Speakers 2017




Marques Colston
Dynasty Sports Group

marques_colstonMarques Colston played wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints for 10 years. He is the Saints’ all-time franchise leader in receiving yards, yards from scrimmage, receiving touchdowns, total touchdowns, and total receptions. He helped the Saints achieve victory in Super Bowl XLIV with seven receptions for 83 yards against the Indianapolis Colts.

Marques retired after the 2015 season and now is President/CEO at Dynasty Sports Group, a consulting company focused at the intersection of sports and technology. He is also a special advisor to Sports Testing, Inc. where he assists in the development of a global strategy that positions the company to maintain its rapid, global expansion in all areas of athlete evaluation, monitoring, and reporting.

Dr. Michael Joyner
Caywood Professor of Anesthesiology
Mayo Clinic

michael_joynerMichael J. Joyner, M.D., is the Caywood Professor of Anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic where he was named Distinguished Investigator in 2010. His research focuses on exercise physiology, human performance, blood pressure regulation, metabolism, and transfusion practices. He has been interviewed numerous times in popular print and electronic media and written on exercise and health for the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Outside and Runner’s World. Dr. Joyner’s interest in athletics includes developing the original “2-hour” marathon concept in the early 1990s. On a personal level he has run a 2:25 marathon and finished 15th in his age group for the mile swim at U.S. Masters swimming nationals He is also interested in the limits of scientific reductionism and de-hyping biomedical communications. After receiving his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Arizona he obtained residency and fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic. The Joyner lab has been funded by NIH since 1993, and former fellows have established independent research programs at leading institutions throughout the world. Dr. Joyner has held leadership positions at Mayo, in the extramural research community, and with leading journals. He has given a number of major lectureships including the ACSM Wolffe Lecture, and APS Walter B. Cannon Lecture.

Joe Rogowski
Director of Sports Medicine and Research
National Basketball Players Association (NBPA)

rogowski-joeJoe Rogowski is entering his third year consulting for the NBPA. Prior to his role with the players association, he worked ten years in the NBA as a director of performance and as a certified athletic trainer. During that period, he worked with the Orlando Magic and the Houston Rockets and served as president of the strength coaches association.

Currently, Rogowski advises the union and its members on research driven medical and performance outcomes and as well as preserving the health and safety of the athletes. In addition, he has been appointed to the NBA wearables committee. A first of its kind for professional sports.

During the offseason, Rogowski presents on several sports medicine topics at various conferences, both nationally and internationally. He is a published author who co-wrote several articles for both The Journal of Strength & Conditioning and The Journal of Athletic Training. In 2013, he co-authored the book “Conditioning and Strength for Human Performance.”

The NCAA had appointed Rogowski to its cardiac task force due to his unique research in the area of athlete cardiac physiology and preventive screening. In addition, Rogowski participated in the 2012 London Olympics as Performance Director for Great Britain Basketball.

Rogowski, originally from Chicago, graduated from DePauw University with a degree in sports medicine and athletic training. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Central Florida in the field of exercise physiology. He is certified in both ATC/L and CSCS. Before working with the NBA, he worked with several other sports organizations including the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, MLS’s Chicago Fire and Athletico Physical Therapy. Rogowski is married to Diana Lopez, an Olympic medalist in Taekwondo, and they have a daughter, Liliana and son Julian.

Josh Walker
Managing Director
Sports Innovation Lab

joshwalker_hsFormer VP of Research at Forrester Research and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at General Catalyst, Josh has successfully launched and grown several venture-backed software and data businesses.

Josh currently runs the Boston Sports Analytics group and helps drive product direction and strategy for the Sports Innovation Lab. He began building the Sports Innovation Lab’s research platform after meeting with owners and operators across professional sports. The opportunity was a familiar one. There were too many vendors selling complicated technology to buyers who wanted to optimize their operations without having to learn technology. The market wants an objective voice to help with these decisions and a way to demystify sports technology. In December 2016, Josh incorporated the Sports Innovation Lab with his partners Isaiah Kacyvenski and Angela Ruggiero to address this global market need.

Isaiah Kacyvenski
Managing Director
Sports Innovation Lab

isaiah_kacyvenskiNFL veteran turned entrepreneur and investor, Isaiah has been involved in conceptualization, product development, business development, marketing, and sales across a broad range of tech, biotech, sports, and consumer applications.

Mr. Kacyvenski is currently the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Sports Innovation Lab. Mr. Kacyvenski has a very deep background in wearable sensor technology as the former Global Head of Business Development and Chairman of the Sports Advisory Board at MC10, a cutting-edge conformal electronics company focused on optimizing objective physiological data capture outside of a controlled setting. Isaiah joined MC10 after graduating from Harvard Business School and remained there for 6 years as he was involved in the ideation, development, sales, and marketing of several different technologies at MC10, including the revolutionary, physiological data capturing electronic patch, the BioStamp, multiple award-winning CheckLight– a sports impact indicator– as well as the first-of- its-kind hydration monitor to name just a few. Isaiah is also an investor in, and advisor to, several companies in technology, sports, biotech, consumer, media, and sports medicine.

Angela Ruggiero
Managing Director
Sports Innovation Lab

angela-ruggieroA four-time Olympic ice hockey player, Ruggiero grew up in Los Angeles. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University, where she was a four-time All-American, as well as an Academic All-American. She also holds an M.Ed. in Sports Management from the University of Minnesota and a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Ruggiero currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for the 2024 Los Angeles Olympic Bidding Committee and is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Sports Innovation Lab, the leading independent market research and advisory firm delivering insights on the intersection of sports and technology.

Angela Ruggiero was appointed to the United States Olympic Committee of directors and began serving as an International Olympic Committee Member in February 2010, following her election to represent all Olympic athletes on the IOC Athletes’ Commission. She is the current Chair of the IOC Athlete’s Commission and a Member of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee.

Dave Ellis, RD, CSCS
Consulting Sports RD
Major League Baseball and MLB Players Association

ellisDave Ellis is a 35+ year sports veteran credited with staffing more full-time registered dietitians (Sports RDs) in High Performance settings than anyone working in sports. Dave worked 20 years in the collegiate ranks between the University of Wisconsin and University of Nebraska before starting a private consulting practice 15 years ago. Dave clients are a who’s-who list of championship professional and college teams along with his developmental work with USA Hockey National Team Development Program (NTDP) and USA Baseball. Most recently Dave has been named to a one-of-a-kind position in sports as the Consulting Sports RD for Major League Baseball and MLB Players Association where he plays a leadership role in the Food and Supplement Security space. Dave exposures are as deep and diverse as you will find in the High Performance fueling space and is an equally skilled presenter. Dave is also a Level V USA Hockey Coach and lives in Colorado Springs (www.daveellisbio.com, #fuelingtactics).

Doug Casa
Department of Kinesiology, UConn

doug_casa_2For Douglas Casa, the opportunity to maximize athletic performance in the heat and prevent sudden death in sport is the culmination of a life-long path; his passion for the study of exertional heat stroke started in 1985 when he suffered an exertional heat stroke while running a 10K race. This experience motivated what has become his life’s cause: the study of exertional heat stroke, heat illnesses, hydration, and preventing sudden death in sport – his ultimate goal is to find ways to maximize performance in challenging circumstances while working prevent needless tragedy during sport and physical activity.

“I was fortunate to receive amazing care on-site from the athletic trainer; the EMT’s in the ambulance; and at the hospital from the emergency room physicians and nurses. I only survived because of the exceptional care I received. I was just 16 years old at the time, but I have been driven by this experience since that day,” Dr. Casa explains when asked about what motivates him. He celebrated his 30th anniversary of surviving his exertional heat stroke on August 8, 2015.

In April 2010 Kelci Stringer (Korey’s widow), James Gould (Korey’s agent), and the NFL asked Dr. Casa to develop and run the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) at the University of Connecticut. Korey was an All-Pro offensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. He died from exertional heat stroke in August 2001. The mission of the KSI (ksi.uconn.edu) is to provide research, education, advocacy, and consultation, to maximize performance, optimize safety, and prevent sudden death for the athlete, warfighter, and laborer. Additionally, he is the editor of a book titled: Preventing Sudden Death in Sport and Physical Activity (2nd edition, 2017), published by Jones & Bartlett in cooperation with the American College of Sports Medicine. His new book titled Sports and Physical Activity in the heat: Maximizing Performance and Safety will be published by Springer in the summer of 2017.

For the past 17 years, Dr. Casa has worked toward his goals at the Department of Kinesiology, College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, University of Connecticut. During this time he has published more than 200 peer-reviewed publications/book chapters and presented more than 400 times on subjects related to exertional heat stroke, heat-related illnesses, preventing sudden death in sport, and hydration. Dr. Casa has successfully treated 225 cases of exertional heat stroke (without fatalities). In October 2005 and 2010 the Department of Kinesiology doctoral program at the University of Connecticut was ranked number 1 in the country by the National Academy of Kinesiology (for 20005-2105). Additionally, in September 2010 the National Research Council ranked the faculty in the Department of Kinesiology number one for research productivity.

Dr. Casa was named full professor at the University of Connecticut in August 2010. In 2008 he was the recipient of the medal for distinguished athletic training research from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. In 2016 Dr. Casa received the highest honor in his field when he was named a fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology (FNAK #556). He was named a fellow of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 2008.

He received the Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Educator Award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 2007 and has been a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine since 2001. In 2011 he was inducted into the University of Florida alumni hall of fame. He has been a lead or co-author on over 15 sports medicine (ACSM, NATA) position statements/consensus statements/roundtables related to heat illness, hydration, and preventing sudden death. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Athletic Training, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports and on the editorial board of Current Sports Medicine Reports, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, and the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Dr. Casa has worked with numerous media outlets across the country in discussing his research including the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America, ESPN, CNN, PBS, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Dr. Casa earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Allegheny College, in 1990; his master’s degree in athletic training from the University of Florida in 1993; and his doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Connecticut in 1997. He has been happily married to his wife Tutita Casa, PhD for 21 years and they have 3 kids; Montana (13), Navia (12), and Alessio (11).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

Leslie Saxon, MD
Executive Director
USC Center for Body Computing


Dr. Leslie Saxon is a professor of clinical medicine (clinical scholar) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias and preventing sudden cardiac death. In addition to her work in cardiovascular medicine, Dr. Saxon serves as the executive director of the internationally acclaimed USC Center for Body Computing (CBC) and newly formed USC Virtual Care Clinic (VCC). The CBC is currently a place for all USC schools, including medicine, engineering, business and the cinematic arts, to form interdisciplinary relationships and accelerate the future of fully integrated, “connected” medicine alongside public and private sector partners. She is a well-known authority on the pre-clinical and clinical development and testing of wearable and implanted technology, including networked devices used in medical, wellness and fitness disciplines. With her clinical expertise, she is a valuable strategist in developing device models and software solutions that offer engaging user-feedback based on real-time physiologic data. Her cultivation of critical innovative partnerships to jointly commercialize products within the CBC is essential for furthering and improving the dissemination of medical information, enhancing communication and improving health outcomes. Dr. Saxon has completed over 150 publications in various medical journals, has spoken at various forums, including TEDMED, South by Southwest (SXSW), WIRED Health and CES, and was recently named “Most Tech Friendly Doc” by Rock Health. Known as a digital health guru, Dr. Saxon is frequently interviewed by national media.

Dr. Chris Nowinski
Co-founder and CEO
Concussion Legacy Foundation
8/4/10 11:03:05 AM -- Boston , Massachusetts..NFL'er Chris Nowinski ..Photo by Vernon Doucette for Boston University Photography

Photo by Vernon Doucette for Boston University Photography

Dr. Chris Nowinski is the co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving the sports concussion crisis through advocacy, education, policy, and research. He co-founded the Boston University CTE Center and VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank in 2008, where he currently serves as the Outreach, Recruitment, Education, and Public Policy Leader. After an All-Ivy football career at Harvard, Dr. Nowinski became a professional wrestler with WWE, where he was named 2002 newcomer of the year and was a 2-time Hardcore Champion, before he was forced to retire due to post-concussion syndrome at age 24. His challenging recovery from post-concussion syndrome led him to write the critically-acclaimed book Head Games in 2006 in an effort to educate parents, coaches, and children about this previously hidden public health issue. Head Games is now in its third edition as Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis, and was adapted for the 2012 award-winning documentary of the same name by celebrated director Steve James. Sports Illustrated has said, “It is Nowinski’s figure which looms behind the doctors and the headlines and the debate roiling over sports’ newfound commitment to minimizing head trauma.” A 2011 Eisenhower Fellow, he serves on the NFL Players Association Mackey-White Health & Safety Committee, the Ivy League Concussion Committee, Positive Coaching Alliance National Advisory Board, and as an advisor to Major League Lacrosse. Chris received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Boston University School of Medicine.

Patrick Lucey
Director of Data Science

patrick-luceyPatrick is the Director of Data Science at STATS, where his goal is to maximize the value of the 35 years worth of sports data that they have. Previously, he was at Disney Research for 5 years, where he conducted research into automatic sports broadcasting using large amounts of spatiotemporal tracking data. Previous to that, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University/Department of Psychology at University of Pittsburgh conducting research on automatic facial expression recognition. He received his BEng(EE) from USQ and my PhD from QUT, Australia in 2003 and 2008 respectively. He was a co-author of the best paper at the 2016 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and in 2017 was co-author of best-paper runner-up at the same conference. Additionally, he has won best paper awards at INTERSPEECH (2007) and WACV (2014) international conferences. His main research interests are in artificial intelligence and interactive machine learning in sporting domains.

Mark Stephenson
Human Performance Program Manager
Naval Special Warfare Development Group

Stephenson Headshot 2Mark oversees strength and conditioning, Sports Medicine, nutrition, mental performance/sport psychology, sport science/tactical physiology, testing and assessment, research and development, and recovery at the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Mark brings with him over 27 years of experience of rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, and sport science. Mark’s area of expertise is in the psychophysiological profile of the elite performer using various biomarkers such as, Heart Rate Variability (HRV), EEG, tensiomygraphy, accelerometry/GPS, and biofeedback to determine optimal training loads and recovery interventions. Stephenson consults with various collegiate and professional teams form the NFL, MLB, and NBA and regularly presents at both national and international professional conferences on topics related to sports science and the state of physical and psychological readiness, recovery, and performance.

Through physiological monitoring Stephenson’s program has developed recovery strategies that have dramatically helped improve chronic overtraining, chronic pain/fatigue, and sleep. Strategies such as blood flow restriction techniques, modified sensory deprivation through use of Alpha chamber and Flotation tanks, and biofeedback have proven to be successful interventions. Physiological assessments, such as HRV, DC potential, and tensiomyography have also been successful in profiling elite performers as well as aiding in the manipulation of training loads in order to sustain high performance over long periods.

Mark began his career as an Athletic Trainer in an orthopedic sports medicine clinic for seven years before opening his own rehabilitation clinic and sports performance center. He transitioned to college athletics serving as a volunteer strength and conditioning coach at the College of Holly Cross (1995 – 1996). Mark also served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Providence College (1996 – 2002), where he was eventually promoted to the position of Head Strength and Conditioning Coach (2002 – 2003).

Prior to working with NSW, Mark was the Director of the Human Performance Center at the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) (2004 – 2009) where he over saw the resident strength and conditioning programs, physiological testing and assessments, and program development. His duties included serving as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Colorado College Men’s Ice Hockey team (2004 – 2009), High Performance coach for the Broadmoor Skating Club, and the Tactical Physiologist for the Colorado Springs Police SWAT team. While at the NSCA he developed the Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC) program.

Stephenson earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science, a Master’s of Science in Health Science/Athletic Training, and is currently a Doctoral candidate in Psychology with a specialization in Sport and Performance Psychology. Mark holds certifications from the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) BOC as an Athletic Trainer, Certified (ATC), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F).

Des Ryan
Head of Sport Medicine and Athletic Development
Arsenal FC (Academy)

Des joined Arsenal in February 2013 after a successful strength and conditioning career in the rugby world. Des worked for the IRFU as fitness education manager and his responsibilities involved managing the Continued Professional Development (CPD) programme for IRFU strength and conditioning coaches and managing the fitness development structures for rugby players in under-19 sides and below.

Before this, Des worked as head fitness advisor at Connacht Rugby from 1998 to 2008. During this time he had worked with the Ireland A rugby team for three years and assisted with the Ireland senior team. At Arsenal Des is the head of the academy sport medicine and sport science department. He over sees the physical development of players aged from 8 to 23. During his time at Arsenal Des has helped develop the size of the department and the facilities at the academy which help graduate a number of players from the academy to the first team.

Des has completed a Masters in Strength and Conditioning and is also a tutor with the IRFU, Setanta College and a tutor trainer with World Rugby. Des has been UKSCA accredited since 2008 and In 2016 Des completed the BASES high performance sport accreditation. He has a keen interest in the area of long-term player development and has presented at many conferences around the world over the last few years.

Jocelyn Faubert, PhD
Professor, School of Optometry, Université de Montréal
NSERC-Essilor Research Chair
Director, Applied Research Center (ARC)

faubert-jocelyn_1538_smallJocelyn Faubert is a full professor and directeur adjoint (equivalent of vice dean) of research and graduate studies at the School of Optometry of Université de Montréal.  He also holds the NSERC-Essilor Industrial Research Chair on Visual Function (since 2003).  His research interests are diverse dealing from low- to high-level perceptual and cognitive processing, human performance, development, aging, optics and photonics spanning from a fundamental perspective to translational research.  He has published over 160 research articles in peer-review outlets in numerous fields including experimental psychology (e.g. Psychological Science, Memory & Cognition, Frontiers of Psychology) sports science (e.g. Journal of Sports Psychology & Exercise, Journal of Clinical Sports Psychology) vision science (Journal of Vision, Vision Research, Perception and Psychophysics, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science) neuroscience (e.g. Brain, Neuroimaging, Neuroscience, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Cerebral Cortex) engineering (e.g. IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation) optics-photonics (e.g. Optics Express, Journal of the Optical Society of America, Journal of Nanophotonics) rehabilitation (e.g. Journal of Neurotrauma, Brain Injury, Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair) development (e.g. developmental psychopathology, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders) gerontology (e.g. Journal of Gerontology, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society) and general journals (e.g. Scientific Reports, PloS One).

He has 19 distinct patents & patents pending spanning from biophotonics, brain imaging, optical designs, and behavioural procedural methods for which the great majority have been licensed or sold to companies such as Essilor, CogniSens and Annidis health.  He was also a founder of two spinoff companies (Ophtalox and CogniSens) and recently a not for profit organization ‘The CogniSens Applied Research Center’ that is focussed on the translational research related to the use of the NeuroTracker System and other technologies originally developed in his laboratory.  The NeuroTracker system is now deployed globally on all the main continents and has close to 400000 individuals users worldwide.  In regards to performance, it is used in most of the major sports leagues such as the NHL (Hockey), NBA (Basketball), NFL (American football), EPL (Soccer), Top 14 (Rugby) and the most of the Special Forces in the US military such as the Navy Seals Special Operations. Universities and medical centers around the world now also use the NeuroTracker system for various purposes.

His work has received extensive media coverage in venues such as The New York Times, The NewYorker, Wired Magazine, The Times, The Scientist, The Week, The Sun, Science et Avenir, Nature.com, National Post, CBC, PBS, CTV News, etc.

He has mentored 15 Post-Doctoral Research Fellows in the past and is presently mentoring 5 more. He has supervised over 20 doctoral students and 66 masters and fellowship students. He has acted as a reviewer for numerous journals and was a member of several committees for the major Canadian research Councils such as NSERC, CIHR, Killam.

He has received funding from the three main national research councils in Canada (NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC) and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.  Throughout his career, he has totalled over $ 24,000,000 in research funding from research councils and industrial sources with over $ 11,200,000 of it being individual research funds. He currently holds grants totalling over $ 3,200,000 with NSERC, Essilor, SSHRC, FQRNT.

He was the recipient of the prestigious Medical Research Council (MRC) Scientist award in 1999 and prior to that also was a MRC Scholar and received salary awards from the FRSQ.  He was also recognised by his peers by receiving awards such as the Joe Bruneni Award and for his technology transfer from University to industry by receiving an ADRIQ-NSERC award for his involvement in the transfer of University to industry and the Genesis Award from BioQuebec for transfer-emergence.