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.
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.
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.
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.