The Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design External Advisory Board Members


Faz K. Bashi, MD, has a research background in Immunology and Virology from UCSF. He is an active member of Life Science Angel’s (LSA) in Silicon Valley, as well as Chair of the Angel Capital Association’s (ACA) Life Sciences Syndication group. He serves as a Member of the ACA Board of Directors. He served as the 2015 Chair of LSA’s Digital Health & Sciences Screening Committee, 2013 Chair of LSA’s Device Screening Committee, 2 years on the LSA Board, and is a member of the Biotech/Pharma Screening Committee. He was a founding member of HealthTech Capital where he served on the Board of Directors for a 2-year term. He is a member of Berkeley Angel Network. He is active with UCSF’s Entrepreneurship Startup 101 and Lean Launchpad, UCSFs CTSI external advisory board, and Springboard Enterprises focused on women entrepreneurs. He worked at San Mateo Medical Center to develop and implement special clinical projects to help the underserved, including TeleDermatology, Diabetic Retinopathy Screening, and advancements in electronic medical records. He works as a consultant to Patient Visit Redesign on workflow process improvement for community health centers, and safety net organizations across the US. He is passionate about novel technologies that improve the coordination and delivery of patient care through intelligent information brokering that enables true clinical collaboration, and is active on the Advisory Board of Tiatros-powered-by-Watson integrating physical and behavioral medicine. He volunteers his time with the Peninsula Bridge program to help the underserved kids of East Palo Alto get inspired about their futures via education. He is committed to helping find treatments for Tinnitus, Autism, Lupus, and Vascular diseases. He completed several triathlons with Team-In-Training to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


Dr. Falotico has been a part of the Johnson & Johnson research community for over 33 years. He received a degree in Biomedical Science from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. He began his career as a Scientist at the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute and rose to the position of Associate Director of Drug Discovery and Team Leader of Vascular Biology, pursuing novel programs in thrombosis, vascular disease and heart failure. Bob received the J&J Hoffman Award for his scientific achievements in 1986. He transitioned over to medical devices at Cordis in 1995 as leader of Stent Therapeutics Research, which played a key role in developing innovative products for thrombosis and restenosis. Bob led the Team that designed, developed and commercialized the world’s first drug-eluting stent (Cypher), a product that helped to revolutionize interventional cardiology and significantly improve patient lives, for which he received the Johnson Medal, J&J’s highest honor, in 2003. Bob was promoted to Distinguished Research Fellow in 2004. With the acquisition of Conor Medsystems in 2006, his team continued to design new therapeutic strategies for treating vascular disease. He is currently working with R&D and Business Development to identify new product opportunities for Cordis and the J&J Surgical Care group. Bob has 89 issued US patents and applications and 139 published manuscripts, book chapters and abstracts. He is married with two children and a granddaughter and lives in Princeton, NJ.


Mr. Gelfand has more than 20 years of experience developing medical devices in academic, startup and corporate environments. His expertise is in integrative physiology, systems engineering and intellectual property. With Dr. Levin, he co-founded Cibiem, CHF Solutions, Ardian and Cardiac Concepts and served as the chief technology officer to those ventures. Mr. Gelfand also worked at Nellcor Puritan Bennett, the world’s leading respiratory device company, where he was responsible for the architecture development of a new ICU ventilator platform. Prior to Nellcor, he was co-founder and chief technology officer of CardioLogic Systems Inc., where he was responsible for the development of the Vest CPR device designed to treat cardiac arrest. The successor to that device is now marketed as AutoPulse® by Zoll Medical. From 1987 to 1992, Mr. Gelfand was a senior research engineer in the division of cardiology at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, responsible for the development of several concept-level medical devices. Mr. Gelfand is an author and co-author of 70 issued U.S. patents in the fields of heart failure, resuscitation, sleep apnea, and dialysis. He holds master’s degrees in electrical engineering from St. Petersburg Institute of Technology and received graduate-level training in physiology at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.


David Giarracco currently the Vice President, of Global Market Development for the $4.5B dollar Patient Monitoring Recovery business of Medtronic. In this role, he leads the efforts to accelerate the adoption of Medtronic technologies for addressing deep vein thrombosis, nutritional insufficiency and respiratory compromise around the globe. Dave and his global teams work customers and cross functionally to raise awareness of these conditions and the impact they have on healthcare, generate evidence, and develop services to enable our healthcare partners in addressing them. He has worked in the medical device industry for over twenty years holding leadership roles in engineering, operations, sales/marketing, and business acquisitions/divestitures across the entire care continuum from home to emergency medical serves through hospital and long-term care. He holds a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, as well as a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering.



Mike Hess is the Vice President of Bradycardia R&D, CRHF Division at Medtronic. He has been at Medtronic for 25 years, with experience in R&D, corporate technology, clinical trial management, program management, and product planning marketing. In addition, he is a Medtronic Technical Fellow, a member of the Medtronic Bakken Society, an AIMBE fellow, and has about 25 issued patents and numerous publications. Hess graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in biomedical engineering and received a Masters of Science in chemical engineering from the University of St. Thomas. Most recently, he was Vice President of Corporate Technology and Innovation with responsibility for enterprise innovation initiatives and planning for regional R&D activities in the emerging markets.​



Mir Imran in one of America’s leading inventors and entrepreneurs, with more than 200 issued patents, including contributions to the first FDA approved Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. Mir Imran has founded more than 20 life sciences companies, 15 of which have completed an IPO or acquisition. Mir is a Bioengineer and Electrical Engineer by training (MS and BS) and also attended UMDNJ/ Rutgers Medical School. Mir’s expertise spans a wide range of clinical areas from interventional cardiology to chronic pain, obesity and CNS disorders, and he serves on the boards of several life sciences companies. Mir is the founder and CEO of InCube Labs and InCube Ventures, both focused on his passion for creating medical solutions that change the standard of care in critical healthcare markets.



Justin joined NEA in 2006 and is a Partner on the healthcare team. He focuses on medical device, healthcare technology, and biopharmaceutical company investments.He serves as a director of Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics, Cartiva, FIRE1, Intact Vascular, Personal Genome Diagnostics, PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Relievant Medsystems, Senseonics (NYSE: SENS), VertiFlex, Vesper Medical, and VytronUS. Justin’s past board memberships and investments include CV Ingenuity (acquired by Covidien), Nevro (NYSE: NVRO), Topera (acquired by Abbott), TriVascular (NASDAQ: TRIV), and Ulthera (acquired by Merz). He is also a member of the advisory boards for the National Venture Capital Association’s Medical Industry Group and its Medical Innovation and Competitiveness Coalition (MedIC), as well as a member of AdvaMed’s Business Development Committee.

Prior to NEA, Justin worked for the Duke University Health System—reporting directly to the hospital CEO on health system strategy, finance, and clinical service unit operations—as Duke built one of the nation’s first and largest healthcare integrated delivery systems. Justin concurrently earned his MD from the Duke University School of Medicine and his JD from Harvard Law School. He has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Duke University, where he earned his AB in Economics and his BS in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy.



David Knapp is the Vice President, Corporate Research at Boston Scientific. A leader in the area of Medical Device Development and Exploratory Research, Dave Knapp has been working to treat unmet needs in coronary, cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine for 20 years. Dave’s current focus as Vice President of Corporate Research at Boston Scientific is on developing new solutions and fostering growth in White Space areas. Coordinating open collaborative efforts has been a key focus area, including developing relationships with external institutions and connecting across disciplines and functions to drive meaningful innovation. Dave has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science from the University of Minnesota.



Mr. Levin is a heart failure/transplantation cardiologist and has worked extensively towards the integration of cardiac, respiratory and renal physiological into novel therapeutic solutions for clinical practice. Along with Mark Gelfand, his inventions and co-inventions have successfully started or were acquired by a number of companies including Cibiem, Ardian, CHF Solutions, Respicardia (formerly, Cardiac Concepts), eValve (Abbott), Nephros and RenalGuard (PLC Medical). Companies started by Levin and Gelfand in collaboration have been acquired for and/or received strategic investments potentially totaling over $1.5 B. Prior to joining Coridea, Dr. Levin was a co-founder of the venture-funded medical device startup Cardio Technologies Inc., where he served as the chief scientific officer and vice president of R&D. Dr. Levin received his M.D. from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, his training in cardiology at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, was on faculty in the Division of Cardiology and the medical director of the ventricular assist program at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Levin also has a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and is an author on 67 issued U.S. patents and 70 medical/scientific publications.



Beth McCombs is Vice President, Research & Development for the Ethicon franchise and is a member of the Medical Devices Research & Development Leadership Team (RDLT) as well as the Ethicon Global Management Board (GMB). In this role, Beth leads the Product Development Organizations for Biosurgery, Energy, Endomechanical, Wound Closure, and Robotics as well as the Medical Device Industrial Design Human Factors Center of Excellence and the Ethicon Advanced Innovation R&D Team. Beth has over 17 years of experience in Medical Devices innovation at Johnson & Johnson. She began her career at Ethicon Endo-Surgery as an R&D design engineer and progressed through positions of increasing responsibility within the fields of oncology and metabolic surgery. In 2007, Beth was appointed to the role of Director, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology (COSAT) where she identified and evaluated emerging external technologies for Johnson & Johnson funding. In 2009, Beth moved to Johnson & Johnson’s Sports Medicine business to lead the R&D organization and served as a member of the Management Board. Just prior to her current role, Beth served as Vice President, Surgical Innovation for the Ethicon franchise and established two new growth platforms – Robotics and Interventional Oncology. She was the Platform Leader for Robotics, driving a unique innovation partnership that leverages Ethicon’s strong instrumentation capability with external capabilities in robotics, imaging and data analytics at Verb Surgical and Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences). Beth holds both a Bachelor of Science and Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.



Casey is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Since joining the firm in 1978, he has been a member of the firm’s board of directors, and its Policy, Nominating, and Compensation Committees. Casey’s practice focuses on the organization, funding, and corporate representation of companies in the information technology, life sciences, and telecommunications industries. Casey is a nationally recognized leader in the representation of start-up and growth technology companies. He assists his clients in meeting their financing needs through introductions to an extensive network of angel investors, financiers, venture capitalists, corporate partners, and investment bankers. He has experience representing dozens of companies that have made successful initial public offerings and secondary offerings.

As a strategic business partner, Casey offers focused resources and capabilities to meet the most critical needs of start-up and emerging growth companies, including private and venture capital financings, public offerings, university licensing, and strategic collaborations. He frequently is called upon to structure and negotiate mergers and acquisitions, licensing arrangements, and domestic and international strategic corporate alliances, as well as other innovative financing arrangements.
Casey is a contributor to magazines and newsletters focused on angel and venture investing, and frequently speaks on issues relating to the organization and funding of new ventures. He graduated from Santa Clara University with Highest Honors.



David Narrow is Chief Executive Officer of Sonavex, Inc., a medical device company spun out of Johns Hopkins. He previously worked with multinational medical device companies to commercialize their technologies and provide long-term business strategy as a healthcare consultant at Health Advances LLC. Narrow’s first venture, MonoMano Inc., provides rehabilitative, general health, and social benefits to stroke survivors by making cycling accessible for those with functional use of a single arm and leg. He graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering awarded with Highest Distinction before receiving his Masters from Johns Hopkins University. Narrow was named 30 Under 30 in Healthcare by Forbes in 2016.





Bijan has nearly 15 years of healthcare operating and investment experience. He currently serves as managing director at NaviMed Capital, a private investment firm focused on growth venture capital healthcare investments. Prior to co-founding NaviMed, he was a General Partner at Highland Capital Partners where was responsible for leading many of the firm’s healthcare transactions. Prior to joining Highland in 2003, Bijan spent several years in marketing at Medtronic. Before Medtronic, he was an early employee at and held a variety of senior management roles with HealthCentral, a venture-backed healthcare information technology company that went public in 1999. He is currently on the board of directors of several companies including Auris Surgical and Hyperion Therapeutics (IPO) and has sourced or been actively involved in Highland’s investments in AVEO Oncology (IPO), Baronova, BÂRRX Medical (sold to Covidien), Conor Medsystems (IPO; sold to Johnson & Johnson), Entourage Medical, kyruus, and Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy. Bijan holds an A.B. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, an M.D. and Master’s in Science in Health Policy from Columbia University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is also a graduate of the Kauffman Fellows Program.



As chief executive officer of Reflexion Health, Dr. Joseph (Joe) Smith brings decades of health-IT focused strategic, engineering, clinical, and healthcare policy expertise to the innovative digital medicine company. Prior to joining Reflexion Health, Dr. Smith served as the founding chief medical and science officer at the West Health Institute, president of the West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C., manager of the West Health Investment Fund. Prior roles included industry leadership positions at J&J, Boston Scientific, and Guidant Corp. He holds a Ph.D. from the Harvard MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.




Dr. Stein earned his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in BME in 1997 and stayed to complete a master’s degree in 1999 and a PhD in 2001, working in the lab of Gregory Chirikjian. Since graduating in 2001, he has worked with Siemens, where he has served in several roles including VP of Global Engineering and CEO of the Point of Care Business Unit and has successfully led the development and strategy for numerous products within Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. Since 2015 he has been serving as the Head of Strategy and Innovation for Siemens Healthineers.




Robert Storey is the Principal of The MVR Company, which focuses on the assessment and creation of new ventures, with a particular emphasis on medical technologies. He is currently Executive Chairman for OsteoVantage, an early-stage medical device company focused on novel instrumentation used in spinal fusion procedures, and Executive Chairman for Vixiar Medical, an early-stage company focused on the remote/non-invasive monitoring of congestive heart failure.

He concurrently serves as Executive in Residence for Johns Hopkins University, MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Maryland, supporting the development and commercialization of medical and engineering technologies. In addition to serving on the External Advisory Board for the Johns Hopkins Center for Biomedical Innovation and Design, he serves on the Strategic Advisory Board for Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, the JHU Applied Physics Lab Technology Commercialization Panel, and the Hopkins/Coulter Translational Partnership Oversight Committee. He is the Johns Hopkins advocate for medical device and engineering investment submissions to the Maryland Innovation Initiative and serves as the lead instructor for the MD Anderson innovation program at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, and for the University of Miami Biomedical Engineering/Miller School of Medicine life sciences innovation program.
He currently serves as the Chair of the Medical Device group for the State of Maryland’s Life Sciences Advisory Board and is on the Strategic Advisory Board of VIC Technology Venture Development, a private, for-profit development firm with offices in Annapolis, Boston, Fayetteville, and San Diego. He is active on a national basis on the subject of assessment and formation of start-up technologies, and sits on the Boards of six start-up and mature firms.

He serves as the Medical Device instructor for the National Institute of Health’s I-Corps @ NIH™ program and is a National Instructor National Science Foundation’s I-Corps™. In addition to his role at the US national level, he has been the principal instructor for international cohorts in the I-Corps & Lean Start-up arena in South America and Asia/Pacific, as well as a lead instructor for the US State Department’s Global Initiative for Innovation in Technology programs in Southern and Western Africa.



After receiving her BS (Class of 2000) and MS (Class of 2002) in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Laleh began her professional career conducting cardiovascular research in the Lab of Dr. Art Shoukas at JHU. After working in academia for two years, she made a transition to Industry and began working at St. Jude Medical. While at St. Jude Medical (SJM) she has had the great opportunity to take on several different roles at various sites working on cardiovascular as well as neuromodulation devices. Mrs. Tamhidi started her career at SJM at the Sunnyvale, CA facility, first as a Clinical Engineer and then as a Program Manager. Making the move to Sylmar, CA, she then transitioned to Operations and Development, managing the low voltage lead group for SJM. Her experience in Operations led to an opportunity for her to take on the Site Director Role at an SJM manufacturing site in Portland, OR. Most recently she has returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and taken on a role as Director of Business Development and M&A Integration, working on the SJM/Thoratec acquisition and Abbott/SJM integration.



Matthew Dreher, Ph.D., is VP of Scientific Partnerships within BTG’s Innovation group focused on new product development in Interventional Medicine. Matt obtained his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and then performed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Radiation Oncology Department of Duke University Medical Center. In 2007, Matt joined the Interventional Radiology Research Laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the USA. While at NIH, Matt helped launch and build the Center for Interventional Oncology with the goal of pioneering image-guided minimally invasive cancer therapies. Matt has served on NIH study sections, NSF review panels, SIR Foundation study section and as an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Hyperthermia. He has co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications (h-index = 35). Since joining BTG in 2012, Matt has led a variety of research and development activities within our Interventional Oncology portfolio including radiopaque microspheres and TheraSphere dosimetry. Currently, Matt focuses on building scientific partnerships with academic and corporate collaborators with the goal of developing new Interventional Medicine products and procedures.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design