Francis is an accomplished entrepreneur, corporate executive, heart surgeon, research scientist, and medical innovator. Double board-certified in general surgery (UCSF) and cardiothoracic surgery (Duke), he was Assistant Professor at Duke University School of Medicine. While there, his research led to 32 US and International medical device patents, including surgical devices that are used in thousands of heart operations performed annually.
Francis served as chief of cardiothoracic surgery and cardiology at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Region, and is Past President of the American Heart Association, Southwest Affiliate.
After completing his MBA, he joined Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE: EW) as Vice President and General Manager for Ascendra in Transcatheter Heart Valve Therapy. Later promoted to Chief Medical Officer, his role was expanded to support Global Medical Affairs, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, and Health Economics and Reimbursement.
Since departing Edwards, Francis has served as CEO/President of Kino Biosciences, Makani Science, Aegis Surgical, and Atrius.
Bill Saltzstein Engineering & Product Development Advisor
Bill has been an innovator in engineering and product design for nearly 40 years, the last 20 of which involving Bluetooth wireless technology. In 2000, he founded Code Blue Consulting to bridge the gap between wireless technologies and medical products.
Bill has served in several key business positions, including US President and Worldwide Medical Business Development Director for connectBlue’s (u-blox) Bluetooth and Wi-Fi module products, and Vice President of Engineering for Pyng Medical (Teleflex), a company focused on trauma and Emergency Medical Services products.
Before Code Blue, Bill was the Director of Advanced Development at Medtronic Physio-Control. And, prior to that he ran product development teams at Instromedix (Cardinal Health) and Hewlett-Packard Medical (Agilent), where he focused on diagnostic and interventional cardiology equipment for home, hospital, and emergency medicine. Of note, Bill started his career with Hewlett-Packard’s world-renown calculator team.
Bill holds 25 patents, many related to battery-powered and portable medical devices.
Sahan Ranamukha (PhD) Co-founder, VP of RD
Sahan has been involved in the development and testing of microneedles-based drug delivery technologies for more than 5 years. He received a Bachelor’s in Food Engineering (Guelph), Master’s in Chemical Engineering (Waterloo), and Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering (UBC). A recipient of the renowned Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Sahan’s expertise range from materials engineering, biomechanics, and microfabrication technologies to biochemistry, biosensor design and point-of-care diagnostic systems. His research interests are in drug delivery, medical device development, and therapeutic drug monitoring.
Hamid Rafi Project Management
Hamid Rafi has broad experience in the medical technology industry including Project Management, R&D and New Product development Manufacturing Transfer. Hamid held various key roles with increasing levels of responsibilities at Edwards Lifesciences launching new products from design concept to full commercial launch. He oversees managing multiple projects in transcatheter valve replacement delivery systems in multiple regions (Europe, US and Japan). Hamid has more than 20 years of experience in the medical device industry at Edwards, Alcon and smaller startup companies.
Hamid received his master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from University of Southern California and bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Rory St Clair
VP of Business Development
As the VP of Business Development, Rory oversees Microdermics' external engagement as well as the daily operations. He brings skills in operations management, market research, financial planning, and customer development.
Previously, Rory has worked with various start-up companies - lifesciences and otherwise - to build consensus, manage growth, improve accountability, and drive efficiency. He has Bachelors degrees in Economics and Biology, with a minor in Mathematics.
Iman Mansoor (PhD) VP of Engineering
Iman has been involved in research and development of microneedles for more than 8 years. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (mechatronics option) in 2007 and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering in 2009 and 2014, respectively, from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, BC, Canada. He also received a sub-specialization certificate in Engineering Management and Technology Entrepreneurship in 2013 from UBC. Iman’s graduate research was in the field of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) and mainly focused on process development and characterization of microneedle devices for intradermal drug delivery and biosensing applications. He currently holds a patent on the microneedle fabrication process developed during his graduate research. Since 2014, Iman has worked as Systems Consultant and Product Development Specialist in major engineering companies and has completed several successfully-commercialized projects. During this period, he has also been active in further development and commercialization of microneedle devices.
Boris has nearly 20 years of experience in research and development of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and microfluidics. He received the Diploma degree in electrical engineering from Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany, in 1998, the Diploma degree in general engineering from École Centrale de Lyon, Ecully, France, in 1998, and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2002. From 2003 to 2005, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow of chemical engineering with the University of California. Since 2005, he has been with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, BC, Canada, where he is a Professor. He holds the Canada Research Chair for Microfluidics and Sensing Technology, serves as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Sensors Journal, and is registered as a professional engineer with Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia. He holds four US patents (& 4 int. patents pending) for MEMS and measurement technology.
David Kobayashi Project Management
David’s passion is to better understand the inner workings of medical device start-ups through his role as a Assistant Project Manager. He previously served as a summer intern for one of Koa Accel’s startups – Makani Science. This gave David the unique opportunity to participate in developing the market models for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and obstructive sleep apnea, participating in market research, and contributing to the Makani Science business plan. Through his work at Koa, David aspires to one day become an entrepreneur and run his own company.
David currently is in his final year at UC Irvine majoring in business economics and minoring in accounting.