ENTvantage Dx is an in-vitro diagnostics company that provides Primary Care Physicians and Otolaryngologists with rapid, in-office diagnostic tests to determine the cause of ear, nose and throat illnesses.
Oriana Hawkins, PhD
Director of Assay Development
Joe Skraba has 30 years of experience in commercialization and sales of a broad range of medical devices, in-vitro diagnostic devices and biotech products. He has engineered products, managed development teams on complex medical device projects and led large multinational R&D teams. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is inventor on four patents. Products that he has developed have achieved sales of more than $5 billion and has recently raised significant venture funding for several organizations in the past few years. Joe also has a MBA and a Master’s in Technology Commercialization.
Director of Regulatory & Quality
Oriana Hawkins, PhD has over 19 years of research experience, ranging from immunoassay development for agribusiness to preclinical models of drug efficacy in breast cancer and melanoma and is currently the Director of Assay Development at ENTvantage, joining the management team in November, 2015. Dr. Hawkins earned her Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Microbiology and Immunology in 2010 and completed a NIH-sponsored Post Doctoral appointment at Vanderbilt University. She was previously the lab director at Experimmune, a Center for Immunotherapeutic Development at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. When Experimmune closed, ENTvantage was fortunate to add Dr. Hawkins to its staff to continue her work in overseeing research and development activities.
Elisa Maldonado-Holmertz is the Director of Quality and Regulatory at ENTvantage in a half-time capacity. Elisa is a pragmatic healthcare industry specialist with experience in multinational biopharma and medical device industries at Pharmaco (now PPD), Pharmacia & Upjohn (now Pfizer), Aerocrine, and Emergo Group. She held leadership roles in both emerging and established markets (USA, Belgium, Sweden, P.R. China) spanning an array of indications and responsibilities, including Regulatory & Quality Affairs, Clinical Research, Reimbursement, Healthcare Writing, Marketing and Sales. In addition to her industry background, she has graduate work in Business Management and Health Economics. Elisa has several authorships and acknowledgments, including FDA Scientific Reports. Additionally, she has provided numerous presentations at CincyTech, Informa, InnoTech, Freescale Technology Forum, Plexus, DesignMed, and RAPS Convergence among others.
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD
Amber Luong, MD, PhD
Dr. Luong is a fellowship trained, board-certified physician-scientist sinus surgeon with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She obtained her MD/PhD through the NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program and runs a basic science lab at the Institute of Molecular Medicine focused on understanding the role of the innate immunity and environmental triggers on the pathophysiology of chronic sinus disease. She has received multiple grants from the NIH, The Triological Society, the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and the American Rhinologic Society. She has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles in various journals including American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Science, and International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology.
In addition to her basic science research, she is actively engaged in a number of industry-funded translational studies that directly stem from her interest in the relationship of chronic inflammation between the sinuses and lungs and in the role of innovation in management of chronic sinus disease. Both her basic science and translational research compliment her clinical interest in the medical and surgical management of chronic sinus disease.
Ayesha Khalid, MD, MBA
Ayesha N. Khalid is a practicing sinus surgeon and Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School with over 15 years experience in the healthcare industry. As an ear, nose and throat surgeon, Ayesha pioneered groundbreaking research in sinus inflammation and clinical outcomes in sinus disease.
As a healthcare innovation specialist, Ayesha completed an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management focused on Global Leadership and Innovation. During her tenure at Sloan, Ayesha assessed mechanisms to increase adoption of adaptive clinical trials at academic medical centers. She joined MIT H@cking Medicine and helped organize several innovation events in Boston, BIO 2014, and in Doha, Qatar. Ayesha co-founded the Hacking Medicine Institute to engage stakeholders interested in compelling conversations to accelerate paradigm shifts in healthcare service delivery.
Ayesha completed her medical school and surgical residency at the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine, her surgical fellowship at the Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. She lives in Boston with her husband, an intensive care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, and her three children who are innovators in their own right.
Brent Senior, MD
Brent Senior, MD, Professor and Vice Chairman for Academic Affairs and Chief, Division of Rhinology, Allergy, and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His specialties include, endoscopic minimally invasive management of sinusitis, CSF rhinorrhea, and tumors of the anterior skull base, surgical management of sleep apnea and snoring. He received his medical training at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI in 1990, completed his Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery training at the Combined Otolaryngology Training Program of Boston University and Tufts University, Boston, MA, in 1995 and completed a Fellowship in Rhinology and Sinus Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA in 1996.
Samer Fakhri, MD
Samer Fakhri, MD, is an internationally recognized rhinologist who is currently Professor, Vice Chair and Residency Program Director at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He currently serves as a committee member of the American Rhinologic Society and contributes yearly instructional courses to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. In addition he is on the editorial board and a reviewer for Otolaryngology journals. He is a frequently invited national and international panelist and speaker. Dr. Fakhri has numerous scientific articles and book chapters. Dr. Fakhri’s areas of clinical interest include medical and surgical management of refractory chronic rhinosinusitis and sinonasal polyposis, image-guided surgery, endoscopic lacrimal and orbital surgery, CSF leak repair, and minimally invasive skull base surgery.
Jim Jacobson, PhD
Jim has over 25 years of experience in research, development and commercialization of research and medical products and services. He is currently Laboratory Director for Biophysical Corporation – a high complexity CLIA accredited laboratory – in Austin, TX. Previously he was Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President at LabNow, Inc. Prior to that, Jim was at Luminex Corporation for ten years in a variety of positions including Chief Scientific Officer, VP-R&D, and VP of Technical Operations. He has developed and launched many diagnostic platforms and tests into the market. In addition, Jim has specific experience in developing and directing CLIA-accredited laboratories.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chairman of the Board
Friedhelm Blobel, PhD
Rick Hawkins is currently the CEO of Lumos Pharma and Chairman of ENTvantage Dx, both in Austin, TX. Rick is a serial entrepeneur, founding multiple companies over the last 30 years including Pharmaco that merged with PPD to form PPD Pharmaco, Sensus Drug Development that was sold to Pfizer, Covance Biotechnology Services, Inc., sold to Akzo Nobel, Inc., and LabNow, a diagnostic device company. He serves as a Director for SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc. (SCLN) and Cytori Therapeutics (CYTX).
Don Gonzales, MD
Friedhelm Blobel, Ph.D. has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director for SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from June 2006 until its acquisition in October 2017. SciClone was a NASDAQ listed company, based in the San Francisco Bay Area with a specialty pharmaceuticals business that achieved recent annual revenues of approximately $150 Million. For the six years prior to SciClone, Dr. Blobel was President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Gryphon Therapeutics, Inc., a South San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company. Prior to joining Gryphon Therapeutics, Dr. Blobel spent more than two decades in various roles in Germany, Japan and the U.S. as a senior executive with the Hoechst Group and the Boehringer Mannheim Group, including responsibilities in the areas of diabetes and in vitro diagnostics. Dr. Blobel earned his doctorate degree (“Dr.rer.nat.”; a Ph.D. equivalent) with a dissertation in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Hohenheim, Germany and holds an advanced degree in Chemistry from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.
Dr. Don Gonzales is the Chief Medical Officer for Entellus Medical which is now the ENT division of Stryker. Entellus Medical was acquired by Stryker in 2018. Prior to his current role at Entellus, he was co-founder and CMO of Spirox, a medical device company developing a novel implant and system for treating nasal valve collapse. Spirox was acquired by Entellus in 2017. He is currently founder and director of Cryosa, Inc., a venture backed device company focused on solutions for obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Gonzales is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and managed several successful medical device companies in the ear, nose and throat space including ENTrigue Surgical. ENTrigue Surgical was acquired by Arthrocare in 2013. Dr. Gonzales graduated from Gordon College and Cornell University Medical College, then completed his residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Tulane University School of Medicine. He is also listed as an inventor on more than 50 patents and patent applications for devices and methods in ENT surgical applications.
John Paulos, PhD
Since July of 2016, John Paulos, Ph.D. has served as Director of ENTvantage Diagnostics and led the Series A investment. John is an former semiconductor executive, now a consultant and active angel investor with start-up investments in more than 30 companies including 15 companies which he served as a Board member. He also served as a Director for the Central Texas Angel Network from 2011 through 2015. John has a technical background in analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, particularly audio and wire-line communications and has significant business experience in semiconductors, industrial instrumentation, medical devices and musical instruments.