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Cara Altimus      

Managing Director at the Milken Institute SPARC & BD2 Discoveries

Cara Altimus, PhD, is the managing director at the Milken Institute Science Philanthropy Accelerator for Research and Collaboration, where she has been instrumental in leading its science and health innovation portfolio. She is also the managing director at BD2 Discoveries, a nonprofit dedicated to the improvement of clinical care for bipolar disorder. With an extensive background in neuroscience research, her areas of expertise lie in neurological devices, psychiatric illness, learning, memory, sleep, and circadian rhythms. Altimus has been deeply involved in advisory roles, providing guidance to individual philanthropists and foundations on the state of research in various areas, most notably neurodegenerative diseases and mental health.

Prior to her role at Milken Institute, Altimus had a significant tenure at the Food and Drug Administration, where she led the Neural Interfaces Laboratory. This role involved evaluating the safety and effectiveness of electrical stimulation methods in the brain. Her academic qualifications include a bachelor's degree in genetics from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in biology from Johns Hopkins University. Altimus' work at the Milken Institute has included leading projects such as the development of a philanthropic drug development program for neurodegenerative diseases and a large patient-perspectives study for depression and bipolar research.

Altimus' responsibilities extend beyond her role at the Milken Institute. She serves as the chair for the Trainee Advisory Committee for the Society for Neuroscience and is an advisor to the Ontario Brain Institute. Additionally, Altimus had the opportunity to spend a year as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, during which she developed a neuroscience research portfolio at the Department of Justice.

Altimus holds a bachelor's degree in genetics from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in biology from Johns Hopkins University.

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