SAN FRANCISCO, May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Rythm announced that it has created a scientific advisory board comprised of highly accomplished individuals — from the fields of sleep research, neuroscience and mathematics — to break new ground in sleep and neurotechnology. No other company in the field has collected such an illustrious board with such a diverse range of competencies. These luminaries will provide invaluable guidance and support to Rythm as the company achieves its ambitious mission of understanding and improving sleep, understanding the human brain through non-invasive technology, and bringing a revolutionary consumer sleep solution to market.
In addition, Rythm's team is among the only two French companies that has been selected to advance in the $5 million AI XPRIZE, a four-year global competition to develop powerful artificial intelligence technologies to tackle some of humanity's most pressing challenges. Rythm is the only company in the competition that is based out of Paris.
The newly announced scientific board includes David Eagleman, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Stanford University, Founder & CSO, BrainCheck, and cofounder & CSO, NeoSensory; Christof Koch, PhD, CSO & President of Allen Institute for Brain Science; Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD, Director of Stanford Sleep Center; and Cedric Villani, PhD, winner of the 2010 Fields Medal and Director of Henri Poincarré Institute. These experts will help Rythm define its research strategy, encompassing sleep diagnosis, treatment, improvement, and understanding of the human brain.
The human brain is the most complex organ in the known universe, and understanding the brain and sleep are among the biggest scientific challenges of the century. One-third of the population does not sleep well or sufficiently long. Currently, there are no obvious solutions to this epidemic. However, international research in neuroscience and Rythm are at the forefront of developing non-invasive solutions that are accurate and effective. The company is tackling multiple, ambitious challenges at the nexus of multiple disciplines: medicine, neurosciences, and mathematics. In forming a board, Rythm successfully sought to attract the best-of-the-best from across disciplines who are aligned with the company's mission and vision.
"The brain is the most complex system known today, and within that field of study, sleep is a new domain that presents a variety of complex problems and solutions," said Hugo Mercier, CEO & Co-founder at Rythm. "The diversity of fields, experience, and intellect that the members of our board bring will help Rythm unlock major challenges and pursue the right research directions."
David Eagleman is a professor at Stanford University in the department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, known for his work on brain plasticity, time perception, synesthesia, and neurolaw. He also serves as the Director of the Center for Science and Law. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a council member in the World Economic Forum, and a popular TED speaker. He has launched two companies from his laboratory: NeoSensory and BrainCheck. He is a New York Times bestselling author published in 31 languages and is the writer and creator of the Emmy-nominated TV series, The Brain with David Eagleman. He is a renowned scientist with articles in all the major academic journals and profiles in national magazines such as the New Yorker. He is a regular commenter on national television and radio.
"We don't yet fully understand why we sleep and dream, but we're aware that it's related to the consolidation of learning and memory," said Eagleman. "I am excited to work with Rythm to better unmask the mysteries and nuances of sleep state, and to be able to leverage that understanding to improve lives. Inadequate sleep prevents people from reaching their full potential. The improvement of sleep opens the hope of functioning at a more optimized mental performance."
Christof Koch is a physicist turned neuroscientist serving as the President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. He is leading a team of 300 scientists, engineers and staff engaged in a ten-year project that aims to understand the building blocks of the mammalian brain. Koch previously served as a professor at the California Institute of Technology for nearly 30 years, specializing in the biophysics of the brain and the neural bases of consciousness, and has been influential in arguing that consciousness can be approached using the modern tools of neurobiology. As a member of Rythm's board, Koch will contribute his neuroscientific expertise on how sleep relates to the brain and its electrical behavior in health and disease.
"We have so much more to learn about the relationship that sleep has to the functioning of our brains and our health," said Koch. "Working with Rythm is an opportunity to bring academia together with the development of consumer products so that sleep research can become practicable."
Emmanuel Mignot is the Craig Reynolds Professor of Sleep Medicine at Stanford Medical School and the Director of the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine. He is a recognized authority on sleep research and medicine, known primarily for his work on narcolepsy. He is a member of the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine and has received numerous research grants and honors, including National Institute of Health Research, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and McKnight Neuroscience awards. He is the co-author of more than 200 original scientific publications, and serves on the editorial board of scientific journals in the field of sleep and biology research. He formerly served as the president of the Sleep Research society, chair of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research advisory board of the National institutes of Health, and chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Mental Health.
"I've always been intrigued by the enigma of sleep and devoted my career to studying sleep disorders," said Mignot. "With the rapid growth of portable technology, biology and analytics, it is an exciting time for sleep, with plenty of opportunities to increase well-being. Rythm is bringing together people spanning multiple fields of science and technology to push forward our understanding of sleep and improve the diagnosis of sleep disorders. I look forward to contributing my knowledge and working with Rythm to help realize this vision."
Cedric Villani is one of the world's most famous mathematicians who was awarded the Fields Medal, the world's most prestigious math award, in 2010. Currently, he is a professor at the University of Lyon and serves as the director of Pierre and Marie Curie University 's Institut Henri Poincaré. Villani's work focuses on partial differential equations, Riemannian geometry and mathematical physics. He received the Fields Medal for his work on Landau damping and the Boltzmann equation. He is also a well-known author and speaker, renowned for his passionate ability to make math exciting and accessible.
Villani's expertise on computational mathematics and machine learning will be a valuable asset to Rythm because both areas are critical to the understanding of sleep and the brain. Until recently, machine learning mimicked brain functions, but now the new frontier is to understand how the brain works, and sleep represents an ideal entry door.
This world class team serves as a validation of all the important work Rythm has done since 2014. The company is leveraging advancements in neuroscience, neurotechnology, artificial intelligence, and mathematics to propel sleep research and medicine forward and bring a real sleep solution to the market. This unique solution will introduce a whole new category of product that is efficient but non-invasive, and this demands a strong research effort and the development of sophisticated technology. The board is not only working with Rythm on diagnosis and treatment, but also to help build the product that will launch in Summer 2017.
Rythm is a leading neurotechnology company. Bringing together the world's foremost experts in hardware, software, and neuroscience, Rythm builds consumer technology that stimulates brain function to enhance individual health and performance. The company's first product, Dreem, is sleep solution that uses brain activity and sound stimulation to increase the quality of sleep in a non-invasive way. Based in Paris and San Francisco, Rythm has raised substantial funding from investors, awards and government grants to support a world-class team of more than 70 people. For more information, visit www.dreem.com.