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)

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)


James Kovach

James Kovach, MD, JD, serves as Vice President of Business Development for CrowdOptic, a venture-backed company using real-time sensor data from electronic devices and its own patented CrowdOptic algorithms to identify and track where devices are aimed (focus) and to identify groups of people with the same focus (clusters).

CrowdOptic technology, which includes sensor data smoothing, EXIF data mining and focal analytics, is instantly deployable in a range of mobile applications and technology environments to enhance broadcasting, security, social media sharing and advertising.

Dr. Kovach is also founder of Beneufit, a start-up company providing a personalized exercise system for people fighting chronic disease, tapping into the body’s natural ability to self-heal through exercise. He received his medical degree with distinction from the University of Kentucky while simultaneously playing in the National Football League.  Following his NFL career, he attended law school at Stanford University and practiced corporate law in Palo Alto California.

Dr. Kovach has served as Chief Operating Officer of Athersys, Inc., a leading public biotechnology company developing stem cell therapeutics.  Two stem cell products initiated under his tenure now are in Phase II clinical development for inflammatory bowel disease and ischemic stroke. He has also served as President of the Buck Institute for Age Research.  Named by NIH as a national center of excellence, the Buck Institute is an independent research institute dedicated exclusively to research on aging and age-associated disease.  Dr. Kovach also served as a member of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee.

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

Mr. Maroney is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Medical Technology Consulting Services (MTCS). He provides management consulting services and expertise to CEO’s of emerging medical technology companies as well as venture investors attracted to opportunities in medical technology and specialty pharmaceuticals. John currently serves as Executive Director and Acting CEO for Alessa Therapeutics, Inc., as a Director for Raydiant Oximetry, Inc., as a Director for GraftWorx, Inc. and as a strategic advisor to Enso Relief. He was formerly Executive Director of Serene Medical, Pty, Ltd. Mr. Maroney was President, CEO and Director of ForSight VISION 5 (a.b. Allergan: AGN) a clinical development stage, specialty pharma, Ophthalmology Company focused on sustained release of medication to the anterior eye. Prior to VISION 5, and since 2003, John served as a General Partner and Managing Member of Delphi Ventures, a healthcare focused venture capital firm with more than $1.1B in capital raised and deployed across eight funds. John concentrated on early stage Medical Device and Diagnostic companies. Representative Board involvement included Acclarent, Inc. (a.b. Johnson & Johnson: JNJ), Aragon Surgical (a.b Aesculap/B.Braun), Arbor Surgical Technologies (a.b. Medtronic: MDT), EBR Systems, InnerPulse, Inc., Lutonix (a.b CR Bard: BCR), Primaeva (a.b. Syneron: ELOS), Pivot Medical (a.b Stryker: SYK) and VytronUS. Prior to joining Delphi Ventures, John was President, CEO and Chairman of EndoTex Interventional Systems, Inc. a development stage, venture backed, Start-up Company dedicated to the commercialization of carotid artery stents. EndoTex was acquired by Boston Scientific Corp. in 2007. From 1988 to 1997, John held a variety of senior management positions at Cardiovascular Imaging Systems (CVIS) and Boston Scientific including President of EP Technologies, Inc., and Vice President and General Manager for Cardiovascular Imaging Systems. While at CVIS, John was a key member of the senior management team during the Company’s IPO and eventual acquisition by Boston Scientific Corporation. Prior to CVIS, John held increasingly responsible management roles at Abbott Laboratories via their acquisition of Oximetrix, Inc. Mr. Maroney also currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the College of Engineering and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis. John earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis, CA, and is married to Sarah Bryan. They live in Woodside, California. (Joined the Board in 2009)


John Paderi

John Paderi is the co-founder and Sr. Director of Research at Symic Bio, a biopharmaceutical company based in the Bay. He has grown with the company from 2 to 40 employees and taken two molecules from concept into the clinic. Prior to Symic, John was a Stanford Biodesign Fellow, out of which he co-founded Cala Health, a company pioneering neuroperipheral therapy. He mentors fellow entrepreneurs and is keenly interested in education outreach, and was the co-founder of the public forum for Purdue researchers, Science on Tap in Lafayette. John received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, PhD in Bioengineering from Arizona State University, and post-doc at Purdue University. He has more than 15 years of experience innovating and developing medical therapeutics, driven by solving unmet clinical needs.

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)

Stanton J. Rowe

Stanton J. Rowe has been chief scientific officer since 2008 and also serves as corporate vice president, advanced technology. He joined the company in 2004 when Edwards acquired Percutaneous Valve Technologies, a company he helped to found in 1999 and of which he served as president and CEO. Previously, Rowe was corporate vice president of business development and strategic planning for Datascope and was vice president of business development for Johnson & Johnson’s interventional systems division (JJIS) in Warren, New Jersey, responsible for the company’s coronary stent development efforts. At JJIS and the related Cordis Corporation, Rowe held a variety of positions with increasing levels of responsibility, including heading the company’s business development, advanced technology, worldwide clinical research and marketing groups. Rowe joined Cordis after previously holding several positions in product management for a number of medical device companies. He is on the board of directors of InSeal Medical, Ltd. and Neural Analytics.    He is also on the board of directors for the Discovery Science Center in Orange County, as well as on the advisory boards for the engineering or biomedical engineering schools at UC Irvine, Georgia Tech and Brown University. Rowe received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama.


Ben Wolf

Ben Wolf is Sr. Director of Program Management for the Aortic Business within the Aortic and Peripheral Vascular Group at Medtronic. This business develops medical devices for use in treating aortic aneurysms and other diseases of the aorta using minimally invasive techniques. He is responsible for setting program strategies and ensuring efficient execution of all projects in the portfolio, including pre-market product development and post-market projects. Prior to his current role, Ben served in various R&D leadership roles within Medtronic for the Aortic business, most recently as Director of R&D where he led the team of engineers and scientists responsible for the development of endovascular devices designed to treat aortic disease. Prior to Medtronic, he worked with a medical device startup company, developing computational and bench top models intended to simulate the in vivo environment for these devices. He received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from UC Davis, and a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

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)