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Medical and Executive Advisors
Ziad A. Ali is an Interventional Cardiologist and the Associate Director of Translational Medicine at the Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy, at Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Victoria and Esther Aboodi Cardiology Researcher and Louis V. Gerstner Scholar at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Dr. Ali specializes in percutaneous coronary and peripheral vascular interventions.
Dr. Ali received his medical degree in 2000 from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom and his Doctor of Philosophy in 2006 from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Dr. Ali received his cardiology training at Stanford University Medical Center/Stanford University in Palo Alto, California and interventional cardiology training at Mount Sinai Medical Center/Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.
Dr. Jack Cochran, MD, FACS has 25 years of leadership experience at Kaiser Permanente and served as Executive Director of the Permanente Federation from 2007 to 2015. He also served as medical director, president, and chairman of the board of the Colorado Permanente Medical Group, beginning his career at CPMG in 1990. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Alliance of Community Health Plans and the advisory board for the UCSF Global Health Group.
Dr. Cochran was named one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare in the eighth annual survey published by Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician in May 2012. He has also co-authored The Doctor Crisis: How Physicians Can, and Must, Lead the Way to Better Health Care. For more than 20 years, Dr. Cochran has volunteered his reconstructive surgery and consulting services in Third World countries, aiding underserved populations in Nicaragua, the Philippines, Ecuador, Tanzania and Nepal.
He is the former president of the Consortium for Community Centered Comprehensive Child Care (C6), a foundation that has built hospitals in East Africa.
He participated in implementing many of the priorities called for in health reform, including Kaiser Permanente’s electronic health record, the largest successful non-government clinical information systems deployment in the world.
Dr. Cochran earned his medical degree from the University of Colorado and served residencies at Stanford University Medical Center and the University of Wisconsin Hospital. He is board certified in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) and in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Blum is the Chief Medical Information Officer and a Professor of Medicine of Cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is responsible for the strategic design, implementation, and optimization of enterprise clinical applications for the Medical Center.
Dr. Blum is one of the nation’s top experts on information technology products in the electronic health record, cardiology, and monitoring spaces. He is also an active clinician, specializing in preventative cardiology as well as the care of patients with congestive heart failure, valvular heart disease, and general cardiology.
Dr. White, an interventional cardiologist, is the Heart Failure Medical Director for the John Muir Health System. He maintains an active practice while also conducting numerous research projects supported by grants from NASA, the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. White is a key member of the Executive Committee of the American College of Cardiology’s Hospital to Home initiative, a national quality improvement program working to reduce cardiovascular related hospital re-admissions and improve the transition of patients after hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease.
He is passionate about advising startups developing innovative medical devices and solutions for cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Behzad Nadji has enjoyed a career spanning over twenty five years in Networks Design and Architecture, Operations & Business Support Systems and Mobile Application Development fields. He started from co-founding and building startups to managing large multinational teams in various area of software Systems Design and Development, Telecom, Services development, IT Consolidation, Data Center Architecture and Consolidation, and Internal/Hybrid Cloud and Self Servicing portals. As the senior VP of AT&T and a corporate officer, he led the prestigious AT&T Lab (formerly Bell Labs) Research organization involved in Network, Software and Speech technologies research. He also created and managed the Enterprise Architecture organization, which defined the overall AT&T Operations Support Systems (OSS/BSS), Network and IT architecture blueprints. After the merger with SBC, Dr. Nadji was in charge of Network Architecture, Design, Development and Certification for the entire AT&T/SBC Network. He also headed new technology introduction into AT&T network and software systems and managed the AT&T Strategic Venture Investment Fund. Dr. Nadji also served as Senior VP and VP at Excite@Home and BlackBerry for many years managing large multinational software development teams. At BlackBerry, he consolidated and managed the internal and customer facing Business and Corporate systems (CIO Functions), including Mobile application development, Financials and HR systems, Sales and Marketing systems, Care and Sales Portals, Enterprise Data Warehouse, Information Management/ Reporting systems, Customer Care Systems, Ticketing Systems, Network Management, Monitoring and Metering Systems and various proprietary internal systems. Throughout his career, Dr. Nadji has served on a number of advisory boards and board of directors, including the IBM Autonomic computing Advisory Board, HP Technical Advisory Board, and University of Southern California EE technical Advisory Board and the TeleManagement Forum Board of Directors. He is the recipient of AT&T’s prestigious “Science and Technology Medal”, as well as over 20 other awards in the area of business innovation, architecture, and software development excellence. A senior member of IEEE, he holds over 10 issued technical patents and several others that are in progress. He is currently the founder of the Global Business and Technology Consulting firm which is involved in
Dr. Nadji also served as Senior VP and VP at Excite@Home and BlackBerry for many years managing large multinational software development teams. At BlackBerry, he consolidated and managed the internal and customer facing Business and Corporate systems (CIO Functions), including Mobile application development, Financials and HR systems, Sales and Marketing systems, Care and Sales Portals, Enterprise Data Warehouse, Information Management/ Reporting systems, Customer Care Systems, Ticketing Systems, Network Management, Monitoring and Metering Systems and various proprietary internal systems. Throughout his career, Dr. Nadji has served on a number of advisory boards and board of directors, including the IBM Autonomic computing Advisory Board, HP Technical Advisory Board, and University of Southern California EE technical Advisory Board and the TeleManagement Forum Board of Directors. He is the recipient of AT&T’s prestigious “Science and Technology Medal”, as well as over 20 other awards in the area of business innovation, architecture, and software development excellence. A senior member of IEEE, he holds over 10 issued technical patents and several others that are in progress. He is currently the founder of the Global Business and Technology Consulting firm which is involved in
Throughout his career, Dr. Nadji has served on a number of advisory boards and board of directors, including the IBM Autonomic computing Advisory Board, HP Technical Advisory Board, and University of Southern California EE technical Advisory Board and the TeleManagement Forum Board of Directors. He is the recipient of AT&T’s prestigious “Science and Technology Medal”, as well as over 20 other awards in the area of business innovation, architecture, and software development excellence. A senior member of IEEE, he holds over 10 issued technical patents and several others that are in progress. He is currently the founder of the Global Business and Technology Consulting firm which is involved in
He is currently the founder of the Global Business and Technology Consulting firm which is involved in technical assessment of corporate M&A activities as well as advising companies with their Architecture, Systems and Software Engineering practices.
Toai brings over 25 years of semiconductor product development experience. Most recently, he was the VP of Engineering at Marvell Semiconductor. During his 12-year tenure at Marvell, Toai built and led a team of engineers developing product and technology for the data storage and data communication markets. He earned a BS degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University. Toai has been granted more than 10 patents.
Christopher Drew brings 24 years of healthcare and business experience. At Omnicell, Inc., he helped guide the company from an early stage start-up to a $3.0+ billion public company. In his most recent role as head of Omnicell’s core North American Automation business, Chris grew organic and inorganic revenue 3X over a nine-year span. He has deep functional leadership experience and commercialization knowledge with expertise in direct sales, new product introductions (NPI), strategic planning, M&A and acquisition integration.
Chris received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA in Economics from Amherst College.
Board of Directors
Nersi is a serial entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in medical device, semiconductor, software technologies and venture funding.
Nersi founded Vital Connect in January of 2011 to bring advances in semiconductor, software and wireless technologies to medical devices.
Prior to VCI, Nersi served as CEO of Teranetics Inc. at the request of his fellow co-investors in 2010, where he reorganized executive management and improved business and product plans. Teranetics was acquired by PLX Technology in 2011.
Nersi also founded Pacific General Ventures in 2013, a private venture capital firm that invests in high technology companies.
From 1997-2003, he was the founding Vice President of Signal Process Technology at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. He led the development of the Marvell System-on-Chip (SOC) strategy, which grew to an annual revenue of $2B, as well as key technologies for storage wired and wireless products.
Nersi served on the board of directors for Emulex Corporation for 4 years prior to its acquisition in 2015 by Avago. He is serving on two private company boards as well as a number of non-profit organizations over the past 10 years.
He earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado and has been awarded eight U.S. patents.
Professor Sir Richard G A Feachem is Director of the Global Health Group at UCSF Global Health Sciences, and Professor of Global Health at both the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a Visiting Professor at London University and an Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland. From 2002 to 2007, Sir Richard served as founding Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Under Secretary General of the United Nations. During this time, the Global Fund grew from scratch to become the world’s largest health financing institution for developing countries, with assets of US $11 billion, supporting 450 programs in 136 countries.
From 1999 to 2002, Professor Feachem was the founding Director of the Institute for Global Health at UCSF and UC Berkeley. From 1995 until 1999 Dr. Feachem was Director for Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank. Previously (1989-1995), he was Dean of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Professor Feachem served as Chairman of the Foundation Council of the Global Forum for Health Research; Treasurer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative; Council Member of Voluntary Service Overseas; and on numerous other boards and committees. He was a member of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, and the Commission on HIV and Governance in Africa, and the Commission on Investing in Health. He has worked in international health and development for 40 years and has published extensively on public health, health policy and development finance.
Professor Feachem holds a Doctor of Science degree in Medicine from the University of London, and a PhD in Environmental Health from the University of New South Wales. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering by the University of Birmingham. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians and of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In 2002 he was elected to membership of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences. Sir Richard was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2007. He was awarded the 2010 Sir Frank Whittle Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Thomas A. Saunders III is president of Ivor & Co., LLC and the Ivor Foundation, a private investment firm and family foundation respectively, both located in New York City.
He began his investment banking career at Morgan Stanley where he was a managing director, headed the firm’s syndicate and capital market group and ultimately became Chairman of its $2.2 billion private equity fund. After leaving Morgan Stanley in 1989, he founded the private equity firm, Saunders Karp & Megrue, which merged in 2005 with Apax Partners, LP, a private equity firm headquartered in London.
An active private equity investor, Mr. Saunders is a Senior Advisor to a number of investment funds including Metalmark Capital, Citi’s Old Lane Funds, Roundtable Partners, Parallel Partners, Goode Holdings and Blackrock‘s private equity fund of funds. In addition, he serves on the Boards of Directors of the publicly traded Dollar Tree, Inc., where he is Lead Director, and Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc.
Mr. Saunders has a strong knowledge of the healthcare industry, having managed portfolio companies including UpToDate, Inc— a medical research service for physicians and hospitals. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which has been home to eight Nobel Prize winners and has been consistently ranked as the No. 1 scientific research institution worldwide for its molecular biology and genetic research impact, as measured by science publisher Thomson Reuters.
Throughout his laudable career, Mr. Saunders has been involved in some of the most noteworthy financial transactions in history. These include, raising $3.8 billion of common equity for AT&T during an eighteen month period beginning in 1981, the largest amount of equity raised for a single company at the time. The underwriters’ option, known as the “Greenshoe”, was employed for the first time in a Fortune 100 company equity offering and has become a standard feature of public equity offerings. In 1980, Mr. Saunders managed the initial public offering (IPO) of Apple Computer. He led the team providing financial advice to AT&T on its $150 billion divestiture of the Bell System operating companies in 1984, the largest restructuring in history. This divestiture was the precursor to the present structure of the telecommunications industry in the United States.
Mr. Saunders’ philanthropic interests have focused principally on higher education, historic preservation and the arts. He is a member of the Trustees’ Council of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. He is the former chairman of the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation. He has been a member of the Boards of Visitors of the University of Virginia and the Virginia Military Institute. From 1995-2000, he was the National Co-Chairman of the University of Virginia’s $1.4 billion capital campaign.
Mr. Saunders received his BSEE from the Virginia Military Institute in 1958 and an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School in 1967.
James M. McCluney is a seasoned executive in high tech and cloud storage who has successfully served as CEO and Chairman of private and public companies. He has international experience in formulating strategy, driving change and managing organic and inorganic growth.
In 1980 Mr. McCluney entered the high-tech industry, accepting a position in operations and marketing with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and was eventually promoted to Vice President of Worldwide Materials and Logistics, where he was responsible for all procurement, material management and product and service logistics. The organization he led had 8000 employees and a $6 billion annual budget.
Mr. McCluney joined Apple Computer in 1994 to run their European operations. He completed a reengineering of their operations and information systems and after fourteen months, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations to implement similar strategies on a worldwide basis relocating to Cupertino, California. As a member of Apple’s executive committee, Mr. McCluney contributed to Apple’s early turnaround. He reported to CEO Gil Amelio and then to Steve Jobs.
In 1997, Mr. McCluney co-founded a Silicon Valley startup called Ridge Technologies which was focused on next generation storage subsystems and storage management software. The company was acquired in May 1998 by Adaptec, Inc as part of their strategy to enter the storage systems market. Following the acquisition, Adaptec changed direction and decided to spin out of the former Ridge Technologies group. Jim reconstituted the start-up, renamed it Crag Technologies, obtained financing and in January 1999, Western Digital Corporation acquired Crag Technologies.
After acting as a consultant to the CEO of Western Digital for a bridge period, Mr. McCluney joined Vixel Corporation in April 1999 as president and CEO and added the chairmanship in 2000. He completed a successful IPO within six months of his arrival, led the company through a complete transformation of its market and product focus putting Vixel on a growth path to profitability. In late 2003, the company was acquired by Emulex Corporation, a Southern California-based storage networking company. Following the merger, he became president and COO of Emulex and in September 2006, Mr. McCluney became President and CEO of Emulex and recruited a new COO whom he groomed to be his successor. In 2013, in a planned transition, Mr. McCluney stepped down as CEO and became Executive Chairman.
In his tenure at Emulex he diversified the customer, product and market focus, increased the global footprint, made four successful acquisitions, and grew the company to record revenues.
Mr. McCluney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with hones in business and administration from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2008, he was named “CEO of the Year” by the Technology Council of Southern California and “Outstanding Public Company CEO” from the trade group AeA of Orange County. In 2009, Mr. McCluney received an award for Vision in Advancing Innovation and Research in the Technology Industry and his instrumental Engagement and Support of Scholarly Excellence by the School of Engineering at University of California, Irvine. In addition, he received the National Human Relations Award from the Orange County chapter of the AJA.
Steve founded MVM Life Science Partners in 1997. Prior to setting up MVM, he was responsible for early-stage healthcare investments at Saunders, Karp & Megrue in New York City. Between 1988 and 1993 Steve was an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale, where he was also an Associate Professor of Medicine and Genetics. He has published more than 50 papers on the molecular genetics of human disease.
Steve has been involved in starting several US biotechnology companies and was acting CEO at UpToDate In Medicine in Wellesley, Mass. He practiced medicine at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital, Guys Hospital, St Thomas’s Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital and the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square before taking up research into molecular genetics at Oxford University. He has a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and a Doctorate in medicine from Oxford and is a member of the Royal College of Physicians of England.
Steve is a member of the boards of Ambio, Inc., Cheetah Medical, Inc., Providence Medical Technology, Inc., Pulmagen Therapeutics Ltd and Zipline Medical, Inc. He was previously a director of Beacon Endoscopic Ltd, BioVex Group, Inc., Cara Therapeutics, Inc., Clavis Pharma ASA, Domantis Ltd, Gendaq Ltd, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., New Chemical Entities, Inc., Nova Science Ltd, Sangamo Biosciences, Inc., UpToDate, Inc., Xention Ltd and Vascular Pathways, Inc.
Peter brings more than 20 years of experience in the medical device and biopharmaceutical industry.
Prior to VCI, Peter served as the U.S. commercial vice president at Cordis. In addition, Peter has held senior sales roles at St. Jude Medical Corporation, AGA Medical Corporation and Covidien Healthcare (formerly Tyco Healthcare), among other leading health care companies.
Peter has proven experience driving commercial growth; building and leading diverse organizations of over 300 individuals, managing revenues exceeding $500 M and representing product offerings with C-level administrators. Peter received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Massachusetts and completed the Columbia University Executive Management Program
Antonius Kufferath is a partner in Acacia, an investment partnership that invests in private and public equities worldwide. He is also a member of the investment team at Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb, the New York-based investment firm known for managing the Sequoia mutual fund.
Mr. Kufferath joined Acacia and Ruane, Cunniff in 2014 and focuses on investing in industrial and technology companies in Europe and the Americas. Earlier in his career, Mr. Kufferath worked in strategy & business development for a public US industrial company, and as a consultant for a leading strategy consulting firm.
Mr. Kufferath received an M.Phil. with distinction in Modern Chinese Studies from Oxford University. He also received a B.S.F.S. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in International Relations from Georgetown University. A native German speaker, he is also fluent in Portuguese and French. He has been published in the Financial Times and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Dr. Joseph Levine is currently the Director of the Arrhythmia and Pacemaker Center at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. Previously he served as Co-Director of the Clinical Electrophysiology Laboratory at John`s Hopkins Hospital as well as Director of the Electrophysiology Laboratory at Mercy Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, and also at Huntington Hospital.
Dr. Levine has been the recipient of multiple honors including perennially being included in Best Doctors in America and Best Doctors in NY. Dr. Levine has been published in more than 75 clinical articles related to arrhythmia diagnosis and treatment. He graduated from Columbia University, Magna Cum Laude, and received his M.D. with Honors from the University of Rochester. He did his training in Internal Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital and his fellowship in Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital where he later was appointed at Co-director of the Electrophysiology Laboratory.