Summit Converges Prominent Industry Leaders to Advance Innovation in Brain Research

Boston, MA – The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is leading a two-day summit focusing on research and innovation for brain health at their second annual Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion, taking place May 17-18 at the Joseph B. Martin Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

With more than twelve industry and nonprofit partners, Brain Trust will convene the most influential voices in the field of brain health with the goal of continuing to advance research and solutions on behalf of Veterans for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The event features high-profile keynotes, lightning talks on brain health topics, and innovation demonstrations of new technologies supporting Veteran care. Day one keynotes and sessions are free and open to the public; to attend the Brain Trust 2017, please register here.

Brain Trust 2017 will be held in Boston, a city that’s known for its intersection of sports, education, health care and technology. Confirmed participants include David Shulkin (VA Secretary), Jeff Immelt (CEO/Chairman, GE), General Peter Chiarelli (CEO of One Mind and the former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army), Terry O’Neil (16-time Emmy award winner), Chris Nowinski (co-founder of Concussion Legacy Foundation and former WWE professional wrestler), representatives from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Defense (DoD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), NCAA, NFL, and many more.

“VA is in a unique position to contribute to the national conversation around the issue of traumatic brain injury,” said Secretary David Shulkin. “Our research not only leads to life changing improvements for the lives of millions of Veterans and their families, but also results in advancements for all Americans who suffer from these brain related injuries.”

The following organizations are teaming up with VA as official Brain Trust 2017 partners: Amazon, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cohen Veteran Bioscience, Comcast, Concussion Legacy Foundation, GE, IBM, Infinite Hero Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Optum, Outward Bound, PenFed Foundation, Philips, and the Warrior Care Network.

Issues related to brain health and head trauma transcend the Veteran and military community, impacting all Americans. By highlighting the themes of collaborative research, medical technology, and sports innovation for player safety, Brain Trust participants will discuss the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration of Veterans, athletes, and Americans in general – suffering from head trauma related injuries. The event will also serve as a showcase for many of the advancements that VA is pioneering to improve brain health for Veterans, the military and for the American public at large.

 “Concussion and other forms of head trauma affect both athletes and Veterans,” said Chris Nowinski,  PhD, co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and co-founder of the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank. “Through collaboration among the athlete, Veteran, and scientific communities, we are taking major steps toward identifying effective treatments for those in need. We look forward to continuing to grow the partnerships that are moving us closer to solving the concussion crisis.”

To learn more about Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion, please visit: and the public can register to attend online. Follow the conversation on social media with #VABrainTrust.


Media Contacts
Stacy Grisinger, Elevate Communications:617-861-3654,
Elizabeth Raflowitz, Elevate Communications:203-260-5373,