DELIVERING CONFIDENCE

At Artio, we are committed to developing and commercializing novel, best-in-class medical devices that have the potential to provide better patient outcomes.

Our Core Values

Nurture creative people, build great teams and encourage innovative ideas

Develop new products by focusing on the needs of patients and physicians

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F. Nicholas Franano, MD

Founder, President, & CEO

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F. Nicholas Franano, MD

Founder, President, & CEO

Nicholas Franano, MD, is a physician, scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He is President and CEO of Artio Medical, and a co-founder. Dr. Franano is an experienced entrepreneur, founding several companies including Artio Medical, Flow Forward Medical, Novita Therapeutics, and Proteon Therapeutics (NYSE: PRTO). Dr. Franano has held positions of President, CEO, and CSO at these companies, which have raised collectively over $120 million in capital and grants.

Before Proteon, Dr. Franano maintained an active clinical practice in interventional radiology, performing a wide range of vascular and non-vascular procedures. He received both his Doctor of Medicine and Master of Science in biomedical research from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed a residency in Diagnostic Radiology and a fellowship in Interventional Radiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has received numerous research awards, grants and fellowships, and has published many abstracts and articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Franano holds 11 patents and more than 30 pending patent applications. In 2009, Dr. Franano was named a “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum and an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the Central Midwest. Dr. Franano serves on the Biological Sciences Advisory Board at the University of Kansas and the Entrepreneurship Council at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Paul Muller

CTO and General Manager

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Paul Muller

CTO and General Manager

Paul Muller is Chief Technology Officer and General Manager at Artio Medical. He is an experienced leader with over 30 years of success developing cardiovascular, peripheral vascular, and neurovascular medical devices. Prior to Artio, Paul was Chief Technology Officer and General Manager at Flow Forward Medical (acquired by Artio) where he led the product development team and moved the Arteriovenous Fistula Eligibility System program to clinical readiness. Prior to Flow Forward Medical, Paul started and led the HeartMate Percutaneous Heart Pump TM (PHP) program for the Thoratec Corporation, receiving CE mark approval and IDE initiation in 2015. Paul also successfully integrated the HeartMate PHP program into St. Jude Medical, and then into Abbott Laboratories through their acquisitions. Prior to Thoratec, Paul held many leadership and management roles within Guidant and Abbott Vascular. In one role, Paul created and led the Carotid, Peripheral, Biliary, and Neuro Business Unit within Guidant that developed the first device approved by the FDA for carotid artery stenting.

Paul is an inventor and co-inventor on 29 patents and has published several peer-reviewed papers in leading medical journals. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the Pacific.

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Wendy Sawyer

Senior Vice President of Operations and Quality

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Wendy Sawyer

Senior Vice President of Operations and Quality

Wendy Sawyer is the Senior Vice President of Operations and Quality at Artio Medical. Wendy brings more than 30 years of experience in operations, manufacturing, and product development in the medical device industry.

For the last 10 years Wendy was Vice President of Operations at NeoTract, Inc. (aquired by Teleflex, Inc.) where she led all worldwide business unit activities related to Manufacturing, Manufacturing Engineering, Supply Chain and Logistics. She successfully scaled manufacturing and related activities for the NeoTract Urolift® System from first commercialization to over a million units manufactured, through Teleflex’s acquisition and present-day integration. Prior to NeoTract she held various management / global operations positions at Boston Scientific, Guidant, Origin Medsystems (Eli Lilly and Co.) and IVAC Corporation (Eli Lilly and Co.).

Wendy graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Industrial Technology from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

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John Ayres

Vice President of Corporate Development and General Counsel

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John Ayres

Vice President of Corporate Development and General Counsel

John Ayres, JD, serves as Vice President of Corporate Development and General Counsel at Artio Medical. Prior to Artio, John was Vice President of Corporate Development and General Counsel at Aratana Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded life science start-up company where he was instrumental in its merger with Elanco Animal Health, Inc. in 2019. Prior to Aratana, John was corporate and securities counsel at Amgen Inc., a global publicly-traded biotechnology company, where he advised the board of directors and the company’s finance, human resources, and corporate communications groups. Prior to Amgen, John was an attorney at the global law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP where he specialized in public company counsel, including SEC compliance, initial public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions.

John earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Missouri, and holds a B.A. degree in finance from Truman State University.

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Erdie De Peralta

Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs

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Erdie De Peralta

Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs

Erdie De Peralta is Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Artio Medical. He is an experienced medical device professional with nearly 20 years of expertise in clinical and regulatory affairs, product development, and field and sales training.

Previously, Erdie was the Vice President of Regulatory and Clinical Affairs at ExThera Medical Corporation, where he led the company in the development and execution of regulatory and clinical strategies, including interactions with the FDA and other regulatory agencies. Prior to ExThera, Erdie held various regulatory leadership positions at OptiScan Biomedical, Abbott, St. Jude Medical, Boston Scientific, and Guidant Corporation. He has experience with implantable cardiac rhythm devices, PCI optimization, mechanical circulatory support devices, glucose monitoring systems, and hemofiltration devices.

Erdie has a Master’s degree in Nursing from New York University in New York, NY.

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Joe McConnell

Vice President of Finance and Business Operations

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Joe McConnell

Vice President of Finance and Business Operations

Joe McConnell is the Vice President of Finance and Business Operations at Artio Medical. He brings over fifteen years of operations and finance experience to Artio. Serving as both Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Chief Financial Officer at several companies prior to Artio. Most recently, Joe was COO at Nolan Real Estate, a >$1B multifamily real estate investment firm, leading the company’s teams in operations, finance, asset management, marketing, human resources, and IT. Prior to this, Joe served as the COO/CFO at Blooom, a rapidly growing Kansas City startup. Prior to Blooom, Joe lead operations and strategy for LinkedIn’s Marketing solutions business, managing both the sales and business operations teams. Before that, Joe was an engagement manager with McKinsey’s operations practice in San Francisco and served as an Engineering and Armor office in the US Army for four years, earning a Bronze Star for service in Iraq.

Joe holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Palo Alto, CA, where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar. He also holds a BS in Engineering from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey where he graduated summa cum laude.

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Jeff Weinrich

Head of Global Sales

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Jeff Weinrich

Head of Global Sales

Jeff is Head of Global Sales at Artio Medical. He brings 30 years of commercial leadership experience in the medical device industry and has a proven track record of executive level sales leadership, building exceptional sales teams, and driving strong, consistent revenue growth.

Jeff was most recently a Sr. Regional Sales Manager at Corindus Vascular Robotics, where he was instrumental working with the company’s CMO, leading physician robotic training, developing strategic national accounts, and strengthening KOL customer relationships. Jeff previously held several leadership positions at Spectrantics Corporation, a cardiovascular medical device company acquired by Royal Philips, where he excelled in repeatedly delivering over plan and was promoted to the highest rank of Sr. Principal Sales Director. Before Spectranetics, Jeff held several leadership and successful sales positions at companies including Cyberonics (LivaNovo), Guidant Corporation (Boston Scientific), CHS Solutions, Applied Medical Resources, McNeil Pharmaceutical (Jassen, Johnson & Johnson).

Jeff holds a BS degree in Communications from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO where he was a Division 1 athlete.

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Irina Galkina

Controller

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Irina Galkina

Controller

Irina Galkina is the Controller at Artio Medical. Prior to Artio, Irina was at Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. a publicly-traded animal health company, where she held roles of increasing responsibility in finance and accounting, from Accounting Manager to Controller. As Controller at Aratana, Irina was instrumental in the acquisition of Aratana by Elanco Animal Health, Inc. in 2019.  While at Elanco Irina focused on preparation for acquisition and subsequent integration of Bayer Animal Health, working closely with US and international senior management. Earlier in her career, Irina held roles of increasing responsibility in public accounting firms Anders CPAs + Advisors, Deloitte, and Arthur Andersen.

Irina holds a Masters degree in Economics from the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.

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Ryan Moore

Senior Program Director

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Ryan Moore

Senior Program Director

Ryan Moore is Senior Program Director at Artio. Ryan joins the team with over 15 years of medical device experience in various roles including R&D, Clinical Sciences, and Program Management.

Most recently Ryan was with Confluent Medical where he led the implementation of their project management system and also managed several Product Development programs from concept feasibility to high-volume production. Prior to this, he was a Senior R&D Engineer and Technical Project Manager at Stryker Neurovascular, where he led the development of a market-leading embolization coil platform and managed next generation technology projects. Previously, Ryan held technical roles at Boston Scientific and the Food and Drug Administration.

Ryan received a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University and an MBA from the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.

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Vera Shinsky

Senior Director of Technology

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Vera Shinsky

Senior Director of Technology

Vera Shinsky is the Senior Director of Technology at Artio Medical. She brings extensive medical device engineering experience to the team from a career focused in the neurovascular space.

Prior to joining Artio, Vera was Director of Technology at Route 92 Medical/Highway 1 Medical, leading and participating in all aspects of product development. Prior to Route 92, she was Project Manager at Medina Medical and instrumental in the integrating and expanding the Medina portfolio at Medtronic Neurovascular after its acquisition in 2015. Vera has also held R&D roles of increasing responsibility at Silk Road Medical, Concentric Medical (acquired by Stryker), St. Jude Medical, and Acorn Product Development.

Vera Shinsky holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Product Design, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Stanford University.

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Chris Parker

Senior Director of Marketing

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Chris Parker

Senior Director of Marketing

Chris Parker is Senior Director of Marketing at Artio Medical. Chris is a dedicated leader in medical device, bringing nearly 30 years of marketing and sales expertise to the team.

Chris comes to Artio from Abbott Vascular where he most recently served as Director of Marketing, leading a team responsible for global product launch initiatives across a broad portfolio of products. Prior to Abbott, Chris held marketing roles of increasing responsibility at St. Jude Medical and Thoratec Corporation, where he was instrumental in developing successful marketing campaigns for important blood pump products including the CentriMag Acute Circulatory Support System and the HeartMate Percutaneous Heart Pump. Chris began his career in medical device as a sales representative for the Medi-Tech division of Boston Scientific.

Chris holds a BA degree in Economics from the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL.

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Delane Dale

Senior Director of Quality Assurance

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Delane Dale

Senior Director of Quality Assurance

Delane Dale is Senior Director of Quality Assurance at Artio Medical. Delane has 30 plus years of medical device experience with various roles in quality assurance, quality engineering, and regulatory affairs.

Delane was most recently with Confluent Medical Technologies where she was responsible for product development and sustaining quality engineering for the manufacture of neurovascular, endovascular, and cardiovascular products, including nitinol implants and catheter assemblies. Delane held similar roles with Cordis Cardinal Health, Covidien Vascular, LifeScan, Varian Medical Systems and Becton Dickinson, including experience working with the FDA and other regulatory bodies for global device submissions and approvals.

Delane holds a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from California Polytech State University, San Luis Obispo, CA.

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Mimi Fitterer

Senior Director of Technology

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Mimi Fitterer

Senior Director of Technology

Mimi Fitterer is Senior Director of Technology at Artio Medical. Mimi has over 20 years of experience in medical device design, development, and process transfer.

Mimi has experience leading product development efforts of new products at every stage from design concept through commercialization. Mimi was most recently at Intuitive Surgical, where she was responsible for exploring new areas for robotic surgical assistance in the endoluminal space. Prior to Intuitive Surgical, Mimi was at Boston Scientific, leading the development of next generation delivery catheters for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). She has also held engineering roles of increasing responsibility at Arbor Surgical Technologies and Conceptus Incorporated.

Mimi holds a BS degree in Bioengineering from University of California, San Diego in San Diego, CA.

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Jennifer Martin

Director of Marketing and Operations

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Jennifer Martin

Director of Marketing and Operations

Jennifer Martin is Director of Marketing and Operations at Artio Medical. Jennifer is an experienced marketing professional in neurovascular market. Previously, Jennifer was a Global Product Manager at Stryker Neurovascular where she commercialized and managed several products for the treatment of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke. She was also a Business Development consultant for a promising start-up addressing Alzheimer’s disease.

Jennifer received a Bachelor of Arts in Neurobiology from Harvard University.

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Scott Richardson

Director of Creative Device Design

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Scott Richardson

Director of Creative Device Design

Scott Richardson is Director of Creative Device Design at Artio where he has played a key role in the growth of Artio’s product portfolio and intellectual property estate. Scott has over 30 years of cardiovascular medical device engineering experience, including at Thermo Cardiosystems, Thoratec, Levitronix, and Flow Forward Medical. He enjoys using his broad and deep technical expertise and inventive nature to find novel, practical solutions to difficult medical device design and engineering challenges.

Scott has completed continued education courses at Northeastern University, UMass Amherst, and Framingham State College, and technical courses at the Control Data Institute.

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William Whitaker

Co-Founder

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William Whitaker

Co-Founder

William Whitaker is a co-founder of Artio Medical and previously co-founded Flow Forward Medical, Novita Therapeutics, and Proteon Therapeutics (PRTO) where he served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Director. He helped raise more than $120 million in capital and grants for the various companies.

Prior to this, Whitaker was a Partner at two law firms before forming his own practice. He had a diverse career practicing in such areas as corporate law and financing, estate planning, municipal bond financing, bankruptcy, and litigation. He has served on the Boards of Directors of the Heart of America Mutual Fund and of Milburn Country Club, where he served a term as President. He also served for three years on the Public Policy and Education Committee of Kansas BIO.

Whitaker earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce. He received his law degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. In 2009 Whitaker was named an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the Central Midwest. Whitaker has held memberships in the Missouri Bar Association, Kansas City Bar Association and the Lawyers Association of Kansas City.

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F. Nicholas Franano, MD

Founder, President, & CEO

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F. Nicholas Franano, MD

Founder, President, & CEO

Nicholas Franano, MD, is a physician, scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He is President and CEO of Artio Medical, and a co-founder. Dr. Franano is an experienced entrepreneur, founding several companies including Artio Medical, Flow Forward Medical, Novita Therapeutics, and Proteon Therapeutics (NYSE: PRTO). Dr. Franano has held positions of President, CEO, and CSO at these companies, which have raised collectively over $120 million in capital and grants.

Before Proteon, Dr. Franano maintained an active clinical practice in interventional radiology, performing a wide range of vascular and non-vascular procedures. He received both his Doctor of Medicine and Master of Science in biomedical research from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed a residency in Diagnostic Radiology and a fellowship in Interventional Radiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has received numerous research awards, grants and fellowships, and has published many abstracts and articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Franano holds 11 patents and more than 30 pending patent applications. In 2009, Dr. Franano was named a “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum and an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the Central Midwest. Dr. Franano serves on the Biological Sciences Advisory Board at the University of Kansas and the Entrepreneurship Council at Washington University in St. Louis.

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Jim Schultz

Open Prairie Ventures

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Jim Schultz

Open Prairie Ventures

Jim Schultz is the founder of Open Prairie and is responsible for the management of four private equity funds with investments in innovative technologies spanning medical devices, agriculture/food and information systems. Funds invested by Open Prairie have resulted in two successful IPOs and created over 4,000 jobs across 40 portfolio investments. In addition to being a member of the Artio board of directors, Jim has been an active board member on notable medical device investments, including:

  • TomoTherapy (2007 IPO; NASDAQ: TOMO) – cancer treatment technology
  • FlowForward Medical (current investment) – hemodialysis technology
  • ConsortiEX (current investment) – SaaS hospital pharmacy
  • MedVenture Technologies (sold in 2008 to Ampersand) – outsource device manufacturing
  • Compact Particle Acceleration Corporation (divested in 2013) – proton-therapy treatment device
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Maria Sainz

Industry Leader and Independent Director

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Maria Sainz

Industry Leader and Independent Director

Maria Sainz has over 25 year of experience in commercial and leadership positions in the medical device industry. Maria most recently served as President and CEO of Aegea Medical, a VC-backed medical device company focused on women’s health, and successfully led Aegea to an acquisition by CooperSurgical in February 2021. Maria previously served as the President and CEO of Cardiokinetix, a medical device company pioneering a catheter-based treatment for heart failure. Prior to that, Maria was the President and CEO of Concentric Medical, a developer of minimally invasive products for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke, which was acquired in 2011 by Stryker Corporation. Maria began her device career at Guidant Corporation where she held positions of increasing responsibility in Europe and the US. When Guidant was acquired by Boston Scientific, Maria served as President of the Cardiac Surgery division of Guidant Corporation. Maria has been intimately involved in several major medical device product launches, including coronary stents and cardiac resynchronization devices. Maria also serves as a member of the board of directors of several public and private medical device companies.

Maria received a Master of Arts in Languages from the University Complutense in Madrid, Spain and a Masters in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

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Nathaniel Hagedorn

NorthPoint Development

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Nathaniel Hagedorn

NorthPoint Development

Nathaniel Hagedorn is the founder and CEO of NorthPoint Development and brings nearly two decades of experience in accessing new markets and scaling new business opportunities. Nathaniel founded NorthPoint Development in 2012 as a local industrial developer, and over the past twelve years, he successfully raised $6.5B in capital, expanded operations to 21 states, employs over 280 people, and manages 75 million square feet of commercial real estate space. NorthPoint Development has also been honored as a Kansas City Business Journal “Best Places to Work” annually since 2013, and Nathaniel was a regional finalist for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2014. Prior to NorthPoint Development, Nathaniel was at Briarcliff Development Company and took on increasing roles within the organization, developing the skills, experience, and expertise he would later apply to the foundation of NorthPoint Development.

Nathaniel received both a Master’s degree and Bachelor of Arts in Finance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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Abhinav Shukla

BAYADA Home Health Care

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Abhinav Shukla

BAYADA Home Health Care

Abhinav Shukla has over a decade of large company operating and general management expertise and is passionate about scaling businesses. He recently joined BAYADA Home Health Care, one of the nation’s largest and fast-growing home health care providers as Group President. Prior to BAYADA, Shukla served as the Chief Operating Officer of Aspen Dental Management, Inc. where he led P&L teams serving over 2 million patients annually. Previously, he was Chief Operating Officer of True Value Co., where he ran most of the commercial and operating lines as well as the manufacturing division.

Over the past ten years, he has served on the Board of Directors of several national nonprofits and industry associations and presented at leading industry events and conferences as a speaker, moderator, and keynote panelist.

Abhinav received a Masters in Management and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, and a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India.

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Blaise Baxter, MD

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Blaise Baxter, MD

Dr. Blaise Baxter is a Neuro and Peripheral Interventional Radiologist. He recently served as Chief/Chair of the Radiology Department at Erlanger Health System. Dr. Baxter is currently a Special Government Employee for the Neurological Devices Panel for the FDA Medical Devices Advisory Committee. In addition, Dr. Baxter is the immediate Past-President of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS). He is also an Executive Committee Member of American Society of NeuroRadiology (ASNR) and Scientific Statements Committee Member at American Stroke Association (ASA).

Dr. Baxter completed his Interventional Neuroradiology Fellowship at the University of Western Ontario, and received his medical degree from Dalhouse University Faculty of Medicine in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Joshua Hirsch, MD

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Joshua Hirsch, MD

Dr. Joshua Hirsch is an Interventional Neuroradiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the Vice Chair of Procedural Services,  Service Line Chief of Interventional NeuroRadiology, Chief of NeuroInterventional Spine Service, and has his academic appointment at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hirsch is a past president of both the American Society of Spine Radiology (ASSR) and the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS).  Dr. Hirsch is the President Elect of the American Society of Neuroradiology and the chair of the Cerebrovascular Coalition as well as the Health Policy Committee of the SNIS.

Dr. Hirsch has received numerous awards has published more than 500 articles in the peer reviewed literature and authored many chapters and edited many books. Dr. Hirsch is a founding editor of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery (JNIS) and has served on multiple other editorial advisory boards.

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Katie Arnold

Marketing Strategy Consultant

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Katie Arnold

Marketing Strategy Consultant

Katie Arnold is Marketing Strategy Consultant for Artio Medical. She has 20 years of experience in healthcare and has worked with a variety of medical technology companies ranging from venture-backed start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Katie specializes in launch execution and commercialization strategy implementation in the US, EU and AP geographies. She founded and leads SPRIG Consulting, LLC providing strategic marketing services. Prior to founding SPRIG, Katie’s career included sales and marketing management roles with cardiovascular medical device companies Guidant Corporation and Kensey Nash Corporation. Katie is currently an adjunct Faculty member at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business, where she teaches medical product commercialization and financing.

Katie holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont.

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Laura Minarsch

Senior Clinical Affairs Consultant

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Laura Minarsch

Senior Clinical Affairs Consultant

Laura Minarsch is a Senior Clinical Affairs Consultant for Artio Medical. She has over 30 years of experience in clinical support, design, development and execution of clinical trials for medical devices, with an emphasis on first-in-human, early feasibility, and post market clinical studies. She is on the editorial board of Cath Lab Digest and has co-authored numerous scientific and peer reviewed publications.

Laura  is a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist, Registered Radiologic Technologist, and Certified Clinical Research Professional. She holds a degree in Radiologic Technology from Fullerton College, a Bachelor of Science from the Organizational Health Management program at the University of Redlands, and is currently enrolled in the graduate program at University of La Verne.

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Geoff Tansley, PhD

Engineering Consultant

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Geoff Tansley, PhD

Engineering Consultant

Geoff Tansley is an engineering consultant for Artio Medical. He is a mechanical and biomedical engineer with over 30 years of broad engineering experience in the medical devices and manufacturing industries and specializes in designing, building, and testing blood pumps. Geoff consults widely with medical device companies, with a focus in the mechanics of blood flow, medical device design, and fluid dynamics. He is an inventor or co-inventor on 26 patents and has published over 90 papers in peer-reviewed papers in leading engineering journals.

Geoff has a PhD in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham Trent, UK, and is currently an Emeritus Professor at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia.