Jack Z. Chen, MBA
Founder and CEO
Mr. Chen is an entrepreneur and pioneer in U.S.-China cross-border investment and operations. He is one of the first investors in the cognitive science firm Magceutics/Neurocentria, where he was also a board member and actively involved in developing the company's strategy. As Founder and CEO of Transworld Capital Group, Mr. Chen completed some of the largest M&A transactions between the U.S. and China, one of which was hailed as "one of the landmark deals of the era" by The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Chen has been a guest speaker at Harvard, MIT, UCLA, Brookings Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Embassy and Tsinghua University. He has also served as an international investment advisor to the Beijing Municipal Government, and as a board member of Asia Society Southern California and the Methodist Hospital Foundation.
Shan Zhong, MBA
Shan graduated with an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and with a science degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where he received both a National Scholarship from the China Ministry of Education and the Shanghai government’s Distinguished Graduate Award. Shan previously served as a Product Manager for Johnson & Johnson’s largest medical device portfolio. He also advised a leading VC firm to invest in the largest mental health mobile app in China, and has led several strategic consulting projects for Stanford Hospital.
Albert "Skip" Rizzo, Ph.D.
Director of Research
Skip Rizzo is the Director for Medical Virtual Reality at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies, as well as a Research Professor at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and USC Keck School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. His work using virtual reality received the American Psychological Association’s 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions. He is Senior Editor of the MIT Press journal “Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments,” and sits on a number of editorial boards for journals in the areas of cognition and computer technology.
Director of Engineering
Charles holds a Bachelor of Science in applied physics and a master’s in electrical engineering. Before joining Cognitive Leap, Charles was a Senior Software Engineer at Garmin International, working on GPS media players. He has also worked as a Senior Systems Engineer in electrical design automation for Tanner Research, and as a Project Manager and Senior Software Engineer in GPS/GIS for Leica Geosystems. Charles was an Honorary Professor at Northwest University in China, and is currently the President of Jiao Tong University Alumni of Southern California.
Director of Operations
Jennifer Wang was a Principal at West Monroe Partners, and has over 10 years of experience in developing technical solutions and providing technical consulting. She also has extensive skills in database design and development, data analysis, desktop and web application design and development, and software product management. She has built strong partnerships between delivery teams and software stakeholders to produce an array of technology-enabled business solutions with exceptional outcomes for clients. Jennifer also led the development of West Monroe Partners’ trademark web and mobile application platform, ActivityTrak®. She holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Beijing University of Technology, and a Master of Science in computer science from University of Houston. She is also a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).
Director of Data Science
Aaron is a data expert who specializes in data science and machine learning. Before joining Cognitive Leap, he was a Biostatistician at Fulgent Genetics LLC. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science in statistics and applied math from UC Berkeley, and a Master of Science in biostatistics from Columbia University. His research areas involve data platforms, machine learning and computational neurology.
Vicky Dai, MBA
Director of Accounting
Vicky Dai is an accounting and finance professional with an MBA from USC Marshall School of Business. Before earning her MBA, Vicky worked for PwC and a world-leading healthcare company. Vicky has rich experience and solid knowledge in financial accounting, auditing, SOX and IPO projects in the healthcare industry.
Vanessa Liu, MBA, Ph.D. Candidate
Vanessa is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in management psychology, child development and educational psychology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Psychology. As a CPA, National Secondary Psychological Counselor, Student Academic Planner, and UCLA-certified Memory Trainer, she holds a range of interdisciplinary credentials. Previously, Vanessa served as CEO of a subsidiary of a large publicly listed company, and was able to bring the subsidiary to profitability in its second year. An accomplished researcher and consultant, her work has covered global comparative education methodologies, and she has worked over 100 cases as a child education and parenting consultant. Vanessa volunteers and lectures at Beijing Yunfan Future Education Assistance Foundation. She is a special-term professor at several learning centers and technical schools, and a special guest lecturer at the U.S.-China Alliance for Developmental Brain Health.
Chien-Yen “Kevin” Chang
Senior Software Engineer
Chien-Yen “Kevin” Chang is a Senior Software Engineer. After completing his master’s in mechanical engineering at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, he worked on automated optical inspection systems, haptic systems, and health-centered virtual reality applications. Kevin served as a Research Assistant at Haptic Lab, IMSC, University of Southern California, where he used game engine technology to build software and testing systems that utilized sensors to interact with natural human motor behaviors. Kevin has won numerous accolades, including first prize in a thesis competition sponsored by Lam Research Co. in Taiwan, and best paper awards at major gatherings, such as the Wireless Health Conference, HCI and IITSEC. Along with his team, Kevin created a rehabilitation tool kit in 2010 called Mystic Isle, which used Unity3D to integrate with Microsoft Kinect Sensors. Mystic Isle has been tested and used to treat brain injuries in several rehabilitation institutes, as well as directly in patients’ homes.
Clinical Advisor and Director
Lauren Stockly is a child and adolescent mental health therapist with nearly 10 years of experience. After earning her MSW from UCLA, Lauren went on to become certified as a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S) and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist (ECMHS). Her practice integrates Play Therapy and Mindfulness with a range of insight-oriented and evidence-based techniques. In addition to her specialization in EMDR/trauma therapy, Lauren is launching a line of bilateral stimulation tools designed to enhance emotional regulation, attention and processing. Lauren serves on the California Association for Play Therapy’s Executive Board and also runs the popular blog CreativePlayTherapist.com. She is in the process of publishing her first therapeutic children’s book, “Be Mindful of Monsters.”
Clinical Research Associate
Jatnna Rivas holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in health studies. Upon graduating in 2017, she was hired as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. As the primary coordinator for an NIH-funded study, she worked alongside a multidisciplinary team of doctors and psychologists examining the roles of various health risks within a racially diverse population. In 2019, Jatnna accepted a position leading Cognitive Leap’s new virtual reality study. Jatnna now holds a dual role with Cognitive Leap as a Clinical Research Associate and Operations Manager.
Crystal Goh, Ph.D.
Crystal previously served as Chief Scientific Officer at Cognitive Leap. She is a neuroscientist who specializes in the commercialization of nascent research in cognitive neuroscience. Before joining Cognitive Leap, Crystal was a Research Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, and also co-founded Araya Brain Imaging, an AI platform that helps individuals track neuroplasticity in their brains. She continues to serve as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College London's Applied Neuroscience Lab, developing social engagement strategies with nonprofit organizations in Asia and the USA through scientific content creation and program development. She is also a neuroscience columnist for Mindful.org and a mindfulness Instructor for tech corporations such as Google and Alibaba.
Venus Wong, Ph.D.
Venus Wong is a clinician who specializes in working with children living with developmental disorders. She holds a Ph.D. in school psychology, and is particularly interested in using technology to scale the dissemination of evidence-based practices in both rural and urban areas. She has also worked with children and families in hospital, school, outpatient and community settings. Her research interests include active intervention mechanisms and technology-based support for children with developmental disorders. Dr. Wong will also be a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University’s Clinical Excellence Research Center.
Clinical Application Specialist
Michael Ehrig is a mental health clinician who specializes in working with children and families. For over five years, he has worked in a wide variety of clinical settings, ranging from community nonprofit organizations to schools and private clinics. Michael has presented on the integration of technology into mental health in national and international settings, and utilizes various technological platforms and evidence-based practices to address cognitive and emotional behavior. Michael obtained his bachelor's degree in psychology and Master of Science in marriage and family therapy from the University of La Verne.
John L. Edwards
John Edwards holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a Microsoft NT 4.0 certification. He is an experienced researcher with a background in collecting and converting data for healthcare organizations and pharmacies. John previously developed quality assurance protocols and managed compounding departments for an FDA-approved manufacturing laboratory. He has also written scripts to automate testing devices in the petroleum engineering field, and has provided executive level support for several organizations.
Edward Hallowell, M.D.
Edward "Ned" Hallowell is a world leading expert in ADHD and the author of several New York Times bestselling titles, including “Driven To Distraction,” the representative voice and first of its kind to delineate ADHD to the masses. He is a board-certified child and adult psychiatrist, and founder of The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health, located in Boston MetroWest, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. He is also a co-founder of Cogleap Child Attention and Emotional Health Center, a China subsidiary of Cognitive Leap that is headquartered in Shanghai, China. Dr. Hallowell served on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School for 20 years until he retired from academia to devote his full professional time to seeing patients, writing books, and giving lectures and seminars.
Jeremy Bailenson, Ph.D.
Jeremy Bailenson is the founding Director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and a professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford. He is also author of the book "Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do," and a leading voice in the VR industry.
Walter Greenleaf, Ph.D.
Founding Board Member
Walter Greenleaf is known internationally as an early pioneer in the medical application of virtual environment technology. For the last 25 years he has developed innovative clinical systems for use in both physical and cognitive medicine, specifically focusing on the use of virtual reality technology. Walter has served as CEO and founder of InWorld Solutions, a company specializing in the therapeutic use of virtual worlds for behavioral healthcare, as well as Virtually Better, a company that develops virtual environments for the treatment of phobias, anxiety disorders and PTSD.
Trudy Goodman, Ph.D.
Trudy Goodman is a Harvard educated developmental psychologist trained by the famous psychologist Jean Piaget. Trudy has practiced mindfulness-based psychotherapy with children, teenagers, couples and individuals for over 25 years. She is also the Founder of InsightLA and a world-renowned mindfulness teacher, contributing to the creation of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Cynthia Telles, Ph.D.
Cynthia Telles has served on the Boards of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. since April 2003. Cynthia is also the Director of the UCLA Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic at the Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, and a Clinical Professor at the UCLA School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Telles was appointed by President Obama to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars (2010 – 2017) and by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Los Angeles World Airports Commission (2013 – present).
Shijin Sun, Ph.D.
Dr. Sun Shijin serves as the Director of the Psychology Research Center of Fudan University, is a faculty member of a Postdoctoral Station at Fudan, and is a member of the Academic Committee of the School of Social Development and Public Policy. His research interests are social psychology, counseling psychology, management psychology, humanity psychology, evolutionary psychology, and transpersonal psychology.
Michael Gisser, J.D.
Michael Gisser led Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's practice, and was the firm’s senior M&A partner in Greater China. He is a leader in cross-border and U.S. change of control transactions, was profiled by Chambers Global as a “leading lawyer” in both China and the United States, and is consistently listed by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of California’s top rainmakers.
Richard Walden has been the President and CEO of Operation USA for the last 35 years. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Operation USA is an international relief and development nonprofit. Founded in 1979, the organization has sent over $450 million in aid to 100 countries and received the Nobel Peace Prize for its work.
Founding Board Member
Andy Lam is an investor, physician and a four-time entrepreneur. He is Co-Founder and Partner at Uprising, a platform and fund to support epic things that matter. He was an Analyst in the technology sector at a New York hedge fund with one of the highest performing track records in history. Andy was also on the founding team of PL Capital, a $300 million fund. He received his B.S. in engineering from Stanford where he was a President's Scholar and recipient of Engineering Honors. Andy received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from the Baylor College of Medicine.
Jennifer Gu, Ph.D.
Dr. Jennifer Gu is a co-founder and Vice President of Research and Development at AIDP, Inc., one of the world’s leading providers of functional ingredients with a focus on extensively researched products. She has been responsible for new product development, clinical studies and intellectual property development for AIDP since 2005. Dr. Gu played a leading role in the discovery and successful commercialization of several patented ingredients, including Magtein®. Dr. Gu received her Ph.D. in experimental pathology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed her postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology in the Division of Biology. Dr. Gu published extensively in prestigious peer-reviewed journals during her academic life. Dr. Gu holds multiple patents and is a frequent speaker and contributor to nutritional journal articles. Her family is a significant investor in Cognitive Leap.