Biomedical Engineering

Advisory Board Current Members

Don Chigazola

Don Chigazola retired after an 11-year career with Medtronic CardioVascular in Santa Rosa, California, where he has been responsible for all manufacturing operations supporting the endovascular, coronary and peripheral business units.  Additionally, Don led manufacturing, engineering, procurement, logistics, and facilities teams. Don has worked in manufacturing settings for over 20 years in a variety of industries including aerospace, electric utilities, electronics and semiconductor manufacturing, and medical device manufacturing. Don holds a B.S. degree from the University of California at Davis in Biological Sciences and a M.S. degree from the University of Southern California. Don is a northern California native. He and his family have lived in Sonoma County for 25 years. Don serves on several community boards including: Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation, Board of Directors, and the Santa Rosa Community Health Centers Board of Directors.  (Joined the Board in 2009)

David Z. D’Argenio

David Z. D’Argenio is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California and holder of the Chonette Chair of Biomedical Technology. Professor D’Argenio has been a member of the Biomedical Engineering Faculty at USC since 1979. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Engineering in Medicine and Biology, Trustee of the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, and a member of the FDA Advisory Committee for Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology. He served as Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at USC from 1996-2003 and as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Engineering at USC from 1993-1996.Since 1985 he has co-directed the Biomedical Modeling and Simulations Resource at USC, an NIH supported center that develops advanced modeling methods for studying  biological systems. His research includes: modeling in anticancer and antiviral drug development; systems biology of drug action; population modeling of PKlPD polymorphisms; experiment design for modeling sparse data systems; and software systems for modeling, simulation, design and analysis in PK/PD. (Joined the Board in 2009)

Russ DeLonzor

Russ DeLonzor  Vice President of Operations Ekso Bionics November 2015 – Present, Richmond, CA and President and COO, Halt Medical, Inc. June 2007 – Present. Russ has a 25-year career in the Medical Device field developing and commercializing products that improve life. Experienced in leading teams in the broadest range of organizational settings – from early start-up to Fortune 100, from pre-clinical through multi-million dollar commercial success. General management executive experienced in working with BOD’s, attracting capital, and motivating talent in every corporate function and level – from PhD researcher, to territory business manager, through production line employee. Specific expertise in IP management, multi-national clinical studies, reimbursement coding and coverage, and working with FDA to achieve company goals. Since 2005, Ekso Bionics has been pioneering the field of robotic exoskeletons, or wearable robots, to augment human strength, endurance and mobility. The Company’s first commercially available product, called the Ekso device, has helped thousands of people with paralysis take millions of steps not otherwise possible. By designing and creating some of the most forward-thinking and innovative solutions for people looking to augment human capabilities, Ekso Bionics is helping people rethink current physical limitations and achieve the remarkable. (Joined the Board in 2014)

Tejal Desai

Tejal Desai is  Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and chair of the Therapeutic Sciences and Department of Physiology at University of California, San Francisco, and Chair of the Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering, UCSF/UC Berkeley. She has a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from University of California, San Francisco/ University of California, Berkeley. Studies in the Desai laboratory focus on the design, fabrication, and use of advanced micro/nano biosystems for (1) cellular integration and tissue engineering, (2) biomimetic architectures for functional biomaterials, and (3) therapeutic drug targeting and delivery. She has received numerous awards, including the NSF’s CAREER and New Century Scholar Award, “7X7 Magazine” named her one of “San Francisco’s Brilliant 40 under 40,” and “Popular Science” magazine included her as one of the “Brilliant 10” Top Scientists in the Nation.” She has published over 130 articles in peer reviewed journals and holds 9 patents. (Joined the Board in 2011)

KeckKevin Keck

Kevin Keck has spent 25 years as a physician executive. He has managed large medical groups and have been chief medical officer of a health plan. His leadership acitivities have been marked by innovation. He contributed to the creation of an open access model so patients could get a same day appointment at any time atKaiser in Sacramento . His groups created novel incentive systems to increase efficiencies. They created a health plan with a robust array of quality initiatives which flowed to a much improved bottom line. He is very interested in health care policy and has concerns about cost trends in medicine. Dr. Keck has been a practicing physician for 38 years and currently works in the emergency department and palliative care department at Kaiser in Sacramento. (Joined the Board in 2014)

Laura Liptai

Laura Liptai is Principal Scientist and Director of BioMedical Forensics.  She received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California at Davis in 1996 as well as an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 1993. She also holds a second Master’s specializing in robotics from the University of Southern California as well as a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Davis. She has over 27 years of experience as a biomedical consultant in the field of forensic engineering science. She has worked on cases all over the world and recently received the Andrew Payne National Award in recognition for her contributions to the field. BioMedical Forensics is a consulting firm specializing in mechanism and causation of trauma, impact biomechanics, and accident reconstruction. (Joined the Board in 2011)


Mariam117x150Mariam Maghribi

Mariam Maghribi is the Chief Business Officer of Shifamed Medical Devices.  Shifamed is a progressive medical technology incubator focused on developing new medical products from concept to commercial release with engineering expertise, proven results, and rapid return. Shifamed is innovation done right.  Their testing, engineering and manufacturing facilities are housed in a state-of-the-art building with an ISO 13485-certified quality system. Using our established processes and infrastructure, we have the ability to execute on projects and build value without wasting time or capital. This laser-focused approach avoids inefficiencies and allows us to meet the end-goal: innovate products that meet clinical needs. She has fifteen years of experience in the medical device and biotechnology analytics sectors. Mariam has held a variety of roles in R&D, commercial strategy & operations, and business development for private and large corporations. Specifically, she served as the Chief Operating Officer for deltaDOT QSTP-LLC, a biotechnology analytics start-up based in Doha Qatar, and was Principal Engineer at Johnson & Johnson, where she co-founded JJ MeMs, an early stage medical microsystems incubator that enabled new technology development and the generation of a strategic intellectual property portfolio. Mariam is an inventor on 21 issued US patents and 36 pending applications. She holds a B.S. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Biomedical engineering from University of California, Davis. She also earned dual MBA degrees from Columbia Business School and the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business. (Joined the Board in 2014)


John Maroney

John Maroney, Principal  Medical Technology Consulting Services.  From 2013- 2105, President, CEO and Director of VISION5.  ForSight VISION5, Inc., was founded in January of 2011 as the fifth company to spin out of the ophthalmic incubator ForSight Labs, LLC ( ForSight VISION5 is a clinical development stage company focused on unmet needs in ophthalmic diseases, initially ocular hypertension and glaucoma.  ForSight Labs, LLC, was established in 2005 by renowned ophthalmologist and retinal surgeon Eugene de Juan, Jr., MD in collaboration with The Foundry ( to start companies focused on impactful solutions to improve the sight, care, and quality of life of visually impaired patients.  From 2003-2013, Mr. Maroney served as a Managing Member of Delphi Ventures, a healthcare focused venture capital firm with more than $1.1B in capital raised across eight funds.   John joined Delphi Ventures as a General Partner in 2003 and focuses on medical device and diagnostic investments. Prior to joining Delphi, John was President, CEO and Chairman of EndoTex Interventional Systems, Inc. a development stage, venture backed, start-up company focused on commercialization of carotid artery stents which was acquired by Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) in 2007. From 1988 to 1997, John held a variety of senior management positions including President and General Manager at EP Technologies, Inc., Vice President of Operations at both Boston Scientific Corp. and Cardiovascular Imaging Systems (CVIS). While at CVIS, John was a key member of the senior management team during the Company’s IPO and eventual acquisition by Boston Scientific Corp. John’s corporate board involvement includes: Acclarent, Inc., Aragon Surgical, Inc., Arbor Surgical Technologies, Inc., InnerPulse, Inc., Lutonix, Inc., Primaeva Medical, Inc., EBR Systems, Inc. and VytronUS, Inc. John also serves on the Board of Directors of the (not for profit) Riekes Center for Human Enhancement and was Founder and Chairman of the Tour for Woodside, an annual fund raiser for the Woodside High School Foundation Endowment, from 2006-2008.John is married to Sarah Bryan and they live in Woodside, California with their three children. John earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 1975. (Joined the Board in 2009)

Bradley W. Rice

Dr. Bradley W. Rice is VP of Profusa, Inc.  Profusa is leading the development of a new generation of biointegrated sensors that empowers the individual with the ability to monitor their unique body chemistry in unprecedented ways to transform the management of personal health and disease. Our technology enables the development of bioengineered sensors that become one with the body to detect and continuously transmit actionable, medical-grade data for personal and medical use. Profusa’s first clinical offering, the Lumee Oxygen Sensing System™, is designed to report reliable tissue oxygen levels at various regions of interest, both acutely and long-term. The Lumee has been designed for use in applications where monitoring of compromised tissue is beneficial, such as peripheral artery disease that results in narrowing of blood vessels and reduced blood flow to the lower limbs; chronic wounds (diabetic ulcers, pressure sores) that do not heal properly; and reconstructive surgery.  Brad was previously Sr Vice President of Systems R&D at Caliper Life Sciences, with overall responsibility for instrumentation and software R&D related to optical small animal imaging, microfluidics, and lab automation. Prior to joining Caliper in 2006 (merger with Xenogen Corp) Dr. Rice served as the Chief Technical Officer and Vice President of Xenogen since January 2005, and from 1999 through 2004 was Sr Director of Imaging R&D, playing a key role in developing the suite of IVIS® Imaging Systems. Prior to joining Xenogen in 1999, Dr. Rice worked for 15 years as a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory developing optical and microwave based diagnostic instrumentation in the magnetic fusion energy program. Dr. Rice received his B.A. in Physics from Colorado College, M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. in Applied Science from the University of California-Davis. He is author or co-author of over 50 refereed journal publications and a named inventor on sixteen issued patents.  (Joined the Board in 2009)

Robert Sah

Dr. Sah is Professor of the Department of Bioengineering at UCSD, and Professor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Sah received the ScD from MIT in 1990 and the MD from Harvard Medical School in 1991. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and MIT, he joined the UCSD Bioengineering faculty in 1992 where he served as Vice Chair from 2002-08. Dr. Sah’s research is on the bioengineering, biomechanics, and tissue engineering of cartilage in growth, aging, degeneration, and regeneration, with applications to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of osteoarthritis. His research has been recognized by a Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, a Hulda Irene Duggan Investigator Award from the Arthritis Foundation, two Kappa Delta Awards from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the Van C Mow Medal. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Engineering in Medicine and Biology. He currently serves on Boards for Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, the International Cartilage Research Society, and the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society – North America Chapter.  (Joined the Board in 2009)

Nicholas van Bruggen

Nicholas van Bruggen is a senior scientist at Calico labs.  Calico is a research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. We will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives. Executing on this mission will require an unprecedented level of interdisciplinary effort and a long-term focus for which funding is already in place.  Nick previously was the Associate Director of the Biomedical Imaging Group at Genentech. He graduated with his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Nottinham, United Kingdom, in 1987 and then served as a Research Fellow at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in the United Kingdom from 1987-1991. Following this appointment, he was a Harold Bridges Lecturer at the Department of Biophysics at the Royal College of Surgeons of England until joining Genentech in 1995 to set up a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facility dedicated to experimental research.  The Biomedical Imaging Group collaborates with many research groups and scientists throughout discovery research. Since the inception of the MRI facility, it has grown to include a range of biomedical imaging modalities in addition to MRl, including MicroCT and imaging techniques using fluorescence probes. Its mission is to help realize the therapeutic potential of our scientific discoveries. In addition to many published top scientific papers, Dr. van Bruggen has also co-authored, Biomedical Imaging in Experimental Neuroscience. CRC Press (Frontiers in Neuroscience Volume: 18) (Joined the Board in 2009)

Scott Yerby

Scott Yerby is the Vice President, Chief Technology Officer of SI-Bone (developing minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Surgery).  He received his BS (’90) and MS (’92) in Mechanical Engineering and PhD (’96) in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis (UCD). He also was a post-doctoral researcher (’97) at UCD under Dr. Brian Bay. During his time at UCD, Dr. Yerby was a finalist for the Scoliosis Research Society Hibbs Award (’96), and was awarded the American Society of Biomechanics Post-Doctoral Researcher Young Scientist Award (’97) and the Orthopaedic Research Society New Investigator Recognition Award (’98). During that time, he also co-authored 14 peer-reviewed publications and presented numerous abstracts. Following his formal education, Dr. Yerby became the Director of Experimental Biomechanics and the Palo Alto VA and was a consulting assistant professor in the Divisions of Biomechanical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University. During this time, he co- authored 12 peer-reviewed publications, one book chapter, and received 4 grants. In 2000, Dr. Yerby entered the private sector as the Director of Research and Development at St. Francis Medical Technologies and later became the Vice President of Research and Development. While at St. Francis, he co-authored 16 peer-reviewed publications, 5 issued patents, and 54 pending patent applications. He also presented to FDA, CMS (Medicare/Medicaid), and helped with the sale of St. Francis to Kyphon in early 2007. Dr. Yerby is currently the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of SI-BONE, Inc, located in the Bay Area. (Joined the Board in 2009)