July 6, 2020
John Adler, Jr., MD
John Adler is the CEO of both Zap Surgical Systems and Cureus Inc. Dr. Adler is world-renowned for inventing the CyberKnife and the related field of image-guided therapeutic radiation.
Dr. Adler has been on the faculty of Stanford University since 1987, being appointed the Dorothy and TK Chan Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiation Oncology in 2007. His entire medical and neurosurgical education happened at Harvard, excepting a one-year fellowship at the Karolinska Institute with Lars Leksell, the “father of radiosurgery”. As an academician, John is the author or co-author on more than 300 peer reviewed articles and book chapters and serves or has served on the editorial boards of eight different peer reviewed journals. He is also a named inventor on more than 20 patents.
While creating the CyberKnife, Dr. Adler founded Accuray Inc (NASDAQ: ARAY) in 1992 to commercialize his invention. Up until 2009 he served in varying roles at Accuray including CEO, Chief Medical Officer and Chairman. To date Accuray technology has been used to treat more than one million patients and most modern radiation equipment now incorporates John’s basic idea for image-guided targeting. In 2002 Dr. Adler founded the CyberKnife Society, later (2012) renamed the Radiosurgical Society. He also serves or has served on the scientific advisory boards of 7 different medical device or pharmaceutical companies.
In 2014 Dr. Adler founded Zap Surgical Systems in Silicon Valley with a mission to “Advance Cancer Treatment for All Humanity”. His invention, the Zap-X received US FDA clearance in September 2018.
John also founded and serves as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Cureus.com, the world’s largest and fastest growing multi-disciplinary open access medical journal, publishing nearly 3000 peer-reviewed articles each year.
Unrealistically and even laughably John yearns to live the peripatetic life of a big wave surfer.
June 22, 2020
Frank Fischer, Chairman of the Board, Neuropace
Frank Fischer has more than 40 years of senior management experience in the medical device industry. He co-founded NeuroPace in Dec 1997, led the company as its President and Chief Executive Officer from January 2000 thru July 2019, served on its Board of Directors since inception and is currently Chairman of the Board. Prior to joining NeuroPace, Mr. Fischer was President and Chief Executive Officer of Heartport, Inc., a cardiac surgery company, from May 1998 until September 1999 and served on Heartport’s Board of Directors. Previously, Mr. Fischer was President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Ventritex, Inc., a company that pioneered implantable cardiac defibrillators, from July 1987 until the sale of the company to St. Jude Medical, Inc. in 1997. Before joining Ventritex, he held various management positions at Cordis Corporation from 1977 to 1987 in the cardiac and neurosurgical device areas, serving most recently as President of the Implantable Products Division. Currently he is a member of the Board of Directors of Nevro, Inc., the Board of Trustees of both Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Babson College as well as the Board of Directors of the Epilepsy Foundation of America. Mr. Fischer holds B.S.M.E. and M.S. in Management degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
June 8, 2020
Frederick St Goar, MD
Dr. Frederick St. Goar is a cardiology specialist, physician inventor, and entrepreneur. He currently serves as vice chairman of the board of the Fogarty Institute in Mountain View, CA.
His career was jump-started at Stanford when he joined Paul Yock in working on intravascular ultrasound imaging. Subsequently he became involved in launching Heartport. He invented the minimally invasive MitraClip system, co-founding Evalve. He consults for several established medical device companies and is active in the Stanford Biodesign program as well as the Fogarty Institute.
Dr. St. Goar has over 36 years of experience in the field; he graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed a residency at Stanford University Medical Center. He currently practices at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists and is affiliated with medical facilities such as El Camino Hospital Mountain View Campus and Mills-Peninsula Medical Center.
May 26, 2020
Thomas Osborne, MD, Chief Medical Informatics Officer, VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Thomas Osborne, MD, is the Chief Medical Informatics Officer at VAPAHCS. He graduated from Dartmouth Medical School, and completed his diagnostic radiology residency at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA, and neuroradiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is board-certified in radiology and has his CAQ in neuroradiology, both from the American Board of Radiology. His current focus is on building collaborations within the VAPAHCS network to positively transform healthcare, and his interests include applications of artificial intelligence in medicine to advance health care.
May 11, 2020
Ali Farahanchi, Managing Director, DHVC
Ali Farahanchi is Managing Director at DHVC, an early-stage tech and life science fund in Palo Alto. With more than $650M assets under management and 100+ companies in its portfolio, DHVC invests in variety of areas in healthcare including therapeutics, diagnostics and tools, and digital health, with strong emphasis on novel mechanisms and data-driven platforms. Previously Ali has worked in research and in consulting roles in semiconductor and healthcare industries, and has obtained graduate degrees in engineering and management from MIT and University of Chicago.
April 27, 2020
Prasad Shirvalkar, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, UCSF School of Medicine
Dr. Prasad Shirvalkar is a neurologist and interventional pain medicine specialist who provides the full spectrum of care for chronic pain conditions. This includes conservative, nonsurgical treatments such as medications and nerve blocks (anesthetic injections near nerves that are sending pain signals). He also treats patients with advanced neuromodulation therapy by implanting peripheral and spinal cord stimulators, which are devices that relieve pain by sending electrical signals to the spine.
Shirvalkar cares for hospitalized patients and provides telemedicine visits for established patients. He coordinates with other providers for each patient, collaborating to treat any pain condition.
Shirvalkar's research aims to develop new therapies for hard-to-treat pain disorders, such as post-stroke pain and phantom limb pain, by harnessing technologies such as brain and spinal cord stimulation. He is conducting a study using electrodes implanted in the brain to understand how individuals interpret pain signals, with the goal of personalizing brain stimulation therapies. He is also interested in how sudden, severe pain episodes can progress to become chronic and in whether early intervention can prevent chronic pain.
Shirvalkar earned his doctoral and medical degrees at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He then completed a residency in neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he served as chief resident. He completed a fellowship in pain management at UCSF.
Shirvalkar belongs to the American Academy of Neurology, American Pain Association, American Pain Society, American Society of Anesthesiologists, International Neuromodulation Society and North American Neuromodulation Society, where he serves on the scientific program committee.
In addition to medicine and science, Shirvalkar has a passion for percussion. He plays jazz drums in his free time and used to play with the Oakland Raiders' band.
April 20, 2020
Heather Bowerman, Founder & CEO, DotLab
Heather Bowerman is the founder and CEO of DotLab, a molecular diagnostics company in women’s health. DotLab has been named as an “Amazing Medical Breakthrough” by Reader’s Digest and as one of the “Fierce 15” companies of 2019 by FierceMedTech. Bowerman has been recognized as a Top 35 Global Innovator by the MIT Technology Review, a World Technology Award Finalist for Health & Medicine, and as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs. She was previously a consultant at McKinsey & Company and an associate in the Obama White House’s Office of Science & Technology Policy, and is a graduate of the UC Berkeley College of Engineering and Harvard University.
April 13, 2020
Entrepreneur‐turned‐educator Steve Blank is the Father of Modern Entrepreneurship. Credited with launching the Lean Startup movement, he’s changed how startups are built; how entrepreneurship is taught; how science is commercialized, and how companies and the government innovate.
Steve is the author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany, The Startup Owner’s Manual and his May 2013 Harvard Business Review cover story defined the Lean Startup movement.
He teaches at Stanford, Columbia, Berkeley and NYU; and created the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps now the standard for science commercialization in the U.S. His Hacking for Defense class at Stanford is revolutionizing how the U.S. defense and intelligence community can deploy innovation with speed and urgency, and its sister class, Hacking for Diplomacy, is doing the same for foreign affairs challenges managed by the U.S. State Department.
Steve blogs at www.steveblank.com.
April 6, 2020
Ajay Dharia, MD, Pulmonary & Critical Care, UCSF Medical Center; Principal, MedTech Venture Partners
Ajay Dharia received his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA after obtaining his engineering degree from UC Berkeley. He completed his residency and fellowship in internal medicine and pulmonary/critical care at UCSF Medical Center. After completing his fellowship, Ajay transitioned into a medical device lab working on the development of artificial organ technology. He continues to practice clinically during extended hours in two ICUs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ajay is also Principal at Medtech Venture Partners, the UCSF Rosenman Institute’s investment firm.
March 30, 2020
Harsh Vathsangam, PhD, CEO & Co-Founder, Moving Analytics
Harsh Vathsangam is the CEO of Moving Analytics. He is driven by a passion for taking technological solutions and applying them to benefit people’s lives. Prior to Moving Analytics, Harsh received his PhD from the University of Southern California working at the intersection of artificial intelligence and mobile health. He is the author of several peer-reviewed publications in machine learning and chronic disease management. He was a USC Annenberg Fellow and winner of USC PhD Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding academic research. He is also one of the inventors of iGest, an alternative communication device for children with cerebral palsy and winner of the NASCOMM award for social innovation. He holds an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.