Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center attracts the best leaders in the field of movement disorder research and care. We’re also supported by a phenomenal team of administrators. Together, we accelerate the Institute’s commitment to excellent patient care and outstanding research toward the cure.
Thomas D. Follett
Chairman / Member
Mr. Follett serves as Chair of the Board of Directors. He is a graduate of Notre Dame University (BSE), University of Michigan (MSE), and Xavier University (MBA).
He was an engineer with GE designing aircraft engines. In 1975, he joined Arthur Andersen, which evolved into Accenture. Mr. Follett became a partner in Accenture in 1985 and specialized in manufacturing systems design and installation in the high-tech industry. He retired in 2000 after 25 years with Accenture.
Mr. Follett’s other civic work includes serving as Chair of the Clinic Committee for That Man May See, and he is a past president of the ALS Association, Bay Area Chapter.
Susan J. Foster
Secretary / Member
Ms. Foster is a graduate of University of Nebraska (BA) and San Jose State University (MA). She is a former Registered Nurse (RN). She is a Partner with Learning Designs, Inc, and has served as a marketing director with Alza Pharmaceuticals.
Her civic engagement includes The Stem Cell Advisors, Child Development, Inc., and St. Francis High School.
Ari Chaney, MBA
Mr. Chaney has an MBA with high honors from the University of Chicago, and a BS with high distinction in electrical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Most recently, he was the co-founder and CFO of Cellular Research, a genomics company that was acquired by Becton Dickinson in 2015 and was developing a disruptive platform for precision biology research.
Prior to building Cellular Research, Mr. Chaney served as executive director for Technology Translation for the Biodesign Program at Stanford University. Mr. Chaney is also the president and founder of Leveraged Restructuring, where he has held Chairman or CEO positions with a number of companies, including: Neucel Specialty Cellulose, Monona Wire Corporation, Rapid Rack Industries, and Bomar Industries.
Earlier in his career he served as vice president of supply chain for Florida Power & Light (FPL), president and CEO of Aladdin Industries, and within General Electric, president and general manager of Midwest Electric, plant manager of the Austintown Products Plant in GE Lighting, and manager of Corporate Business Development in GE Corporate.
He currently serves on the boards of Stealth Biosciences, 13.8, as well as the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center.
Sheldon is an entrepreneur who co-founded a life sciences tool company (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific). He has served as an alumnus regent of the University of California, and a trustee of the UC San Diego Foundation.
An avid surfer, Sheldon is active with the Director’s Cabinet at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and received the Chancellor’s Medal in 2011.
He also serves as a board member of Nature and Culture International, a conservation organization founded by fellow Institute friend, Ivan Gayler.
Judith A. Hemberger, PhD
Dr. Hemberger received her Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Missouri, an MBA from Rockhurst College, and a BS from Mount St. Scholastica College. She is president and CEO of Suvica, a start-up biotech company.
She has been a venture partner with Normura Phase 4 Ventures, interim CEO of Zosano Pharma, and co-founder, executive vice president, and COO of Pharmion Corporation, which was acquired by Celgene in 2008 for $2.7 billon.
Vernon Norviel, J.D.
Mr. Norviel is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he leads the patents and innovation counseling practice. Mr. Norviel has three decades of experience in formulating successful strategies for life science companies and the development of their IP programs. He represents a wide variety of companies, as well as venture capital firms, in areas such as therapeutics, diagnostics, nanotechnology, genomics, proteomics, and personalized medicine. In fact, Mr. Norviel’s interest in the field of personalized medicine prompted him to become the first attorney to have had his or her entire genome sequenced and made available in a public database.
Before joining the firm in 2003, Mr. Norviel was the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Perlegen Sciences, Inc., a start-up biotechnology company that scans the entire human genome for important therapeutic and diagnostic products. Previously, as senior vice president and General Counsel, he was an early employee of Affymetrix, the biotechnology company that pioneered and developed DNA chip technology. He also had been a partner at Townsend and Townsend and Crew in Palo Alto.
Mr. Norviel currently serves as a member of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s Compensation Committee, and on the board of the WSGR Foundation, and previously served as a member of the Policy Committee. In addition, he is a lecturer in biotechnology law at UC Berkeley School of Law.
Michael Saign is an executive managing director in Newmark’s Silicon Valley office and has consistently been one of the top-ranked advisors within the firm. Mr. Saign specializes in developing and implementing customized real estate strategies for clients ranging from high growth startup ventures to global Fortune 500 corporations. His consultative approach focuses on strategically aligning clients’ real estate commitments with their overall business objectives. Mr. Saign also advises a wide range of institutional owners and developers across Silicon Valley on their asset management and leasing strategies.
Since joining the firm, Mr. Saign has completed over 400 assignments valued in excess of four billion dollars. He has been named multiple times to Newmark’s Chairman’s Club that recognizes the top 100 producing agents in the United States. Real Estate Forum recognized Mr. Saign as one of the Top 50 Under 40 rising commercial real estate professionals in the country. He is one of the first real estate professionals in Silicon Valley to have earned Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation. Clients know Mr. Saign for his work ethic, competitive nature, expert market knowledge, and integrity.
Michael Saign is a native of Silicon Valley and graduate of Boston College where he rowed on the crew team.