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Joe F. Bolanos

A Passion for Innovation in Healthcare

Dr. Joe F. Bolanos, MD, embodies a compelling fusion of medical expertise and technological acumen. With an unwavering interest in harnessing innovation to improve healthcare efficiency, and a commitment to improving patient access to novel diagnostics and therapies.  Dr. Bolanos has carved a distinguished path throughout his career. He earned his Doctor of Medicine from Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado in El Salvador.

Early Promise and First Steps in Medicine:

A lifelong fascination with technology and its potential to revolutionize healthcare propelled Dr. Bolanos towards a medical career. During his medical school tenure, his dedication was recognized through a three-year scholarship for academic excellence, solidifying the respect of his peers, professors, and patients alike. His initial foray into the world of neuroscience occurred upon completing his medical training, when he served as attending physician for orphaned individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Emigrating to the US and Embracing Research:

Following his medical school graduation, Dr. Bolanos immigrated to the United States, where he actively participated in diverse healthcare projects. A particularly impactful undertaking involved establishing the Metro Health Station Clinic in South Central Los Angeles, aimed at alleviating the healthcare deserts plaguing the underserved community in Jefferson Park. Dr. Bolanos actively participated in addressing healthcare disparities. In this role, he played a pivotal leadership role, overseeing care logistics, patient organization, and medical area coordination.

This experience ignited his research curiosity, leading him to explore novel methods for aiding both local patients and individuals who could benefit from advancements in medical technologies and pharmaceuticals.

Early Research Journey and Transitioning to SBMT:

Dr. Bolanos embarked on his research journey in the field of dermatology, successfully managing clinical trials for conditions ranging from tinea to diabetes to psoriasis, partnering with esteemed laboratories like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Asana, Pfizer, Leo Pharma, and Biome. He then joined the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (SBMT) as a Research Fellow. Dr. Bolanos’s commitment to leadership and research excellence is further exemplified by his contributions at the SBMT. He commenced his tenure there as a Research Fellow. His exceptional abilities were quickly recognized, leading him to assume the leadership role among the fellows and subsequently being promoted to Lead Research Fellow in just six months.

Leadership During the Pandemic and Beyond:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Bolanos refused to remain idle. He assembled a team that, under the guidance of Dr. Babak Kateb, authored the impactful paper “COVID-19: A Review of a 21st Century Pandemic, from Etiology to Neuropsychiatric Implications.” This achievement earned him the coveted Student Service and Leadership Award (WBMF Awards) and a subsequent promotion to Research Scientist. Additionally, his research explored the neurological burden of these diseases, culminating in the proposal of the “Neuroscience20 (BRAIN20, SPINE20, and MENTAL20) Health Initiative: A Global Consortium Addressing the Human and Economic Burden of Brain, Spine, and Mental Disorders Through Neurotech Innovations and Policies” in collaboration with SBMT.

Dr. Bolanos’s leadership talents were further recognized when he was entrusted with leading SBMT subcommittees. He spearheaded the research and writing efforts that led to the publication of “A Proposed Brain-, Spine-, and Mental-Health Screening Methodology (NEUROSCREEN) for Healthcare Systems: Position of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics.” He has also authored numerous book chapters on topics ranging from clinical medicine to neurotechnology and FDA regulations. Notably, he is slated to contribute to the upcoming Neurophotonics book under the mentorship of Dr. Babak Kateb.

While at SBMT, he concurrently served as an Adjunct Clinical Professor in Urology at the University of Southern California, collaborating with Vasgene Therapeutics on research pertaining to prostate and bladder cancers.

Returning to SBMT and Shaping the Future:

In 2022, Dr. Bolanos returned to SBMT brimming with ideas to streamline processes. With Dr. Kateb’s support, he embarked on a comprehensive overhaul of the organization’s framework, processes, and systems. Dr. Bolanos’s dedication to the advancement of the field is further evidenced by his participation in the 7th, 9th, and 10th Neuroscience20 Initiative Summits in Saudi Arabia, Bali, Indonesia, and New Delhi, India. These contributions were recognized by the SBMT with the prestigious Global Leadership Award in 2023.

A Vision for the Future:

Leveraging his aptitude for streamlining processes and improving systems, Dr. Bolanos was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of SBMT in 2022. Under his leadership, the organization underwent significant improvements, including enhanced systems, streamlined processes, and a revitalized corporate image. His dedication was further acknowledged with the Golden Axon Leadership Award at the GFC Awards Gala in 2024, followed by a well-deserved promotion to the SBMT Advisory Board.

His unique blend of medical expertise and technological foresight positions him as a driving force for positive change within the healthcare landscape.

Dr. Bolanos’s impressive career trajectory exemplifies his unwavering commitment to innovation, leadership, and improving patient access to cutting-edge healthcare solutions.