Canary Leadership Team
Founding Member and CEO
Bill Hunter, M.D., M.Sc.
Dr. Bill Hunter is responsible for the assembly of the Company’s management team, the development of corporate strategic initiatives and participation in both business development and corporate finance activities.
Bill brings 30 years of experience in healthcare as a former practicing physician, serial medtech entrepreneur and chief executive. He most recently was CEO of Correvio (CORV:NASDAQ) where he oversaw the development of its own direct sales force in Europe, acquiring of a company with a complementary product (AGGRASTAT), assembling of an international distribution network, in-licensing three additional products and increasing valuation by over five-fold. Prior to that, he was Founder/CEO of Angiotech (ANPI:NASDAQ), a world leader in the emerging field of drug-loaded medical devices and implants and achieved a market capitalization of greater than $2 billion.
He is an innovator and inventor with over 200 patents and patent applications, including the discovery and development of Persona IQ, the TAXUS® Drug-Eluting Coronary Stent, the Ranger® drug eluting balloon, the Zilver PTX Peripheral Drug-Eluting Stent and the Quill barbed wound closure device. He has overseen the development of products used in over 50 million patients, generating revenues of over $25 billion.
Bill holds a Doctorate of Medicine from University of British Columbia, a Master of Science from University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Science from McGill University.
Founding Member and Chief Surgical Officer
Fred Cushner, M.D.
Dr. Fred Cushner is responsible for all medical activities.
Fred brings over 30 years of experience in healthcare and is a practicing knee surgeon on staff at the prestigious Hospital For Special Surgery in New York City. He is active in many academic organizations, including the Eastern Orthopedic Society, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons as well as the Knee Society. He is a founder of the Knee Society Video Fellowship as well as the annual Joint Arthroplasty Mountain Meeting. After completing his fellowship in New York City with the Insall Scott Kelly Institute, he became a director for over 20 years and joined Northwell Health as the chairman of Southside Hospital Department of Orthopedics.
His perspectives as a an expert in knee surgery have been shared through frequent national and international lectures, peer reviewed academic articles and numerous book chapters. He has authored four academic texts. Utilizing his background, he has been a designer surgeon in numerous devices such as the Journey 2 Knee, the Journey Partial Knee, CORI Robotic System, the Smith and Nephew Porous Knee System.
Fred completed his medical school and residency at the Medical University of South Carolina and completed his fellowship in New York City with the Insall Scott Kelly Institute.
Founding Member and Chief Technology Officer
Jeff Gross, Ph.D.
Dr. Jeff Gross is responsible for leading all aspects of product development in concert with consultants in the areas of R&D, QA, manufacturing, RA and reimbursement for the first product indication, TKA, developing a robust pipeline of line extensions and new products, continual development of the company’s IP portfolio, and working with the CEO on fund raising and corporate partnership activities.
Jeff brings over 30 years of experience in medical device R&D, M&A and commercialization experience launching cardiovascular, vascular, interventional, spinal, infection protection, and wound healing products. He most recently was a Senior Vice President, R&D, Product Engineering and Chief Technology Officer at Procedural Solution, where he led a multidisciplinary R&D organization of engineers, biologists, chemists, clinical specialists and technicians located in three countries at seven sites conducting medical device, drug, and combination drug/device R&D and product engineering and launched several products that generated about $45 million per year in new product revenue year during this time period with substantive further growth possible. Prior to that, he worked as Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Corporate Officer at Angiotech Pharmaceuticals.
He is a seasoned senior executive within Class II and III medical devices, drugs and device/drug combination products who has direct knowledge in the research, product development, pre-clinical testing, clinical trials, and intellectual property management of new products. Jeff also has over 50 patents & patents pending.
Jeff holds a Doctorate of Biomedical Engineering from The University of Memphis, a Master of Science from University of Houston, and a Bachelor of Science from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Chief of Staff
Constantina Darsaklis (“Dina”) is the Chief of Staff for Canary Medical and all of its subsidiaries.
Dina has over twenty years of experience in the administration of corporations with international operations, including both pharmaceutical and medical device companies. She was the first employee of Canary Medical and set up all of Canary’s initial corporate and administrative functions. She now works with cross-functional teams and serves as a liaison between staff, senior leaders, executives and the CEO on multiple corporate projects across the parent company and its subsidiaries. She strives to build strong working relationships amongst all of Canary’s employees. She is also responsible for organizing operational meetings, including staff, senior management and board meetings, as well as for all communications to our shareholders.
Constantina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Translations from Concordia University, Montreal QC. She also has a Diploma in Social Sciences with a minor in Psychology from Vanier College, Montreal QC.
Chief Financial Officer
Matteo Marchetta is responsible for all financial activities.
Matteo brings over 12 years of Chief Financial Officer experience in enterprise software companies from startup to global scale. He most recently was Chief Financial Officer of Augmedix Inc, an AI driven medical documentation service. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Finance of Altiscale, SAP’s Big Data Cloud Platform, and CFO at different organizations in Silicon Valley and London. Before becoming a CFO, he was a strategy consultant at BCG and a sales engineer in the software for telecommunication industry.
Matteo holds a Master of Business Administration from IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain and a Master In Electronic Engineering from Parma University in Italy.
Chief Operations Officer
Joseph Cucolo is responsible for all Commercial activities
Joseph has nearly 40 years of experience in the medical device industry. He most recently spent more than 30 years within Zimmer Biomet in various roles and ultimately joined the Zimmer executive leadership team as President and GM of the Americas. Prior to joining Zimmer’s management team, he held many sales and sales leadership roles including building the largest orthopedic sales distributorship in the U.S. Joseph was the first orthopedic distributor to exceed more than $100 million in sales in one year.
Prior to joining Canary Meducal as the Chief Commercial officer. Joe served as Chairman of the U.S. for Lima Orthopedic Corporation and holds director roles at several medical device startups.
Joseph holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and sociology from Iona College.
Chief Data & Informatics Officer
John Savage is responsible for leading the effort to convert raw data into actionable insights for patients and doctors.
John brings over 30 years of experience in engineering and informatics. He most recently was Vice President, Data Science at Medidata Solutions where he built a multi-disciplinary team of experts in cloud-based software development, physics, machine learning and “data wrangling” to leverage the company’s position as the industry’s leading electronic data capture solution provider and improve the clinical trial processes for clients. Prior to that, he founded American International Group’s first data science team, which improved profitability for the company’s largest commercial insurance businesses.
He is an experienced data science leader with a proven history of delivering value in the engineering, financial services and life science industries who believes that implanted sensors and the algorithms built on their streaming data will transform patient care by improving outcomes and reducing costs.
John holds a Master of Business Administration in finance from Babson College and Master of Science in computer engineering from Boston University.
Chief Business Development Officer
David Dean is responsible for all corporate development activities.
David brings over 20 years of business development and company analysis experience. Most recently he was Chief Business Development Officer of Correvio where he identified opportunities, analyzed and valued each, negotiated and then wrote multiple drug license agreements that grew the Company’s product portfolio, revenues and outlook for the future. Prior to that, he was Director and Research Analyst at the largest independent investment bank in Canada where he identified healthcare investment opportunities and played a central role in managing each relationship.
He is experienced in identifying, negotiating and executing multiple in and out-licensing transactions as well as significant M&A transactions, acquisitions and divestments.
David holds a Master of Business Administration in finance from Queen’s University and Master of Science in physiology from the Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa.
Email David for Business Development Requests firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance
Nora York is responsible for Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance activities.
Nora has over 35 years of regulatory affairs experience beginning at the US Food and Drug Administration, where she performed research, conducted post-market surveillance inspections and investigations of pharmaceutical and medical devices firms.
Since then, Nora has achieved experience in regulatory due diligence, submission strategy for both, US and international filings, policy development and implementation, design control and risk management oversight at in vitro diagnostic, orthopedic, ambulatory infusion pump, ophthalmic, and cardiovascular Class II and Class III medical devices companies in leadership and consultant roles. In Independent Consultant roles, she provided regulatory services for submission strategy, review of advertising and promotion, and advice to legal counsel on FDA regulatory matters. This experience has prepared her for her current role where she led the development and achievement of Canary Medical’s ISO 13485 QMS Certification, three (3) Breakthrough Device designations and commercial market authorization for the first implantable orthopedic SMART device, Canturio tibial extension.
Nora holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Texas.
Chief Data Science Officer
David Lee is responsible for data science activities.
David has over 20 years of experience building and leading highly engaged data science teams, with numerous successes envisioning and integrating innovative analytics that transform decision making in tech, pharma and insurance. David holds 4 patents and was honored as a PharmaVOICE 100 recipient in 2018.
David has led advanced analytics for multi-billion dollar organizations in life sciences and financial services. Prior to Canary, David was Chief Data Officer, Senior Vice President at Medidata where he was recruited by the CEO and the President to create a new data science and AI value proposition for its leading SaaS platform in clinical trials. He led the creation of several advanced analytic and AI products and services, which helped make clinical trials more accurate, more efficient and less risky. These helped drive a market cap increase of 250% to $5.8 billion. Prior to that he was a VP of Science at AIG, where he built predictive models for a range of property and casualty insurance risks, and a Statistical Analyst for Mercer Consulting where he helped build a data engineering system to convert transactional databases to analytic databases for modeling; he developed data standards and SAS algorithms with economists and data engineers.
David holds a Bachelor of Science in biometry & statistics from Cornell University and a Master of Arts in statistics from Columbia University.
Chief Medical Officer
Patrick Verta, M.D.
Dr. Patrick Verta is responsible for clinical and medical affairs.
Dr. Verta is a recognized expert with more than 30 years of experience in healthcare; first as a physician, then as a medical device industry executive. He has held senior leadership clinical affairs, medical affairs, and business development positions in venture funded startups, as well as in large and mid-size public companies. Through his career, he has designed and led more than 10 feasibility studies, 14 pivotal randomized controlled trials, and over 10 post-market studies, which resulted collectively in 12 PMA approvals, 510(k) clearances, and CE markings. He has co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has been the in-depth due diligence clinical and medical expert for over 30 companies, leading to successful investments or acquisitions.
Dr. Verta completed his doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine degrees in parallel, followed by a master’s in biostatistics in Paris, France.
President, Digital and Data Solutions
Lisa Suennen is responsible for the strategy behind, and growth and commercialization of, Canary Medical’s digital health and data-focused product offerings.
Lisa has spent more than 30 years in healthcare as entrepreneur, operating executive, venture capitalist and strategy consultant. She has worked broadly across healthcare, including digital health, medical devices, health services and, especially, at the convergence between these sectors.
Lisa was most recently the Group Lead of Manatt Phelps & Phillips’ Digital and Technology Practice and Lead Partner of Manatt Venture Fund. She also led digital health and healthcare innovation strategy consulting for the firm. Previously, Lisa led GE Ventures’ healthcare fund, founded the AHA’s Cardeation Venture Fund, and was a General Partner with healthcare venture fund Psilos Group. Previously, Lisa was on the leadership team that built behavioral healthcare company Merit Behavioral Care from early stage to successful exit.
Lisa has served on more than twenty company Boards of Directors and currently serves as a Director of digital health company HealthXL. Lisa chairs the Advisory Board of the NASA-funded Translational Research Institute for Space Health and the International Investment Committee of the Australian government-funded ANDHealth Digital Health Fund. She is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Health Innovators Fellowship and is on faculty at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Ms. Suennen is also the author of the widely-read Venture Valkyrie blog. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Political Science and bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of California at Berkeley.
Senior Vice President of R&D
Peter Schiller, Ph.D.
Dr. Peter Schiller is responsible for research and development.
Peter has over 20 years of experience leading the commercialization of advanced Class II and Class III medical devices. He most recently was Director of Device Development at Progenity where he aligned development, quality, manufacturing, clinical and regulatory programs with strategic objectives. Prior to that, he was Director of Advanced Technologies where he advised BOD and key stakeholders on future technologies and product opportunities, led roadmap development and established core technologies that enable future products and business interests.
He is experienced in research and development and has over 30 patents and patents pending in systems, devices and core technologies.
Peter holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota, Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Vice President of Product Development
Mark Adler is responsible for product development activities.
Mark has 25+ years of medical device development and operations experience launching novel technologies in cardiovascular, neurovascular, pulmonology and diabetes continuous glucose monitoring. He most recently was Senior Director R&D and Vice President of Global Operations at JenaValve Technologies where he managed the Next Generation Aortic Valve Delivery System and Heart Valve development addressing Aortic Regurgitation and Aortic Stenosis to move project at accelerated pace for clinical introduction and design validation. Prior to that, he has held positions as Director and Vice President in Development and Operations in multiple start up organizations supporting product performance assessment, product optimization, product analysis and commercial validation readiness. Organization support activities bounded all activities in product process development, supply chain management in all modalities of supply chain pipeline and commercial release management.
Mark is experienced in product research and development with over 15 patents and patents pending.
Mark holds a Master in Business Administration from Argosy University and Bachelor of Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology
Senior Vice President, Clinical Science
Barbara Elashoff is responsible for clinical trial activities.
Barbara has over 25 years of experience designing and analyzing clinical trials for drugs, IVDs, companion diagnostics and medical devices covering indications in cardiovascular, pulmonary, oncology, neurology and autoimmune diseases. She most recently was Director of Biostatistics at Alexion where she managed the Andexanet alfa program, addressing the lack of effective antidotes for the new generation of oral, direct factor Xa inhibitors. Prior to that she reviewed drugs in the Pulmonary and Allergy Division at FDA, and co-founded a technology company that developed innovative machine-learning software in clinical trials (acquired by Medidata Solutions).
Barbara holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Vassar College and a Master of Science in biostatistics from Harvard University.
Senior Vice President, Operations
David Villarreal is responsible for all Operations activities.
David has over 25 years of experience in medical device Operations, most of that time spent in process development, manufacturing scale-up and sustaining engineering for cardiovascular devices with Abbott’s Heart Failure division where he served as Director of Operations Engineering for several years. He also has prior experience in development and manufacturing of neurovascular products for treating brain aneurysms with Boston Scientific. He most recently was General Manager and Director of Operations for one of Abbott’s Durable Medical Equipment (DME) providers, where he had P&L responsibility and led a team of Sales, Customer Service, Supply Chain, Finance and Reimbursement professionals to achieve 250% revenue growth over a two-year period.
David holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Canary Board Members
Khaled El Emam, Ph.D.
Dr. Khaled El Emam brings over 30 years of experience.
Khaled is experienced in statistical de-identification and re-identification risk measurement. He is qualified to anonymize protected health information under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Khaled is the co-founder and Director of Replica Analytics and helped found five companies involved with data management and data analytics. He is also a Senior Scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute and Director of the multi-disciplinary Electronic Health Information Laboratory (EHIL) team, conducting academic research on de-identification and re-identification risk.
Khaled holds Ph.D. in electronic and electrical engineering from King’s College and a Bachelor’s degree from King’s College.
Brenda is a seasoned corporate director. She has experience serving on various board committees, having chaired Audit, Governance and Human Resources and Compensation committees and being board chair of two public companies (TSX and NASDAQ). She is currently Board chair for Global Container Terminals, a business that owns two marine terminals on Canada’s west coast and two terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey. She chairs the audit committees of Westport Fuels Systems Inc. and Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure plc, both public companies listed on NASDAQ. She is on the board of privately held Canvas GFX, a visual communication B2B SaaS solutions provider and Assuris, an entity that protects Canadian life insurance policy holders in the event of a failure of a Canadian life insurer.
Brenda led mortgage lender Home Capital Group’s board in responding to a severe liquidity and regulatory crisis in April 2017. She was involved in securing the support of Berkshire Hathaway as a strategic sponsor and in settling major regulatory and class action litigation. During her tenure as chair she oversaw a revamping of the board and the hiring of a new CFO and CEO.
Brenda’s business background includes running the risk consulting practice for PwC Canada and building their national regulatory consulting practice assisting financial services firms, public companies and regulators. Prior to her twenty year consulting career, Brenda was a senior member of the Ontario Securities Commission as Chief of Staff (Executive Director), capping twelve years as a securities regulator including six years in the Office of the Chief Accountant (as Chief Accountant and Associate Chief Accountant) and two years in the Enforcement Branch.
Karimah Es Sabar
Karimah Es Sabar brings over 30 years of experience.
Karimah is experienced in dynamic global business. She is CEO and Partner at Quark Venture Inc., a venture capital investment firm. She most recently led The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) as President and CEO. She previously led LifeSciences BC, and has also held senior management positions with international multinational companies.
Karimah holds an executive certificate in management and leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management, a Master of Science degree in neurochemistry from the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London and a Bachelor of Science Joint Honours degree in biochemistry/chemistry from the University of Salford.
Jim Karkanias brings over 30 years of experience.
Jim is experienced in science (neuroscience), engineering (bioengineering, code development), technology (neural nets, machine learning, robotics) and business (founder of a software startup and then head of clinical operations for the human health division at Merck). He has held the role of Partner at Microsoft for the past decade, leading program management for information management and machine learning in the Cloud + Enterprise Division. As Senior Director of data sciences at CZ Biohub, and in collaboration with partners at Berkeley, Stanford, UCSF and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Jim aims to build a world-class data science team to help drive and support advances in bioinformatics, computational biology, image processing and next generation analytics.
Jim holds a Ph.D. in bioengineering from Drexel University, Master of Science from Drexel University and Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University.
Dr. Isaac Kohane, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Isaac Kohane brings over 30 years of experience.
Isaac is experienced in developing and applying computational techniques to address disease at multiple scales. He is currently an inaugural Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School. Additionally, his i2b2 project is currently deployed internationally to over 120 major academic health centers to drive discovery research in disease and pharmacovigilance (including providing evidence on drugs which ultimately contributed to “black boxing” by the FDA).
Isaac holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Boston University, a Doctorate of Medicine from University of Boston University, and a Bachelor of Science from Brown University.
Kaley Wilson, Ph.D.
Dr. Kaley Wilson brings over 20 years of experience.
Kaley is currently the Director of Business Development at Quark Venture, a Vancouver based venture capital group that invests globally in health science. Investing out of the $500 million USD Global Health Sciences Fund, Kaley works closing with Quark’s executive team to identify and diligence potential investment opportunities. She is also currently the interim CEO of Sitka, a biotherapeutics company with a breakthrough nanoparticle platform technology to deliver compounds to difficult to penetrate tissues, where she raised a Series A financing to take Sitka’s lead asset into the clinic.
Kaley holds a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.