Jamaica from 1996-1998 where he developed his interests in pain management and cannabis therapeutics. He moved to McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 1999 and since then has secured the only two Canadian federal grants to study medical cannabis. He has published over 70 papers on pain and cannabis, 6 book chapters, and given over 150 scientific talks to local, national and international audiences. He has served as an advisor to the Canadian government since 2001 on medical cannabis policy.

MIRI HALPERIN WERNLI | SWITZERLAND

Group CEO, Co – Founder and Executive Director of Creso Pharma

Dr. Halperin Wernli is a senior pharmaceutical and biomedical executive with over 25 years of strategic and operational leadership in the biopharmaceutical industry and a deep understanding of drug and product development.

Dr. Halperin Wernli has held worldwide senior leadership positions in product development, R&D and Strategic Marketing throughout Switzerland and in the US (Merck, Sharp and Dohme, Roche and Actelion pharmaceuticals).

Her extensive pharmaceutical industry and biomed research and development experience covers the full spectrum of areas and activities from Preclinical to Clinical Development and Strategy, to Drug Registration and Launch, across several Therapeutic Areas.

Dr. Halperin Wernli is an experienced Pharmaceutical leader with skills and broad expertise in Drug Development, Regulatory Affairs, Project & Portfolio Management, Development Finance & Controlling, and Corporate Strategy and Governance.

Miri's depth of experience in Pharma drug development as well as her leadership roles in complex highly regulated health environments in Europe and the US make her ideally qualified to lead Creso Pharma through this critical initial period of multiple product developments and rapid growth.

TOMAS ZABRANSKY | CZECH REPUBLIC

Tomas Zabransky graduated from Medical Faculty, Palacky University Olomouc in 1993, where he also received Ph.D. in epidemiology, hygiene and preventive medicine in 2001.

Tomas Zabransky was, inter alia, a principal researcher of the multidisciplinary PAD Study, which evaluated the impacts of amendments in the Czech drug legislature (1999) as requested by the Czech Government. He serves as Reader in Addiction Science and Department of Addictology, Charles University, Prague, and at the Department of Epidemiology, Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the Medical Faculty of the Palacky University. Since 2001, he runs a private research, education and consulting company ResAd LLC. 

Tomas was a leading person of the public movement that achieved the legalization of the use of medical cannabis in the Czech Republic. In 2015, he co-founded International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute, a scientific hub aiming to leverage the research and standardize the production and treatment processes in the field.

Tomas serves as Advisor on Drug Policy to the Czech Prime Minister; in 2014-16 he was an advisor on Medical Cannabis and Drug Policy to the Czech Minister of Health.

He published over 120 peer-reviewed journal papers and chapters in monographs, and authored two textbooks. Tomas is Editor of the International Journal on Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids (Karger) Deputy Editor of the scientific journal Harm Reduction Journal (Biomed Central), and member of the Board of the International Society for Studies of Drug Policies.

Jan Žaloudík | CZECH REPUBLIC

Prof. MUDr. Jan Žaloudík, CSc., is member of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and the chairperson of its Committee on Health and Social Policy. 

In 1985 and 1987 he worked in the field of oncological research at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research and the Christie Hospital in Manchester (UK), and in 1990-1992 as a researcher at the Wistar Institute and Pennsylvania University, Philadelphia (US).

He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institutes of Oncology in Warsaw, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Houston, Paris and Amsterdam. He was a member of the scientific commission of the Czech Science Foundation (GACR), and principal investigator of many research projects in the Czech Republic. In 2003-2006 he was Secretary for Science of the Board of the Czech Society for Oncology (CSO). Now, he is a Member of the Board of the Society and chairperson of its Section for Oncologic Surgery. Prof. Žaloudík represents the Czech Republic in the World Federation of Surgical Oncology Societies; he is a member of the board of the Czech Surgical Society and of the Society of Gastrointestinal Oncology of the J.E. Purkyne Czech Medical Society. In 1998-2000, he established the University Centre of Oncology in Brno as a platform for the horizontal coordination of oncological programmes in the hospitals in the city of Brno, including research and education. In 1999-2002, he was vice-dean for science and research, and in 2003-2010, he was the dean of the Medical Faculty of Masaryk University.

He is chairperson of the panel for Tumour Diseases of the State Agency for Health Research and a member of the Research Board of Charles University. He is one of the founding members of the post-graduation committee in oncological surgery at the Institute for Lifelong Education in Health Services (IPVZ) in Prague. In 2012-2013 he also worked at the Surgical Clinic of the 2nd Faculty of Medicine of Charles University and the Military University Hospital in Prague. He is a member of the Scientific Board for Clinical Oncology at the Czech Medical Chamber, and president of the “Barrier against Cancer” (Hráz rakovině) foundation at the Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute.

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