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Our team is truly a combination of all areas of expertise – from business, entrepreneurship, biomedical science, and medicine, we have junior and senior team members spanning a variety of specialties, including team members with experience in scientific product development from conception to monetization events including public offerings.
Tell us about your core team members
Parastoo is currently a PhD student in biomedical engineering at Tulane who specializes in biomaterial synthesis and characterization, cell culture and animal models. She has multiple peer-reviewed publications, along with a number of oral and poster presentations in international conferences. In addition, she holds a US patent around which she formed Tympanogen; the company is developing a gel patch for the non-surgical repair of chronic perforations in the tympanic membrane. On her free time, Parastoo enjoys dancing (especially tango and traditional Persian dances), racquetball, tennis, poetry, reading, fashion, cooking and art.
After 3 years on Wall Street, Brian brings a solid financial and analytical foundation. In addition, he has been part of dozens of financing and capital markets transactions, as well as M&A transactions, both large and small – all of which required building a pitch from scratch. Outside of his current Tulane medical school requirements, he serves as VP of Strategy for a local healthcare IT startup which has raised ~$250,000 in the last year, and has commitments for additional financing in process. At this company, he worked with the CEO and co-founders to take their product from early R&D to end-customer roll-out. Finally, as a third year medical student, Brian has a basic underlying understanding of the disease processes that are intertwined with the patents up for use in the Challenge. Brian enjoys golf, tennis, and watching St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
Frank is currently pursuing an MD/MBA dual degree at the Tulane School of Medicine and Columbia Business School. Prior to this, he spent 3 years in healthcare strategy consulting. In this capacity, Frank advised pharmaceutical, biotech, and device companies on projects ranging from disease-level prioritizations to strategic L,M&A decisions. Frank has also conducted clinical research, resulting in the publication of six posters and articles in peer-reviewed publications. On his spare time, Frank takes on real estate investment and renovation projects, and enjoys Crossfit, racquet sports, and a range of outdoor activities.
Why are your team members in the challenge
Parastoo: I think this is a great opportunity for me to use my abilities towards the development of a novel treatment strategy. The public health implications of this project are enormous. This is also a fantastic learning experience as well, as I envision myself continuing to work on the innovation of biotechnology and medical devices throughout my career.
Brian: I see a unique opportunity to bring a multidisciplinary team to connect with established research to help move projects forward where the more traditional, unilateral approach has failed. There is a vast wasteland of concepts that could have (and should have) gone on to help patients, but didn’t – we have the opportunity to be a part of a patient solution with major impact.
Frank: I am passionate about innovation. And during my time working with industry and beyond, I too discovered that there remains a large body of IP on the "back-burner" with the potential to have a major impact in the world. The opportunity provided by CAI to revitalize some of these products really excited me, particularly in the context of breast cancer (a disease process with high unmet need which has affected a number of my close family members).