Oversight Committee

The Oversight Committee is a critical part of program operations. They are opinion leaders in their areas and provide high-level guidance for they program based on their backgrounds in venture capital, regulatory affairs, academia, technology transfer, and medicine.

  • James Ashton-Miller, Ph.D., Associate Chair for Translational Research, U-M Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Dr. James Ashton-Miller is the Albert Schultz Collegiate Research Professor and Distinguished Research Scientist in the Departments of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, and has Research Professor appointments in the Department of Internal Medicine and the School of Kinesiology, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also an Associate Vice President for Research for the University of Michigan where he is responsible for research policy and its compliance programs.

    Dr. Ashton-Miller directs the Biomechanics Research Laboratory (http://me.engin.umich.edu/brl/) at the University of Michigan where he and his students use theoretical and experimental approaches to understand the biomechanics of unintentional injuries so they and their sequelae can be better prevented. He has authored over 250 scientific articles (ORCID #: 0000-0003-1528-2787), was awarded several patents, and graduated 30 doctoral students.

    He is the co-PI on an NIH R01 grant concerned with demonstrating that ACL injuries may be a material fatigue failure, so limiting the number and frequency of severe loading cycles within a given time period may be a sensible way to prevent these injuries. He and colleagues in Obstetrics & Gynecology are making good progress on understanding the pathomechanics of injuries to women during vaginal birth so they and life-long sequelae can be prevented. Likewise, with colleagues in Physical Medicine and Geriatrics, he is studying balance, the causes of fall-related injuries in the elderly and those with diabetes, and concussion. His research is also funded by several Fortune 500 companies to translate insights from his research into better product design.

    He is a past-President of the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB), a fellow of ASME, AIMBE, ASB, and GSA, and the winner of the 2009 ASB Giovanni Borelli award, the 2015 ASME H.R. Lissner Medal for contributions in biomechanics and bioengineering, and the 2016 Kappa Delta award from the Orthopedic Research Society and American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons for his ACL research. Dr. Ashton-Miller received a B.Sc (Hons) from Newcastle University, U.K., a MSME from M.I.T., and a Ph.D. from the University of Oslo, Norway. He is a co-owner and CTO of the Viper Tool Company, Ann Arbor.

  • Jack Ball, CEO and Board Member, Solulink

    Jack Ball is CEO and a board member at Solulink, a San Diego biotech tools companies supplying technology that enables faster and quantitative conjugation of biomolecules with higher efficiencies and yields. He is President, Tyball Associates, LLC, a consulting company bringing 21st century sales and marketing strategies that are highly capital efficient, to companies in the biotech tools space. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan, Ross Business School in Entrepreneurial Studies. In addition he serves on the board of directors of the following seven companies: 3D Biomatrix, Biophotonics, ENT Biotech Solutions, IntelliCyt, RealBio Technology, Swift Bioscience and ViroCyt.

    Mr. Ball has a long and proven record for bringing life science products to market and capitalizing on existing product potential. Most recently he was Chief Commercial Officer at Accuri Cytometers where he developed a novel commercialization model that was highly capital efficient. He and the management team sold the company to Becton Dickinson for $205M in March 2011. Prior to Accuri Cytometers, he was CEO of Amnis Corporation, a venture backed technology start-up developing and selling high-end imaging flow cytometers. He has also served as Chief Commercial Officer for Molecular Probes, Inc., the world leader in reagents for cell analysis, including flow cytometry consumables. Prior to that he was with Orchid Biosciences as Sr. VP and General Manager and with Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Inc., where he rose to President, Region North America and was responsible for sales, marketing, and customer support for all products sold in North America.

  • Hugo Braun, Co-Founder, North Coast Technology Investors, LP

    Hugo Braun is a partner and co-founder of North Coast Technology Investors, a Michigan-based venture capital firm with $100 million under management. North Coast focuses on early stage investments in IT, advanced materials and medical devices.

    Prior to North Coast, Hugo worked in San Francisco co-managing BankAmerica's venture capital portfolio. Previously, Hugo was a management consultant with Strategic Planning Associates, a spin-off of the Boston Consulting Group based in Washington, DC. Hugo holds an M.S. in Management from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and a B.A. in Economics from Yale University.

  • Sean Chambers, Ph.D., Engineering Manager - Research, Cook Medical

    Sean Chambers, PhD, has been involved in research and external collaborations at Cook Medical (Bloomington, IN) since 2006 and assumed the role of Engineering Manager in 2011. He directs engineering teams in product development, research, and packaging. Cook Medical integrates minimally invasive medical device design, biopharmaceuticals, gene/cell therapy, and biotechnology to enhance patient safety and improve clinical outcomes. Prior to 2006, he was the Research Manager at MC3, Inc. (Ann Arbor, MI). He led the BioLungTM total artificial lung research program, which was a partnership between the University of Michigan and MC3, resulting in the formation of Novalung, GmbH. He was a visiting Lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering department at the National University of Ireland, Galway from 1998-1999. He was involved in developing the Biomedical Engineering program and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science.

    Sean is currently on industry liaison committees in the department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. In addition, he has active involvement in the Oversight Committee for the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Partnership Program at University of Louisville, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Michigan. Dr. Chambers completed his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Michigan in 1998 and his B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1993. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an AIMBE Fellow. He holds over 20 U.S. patents in the medical device field.

  • Renard Charity, Director, Fletcher Spaght Ventures

    Renard Charity holds an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business and an AB from Princeton University. Renard is a Board member of HistoSonics, the University of Virginia-Coulter Translational Research Partnership and the Visiting Nurses Association of Boston. He has also served on the Boards of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Venture Richmond and St. Christopher's School.

    Prior to joining Fletcher Spaght Ventures, Renard served as Boston Scientific's head of corporate strategy group and in marketing roles. He also worked at the Boston Consulting Group in the Healthcare practice and at Morgan Stanley in Merger and Acquisitions. Renard also helped General Electric do its first IPO spinout as Chief Marketing Officer of the Long Term Care Insurance division of the newly formed company, Genworth Financial.

  • Mark Cohen, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology, Director of Endocrine Surgery Research, U-M Medical School

    Dr. Mark Cohen is currently Associate Chair in Surgery for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology, Director of the Medical School Pathway of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Director of Endocrine Surgery Research, and a Principal Investigator in the UMCCC Translational Oncology Program at the University of Michigan. After completing a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with Honors, he completed a Howard Hughes Research Fellowship and then went on to receive his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He then completed his general surgery residency as well as an NIH-sponsored T32 fellowship in endocrine and oncologic surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Before coming to the University of Michigan in 2012, he was Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology, Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Surgery at the University of Kansas, and on the Executive Board for the Center for Technology and Commercialization. His clinical interests include endocrine surgery, specifically thyroid surgery for benign and malignant disease, minimally invasive parathyroid surgery and adrenalectomy, as well as surgery for advanced melanomas including hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion. He is boarded by the American Board of Surgery, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and holds committee and executive council positions in 4 national surgery organizations. In addition to his clinical efforts, concentrated on cancer patients with endocrine tumors and melanoma requiring surgical treatment, Dr. Cohen has a lab at NCRC focused on translational targeted cancer-drug development and drug delivery systems in thyroid cancer, head and neck squamous cell cancer, adrenal cancer, melanoma and breast cancer. On campus he has worked with Fast Forward Medical Innovation and the Center for Entrepreneurship to develop new courses in Innovation for medical students, residents, fellows and surgery/pharmacology faculty. He completed a collaborative MTRAC grant recently to develop a novel natural therapeutic for improved targeted treatment of adrenocortical cancers and won the inaugural Michigan/MEDC Shark Tank. His research has lead to the creation of two pharmaceutical therapeutics companies for clinical development of his drug compounds for use in patients with advanced cancers. He has served on the Study Section Review Panel for the last 6 years on the NSF SBIR Phase 1 and Phase 2 Programs in Drug Delivery and Biomedical Devices. His research has been funded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Institute of Health, leading to just over 100 national presentations, 70 peer-reviewed publications, 8 book chapters, and 4 patents awarded. More information on his research can be found at:

  • Jonathan Fay, Ph.D., Managing Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Adjunct Lecturer in Entrepreneurial Programs, U-M College of Engineering

    Jonathan Fay focuses his efforts on facilitating and inspiring entrepreneurship and innovation in the PhDs, PostDocs, and Faculty at the University of Michigan. He assists the researchers throughout the project lifecycle including concept creation and business model generation. As a part of this work, he currently manages the nationally acclaimed NSF Innovation-Corps program (NSF I-Corps) at U-M and as well as manages statewide innovation education programs for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

    Jonathan came to the University of Michigan as a veteran startup executive from the medical device industry. He has lead the development, regulatory approval and launch of first-of-kind medical products ranging from infant hearing screening, to asthma diagnostics, to hearing devices. Most recently, Jonathan was the COO/CTO of EarLens Corporation. His responsibilities included all R&D, operations, clinical and regulatory activities. Jonathan particularly enjoys the early phases of product development, including building the initial cross disciplinary R&D team, obtaining IDE approval and running the first-in-man clinical trials. In addition to his operational role, he was instrumental in raising capital from a variety of sources including SBIRs, angels, strategic partners, and VCs. Prior to EarLens, Jonathan was a senior member of the core team that developed Apieron Biosystem’s exhaled nitric oxide asthma monitoring device. Before coming to Apeiron, Jonathan worked at Natus Medical Inc. where he managed the development and release of the Algo3i Infant Hearing Screener into the European market. Jonathan has over 12 patents and received his PhD in Biomechanics from Stanford.

  • Chris Fick PhD, MBA, Licensing Specialist, U-M Office of Technology Transfer

    Chris works with faculty and researchers primarily in the U-M School of Medicine and Department of Biomedical Engineering to protect and commercialize intellectual property developed at the University of Michigan.

    Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Chris was the Vice President of Operations for a privately held medical device company commercializing FDA-cleared implantable orthopedic surgical devices. Chris also has extensive intellectual property strategy and licensing experience through his previous work in technology transfer at the University of Louisville.

    Chris holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois, along with a Ph.D. in Bioenergetics and an MBA from East Carolina University.

  • Peter Galen, President & CEO, Brien Holden Vision Diagnostic, Inc.

    Peter Galen worked in medical device companies for 30 years and has released more than 50 products. He worked as an engineer, project manager, director, VP, and CEO. Peter’s experience working at all levels enables him to understand the details and the big picture, resulting in robust solutions, and a focus on quickly creating high quality products that succeed. Peter is Chief Innovation Officer at Meditopian, an early stage company looking for solutions that impact the developing world and underserved populations in general. He has also led two successful exits most recently a social venture focused on preventing blindness, Quantum Catch Corp., to an Australian non-profit. Peter also sold a company he co-founded and ran, CardioDigital, Inc., to Covidien (Tyco Healthcare). In the late 80s he gained experience in product development and manufacture in, including 1.5 years in Singapore setting up Welch Allyn’s R&D for emerging countries. Peter also managed a large cardiovascular device lab (~100 person) for Hewlett Packard. He has 16 patents issued and 15 more that are pending. Peter sits on several boards and help four universities with their translational activities.

    Peter has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering with a biomedical focus from the University of Washington.

  • John Janik, PhD, Director of Strategic Development, Stryker

    Dr. Janik received a Ph.D. in neuroscience/biomedical engineering from the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University. During his academic career, John studied functional aspects of the human nervous system, focusing on the clinical use of functional imaging technology (fMRI/DTI) and its role in presurgical planning for neurosurgery. Specifically, John created quantitative methods to map the visual field onto the cortex and assess the function of the auditory cortex as well as associated functions in the cortex. John also spent time developing the pre-surgical mapping methods for use in patients to establish functional boundaries around malformations in the brain. Some of John’s work was used in a start-up company spun out of the Medical College of Wisconsin (Prism Clinical Imaging, Milwaukee, WI) centered on building pre-surgical tools for assessment brain function in neurologically impaired patients. In 2005, John joined Stryker's Advanced Technology Development group where he worked on developing various neurotechnology platforms. John led extensive technical programs from concept to feasibility in the areas of nerve monitoring, EEG, and implantable neuromodulators. In 2010, John joined Stryker Incubation of Medical Technology (IMT) where he is the Director of Strategic Development focused on the development of business strategy and developing customer-focused solutions. Over the years John has over 25 publications related to granted intellectual property, research publications, and has been invited to speak at several events. These publications cover John’s experience and expertise in neurologic sciences, neurosurgery, MEMS, neuromodulation, image and signal processing, robotic surgery, healthcare solutions innovation, and building start-up companies. He has served on boards for companies (Avegant, Inc., PS Medical), President of Wireless Integrated Microsysetms ERC Industrial Advisory Board at University of Michigan, and he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan in the Solid State Electronics Department.

  • Russ King, President & Managing Partner, MethodSense

    Russ King is the president and managing partner of MethodSense, a life science consulting firm with offices in the US and Europe. King works with medical device, biotech and pharmaceutical companies to develop quality, regulatory and technology solutions.

    King’s experience spans compliance operations, quality support and risk remediation. He has consulted for many global medical device and healthcare enterprises, including IBM, St. Jude Medical, Teva and Intertek. He works with organizations to develop business processes that meet quality and regulatory requirements. King’s skill set has become increasingly important as more companies integrate technology into their businesses and products.

    King is adept at simplifying complex concepts, and he is instrumental in helping clients understand the risk involved with FDA compliance. His knowledge and powerful communication skills guide clients to operational efficiency that reduces risk and can save thousands of dollars.

  • Blake J. Roessler, MD, Associate Director for Research Innovation in the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR)

    Dr. Blake Roessler is Associate Professor in the Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, where he has been on the faculty since 1990. He has also been an active Adjunct faculty member in the College of Pharmacy. Dr. Roessler earned his medical degree at the University of Cincinnati, did his residency at the University of Michigan, and completed fellowships in Infectious Diseases at Stanford University and Rheumatology at the University of Michigan. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

    Dr. Roessler is Associate Director for Research Innovation in the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR), in which capacity he oversees a number of cores and programs focused on translation of innovative technologies. Since 1993 Dr. Roessler has served as the Director of the Human Applications Laboratory, a clean-room facility housed and supported by the NIH-sponsored Michigan Clinical Research Unit. This facility is used for the manufacture of protein, cell and tissue-based experimental biological products that are used for Phase I human clinical trials. Dr. Roessler also directs the UM Center for Gene Therapy and its Vector Core; the Vector Core provides recombinant vectors and specialized services for gene transfer research.

    Dr. Roessler's rheumatology research concerns the identification of molecular mechanisms in chondrocytes that impact the development of osteoarthritis, including the role of intra-articular adipocytes as a source of soluble proteins that may alter normal chondrocyte physiology and predispose the cartilage to osteoarthritis, and the role of leptin receptors and IL-6 receptors in normal and abnormal chondrocyte physiology. In collaboration with Dr. Michael Morris in the Department of Chemistry, he is also developing Raman spectroscopy as a tool to gain insight into the early structural changes in extracellular matrix molecules of cartilage and synovial fluid that might function as early biomarkers of osteoarthritis. Dr. Roessler is also interested in the application of operational systems engineering science to participant-intensive clinical research studies; examples include Phase 1 drug trials requiring acquisition of multiple timed biomarkers or multiple timed visits to a specific performance site.

  • Jim Shayman, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology

    James Shayman is Professor of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology and from 2006 to 2011 served as the Associate Vice-President for Research, Health Sciences for the University of Michigan. From 1996 to 2006, he held the position of Associate Chair for Research Programs in the Department of Internal Medicine. During this period the department's funded research programs grew from 50 to over 100 million dollars per year.

    Dr. Shayman received his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis and trained in internal medicine and nephrology at Barnes Hospital. His post-doctoral training was in the Department of Pharmacology at Washington University under the mentorship of Aubrey Morrison, Phil Needleman, and Oliver Lowry. His primary research interests are in the field of lysosomal storage diseases and the biochemistry, cellular biology and pharmacology of sphingolipids. His group has developed a series of small molecule inhibitors against glycosphingolipid synthases. A series of compounds have been licensed to Genzyme/Sanofi and one is currently in late phase 3 trials for type I Gaucher disease (eliglustat tartrate). The Shayman group has also discovered and characterized a novel lysosomal enzyme, group XV phospholipase A2. Dr. Shayman has been continuously funded through the NIH since his appointment at the University of Michigan. He has authored more than 120 publications, edited two text books, and holds over 40 patents. He currently serves on several editorial boards and study sections. He is a Fellow of both the American Heart Association and American Society of Nephrology and has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Professors, and the American Clinical and Climatological Association.

  • Lonnie Shea, Ph.D., Chair, U-M Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Lonnie received degrees in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University (BS and MS) in 1992 and 1993, respectively, and from the University of Michigan (PhD) in 1997.

  • Tom Shehab, MD, Principal, Arboretum Ventures

    Tom Shehab, M.D. joined Arboretum Ventures in 2014 as a Principal. Previously, Tom served as a member of Arboretum’s Technical Advisory Board and as a board member of ArborMetrix, an Arboretum portfolio company. In his current role, Tom draws upon his clinical and healthcare administration expertise to evaluate new potential investments and provide strategic support to Arboretum’s portfolio companies.

    Prior to joining Arboretum, Tom spent 12 years as a practicing physician specializing in gastroenterology. He was involved in a number of entrepreneurial healthcare-related ventures and held multiple physician-executive roles. Most recently, Tom served as Chief of Staff for more than 1,000 physicians at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and as the Chair of Medicine for Integrated Health Associates (IHA), a multi-specialty group consisting of 300+ providers.

    Tom earned an M.D. from Wayne State University, performed his residency and fellowship training at the University of Michigan Medical Center, and earned his Master’s in Medical Management from the Heinz School of Management at Carnegie Mellon University.

Licensing Representative(s) from U-M Office of Technology Transfer (OTT has one vote)