Our Speakers 


Yair Benita

Head of Science Operations, CytoReason 

Yair Benita, a computational biologist with deep expertise in immune-oncological drug development, leads scientific operations at CytoReason. His team includes biologists and bioinformaticians who are focused on guiding data-driven drug discovery and development decision-making using CytoReason’s disease model technology. Prior to joining CytoReason, Yair was Head of Computational R&D at Compugen, where he led the team that successfully discovered PVRIG as a novel immune checkpoint from genomic data. PVRIG is now in clinical trials for multiple cancer types and showing promising results. Previously, Yair worked at Merck where he focused on cancer drug target discovery, drug combinations and biomarkers. Yair holds a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics, from Universiteit Utrecht and a B.Sc. in Pharmacology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed his research fellowship in computational biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University Medical School. 


Simon Adar 

CEO, Code Ocean  

Simon Adar is the CEO of Code Ocean, a cloud-based computational research platform for quickly creating, organizing, and sharing project-based code, data, the environment, and the results. It began as part of Simon’s postdoc at Cornell-Tech. Together with a founding team whose search for a “better way” was fueled by their own frustrations and the time spent struggling with previous researchers’ code, they built the one platform that helps eliminate multiple roadblocks, particularly in trying to get other researchers’ code up and running. Simon was a Runway postdoc awardee at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute and holds a Ph.D. from Tel-Aviv University in the field of Hyperspectral image processing. He previously collaborated with the DLR-the German Space Agency on the European FP7-funded EO-MINERS project to detect environmental changes from airborne and spaceborne sensors.