Cardiovascular and Neurovascular Conference Speakers

MANNY VILLAFANA - KEYNOTE
Founder of St. Jude Medical
Topic: Development of the Lithium Iodine Pacemaker
Manny is a legend in the cardiac device space, having had his devices implanted in our 20 million patients.
In 1971 he launched Cardiac Pacemakers Inc., a CRM company that revolutionized the pacemaker industry by introducing a long life lithium iodine pacemaker, a technology still utilized by a majority of the market. Cardiac Pacemakers was ultimately acquired by Eli Lilly, which spun it out as Guidant, which in turn was acquired by Boston Scientific.
In 1976, he founded St. Jude Medical where his team engineered the first bileaflet mechanical heart valve, which reduced the frequency of blood clots in patients. It still dominates the mechanical valve replacement market.
He subsequently founded GV Medical (which developed a device to open blood vessels open), Helix BioCore (which eventually transformed into ATS Medical, a company that developed a bi-leaflet valve which uses an open-pivot design to reduce clots and improve blood flow), CABG Medical (which created an artificial graft for coronary bypass surgery), and Kips Bay Medical (which focuses on proprietary external saphenous vein support technology for use in coronary artery bypass grafting surgery).
Manny was recognized with dozens of prestigious awards for his work, including being named the 1990 CNN/E&Y National Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Master category and receiving the 2006 Living Legend of Medicine Award from the World Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons.  
PETER GOMBRICH - KEYNOTE
Co-Founder of St. Jude Medical
Topic: The Founding, Development and History of St. Jude Medical 
 
Peter Gombrich is a serial entrepreneur who founded three medical device companies, including St. Jude Medical, a global medical device company and Fortune 500 company acquired by Abbott in 2017.   St. Jude Medical was founded in 1976 to further develop bi-leaflet artificial heart valves.  The company now has more than 18,000 employees working in 20 locations, and sells products in over 100 countries.  
Peter also founded and served as the CEO and Chairman of Integrated Microcircuits, an outgrowth of St. Jude Medical.  After St. Jude, Mr. Gombrich founded and was CEO of CliniCom, a provider of bedside clinical information, which was sold to McKesson.  Following CliniCom, Peter founded and led AccuMed/Molecular Diagnostics, a cytopathic laboratory products company, which he took public.  
Since CliniCom, Peter founded Diamics and OncoGenesis, two women’s healthcare companies focused on cervical cancer screening. 
Peter holds a BSc degree in electrical engineering from the University of Denver, and an MBA from the University of Denver.
TAK CHEUNG, MD, MBA
Principal, New Enterprise Associates (NEA)
 

Tak is a Principal on the New Enterprise Associates (NEA) healthcare team, with a focus on medical device investments. 

 

Prior to NEA, Tak was a Venture Partner at Merieux Development Venture Fund where he led all phases of investment for healthcare startups, including sourcing, diligence and investment approvals. Tak also co-founded Lexington Medical, a commercial-stage medical device startup in the gastrointestinal surgery space. Prior to Merieux and Lexington, Tak was VP of Business Development for the Global Surgical Division at Bausch & Lomb, and was responsible for all business development efforts in the ophthalmic surgical division. Tak has held various corporate and business development leadership roles at Edwards Lifesciences in the Heart Valve Therapy Division and Advanced Medical Optics (acquired by Johnson & Johnson).

Tak received a BS with Honors in Engineering and Applied Science from the California Institute of Technology, an MD from the University of California, Irvine, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

DAVID NEUSTAEDTER, PHD
Vice President of Venture Capital, Medtronic
Former Director of Venture Capital, Coviden
Former Director of Commercial Strategy and Advanced Technologies, Stryker

As Vice President of Venture Capital at Medtronic, Dave works closely with Medtronic’s leadership and business development teams regarding minority investments. He has lead a large number of investments and has served as a Director or Observer on over 15 Boards including superDimension, Medina, Setpoint, PQ Bypass, MD Revolution and numerous undisclosed companies. Prior to Medtronic, Dave served in similar roles at Covidien and Stryker. While at Covidien, he also led a process to develop a white space growth strategy for the company. Earlier in his career, Dave was a healthcare-focused strategy consultant, supporting clients on decisions regarding internal product development and acquisition opportunities across the medical device, diagnostic and biopharmaceutical industries. He received a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of British Columbia, and an MBA from Yale.  

SCOTT WARD, PHD
Chairman, CEO, and President of Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.
Former President, Vascular Division of Medtronic
Former President, Cardiovascular Division of Medtronic
Former President, Neurological and Diabetes Business of Medtronic
Mr. Ward is the Chairman, CEO, and President of Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., a company focused on the innovative solutions for the revascularization of patients with complex coronary and peripheral artery disease.

From 2013 until 2019, Mr. Ward served as a Managing Director at SightLine Partners.  From 1981 to 2010, Mr. Ward was employed by Medtronic, Inc., and held a number of senior leadership positions. Mr. Ward was Senior Vice President and President of Medtronic’s CardioVascular business from May 2007 to November 2010. Prior to that he was Senior Vice President and President of Medtronic’s Vascular business from May 2004 to May 2007, Senior Vice President and President of Medtronic’s Neurological and Diabetes business, from February 2002 to May 2004, and was President of Medtronic’s Neurological business from January 2000 to January 2002. He was Vice President and General Manager of Medtronic’s Drug Delivery business from 1995 to 2000. Prior to that, Mr. Ward led Medtronic’s Neurological Ventures in the successful development of new therapies. Mr. Ward serves on the boards of several private companies. Until April 4, 2016, Mr. Ward was the Chairman of the Board of Creganna Medical. Mr. Ward served as a member of the Board of Surmodics, Inc., from September 2010 to March 2015.

BRYAN GRULKE
Partner, Volcano Capital

Bryan Grulke is a Partner at Volcano Capital, an early stage health care venture capital firm based in New York City.   Volcano Capital is an evergreen fund, backed by a family office, that operates free from the constraints of traditional venture capital funds.  The fund typically invests in early to mid stage medical device companies with a focus on interventional radiology, spine/orthopedics and minimally invasive surgery.

 

Prior to joining Volcano Capital, he worked as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company and in the corporate strategy group at Philips International. Bryan graduated from Harvard Business School and Duke University, summa cum laude with a BS degree in Economics.

PAUL YEH
Former Senior Director of Business Development, Abbott
Current CEO, Bellwether Analytics

Paul is the CEO and Founder of Bellwether Analytics.  Before Bellwether, Paul spent worked as Senior Director of Business Development.  Paul retired from Abbott after 20 years of working in all divisions from pharmaceuticals to medical devices to nutritional products. 

In the business world, Paul is passionate about helping organizations find order from chaos. He particularly enjoys working on complex, large investment decisions with high uncertainty. 

Paul holds an MBA in Finance and a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois. He also has various certifications including CMA and CFM as well as Health Economics and Outcomes Research from Stockholm University and Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford University.

DR. JAMES MIN
Founder and Director of the Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Weill-Cornell Medical Center

Dr. James Min is the Founder and Director of the Dalio Institute for Cardiovascular Imaging at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill-Cornell Medical Center as well as a Professor of Radiology at Weill-Cornell.   The Dalio Institute was founded by Dr. Min in order to help prevent and diagnose cardiovascular diseases by using state of the art tools such as MRI, CT, and PET scans. 

Prior to Weill-Cornell, Dr. Min held the title of Professor of Medicine at both Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA and David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA. 

Dr. Min is the Director of the CONFIRM Trial, a large prospective multi-center international database for cardiac CT and includes image data from more than 30,000 patients in over seven countries.  He has been studying clinical utility and coronary artery diseases for over ten years and has published over 250 papers on Cardiac CT and Coronary Artery Disease.

DR. PETER DE JAEGERE - KEYNOTE
Professor in Interventional Cardiology & Catheter-Based Valve Treatment
Department of Cardiology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Topic: The Future of Imaging for Cardiovascular Intervention
PPT de Jaegere received his MD degree from the University Ghent, Belgium in 1983 and followed
training in Cardiology at the Free University Brussels, Belgium and the University Hospital
Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1983-1990).
From 1990-1996, he was staff member and clinical head of the Department of Cardiac
Catheterization & Interventional Cardiology in Rotterdam. He was in charge of the introduction and
evaluation of intracoronary stenting, which lead to his PhD thesis “Clinical and Angiographic
Evaluation of Intracoronary Stenting in Humans” (1993) and, the publication of the Benestent Study
(randomized comparison balloon angioplasty vs. intracoronary stenting) in the New England
Journal of Medicine in 1994. From 1996-2004 he was in charge of the clinical research program at
the Department Cardiac Catheterisation & Interventional Cardiology at the University Hospital
Utrecht, The Netherlands during which he directed the Octopus Study (randomised comparison
off-pump bypass surgery vs. coronary stenting), published in the New England Journal of
Medicine in 2003.
In 2004 he returned to Rotterdam where he set up the Catheter Based Valve program that lead to
his nomination and appointment of Professor in Interventional Cardiology with special emphasis on
catheter-based valve treatment at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2012. His main focus and
activities are dedicated to patient care (general out-patient clinic and since 2005 emphasis on
catheter-based interventions of valvular heart disease) as it is the background and basis of his
clinical research program. Since 2011, the focus of his personal research program has shifted to
patient-specific computer simulation of catheter-based interventions of valvular heart disease in
close collaboration with biomedical engineers (Belgium) and is currently (as of 2020) working on the
application Artificial Intelligence in the structural heart interventions (from diagnosis, treatment
planning end execution to evaluation). Professor PPT de Jaegere supervises the scientific work of
students and (international) fellows who work In the domain of structural heart disease (publication
list, see PubMed). Prof dr PPT de Jaegere has edited a book on Transcatheter Aortic Valve
Implantation, is proctor for aortic valve implantation and has organized a number of local and
international courses on Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.