Matt graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012. After studying Psychology and Chemistry he developed an interest in the emerging field of brain science. Matt joined the ESTEEM program to learn how to translate early stage neurologic research into applications with the potential to significantly impact humanity. ESTEEM offered the chance to design solutions with real world meaningful outcomes and take his research interests from the “bench to the bedside.”
Matt worked with two different faculty members to find ways to commercialize their research. Mayland Chang, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, studies the biochemical changes that occur in the brain after a traumatic brain injury. Matt’s work with Prof. Chang focused on identifying ways to bring novel therapeutic solutions to patients in order to mitigate the damage from their brain injuries. Matt also worked with Paul Helquist, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, on bringing to patients a first in kind treatment for Niemann Pick Type C; a rare fatal neurological disease. Together they developed clinical trial plans, wrote an IND, interfaced with the FDA, examined possible corporate structures, worked to identify suitable biomarkers and a commercialization plan for advancing the treatment to the clinic.
Post-ESTEEM Matt continued to work with Dr. Helquist and the startup company Lysomics until recently venturing out with cognitive neuroscientist and Notre Dame psychology professor Dr. Jessica Payne to found Somni. Somni is a first-in-kind digital health platform for improving sleep and performance. Somni is designed to teach people how to improve their sleep for better cognitive performance, physical health, and emotional well-being. Matt credits his time and experiences at ESTEEM in providing him the skill set to launch a new company.