What I Wish I Had Known About How We Can Shape Our Baby's Brain & Development

he experiences we create in baby's space have a profound impact on the way our baby’s brains develop. In this episode, Shazi talks to pediatric neurologist Dr. Suzanne Goh, who explains the fascinating way that our brains develop in utero and after birth – how every connection sets the stage for how we learn. Dr. Goh explains the simple and accessible things we can all do, as parents, to create the most optimal environment for cognition and focus. Shazi also speaks with Dr. Michael Leon, professor of neurobiology and behavior at the UC, Irvine, about the latest research on neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to change and adapt as a result of experience. Dr. Leon also explains what the latest research tells us about the promising potential of sensory enrichment, and how we can use it therapeutically or even proactively. He talks about how exposure to novelty and "just right" challenges can improve cognition, memory, and even emotional regulation . She also checks in with the Founders of Fatty15, who have discovered the first new fatty acid in 90 years, called C-15 – and they discuss what this discovery means for brain health.

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Dr. Suzanne Goh

Dr. Suzanne Goh is a board-certified pediatric behavioral neurologist, neuroscience researcher, author, and most recently, BCBA (board-certified behavior analyst). She is the co-founder and chief medical officer at Cortica: a technology-enabled healthcare company that provides medical and therapeutic services for children with autism and other brain differences. Throughout her career, she has dedicated her work to researching and developing therapies for neurological differences that impact childhood brain development.

Michael Leon, Ph.D.

Michael Leon is Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology & Behavior, a member of the Center for Autism Research and Translation, and a member of the Institute of Memory Impairments & Disorders at the University of California Irvine. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago and became a professor when he was 23 years old. He has published more than 170 articles and has received multiple honors, including the Professor of the Year at UC Irvine and the D.G. Marquis Award from the American Psychological Association for his development of an effective treatment for autism. He has been named in a Stanford University study as one of the top 2% of scientists in the world. Dr. Leon also is a partner in two companies: the Mando Group and in Science Lab 3.

Stephanie Venn-Watson, DVM, MPH
CEO, Co-Founder Seraphina Therapeutics, Inc.

Dr. Stephanie Venn-Watson is the CEO of Seraphina Therapeutics, a health and wellness company that applies advanced metabolomic technologies to help people (and our fellow animals) age healthier. Stephanie is a serial entrepreneur, veterinary epidemiologist and public health scientist with over 50 patents and 80 peer-reviewed scientific publications. She previously served as an epidemiologist for the U.S. Navy and WHO. Her novel approach to discovering new therapeutics that can improve both human and animal health has been featured on NPR’s Science Friday, CBS, BBC, and National Geographic. For her entrepreneurial work in the health sector, Stephanie was awarded the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Innovations in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Innovation Award. Seraphina was recently recognized by Nutritional Outlook Magazine as a 2021 Best of the Industry winner for its extensive research and education on pentadecanoic acid (C15:0) and fatty15 dietary supplement.

Stephanie received her B.S. in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience from UC San Diego, D.V.M. from Tufts University, M.P.H. from Emory University, and was a National Research Council Associate with the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center. She is an Albert Schweitzer Fellow for Life.

Eric Venn-Watson, MD, MBA
COO, Co-Founder Seraphina Therapeutics, Inc.

Eric Venn-Watson, MD, MBA is a physician, US Navy veteran and serial entrepreneur with experience starting new companies, raising capital, leading teams, and growing companies with medical technologies. Prior to Epitracker, Eric founded a healthcare analytics company and a medical device company, was CMO of a pharmaceutical startup, SVP of a digital health company and worked as a business consultant. Eric is also a US Navy Veteran, having served 21 years as a military physician, with multiple leadership roles, as well as combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He serves in advisory roles for multiple startup companies, is a regular lecturer at the Rady School of Management, and supports entrepreneurship programs for military veterans in San Diego.

Eric was awarded the 'Best Entrepreneur' in the Start up Company Category at the 2017 Veteran and Military Conference and Awards. Eric attended the military medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, received his general surgery and orthopedic surgery training at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, and completed his MBA at the UCSD, Rady School of Management.