Community Salon | 19 March 2024 | The Brain

Come to share, discover, and connect with our school community over drink and food in the informal, round-table setting of our Community Salon Series! These free community events are part of our Urban Engagement Program and feature members of our school community sharing their expertise and spearheading conversation. It is geared towards parents, faculty/staff, alumni and upper school students interested in the Salon's theme.

Our next Salon will take place on March 19th in the Arts Pavilion. This salon will focus on The Brain and features three parent speakers prominent in the field. The doors open at 5:45pm, with formal sharing from 6:15pm-7:00pm and conversation afterwards. The event is free. Please RSVP here or below. 


  • Allan Basbaum

    Allan Basbaum completed undergraduate studies at McGill University in Montreal, where he began his pain research studies with Ronald Melzack, did his PhD research at the University of Pennsylvania and postdoctoral research at University College London, with Patrick Wall. Presently, he is professor and chair of the Department of Anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco. His research focuses on peripheral and central nervous system mechanisms that process pain and itch messages, including the molecular mechanisms that contribute to chronic pain after tissue or nerve injury. Most recently, using contemporary imaging approaches, he began investigations into the mechanisms of action of different general anesthetics. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of PAIN, the journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), treasurer of the IASP, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and is a fellow of the Royal Society in the United Kingdom. He is presently a council member of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke and the HEAL (Health End Addiction Long-term) Multi-Disciplinary Working Group. He has published over 350 papers/chapters, which have been cited over 75,000 times.

  • Bruce Cree

    Bruce Cree, MD, PhD, MAS is a Professor of Clinical Neurology in the Department of Neurology at the University of California San Francisco.  Dr. Cree completed his MD and PhD in Biochemistry at UCSF.  His neurology residency training was at Columbia University.  He returned to UCSF for a Sylvia Lawry National Multiple Sclerosis Society fellowship and received a Masters in Advanced Studies in Clinical Research.  He is the Clinical Research Director at the UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Center and is the George A. Zimmermann Endowed Professor in Multiple Sclerosis. He divides his time between patient care, clinical research and teaching.  His research focuses on understanding factors that contribute to disease progression in multiple sclerosis, including genetic epidemiology, and developing novel therapies for multiple sclerosis through clinical trials.  In addition to multiple sclerosis, Dr. Cree specializes in research and care of patients with neuromyelitis optica and transverse myelitis.

  • Nicholas T. Hertz

    Nicholas T. Hertz, Ph.D., is the Founder and CEO at Montara Therapeutics, a seed stage biotechnology company. At Montara, he is working with an experienced team to create innovative therapies for diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) including Alzheimer’s Disease, with a focus on genetically validated targets and a precision medicine based platform that allows CNS specific targeting to enhance drug safety and efficacy. Previously Dr. Hertz’s Ph.D. research formed the foundation for Mitokinin and he served as CSO, taking the research from discovery to the clinic. At Mitokinin, Dr. Hertz’s team developed novel small molecule PINK1 activators that could represent the first disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson's Disease. Mitokinin was acquired in October, 2023 for up to $655M by AbbVie.

    Dr. Hertz’s academic foundation was laid at UCLA, where he graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Dr. Hertz then graduated with a Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical biology at UCSF under Dr. Kevan Shokat where he discovered the first class of PINK1 activating molecules and co-founded Mitokinin. Dr. Hertz completed postdoctoral research in neurodegenerative research with Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne at Stanford University where he identified a novel gene that controls sensory axon degeneration. Following his postdoctoral research, Dr. Hertz led the charge in fundraising and scientific strategy at Mitokinin, including chemistry, biomarker, and clinical development, demonstrating ability in both the scientific and business aspects of biotechnology.

    Dr. Hertz's has published over 20 publications in leading journals such as Cell, Neuron, and Nature, and he holds more than 12 patents. His work emphasizes the importance of rigorous science, innovative therapeutic development, and the dynamics of collaborative leadership in advancing our understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.