Anna Grassini graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wellesley College, where she came from her native Italy, and then obtained a Masters from Stanford and a JD from The School of Law at the University of Texas. Anna is a Founder and shareholder of Oraliva, Inc. and has extensive experience in the corporate, academic and non-profit sectors in Austin, Houston, and New York, as well as Europe. Anna is well versed in understanding a global business environment. As a former lawyer, business owner and executive coach she has experience that ranges from licensing to business formation, development, and negotiations. She is an unconventional thinker who has mastered many transitions and brings an unusual understanding of legal and entrepreneurial issues as they relate to commercialization of transformative technologies and services. Anna became a Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara Certified Coach in 2009.
Dr. John T. McDevitt is the Scientific Founder and a shareholder of Oraliva, Inc. He is Full Professor in the Department of Biomaterials at NYU Dentistry and a member of NYU’s Bioengineering Institute . He also holds a joint appointment at Tandon School of Engineering (Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering). Prior to coming to New York, Dr. McDevitt was the Brown-Weiss Professor of Bioengineering and Chemistry at Rice University (2009-2014). He rose through the academic ranks at the University of Texas at Austin where he was positioned for 20 years. McDevitt completed his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Stanford University.
Professor McDevitt is a pioneer in the development of ‘programmable bio-nano-chip’ technologies. He has a strong track record of translating essential bioscience, artificial intelligence and medical microdevice discoveries into real-world clinical practice. He has served as the Scientific Founder for a number of diagnostic and clinical services companies. McDevitt and his team have raised over $45M in Federal and Foundation support. His recent research has been sponsored by major programs funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at NIH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Army and the United Kingdom’s Home Office Scientific Development Branch.
Professor McDevitt and his team have written more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and have contributed to more than 100 patents and patent applications. The work was recognized with the “2016 AACC Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award,”“Best of What's New Award” in the Medical Device Category for 2008 by Popular Science as well as for the “Best Scientific Advances Award” in 1998 by the Science Coalition. Dr. McDevitt’s individual honors include the Presidential Young Investigator Award, the 2010 California Polytechnic Distinguished Alumni Award and the Exxon Education Award. Over the past 10 years, Dr. McDevitt has served as the Principal Investigator for 6 major clinical trials and 2 clinical pilot studies, all involving the programmable bio-nano-chip. Through these clinical efforts, mini-sensor ensembles are being developed for major diseases in the areas of oral cancer, cardiac heart disease, trauma, drugs of abuse, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.
Dr. Tim Alcorn is an experienced clinical chemist and molecular biologist with more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Throughout his career he has worked in a variety of healthcare sectors including reference laboratories, medical device manufacturing, medical software development, in vitro device development, and pharmaceutical development. He has extensive experience in infectious diseases having been the laboratory director at LabCorp’s Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology where he developed advanced clinical assays and ran a laboratory that generated over $50 million in revenue. In addition, he was Director of Clinical Affairs at Janssen Diagnostic Inc. where is helped bring new diagnostics and software to the global market to support the launch of drugs for the treatment of HIV and HCV. Dr. Alcorn has also overseen the development and global commercialization of medical devices including a handheld ultrasound device and wearable sensors for monitoring ECG and patient vitals. Dr. Alcorn served on the scientific advisory board for Roche Diagnostics for several years as well as other diagnostic companies. In addition, he has authored numerous publications, book chapters, and international clinical chemistry guidelines. Over the years Dr. Alcorn has also gained significant experience in global reimbursement, health economics, and commercialization. Additionally, Dr. Alcorn has experience in device and diagnostic regulations and has helped numerous companies develop regulatory strategies for their products. Currently Dr. Alcorn is an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins University’s graduate regulatory science department where he teaches courses in IVD regulation and translational biotechnology. Dr. Alcorn is a HIPAA Privacy and Security Expert and served as the privacy officer for a health medical records system. Dr. Alcorn started his career at the University of North Carolina working on sexually transmitted diseases pathobiology and vaccine development.
Dr. Alcorn has a Phd from the University of Sciences in Philadephia and B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia.
Glennon W. Simmons is an inventor, entrepreneur and creative problem solver with over two decades of experience developing and commercializing lab-on-a-chip devices, instrumentation, and immunoassays for in vitro diagnostic applications. Glennon’s career has been devoted to developing compact portable diagnostic platforms that have potential to reduce cost and increase access to health care, while improving the speed and accuracy of disease diagnosis. Most of Glennon’s career has been spent working for the McDevitt Laboratory, an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers conducting grant-based research focused on developing the programmable bio-nano-chip (p-BNC) assay system—a modular and programmable bead-based immunosensor platform for multiplexed biomarker analysis. Glennon was the principal designer of the cartridge component of the assay system and developed numerous assays on the platform which has shown utility for a wide variety of application areas including cardiac and cancer diagnosis, wellness monitoring, trauma screening, roadside drug testing, anti-terrorism and threat analysis, and food and water monitoring. Glennon particpated and was a major contributor to two XPRIZE teams that were finalists in the competition. Glennon completed his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently serving as the laboratory manager of the McDevitt Laboratory at New York University.
Dr. Michael McRae is a bioengineer focused on developing of next-generation point-of-care diagnostics and artificial intelligent (AI) biosensors. With a background in bioinstrumentation, optics, electronics, computer vision, statistical and machine learning, and software development, his goal is to enable a new standard of patient care through improving clinical decision making, establishing more efficient and automated workflows, and advancing personalized disease/wellness testing capabilities.
Michael is the co-founder and chief technologist of Custom Diagnostic Solutions, LLC, an in vitro diagnostic company that provides customers with simple, low-cost, and reliable devices for a broad range of assays and applications, including influenza A/B, respiratory syncytial virus, Lyme disease, adenovirus, strep A, legionella, and more. Based in Houston, TX, Michael is a consultant for clients seeking to develop hardware and software for AI-linked in vitro diagnostic devices. Michael has developed point-of-care diagnostics through numerous technical consulting relationships in academia and industry, has co-authored over 20 publications and patents related to in vitro diagnostics, and has given several presentations at domestic and international conferences.
Michael has served technical roles as a consultant on numerous federal grants and contracts, including several SBIR/STTR Phase I and Phase II awards. Through postgraduate research as a consultant and Visiting Scholar at New York University College of Dentistry, Michael developed a cloud-based point-of-care cytopathology brush cytology test for oral cancer, a device that combines a non-invasive oral cell sampling, multi-spectral fluorescence imaging, and machine learning to detect early stages of dysplasia and malignancy. Michael received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Rice University in 2016 under Dr. John T. McDevitt and was a 2-time Business Plan Competition awardee and a 2-time XPRIZE Finalist for his research which involved the novel integration of bioinstrumentation and clinical predictive modeling for a spectrum of cardiovascular diseases. Michael received his B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Saint Louis University. He spent 3 years at NASA Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, OH) and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) (Houston, TX) where he developed probabilistic risk models for 12 medical events that may be encountered en route to Mars.
Originally from the island of Cyprus and, since 2002, a US citizen, Dr. Nicolaos Christodoulides serves as a Principal Investigator and is responsible for the grant submission processes in OraLiva. He holds a B.Sc. in Microbiology (University of Iowa), a M.Sc. in Biology (Texas State University) and Ph.D. in Immunology (The University of Texas at Austin). In 2,000, upon completion of his post-doctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine on cardiovascular disease and shear stress-induced platelet aggregation, Dr. Christodoulides joined the McDevitt research group as a Senior Scientist, where he has been contributing his expertise on antibodies, immunoassays and cardiovascular disease in the development of point-of-care, bead-based as well as membrane-based assay platforms, for soluble or particulate analytes, respectively. As a co-inventor of the universal assay platform and director of immunoassay development in the McDevitt Lab, he has displayed a strong track record for the development of multiplexed and multi-class (cellular, proteomic) tests, implementable on a self-contained, single-use microfluidic assay cartridge, embedded with detection reagents, buffers and preservatives, functioning in conjunction with a portable universal analyzer. Under his leadership, >30 lab on a chip tests have been developed within the context of a milieu of diagnostic applications for cancer, cardiovascular disease, saliva-based diagnostics, infectious diseases, drugs of abuse detection and cell imaging systems applications. Dr. Christodoulides has also been intimately involved in design and execution of large, multi-site international clinical studies(sponsored by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United Kingdom’s Home Office Centre of Science and Technology). Aimed towards clinical validation, these studies contributed to the recognition of this powerful platform, voted as “Best of What's New Award” in the Medical Device Category for 2008 by Popular Science, as well as for the “Best Scientific Advances Award” in 1998 by the Science Coalition. The afore-mentioned trials resulted in the collection of unique databases laying the foundation for the efficient collection of first-in-kind wellness and disease signatures for the areas of adjunctive oral cancer tests, tests for drugs of abuse, as well as in testing for cardiac wellness profiles. More recently, he helped the group identify biomarker candidates for the COVID-19 severity score. If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist.
Marco J. Daoura graduated from the University of Washington with both a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Bioengineering with focus on Control Theory and Molecular Biotechnology. His early academic research revolved around the development of hardware and software automation tools for the Human Genome Project (funded by NIH and WTC) [Precise Automated Control of Fluid Volumes inside Glass Capillaries - IEEE Journal. of Microelectromechanical Systems, 1996].
His work in innovation crosses multidisciplinary areas from technology development, to technology architecture, program management, product services, product management/marketing, and market commercialization. In addition to holding several healthtech patents, he has been responsible for numerous life sciences product launches, where he optimizes development and commercialization strategies around six healthcare verticals (Provider, Payor, Patient, Purchaser, Policy Maker, and Product Maker) with focus on improving patient outcomes, simplifying provider workflows and protocols, reducing provider/payor cost and waist, and "consumerizing" healthcare with digital and connected health solutions.
He is currently an Innovation Lead Consultant at Premera Blue Cross and remains heavily involved in other start-ups helping shepherd innovations from ideation to commercialization (I2C), in such a heavily regulated industry. Marco has dedicated his full career to the healthcare industry and healthtech from Philips Healthcare to Fujifilm Medical Systems, UltraLinq Healthcare, and Novuson Surgical.
Marco is described as an entrepreneur innovative-strategist who loves to support his community by volunteering at the University of Washington CoMotion program and Seattle Cambia Grove hub mentoring local healthtech incubators and startups, chairing the Biomedical Device Committee at Lake Washington Institute of Tech, and co-chairing the technology committee at Keiretsu Investors Forum.
Stu Gisburne has over 30 years of experience working in the information technology and computer science fields. In that time, he has been involved with numerous corporations such as Forest Laboratories, SAP, Disney and Caterpillar, covering everything from SAP implementations, applications for Disney cast members and mobile applications interfacing with medical devices. A partial list of accomplishments includes directing one of the first SAP R3 implementations in North America, Chair of technical presentations for SAP Sapphire and overseeing the build and installation of a large data center for a pharmaceutical company. Currently Stu is involved in the agriculture industry in efforts to support growers with plant health information and increased yields.
David Zar is a recognized technology leader in developing novel solutions within the medical and life science industries. He has done this by understanding unmet market needs, working with domain leaders, and using his deep knowledge of engineering principles to craft solutions that can change an entire industry’s view of what’s possible. Mr. Zar received his formal training at Washington University in St. Louis, where he received his BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and an MS in Electrical Engineering. He was then a Research Associate at Washington University for almost 20 years, where he worked on numerous research projects, many of which resulted in startups both in and outside of St. Louis. Mr. Zar left the university in 2011 to work with one of those startups, full-time, and still enjoys the challenge of creating something new that solves a real problem.
Mr. Zar started with Aker Technologies in July 2019, as CTO working on the technology roadmap and implementation for their novel crop scouting techniques. Aker uses machine learning technology that measures in-field disease, pests and fertility deficiencies under the crop canopy, at scale.
Before joining Aker, Mr. Zar was the CTO at Ultralinq Healthcare Solutions. Mr. Zar has extensive experience in hardware and software development of medical devices, particularly ultrasonic imaging devices, and experience clearing Class II medical devices in both the USA (FDA) and Europe (CE).
Mr. Zar has co-founded three companies and has overseen them all in some combination of growth, acquisition, and transition into new markets. Through this, he has experience in building startups that provide value to their customers and bring products and solutions to markets. Mr. Zar has advised numerous other startups, mostly in the medical device sector, many of which have gotten their solutions to the marketplace.
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