September 3, 2019
Santhi Analytis, PhD, CTO & Co-Founder, Moxxly
Santhi Analytis (née Elayaperumal) is CTO and co-founder of Moxxly, Inc., a San Francisco based consumer tech company designing products for women. Moxxly’s first product is an FDA-cleared breast pump system for today’s mobile mom. Moxxly was acquired by Olle Larsson Holding, the parent of Medela and Bravado.
This episode was recorded early this year, and since then, Moxxly has merged with its sister company and stopped selling the Flow online.
Santhi holds a BBmE degree from the University of Minnesota, and earned her MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University as an NSF Graduate Research Program Fellow. Her PhD thesis, “Technologies for Needle Manipulation in MRI-Guided Interventions,” involved building fiber optic strain and force sensing tools, haptic manipulators, and surgical navigation systems. Santhi helped modernize the curriculum of an international, industry-sponsored graduate design course at Stanford, by creating the module “Paper Robot”, which introduced students to mechatronic prototyping. Her contribution was integrated as a core component of the course and is still used today.
Her work experience includes verifying a percutaneous heart valve replacement (Sadra Medical, acquired by Boston Scientific), and evaluating localization sensors for a robotic catheter system (Hansen Medical). She has designed for the developing world (Engineering World Health, iDE), and collaborated with Kodak and Panasonic on consumer tech projects.
Santhi was a mentor for the FIRST Robotics League and has directed interactive art projects focusing on brainwave-based sound and visual installations. Her brain machine interface robots have been shown in exhibits and galleries around the Bay Area.
August 5, 2019
Lisa Suennen, Leader, Manatt Digital & Technology
Lisa Suennen is the leader of Manatt Digital and Technology and the firm’s venture capital / emerging companies practice. With more than 30 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, board member and strategic advisor, she has focused broadly on new technologies and how they are transforming businesses. She has spent much of her career helping companies adopt and leverage digital technologies, develop strategies for growth through innovation and investment, and build strong collaborations between established players and entrepreneurs. Lisa heads the firm’s digital and technology businesses as well as the firm’s venture capital fund. She also works closely with Manatt Health, engaging with payers, health systems and companies to provide strategic advice on innovation, digital strategy and growth.
Lisa previously served as managing partner of Venture Valkyrie LLC, an advisory firm focused on helping healthcare organizations adopt venture capital and innovation programs and develop new business creation models and digital health strategies.
Lisa spent the past 20 years as a venture capitalist, first as a partner with Psilos Group, then leading the healthcare fund at GE Ventures. Prior to that, she was part of the leadership team that built Merit Behavioral Care, an $800 million behavioral healthcare company, guiding it through its successful IPO and exit. Her earlier career focused on product management and marketing in the technology sector.
Lisa currently serves on several private company boards and chairs the advisory board of the NASA-funded Translational Research Institute for Space Health. She is also on the faculty at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and is cofounder of CSweetener, which matches women in and nearing the healthcare C-suite with mentors.
Additionally, Lisa writes the Venture Valkyrie blog and hosts the Tech Tonics podcast.
July 18, 2019
Kareem Barghouti, Co-Founder, VastBiome
Kareem Barghouti is co-founder of VastBiome, a company that partners with scientists conducting clinical trials aimed at elucidating the influence of the microbiome on response to therapy. With an undergraduate degree in biology from UC Irvine and an MBA from Duke University, Kareem worked at Google for six years before taking a Biodesign Fellowship at TMC Innovation Institute and co-founding VastBiome.
June 3, 2019
Rachel Kuperman, MD, CEO, Eysz, Inc.
During Dr. Kuperman's 10 years at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Oakland, she developed the epilepsy program by focusing on excellence in clinical care, and research. She stepped back to focus on developing Eysz. Eysz comes out of her clinical work to help parents, caregivers and physicians quantitate the burdens of epilepsy: seizures, side effects and cognitive effects. The goal of Eysz is to improve the lives of people with epilepsy by leaving no seizure, side effect or complication undetected.
May 20, 2019
Holly Rockweiler, Co-Founder & CEO, Madorra
Holly Rockweiler is co-founder and CEO of Madorra, a women’s health company dedicated to changing the treatment paradigm for vaginal dryness.
Rockweiler co-founded Madorra three years ago as a spin-out of the Stanford Biodesign Fellowship. Prior to Biodesign, she worked as a senior research scientist in the Cardiac Rhythm Management division of Boston Scientific. There, she co-developed a new sensing algorithm for cardiac resynchronization therapy that enables more efficient care for patients living with heart failure. Her work has led to 15 pending and issued patents. Rockweiler holds a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.
May 3, 2019
Matthew Likens, President and CEO, GT Medical Technologies
Matt Likens is currently president and CEO of GT Medical Technologies, Inc., inventors of Gammatile(TM) Therapy, with a corporate purpose of "Improving the Lives of Patients with Brain Tumors". Previously, he held the same position at Ulthera, Inc., which grew from start-up to over $100M in revenue before being sold to Merz Pharma in July, 2014, for $600M. Prior to that, Matt began his career at J&J before spending the bulk of his career at Baxter Healthcare International, where he held ascending levels of responsibility, culminating in positions as President Biotech North America and President of Renal Dialysis in the U.S. He is a board member of privately-held Luma Therapeutics where they are commercializing their novel and effective approach to use UV light and coal tar patches to treat psoriasis, and publicly-traded CHF Solutions, which sells the AquaDex System to effectively reduce fluid overload in patients. He is a past winner of the Ernst &Young Mountain and Desert Region Entrepreneur of the Year award, is an active member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council Healthcare Advisory Committee, and also is a member of the City of Mesa Economic Development Council. Matt remains active with his alma mater, Kent State University as a member of their College of Business Administration Advisory Board.
April 22, 2019
Dorna Hakimi, PhD, Founder & CEO, BioInspire Technologies
Dorna Hakimi, PhD, is CEO of BioInspire Technologies, a Palo Alto startup whose core technology is a bioresorbable, biocompatible medical film that can deliver therapies to specific locations.
BioInspire has developed a flexible, therapeutic film made of human plasma fibrinogen, a naturally occurring protein. The film can be easily placed on surface tissue or delivered to a remote tissue using non-invasive delivery tools.
Originally from Iran, Dorna completed a PhD at the University of British Columbia. While a graduate student, she began working at MIV Therapeutics, where she continued after earning her doctorate. She held positions at Medlogics Device Corporation and Osseon Therapeutics before founding BioInspire in 2009.
April 4, 2019
Caroline Corner, PhD, Managing Partner, Westwicke Partners
Caroline Corner, Ph.D., joined Westwicke Partners in 2016 as a Managing Director leading our San Francisco effort in Medical Technology. Caroline’s focus is working with both public and private companies in the medical device and diagnostics areas. Her expertise and extensive C-level industry relationships stem from more than 12 years working in sell-side equity research, various roles within device and healthcare companies, as well as her academic training in biochemistry, engineering and nanobiotechnology.
March 22, 2019
Niquette Hunt, CEO, Candesant Biomedical
Niquette Hunt, CEO, has over twenty-five years’ experience in developing, launching and commercializing 20+ products across multiple verticals in the consumer medicine market. Every business she managed increased sales, profits and/or market share. Before founding Candesant, Ms. Hunt charted the commercial strategy at Revance Therapeutics and helped raise over $250 million in the 2014 IPO and follow-on financing.
March 11, 2019
Steve Axelrod, PhD, President & CEO, G-Tech Medical
Steve received his Ph.D. from Yale in Elementary Particle Physics and did his post-doc in the same field at Stanford. He worked at Measurex-Honeywell for 15 years where he was Director of Measurement System and Hardware Engineering. In 2003 he entered the medical device field, and helped develop and commercialize the Xoft Axxent microTube and radiation therapy delivery system. Steve has led teams delivering numerous best in class systems and devices in both medical devices and industrial automation. Some examples are nuclear basis weight, X-ray and infrared absorption sensors, Large scanning frames, fast high channel count data acquisition systems, skin and vaginal applicators for radiation therapy, high precision measurement systems for characterizing and testing system and device performance. Steve has been CEO of G-Tech since November 2011. This project combines his experience leading high performance R&D teams, his passion for medical devices and his expertise in creating sophisticated measurement systems.