Our Founders

CNSPY was founded in late 2011 by Thihan Padukkavidana and Rebecca Brown.  Our co-founders have since moved on to new positions elsewhere in science, and their original mission and goals remain as CNSPY’s core values.  We are thankful for their vision and initiative in starting CNSPY. 

thihan pThihan Padukkavidana
Thihan earned his Ph.D. from the Cell Biology department at Yale in the lab of Dr. Stephen M. Strittmatter, where he studied neurodegenerative diseases such as fronto-temporal dementia (FTD), Alzheimer’s Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). His keen interest in developing novel therapeutics in biomedicine drew him to the Spiegel lab (Yale Chemistry), where he was involved in advancing and translating some of the cancer therapeutics and blood storage discoveries in the lab, into the clinic. He has had a longstanding interest in bridging academia and industry to create highly productive and collaborative research opportunities to improve therapeutic development. As a result, throughout his Ph.D. and after, Thihan was involved in facilitating both academic collaborations and academic-industry collaborations. He became intrigued with the lack of resources available for science Ph.D.s who wanted to take a non-academic career path; consequently, he co-founded CNSPY in 2011 to help students and postdocs in pursuit of careers beyond academia.  Thihan is now working at ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc as a Science Writer, Medical Communications. 

Rebecca BrownRebecca Brown
Rebecca will soon complete her PhD from the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program at Yale. She studied the genetics of nerve regeneration in Dr. Stephen Strittmatter’s lab. While a graduate student, Rebecca was fortunate enough gain valuable industry experience through internships at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Yale’s Office of Collaborative Research. She caught the startup bug while learning about technology transfer at Yale and is currently a Director at XLerateHealth, a healthcare business accelerator in Louisville, KY. Her job at XLerateHealth lets her to help scientists turn their ideas and discoveries into viable, scalable businesses.

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