Members of the Leadership Committee are elected by their peers (fellow Biodesign Alumni) to lead the organization and support its mission. (Updated 9/2015)
- Andy McGibbon (President)
- Holly Rockweiler (Secretary)
- Kathryn Olson (Treasurer)
- Nick Damiano
- Ross Venook
- Emma Essock-Burns
- Justin Huelman
- Elise M. DeVries
- Andrew Ganton
- Amanda Britt French
- Shaili Sharma
- Janene Fuerch (Hogan)
- Craig Stauffer
- Brandon Felkins (2015-2017)
- Kenneth Wu (2013-2015)
- Jessica Hudak (2011-2013)
- Evan Anderson (2009-2011)
Andy McGibbon (2014-2015 Grube Fellow) completed his fellowship in 2015 and is continuing his fellowship team’s work on developing a digital health solution to improve outcomes for knee replacement patients that also reduces costs throughout the episode of care.
Andy entered the Biodesign fellowship after working in both engineering and life science strategy roles. While working with Capgemini Consulting’s Life Sciences practice he supported biotech and medical device companies as they adapted to new market realities, including product commoditization and large-scale transformation. In engineering-oriented roles he has experience with medical device development across the areas of oncology, gynecology, and ophthalmology where he optimized product design and manufacturing processes, characterized device features, and supported pre-clinical and clinical studies. Andy was drawn to Biodesign by the comprehensive, end-to-end perspective of medical device development from need finding all the way to commercialization and a desire to more directly feel his impact on patient care.
Andy holds a M.Sc. in Technology and Innovation Management from ETH Zurich and a B.S. in Materials Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Beyond medical devices, Andy can usually be found outside – golfing, playing sand volleyball, or fly fishing.
Holly Rockweiler (Secretary), 2013-2014 Khosravi Fellow, completed her fellowship year in 2014 and is currently moving her women’s health Biodesign project forward into early clinical trials post-fellowship.
Prior to her fellowship, Holly worked as a Senior Research Scientist in the Cardiac Rhythm Management division of Boston Scientific. With Boston, one of her major career achievements was the development of a new sensing algorithm for cardiac resynchronization therapy. Through implementation of an international clinical study, Holly designed a closed-loop, automated detection algorithm and software application to enable more efficient care for patients living with heart failure.
Holly also conducted a wide range of preclinical studies during her time with Boston Scientific, ranging from grant-funded proof-of-concept research to late-stage product design evaluation. Her work has led to four patents (eleven pending) assigned to Boston Scientific. Holly holds a M.S. and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, where she focused on bioelectricity.
Kathryn Olson (Treasurer), 2013-2014 Lucile Packard Fellow, is currently working in new product research at Acclarent to improve Ear, Nose and Throat surgery. Prior to joining Biodesign, Kathryn co-founded Windrose Medical, a startup commercializing devices to reduce the high failure rates of ventricular catheters for cerebrospinal fluid drainage. A co-inventor of Windrose’s technology, Kathryn led device development from concept to a market ready product. Before co-founding Windrose, Kathryn served as Business Development Director at BIT MedTech, an international contract design and manufacturing company, where she built product development partnerships with IVD and medical device companies.
Kathryn began her career designing minimally invasive surgical instruments and implants for spinal fusion at medical device startups Kinetic Surgical (now CareFusion) and Spinal Elements. Between earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in bioengineering at UC San Diego, Kathryn worked in Germany on a team to generate and assess opportunities in the consumer health market for optics company Carl Zeiss, sparking her interest in medtech marketing and commercialization.
In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys the great outdoors (kayaking, running and hiking), followed by food and wine (sparkling preferred).
Nick Damiano (2013-14 Lucile Packard Fellow) is an engineer and entrepreneur with broad experience in startup operations, medical device R&D, software development, and mobile health. He is currently Co-Founder & CEO of Zenflow, which is developing a device that will permanently relieve urinary obstruction related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in a simple, office-based procedure that uses a flexible cystoscope to optimize patient comfort.
Before Zenflow, he co-founded Nurep, a company aiming to transform surgical support. Nurep allows medical device representatives to support operating room cases remotely via a mobile device. At Nurep, Nick led the technical development effort to bring the company’s product to market and also played key roles in strategy, sales, and fundraising.
Nick also spent four years as a Research Engineer at EBR Systems developing a paradigm-shifting leadless cardiac pacing system. In this role, he designed and implemented several key algorithms critical to the functionality of the device.
Nick grew up on the east coast and earned his M.S. and B.S. with Distinction in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University. At Stanford, his coursework spanned bioengineering, computer science, mathematical modeling, robotics, and high-tech entrepreneurship. Outside of work, Nick enjoys competitive distance running and homebrewing.
Ross Venook (2006-07 Jos Henkens Memorial Fellow in Electrophysiology) enjoys the unique challenges and constraints offered by biomedical engineering projects, and he delights in the opportunity for collaborative teaching and learning in a problem-solving environment. He is currently getting to do this every day in his dual role as a Lecturer in the Bioengineering department at Stanford and as Supervisor of the Biodesign Collaboratory.
Following his Biodesign fellowship, Ross founded the Boston Scientific Neuromodulation team in MRI safety, where he built a laboratory and team to understand and address interactions between active implantable medical devices and MRI systems. The team has achieved multiple regulatory approvals, and Ross has worked across the MRI safety community to create and improve international standards for MRI safety testing. Ross is still engaged with Boston Scientific as an R&D Fellow, where he supports the MRI safety programs.
Before Biodesign, Ross received BS, MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2000, 2002, and 2006, respectively. His graduate research included design and characterization of various hardware methods in MRI, ranging from RF coils and electronics, to imaging near metal with Prepolarized MRI, to monitoring and improving patient safety during interventional MRI procedures.
Brandon Felkins (President) was born and raised in Ventura, California. While pursuing a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, he first learned about the medical device industry during an internship with Abbott Vascular, working with self-expanding peripheral stents.
After completing his degree, he moved to San Diego and took a position as an R&D engineer at REVA Medical where he worked within a team to develop a bio-resorbable drug eluting coronary stent. After two years at REVA, Brandon moved up to Bay Area and took a Product Development position at TDC Medical, a newly formed service provider to the medical device industry focused on the early stage development of novel medical devices.
During his time at TDC Medical, Brandon has provided technical and engineering support to numerous companies in multiple clinical areas including cardiology, spine, orthopedics, neurology, and endoscopy. He has led teams of engineers, designers and technicians to drive development of novel and unique medical devices including several interventional cardiology device delivery systems and endoscopic instruments for emerging procedures.
The opportunity to have worked with so many diverse and novel products fueled Brandon’s entrepreneurial spirit and in 2010 Brandon left TDC to join the Biodesign Innovation Fellowoship at Stanford, where he spent the next 10 months focusing on medical device innovation in the field of Ophthalmology.
Brandon is currently serving as Chief Operating Officer at Ocular Dynamics, a biodesign spin-out which he co-founded in 2011. Ocular Dynamics is now a venture backed startup focused on developing the next generation contact lens technologies and is based in Menlo Park, Ca.
When he is not developing medical devices, he can be found sweating in the Crossfit gym, riding waves in Half Moon Bay and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu submissions.
Kenneth Wu is currently working as an R&D Program Manager at Spiracur Inc., a company focused on wound healing therapies. His efforts are focused on new product development and project management at all stages from concept development to market release. Kenneth is also responsible for managing and growing the company’s intellectual property portfolio.
Before joining Spiracur, Kenneth worked on technologies that have been licensed from Stanford University into two early stage medical device companies. He led a key experimental animal study to evaluate a scar-reduction technology now being developed by Neodyne Inc. In addition, he co-founded a company out of the Biodesign Program focused on women’s health and epidural anesthesia delivery called InSite Medical Technologies.
In June of 2007, Kenneth graduated from the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellowship Program. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Ph.D. minor in Materials Science & Engineering from Stanford University in 2006, his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2001, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with Certificates in Engineering Physics and Materials Science from Princeton University in 2000.
Jessica Hudak (President, 2011-2013) is Founder and President of Hudak Group, a patent strategy consulting group that specializes in working with early stage life science companies to develop significant intellectual property portfolios that increase valuations and lock in the long-term success of these companies and their technologies. Prior to founding Hudak Group, Jessica served as Sr. Intellectual Property Manager for Baxano, Inc. (acquired by TranS1, Inc.) from 2008 to 2012. Prior to moving in house, Jessica worked as a patent agent for ShayGlenn LLP where her practice focused on medical device technology in multiple clinical areas for early stage startup companies. Jessica was also Schox Patent Group’s Sr. Patent Agent from 2004 to 2008, also specializing in medical devices. In September of 2006, Jessica graduated from the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellowship Program. During her time as a fellow, Jessica reached a deep understanding of multiple clinical areas including obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, laparoscopic surgery, heart failure, and emphysema. Jessica and her team filed three patents, received an NCIIA Advanced E-Team grant, won second place in the Stanford Business Plan competition, and were semi-finalists for the USF and the MIT 100K.
Jessica currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Biodesign Alumni Association and was its President from 2011 to 2013. Jessica is a member of the core organizing committee for MedTech Women and the MedTech Vision Conference. Jessica received her M.S. in Biomechanical Engineering from Stanford University and her B.S. (Magna Cum Laude) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. As a mechanical engineer, Jessica interned for the IDEO Health Practice in 2006, Ethicon Endo-Surgery in 2004, and for Stryker Instruments in 2003.
Evan Anderson (President, 2009-2011) received his BS in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Material Science and a minor in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University in 1998. While pursuing his MS degree in Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, Evan performed research on the mechanics of heart valves at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. As an R&D engineer at Guidant Corporation beginning in 2001, Evan worked on multiple projects in the minimally invasive cardiac surgery space. In 2004, Evan left to do research in medical device innovation at the Stanford Biodesign Program and to work as a Biomedical Engineer at the FDA in the Medical Device Fellowship Program. From September of 2005 until July of 2008 Evan led development at Boston Scientific of a minimally invasive valve product up through design freeze for first-in-man. After two years leading the development of the SNaP™ advanced wound dressing as R&D Manager at Spiracur, Evan transitioned over to direct sales and then managed distribution for Spiracur’s second product. He left Spiracur in May of 2013 to explore several early-stage medtech opportunities.