AccessCircles Events




Polina Anikeeva received her BS in Physics from St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University in 2003. After graduation she spent a year at the Los Alamos National Lab working on quantum dot photovoltaic cells. She then enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Materials Science at MIT and graduated in January 2009 with her thesis dedicated to the design of light emitting devices based on organic materials and quantum dots. She completed her postdoctoral training at Stanford, where she created devices for optical stimulation and recording from neural circuits. 

In 2011, Polina joined the MIT, where she is now an Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences and an associate member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. Her lab focuses on the development of flexible and minimally invasive materials and devices for neural recording, stimulation, and repair. 

Polina is a recipient of NSF CAREER Award, DARPA Young Faculty Award, the TR35, and 2018 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise. In addition to research, Polina’s obsessions include long distance running, rock climbing, and superhero comics, all of which are prominently featured in her MIT residential and on-line courses.


RHONDA AU, Ph.D., M.D., M.B.A.

Dr. Rhoda Au completed her undergraduate degree at Pomona College in California . She earned her PhD from the University of California, Riverside, as well as an MBA from Boston University in 1995. She joined the Boston University School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology in 1986 as a Research Instructor, and she is currently a Professor in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Au is also Director of Neuropsychology for the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) and serves to facilitate the collaboration between FHS and the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

Dr. Au’s research interests are focused on aging and dementia, and include relating cardiovascular risk factors, brain MRI measures, and neuropathology to cognitive performance.  She is also interested in merging research and technology as the path toward innovative science. 



Mr. Bangia is Senior Vice President and Senior Information Security Architect at Bessemer Trust. In this role, he is responsible for security architecture and deploying tools and technologies to mitigate cyber security threats.

Prior to joining Bessemer, Vikas served as a project manager for Ernst & Young where he focused on encryption technologies. Before that, he was the Information Technology Manager at a global fragrance and flavor company.  He is a member of the SANS Advisory Board and InfraGard.

Vikas is a graduate of the Executive Information Technology Management program at Columbia University and earned a B.S. in biochemistry from the Ohio State University. He is a GIAC Certified Incident Handler and Penetration Tester, and holds the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certifications.




Dr. Blumberg is the John and Hope Furth Professor of Psychiatric Neuroscience, Professor of Psychiatry, Diagnostic Radiology and in the Child Center at the Yale School of Medicine. Her research is devoted to understanding brain circuitry that underlies mood and cognitive disorders in women and men across the lifespan. She directs the Mood Disorders Research Program at Yale that brings together a multi-disciplinary group of scientists to study the genetic, developmental, aging and environmental factors that cause mood and cognitive disorders to develop new methods for early detection, more effective interventions, and prevention of mood and cognitive symptoms and suicide.  

Dr. Blumberg and her program have generated findings important for the brain, cognitive and emotional health of women across the lifespan. She studied neuroscience as an undergraduate at Harvard University and completed her medical degree, psychiatry training and specialty training in neuroimaging at Cornell University Medical College prior to joining the Yale faculty in 1998.




Dr. Brinton earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology (Summa Cum Laude Honors, Phi Beta Kappa), her master’s degree in neuropsychology, and her doctorate in neuropharmacology and psychobiology as a National Institutes of Health Predoctoral fellow, from the University of Arizona. She continued her research as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Rockefeller University’s Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology in New York from 1984 to 1986. She joined the USC School of Pharmacy faculty in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1988.

Currently, Roberta Diaz Brinton is the inaugural Director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. Two National Institute on Aging sponsored clinical trials are currently underway based on therapeutics discovered and developed in the Brinton lab, including the first trial of a regenerative therapeutic for Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Brinton has been awarded with many recognitions for her ground breaking work.



Julie Burstein is a Peabody Award-winning producer, best-selling author, TED speaker, coach and consultant who has spent her working life in conversation with highly creative people – interviewing, probing, guiding, creating live events and public radio programs about them and their work.  Her book Spark: How Creativity Works was published by Harper in 2011.

Julie’s TED talk “4 lessons in Creativity” has been viewed almost two million times.  She hosted a series of conversations about creativity at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and directed the museum’s TEDxMet events.  Julie has moderated panels for the World Science Festival, and often speaks about creativity and innovation at museums, corporations, and universities.

Julie is the creator of Studio 360, public radio’s premiere program about art and culture, and consults with cultural institutions to create podcasts, audio programming, and radio shows that grow out of their mission. 



Meryl Comer is a founding partner of the Global Alliance of Women’s Brian Health and co-founder of Women Against Alzheimer’s. She serves on the NIH National Advisory council on Aging (NACA).

In 2012, she led the formation of the 21st Century BrainTrust® (21CBT), a non-profit partnership to advance mobile health technologies and brain health. Comer is also co-principal investigator for the PCORI Alzheimer’s Patient/Caregiver Research Network in partnership with the Mayo Clinic, UCSF’s Brain Health Registry, and USAgainst Alzheimer’s Networks. In 2009, she served on the bi-partisan Alzheimer’s Study Group, charged with presenting a National Strategic Plan to Congress. 

A former veteran broadcast journalist, Comer’s New York Times bestseller, Slow Dancing with a Stranger (Harper Collins) supports Alzheimer’s Research. 



Lynn Connelly is a Founding Partner of AccessCircles, a by-invitation global network for women providing connectivity, knowledge and access to thought leaders, resources and experiences that transform the lives of women around the world. 

Lynn served as a marketing executive for Office Depot and led Office Depot’s strategic entry into the women’s market and the world of sports, including the Olympics, 22 teams - NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA and NASCAR, where she was recognized as NASCAR’s Marketer of the Year. Lynn was the visionary creator of Office Depot’s Success Strategies for Businesswomen, noted as one of the nation’s most prominent women’s conferences. She was honored with the Office Depot’s Visionary Award in 2006.

Prior to her business career, Lynn played on the Ladies Professional Golf Tour (LPGA). Her career took her around the world for over a decade, winning in Asia and amassing numerous top finishes in the U.S. Lynn has 14 hole-in-ones and served on the LPGA Foundation Board from 2010-2017 and as Chair her last two years. Lynn earned an M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern and a B.S. in Communications from the University of Florida, where she was a 4-year scholar athlete.



Ms. España is Principal and Senior Client Advisor at Bessemer Trust. In this role, she leads a team responsible for providing clients with proactive, highly personalized advice across Investment Management, Wealth Planning, and Family Office Services.

Prior to joining Bessemer, Katie was an analyst at Banco Itaú International where she provided investment advisory services to private clients. Before that, she worked at Collins Capital Advisors as a research analyst responsible for due diligence and monitoring of hedge fund investments. She began her investment career at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Katie earned an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a B.S. in biology from the University of Miami. She is a CFA® charterholder and a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor.



Preston Estep earned a Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University for his graduate work in the lab of genomics pioneer Professor George Church. He is part of the senior management team of the Personal Genome Project at Harvard Medical School. 

Dr. Estep is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Veritas Genetics, a global genetic testing and genome sequencing company. Veritas has won several leading innovation awards, including multiple years on the MIT Tech Review list of 50 Smartest Companies, and CNBC list of 50 Disruptor Companies. 

Dr. Estep is an advisor to many leading startup companies in biotech and healthcare.  Dr. Estep is a member of the Global Council on Brain Health, a group of scientific experts that serves the 50 million members of AARP and AGE-UK. He is the author of The Mindspan Diet (Ballantine Books/Random House). The Mindspan Diet summarizes the best evidence for the nutritional keys to extremes of human physical and mental longevity. It has been translated into 8 foreign language editions. Dr. Estep is a frequent speaker to professional and public audiences, and he is often interviewed by journalists on genetics and longevity.



Dr. Amanda Nickles Fader is an associate professor in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics. She is both the director of the Kelly Gynecologic Oncology Service and the director of the Center for Rare Gynecologic Cancers at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She also directs the F.J. Montz Fellowship Program in Gynecologic Oncology. She has extensive training and expertise in radical oncology surgery, advanced laparoscopy and robotics, and is an internationally recognized surgeon who is invited often to teach surgical techniques to others worldwide. She has co-authored more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed medical journal and is recognized as a leading expert in minimally invasive surgical innovations and rare gynecologic tumors, including high-risk uterine and ovarian cancers.

Dr. Fader received her undergraduate degree with highest distinction in premedicine from the University of Virginia. She earned her medical degree from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh. Dr. Fader then underwent gynecologic oncology fellowship training at Cleveland Clinic.



Dr. Anula Jayasuriya has worked at the leading edge of life science innovation in the US, Europe, and India, where she co-founded the first health care private equity fund.

Dr. Jayasuriya has been investing in life sciences and health care since 2001, first with TVM and Skyline Ventures and subsequently with funds she co-founded or founded. She combines successful investment expertise and industry operating experience together with scientific and medical knowledge. Most recently Dr. Jayasuriya formed EXXclaim Capital to capture the compelling yet under invested business opportunity in women’s health.

Dr. Jayasuriya received her AB, summa cum laude, M.D., Ph.D., and M.B.A., all from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. She also has a M. Phil degree in pharmacology from the University of Cambridge, England.



Hadine Joffe, M.D., MSc, is the Executive Director of the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Vice Chair for Research in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry, and the Paula A. Johnson Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School. She directs the Women’s Hormone and Aging Research Program which is jointly affiliated with Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) at Harvard Medical School.

As the Director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, Dr. Joffe is launching a series of cross-cutting research initiatives that engage researchers from multiple disciplines across the academic community as well as external partners in industry and advocacy communities.

Dr. Joffe received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, and her Masters Degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her psychiatry residency training at McLean Hospital and a fellowship in Reproductive Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.



Dr. Corinna Lathan is CEO and Founder of AnthroTronix, Inc., a biomedical engineering research and development company creating innovative products in digital health, wearable technology, and augmented reality.  Dr. Lathan has served as Principal Investigator on grants from funding agencies such as DARPA, NASA, NIH, and NSF. 

Most recently, Dr. Lathan led the AnthroTronix team to develop DANAtm, an FDA-cleared, mobile digital health software platform for the Department of Defense to evaluate cognitive function during treatment for depression, brain injury, and post-traumatic stress. 

Dr. Lathan has also been named a Technology Pioneer and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum as well as Chaired the Forum’s Councils on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, and Human Enhancement and Longevity.Dr. Lathan has been featured in many journals and magazines as a pioneer in this space. Dr. Lathan received her B.A. in Biopsychology and Mathematics from Swarthmore College, and an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from M.I.T.



AccessCircles was founded in 2007 by Carolee Lee, the former CEO and founder of Carolee Designs, one of the world’s leading accessories brands. After the sale of her business in 2005, Carolee focused her passion and energy on women’s health and life planning with a vision to create AccessCircles.

Carolee founded WHAM! in 2018 as an initiative of AccessCircles to improve the health and wellbeing of women through the discovery, research, dissemination, and integration of sex and gender-based differences and the application of this knowledge to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for women so that they may lead healthy, long and productive lives.  

She is a past Chair of the Committee of 200, the organization of preeminent businesswomen and also served as the Chair of its Foundation Board.  

She currently serves as a director on the board of DSW, Inc., a leading shoe retailer; The Women’s Leadership Board at The John F. Kennedy School of Government and as a founding board member of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, where she has served since 1986.




Dr. Carolyn Mazure is the Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale School of Medicine. She created and directs Women’s Health Research at Yale —Yale’s interdisciplinary research center on health and gender. The Center initiates and supports innovative biomedical studies to advance the health of women, shares findings with the public, and provides mentored training in interdisciplinary team science. Since its inception in 1998, the center has been recognized as a national model for launching new research on the influence of sex and gender on human health and translating findings into practice. 

Dr. Mazure served on the planning committee for the First White House Conference on Mental Health, was a fellow for the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired the American Psychological Association’s Summit on Women and Depression. Currently, she is an invited member of the Advisory Committee for the NIH Office for Research on Women’s Health. Dr. Mazure has been recognized for her achievements with many honors and awards.





Michelle O’Donoghue, MD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Cardiovascular Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  She is a Senior Investigator in the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Study Group, founded by Dr. Eugene Braunwald.  

Dr. O’Donoghue’s primary research focus is the design and conduct of multicenter clinical trials for patients with stable and unstable coronary disease with a special interest in the study of women and heart disease, including establishing the efficacy and safety of therapeutics in women.

Dr. O’Donoghue earned her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.  She completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  She subsequently completed a Masters in Public Health degree at the Harvard School of Public Health.





Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. is a Professor at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. Her research explains, at the molecular level, how and why viruses like Ebola and Lassa are pathogenic and provides the roadmap for medical defense. Her team has solved the structures of the Ebola, Sudan, Marburg and Lassa virus glycoproteins, explained how they remodel these structures as they drive themselves into cells, how their proteins suppress immune function and where human antibodies can defeat these viruses. 

Dr. Saphire was  the galvanizing force behind the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium and is the Director of this organization. This consortium, an NIH-funded Center of Excellence in Translational Research, unites 44 previously competing academic, industrial and government labs across five continents to understand and provide antibody therapeutics against Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and other viruses. In all these endeavors, she has used molecular insight to bring together scientists and policymakers alike for scientific advancement and social change. 

She has been recognized with many awards for her ground breaking research.





David Page, M.D., is the Director and President of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Professor of Biology at MIT, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  A graduate of Swarthmore College, Page earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program.  He joined the Whitehead Institute, as the first Whitehead Fellow, in 1984.  

Page’s laboratory explores fundamental differences between males and females in health and disease, both within and beyond the reproductive tract.  The Page lab recently discovered that XY and XX sex chromosomes account for subtle differences in the molecular biology of male and female cells throughout the body.  

Page’s honors include a MacArthur Prize Fellowship, Science magazine’s Top Ten Scientific Advances of the Year (1992 and 2003), the Francis Amory Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology.  He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.





Ms. Rapport is Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Bessemer Trust. In this role, she leads a team responsible for providing clients with proactive, highly personalized advice across Investment Management, Wealth Planning, and Family Office Services.

Prior to joining Bessemer, Kerry was a vice president at Northern Trust, responsible for trust administration. Before that, she was in private practice in Coral Gables, Florida. She began her career as a practicing attorney with Michigan Consolidated Gas Company.

She is a member of the Florida Bar and the Greater Miami and Orlando Estate Planning Council. Kerry serves on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Miami-Dade County and is a reader for the blind at the Miami Lighthouse. She also serves as a director for the Education Fund and for Educate Tomorrow. Kerry earned a J.D. and a B.A. in economics from Wayne State University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.





Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum is an attending cardiologist and the director of Women’s Cardiovascular Prevention, Health and Wellness at The Mount Sinai Hospital In New York City. She has done fellowship training in both Preventive Cardiology and Cardiology. 

She is the author of “Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s Heart Book: Every Woman’s Guide to a Heart Healthy Life” teaching all women how to lead the healthiest lives by living from the heart and “Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally”  with the editors of Prevention. She has been awarded a New York Times Super Doctor, a Castle and Connolly Top Doctor for Cardiovascular Disease and New York Magazine’s prestigious Best Doctors in the New York edition.

Dr. Steinbaum is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. She is a National Spokesperson for the Go Red for Women campaign and chairperson of Go Red for Women in New York City. She is on the New York City Board of the American Heart Association and serves on the New York City Board of the American Heart Association.





Dr. Wendy A. Suzuki is a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology in the Center for Neural Science at New York University.

She received her undergraduate degree in physiology and human anatomy at the University of California, Berkeley in 1987 studying with Prof. Marion C. Diamond, a leader in the field of brain plasticity. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from U.C. San Diego in 1993 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health before accepting her faculty position at New York University in 1998.

Her major research interest continues to be brain plasticity. She is best known for her extensive work studying areas in the brain critical for our ability to form and retain new long-term memories. More recently her work has focused on understanding how aerobic exercise can be used to improve learning, memory and higher cognitive abilities in humans. Wendy is passionate about teaching, about exercise. She is an award-winning scientist and teacher, sought after lecturer and author of the popular book Healthy Brain Happy Life that was recently made into a PBS science special. Her TEDWomen talk was one of the top 5 most popular TED talks of 2018.