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Salim Ahmed, MD

Resident Physician | UCLA Internal Medicine

Areas of Expertise: Clinical Medicine, Healthcare Administration, Product Development

I am a resident physician in internal medicine at UCLA, and prior to that a management consultant and software engineer.  My interests are in remote health monitoring, digital health and improving healthcare cost effectiveness.

Daniel Altobello

Founder and Vice President of Product Management | Tiatros

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Business Plan Formation, Design, Early Prototyping, Product Development

Daniel is one of the founding members of Tiatros, a behavioral health start-up focused on leveraging data, AI and content management technologies to deliver evidence-based group psychotherapies. He spends a lot time learning about the impact easy to access cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) can have on a wide variety of mental and chronic health conditions for the people that need them most. At Tiatros, Daniel leads the product management, support and engineering teams. Prior to Tiatros, Daniel founded a payments company in the K-12 education space which was acquired in 2011. Before getting into the software start-up world, he worked in various strategic planning, operations and finance roles in the entertainment industry, spending most of his time in the digital media, ad sales and marketing space with NBC Universal, Technicolor and Paramount Pictures. Daniel is a certified HIPAA Security Professional and graduated with a BS in Management & Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2002.

Alexander Baklajian

Analyst | Àshe Capital Management, L.P.

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Product Development, Business Plan Formation

Alex joined Àshe Capital Management as an Investment Analyst in May 2015 after earning his undergraduate degree from the University of California - Los Angeles. His primary responsibilities include evaluating companies and industries for potential investment, and monitoring existing investments across multiple industries.

Prior to joining Àshe Capital Management, Alex was a Junior Fellow at the Business of Science Center (BSC) where he worked to identify commercially promising UCLA inventions, assess their value, and facilitate the formation of spinoff companies. His leadership and analytical efforts supported the BSC’s Venture Team and MedTech Innovation programs, where he helped advise interdisciplinary teams of graduate students on topics including market research, competitive strategy, and startup finance.

Alex developed an interest in healthcare-related innovations while working in clinical research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he studied the effectiveness of new imaging modalities in detecting and monitoring the progression of metastatic prostate cancer.

Ryan Berger, MBA

Director of Business Development | Zynx Health

Senior Business Strategist, Healthcare Innovations | Hearst Health

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Business Plan Formation, Early Prototyping, Product Development

Ryan Berger is the Director of Business Development at Zynx Health, part of the Hearst Health Network.  He is responsible for identifying and developing new partnerships to deliver vital information.  Prior to Hearst, Ryan held leadership roles in Operations at Kaiser Permanente, Sales and Marketing at Amgen, and Manufacturing at Intel.

Noel Boyle, MD, PhD

Cardiologist | UCLA Health

Areas of Expertise: Clinical Medicine, Medical Information

Edward Chen, PhD

Data Scientist / Developer

Areas of Expertise: A.I. or Algorithm Engineering

I'm a data scientist and developer, trained as a physicist (PhD in high energy particle physics) with experience in data science and machine learning.  I have been involved recently in projects in the fields of bots, natural language processing, and deep learning for computer vision (image captioning and generative adversarial networks).   Happy to discuss the data science and/or machine learning aspects of your idea.

Duc Do, MD

Cardiologist | UCLA Health

Areas of Expertise: Clinical Medicine, Clinical Information

Wen Dombrowski, MD, MBA

Chief Convergence Officer | Catalaize

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Medical Information, Product Development, Early Prototyping, Business Plan Formation, Clinical Medicine, Healthcare Administration

A geriatrics physician executive who develops technology, business, and healthcare solutions to improve the quality of life of populations with complex medical and social needs. Dr. Dombrowski uses design thinking, data analytics, communications technologies, and interdisciplinary collaboration to innovate patient care, workflow efficiency, and product-service development. Her background includes working in managed care, home care, nursing homes, community health centers, hospitals, and other settings along the care continuum

Roy Doumani, JD

Executive Director | UCLA Business of Science Center

Areas of Expertise:

Roy Doumani is Executive Director of the Business of Science Center and a professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA teaching “The Business of Science”, “MedTech Innovations”, and “Healthcare Technology” to graduate students. He currently serves as Co-Chairman of the Zhejiang California NanoSystems Institute in China.

With a background in international finance, banking, and real estate, Roy holds an equity position in and served as Director of the first joint venture bank in the PRC, Xiamen International Bank and has been involved with numerous financial institutions: Founder and Director of First Los Angeles Bank; Chairman of First Interstate Bank of Hawaii; Director of HonFed Bank; Chairman of World Trade Bank in Los Angeles. Roy has served as a board member and advisor to companies in the United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Roy was also involved in many startups included Agensys and Kite Pharma. Roy was a founder, investor, and director at Agensys, which sold for approximately $650 million. Currently Roy is a founder, investor, and director at Kite Pharma. Roy also is Chairman of Neural Analytics.

Roy is a member of the Pacific Pension Institute’s advisory board. He has established endowed chairs at UCLA, in the Departments of Medical and Molecular Pharmacology and Urological Oncology.

Roy Doumani graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in Business and Finance and received a law degree from the University of Southern California.

Earle Hager, MBA

Chief Executive Officer | DiCodon Diagnostics

Managing Partner | The Neutrino Donut, LLC

Marketing Manager | AirWare/GlucoWare

Areas of Expertise: Early Prototyping, Medical Information, Product Development

Global Biotech Commercialization

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Dean Ho, MS, PhD

Chairman and Co-Founder | KYAN Therapeutics

Professor | UCLA Division of Oral Biology and Medicine

Professor | UCLA Division of Advanced Prosthodontics

Co-Director | Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology

Areas of Expertise: A.I. or Algorithm Engineering, Brainstorming, Business Plan Formation, Design, Product Development

Dr. Dean Ho is a Professor of Oral Biology and Medicine, and Bioengineering, as well as Co-Director of the Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology at UCLA. His interests include the development of novel drug combinations for oncology, infectious disease, and metabolic disorders, among other indications using the CURE8 technology platform. He also leads one of the pre-eminent teams in the world that is developing nanodiamond-based drug delivery agents. In that capacity, he pioneered the development of NDX, a nanodiamond-enhanced chemotherapy. He is leading a landmark clinical trial to validate a nanodiamond-embedded biomaterial to improve root canal therapy outcomes (NCT02698163). He currently directs Project NDX (, a global effort to bring nanodiamond therapies to the clinic. His research has been highlighted in The Economist, CNN, NPR, Forbes, Washington Post, and other international news outlets.

He served as the President of the Board of Directors for the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS), a 26,000+ pharmaceutical development, screening, and diagnostics organization. In this capacity, Dr. Ho led the SLAS Directors, comprised of C-level and Director-level pharma and medtech executives in coordination with the SLAS professional team to spearhead mergers and acquisitions as well as global expansion activity. He is a co-founder of KYAN Therapeutics, Biotic Labs and RAEN Biotech (Stealth). And serves on the advisory boards of Q Ventures (An early stage VC fund comprised of leading tech investors and designers who have worked with Fitbit since inception, Nomiku, etc.), Bikanta (Y-Combinator), and Sintact Medical Systems. He is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), which recognizes the top 2% of bioengineers in the field, and the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening. He is a frequent speaker at technology and innovation events, including the FuturizeX/XPRIZE Future of Medicine forum, and Innovfest Unbound, among others. In addition, Dr. Ho has previously served as a lecturer/instructor to senior pharmaceutical and medical device company leadership as part of the executive education programs at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

Beth Hyatt, MBA

Oncology Project Manager Sales Strategist: Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Diagnostics | HPC Medical Industry Specialists

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Business Plan Formation, Product Development

Beth is a passionate and driven professional that thrives in an entrepreneurial environment especially with an innovative company that benefits from her unique blend of sales and leadership experience in Oncology (pharmaceutical, medical device, and molecular diagnostic). She successfully combines her stellar business acumen, entrepreneurial focus, tenacity, scientific training, and strategic approach to business to lead a competitive team and impact the business.

Specialties: sales professional, sales management, sales training, business development, business strategy, oncology, pharmaceutical, molecular diagnostics, oncology diagnostics, gene expression testing (KRAS, ERCC1, EGFR, VEGF), customer relations, customer service, leadership, investor relations, market planning, marketing, meeting facilitation, negotiation, presentation skills, pricing, protocols, research, sales, strategic planning, launch strategies

Alice Jacobs, MD


Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Medical Information, Product Development, Early Prototyping, Business Plan Formation

Alice Jacobs, M.D. is a Harvard-trained physician entrepreneur, advisor and investor who is focused on expanding the ecosystem for healthcare businesses (med tech, digital health and life sciences) to excel in Los Angeles. She is doing this in partnership with BioLabs and BioInnovation Capital. Dr. Jacobs has served as an advisor to Third Rock Ventures/MIT/Bob Langer, GE Healthcare Ventures, Greybird Ventures and Essex Management. Advisory/investor roles include genomics, liquid biopsy and other precision medicine technologies, digital health/healthcare IT, microbiome, drug discovery/development platforms, gene editing, wearables/sensor technologies as well as synthetic biology/industrial biotechnology. This includes a platform technology in the top 10 recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on the cancer moonshot to speed progress in cancer. While still a student at Harvard Medical School and after losing a patient from a staph infection, Dr. Jacobs co-founded IMDx. At IMDx, under her leadership, the company achieved clearance of six FDA products including a complex instrument system, enabled launches of products on 5 continents, prior to exit in 2015. Dr. Jacobs is the holder of over a dozen patents and has been recognized by Scientific American as one of the top 50 innovators. She holds a BA in Art History, a BS in Biological Sciences from Stanford with Honors in Developmental Neurobiology and an MD from Harvard Medical School.

Aaron Keefe, MS

Investment Associate

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Medical Information, Business Plan Formation

Aaron Keefe majored in Economics at Duke, where he created his first invention and business plan for a robotic pool cleaner, the Pool Boy. After the success of that project, Aaron obtained a Masters in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in Neuroengineering, at UCLA in 2011, during which time he won the Tech Coast Angels Mentorship Competition, sponsored by UCLA Anderson School of Business, for a handheld breast cancer imaging device, invented by LA-based IntraMedical Imaging. He spent the next five years in strategic consulting for healthcare and on the corporate side, in Marketing Strategy at a Fortune 500 health insurer. Aaron also took 2nd place with four others in the 2014 UCLA Inventathon. He recently joined a rapidly growing LA-based venture capital firm as Investment Associate. Aaron is passionate about promoting creative expression and progress through technology and the arts.

Irina Kukuyeva, PhD

Founder and Data Science Consultant | Kukuyeva Consulting

Data Science Consultant | Slalom Consulting

Areas of Expertise: A.I. or Algorithm Engineering, Brainstorming, Early Prototyping, Medical Information

Irina Kukuyeva Ph.D. is a Data Science Consultant at Slalom. She has been a Data Scientist for over 10 years, developing production-ready predictive models for start-ups as well as mid- and large- sized companies in areas of healthcare, IoT, finance, fashion, market research and online advertising, coding in Python and R.

Dr. Kukuyeva consulted for the Department of Critical Care Medicine of Children's Hospital Los Angeles for 2 years.  During her tenure, she collaborated on non-pharmaceutical clinical trials, publishing findings in the Critical Care Journal.  Dr. Kukuyeva also invented a novel approach to analyzing unequally-spaced, age-dependent patient medical record information with missing lab results (if labs were not ordered), allowing each patient to act as their own physiological benchmark; the work was presented at the MUCMD conference (now MLHC) in 2015.  She also published a new diagnostic approach for validating statistical models with binary outcomes and repeated observations among patients.

Dr. Kukuyeva holds a doctorate degree in Statistics from UCLA, where, as a NASA Graduate Student Researcher, she developed a novel image compression algorithm for analyzing Hubble Space Telescope's images of Jupiter.  In her spare time, she enjoys mentoring and teaching.

Arye Lipman

Biotech Consultant

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Product Development, Business Plan Formation

Arye is a life sciences research professional with experience managing and growing early stage companies. He has a technical background in personalized medicine, molecular diagnostics, synthetic biology, and imaging. His business expertise lies in strategic partnerships and commercialization of academic IP. Arye is currently an independent consultant, focused on market analysis, technology road-mapping, and fundraising for early-stage biotech and medtech startups, including digital health programs. He is also an alliances director at Imec Belgium, an innovation institute developing next generation hardware solutions in medicine and consumer health. Prior to this work, he managed technical communications for pharmaceutical and biotech companies at InVentiv Health, and was an early employee of ImaginAb, a UCLA spin-out, focused on antibody based imaging agents for therapy management in immuno-oncology. At UCLA, his research focused on genetic analysis of lymphoma and drug development. He also serves as a board member and advisor for biotech accelerator programs in the Los Angeles area, and is a member of several trade groups working on bringing bio-innovation to Southern California. Arye holds a B.S. in Biology and French from UCLA with an emphasis on Molecular Biology and Oncology.

Nardo Manaloto

Chief Executive Officer | Catalaize

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Medical Information, Product Development, Early Prototyping, Business Plan Formation, Healthcare Administration, A.I./Algorithm Engineering

Nardo Manaloto is an out-of-the-box healthcare executive with 25 years of management and consulting experience in solving healthcare challenges utilizing innovation, user centered design, and enterprise architecture. A strategic thought leader in solution concepts, systems analysis, product architecture, hybrid value chains, and applied innovations to solve significant problems using current and leading edge technologies. Nardo’s expertise is in platform, ecosystem, and product full cycle development to solve challenging and complex systemic issues in healthcare.

Nardo has worked in many healthcare areas including health plans, providers, patients, and community points of view. Nardo headed up Kaiser Permanente’s Innovation, Solution Design and System Transition groups and has applied full innovation life cycle to scale solutions on enterprise level.

Nardo has also worked with technology startups including roles as Chief Product Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, and Chief Technology Officer with companies that utilize artificial intelligence algorithms and capabilities.

He has won several healthcare innovation awards for solutions spanning the areas of artificial intelligence, secure messaging, communication and social collaboration, mobile applications, and virtual care.

Specialties Include: Artificial intelligence, intelligent virtual agents / avatars, machine learning, computer vision, emotion sensing, virtual / augmented reality, solution architecture, solution design, edge computing, internet of things, applied technologies, applied innovations, business architecture, healthcare product development, strategic solutions planning, systems analysis and design, rapid application prototyping, solution concepts, solution formation, solution execution, user experience, user interface, user centered design, experiential design, interaction design, business model innovation, hybrid value chains, social entrepreneurship, corporate innovation life cycle.

Keith Matthews, PhD

Founder | Navibots

Software Developer

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Early Prototyping, Product Development, Other Engineering (Software Development, Open Source Tools, etc. Please specify in your bio.)

Physicist involved in the 2015 discovery of gravitational waves by LIGO.  C++ programmer with extensive experience in the simulation of physical systems.  Extensive bench physics background including electronics prototyping, software development, robotics, control systems engineering, etc.


Shyam Natarajan, PhD

Assistant Professor | UCLA Department of Urology

Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology

Co-Founder | Inventathon

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Medical Information, Product Development, Early Prototyping

Shyam Natarajan, PhD is Assistant Adjunct Professor in the UCLA Department of Urology. He is also a member of the Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT), which supports the engineering development and clinical translation of diagnostic imaging technologies and image-guided surgical devices. He co-founded UCLA Innovation week in 2012 and Inventathon in 2013.

Dr. Natarajan's research group investigates image-guided interventions, MR/ultrasound fusion, and machine learning applications in medicine. He earned his Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from UCLA, and completed his postdoctoral work within the Department of Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine.

Shannon O'Kelley

Chief Operating Officer | UCLA Health

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Medical Information, Product Development, Early Prototyping, Business Plan Formation

10 years at UCLA, 7 at New York Presbyterian, and 10 years at Johns Hopkins.

Helped develop first international tele robotic system between Johns Hopkins

Hospital in Baltimore and Bangkok General Hospital in Thailand. 1994

Interested in supporting disruptive processes and technology that improves access, quality, and the patient experience. Currently facilitating the first partnership with IDEO (a human centered design company) and UCLA focusing on the definition of Kindness in patient care.

Interested in supporting and creating paths for entrepreneurial opportunities for UCLA discoveries.

Interested and currently developing technologies that support real-time decision making for challenges facing all operational aspects of hospital management; leveraging clinical and non-clinical data in support of a 24 hour UCLA Command Center.

Shaina Oake, MS

Principal | UCLA Technology Development Group

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Business Plan Formation

Shaina Oake is a Principal in the New Ventures group at the UCLA Technology Development Group. New Ventures supports entrepreneurial faculty members and existing startup companies out of UCLA. Shaina was actively involved with UCLA's $1.14 B monetization of the Xtandi royalty stream. Previously, Shaina was with ClearView Healthcare Partners, a boutique life science consulting firm based in Boston. While at ClearView, Shaina conducted a range of projects for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including market opportunity assessments and advising on both internal asset development and external acquisitions. Prior to ClearView, she was a Fellow at the Center for Technology Transfer and a Research Specialist in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. Shaina holds an MSE in Bioengineering and a BSE in Materials Science and Engineering, both from the University of Pennsylvania.

Kouroush Parsapour, MD, MBA

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer | personalRN

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Business Plan Formation, Clinical Medicine, Design, Early Prototyping, Healthcare administration, Medical Information, Product Development

I’m the co-founder & CEO of personalRN, a digital health startup providing disease-specific inpatient education that is personalized to the needs of patients and their caregivers.  I’ve obtained 15+ years of clinical experience in pediatrics, emergency medicine and critical care. My background in technology-enabled healthcare solutions started with my first faculty appointment at UC Davis in 2005.  Since then, I’ve worked with clinicians, administrators and health policy makers to support the use and advancement of telehealth.  In 2007, my research and experience culminated into my first startup, Telepeds, a private telemedicine company providing pediatric emergency and critical care to medical facilities without access to specialized care.  A year later, Specialists on Call (SOC), the leading provider of tele-stroke services, acquired Telepeds.  After the exit, I stayed on as Medical Director of Pediatrics for SOC, and subsequently obtained Healthcare Executive MBA from UC Irvine.  I’m very passionate about digital health and the use of innovative but relevant technology to improve the quality and accessibility to affordable healthcare.

Michael Pfeffer, MD, FACP

Chief Information Officer | UCLA Health

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine | UCLA Health

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Medical Information, Product Development

Michael Pfeffer, MD, FACP serves as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the UCLA Health Sciences, which is comprised of the UCLA Hospital System, the UCLA Faculty Practice Group, and the David Geffen School of Medicine. Michael is responsible for the development and operations of the enterprise information systems, the overall health IT strategic plan, central data and analytics platforms, clinical informatics, and the implementation of transformative and innovative technologies to further UCLA Health’s mission of healing humankind one patient at a time. Michael was the lead physician as UCLA Health’s Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) for the “big-bang” implementation of the enterprise electronic health record encompassing over 20,000 users.

Michael is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine with a focus Hospital Medicine, supervising residents and medical students in the acute care of patients. He also serves as an Associate Program Director for the new Clinical Informatics Fellowship at UCLA and as a mentor in the Resident Informaticist program. Michael has lectured around the world on clinical informatics with a focus on electronic health records and their impact on organizations and patients.

Michael graduated from Brown University with a degree in chemical engineering. He received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical School and completed his residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA.

Robert Plush

Customer Program Manager, US | Blue Belt Technologies

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Business Plan Formation, Healthcare administration

I have spent my career commercializing technologies. Currently I direct US market development for Blue Belt Technologies, with the responsibility for the US sales of our knee implant business. Blue Belt was recently acquired by Smith and Nephew for 275 million dollars. Previously I worked for MAKO Surgical, which was acquired by Stryker for 1.65 billion dollars, directing the sales of our knee and hip business at all new accounts in the Western US.

I have spent years consulting with many start-up and emerging companies advising them on strategies for building their companies and commercializing their technology. Along with companies I have advised varies tech transfer and Innovation Institutes including the Business of Science Center at UCLA, the Coulter Foundation at USC and the Center for Innovation at CHLA.  I am also currently partnering with a colleague on a project in the medical device space related to 3D technology. Over the years I have learned how to identify the winners and focus on the companies that have long term promise. I am passionate about working with innovators and helping them reach their goals. I have a degree in Biomedical Engineering from USC.

Calvin Portley Jr., MBA

Managing Partner | Avon Growth Management

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Business Plan Formation, Commercialization Prospects

Calvin has spent over 15 years in sales, marketing, and business development. Currently, Calvin is the President and Managing Partner at Avon Growth Management, a lower middle market private equity search fund.  Prior to Avon Growth Management, he led digital marketing and marketing operations for Doctor On Demand’s enterprise business. In this role he devised and implemented a new sales and marketing alignment strategy for an increased market presence and more disciplined customer funnel management, resulting in greater customer lifetime value to the company. Prior to Doctor On Demand, Calvin managed the $80M distribution channel and partner marketing business for Beckman Coulter, a division of Danaher Corp. Before attending UCLA Anderson, Calvin spent 6 years in sales and sales training for Alcon Laboratories, a division of Novartis. Prior to which, he spent 4 years as a sales representative for Kraft Foods where he was responsible for large accounts including Albertsons and Walmart in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas. He earned a Bachelors degree in marketing from the University of Texas, Arlington where he was also an All Conference track and field athlete, and received his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.


Alan Priester, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scholar | UCLA

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Early Prototyping

I recently graduated with my PhD in Biomedical Engineering from UCLA, and now work as a postdoctoral researcher for the Department of Urology. During my graduate studies I specialized in correlating medical imaging with pathology for prostate cancer. These results were used to help define margins for focal treatment of prostate cancer. Our research group performed 18 cases of focal focal laser ablation, the latter half of which was done under real-time ultrasound guidance—a method never before attempted in the United States. For these focal laser ablation cases I helped design equipment, perform surgical planning, formulate treatment protocols, monitor temperatures during laser application, and estimate tissue damage. As a postdoctoral researcher, I am still working to improve image characterization and develop devices for focal treatment of prostate cancer.

Ramin Ramezani, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor | UCLA Department of Computer Science

Director | Health Innovation Board, UCLA School of Medicine

Co-Founder | InVista Health

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Product Development, Early Prototyping

Dr. Ramin Ramezani is an adjunct assistant professor of computer science and managing technical director within Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), David Geffen School of Medicine. He is a Co-Founder of InVista Health, a healthcare tech company with a mission to better understand and assess the well-being of geriatric population. He received his PhD from Imperial College London with focus on automatic reformulation of AI problems and combined reasoning. His current research entails employing various engineering techniques to tackle problems that arise in the medical domain, primarily personal health and early disease detection tendencies.

Fabien Scalzo, PhD

Assistant Professor | UCLA Department of Neurology

Assistant Professor | UCLA Department of Computer Science

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming

Prof. Fabien Scalzo is currently conducting research as an Assistant Professor in residence at UCLA with a double affiliation in Neurology and Computer Science. Initially trained in pattern recognition and machine learning during his doctorate studies, his field of expertise was expanded thanks to a postdoctoral training in neurology and neurosurgery. As associate director of the neurovascular imaging research core (NIRC), he specializes in building computational models for neuroimaging and neurocritical care. His lab has developed noninvasive techniques for estimation of intracranial pressure (ICP) from transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasound, prediction of intracranial hypertension in traumatic brain injuries (TBI). His studies are based on systems to track, and to exploit the morphology of the ICP waveform to improve the understanding and treatment of various pathophysiologies related to TBI. He has also developed perfusion angiography (PerfAngio); a software that allows the extraction of quantitative blood flow parameters from routine angiograms acquired during treatment of acute ischemic stroke. His most recent works has targeted the development of automatic predictive models of brain tissue fate in ischemic stroke based on MRI using advanced machine learning techniques such as Deep Learning. His research is currently supported by the American heart association (AHA), society of vascular and interventional neurology (SVIN), and a Spitzer grant.

Alex Shen, PhD

Senior Product Development Engineer | Freudenberg Medical

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Product Development, Early Prototyping, Business Plan Formation

Alex Shen is the Senior Product Development Engineer, New Product Development Lead for InHealth Technologies, a division of Freudenberg Medical. He is responsible for leading engineering activities associated with the design, development, and launch of new products in the ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgery (ENT/HNS) market segments.

Alex received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (Microelectromechanical Systems/Nanotechnology), as well as his M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. His doctoral thesis focused on the development of neuromorphic devices and circuits. He was a co-founder of Spinal Singularity, a startup company developing medical devices to improve the quality of life for people suffering from spinal cord injury and disease. Alex has also worked at the UCLA Business of Science Center, working to develop university discoveries into problem-solving commercial products.

Kalyanam Shivkumar, MD, PhD

Professor | UCLA Radiology & Bioengineering

Director | UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center and EP Programs

Director and Chief | Interventional Cardiovascular Programs, UCLA Health

Dr. Shivkumar received his medical degree from the University of Madras, India in 1991 and his PhD from UCLA in 2000. He completed his cardiology fellowship training at the University of California, Los Angeles, and upon completion of his training joined the faculty at University of Iowa, where he also served as the Associate Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology.

In 2002, he was recruited back to UCLA to direct the newly created UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His field of specialization is interventional cardiac electrophysiology and he heads a group at UCLA that is involved in developing innovative techniques for the non-pharmacological management of cardiac arrhythmias.

He is currently Professor of Medicine and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Radiology at UCLA.

Dr. Shivkumar is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in the subspecialties of Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology.

He holds memberships in several professional organizations, including the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and the Heart Rhythm Society.

Aleidy Silva, PhD

Applications Scientist | Tecan

Member | Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening Editorial Board

Technical Advisor | KYAN Therapeutics

Areas of Expertise: A.I. or Algorithm Engineering, Brainstorming, Product Development

Aleidy Silva currently serves as an Applications Scientist at Tecan. Aleidy is also the co-founder and Technology Advisor of a biotech company and a member of the Journal of Laboratory (JALA) Editorial Board.  Previously she was a MedTech Innovation Fellow at the UCLA Business of Science Center. During her Ph.D. studies she conducted interdisciplinary research in bio-complex systems, optimization of multi-drug therapies, and personalized Medicine. She obtained her Ph.D and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico. Her interests include automation in life sciences and clinical applications, technology transfer and entrepreneurial ventures.

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Patrick Sislian, PhD

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer | Deton Corp

Member | UCLA VC Fund - Life Sciences Investment Committee

MedTech Innovator

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Business Plan Formation, Early Prototyping, Product Development

Dr. Patrick Sislian is the CEO of Deton. He grew the team from engineering co-founders to a management team that includes the key business and clinical domain experience needed to successfully commercialize Deton’s solutions. He has also established multiple partnerships including those with the University of California, San Diego, Global Good, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and other commercial entities. Patrick also serves as a member of the Investment Committee at the UCLA Venture Capital Fund where he evaluates early stage life science companies. 

Prior to Deton, Patrick was a Senior Process Engineer at Intel Corporation where he supported fab operations for immersion lithography. During his graduate studies, Patrick started the Technical Entrepreneur Community (TEC) to encourage engineers to commercialize their research. Patrick has authored three peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on two patents. 

B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from UCLA
Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UCLA

Sue Tan, MSc

Partner and Chief Creative Officer | The MO Studio

Design Thinking Educator - Independent Consulting

Areas of Expertise: Human Factors Research, Design, Brainstorming, Early Prototyping, Product Development

Sue Tan is a seasoned design thinker and innovation consultant, having worked 7 years at IDEO as a senior design strategist, human factors researcher and project leader. She has worked across industries and organizations as diverse as Cisco, PayPal, Nike, NBA, Marriott, Medtronic, Toyota and the Singapore Government, to design more human-centered product, services, interactions and brand experiences.

Her passion lies at the intersection of people, business, design and technology and translating people’s needs and behaviors into meaningful and smart solutions across start-up, corporate and institutional contexts. She holds an MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NTU, Singapore) and BFA in Industrial Design (UW). She is currently a partner and Chief Creative Officer of the Los Angeles based design and innovation strategy consultancy MO Studio.

Aditya Vasan, MS

Process Development Engineer | St. Jude Medical

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Product Development

Aditya Vasan is currently a mechanical engineer at St. Jude Medical's(now Abbott) Advanced Process Development Group, based in Los Angeles. His current role involves designing components and developing novel manufacturing process for implantable cardiac devices. He holds a Masters in mechanical engineering from UCLA. In his free time, Aditya enjoys climbing and running.

Christina Vorvis, PhD

Licensing Associate, Business Development | Amgen

Co-Founder | UCLA Inventathon

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Product Development, Early Prototyping, Business Plan Formation

Christina Vorvis is a Licensing Associate in Business Development at Amgen. Prior to joining Amgen, Christina earned her PhD at UCLA in Oncology, where she utilized transcriptomic and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies to identify novel mechanisms in pancreatic cancer. During her career at UCLA, Christina led new initiatives at the UCLA Business of Science Center (BSC), including Advancing Women in Science (AWiSE) and the Inventathon, a 24-hour healthcare hackathon. In addition to her contributions at the BSC, Christina established a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program at UCLA tailored for high school students coming from low-income communities with the objective to inspire students to pursue higher education in STEM-related fields. Before graduating from UCLA, Christina interned as a Technology Transfer Fellow at UCLA’s Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research, where she focused on marketing life science innovation.


Leah Vriesman, MBA, MHA, PhD

Director | UCLA Executive Programs in Health Policy & Management

Associate Professor | UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

President and Founder | Excel Research, LLC

Areas of Expertise: Brainstorming, Medical Information, Business Plan Formation

Leah Vriesman is Director of Executive Education Programs in Health Policy & Management and is on faculty in UCLA’s School of Public Health in the Department of Health Services. She teaches Strategic Management of Health Service Organizations, Healthcare Marketing, International Comparative Health Systems, and occasionally Healthcare Financial Management.

Dr. Vriesman is also an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado–Denver, teaching Pharmaceutical Marketing Management, and an experienced distance learning faculty member for Strategic and Operational Healthcare Excellence and also Health Communication Techniques.

As a 2010-2011 U.S. Fulbright grant recipient and German Scholar Exchange award winner, Dr. Vriesman spent a year in Neu Ulm, Bavaria. She was at the University of Applied Sciences teaching International Healthcare Management and Strategic Marketing to German physicians studying for their Healthcare MBA.  She's traveled as a lecturer to Mzumbe University in Tanzania twice to bring these same topics to East African physicians studying for their MBA.

While conducting original research in Germany on personal health records, medical travel, and e-Health using internet acceptance and connectivity, she also examined the failed implementation of the German health card (Gesundheitskarte) that would have provided all 87 million citizens with a personal electronic medical record to be presented at time of service delivery at all physician and hospital locations.

Dr. Vriesman is also President and Founder of Excel Research, LLC, a healthcare management and policy consulting firm. Specializing in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, Excel Research primarily conducts executive leadership, strategic analysis, and market trend projections. Prior to founding Excel Research, Dr. Vriesman was Senior Director of North American Business Development within the Medical Technology Practice at The Lewin Group, an international health policy and research corporation, and subsidiary of Quintiles Transnational.

She was UCLA's Co-Principal Investigator on the National Center for Healthcare Leadership's research studying the relationship between graduate health management curriculums with educational outstanding new leaders in the field. Her other particular areas of career interest are comparative merger & acquisition theory between the public and private sectors and pharm-biotech market strategies.

Dr. Vriesman received her PhD in Health Services Research from UCLA and her MHA and MBA in Strategy from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis.

Michael Weinstein, PhD

Scientist | UCLA

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Medical Information, Product Development

I am trained in both molecular biology/genetics and computer programming. My interests are extremely diverse.

John Weiser

President Distribution U.S. | Sony Pictures Television

John Weiser serves as president, U.S. distribution for Sony Pictures Television (SPT). He oversees all domestic sales operations for SPT, including sales of feature films produced by Sony Pictures, first-run and off-network syndicated programs and Sony Pictures library titles to U.S. broadcast networks, cable networks and television station groups along with SVOD, AVOD and domestic pay television.

Weiser also manages the personnel and operations of four regional offices located in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.

Weiser served on the board of directors of the Television Bureau of Advertising from 2004-2012. In 2006, he served on the board for the Broadcaster's Foundation charity event. From 2003-2006, Weiser was the co-chairman of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), and from 2003-2005, he served on the fundraising steering committee board for the Cedars-Sinai Prostate Cancer Center. Weiser also served on the board of the Southern California chapter of UNICEF.

Weiser currently serves on the board of Props for Tots. For the past two years, he has served as co-Executive sponsor for SPE’s Emerging Professionals as well as a committee member for the SPE Council for Inclusion.

Sajjad Yacoob, MD

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs | USC Keck School of Medicine

Assistant Professor | USC Pediatrics

Areas of Expertise: Design, Brainstorming, Medical Information

Science in biology from UCLA where he graduated cum laude with departmental highest honors in 1985. He went to the East Coast when he was accepted to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx New York in 1987. He graduated from there in 1991 with his medical degree. He came back to LA where he completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles from 1991 to 1994. He subsequently was chosen as one of the 2 CHLA chief residents in 1994-1995. He continued his work at CHLA as an attending physician in the division of General Pediatrics starting in 1995. He has ward attending responsibility is on inpatients and maintains an active outpatient practice at the AltaMed Health Services clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Yacoob was the pediatrics clerkship for the Keck school of Medicine of USC from 1997 to 2012. Since July 2011 he has served as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at the USC Keck School of Medicine where his duties include career guidance and student counseling. He is actively involved in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ pediatric residency program, RN residency education, and hospital wide patient safety and quality initiatives. Dr. Yacoob is actively involved with and sits on numerous hospital and medical staff committees. He chairs the hospital’s Medical Records Committee and the Clinical Information Technology Portfolio Committee. His interests include child safety, medical informatics, medical education and quality improvement/patient safety/patient satisfaction.

He has been recognized for his involvement in education, teaching and clinical care with numerous awards including:

  • Four-time recipient of the Philip E Rothman Memorial teaching award at CHLA
  • Four-time recipient of the USC Keck school of medicine teaching award
  • The 1st recipient of the Barbara Korsch excellence in medical education award (CHLA)
  • Two time CHLA Humanism award nominee
  • Recipient of the national Arnold P Gold humanism in medicine award (Keck school of medicine)
  • Recipient of the Pasadena top doctors award 2010 and 2013
  • Recipient of the esteemed distinction of master teacher at the Keck school of medicine 2001
  • 2012 Provost prize-teaching with technology - University of Southern California
  • 2014 Adjunct Professor of the Year – Sol Price School of Public Policy, MHA Program, University of Southern California

Dr. Yacoob has been the chief medical information officer at CHLA since 2007. He was the physician champion for the KIDS (Knowledge, Information and Decision Support) clinical information system at CHLA. His involvement as physician champion for the KIDS system, a comprehensive electronic medical record, included visioning and design of the system as well as facilitating house wide adoption. He was instrumental in the implementation of KIDS in 2004 and continued as a vital champion by improving and enhancing its use in clinical care. He guided the hospitals EMR to a HIMSS level stage 6 for both acute and ambulatory. He also headed up the hospitals effort to expand EMR into the amatory clinics as he co-chaired the CHLA ambulatory EHR committee and has successfully guided the team’s full implementation of the ambulatory EMR record.

Dr. Yacoob was recently named as Assistant Dean for Innovation and Technology and is currently heading up the Keck School of Medicine’s effort to improve the quality of medical education by establishing the Center for Innovation in Medical Education and Technology He has been an invited speaker nationally and internationally on the topics of information technology, patient safety and quality care, physician adoption, medical education, and future visioning of digital technology in healthcare