Thomas M. Loarie
Mr. Loarie has participated in the healthcare industry for 34 years, bringing more than 20 medical devices to market worldwide. He has served as co-founder and Chairman of CardioProfile, Inc.; CEO and Chairman of KeraVision, Inc.; COO of Novacor, Inc.; and as President of American Heyer-Schulte (Division of American Hospital Supply, now Baxter, Inc.). He has served as Assistant Professor of Surgery, Creighton University Medical School; Chairman-elect, Board Member, and Executive Committee member, AdvaMed (the Advanced Medical Technology Association); and as a board member of the California Healthcare Institute. Mr. Loarie serves on the advisory board of Uptake Medical, Inc (Seattle, WA.). He received his B.S.M.E. from the University of Notre Dame, and participated in graduate business studies at the Universities of Minnesota and Chicago.
Kirk Seward, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, Director, President, Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Seward is the inventor of the Mercator Micro-Infusion Catheter and led its development from prototype through FDA 510(k) marketing clearance. Prior to co-founding Mercator MedSystems Dr. Seward was a staff principal investigator at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He completed his doctoral studies in mechanical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, and his masters and bachelors in mechanical engineering at MIT. He has authored more than 50 patent applications.
Charles Crocker is a principal of Crocker Capital, a private venture capital firm active in life sciences. He recently served as Chairman of the Board and CEO of BEI Technologies, Inc., a public, diversified technology company that he founded and was recently sold to Schneider Electric. He was Chairman, CEO, and founder of BEI Medical Systems, a public medical device company that was sold to Boston Scientific. He serves on the boards of Franklin Resources, Inc. and its subsidiaries (parent of the Franklin Templeton Funds) and Teledyne Technologies, Inc. He is Chair of the Franklin Compensation Committee. Mr. Crocker has been Chairman of the Board of Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, Chairman of the Hamlin School’s Board of Trustees, President of the Foundation of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and a Trustee of the Buck Center for Research in Aging. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Mary A. Crocker Trust. Mr. Crocker received his B.S. degree from Stanford University and an M.B.A from the University of California, Berkeley.
Neil P. Desai, Ph.D.
Dr. Desai has more than 20 years of experience in the research and development of novel therapeutics, drug delivery systems and biocompatible polymers. He is currently Vice President, Strategic Platforms at Celgene Corp. Prior to the acquisition by Celgene in Oct 2010, he was SVP, Global Research and Development, for Abraxis BioScience (ABI) where he was responsible for the development of ABI's proprietary product pipeline and intellectual property portfolio. This included the development of products from the early discovery phase through preclinical testing, late stage clinical studies and development for commercial manufacturing. Dr. Desai is a co-inventor of ABI's nab® tumor targeting nanotechnology platform which led to the first protein-based nanotechnology product (Abraxane®) to be approved by the FDA and regulatory agencies worldwide, for treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer. At predecessor companies of ABI, VivoRx, Inc and VivoRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., he worked on the early discovery and development of novel encapsulation systems for living cells and was part of the team that performed the world’s first successful encapsulated islet cell transplant in a diabetic patient. Dr. Desai is an inventor on over 100 patents, has authored or co-authored over 35 peer-reviewed publications, has made over 150 presentations at scientific meetings and has served on FDA, USP and European Union task forces and panels. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bombay.
Ms. Hitchcock has 20 years of experience building and financing life science companies. She is presently CEO and director of VascularCures, the leading non-profit focused on medical research to develop new ways to predict, treat and prevent vascular disease. Prior to this she was Chief Business Officer at Mercator MedSystems. Ms. Hitchcock was also CEO of LabVelocity, a medical and scientific database company, SVP Operations and Finance at Affymax, CFO at ACLARA (now Monogram Biosciences), VP Corporate Development for Keravision, and CFO at SyStemix, the pioneering stem cell company. She has a B.A. from Brown University and an MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Mr. Mitchell held various senior management positions prior to founding and becoming CEO of NAK Corporation, a $100 million apparel manufacturer, distributor and design company. Mr. Mitchell is on the boards of Chuckwalla, a digital asset management software company, In Joy Media, a motivational content company, the Discovery Center, a non-profit based in Danville, CA, and the Animal Rescue Foundation, a non-profit based in Walnut Creek, CA. Mr. Mitchell is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.
Albert P. Pisano, Ph.D.
Dr. Pisano holds the FANUC Chair of Mechanical Systems in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, and has a joint appointment to the University’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He also serves as Co-Director of the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC). From 1997 through 1999, he was the DARPA program manager for micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), and managed a portfolio of 83 contracts awarded nationwide. His MEMS research includes drug delivery systems, holds over 10 patents in MEMS, has authored or co-authored more than 110 archival publications. He received his graduate degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University, and was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2001.