Meet our CVMP Mentors

Aaron P. LeMieux

Aaron

Aaron LeMieux is a seasoned engineer and serial entrepreneur. His experiences span decades and industries, from consumer products in the alternative energy space to biomedical products he has tested, built, patented and sold his inventions worldwide. Aaron has founded his own companies and advised Fortune 500's. He helped shape national energy policy and is considered by many as a thought leader for new and emerging technologies.

Andrew Cornwell, PhD

Andy

Andy is the associate director of the Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership, helping to fund and direct research projects within the University to become fundable by outside investment.  He also leads the corporate outreach and strategic partnering efforts for the Cleveland FES Center.

Arlinda Vaughn

Arlinda

Arlinda Vaughn is currently the Global Product Manager at Mammotome, a Danaher company.  Previously, she held leadership positions within Clippard, Medizin Praxis, Halma’s Medical Division, and General Electric. She is fluent in German, Spanish & English and has driven international business development in more than 50 countries on six continents: working in sales, M&A research, patent acquisition, strategic project management, marketing, and channel development. She is insatiably curious especially regarding new technologies. She also has a passion for experiencing different cultural perspectives and philosophies which she uses to assist businesses and social causes to advance their goals, be it with entering new markets or promoting community projects. Vaughn holds both a BS in German with a Biomedical Physics minor from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and a Masters in International Business from Webster University in St. Louis, MO. She is Six Sigma Green Belt and PMP Certified and has graduated from the Halma Executive Development Programme in Ashridge, United Kingdom.

Atossa Alvi, JD

Atossa

Atossa is a business/IP attorney with over 15 years of in-house experience at AlphaMicron developing and managing the company’s intellectual property strategy, Government compliance, and contracting and licensing negotiations. She specializes in making elite technology available to the appropriate parties. As CEO of a new start-up, Immobileyes, she is bringing advanced laser security to the right partnerships and markets globally. Atossa holds a law degree (JD) from Case Western Reserve University, a Master of Philosophy degree in Neuroscience from the University of London, and Bachelors and Masters degrees in dentistry from University College London.

Bradley Plummer, PhD

Brad is an Engagement Manager with Trinity Life Science – a global biopharma management consultancy. In his time at Trinity, Brad has worked with clients to develop foundational data-driven corporate strategies within cardiovascular, autoimmune, neurologic, and orphan diseases. Specifically, his project work has included new product opportunity assessments, forecasting, portfolio planning, and launch planning.

Prior to joining Trinity, Brad trained as a scientist at Case Western Reserve University (BME ‘13) and then as a post-doc at the University of Michigan. At Case he focused on understanding arrhythmogenesis in the setting of genetic and acquired cardiomyopathies. While at Michigan, Brad developed polymer and protein-based non-viral CRISPR/Cas9 gene delivery platforms to treat cardiac disease. ​

Brad has published a book chapter and 9 journal articles in high-impact journals including: Circulation, PNAS, Circ. Res., & JBC. Brad holds a BS from Syracuse University and a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, all in Biomedical Engineering.​ More recently Brad has published a series of white papers on the reimbursement environment for cell and gene therapies.

Cheryl Thompson, PhD

Cheryl

Dr. Thompson is a cancer genetic and molecular epidemiologist. Her research is in the area of identification of factors influencing risk of cancer, as well as factors and biomarkers associated with prognosis and treatment outcomes. One of her primary areas of interest is the role of inherited genetic variation in cancer, and how genetic variations interact with lifestyle or behavior to influence risk of or outcomes for cancer. An area of specialization that she has is in the association of obesity and energetics and genetic pathways related to metabolism and energetics with cancer. Dr. Thompson was recently the first scientist to report the association of short sleep with having more aggressive types of breast cancer.

Dr. Thompson also serves as the Assistant Dean of Educational Initiatives for the School of Medicine. In this role, she provides support for all master's programs and their students and works with faculty around the University to develop new and innovative educational initiatives. 

Christa Pawlowski, PhD

Christa

Dr. Christa Pawlowski has over a decade of research experience related to drug discovery and development for multiple therapeutic indications including cardiovascular disorders, inflammatory diseases, immunology, and oncology.  Dr. Pawlowski co-founded Haima Therapeutics, a Case Western Reserve University spin-out company focused on the development of platelet-inspired nanotechnologies for the treatment of hemorrhage and other blood-related ailments.  She helped raise over $8M in non-dilutive and dilutive funding to translate a synthetic platelet technology from academia through preclinical development including assay development, formulation optimization, manufacturing and scale up, and preclinical safety and proof of concept.  Dr. Pawlowski also served as Director of Operations at BioMotiv, a biotech accelerator and for-profit arm of the Harrington Discovery Project. Under BioMotiv, Dr. Pawlowski led operations for two start-up companies: SapVax, a company developing novel immunotherapies for cancer, and Allinaire Therapeutics, a company developing a novel biologic approach to treating cardiopulmonary diseases. Dr. Pawlowski received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Daria Fedyukina, PhD

Daria

Daria is a Translational Officer at the Office of Translation and Innovation, SoM, CWRU. She is a founder of BioHeights, a Cleveland-based consulting company that provides growth strategy consulting services to companies in the biomedical and life sciences space. Her main expertise is in gene and cell therapies. Main services include disease screening and prioritization, commercial value assessments of new therapeutic products and inventions, TPP research, competitive intelligence, revenue and NPV forecasting, and product portfolio expansion strategy. Before founding BioHeights, Daria worked in the Commercial and Portfolio Planning group of REGENXBIO, a leading gene therapy company, in Rockville, Maryland. There, she led the company’s product portfolio expansion initiative. She also directed commercial activities (product strategy development, revenue forecasting, market analysis) for one of the company’s Preclinical/Phase 1 programs. Prior to REGENXBIO, Daria was a Management Consultant at L.E.K. Consulting, a global management consulting firm, in Boston, MA and London, UK. There she led teams of junior Associates and completed 20 strategic engagements with U.S. and EU clients including pharmaceutical, medtech, and biotech companies, medical service providers, and private equity firms.

Daria received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated magna cum laude from Moscow State University with a diploma in Chemistry and a certification in Molecular and Physical Chemical Biology. Prior to receiving PhD, Daria worked in Research & Development as a Research Scientist at LG Chemical in Daejeon, South Korea and at ChemBridge Corporation in Moscow, Russia.

Elizabeth Berezovsky, PhD

Elizabeth

Dr. Elizabeth Berezovsky is the President and Founder of Red Oak Bio, LLC, a consulting firm that provides strategic advice and R&D operational support to early-stage biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.  Prior to launching Red Oak Bio, she was Director of Technical Operations at BioMotiv, a mission-driven drug development accelerator in Cleveland, Ohio, where she oversaw R&D operations for BioMotiv’s portfolio of drug development start-ups.  She directed development at two BioMotiv subsidiary companies: Allinaire Therapeutics, an early-stage company developing treatment for COPD and other pulmonary diseases; and SapVax, a cancer vaccine platform company.

Dr. Berezovsky was an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Cleveland Clinic in the Department of Molecular Genetics.  She received her Ph.D. in chemistry under the direction of Professor George M. Whitesides at Harvard University, and holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from McGill University.

Eileen Saffran

Eileen

Eileen started MTN Strategies, a consulting practice that embraces an authentic and personalized approach to identify pain points and partner with you to provide practical solutions. She has a wide-ranging experience working in all dimensions of nonprofit management, including but not limited to fundraising (operating, capital and endowment), financial health, board relationships, staff leadership, and organizational administration. During her tenure as a CEO, she began developing consulting skills having worked with several nonprofit cancer support centers throughout the United States.

Eileen is the Founder of The Gathering Place (TGP) starting to develop the organization in 1998 and served as the Chief Executive Officer until 2020. Under her watch, TGP has developed collaborative working relationships with all cancer care providers in the Greater Cleveland area.

Eileen believes it is critically important to "invest" her time and expertise to help make the community-at-large a better place to live and thrive. While she was providing leadership for TGP, she served on the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County and Mayor Frank Jackson's Task Force on Community Efficiencies for the City of Cleveland. Additionally, she serves on Leadership Cleveland’s Alumni Advisory Council and the Community Advisory Board for the Master of Nonprofit Administration at John Carroll University; volunteer as a mentor in the CWRU Venture Mentoring Program and is helping to develop and will take on the role of Research Advocate for the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. Eileen has been a Sr. Clinical Instructor through the Department of Family Medicine for over 25 years. Having lived in the Greater Cleveland area for 44 years and as an alum of Leadership Cleveland (2003), Eileen has developed broad-based relationships with many of Cleveland’s top nonprofit, corporate and government leaders. Additionally, she has mentored other nonprofit professionals in and outside of the Greater Cleveland area and has been a guest lecturer for John Carroll University’s Graduate Nonprofit School of Management and Case Western Reserve’s Graduate School of Social Work.

Eileen has an undergraduate and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the Ohio State University and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Supervisor (LISW-S). She is grateful to have a fabulous family that includes 4 glorious grandchildren. In addition to her professional life, she enjoys yoga, fitness training, golf, bicycling, swimming, skiing, tennis, hiking and exploring the world.

Harvey Arbesman, MD

Harvey

Harvey Arbesman, MD, MS, mentors and advises med-tech startups. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Voiceitt, an Israeli-based startup developing a speech recognition technology designed for atypical speech. Harvey is a mentor at Jumpstart in the Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program. He is also a mentor for the FedTech Startup Studio program. Harvey was Chairman of the Life Sciences Committee of the Western New York Venture Association from 2015-2018 and has been a member of the deal screening committee of the WNYVA. Harvey has been a Judge and Mentor for 43North, an annual Buffalo-based $5 million startup competition and also a mentor for Village Capitals Critical Path Life Sciences Accelerator.

From 2002-2019, Harvey was the Co-Founder and Vice President of ArbesIdeas, Inc., a medical research and consulting company dedicated to the development of innovative solutions to health-related challenges. As a medical researcher, Harvey has won multiple awards including the Prize4Life ALS Biomarker Discovery Prize for the development of a cutaneous biomarker for ALS, and the BeyondPolio Prize for a proposal to increase the affordability of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine.

Harvey is a Board-Certified dermatologist and retired from clinical practice in 2013. He received his MD and MS (Epidemiology) from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health.

 

Joe Jankowski, PhD

Joe

Dr. Jankowski serves as Case Western Reserve University’s first Chief Innovation Officer. In this capacity, he leads and contributes to entrepreneurial and innovation activities emanating from not only research laboratories, but also CWRU’ students and professional school faculty.  He is a recognized regional voice in Northeast Ohio’s economic development sector, and represents CWRU with governance and council activities at BioEnterprise Corporation, JumpStart and TeamNEO.  From 2003 to 2013, Jankowski directed the CWRU Technology Transfer Office (TTO). In this capacity, he led commercialization efforts for the University and its clinical affiliates that emanated from more than $300 million of research activity taking place at the CWRU and its affiliate institutions annually. Previously, Dr. Jankowski was a commercialization officer in the Office of Innovations at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF), a Technology Analyst in the Environmental Technology Commercialization Center at the Battelle Memorial Institute, and a research assistant with the SUNY Research Foundation. Dr. Jankowski holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Sciences, an M.B.A. from the Weatherhead School of Management and a dual B.S. in Chemical and Environmental Engineering Technologies from the University of Dayton.

John Strobel

John

30+ years medical industry experience with experience taking products from concept to launch and global expansion.  Experience with foundation and early stage start-ups as a founder and consultant.

Jon Baskin, MD

Jon

Dr. Jonathan Baskin is a fervent supporter of enabling scientific discovery in the laboratory to move through commercialization in support of groundbreaking diagnostics/therapeutics that treat disease and alleviate suffering. He is a practicing Otolaryngologist (ENT) Head and Neck Surgeon with additional board certification in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, as well as Sleep Medicine. For over a decade, Dr. Baskin has led medical staff as an ENT-HNS Section Chief at the Cleveland VA Medical Center. His academic appointments are at Case Western Reserve University Schools of Medicine & Engineering and he is a native Clevelander.

Due to his medical and surgical training as well as understanding of market needs, FDA regulatory structure, and biomedical product development he has become actively involved in building a culture of biotechnology entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio.  He serves on the oversight board of the Case Coulter Translational Research Partnership in the CWRU School of Engineering, is a member of CWRU’s Office of Technology & Innovation and is the Associate Director for Translation in the Advanced Platform Technology center at the VA.

His translational research has included designing and fabricating bone substitute materials developed for skeletal reconstruction but more recently has focused on the development of neuromodulatory therapeutics to treat disease. During multi-center trials, Dr. Baskin conducted FDA phase II and III surgical trials for the Inspire sleep technology at the Cleveland VA and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, respectively; an effort which led to FDA approval and wide-spread commercialization. He is currently developing a surgical device-based [neuromodulatory] treatment for drug resistant hypertension, and working with the Human Fusions Institute at CWRU on extending human reach by dramatically enhancing the human-machine interface.

Josh Botnick, MBA

Josh

Josh Botnick is currently a senior banker with a Huntington Bank advising his clients on financial management, acquisitions as well as business operations. Previously Josh worked as the CFO for a national real estate firm and is a seasoned business professional having spent much of his career in corporate and investment banking for Citizens Bank and KeyBank Capital Markets and in private equity for New York Life Investment Management.  Josh received his BA from Columbia University and an MBA from University of Chicago.

Karen Spilizewski, MBA

Karen

Karen joined RiverVest in 2008 as a Vice President managing RiverVest’s Cleveland office. Karen brings a broad knowledge of the seed and early-stage life science opportunity landscape in the Midwest, especially Ohio, and the ability to source and evaluate the most promising deals. Through her product and business development expertise, Karen is able to help entrepreneurs accelerate their companies toward next development milestones.

Karen serves on the board of VentureMed Group, Inc. and Standard Bariatrics, Inc. She is a former director of Securus Medical Group, Inc., which was acquired by Boston Scientific Corporation, and a former observer at Neuros Medical, Inc.

Previously, Karen worked through BioEnterprise to identify, assess, and accelerate the growth of emerging medical device companies that originate from universities, clinical research, local entrepreneurs, or companies relocating to Ohio. Prior to joining BioEnterprise, Karen gained significant medical device industry experience at Avery Dennison Corporation, where she spent 19 years in research and business development.

Karen earned an M.B.A., an M.S. in Macromolecular Science and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Kaushik Ghosal, PhD

Kaushik

Kaushik serves as CEO of BioExcel LLC, a boutique biotech management consultancy company and has more than 15 years of experience in an academic medical center, CRO and bio-pharma industry in a variety of R&D and BD roles. Most recently, Kaushik was the Director of Business Development at BioMotiv, the for-profit arm of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development focused on accelerating therapeutic drug development. During his tenure, BioMotiv expanded its portfolio from 3 to 13 start-ups, established strategic partnerships with Biogen, Arix Bioscience raised significant capital for its portfolio companies. Before BioMotiv, Kaushik was the Director of R&D at ReXceptor Inc, a clinical stage biotech company where he led preclinical and clinical development and established strategic partnerships with several disease foundations and academic medical centers. 

Kaushik serves as one of the Mentor for the National Network on Mentors identified by NHLBI/NIH and advises NHLBI, NCI and NINDS SBIR/STTR-funded companies for growth and business development strategies. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Cleveland Clinic Alumni, and on the Advisory Board of Empire Discovery Institute. Kaushik is a Venture Mentor for Case Venture Mentorship Program (Case Western Reserve University) and advises several Foundations and Non-profits in venture philanthropy and impact investing models. Previously served on the Board of Directors for John’s Hopkin’s Technology Ventures. He has a M.Sc. in Biotechnology from IIT Bombay, and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Miami University, Ohio.

Liza Heinig, J.D., P.E.

Liza

Liza J.M. Heinig, J.D., P.E. is a partner at Tarolli, Sundheim, Covell & Tummino, LLP.

Marian Arbesman, PhD

Marian

Marian Arbesman, Ph.D. is a public health researcher and occupational therapist. From 2002-2019, she was the Co-Founder and President at ArbesIdeas, Inc., a medical research and consulting company dedicated to the development of innovative solutions to health-related challenges. Marian mentors healthcare and life science related startups, and is a coach for FedTech.

Mitch Wolf

Mitch Wolf is the CEO of RIK Enterprises, located in Cleveland, Ohio.  RIK is the family office of the Klein Family whose patriarch, Robert Klein was the founder of Safeguard Properties. Mr. Wolf has experience as an investment manager across a broad variety of asset classes and industries and also has extensive experience in business oversight and operation. He has co-founded and grown a real estate investment business, and a consumer and medical products business. He also serves on the boards of several businesses and non-profits. Mr. Wolf is active in a number of Cleveland community-based charitable organizations.

Nancy M. Tinsley, RN MBA

Nancy

Nancy Tinsley is a transformative healthcare executive recognized for leading strategic excellence, designing scale, and driving success in execution. Her career includes leadership and board positions in healthcare, non-profit organizations, professional societies and academic organizations. She focuses her work on the advancement of leadership and healthcare as an innovator and entrepreneur.

Nancy has dedicated her career to improving healthcare and has specialized expertise in navigating the everchanging nature of the healthcare industry, system integration, technology solutions, building scale and designing value propositions. Her unique depth of clinical, operations and leadership experience has given her an unsurpassed understanding of healthcare’s current challenges and where true customer value is achieved.

Nancy began her career as a nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital and immediately acted upon the opportunity to advance healthcare.  Becoming a leader early on gave her the opportunity to inspire teams to accomplish collective goals. After 14 years at St. Luke’s she joined the Cleveland Clinic, leading the Children’s Hospital for 4 years. She was then recruited by University Hospitals to design and scale their service lines for 12 years.  She served as a hospital president in Cleveland, OH Rochester, NY and Chicago, IL with a key focus on strategic system integration and innovation.

Nancy has a Master of Business and Master of Healthcare Administration from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Kent State University. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, a Certified Leadership Coach, and a graduate of the Executive Leadership Academy at the Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management. She served as adjunct faculty at Case Western Reserve University for a graduate level course in healthcare improvement for twelve years.

Ofer Reizes, PhD

Ofer

Dr. Ofer Reizes is the Laura J. Fogarty Endowed Chair for Uterine Cancer Research, Staff in the Department of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sciences, and Director of Skills Development for the NIH Center for Accelerated Innovations at Cleveland Clinic as well as the Asthma Innovation Research Translational Program Project Grant. Dr. Reizes has extensive drug discovery and technology development experience. He has gained pharmaceutical experience while a senior scientist Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2001 leading several drug discovery teams focused on obesity and metabolic diseases. Where he progressed several obesity targets from early discovery to pre-clinical evaluation. In 2006, Dr. Reizes joined the Cleveland Clinic, with a research focus on Women’s cancer and the impact of obesity on cancer stem cells. The research team has developed unique cell models for identifying therapeutics strategies for cancer and particularly chemoresistant tumors. Dr. Reizes research has been published in Cell, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Nature Communications, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has presented at multiple national and international meetings including the Endocrine Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the Biotechnology Innovations Organization. He is a co-inventor on several patents and has consulted for several biotechnology companies. Dr. Reizes received his PhD in molecular pharmacology at UT-Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship at The Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Reizes was the PI of an NSF grant focused on specializing the I-Corps curriculum for biomedical entrepreneurs. The curriculum is now incorporated in the I-Corps@Ohio entrepreneurial development program.

Peter W. Menges

Peter

Mr. Menges is an experienced executive with specific expertise in Sales, Marketing, Business Development, Strategic Partnerships and Data Analytics. Mr. Menges has held numerous executive leadership positions in the media, hospitality and technology industries, and is involved in a number of entrepreneurial enterprises as a Board Member, Advisor and Mentor. Mr. Menges enjoys playing hockey, snowboarding and music, and his true passion is helping other people succeed. 

Punkaj Ahuja

Rem Harris, MBA

Rem

Rem Harris is an investor and senior executive with more than two decades of experience leading operations, sales, and marketing across a wide range of companies, from growth-oriented divisions of large corporations, to smaller early-stage, venture-backed technology companies.

Rem most recently served as Chief Revenue Officer at Intelligent Mobile Support (IMS), an early-stage software company developing software for the in-home services market. Prior to joining IMS, Rem was Senior Partner of Investing at JumpStart, Inc., where he managed the organization’s Seed and Series A venture funds. During his 13-year tenure at JumpStart, Rem led investments in more than 100 companies, including early seed investments in CoverMyMeds, which became Ohio’s first unicorn in 2017 when it was acquired by McKesson for $1.3B.

Prior to joining JumpStart, Rem led strategic partnerships at Hyland Software and was a member of the executive team at Cleveland startup RDS, Inc. where he helped lead the company to a successful exit to Thomson Reuters. Additionally, he has served as a board member and advisor for several technology startups, offering his expertise on growth strategies, forecasting, product-market fit, operating metrics, and talent management.

Rem holds an M.B.A. from John Carroll University and a B.A. from UCLA.

Sarah O'Keeffe, MBA

Sarah

Sarah is the Director of the Office for Sustainability at The MetroHealth System, and has been building the formal sustainability program since January 2018, with a focus on optimizing healthcare operations using an environmental health lens. Her previous non-profit and sustainability management experience includes working for and then leading the University Hospitals’ Office of Sustainability from 2014 – 2017, consulting as a sustainability professional at Case Western Reserve University from 2012 – 2013 and working as an NIH grant administrator at the CWRU School of Medicine for five years. Sarah earned an MBA with a focus in non-profit management and sustainability from CWRU Weatherhead School of Management and is a certified EcoDistricts AP. Past diverse experience in the non-profit and volunteer world include serving as a board member and Treasurer for the Heights Bicycle Coalition, leading local after-school bike clubs, teaching English to high schoolers in Japan, teaching environmental education camp in California and rebuilding homes as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

Sheldon Schaffer

Sheldon

Sheldon Schaffer held the position of Vice President and General Manager, Magnetic Resonance & Computed Tomography at Hitachi Medical Systems America, Inc (HMSA) from 1999 -2018. Prior to completing his career at HMSA he was the Executive Advisor to the CEO from 2018 - 2019. He was also a Board Member of the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) from 2007 - 2019. Sheldon holds a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. Sheldon has over thirty years of experience in the diagnostic imaging industry and has held various positions involving product development, marketing, sales and general management of medical imaging products. Sheldon joined HMSA in 1989 to develop the U.S. operation and was instrumental in the organization’s growth resulting in being a pioneer in Open MRI technology and a market leader in diagnostic imaging products.

Steve Fening, PhD

Steve

Stephen D. Fening is the Director of the Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership (CCTRP) in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. In this role, Steve drives innovation and translational research to move technologies to the market, where they can improve patient care. He received undergraduate and masters degrees in mechanical engineering, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering, and a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopaedic biomechanics. His career goal is to make a broad and substantial improvements to patient care through translational research and commercialization.

Dr. Fening is a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Apto Orthopaedics Corporation, an early stage company focusing on non-invasive methods to adjust orthopaedic implants. He also has served as on the board of directors for several for- and not-for-profits.

Prior to joining Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Fening was the Director of Orthopaedic Devices at the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron and the Director of Orthopaedic Research for Summa Health Systems. Prior to that, he was the Director of Research for Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. His areas of research focus included the biomechanics of sports injuries to the knee, shoulder and head and in innovation more broadly across orthopaedic devices. In the last 10 years, he has received over $8.7M in grant funding, published more than 100 peer reviewed publications and presentation, and has several patents. He was a 2017 recipient of the Crain's Cleveland Business Forty Under 40, and is a member of several national and international professional societies.

Steve Weitzner, MBA

Steve Weitzner

Steve Weitzner has a bit of a non-traditional background, but has successfully launched and grown a number of new ventures, worked across many industry sectors in countless geographies, and has somehow managed to remain ridiculously optimistic. Weitzer was the COO of the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals, the founder of Silverlode Consulting and a Principal at Ernst & Young.

Sue Tyler, MBA

Sue Tyler_2

Sue Tyler has built businesses and led financial and operational turnarounds for companies ranging in size from startup through Fortune 100. 

Sue represents Caduceus Capital Partners and North Coast Ventures on the boards of early stage digital health and B2B SaaS companies. She also serves on the board of HealthPlan Data Solutions. She supports CEOs and companies as they raise growth capital, refine their strategic plans, and scale operations.

Sue is former CFO and EVP, Operations of Medical Mutual, a $3 billion health insurance company. Previously she was SVP Marketing & Product of a startup, growing that business from $0 to $300 million in four years. A decade at Progressive Insurance showed her the power of great people empowered by a culture of innovation.

She received her BS in Accounting and MBA from Case Western Reserve University.  She currently serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Veale Institute.

Todd Schwarzinger, MBA

Todd

Todd is currently Chief Commercialization Officer at the Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University, as well as a Healthcare Venture Partner with Refinery Ventures. Todd has over 16 years of investment banking, investing and consulting experience with healthcare and life sciences companies. Most recently, Todd was a Managing Director and head of the Life Sciences and Healthcare practice at Silicon Valley Bank for the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Todd and his teams 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 holds a bachelor’s in Finance from the Farmer School of Business at Miami University and received his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Vijay K. Iyer, PhD MBA

Vijay

Vijay K. Iyer, Ph.D., M.B.A. is a business development and strategy consultant for healthcare technology industry with a focus on data analytics and artificial intelligence applications. He was formerly Vice President for Business Development, and led business development efforts on the medical devices team at BioEnterprise, an economic development organization with the mission of accelerating life science commercialization in Northeast Ohio via entrepreneurial efforts and growth. Vijay is an accomplished executive with over 25 years of diverse functional experience in the medical device industry, in small, medium and large companies, serving hospital, home and alternate care settings. His prior role was with Philips Respironics, the Home Healthcare Solutions business of Philips Healthcare, where he managed early stage venture investments, internal and external, after he led corporate and business unit business development and strategy for over 15 years. Vijay spent the first decade of his career managing product and technology development in medical devices, including technical assessments and due diligence. Several patents, papers and presentations capture many of his key contributions. Vijay has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India, a masters/doctoral degree in biomedical signal processing/data analytics from the University of Cincinnati, and an executive MBA from Kennesaw State University.

William Harte, PhD

Bill

Dr. William Harte came to the university with more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. He was most recently the Executive Director of Chemistry Research and Discovery at Amgen, where he was responsible for technical oversight for 9 investigational new drugs. At CWRU Dr. Harte manages the translational research pipeline from discovery through the IND process to exit. He facilitates relationships with enabling technologies such as high throughput screening and medicinal chemistry. His work focuses on therapeutics and he specializes in oncology, inflammation and neurosciences.