The Penn Health-Tech (PHT) Strategic Advisory Board is a group of health technology, entrepreneurial, and investment leaders who provide strategic direction and oversight to the PHT leadership team, enabling the center to advance research and technology development across campus
CEO & President, Cagent Vascular
Carol Burns is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience working in the cardiovascular sector. Ms. Burns is currently the CEO of Cagent Vascular, (Wayne, PA) which has developed a novel angioplasty balloon incorporating Serration Technology with co-founders Robert Giasolli and Dr. Peter Schneider. This co-founding team previously started Intact Vascular (acquired by Philips) where Ms. Burns served as the founding, CEO and raised $17M in capital to develop the Tack Endovascular System, a Nitinol implant in a multi-loaded catheter for treatment of peripheral artery disease. Prior to Intact Vascular, she was the first employee of another peripheral vascular company, Embrella Cardiovascular. Ms. Burns served as the Vice President of Product and Business Development which developed an embolic protection device for use in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedures (acquired by Edwards Lifesciences). Ms. Burns also worked at Animas Corporation (acquired by Johnson and Johnson) as the Sr. Director of International Sales and Marketing. She served as the Managing Director, Europe at Ventrica, Inc. (acquired by Medtronic) and held various management positions at Guidant Corporation working in the cardiac and vascular surgery division where she played a key role in the launch of the first US marketed endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm device and an endoscopic vessel harvesting product for coronary artery bypass surgery. Ms. Burns received her BSN degree from The College of New Jersey, in Ewing, New Jersey.
CEO & President, PACT
Dean serves as President and CEO of PACT (Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies), the largest resource in the Philadelphia region for investors and entrepreneurs. Dean also serves as Managing Director of the PCOM Primary Care Innovation Fund, a venture capital fund focused on healthcare innovations. Dean brings over 20 years of investment and community building expertise to PACT and the PCOM Fund.
Dean was previously Managing Director at Novitas Capital, a Safeguard-affiliated fund, where he focused on venture capital investments across healthcare and technology. Previously, Dean served as the Chief Financial Officer of Adaptiv Learning Systems, a venture-backed start-up company that was spun out of the University of Pennsylvania. Dean began his career at the Chubb Group, where he held a variety of senior management positions. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration and Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College and he graduated with distinction from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with an MBA in Private Equity.
Gwendolyn A. Watanabe
Corporate Vice President, Corporate Development, Strategy & Strategic Partnerships, Teleflex
Gwen has led the Teleflex Corporate Development & Strategy team since 2013, specifically on strategic mergers & acquisitions. She also leads global strategic relationships for Teleflex. From July 2012 to July 2013, Gwen served as Vice President of the Hotspur line of business for Teleflex’s Cardiac Care Division.
Gwen joined Teleflex in July 2012 as a result of Teleflex’s acquisition of Hotspur Technologies, Inc. She served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hotspur since 2009. Prior to this, she also served as a founding team member at Nellix Endovascular, Bacchus Vascular and AneuRx, all three of which were medical device start-up companies that were acquired. In addition, Gwen has been general partner of three venture funds and other private equity entities. Gwen formerly served on the Board of Directors of Hotspur Technologies (acquired by Teleflex), NovaSom (still privately held) and Practice Fusion (acquired by Allscripts).
Gwen holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in the Design Division with an emphasis on Biomechanical Design, as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School with a focus on Finance and Marketing. She also holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she simultaneously completed her pre-med requirements. She is based in Wayne, PA, USA.
Marketing and Site Leader, Intact Vascular (acquired by Philips)
Mr. Howard Rosen has more than 30 years of commercial experience in sales, upstream and downstream marketing, market development, and business unit general management across multiple cardiovascular market segments. He joined Intact Vascular (now Philips) and Vesper Medical in 2017 and was responsible for Marketing and Business Development for both companies. Intact Vascular was acquired by Philips in September 2020. He now leads the Philips integration for Intact Vascular as Marketing and site lead. Prior to joining Intact Vascular and Vesper Medical, Mr. Rosen’s career included 21 years at Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX), where he began his career as a sales representative and rose through the marketing ranks to hold positions of increasing responsibility in the peripheral vascular interventions and cardiovascular businesses. He also served as Vice President of the Cell Processing Business Unit at the Haemonetics Corporation (HAE). Mr. Rosen holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Northeastern University. He also founded and Chairs the Alumni Mentoring and Networking Committee for the Northeastern University baseball team supporting student-athletes during their early career planning.
Senior Managing Director – Northeast Products Business Lead, Accenture
James Crowley is a Senior Managing Director at Accenture and leads the Products Client Group within the Northeast Market Unit. In this role James has responsibility for Accenture’s business at Life Sciences, Consumer, Retail, Travel, Industrial and Mobility clients in the Northeast region in North America. James is a member of the Northeast Market Unit Leadership Team, North America Leadership Council and Global Leadership Council. James focuses on helping C-suite executives solve challenges and realize opportunities at the intersection of business and technology to unlock new value. He has almost 25 years of global advisory experience working primarily with biopharmaceutical companies across all aspects of their business. James advises clients on business strategies, customer strategies, commercial transformation, competitiveness, digital value realization, innovation, M&A and large scale business transformation. James is the Executive Sponsor for Accenture’s undergraduate recruiting at the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Oversight Board for the Penn Libraries. James is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania and is married to Kelly, they have two sons Jack and Liam.
Dr. Louis Lieto
Partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Dr. Louis D. Lieto is a partner in the intellectual property and patent practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Lou focuses on patent prosecution, strategic patent counseling, and IP due diligence in a variety of fields, including biofuels, immunotherapeutics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, stem cells, and transgenic animals.
Lou received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, where he focused on characterizing the molecular and genetic basis of hereditary disease. Subsequently, Lou completed his postdoctoral fellowship in immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). At NIAID, Lou conducted research in the fields of immunology and molecular biology to examine the regulation of gene expression of human immuno-regulatory receptors.
Prior to joining Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Lou was a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where he examined applications for inventions encompassing several fields, including proteins, DNA vectors, nucleic acid vaccines, immune cell therapy, stem cell therapy, transgenic animals, and gene therapy.
Worldwide Vice President, Orthopedic Innovation, J&J Medical Devices
Nick is a former Foot and Ankle Surgeon with extensive clinical experience and over 17 years of diverse senior healthcare business management and innovation experience. Most recently, he served as the leader and Worldwide Vice President of Orthopedic Innovation for the Johnson & Johnson Medical Device Group where he led strategic portfolio planning and external innovation across the global orthopedic franchise. He prioritized key technology segments with an emphasis on cross-franchise and cross-sector transformational platform solutions.
Previously, Nick was the Global Director of Marketing, Business Development and New Ventures at Synthes, the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of orthopaedic trauma products and services. He also led the Veterinary Device, and Geriatric Fracture businesses as well as creating and implementing a new Ambulatory Surgery Center business and Sports Medicine venture later incorporated into J&J. He was the Global VP of Marketing for Scient’x Spine prior to their successful sale to Alphatec. He also held the position of VP Medical Education and Clinical Studies at Small Bone Innovations, where he led the medical education and training team and was responsible for the acquisition of Link NA and the STAR Total Ankle Replacement System enabling their exit to Stryker.
Nick is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from the Pennsylvania School of Podiatric Medicine. His surgical residency was at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He completed an Orthopedic Trauma Fellowship in Germany and went on to clinical practice for ten years, prior to joining industry in 2003.
RoseAnn B. Rosenthal
President and CEO, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
RoseAnn B. Rosenthal is President, CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin). Praised by regional, national and international leaders as a pioneer of public-private partnerships and an invaluable resource for innovation-focused investment and growth in Greater Philadelphia, Rosenthal has over forty-five years of experience in economic development, business investment, and regional planning. With a current portfolio of over 200 technology companies, Rosenthal has led Ben Franklin since 1996, growing its reputation and impact through innovative partnerships and a solid track record of seeding hundreds of southeastern Pennsylvania’s technology leaders across all areas of technology. Rosenthal helped design and launch the region’s Health Care Innovation Collaborative, an open innovation model unifying universities, corporations, investors, healthcare providers and insurers in development of new solutions; and catalyzed the development and launch of ImpactPHL, a regional alliance focused on growth of the Greater Philadelphia’s impact economy.
In February 2019, she led Ben Franklin to launch the GO Philly Fund, a regional venture fund that allows private investors to invest in a broad variety of early-stage technology-focused enterprises located in the Greater Philadelphia region. In partnership with EPAM, the innovative fund leverages blockchain technology as part of its innovative fund raising and capital management strategy, facilitating individual investor participation from around the world.
Under Rosenthal’s guidance, Ben Franklin has grown to create more than 32,000 technology-focused jobs in the Philadelphia region, created from the more than 2000 companies the organization has helped form. These companies have enabled the growth of more than $5.1 billion in activity to Southeastern Pennsylvania’s economy.
President, Verix Health; President, Serpex Medical; Partner, Robin Hood Ventures
Sasha is the President of Verix Health (formerly Greppo Technologies which she co-founded in 2018), President of Serpex Medical and partner at Robin Hood Ventures. She also serves on the board of Verix Health, Serpex Medical and Robin Hood Ventures. She has over 17 years of experience as an executive in medical device companies. Prior to Verix and Serpex, Sasha was a Director at Medcomp and Professor of Entrepreneurial Bioengineering at Temple University. She began her healthcare career in the pharmaceutical industry at Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals and transitioned to the medical device field in 2006 at C.R. Bard. She is a healthcare executive and entrepreneur with diverse and progressive product development experience in global pharmaceutical and medical device companies. She specializes in working with healthcare companies on bringing products from concept through commercialization. Sasha has a business degree from the Purdue School of Business and a MBA with a focus on healthcare and finance from Northeastern University.
Co-author, Goliath’s Revenge; President, Breakthru Advisors, LLC; Senior Fellow, Management Department, The Wharton School; Adjunct Faculty, Moore School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Snyder is a recognized thought leader in technology and innovation. He has more than 30 years of experience in emerging technologies, business strategy and innovation, and digital transformation for Global 1000 companies and startup ventures. He is the co-author of Goliath’s Revenge: How Established Companies Turn the Tables on Digital Disruptors and the author of The New World of Wireless: How to Compete in the 4G Revolution and numerous other articles on emerging technologies and innovation.
Dr. Snyder is a Senior Fellow in the Management Department at the Wharton School, an Adjunct Faculty Member in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, and has lectured at MIT, Babson, Duke, Georgia Tech and INSEAD on Digital Innovation, Decision-making, Business and IT Strategy, Emerging Technologies, Product Design and Development, and Big Data/Analytics. Dr. Snyder is a Digital Economy Project Fellow for the World Economic Forum and sits on the Penn Health Tech Advisory Board. He also holds three patents for personalization engines and has been quoted as a thought leader in numerous publications including CIO Magazine, WIRED, Forbes, Knowledge@Wharton, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and the Financial Times.
Dr. Snyder is currently the President of Breakthru Advisors focused on helping enterprises leverage digital and other emerging technologies to accelerate innovation and new venture creation. Dr. Snyder was recently the Global Head of Digital and Innovation at Heidrick Consulting where he is still a Senior Advisor. Before Heidrick, he was the Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Safeguard Scientifics which provides capital and relevant expertise to fuel the growth of technology-driven businesses in healthcare, financial services and digital media. Prior to Safeguard, Dr. Snyder was the Co-Founder, President and Chief Strategy Officer at Mobiquity (recently acquired by Hexaware), a leader in delivering innovative mobile and digital solutions for enterprises, where he continues to be Chairman of Mobiquity’s Advisory Board. Dr. Snyder has held executive positions with several Fortune 500 companies including GE, Martin Marietta, and Lockheed Martin, has been the CEO of a leading strategic planning firm, Decision Strategies International (now part of Heidrick & Struggles), and has also started business ventures in software including OmniChoice, a CRM/Analytics applications provider. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Fulton Financial Corporation (FFC).
Dr. Snyder earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from University of Pennsylvania.
Sumit Kumar Nagpal
CEO & Founder, Cherish Health
Sumit is a serial entrepreneur with a focus on digital health innovation at scale. He has co-founded and grown five companies over the past two and a half decades that have tackled progressively bolder challenges facing our healthcare economies. Sumit is now the CEO and founder of Cherish Health that serves the world’s fastest-growing demographic – many of us, our parents, and our grandparents. Cherish Health creates advanced sensors and AI combined with medical evidence and human touch to improve the lives and enable the supported self-care of the elderly, the frail, and those living with chronic conditions. Sumit also serves on the HIMSS Enterprise Board and is sought after for his expertise and unstoppable energy as an entrepreneur, change agent, strategist, and technology architect.
Chairman, Board of Directors at The Retinal Degeneration Fund (The RD Fund)
Warren Thaler is a private investor and former President of Gund Investment Corporation, where for 27 years he managed the investment capital of Gordon Gund and his family. He currently serves on the boards of Align Technology, the maker of “Invisalign”, and on the boards of other early stage privately held healthcare companies. Warren’s not-for-profit board work includes his service as Vice Chairman of the board of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Chairman of the board of the RD Fund (the FFB’s $72MM venture philanthropy fund to invest in companies fighting Retinal Degeneration) and Chair of the Princeton University Store board of trustees. In prior years, Warren has been on the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Gund Arena Company. He represented the Cleveland Cavaliers as its Alternate Governor at meetings of the National Basketball Association’s Board of Governors. Additionally, Warren has been an early stage investor, and advisor to several pharmaceutical, medical device and private equity companies including: Nationwide Advertising Service (sold to the Interpublic Group), Biorexis (sold to Pfizer), Wavetech Vision (sold to Alcon), Glaukos (now public) and Convergent Dental (still private).
Prior to joining Gund Investment Corporation in 1990, Warren worked in the Corporate Finance Department of Drexel Burnham Lambert where he structured and marketed debt and equity securities for corporate issuers. Warren holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a MBA from Harvard Business School. Warren rowed on the lightweight crew team at Princeton University and was on a boat that won the Eastern Sprints in 1981.