Our Team

Our robust team of market analysts, subject matter experts and former medical industry leaders are deployed to ensure the most promising inventions are positioned to succeed in the ever-changing healthcare marketplace. Expertise from across Cleveland Clinic and our external network is solicited to offer strategic advice for select inventions. If a technology is deemed to merit a new venture, an independent team of investment and operational professionals will facilitate spin-off company formation, fundraising and governance.
Amanda Wochele
Amanda Wochele

Amanda Wochele

Associate Director, Business Development & Licensing

In her more than five years at CCI, Amanda has worked on the Medical Device team with inventors in Nursing, Pediatrics, Women’s Health and Urology. She’s worked in all phases of commercialization, from constructing business cases to fund proof of concept and product development, managing regulatory pathways, overseeing project management, identification of partners to bring innovations to market and structuring of licensing deals. Her work with the Nursing Institute led to expanding product development efforts, providing nursing colleagues the ability to eliminate barriers to invention, increase funding, and launch the Nursing Innovation Fund with dollars earmarked for inventions to be trialed by nurses.
 
In the Delivery Solutions domain, she translated Cleveland Clinic-generated know-how into programs, processes, documents, management tools, and more. She’s also supported over 50 client organizations in their goal of sustaining a culture of service excellence through the Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. program, where she led new product development strategy and assisted with sales and marketing efforts. She is a certified H.E.A.R.T. trainer and facilitator. She was part of the team that initiated the Structured Innovation process, expanding the INVENT® process to include problem discovery, tracking of big ideas and emerging needs, and enablement of cross-discipline collaboration. Through this work, she studied Creative Problem Solving (CPS), a framework for innovation and change, where she is also a trained facilitator.
 
Prior to CCI, she worked for Steris Corporation in various sales and marketing roles. While in Marketing, she contributed to new product research and development, rebranding initiatives and domestic and international launch directives. Sales took her to San Francisco and Washington D.C., where her expertise in infection control products, policies and procedures supported hospital risk management, surgery, endoscopy and sterile processing. Amanda received her B.A. from John Carroll University, and she is a graduate of the Cleveland Clinic/Case Western Executive MBA program. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family, supporting her Cleveland sports teams and traveling to places she’s read about.

Contact Information:

216-445-9957

Bernardo Perez Villa, MD
Bernardo Perez Villa, MD

Bernardo Perez Villa, MD

Engagement Partner, Cleveland Clinic Florida

Dr. Perez-Villa joined Innovations in November 2021 as part of the Engagement team. He is the Engagement and Partnering Associate for the Florida region where he is responsible for driving awareness of Cleveland Clinic’s culture of innovation and developing meaningful connections with Cleveland Clinic’s network of current and future inventors. 

Prior to joining the team, he was a Research Associate at the Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute in Cleveland Clinic Florida where he lead the deployment of the Outcomes Management and Evaluation system to collect patient-reported outcome measures in a highly structured and consistent manner before and after treatments. 

Dr. Perez-Villa completed his MD at the National University of Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina and then received training as a cardiologist at Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain. After finishing his residency, he worked in a county hospital, helping build the heart failure unit from scratch and developed a mobile application to improve the quality of care for heart failure patients. He served as the CSO of Wellian Inc., a digital health start-up based in Boulder, USA from 2018 to 2020. He holds an MSc in health economics, outcomes and management from the London School of Economics and a fellowship in healthcare innovation at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. 


Contact Information:

954 226-0934

Bill Kolosi
Bill Kolosi

Bill Kolosi

Associate Director, Innovations Development - Medical Devices

Bill's role is a liaison between the Clinic and corporate partners, managing the development of new medical devices. A mechanical engineer, he spent eleven years as a consultant developing medical device prototypes for early-stage startups in both the San Francisco Bay Area and northeast Ohio. He's listed on five patents. Bill sits on the Partnership for Innovation (PFI) oversight board at Case Western Reserve University. Prior to working in the medical device industry, Bill worked five years at Honda R&D in Marysville, Ohio. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.

Contact Information:

216-445-1943

Catherine Teringo
Catherine Teringo

Catherine Teringo

Program Manager, Office of Strategic Alliances and Technology Development

Catherine Teringo was born and raised in northeastern Ohio. She graduated from Ohio University with her Master in Health Administration (MHA) in 2021. She has dual baccalaureate degrees, Bachelor of Science in Technical Management and Health Services Management diplomas, and is a Certified Medical Assistant. She completed her Medical Assistant Residency Program at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospital, Main Campus. 

Catherine began her professional healthcare journey at the Cleveland Clinic in 2009 and joined the Office of Strategic Alliances and Technology Development and Innovation domains in October of 2021.  

Previously, she was a Physician/Patient Liaison Program Coordinator in the Hospital Medicine department (2017-2021), most recently leading COVID-19 initiatives. Before joining Hospital Medicine, Catherine advanced in her professional healthcare career in Pain Management, Critical Care, and Anesthesiology, taking on various roles such as Pain Management Assistant (clinical), Department Work Leader, and Anesthesiology Institute Gatekeeper (2009-2017).  

Additionally, Catherine holds numerous certifications in agile and lean, leadership, strategy, and project management. Dedicated to helping others, Catherine is committed to positively impacting the healthcare arena. 


Contact Information:

216 972-1927

Colleen Hyman
Colleen Hyman

Colleen Hyman

Engagement Partner, Medical Device

Colleen Hyman joined Innovations in October 2021 as part of the Innovations Engagement team partnering with Cleveland Clinic leaders, administrators, physicians, nurses, researchers, and other stakeholders within the various Cleveland Clinic institutes to generate high quality invention disclosures for new medical products.


Contact Information:

216-644-6949

D. Geoffrey Vince, PhD
D. Geoffrey Vince, PhD

D. Geoffrey Vince, PhD

Executive Director


D. Geoffrey Vince, PhD, is Executive Director of Innovations at Cleveland Clinic. He also holds The Virginia Lois Kennedy Chair in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Therapeutics and chairs the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

In his role as Executive Director of Innovations, Dr. Vince is aligning Cleveland Clinic’s technology development strategies with scientific and research priorities—including unprecedented growth in data and computing sciences—to accelerate the development of new treatments and drugs. He is also capitalizing on Cleveland Clinic’s innovative culture to build strategic partnerships and alliances with industry to drive revenue growth through commercialization of intellectual property, which will help fuel medical advances and economic growth in Northeast Ohio.

Dr. Vince obtained his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Liverpool in 1989. He came to Cleveland Clinic BME as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 1992, rising to Associate Staff by 2003.

In BME, Dr. Vince and colleagues invented a new methodology for imaging the interior of coronary arteries using intravascular ultrasound. This methodology, “Virtual Histology™,” was patented and later licensed to Volcano Therapeutics (now Volcano Corp.).

In 2005, Dr. Vince left Cleveland Clinic to join Volcano’s Cleveland office as Director of Research. In 2006, he became Vice-President of Clinical and Advanced R&D, moving to Volcano’s headquarters in San Diego, California. His invention is now a product of some 7,000 units worldwide. (Volcano was purchased by Philips in 2015.) Dr. Vince returned to Cleveland in 2011 to become Chair of Cleveland Clinic BME.

Dr. Vince is currently Principal Investigator of the Cleveland Clinic site for a grant awarded under the NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI) program, an initiative of the NHLBI/NIH. He is an inventor on more than 60 patents or patent applications in the United States and worldwide. More recently, Dr. Vince has been working with colleagues at Cleveland Clinic to develop a breathalyzer for simple, non-invasive, early detection of COVID-19.


Contact Information:



Deborah Powers
Deborah Powers

Deborah Powers

Patents Coordinator

Deb has a combined 15 years of experience in Intellectual Property focused primarily on patent transactions. Previously, Deb  worked  for ABB , a large global corporation, as their Patent Coordinator and IP Paralegal to their Chief Counsel  for North America. Her duties included assisting with managing the inventions, patent filings, database maintenance, docketing  and reporting, along with point of contact for both domestic and foreign counsels. In addition, prior to joining the Innovations team, Deb worked for a large law firm in Cleveland, Ohio as a Foreign Filing Coordinator. She was the point of contact for managing a large foreign client.  Deb’s background working within both a corporate and law firm setting has provided her with  a comprehensive outlook regarding  the specialty of patent translations.
 
Deb has an associates in Business Management and a Paralegal Certificate from Lakeland Community college.
 

Contact Information:

216-445-1717

Debra Pittman
Debra Pittman

Debra Pittman

Administrative Program Coordinator

Debra is an Administrative Program Coordinator in Cleveland Clinic Innovations. Debra primarily focuses on project management, event coordination, operational activities and executive support. Prior to joining CCI, Debra was an executive assistant at the British Petroleum Company.

Contact Information:

216-445-0800

Elizabeth Sump
Elizabeth Sump

Elizabeth Sump

Senior Director, Strategic Alliances & Technology Development

Elizabeth is responsible for building strategic development plans for early-stage healthcare technologies, including consulting on technology development plans, formation and management of technology-focused consortia and public-private research partnerships.  Elizabeth also manages the Cleveland Clinic SPARK® technology development program and the Innovation Fellows program.

Prior to this role, she served as Senior Director of Health Policy at Cleveland Clinic. She previously has served in several roles at Cleveland Clinic, including as Chief Commercialization Officer for the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine and Executive Director of the Clinical Tissue Engineering Center.  A native Buckeye, she received her Bachelor of Science from Ohio State University and has nearly 30 years’ experience in the for-profit and non-profit business sectors with an emphasis on regenerative medicine, orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering-related healthcare technologies.

 


Contact Information:

216-219-5833

Erez Podoly, PhD
Erez Podoly, PhD

Erez Podoly, PhD

Principal, New Companies


Dr. Erez Podoly is the Principal for Life Sciences on the New Companies team of Innovations. Erez is the Founder and CEO of MightyGate, which is developing high throughput screening technology for infectious diseases. Prior to MightyGate, he founded two startups - Slive, to pursue Salivary Diagnostics and AcheroMetics to discover biomarkers of acute pain. Previously, he was focused on Health Tech and Biotech investments at Artiman Ventures. At Stanford University, Erez pursued research with a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. Dr. Podoly  is a thought leader, frequent invited speaker (TEDx), active panelist, and judge in startup competitions. He has a Ph.D. in Neurobiology (Alzheimer’s research), M.Sc. in Biochemistry (Cancer research) and B.Sc. in Chemistry.


 

Contact Information:

216-386-7406

Erik Waldorff, PhD
Erik Waldorff, PhD

Erik Waldorff, PhD

Senior Director, Proof of Concept-Medical Devices

Dr. Waldorff joined Cleveland Clinic in May, 2022 as part of the Proof of Concept team, where he works with inventors, Lerner Research Institute Medical Device Solutions and Innovations to translate early stage concepts into products.

Prior to joining the team, he was the Director of Science and Innovation for the consulting group Telos Partners where he did business, scientific and regulatory consulting for medical device companies. In addition, he spent nine years at Orthofix and two years at St. Jude Medical as a Principal Scientist/Research Manager and Clinical Research Scientist, respectively, managing proof-of-concept pre-clinical and post-market clinical studies for new device technologies.

Dr. Waldorff completed his undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering, two M.S.E. degrees (aerospace engineering and biomedical engineering), and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan, and an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.


Contact Information:

2166448943

Heather Lambert-Shemo
Heather Lambert-Shemo

Heather Lambert-Shemo

Director, Marketing & Communications
Coming soon. 

Contact Information:

216.444.0386

J.D. Friedland
J.D. Friedland

J.D. Friedland

Partner, New Companies


Jon David “JD” Friedland joined Cleveland Clinic in May 2021 as Partner focusing on medical device investments. JD serves on the boards of Enspire DBS, Navigate Cardiac Structures and VisionAir.

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic, JD served as a Managing Director at Wombat Capital, a boutique M&A advisory firm focused on the life sciences industry.  JD has also held senior positions at Rothschild, Lazard Fréres and Wasserstein Perella.

From 2016 to 2020, JD served as a Special Operating Partner at Pulse Equity Partners, a private equity firm located in New York, NY.  Prior to joining Pulse Equity Partners, JD was Vice President, Corporate and Business Development at Henry Schein, a global distributor of products and services to the medical, dental and animal health industries.  JD was also involved in the formation of the Innovation Initiative, an investment platform for Henry Schein, and led the Innovation Initiative’s first investment.

JD received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Contact Information:

216-445-0812

J.D. Romero
J.D. Romero

J.D. Romero

Associate Director, Innovations Development - Digital Health

J.D. Romero is an Innovation Manager with Cleveland Clinic Innovations, focused on developing and commercializing early stage health information technologies.  Prior to joining CCI, J.D. was a  management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he specialized in digital strategy, M&A strategy and large-scale corporate transformation projects for F500 clients.

J.D. has a BS in finance from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
 

Contact Information:

216-445-4747

Jeanne Sanford
Jeanne Sanford

Jeanne Sanford

Coordinator, Innovations
 

Jeanne Sanford is a receptionist for the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center.  Jeanne is involved with coordinating efforts within GCIC’s incubator/accelerator program and provides support to our buildings tenants.  Jeanne has over 30 years’ experience in reception and clerical duties.  Prior to joining the Cleveland Clinic Innovations team she worked for Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital.  Before becoming a Caregiver Jeanne worked at the Medina County Government Office for over 20 years.


Contact Information:

216-445-4819

Jeffrey Cicarella, JD
Jeffrey Cicarella, JD

Jeffrey Cicarella, JD

Counsel

Jeff is a business and transactional lawyer in Cleveland Clinic’s Law Department.  Jeff counsels CCI’s spin-off companies on various general corporate, strategic and commercial issues affecting their businesses.  Jeff has extensive experience in structuring and closing early-stage and growth-stage capital formation transactions, including technology transfer and licensing, seed investment, early-stage investment and follow-on investment transactions.  In addition, Jeff represents CCI and its portfolio companies in complex financing transactions including control and non-control investments at every level of a company's capital structure, such as senior secured and subordinated debt investments and common and preferred equity investments. 

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic’s Law Department, Jeff was an associate at two large law firms in Cleveland, Ohio where he focused on the areas of M&A (mergers and stock and asset acquisitions and divestitures), corporate finance and venture capital, and he was named a “Rising Star” by Ohio Super Lawyers (M&A).  Jeff earned a B.S in General Business from the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at Miami University, an M.B.A. from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, and a J.D.(cum laude) from the School of Law at Case Western Reserve University. 

Contact Information:

216-448-0494

Jerry Wilmink, PhD
Jerry Wilmink, PhD

Jerry Wilmink, PhD

Director, Business Development and Licensing
Gerald “Jerry” J. Wilmink, PhD is the Director of Business Development and Licensing at Innovations. Jerry has a broad and deep range of technical, operational and product commercialization expertise which he gained from several health technology startups and assignments in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) advanced research sector. These positions range from founding and serving as the CBO of CarePredict, founder & CEO of WiseWear, starting the first Terahertz biosensing laboratory in the DoD, operating as an advisor for the TechStars program, and serving as a program manager for our country's SBIR/STTR product commercialization program. Experience raising millions of dollars in private and federal funds, identifying and executing strategic technology acquisitions, recruiting world-class teams and launching innovative life-saving connected products. Jerry has penned several patents, published over 50 technical manuscripts, book chapters, and has delivered over a 150 keynote presentations at leading conferences including CES, RISE, TEDMED, SXSW, Startup Health, and SPIE. Jerry earned his PhD, MS, and BS in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Contact Information:

216 314-6397

Jim Ellis, JD, MBA
Jim Ellis, JD, MBA

Jim Ellis, JD, MBA

Managing Director, Pre-Market Innovations

Jim Ellis, JD, MBA, is the Managing Director for Pre-Market Innovations at Cleveland Clinic where he supports the Inventor Engagement and Technology Assessment Teams.  Jim also oversees the Lerner Research Institute’s Proof-of-Concept (PoC) Office where he supports inventors pursuing external funding (SBIR/STTR/DOD) to support early stage technologies development, the Cleveland Clinic SPARK (technology selection and development, and inventor education), and the Innovation Fellows Programs (technology development training). 

Prior to focusing on medical technology development, Jim was the Finance Manager and then the Institute Administrator for the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute (LRI).  During his tenure, the LRI never missed budget and has continued to be a great place to work. He helped to develop the Research Communications, Compliance, Trainee Development, and Fund Development Offices. He served on many teams and committees to build programs like the Research Centers of Excellence Program (CoE) which builds Team Science, and implemented the Care Affordability efforts, in which we the LRI emerged a leaner, more efficient and productive research organization with annual funding continuing to exceed all previous records. He helped to oversee many construction projects including the Barrier, Pre-clinical MRI, and the Metabolomics facilities.

Jim is a licensed attorney in Ohio and CPA (currently inactive).  His experiences in law, business, healthcare, and research position him to effectively accelerate biomedical research discoveries into new medical products. 


Contact Information:

216 444-9234

Joseph Rich, JD
Joseph Rich, JD

Joseph Rich, JD

Sr. Director, Governance, Grants & Policies

Joseph Rich, JD, MBA, oversees all governance activities and manages the commercialization grant programs for Innovations. Further, he is a member of the Cleveland Innovation District Team. Mr. Rich has served as a key executive, and Portfolio Manager for the state of Ohio Third Frontier sponsored Ohio BioValidation Fund (OBVF) program since re-joining Cleveland Clinic in 2011. OBVF is an $85 million+ early-stage investment program. He has extensive business development expertise through his involvement in the organization and start-up of numerous financially successful companies. Mr. Rich possesses industry-specific expertise in medical devices, life sciences, venture capital investments and angel financing, joint ventures and other strategic alliances involving technology commercialization. Mr. Rich served as a Board Member and or Corporate Officer for many early-stage companies and led the successful exit of multiple portfolio companies. He also manages the relationships between the boards and executive teams of Cleveland Clinic portfolio companies. Mr. Rich has over 15 years of technology commercialization experience. Prior to Cleveland Clinic, he served in a leadership role for The University of Akron Research Foundation, where he was instrumental in numerous corporate ventures and international deals. He believes in supporting our communities, including having served on the Board of Trustees of The University of Akron after an appointment by the Ohio governor. Mr. Rich received a BS in Biology from John Carroll University, an MBA in Finance from The University of Akron and a JD from The University of Akron.


Contact Information:

216-445-1594

Judy McAnally
Judy McAnally

Judy McAnally

Department Manager, Innovations

Judy McAnally has over 20 years of experience in project coordination and administrative support. Prior to joining CCI, Judy was the Office Manager at Boston Scientific.

Contact Information:

216-308-1076

Juliana Woda, PhD
Juliana Woda, PhD

Juliana Woda, PhD

Senior Director, Technology Development

Juliana Woda, Ph.D. is an experienced biotechnology leader with expertise in translating emerging therapuetics from preclinical to clinical programs; she is currently Senior Director, Innovations at Cleveland Clinic.  Previously, Julie worked at multiple biotechnology companies, leading technologies through product development towards pharmaceutically acceptable therapeutics. Julie co-founded Clarametyx Biosciences  and is a current Scientific Advisory Board Member. As Senior Director and Head of the Project Sourcing and Portfolio Opportunity Team at BioMotiv, Julie engaged with academic institutions, and funding partners to identify technologies and negotiate collaborations and license agreements Previously, as Director of Translational Research at Juventas Therapeutics, Julie led all aspects of translational research, including developing GMP manufacturing processes, leading to the successful submission of an IND and approval for a Phase II clinical study of a novel gene therapy product. She worked as a Senior Scientist at Athersys working on preclinical studies and manufacturing  of their cell therapy platform. Julie received her PhD from Harvard University in Cell and Developmental Biology and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital working on Huntington’s Disease.

Contact Information:

216-386-2962

Julie Carter
Julie Carter

Julie Carter

Administrative Program Coordinator, New Companies

Julie is the administrative program coordinator for Cleveland Clinic Ventures (CCV). Julie develops, implements, manages and maintains the operational systems and activities of CCV. She also functions as the administrative, technical and operational resource for the CCV team.  Julie has worked at Cleveland Clinic for 7 years, previously holding a role in Innovations with the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center where she assisted with coordinating efforts within GCIC’s Incubator/Accelerator Program and provided support to the tenants.
 

Contact Information:

216-445-1917

Karen Meredith
Karen Meredith

Karen Meredith

Program Manager, Innovations
Karen Meredith joined Innovations in 2019 after 6 years in Cleveland Clinic’s Heart Vascular and Thoracic Institute. In her current role, she is a Program and Project Manager responsible for managing, coordinating and supporting both team-specific and office-wide projects and initiatives. Karen earned her BS in Marketing from Cleveland State University.

Contact Information:

440-387-2548

Katelin Guice
Katelin Guice

Katelin Guice

Administrative Program Coordinator


Katelin Guice is an administrative program coordinator for the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center team. Katelin is involved with coordinating efforts within GCIC’s incubator/accelerator program and assisting the building’s tenants. In addition, she supports the Sales and Partnerships team for Cleveland Clinic Innovations . Prior to joining CCI, Katelin worked for CCF Main Campus Clinical Engineering for 3 years. Before becoming a Caregiver, she worked for the Walt Disney World Resort in Main Street Operations at the Magic Kingdom. She received her BA in Theatre and BS in Political Science from The Florida State University.


 

Contact Information:

216-296-9907

Kayla Kress
Kayla Kress

Kayla Kress

Innovations Analyst

Kayla Kress joined Innovations in October 2021 as part of the Assessment team providing key stakeholders with market intelligence in the assessment of new medical device technologies. Prior to joining the team, Kayla interned at Ohio WillowWood learning both the manufacturing and engineering processes for low limb prosthetic devices.

Kayla earned her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Minor in Human Movement through Biomechanics from University of Dayton and her Master’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Cleveland State University.


Contact Information:

216 444-3803

Kimberley Davenport
Kimberley Davenport

Kimberley Davenport

Program Manager, Marketing & Communications

Kimberley works alongside the Director of Marketing & Communications to elevate the Innovations brand and market the innovative work developed at Cleveland Clinic. Kimberley focuses on creating marketing tactics, leveraging branding to bring awareness, original content creation, corporate event management, and social media opportunities in this role.

Before this role, Kimberley was responsible for the overall management of the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center; this 50,000 square-foot facility houses the Cleveland Clinic’s incubator/accelerator program dedicated to the growth of start-up companies. The facility opened in May 2010. Responsibilities included operational and financial activities, marketing and communications, and facilities management and services.

Contact Information:

216-312-4200

Krishnendu Khan, PhD
Krishnendu Khan, PhD

Krishnendu Khan, PhD

Engagement Partner, Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Dr. Khan joined Innovations in March, 2022 as a member of the newly formed engagement team where he works with scientists and physicians at Cleveland Clinic to disclose novel invention disclosures in the field of therapeutics and diagnostics.  Dr. Khan performs both scientific and market assessments on these newly disclosed opportunities. 

Prior to this role, Dr. Khan was a junior staff member at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute working on understanding how proteins within the cells interact to form multimeric complexes.  This work resulted in the award of several institutional and federal grants as well as publishing multiple research papers. Dr. Khan serves as the editorial board member and reviewer of several internationally reputed journals.

Dr. Khan obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India where he worked on understanding DNA-protein interactions. Later he performed his post-doctoral studies at Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany investigating development associated changes in chromatin structure. Outside work Dr. Khan enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.
 
 

Contact Information:

216 218 6650

Laura Konczos
Laura Konczos

Laura Konczos

Department Manager, GCIC & AFIC Programs

Laura is responsible for the overall management of the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center, a 50,000 square foot facility that houses the GCIC’s incubator/accelerator program. Her responsibilities include facilities management and service, lease agreements, and financial activities. Her responsibilities also include the management of our Preclinical Program where she serves as a liaison between all levels of management, various departments, and our vendors. Prior to joining the Innovations team Laura worked in multiple research departments at the Cleveland Clinic.

Contact Information:

216-445-7006

Madeline Bernard
Madeline Bernard

Madeline Bernard

Senior Financial Analyst


Madeline Bernard, CPA joined Cleveland Clinic Innovations in May 2018. Prior to joining Innovations, she was a senior associate in public accounting at Grant Thornton LLP in the Boston and Cleveland markets. Madeline provided audit services for clients in the nonprofit, privately held, and early stage companies. Madeline also worked with CW+, the charity associated with the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, where she primarily assisted with visual and performing arts for patient wellbeing.

Madeline earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business and a minor in the History of Art and Architecture. 


Contact Information:

216-444-3825

Matt Koletsky
Matt Koletsky

Matt Koletsky

Engagement Partner, Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Before joining Innovations, Matt worked as a Market Research Associate at Cleveland Research Company, specializing in equity and market research for the Life Science Tools and Diagnostics industry. Matt has held various roles in industry and academic settings, including supporting antibody R&D at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and conducting epigenetic research at Rockefeller University.
 
Matt has an MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Georgetown University and a BS in Biology from the University of Michigan.
 

 
 

Contact Information:

216 387 1244

Melissa Barnes, PhD
Melissa Barnes, PhD

Melissa Barnes, PhD

Innovations Analyst

Melissa Barnes is an intellectual property (IP) analyst in the Business Analytics Group at Cleveland Clinic Innovations. She joined the team in 2019 after receiving an M.A. in Patent Practice from Case Western Reserve University, School of Law. Her focus is on understanding the technical details of each new invention, conducting prior art searches, and assessing the patentability of the invention. Prior to specializing in IP, Melissa received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Case Western Reserve University and subsequently spent six years in academic research at Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine and five years in preclinical regulatory studies at Ricerca Biosciences (now known as Olon Ricerca Bioscience).

Contact Information:

216-314-1232

Melissa Orr
Melissa Orr

Melissa Orr

Innovations Analyst
Bio coming soon.

Contact Information:

216 346 3951

Michael Austriaco
Michael Austriaco

Michael Austriaco

General Manager, Assessment


Since 2010, Michael has led market intelligence efforts within Innovations. Under his direction, the Business Analytics team is dedicated to qualifying and quantifying the commercial potential of new medical technologies. This is accomplished through comprehensive, data driven assessments spanning patentability, marketability, financial modeling and related diligence activities designed to optimize portfolio management and mitigate investment risk. Efficiency, resourcefulness and deep domain expertise are the key value drivers the Business Analytics team brings to Innovations and its strategic partners. Prior to joining the Clinic, Michael spent more than 11 years at Health Research International, an independent medical market research and consulting firm, most recently as Vice President. During this time, he authored numerous syndicated industry reports and worked closely with a broad range of medical technology firms from local start-ups to multinationals on custom primary and secondary research projects. Michael earned a BA in business administration (cum laude, Marketing major) from the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at Miami University.


Contact Information:

216-445-2475

Michelle Leung
Michelle Leung

Michelle Leung

Engagement Partner, Digital Health
Michelle joined Cleveland Clinic in April 2022 as part of the Innovations Engagement team, where she is partnering with CCF leadership, caregivers and other stakeholders to work on innovations in the digital health and health information technology space . Prior to her joining Cleveland Clinic, she spent nearly three years  as an internal management consultant at the Mayo Clinic with their Strategy Department, where she specialized in Digital Health and Telehealth. She has experience in new technology integration, value assessment, product design, process design and improvement. Her work included developing digital clinical activation workflows for acute telemedicine services for the Mayo Clinic Enterprise. She has also co-authored a presentation and publication on staffing and rapid scaling of Video Visits during the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
Michelle earned her BS in Public Health from the SUNY University at Albany and her MPH from Emory University with a concentration in Health Policy and Management. Additionally, she holds a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma and is a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP).

 

Contact Information:

216 314 9330

Mike Pfeiffer
Mike Pfeiffer

Mike Pfeiffer

Engagement Partner, Medical Device

Mike Pfeiffer joined Cleveland Clinic Innovations in 2016, with a focus on market assessment of new medical technologies. Before joining the Engagement Team he worked with inventors in the Neurological and Orthopaedic Institutes to develop and commercialize new technology. In his current role, he drives awareness of the department and its objectives, supports and educates curious caregivers, and establishes and maintains meaningful connections with inventors.

Prior to joining Innovations, Mike worked at Northcoast Research, where he spent nearly three years as an equity research associate covering the medical device and technology space.

Mike earned his BA in Economics and Sociology from Case Western Reserve University where he earned three varsity letters on the football team. Lastly, you can find Mike out in nature hiking or reading books outside of work.

Contact Information:

216-287-7487

Mohamed H. Ramadan, PhD
Mohamed H. Ramadan, PhD

Mohamed H. Ramadan, PhD

General Manager, Innovations Development

In his role as General Manager of Innovations Development, Dr. Ramadan is responsible for full aspects of technology development activities aimed at transforming all Cleveland Clinic inventions, across strategic technical domains, from vetted ideas to eventual commercial products. Mohamed leads a team of technology development experts in all three technology domains, Digital Health, Medical Devices, and Therapeutics & Diagnostics. Dr. Ramadan is an experienced executive recognized for accomplishments in innovation, change management, and strategic positioning/renewal.

Dr. Ramadan brings over 15 years of innovation and product development experience focused on medical technology; launching several profitable products within large organizations, as well as two successful entrepreneurial technology exists. Dr. Ramadan obtained his Ph.D. in polymeric biomaterials from Carnegie Mellon University and his MBA from the University of Illinois. He also is a certified trainer, an investor, board member, and advisor to various national and global organizations. With active certifications in Project Management (PMP), Portfolio Management (PfMP), and Lean Six Sigma principles (Master Black Belt), he has a passion for accelerating business outcomes and investment returns through process optimization and structured innovation.


Contact Information:

216.390.2248

Neha Dwivedi
Neha Dwivedi

Neha Dwivedi

Engagement Partner, Digital Health

Neha joins Innovations with experience in the medical imaging and healthcare software space. Most recently, Neha worked for MIM Software Inc. handling responsibilities including software implementation, training, new product incubation and product management. Over the years, she has worked with clinicians at several radiation oncology and radiology departments in the US as well as international regions including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and India.

She is passionate about applying human-centered design, design thinking, and user research to solve healthcare problems by guiding product innovation that aligns with the most pressing needs of patients and clinicians. She earned her bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2015 from Case Western Reserve University, where she worked on stem-cell and tissue engineering research. A strong interest in product innovation and design inspired Neha to pursue a master's degree in Product and Service Innovation from Carnegie Mellon University. 


Contact Information:

216 855 8106

Nicole Byram
Nicole Byram

Nicole Byram

Engagement Partner, Medical Device

Nicole began working at the Cleveland Clinic after receiving her Chemical Engineering degree from Lehigh University.  She has an extensive background in both engineering and research, with more than 25 years of hands-on laboratory, operating room, and project management experience starting at Penn State Medical Center in 1998. She held a director role at a California startup focused on verification in preparation for first-in-human approval, where she managed multiple cost centers, contract execution and communication with collaborators, consultants, and vendors. Nicole also took place in the 2020 i-CORPS program as entrepreneurial lead.

 

Nicole spent the majority of her career on cardiac assist and replacement devices and has held additional research positions in orthopedics and pre-clinical imaging (MRI, CT and PET). She has been involved at all levels of development, from early engineering investigations through creation of the final product, preparation of manuscripts and grant applications, and management of off-site experiments, budgets and timelines.  In her spare time, you'll find Nicole spending time with friends and family & enjoying the fresh air on lengthy walks.  She spent more than 10 years teaching music-based group fitness classes and is anxious to get back to the dance floor.

 

As part of the Innovations engagement team, Nicole will use her talents as both liaison and translator, as well as her communication, management, and engineering skills, to help others find a pathway for their own development.


Contact Information:

216 347 8573

Nicole Haller
Nicole Haller

Nicole Haller

Innovations Analyst


Nicole Haller joined Innovations in April 2019 as part of the Business Analytics team providing key stakeholders with market intelligence in the assessment of new medical technologies and business opportunities. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a Senior Consultant at OhioHealth in Columbus, OH where she lead project teams of multidisciplinary clinical and administrative staff to develop and implement system-wide process/quality improvement initiatives. She also previously worked for OSU Physicians, Ohio State University’s not-for-profit physician practice plan, as a Project Coordinator with the Ophthalmology and Urology departments.

Nicole earned both her Bachelor of Science in Public Health, as well as, her Master’s degree in Health Administration (MHA) from The Ohio State University.


Contact Information:

216-287-9391

Paresh M. Vasandani, PhD
Paresh M. Vasandani, PhD

Paresh M. Vasandani, PhD

Associate Director, Innovations Development

Paresh M. Vasandani, Ph.D., is passionate about positively impacting lives by playing an effective role in bringing innovative and meaningful concepts to life. Throughout his career, Dr. Vasandani has made important contributions in the medical device field, while working for startups and multinational companies. He has ~10 years of professional product development experience, working on a range of medical products, performing diverse tasks from concept through testing, validation, and launch. He has successfully taken three medical products from concept to launch, has authored multiple peer-reviewed publications, and is an inventor on over 10 patents.  

In his current role at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Vasandani is responsible for translating promising patient-centered medical device ideas submitted by Cleveland Clinic caregivers to market.  

Dr. Vasandani received his Bachelor's in Biomedical Engineering from University of Mumbai, Master of Product Development from Carnegie Mellon University, and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from University of Pittsburgh.


Contact Information:

(216) 401-8873

Sarah Stamp
Sarah Stamp

Sarah Stamp

General Manager, Engagement


Sarah is the General Manager of Operations & Administration and is responsible for all work pertaining to financial, administrative, and human resources activities of Innovations. Sarah has over 20 years in healthcare and is recognized for her expertise in practice management and strategic and business planning. Prior to rejoining Cleveland Clinic, Sarah worked as a Consultant at The Gateway Group, Vice President of Medical Operations at The MetroHealth System, and as an Administrator at Cleveland Clinic.  Her work centered on directing and managing medical group practices, developing and executing strategic initiatives, front end revenue enhancement and improving the performance of existing product lines.

Sarah received her BS in business administration degree from John Carroll University and her MBA from Cleveland State University.


Contact Information:

216-445-8532

Shawn Zimmer
Shawn Zimmer

Shawn Zimmer

Senior Director, Finance

Shawn Zimmer, CPA has over fourteen years of experience in accounting, financial reporting, management and internal controls. Shawn joined Innovations in August 2016 as Director of Finance. Prior to joining Innovations, he was the Chief Financial Officer of a privately owned company, responsible for developing and growing an accounting department, monthly reporting, cash flow management and Enterprise Resource Planning system integration. He also spent a significant portion of his career in public accounting at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Shawn provided audit, accounting and business advisory services to a wide range of clients, including publicly traded, privately held, and early-stage companies with revenues ranging from $10 million to +$1 billion.
 
Shawn earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting and Master of Accountancy from Bowling Green State University. Shawn is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Ohio Society of CPAs.

Contact Information:

216-218-5828

Sonja O'Malley
Sonja O'Malley

Sonja O'Malley

Senior Director, Technology Development


Sonja O'Malley has over 20 years of experience in healthcare information technology. Prior to joining Innovations, Sonja was responsible for managing the global life sciences client portfolio at Axentis. Axentis, a Wolters Kluwer business, is a software provider of on-demand solutions used by life science customers and other highly regulated industries to minimize their exposure to risk and optimize business performance; a $5 billion (2010) company with 19,000 employees worldwide. Sonja's work has spanned clinical laboratory medicine as a MT (ASCP), consulting in the health care practice of Andersen Consulting, directing the process improvement practice within a health insurance organization, and building multiple startups as an early employee.

Sonja is a certified PMP from the Project Management Institute and has a BS in medical technology from Miami University and an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.


Contact Information:

216-445-2861

Thad Meese
Thad Meese

Thad Meese

Associate Director, Innovations Development - Digital Health

Thad as over 20 years of experience in information technology product development and related business strategy. Early in his career Thad was a technology consultant for several global consulting firms including Deloitte & Touche and PricewatersCoopers. Before joining the Cleveland Clinic over 10 years ago, Thad worked as the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Information Technology at a Cleveland-based- SaaS start-up. Prior to joining the Health IT Team with Innovations, Thad was Co-inventor and Product Development Director for a novel clinical decision support platform which has been implemented at the Cleveland Clinic and successfully commercialized. Thad's portfolio of products, licenses, and new ventures includes augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence, clinical decisions support, remote patient monitoring and chronic disease management. Thad received his Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) from Ohio University where he earned two degrees, one in Management Information Systems and another in Finance. Thad has also earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Case Western Reserve University.  

Contact Information:

216-219-2106

Thomas Hattier, PhD
Thomas Hattier, PhD

Thomas Hattier, PhD

Senior Director, Innovations Development - Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Coming Soon.

Contact Information:

216-664-2914

Todd Schwarzinger
Todd Schwarzinger

Todd Schwarzinger

General Manager, Business Development & Licensing

Todd Schwarzinger joined the Cleveland Clinic in January 2022 as General Manager, Business Development and Licensing for Innovations where he leads the business development and partnering efforts for Cleveland Clinic’s deep portfolio of innovative technologies. Todd joined the Cleveland Clinic with over 20 years of innovation leadership, investment banking, investing and consulting experience in healthcare and life sciences. 

Prior to joining the Cleveland Clinic, Todd led the launch of the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University, where he served as Chief Commercialization Officer, and served as a Venture Partner with Refinery Ventures. Todd also served as a Managing Director and head of the Life Sciences and Healthcare practice at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) for the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Todd and his team focused on lending, banking, and relationship solutions for healthcare clients of all life stages spanning biopharma, medical device, digital health, diagnostics and life science tools.

Prior to joining SVB, Todd was an Executive Director in the healthcare investment banking division at Morgan Stanley where he advised a broad range of medical device and biopharmaceutical clients on mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, the equity and debt capital markets. In his nearly nine year career at Morgan Stanley across both London and New York, he was responsible for life sciences M&A transactions totaling over $5 billion and raised over $3 billion in capital markets transactions spanning North America, Europe and Asia.

Todd serves on the board of Cleveland Clinic portfolio companies Centerline Biomedical and Method AI.

Todd holds a bachelor’s in Finance from Miami University and received his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.


Contact Information:

216 445-4731

Torey Hovest
Torey Hovest

Torey Hovest

Associate Director, Technology Development


Torey Hovest has been with Innovations since 2016. In his current role (Associate Director, Innovations Technology Development), Torey is responsible for developing commercialization strategies for medical device related inventions submitted by Cleveland Clinic caregivers. This work includes evaluating early stage invention disclosures for commercial promise, managing development and funding plans, and collaborating with external partners to help commercialize these inventions. Prior to joining Innovations, Torey worked at St. Jude Medical in a sales/clinical role, where he specialized in cardiac electrophysiology related devices. Torey has a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and an MBA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.


Contact Information:

216-445-5431

Vara Parasad VN Josyula, PhD
Vara Parasad VN Josyula, PhD

Vara Parasad VN Josyula, PhD

Senior Director, Proof of Concept - Therapeutics & Diagnostics

Vara Prasad VN Josyula, Ph.D. brings in a diverse experience in Life Sciences space having worked in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development, law firm and innovations & ventures office. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic in 2018, he worked at Northwestern University, Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO) managing portfolios in biomedical products, including therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices, from initial assessment, intellectual property management, licensing and NewCo formation. Prior to Northwestern, Vara Prasad’s career spanned over twenty years of pharmaceutical research and development, working with both large multi-national pharmaceutical (Parke-Davis and Pfizer) and small bio-tech companies (PTC Therapeutics). As a project leader and team member, Dr. Vara Prasad led/participated in several projects to bring them to Phase-1 and Phase-2 clinical trials. While at pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Vara Prasad worked in several therapeutic areas, including antiinfectives, oncology and cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Vara Prasad is an author/co-author of over 75 publications in peer-reviewed journals and inventor/co-inventor of over 35 patent/patent application families. Dr. Vara Prasad also worked for over two years at the law firm, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, as a Patent Agent.

Vara Prasad earned his M.S. in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai. Dr. Vara Prasad completed post-doctoral studies at Purdue University with Prof. Herbert C. Brown (Nobel Laureate); and University of Wisconsin-Madison with Prof. Steven D. Burke and Prof. Daniel H. Rich. He is certified to practice before the USPTO.

Dr. Vara Prasad current main efforts are focused on brining the early stage projects to the translational pathway for potential commercialization in small molecule therapeutics space.


Contact Information:

440-412-1780

Veronika Dwyer
Veronika Dwyer

Veronika Dwyer

Administrative Program Coordinator

Veronika’s function serves as liaison and administrative, technical, and operational resource for the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center team. She has an extensive background providing support to senior-level Executives and world class service to all valued customers.

Contact Information:

216-445-3026

Zach Eisen
Zach Eisen

Zach Eisen

Principal, New Companies


As a Principal with Innovations, Zach works with the New Companies team to create, develop, and finance startup companies leveraging the ideas, expertise, and resources of Cleveland Clinic.Zach currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Ceraxis Health, Perfusion Solutions, Qr8 Health, XII Medical and as an observer of Enspire DBS Therapy.

Prior to joining the Innovations team in 2017, Zach was the Director of Development at Efferent Labs, an early-stage medical technology company. Previously, Zach worked at Z80 Labs, a seed-stage fund in Western New York. Zach received a B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, where he also worked as a Research Assistant in the Extracorporeal Life Support Research Laboratory, a joint collaboration between the Department of Surgery and the Biomedical Engineering Program.


Contact Information:

216-445-8619

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