Benjamin stecher

Affiliation: Rune Labs, San Francisco

Link to group website: Website


Benjamin Stecher was born in Nairobi, Kenya but grew up outside Toronto, Canada. He studied history and philosophy at the University of Guelph, but as soon as he graduated he took off and spent most of the next decade living and working in East Asia as an education consultant.

All that changed when at 29, Benjamin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The promising future he had been building towards suddenly faded and was replaced by a gloomy fog of uncertainty and despair. As his disease progressed, he realized that he needed to come back home to learn how to better manage his disease.


But, as he started visiting labs and attending conferences, he soon found himself enthralled by biomedical science. He spent the next couple of years traveling the world visiting research centers and pharmaceutical companies to learn from the top minds in the field all that he could about the neurobiology of the brain, his disease, and therapies on the horizon.


He now speaks regularly at academic centers and biotech companies on neurodegenerative diseases, patient advocacy and healthcare. He is the founder of Tomorrow Edition, and an advisor to several organizations including the Toronto Western Hospital Movement Disorder Clinic and Rune Labs, a San Francisco based brain-tech company, where he chairs their patient advisory board. He has also written a book along with Prof. Alberto Espay, published by Cambridge University Press, titled Brain Fables.

Invited Speaker at:

  • Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s Workshop
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Neurodegeneration Challenge Network Meeting
  • StemCellTalks Toronto, Partnerships in Clinical Trials Europe 2018
  • 2019 World Parkinson’s Congress
  • 2019 ADPD Congress – Roche sponsored talk, Alkahest
  • Biolegend, Lysosomal Therapeutics
  • Abbvie’s Sharing for Better Caring Symposium
  • University of Toronto Neuroscience Rounds, McGill (multiple classes)
  • EPFL Open Science Summer Camp 2019
  • University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Rounds
  • Tanenbaum Open Science Initiative
  • 2018 & 2019 Rallying to the Challenge at Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Symposium
  • 2018 & 2019 Parkinson’s Canada Research Symposium
  • European Parkinson’s Disease Association’s YOPD Symposium at the European Union Headquarters
  • 2018 Ontario Brain Institute Research Summit
  • The Buck Institute
  • 23andMe
  • System1 Biosciences
  • Duke-NUS
  • NIH Neuroscience Rounds
  • Aspen Biosciences
  • Porridge for Parkinson’s