The Top 25 Healthcare Technology Leaders of Pennsylvania for 2023

The Healthcare Technology Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 Healthcare Technology Leaders of Pennsylvania for 2023. Pennsylvania is quickly becoming an epicenter for life sciences companies — from medical research and laboratory testing to pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing — thanks to a nearly $50 billion life sciences ecosystem driven by world-class R&D institutions, top-notch universities and incubators, technical assistance, and strategic investments in venture capital, technology, and infrastructure. More than 2,300 life sciences organizations have a presence in Pennsylvania, making for stiff competition for a spot on this list. This year’s awardees earned their places thanks to their dedication to innovation and improving health outcomes for patients in the state and beyond across a variety of specialties, from therapeutics to pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and spinal reconstruction, among many others.

Some of the distinguished leaders on this year’s list include Ron Philip, CEO of Spark Therapeutics, who has played a crucial role in the company’s rapid growth, including directing the commercial launch of its first approved gene therapy. Meanwhile, Ye Zhang, Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs at Arcturus Therapeutics, established the company’s regulatory affairs department and oversees multiple functions to support the development of vaccines and rare disease therapeutics. And Anthony Tabasso, President and CEO of KVK Tech, has made his company a leader in the development and manufacture of high-quality, FDA-approved medicines that address unmet patient needs, advancing medical care and offering low-cost alternatives in response to today’s healthcare challenges.

This year’s awardees lead from a range of positions, from CEO to CFO, SVP to Senior Director. But regardless of role, they are making significant contributions not just to their companies, but to the overall healthcare technology industry and to the lives of patients and clinicians. Please join us in celebrating The Top 25 Healthcare Technology Leaders of Pennsylvania for 2023.


1. Ron Philip
Company: Spark Therapeutics
Title: Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer of Spark Therapeutics, Ron Philip leads a team of talented individuals working together to develop new therapies for people living with genetic diseases. Since joining Spark in 2017, he has played a key role in the company’s rapid growth and achievements — most notably, directing the commercial launch of Spark’s first approved gene therapy, LUXTURNA® (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl).

Philip previously served as Chief Operating Officer, where he was responsible for leading product strategy development and execution for Spark’s early and late-stage pipeline assets, including the governance and proactive management necessary to bring more gene therapies to patients living with genetic diseases. He also was responsible for the other functions, including commercial development, marketing, pricing and reimbursement, government affairs, program and alliance management, commercial operations, diagnostics, market access, and patient services functions.

Before becoming COO, Philip served as Spark’s Chief Commercial Officer and Senior Vice President and Head of Global Commercial. With more than 30 years of experience across biopharma companies and management consulting, Philip has a proven track record of improving operating performance in multiple therapeutic categories and global markets. He held several senior leadership roles at Pfizer, including Regional President for Africa/Middle East, Head of Global Business Unit Strategy, Head of Business Development Search and Evaluation, and Commercial Development Lead within Pfizer’s Innovative Products Business. He also worked at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in U.S. commercial operations, with Deloitte Consulting in their strategy and operations practice, and at Merck and Co. in the manufacturing and marketing divisions. Philip currently serves as the Trustee and Chair of the Science Committee at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia and previously was an active board member of CureDuchenne. Philip is a graduate of Drexel University.


2. Evan Loh
Company: Paratek Pharmaceuticals
Title: Chief Executive Officer

Evan Loh, MD has been Paratek Pharmaceuticals’ Chief Executive Officer since June 2019. Prior to that, Dr. Loh served in various roles including President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Medical Officer from 2014 until June 2019. He has been a member of the company’s board since 2012. Prior to the merger with Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Dr. Loh had served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Medical Officer. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, Development and Strategic Operations, Worldwide Research and Development, at Pfizer. While at Pfizer, Dr. Loh’s responsibilities included scientific, operational, and strategic drug development oversight for all R&D development phase programs through proof of concept and leading global portfolio prioritization.

Dr. Loh joined Pfizer from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was Vice President of multiple therapeutic areas and was responsible for global development strategy and clinical operational deliverables. At Wyeth, he led multiple successful global registration programs, including for Torisel and Tygacil.

Dr. Loh currently serves on the board of directors of Eiger Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. and Adaptive Phage Therapeutics. He formerly served on the boards of Windtree Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Loh was Chairman of the Antimicrobials Working Group, an industry leading coalition of biotech companies focused on antimicrobial development, from 2019 to 2021, and currently serves on its Executive Committee. Dr. Loh received his AB from Harvard College and his MD from Harvard Medical School. He completed his Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular fellowship training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His academic appointments include being a faculty member at Harvard Medical School (1990-1994) and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1994-2000).


3. Jack Foster
Company: DIA
Title: Chief Financial Officer

Jack Foster is currently the Chief Financial Officer of DIA (Drug Information Association), an international, nonprofit, multidisciplinary association that fosters innovation for improved health and well-being worldwide. He has over 25 years of experience in the life sciences industry. Foster began his career with Wyeth International, where he supported the growth of Wyeth’s developing markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Following Wyeth, Foster held a senior finance role with Auxilium Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Endo Pharmaceuticals in 2015. He then joined InClinica, Inc., a boutique CRO, in 2016 and was CFO until its liquidation in 2020. Foster has recently consulted for multiple development-phase companies in the biotech and instrument spaces. He holds an MBA from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Arts in finance from Temple University.


4. Janick Boudazin
Company: Boiron
Title: President and Chief Executive Officer

Janick Boudazin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Boiron. Boiron, the world leader in homeopathic medicines, is best known for its popular Arnicare® line of pain relievers and Oscillococcinum® flu reliever. Founded in 1932 by Jean and Henri Boiron, the company provides a full line of low-risk options to benefit consumers and health care professionals in more than 50 countries. As a pharmaceutical company, Boiron maintains the highest standards in manufacturing, complying with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations and the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States.

Boudazin joined Boiron in 1995 as an intern while completing his doctorate of pharmacy degree at Nantes University in France. In 1999, he transferred to the U.S. and worked as the branch manager before becoming the director of medical development. He brings extensive product and operational knowledge to his roles, along with an intense dedication to homeopathy.


5. John Jacobs
Company: Novavax
Title: President and Chief Executive Officer

On January 23, 2023, John C. Jacobs became President, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the board of directors at Novavax. Jacobs brings more than 25 years of commercial, operations, business, and leadership experience across multiple therapeutic areas. He joined Novavax from Harmony Biosciences, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors beginning in June 2018, and Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer from October 2017 to June 2018. Notably, Jacobs led the company through a successful IPO and led its first product through FDA review, approval, and commercialization.

Prior to joining Harmony, Jacobs held leadership roles at Teva Pharmaceuticals beginning in 2014, including Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Respiratory Business Unit, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations in North America, and General Manager of Teva in Canada. Jacobs has also held positions of increasing scope and responsibility at major pharmaceutical companies including Cephalon, Wyeth, and Pfizer. He received an MBA in marketing from The State University of New York at Binghamton and a BS in business from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh.


6. Richard Faris
Company: PANTHERx Rare Pharmacy
Title: Chief Commercial Officer

Richard Faris serves as PANTHERx Rare Pharmacy’s Chief Commercial Officer responsible for pharmacy operations, clinical and patient engagement services, implementation, innovation, and quality. Prior to joining PANTHERx, Dr. Faris was VP for Clinical Strategy and Services with DaVitaRx. He previously served as Accredo’s Vice President for Clinical Services and Health Outcomes Solutions, and Medco’s/ESI’s National Practice Leader for Rare and Specialty Therapeutics. Dr. Faris served on the executive committees for DaVita Rx and Accredo. He has held leadership positions in health systems, industry, and academia.

Dr. Faris received his BS in pharmacy from the University of Mississippi. He then completed a two-year masters/residency program with the University of Minnesota and received his PhD from the University of Florida. Dr. Faris has numerous national and international publications, chapters, abstracts, posters, and invited presentations. He recently served as a board member for the Pharmacy Quality Alliance.


7. Ye Zhang
Company: Arcturus Therapeutics
Title: Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs

Ye Zhang is Senior Vice President and Head of Regulatory Affairs for Arcturus Therapeutics, where she established the Regulatory Affairs department and oversees Regulatory Strategy, Regulatory CMC, Regulatory Operation, and Labeling to support the development of vaccines and rare disease therapeutics. Arcturus created the proprietary lipid nanoparticle delivery system LUNAR®, as well as the proprietary Self-Transcribing and Replicating RNA technology STARR™, with the potential to enable multiple nucleic acid medicines and provide longer-lasting RNA and sustained protein expression at lower dose levels. Arcturus’ diverse pipeline includes COVID-19 and influenza vaccines and ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, cystic fibrosis, glycogen storage disease type III, and hepatitis B therapeutics.

Zhang has more than 18 years of experience in regulatory and drug development for vaccines, biologics, and small molecules. Prior to joining Arcturus Therapeutics, Zhang held various roles of increasing responsibility at Merck, where she was responsible for more than ten vaccines in development and life-cycle management and had extensive experience in working with the FDA, EMA, MHRA, and other regulatory authorities. She also worked at the FDA as a Drug Product Quality Reviewer, where she reviewed more than 60 drug applications and gained extensive regulatory experience. Zhang received a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Colorado and an MD from the Medical School of Peking University.


8. Mark Patterson
Company: Valo
Title: Chief Information Officer

Mark Patterson was named Chief Information Officer at Valo in June 2022. Valo is a technology company built to transform the drug discovery and development process using human-centric data and AI-powered computation. The company is fully integrating human-centric data across the entire drug development lifecycle into a single unified architecture, thereby accelerating the discovery and development of life-changing drugs while simultaneously reducing the cost, time, and failure rate. Valo’s Opal Computational Platform™ consists of an integrated set of capabilities designed to transform data into valuable insights that may accelerate discoveries and enable the company to advance a robust pipeline of programs across cardiovascular metabolic renal, oncology, and neurodegenerative disease.

Previously, Patterson served as Chief Technology Officer at Clark Capital Management Group, and before that as Program Director at SEI. Earlier in his career, he worked with ARINC Engineering Services, LLC as a network engineering associate. Patterson earned an MPS in data analytics from Penn State University, an MBA in finance from DeSales University, and a BS in computer science from Chestnut Hill College.


9. Anthony Tabasso
Company: KVK Tech
Title: President and Chief Executive Officer

Anthony Tabasso serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of KVK Tech, a leader in the development and manufacture of high-quality, FDA-approved medicines that address unmet patient needs. KVK prides itself on its ability to advance medical care and offer low-cost alternatives in response to today’s healthcare challenges.

Prior to joining KVK-Tech, Tabasso spent 16 years in private practice at a large Philadelphia law firm, where his practice focused on commercial litigation, business restructuring, and transactional work. After serving as outside counsel for many years, Tabasso joined KVK as President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2013. Since that time, his focus has been on committing KVK to three core values: Regulatory Compliance, Safety, and Productivity. He has also dedicated KVK to strengthening its commitment to its customers and supply chain partners. Tabasso holds a JD from Villanova University and a BA from Cornell University.


10. Ramy Mahmoud
Company: Optinose
Title: President and Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Mahmoud joined his partner, Peter Miller, in the start-up Optinose and its U.S. subsidiary in 2010, taking the role of President and Chief Operating Officer and sharing responsibility for leading all aspects of the company. This includes overall corporate strategy; finance; scientific activities inclusive of product R&D, manufacturing, and supply chain; commercial development; and business development.

Prior to Optinose, Dr. Mahmoud spent 14 years at Johnson & Johnson, where he was Chief Medical Officer and a member of the Global Management Board of the Ethicon group of companies. During his Johnson & Johnson tenure, he also held senior roles in the pharmaceutical sector, and in addition to management board responsibilities at several operating companies, he led a range of functions in both R&D and commercial organizations. Dr. Mahmoud participated in the development, launch, and/or commercialization of dozens of pharmaceutical and medical device products spanning multiple therapeutic categories.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Mahmoud served 10 years on active duty and an additional 10 reserve years in the United States Army, earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and acting at times as a battalion surgeon or flight surgeon. He received numerous commendations and decorations for his service. During this time, he held various patient care, research, and academic positions, culminating as head of the Department of Epidemiology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and as inaugural leader of a policy research and analysis activity in support of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs).

Over the span of his time in public service and in business leadership, Dr. Mahmoud has become an accomplished international scientist, making hundreds of scientific presentations, publishing many peer-reviewed papers and textbook chapters, and serving as a scientific reviewer for a number of journals and textbooks. Dr. Mahmoud earned a master’s degree with a focus in healthcare management and policy from Harvard, an MD from the first Honors Program in Medical Education at the University of Miami, and board certifications in both Public Health/Preventive Medicine and in Internal Medicine. He holds certificates from the Program in Clinical Effectiveness (Harvard Medical School) and in Advanced Tropical Medicine (Walter Reed). Dr. Mahmoud has been and remains involved with a number of professional societies.


11. Peter Miller
Company: Optinose
Title: Chief Executive Officer

Peter Miller has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Optinose and as a member of the company’s board of directors since 2010, and previously as a member of the board of directors of OptiNose AS from 2008 to 2010.

From June 2004 to May 2007, Miller was Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and President of Take Care Health Systems Inc., a company that introduced medical clinics inside Walgreens retail pharmacies. From May 2007 to May 2010, he served as Vice President of Walgreen Co.’s Health and Wellness Division following its acquisition of Take Care Health Systems.

Prior to co-founding Take Care Health Systems, Miller spent more than 15 years at Johnson & Johnson, a multinational medical devices, pharmaceutical, and consumer packaged goods manufacturer, serving in a variety of marketing and general management roles that included Worldwide President of Johnson & Johnson — Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals and President of Janssen Pharmaceutical. Miller served as a member of the board of directors of Actua Corporation, a publicly-traded SaaS technology company, from June 2010 until January 2018. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS in economics from Trinity College.


12. Ewa J. Kleczyk
Company: Target RWE
Title: Senior Vice President of Operations

Ewa J. Kleczyk, PhD, is Senior Vice President of Operations for Target RWE, which provides best-in-healthcare-industry real-world data (RWD) solutions utilized throughout the drug development and commercialization spectrum. Previously, Dr. Kleczyk was Vice President of Advanced and Custom Analytics at Symphony Health, ICON, plc, leading commercial analytics applications, privacy compliance, and data operations. With nearly 20 years of experience, Dr. Kleczyk is a healthcare industry analytics and operations leader with a proven record of establishing high performing teams and delivering innovative analytics solutions.

She is also a highly sought-after conference speaker with experience speaking at leading industry conferences, including presentations at the Pharmaceutical Marketing Sciences Association, HIMSS, DTC Perspectives, CDM Media, Women Economic Empowerment Conference, Pharmaceutics & Novel Drug Delivery Systems, and the Conference for Business and Economics at Harvard University. She also has published in multiple academic and industry journals, contributed chapters to several academic books, and has been a board member of several peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Kleczyk has been an active advocate of mentoring future women leaders in the healthcare industry, for which she has been recognized with multiple leadership awards, including HBA’s “Rising Star” and “Luminary” recognitions. In 2022, she was a finalist for the Women in IT Awards in the Contribution of the Year category.

Along with her husband, James Strout, she is also a Board Member on the Community Cancer Council for the Northern Light Health Network in Bangor, Maine, which provides advocacy for cancer patients. She is also a graduate faculty member in the School of Economics at the University of Maine, Orono, where she established an academic scholarship for graduate students in the School of Economics to support higher education and future leaders of Maine and the nation in the economic development area. Dr. Kleczyk also chairs the College Advisory Board for the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture and works closely with the Dean of the College and Faculty on developing college programs and degrees in support of the growing Maine and Northeast economies and industries. Dr. Kleczyk earned her PhD in agricultural & applied economics from Virginia Tech, and her MS in resource economics and policy and BA in economics with a minor in mathematics from the University of Maine, Orono. She is originally from Wroclaw, Poland.


13. Ana Aguilar
Company: Menarini Silicon Biosystems
Title: Chief Financial Officer

Ana Aguilar is the Chief Financial Officer of Menarini Silicon Biosystems, which offers unique rare cell technologies and solutions that provide clinical researchers with access to unparalleled resolution in the study of cells and their molecular characterization. The company’s CELLSEARCH® and DEPArray™ technologies together provide an end-to-end solution for the enumeration and sorting of rare cells with single-cell precision. Menarini Silicon Biosystems, based in Bologna, Italy, and Huntingdon Valley, PA, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Menarini Group, a multinational pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and diagnostics company headquartered in Florence, Italy, with 17,640 employees in 136 countries.

Aguilar joined Menarini in 2018. Previously, she was a senior finance manager at Cerner Corporation, and before that a senior finance manager for Siemens Health Services at Siemens AG after joining the company in 1996 as Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable Supervisor for Siemens Automotive. Aguilar graduated from Drexel University with an EMBA and from Universidad Panamericana in Mexico with an undergraduate degree in finance.


14. David Navazio
Company: Gentell
Title: President and Chief Executive Officer

David Navazio is responsible for the operations of Gentell, Inc., including manufacturing, FDA compliance, and product development. He started out with the development of a home medical equipment and respiratory company. Through a series of acquisitions and a consistently increasing customer base, the company soon became a leader in the industry and was the first company to develop wound healing protocols exclusively for nursing homes. These protocols were the preamble of Gentell and revolutionized wound care by providing education along with treatment options.

In addition, Navazio worked tirelessly with the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL) and chaired the committee responsible for having the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) recognize advanced wound care products. The result was a Congressional change to the Medicare Coverage Policies (Section 2079) to not only recognize wound care but to provide coverage for advanced wound care products. Today, many state health programs have been utilizing Medicare parameters and adding coverage for wound care products.

Navazio is Board Chair of Pearl S. Buck International. He serves as Trustee of Liguori Academy in Philadelphia and has been involved with many charitable organizations, including as the Assistant Governor for Rotary District 7510, past president of the Rotary Club of Trenton, NJ, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, West Central New Jersey region.


15. Holly Gratkowski
Company: CluePoints
Title: Chief Operations Officer

Holly Gratkowski currently serves as Chief Operations Officer for CluePoints, which provides sponsors and CROs a better way of detecting and managing risks that may impact the outcome of clinical trials. CluePoints’ solutions, all of which are underpinned by Central Statistical Monitoring, a technique that’s being investigated by the FDA for selecting sites for inspection, are deployed to drive a risk-based quality management strategy, as advocated by the ICH and FDA.

Gratkowski joined CluePoints in 2018 and has over 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry. Prior to CluePoints, Gratkowski spent 9 years with Signant Health (formerly Bracket) in various roles concentrating on leading operational teams and overseeing strategic account delivery. She also held positions at Amicus Therapeutics and IBM Global Business Services in Healthcare and Life Sciences. She has a passion for developing and enhancing high functioning teams where the overall goal and focus is on contributing to high data quality in clinical studies. Gratkowski holds a PhD and BA in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.


16. Walter Kibbe
Company: Stealth BioTherapeutics
Title: Senior Director, Clinical and Commercial Supply Chain

Walter Kibbe is the Senior Director, Clinical and Commercial Supply Chain for Stealth BioTherapeutics, an innovative biopharmaceutical company developing therapies to treat mitochondrial dysfunction associated with genetic mitochondrial diseases and common diseases of aging. Its team works with patients and advocacy organizations to better understand their journeys and raise awareness of the unmet need its programs seek to address. Stealth BioTherapeutics collaborates with top-tier academic and medical institutions, scientific thought leaders, and clinical key opinion leaders in developing the first generation of targeted therapies focusing on mitochondrial dysfunction as it presents in these rare genetic diseases and common diseases of aging. With these collaborative efforts, the company continues to advance its platform of late-stage clinical programs and novel pipeline candidates.

Prior to joining Stealth in 2021, Kibbe was Director of Supply Chain Management for Idera Pharmaceuticals, and before that Director of Planning and Materials Management for WuXi Advanced Therapies. Earlier in his career, he worked for Johnson & Johnson as a manager and for Amring Pharmaceuticals as Head of Supply Chain. Kibbe graduated from Lehigh University with an MBA in supply chain management and from The Pennsylvania State University with a BS in electrical engineering technology and control systems.


17. Steve Murray
Company: Centinel Spine
Title: Chief Executive Officer

Steve Murray is the Chief Executive Officer of Centinel Spine, LLC, the largest privately-held spine company focused on anterior column reconstruction. The company offers a continuum of trusted, brand-name, motion-preserving, and fusion solutions backed by over 30 years of clinical success, providing the most robust and clinically-proven technology platforms in the world for total disc replacement (prodisc®) and Integrated Interbody™ fusion (STALIF®). Centinel Spine is constantly advancing its pioneering culture and continuing its corporate mission to become the worldwide leading company addressing spinal disease anteriorly with the widest breadth and depth of technology platforms. The company stands alone as the only company with comprehensive motion-preserving and fusion solutions for both cervical and lumbar anterior column reconstruction.

Previously, Murray served as Vice President of Sales at Synthes CMF before becoming President of Synthes Spine. He also served as Worldwide President for Advanced Sterilization Products and General Manager, Cordis & Ortho Clinical Diagnostics for Johnson & Johnson. Murray graduated from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth with an MBA, and from Miami University with an undergraduate degree in diplomacy & foreign affairs and economics.


18. Dan Schneider
Company: Photocure ASA
Title: President and Chief Executive Officer

Dan Schneider currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Photocure ASA, which delivers transformative solutions to improve the lives of bladder cancer patients. Its unique technology, making cancer cells glow bright pink, has led to better health outcomes for patients worldwide.

Schneider joined Photocure in November 2018. He brings more than 25 years of experience in developing and expanding rapidly growing healthcare companies in the U.S., most recently as the General Manager for Ablynx N.V. in North America. He has also held executive management positions in other pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including BTG International, Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, and Sepracor. Schneider holds an MBA from the Olin Business School of Washington University in St. Louis and a BSBA from Saint Louis University with a double major in finance and marketing.


19. Marella Thorell
Company: Evelo Biosciences
Title: Chief Financial Officer

Marella Thorell is the Chief Financial Officer of Evelo Biosciences, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing orally delivered product candidates that are designed to act on the small intestinal axis, SINTAX™, with systemic therapeutic effects. The company’s first product candidates are pharmaceutical preparations of single strains of microbes selected for their potential to offer defined pharmacological properties. Evelo’s therapies have the potential to be effective, safe, and affordable medicines to improve the lives of people with inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Thorell has more than 25 years of experience in finance and operations. She joined Evelo from Centessa Pharmaceuticals, where she most recently served as Chief Accounting Officer and previously as Head of Finance. In this role, she led the establishment of Centessa’s finance operations, led its public company readiness activities in connection with its IPO, and oversaw finance and accounting operations. Previously, Thorell served as CFO at Palladio Biosciences before its acquisition by Centessa, and, before that, she spent over 10 years at Realm Therapeutics in various roles of increasing responsibility, including CFO and Chief Operating Officer. Thorell serves as a board member of ESSA Pharma and chairperson of the board of Vallon Pharmaceuticals. She holds a BS in business from Lehigh University, magna cum laude.


20. Jeff Tyber
Company: Tyber Medical
Title: Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Jeff Tyber is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tyber Medical. He has worked in the orthopedic medical industry for over 12 years in product development, research, and management roles. Tyber most recently was the first employee and R&D Manager for Extremity Medical, a start-up company focused on the distal extremity orthopedic market. During his tenure at Extremity, Tyber and his product development group were responsible for the invention, development, and release of more than 9 products, including Extremity’s core technology.

Prior to Extremity, Tyber was a Design Engineer with B. Braun Aesculap, specifically in the spinal implant division. At Aesculap, he designed posterior and anterior cervical spinal systems, as well as a stand-alone interbody spacer. Tyber was also a co-founder and Senior Engineer for Medshape Solutions, where he led the technical development effort for a soft tissue fixation system and an ankle fusion device and co-invented and patented multiple orthopedic implants using shape memory polymers and alloys.

Tyber’s inventions have been implanted in more than 100,000 patients and have grossed over $450 million for the companies he has worked for. He is a named inventor on more than 39 domestic and international patents and patent applications. Tyber graduated from the University of Colorado with an MS and BS in mechanical engineering as well as minors in business and statistics.


21. David Holtschlag
Company: Innovative
Title: Chief Financial Officer

Dave Holtschlag is the Chief Financial Officer of Innovative Systems, Inc., which has been a leading provider of high accuracy enterprise data management, risk management solutions, and consulting services to major organizations globally for more than 50 years. In this capacity, Holtschlag has oversight responsibility for the accounting, finance, human resources, payroll, mail services, and legal departments.

Before joining Innovative Systems, Holtschlag served as Director of Financial Planning & Analysis for DynaVox Systems, Senior Director of Finance and Treasury for Respironics, and Principal of Corporate Finance for American Airlines. He also worked for Dollar Bank in areas of increasing responsibility, including mergers and acquisitions. Holtschlag earned an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Yale University.


22. Stephen Caltabiano
Company: TrialSpark
Title: Senior Director and Clinical Scientist

Stephen Caltabiano is Senior Director and Clinical Scientist of TrialSpark, a technology company that helps bring treatments to patients faster. Today, clinical trials are the bottleneck to bringing life-saving treatments to patients. They’re slow, inefficient, and expensive. TrialSpark believes that it can use technology to accelerate the pace of clinical trials and bridge the gap between medical research and patients who need treatment.

Before joining TrialSpark, Caltabiano was Global Clinical Scientist Lead at CSL Behring. Prior to that, he served as Senior Director, Clinical Development at GSK for nearly 22 years. Earlier in his career, he worked with Wyeth-Ayerst Research as a research scientist. He also spent over three years as an adjunct assistant professor teaching a general biology lab course at Temple University. Caltabiano graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a PhD in physiology and from Drexel University with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences.


23. Amy Covert
Company: VitalConnect
Title: Chief Financial Officer

Amy Covert is Chief Financial Officer of VitalConnect, which is a leader in wearable biosensor technology. Its technology is routinely used for cardiac monitoring as well as patient monitoring in the hospital and at home. VitalConnect leverages extensive expertise in biomedical engineering, data analytics, chip design, and mobile and cloud software to create technology that supports decision-making paradigms that achieve better health and economic outcomes. VitalConnect’s products, the Vista Solution™ platform and VitalPatch® biosensor, are designed for use in a broad range of inpatient and outpatient settings, such as hospital monitoring, post-discharge care, cardiac monitoring, and pharmaceutical solutions.

Covert joined VitalConnect from HoverTech International, a medical device company, where she served as CFO from 2019 to 2022. At HoverTech, Covert had responsibility for finance and accounting as well as the operational organization, which included manufacturing, sourcing, customer service, and logistics. Prior to HoverTech, she held various financial leadership roles at BioTelemetry, Inc., a remote cardiac monitoring company. Covert received her MBA and a Certificate in Accountancy from Villanova University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in finance and international business from The Pennsylvania State University.


24. Christina Hughes
Company: Reverba
Title: Chief Operating Officer

Christina Hughes is the Chief Operating Officer of Reverba (formerly Health Perspectives Group), a health engagement company that transforms the way healthcare companies think and function, making compliant, patient-centered action possible. Reverba signifies a multiplying force for amplifying the perspectives of patients and the impact of their voices. The word is also rooted in science: REV-ErbA is an essential protein that supports the circadian rhythms of life. Working with more than 30 biopharmaceutical companies over its storied history, it has built lasting relationships with thousands of patients directly, and its programs have reached millions of other patients indirectly as well.

Hughes joined Reverba from clinical trial data company Medrio, where she also served as COO. Prior to Medrio, she held operational and leadership positions at ERT (now Clario), AiCure, and Bracket (now Signant Health; formerly United BioSource Corporation). She also served in senior consulting roles at Deloitte Consulting, Cap Gemini/Ernst & Young, and The Lewin Group. She was recognized as a PharmaVoice 100 winner in 2016, honoring the most inspiring people in the life sciences industry. Hughes holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor of Science in biology from Yale University.


25. Mike Smith
Company: Biomeme
Title: Senior Director, Commercial

Mike Smith is Senior Director, Commercial at Biomeme. Biomeme's platform transforms smartphones into a mobile lab for advanced DNA diagnostics and real-time disease surveillance. The system includes a docking station for real-time PCR, a mobile app to control the system and analyze results, and targeted test kits for preparing samples and identifying pathogens or diseases by their specific DNA or RNA signatures. The cutting edge platform performs to the gold standard used by the world's most advanced central labs but requires no lab equipment or special experience to use. The low-cost, user-friendly system enables mobile testing at the point-of-need for health care (mobile clinics, disease tracking, home use), agriculture (plant disease tracking, food safety), vector surveillance (malaria, West Nile mosquitos), veterinary medicine, environmental monitoring (soil and water safety), and even education and citizen science.

Before joining Biomeme, Smith served as General Manager at Phi Life Sciences, and before that as Managing Partner at Growth Strategies in Motion, where he built and led a National Corporate Account Outsourcing Organization focused on healthcare technology, population health, and genomic and remote blood testing. He also previously held several senior positions with Philips, working his way up from Regional Director to Vice President of Sales. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.