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About the GCIC. Team

Mark Low

Managing Director

Biography | | 216-445-6920

Mark Low, Managing Director of the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center (GCIC) and the NIH Center for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI) at Cleveland Clinic, comes to these roles with a career of building successful programs to introduce new technologies to address new market opportunities in healthcare. He has managed all facets of product and market development spanning diagnostic and interventional cardiology, interventional radiology and neuroradiology, stroke treatment, image-guided surgery, drug delivery and oncology. He has served on the senior management team of TomTec Imaging Systems, Image Guided Technologies, EKOS Corporation, and Sonus Pharmaceuticals. Prior to concentrating his focus on start-up ventures and early stage market development, Mr. Low held trailblazing positions in marketing and business development for Hewlett-Packard’s Medical Products Group. Specializing in cardiovascular ultrasound, Mr. Low managed high performance cardiac diagnostic systems, introducing 3D and stress echocardiography, and catheter-based intravascular ultrasound, among other applications. In conjunction with these programs Mr. Low managed strategic relationships with various corporate partners, investors, universities, inventors, clinical investigators and manufacturers. Mr. Low received a B.A. degree in Natural Science from Johns Hopkins University, an M.S. degree in Physiology from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and an M.S. degree in Technical Communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Michael Austriaco

Director, Business Analytics

Biography | | 216-445-2475

Michael serves as a primary research and analytical resource for Innovations and its partners with a focus on market assessment of new medical technologies. Prior to joining the Clinic, he spent more than 11 years at Health Research International, an independent medical market research and consulting firm, most recently as Vice President. This experience entailed working closely with a broad range of medical technology firms from local start-ups to multinationals. Michael earned a BA in business administration (cum laude, Marketing major) from the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at Miami University.

Veronika Dwyer

Administrative Program Coordinator II

Biography | | 216-445-3026

Veronika’s function serves as liaison and administrative, technical, and operational resource for the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center team. She has an extensive background providing support to senior-level Executives and world class service to all valued customers.

Vara Prasad VN Josyula

Senior Director, Product Development

Biography | | 216-445-8139

Vara Prasad VN Josyula, Ph.D. joins Cleveland Clinic from Northwestern University where he served as Associate Director, Life Sciences, in the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO) and managed portfolios in medicinal chemistry, life sciences and biomedical engineering including therapeutics and biomedical devices. Prior to Northwestern, Vara Prasad’s career spanned over twenty years of pharmaceutical research and development experience, working with both large multi-national pharmaceutical (Research Fellow at Parke-Davis and Pfizer) and small bio-tech companies (Senior Director at PTC Therapeutics). As a project leader and team member, he led/participated in several projects to bring them to Phase-1 and Phase-2 clinical trials. He is an author/co-author of over 75 publications in peer-reviewed journals and inventor/co-inventor of over 35 patent/patent application families. He also worked for over two years at the law firm, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, as a Patent Agent. He is certified to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Vara Prasad earned his M.S. in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai. He completed post-doctoral studies at Purdue University with Prof. Herbert C. Brown (Nobel Laureate); and University of Wisconsin-Madison with Prof. Steven D. Burke and Prof. Daniel H. Rich.

Laura Konczos

Manager, GCIC Incubator & Preclinical Programs

Biography | | 216-445-7006

Laura is responsible for the overall management of the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center, a 50,000 square foot facility that houses the GCIC’s incubator/accelerator program. Her responsibilities include facilities management and service, lease agreements, and financial activities. Her responsibilities also include the management of our Preclinical Program where she serves as a liaison between all levels of management, various departments, and our vendors.

Suguna Rachakonda

Senior Director, Product Development

Biography | | 216-445-3562

Suguna Rachakonda has over 11 years of experience in small molecule drug discovery in various therapeutic areas. She spent a year at United Therapeutics and 10 years at Pharmasset Inc. (acquired by Gilead Sciences). Suguna was a key contributor to the discovery and development of multiple clinical candidates for antiviral diseases including the recently marketed Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi®. She was responsible for leading multiple outsourcing project development teams. Suguna is an inventor on 10 patents. Prior to joining CCI, Suguna was Director of Technology Commercialization at Kent State University leading all aspects of innovation management and commercialization.

Suguna received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Hyderabad, India. Subsequently she was a post-doctoral fellow at Tulane University. She received an MBA in Finance from Stern School of Business, New York University.

Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center