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Dr. William E. “Billy” Cohn is the Vice President for Johnson &Johnson Medical Devices Companies and the Director of the new Center for Device Innovation at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Dr. Cohn has a passion for medical device development and has more than 90 US patents granted or pending for his medical innovations that have provided the core technology for six venture-backed medical start-ups.
A noted cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Cohn is also a visionary serial inventor. He is a Professor of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and an Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at both Rice University and the University of Houston. His major research interests have been focused on decreasing the invasiveness of medical procedures in a wide variety of fields.
Dr. Ramyar Gilani is a board-certified vascular surgeon specializing in all aspects of vascular treatment of arterial and venous disorders. His research interest is in the clinical outcome of vascular surgical reconstructions and endovascular interventions, specifically in endovascular treatment of aortic aneurysms, venous disease, and endovascular treatment of lower extremity occlusive disease.
Dr. Gilani has contributed numerous articles to scholarly and professional journals such as Journal of Vascular Surgery, Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Vascular Journal, and Journal of Endovascular Therapy. He has written many book chapters related to vascular disease management.
As executive director, he is responsible for the development and implementation of programs that enhance the IBB’s mission of promoting bio-related education and cross-disciplinary research. Cherukuri serves as a key liaison with Rice and Texas Medical Center constituents for continued and expanded support of IBB programs by developing funding opportunities that bring additional research support to the institute’s faculty and students.
Dr. Stuart J. Corr is Director of Technology Development for the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. He is also an Assistant Professor of Surgery and runs the Department of Surgery Incubator (DoSI).
Stephanie's experience in space flight hardware and systems engineering have given her the ability to see and understand the “big picture”. With this skillset, Stephanie can focus on all the pieces that technology interacts with, whether it is a user or another system, making her an invaluable asset to the team.
Stephanie’s experience hails from working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in creating exercise hardware for interplanetary vehicles and the International Space Station. While navigating the complex process of getting new hardware on orbit, she has also played a crucial role in informing habitability requirements from an exercise perspective in space environments. Stephanie is excited to continue advancing her engineering knowledge with Sparx while putting her project management skills to use. Working at a company as unique as Sparx gives Stephanie the ability to facilitate this union while her contributions continue to promote community and industry awareness.
Rick received his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1998. Upon graduation, Rick moved to Houston and joined the space medicine team at Wyle Laboratories, a medical systems contractor for NASA, Johnson Space Center. During his time there, he led a team of engineers developing medical systems for the International Space Station, yet Rick felt there was a greater business opportunity to commercialize the ‘rocket scientist’ culture. In 2001, he started Sparx as a moonlighting venture offering consulting engineering services to local biotech companies.
In 2006, he left Wyle to pursue a product development opportunity with a start-up field diagnostics company as the head of their engineering team, but continued to operate Sparx on the side. In 2009, he and the other founders left to pursue Sparx Engineering as a full time venture. Rick is licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers since 2003 to offer engineering services to the public. As an experienced circuit board designer, Rick plays an important role in technical leadership and design for Sparx projects. In addition, he is actively engaged in business development efforts at Sparx. Rick and his wife Marianne have four children: three sons and a daughter.
Director of the Orthotics and Prosthetics Program at Baylor College of Medicine. Engineer and medical device designer/developer and entrepreneur at heart. I have started and run multiple successful companies and thrive in the fast paced start-up world. Current Partner and CEO of a small product development company, and principle consultant and co-founder of a customer focused tech start-up.
Dr. Steven A. Curley specializes in providing surgical care for patients with hepatobiliary and pancreatic malignancies. As our chief of surgical oncology and cancer center associate director, he leads efforts at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and on the McNair campus to build a world-class, multidisciplinary surgical oncology program with significant national and international outreach and stature.
Specialties: intellectual property law, university licensing and contracts, faculty consulting agreements, biotech start up consulting and strategy