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About the GCIC. Team

Mark Low

Managing Director

Biography | | 216-445-6920

Mark Low is Managing Director of the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center (GCIC) as well as the NIH Center for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI) at Cleveland Clinic. He comes to these roles with a track record of building successful programs to introduce new biomedical products and modalities to new markets. He has managed all facets of product and market development spanning diagnostic and interventional cardiology, diagnostic and interventional pulmonology, interventional radiology, stroke treatment, image-guided surgery, drug delivery and oncology. He has served on the senior management teams of TomTec Imaging Systems, Image Guided Technologies, EKOS Corporation, and Sonus Pharmaceuticals, as well as business strategy consultant to numerous companies developing a wide array of cardiovascular devices. Prior to concentrating his focus on start-up ventures and early stage market development, Mark held trailblazing positions in marketing and business development for Hewlett-Packard’s Medical Products Group. Specializing in cardiovascular ultrasound, Mark managed high performance cardiovascular diagnostic systems, introducing numerous products to new market segments including office-based cardiology practice and interventional cardiology. He was responsible for developing new clinical applications including stress echocardiography, 3D echocardiography, and intravascular ultrasound. In conjunction with these programs Mark managed strategic relationships with various corporate partners, investors, universities, inventors, clinical investigators and manufacturers. Mark 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

Manager, Market Intelligence

Biography | | 216-445-2475

Michael leads Market Intelligence efforts for GCIC and Cleveland Clinic Innovations, where his team functions as a dedicated, shared resource to provide clients with knowledge and tools to optimize strategic decision-making and mitigate investment risk. Prior to joining the Clinic in 2010, he spent more than 11 years at Health Research International, an independent medical market research and consulting firm, most recently as Vice President. While at HRI, Michael authored or co-authored more than 20 syndicated research reports forecasting the adoption of new medical technologies, and engaged with a broad range of firms from local start-ups to multinationals across dozens of custom consulting projects. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (cum laude, Marketing major) from the Richard T. Farmer School of Business at Miami University.

Marwane Berrada

Senior Director, Product Development

Biography | | 216-445-2475

Marwane has been a leader in the field of medical devices for over thirteen (13) years and has extensive experience in product development and commercialization of Class II and Class III devices. Product expertise has been in percutaneous therapies such as electrophysiology, structural heart, cardiovascular and endovascular devices, in addition to product commercialization of orthopedic implants. Through his engineering and business backgrounds, Marwane is experienced in leading both traditional and virtual R&D teams throughout the entire development life-cycle including 510k and PMA regulatory tracks. Marwane has held various technical/engineering, managerial, and executive management positions in companies such as Boston Scientific, Microvena, ev3, CryoCath Technologies, Bavaria Medical Technologies, Vascular NanoTransfer and OligoMedic. Currently Marwane holds eight (8) patents in medical devices and more than fourteen (14) others as patent applications. Marwane holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA in Finance from McGill University.

Veronika Dwyer

Administrative Program Coordinator II

Biography | | 216-445-7006

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.

Kelly Emerton

Senior Director, Product Development

Biography | | 216-445-7006

Kelly B. Emerton, PhD, joins the GCIC team as Sr Director of Product Development, lending her medical device industry experience towards the GCIC mission of developing and commercializing cardiovascular technology. Prior to joining the GCIC team , she spent 6+ years across Medtronic business units (Spine and Endovascular Therapy divisions) leading multiple major development programs with cross-functional execution. Her background includes US and outside US regulatory approvals for Class III implantable and combination-product devices for orthopedic and endovascular therapy indications. During her Endovascular Therapy tenure, she was responsible for leading multiple pipeline programs within the thoracic aortic product portfolio. Kelly received a B.S.E degree in Biomedical Engineering from Michigan Technological University, and a Masters and Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from City College at the City University of New York.

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.

Ramasamy (Sakthi) Sakthivel

Senior Director, Product Development

Biography | | 216-445-7006

Sakthi comes to this role with 13 years of academic and 11 years of biotech experience. Sakthi has strong scientific background with extensive publications, which includes Regenerative Medicine, cell therapy, Cardiovascular, Hematology-Oncology, Cancer biology and Immunology. He has a track record of building successful startup biotech businesses and managed their Research and Development programs. He also supported the companies Research and Development activities by raising $25 million in small business grants and contracts. Sakthi has generated several Intellectual Property filings, identified technologies from University, and has experience in biotech spin-offs based on those technologies. He has served on the senior management teams of Arteriocyte, Inc. and StemMed, Inc., and managed strategic relationships with various universities, inventors, clinical investigators, partners and investors. Sakthi received Ph.D. degree in Tumor Biology/Immunology from Madras University, India, and MBA degree in Healthcare Management from Weatherhead School of Management at the Case Western Reserve University.

Thomas Sudow

Director, Business Development Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center Global Healthcare Innovations Alliance

Biography | | 216-445-0810

Tom helps bioscience and medical device companies achieve growth in Northeast Ohio. Tom is the Director of Business Development for the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center (GCIC), a research and product development consortium, led by the Cleveland Clinic, created to attract, expand and retain companies that develop new cardiovascular technologies and he also assist the Cleveland Clinic Alliances program. Tom served as a Vice President of Team NEO and worked on attraction of Biomedical companies to Northeast Ohio. Tom has worked with many international companies – most in the bioscience space – on establishing operations in the United States and in the acceleration of the their growth. He has organized seminars on doing business in the United States, in Europe, and the Middle East. Prior to joining the GCIC, Tom served as Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Beachwood where he coordinated economic development efforts for the city. During his tenure, he helped more than 20 international companies establish their North America headquarters in Beachwood. Tom is committed to the Northeast Ohio community, having served as chair of the Northern Ohio Area Chambers of Commerce (NOACC). He is also a frequent guest columnist in publications such as Crain’s Cleveland Business, Inside Business and the Cleveland Jewish News. For his outstanding work, he has been recognized with awards from many economic development and community organizations.

Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center