sports nutrition & wellness: the whole athlete

As fans, we see athletes at the top of their game, but what does it take to achieve and maintain that peak performance? This panel will cover the complete athlete from a number of perspectives focusing on both physical and mental health. We will further explore the science of the team behind the teams we see in the field of play.


dr. dan chao

CEO, Halo Neuroscience

Dr. Daniel Chao is a neurotech entrepreneur, specializing in devices that improve brain performance. Currently, Dr. Chao is co-founder and CEO of Halo Neuroscience, a venture-backed human performance company based in San Francisco. The company's first product, Halo Sport, is the world's first neurostimulation system built specifically for athletes.

Prior to Halo, Dr. Chao was the head of business development at NeuroPace, where he helped create the world's first closed-loop neuromodulation device for the treatment of epilepsy. Before NeuroPace, Dr. Chao was a consultant at McKinsey & Company in the New York office, and he received his M.D. and M.S. in neuroscience from Stanford University.


Allison falk (moderator)

Former Women's Soccer League All Star and Co-Captain of Stanford Women's Soccer Team

In her senior year, as Co-Captain of the Stanford Women's Soccer team, Allison was drafted into the Women’s Professional Soccer league. She played for the Los Angeles Sol in 2009 and Philadelphia Independence for the two following seasons.

During the second season of her pro-career, Allison suffered a terrible knee injury that required surgery. “Trying to come back to soccer after that was probably one of the most challenging experiences I’ve ever had.” But, with support and a motivation, Allison was able to achieve her goal and get back out on the field.

While developing her soccer skill and technique, Allison was simultaneously cultivating a passion for health and wellness. Allison took nutrition and health classes at Stanford and discovered that what she was learning had an impact on every aspect of her life. Then, during her pro-soccer career, she got involved in the nonprofit space and began working with families to increase health and wellness through various community development programs.
It’s experiences like these that drew Allison towards health coaching at Kurbo, the first mobile health-coaching program designed specifically to help children, teens and families lose weight and develop smarter eating habits. Today, she is coaching the next generation to create goals and gradually build healthy, sustainable habits and views herself as a source of support and encouragement for her Kurbo kids.


dr. jamshid ghajar, md, pHd, facs

Director of the Stanford Concussion and Brain Performance Center

Founder and CMO, SyncThink

Jamshid Ghajar MD, PhD, FACS, is Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, and Director of the Concussion and Brain Performance Center at Stanford University.  He is also the Founder and President of the Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF) which, since 1986, has worked with its partners to develop and maintain the severe TBI evidence-based guidelines.

He completed the MD/PhD at Cornell University Medical College, with his PhD dissertation on neuro-chemistry and brain metabolism during coma. During his residency training at Cornell-New York Presbyterian Hospital, he invented and patented several neurosurgical devices that are currently used worldwide.

Dr. Ghajar is the principal investigator on the Department of Defense funded, 10,000 subjects EYE-TRAC Advance study, to test normal and concussed subjects using novel, portable eye tracking goggle technology ( capable of assessing visual tracking impairments precisely and reliably within a minute. The technology recently received FDA approval.

He is also the principal investigator for the DoD funded Brain Trauma Evidence-based Consortium (B-TEC), a partnership between Stanford University, BTF and Oregon Health Sciences University. B-TEC and its partners maintain evidence-based guidelines for severe TBI and are charged with developing an evidence-based classification for concussion and TBI, modeling post-TBI trajectories and outcomes.

The BTF severe TBI guidelines are standard of care for U.S. trauma centers and have lead to a 45% decline in deaths. Dr. Ghajar has dedicated his life to improving the quality of life and outcomes for traumatic brain injury patients.



dr. travis mcdonough

Founder and CEO, Kinduct Technologies Inc.

Dr. Travis McDonough is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Kinduct Technologies Inc., a Canadian software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that specializes in human performance technology. The company also works with large fitness organizations and national sporting bodies. Travis' vision of using technology to make decisions about human optimization has had an impact not only in the world of professional sports but also in clinical health applications.

Travis is working to help people all over the world make data-driven decisions about their health, training and physical performance. It is this vision that has inspired the now 60+ person team at Kinduct to grow and achieve some landmark feats. These include awards such as Ingenious Award (2015), CBC Innovative Company of the Year (2015), Best Places to Work Award (2015, 2016) and Kinduct's participation in the LA Dodgers Accelerator (2015).


Shanno Turley.jpg

shannon turley

Kissick Family Director of Sports Performance

Serving as the Kissick Family Director of Sports Performance, the 2016 season is Shannon Turley's 10th with the Cardinal. In 2013, his position became the first endowed sports performance directorship in collegiate athletics with the generous gift of John Kissick and his family.

On top of his day-to-day duties with the football team, Turley oversees the sports performance program implementation for each of Stanford's 36 varsity teams. Turley has created a comprehensive player development program designed to achieve three primary goals: injury prevention, athletic performance enhancement, and mental discipline development.

Turley was recognized as the 2013 College Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as selected by a vote of its members. Following the 2011 season, named Turley as its Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year as determined by a panel of coaches and previous recipients. In addition, Turley has earned significant credit from the Stanford coaching staff for his role in turning around a team that won a single game the year before his arrival, to an elite program which has achieved its greatest success with four straight BCS bowl appearances (2010-13) and consecutive Pac-12 Conference championships (2012-13).

Integral parts of Turley’s program include sports nutrition education, lifestyle management, and sports psychology programming, all of which ensure the optimal physical and mental preparation of Stanford’s athletes. Turley is responsible for planning meals for the program’s training table, travel, and game day to guarantee optimal nutrition and hydration. He also collaborates with the sports medicine staff to develop an individualized, sport and position specific, active integration rehabilitation plan to ensure the successful return to competition of all injured players.

Turley brought 15 years of collegiate coaching experience to the Stanford program. Prior to arriving on The Farm, Turley spent the 2006 campaign with the University of San Diego as director of athletic performance for the Torero’s 16 varsity programs. Turley was a graduate assistant at Missouri from 2001-02 and assistant director from 2003-05. He also spent the 2001 season coaching the Class-AA Wichita Wranglers, an affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals.

Turley earned his bachelor’s degree in the science of human nutrition, foods and exercise from Virginia Tech in 2000, while also earning a minor in chemistry. During his stint with the Hokies, Turley served as president of the Exercise Science Student Organization and began his career in strength and conditioning as a volunteer student assistant following a brief track and field career. He continued his education at Missouri where he earned a master’s degree in education and counseling psychology with a concentration in sports psychology. Turley is a certified member of the NSCA, and previously held certificates from the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, and the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Turley is one of the nation’s most sought after innovators and regularly presents concepts of his training system to diverse audiences at venues around the world.

A native of Bluefield, West Virginia, Turley resides in Campbell with his wife, Brittany, their daughter, son, and two dogs.