John B. Simpson PhD MD
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Technology Officer
Arjun Desai MD
Chief Medical Officer
Chief Business Officer
VP Clinical, Regulatory & Quality
SVP, Operations & R&D
VP, Finance & Corporate Dev.
Dr. John Simpson has revolutionized the field of medicine through innovations that have fundamentally altered how physicians treat cardiovascular disease. He invented and commercialized the first over-the-wire balloon catheter used for percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). This single idea created the field of interventional cardiology as we know it today. Dr. Simpson’s unique approach to patient care and the success of less invasive interventional techniques, specifically PTCA, have generated a multi-disciplinary shift in medicine as ophthalmologists, radiologists, cardiologists, neurologists and surgeons alike have adopted this technique.
Dr. Simpson has a unique ability to recognize unmet clinical needs, generate concepts to address these needs, and transform these concepts into clinically and commercially relevant products. Dr. Simpson has started several companies dedicated to providing patients with the most cutting-edge therapies in a variety of different areas, including directional atherectomy (coronary and peripheral), chronic total occlusions (CTOs), ultrasound, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, suture-mediated vascular closure, and local drug delivery. His companies have sold for +$1.7 billion in aggregate, and include Advanced Cardiovascular Systems (sold to Eli Lilly in 1981 for stock on an earnout basis), Devices for Vascular Intervention (acquired by Eli Lilly in 1990), Perclose (purchased by Abbott in 1999), and FoxHollow Technologies (merged with ev3 in 2007).
Dr. Simpson received his PhD in Immunology from the University of Texas and his MD from Duke University. He completed his fellowship in interventional cardiology at Stanford University. Dr. Simpson is a member of the American College of Physicians and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He has published extensively on a wide variety of subjects and lectured throughout the world.
Keith E. Schaefer is Avinger's Chief Operating Officer. Most recently, Keith served as the Executive Chairman of City Paper Box, a leading manufactuerer and marketer of environmentally friendly container products for the food service industry.
Previously, Mr. Schaefer was President and CEO of Moonshado, Inc. a mobile solutions company that provided interactive text messaging. Prior to his position at Moonshado, Mr. Schaefer was the Co-founder, CEO and President of BPL Global, LTD., a smart grid technology company dedicated to leading the transformation of energy efficiency and reliability. During Schaefer's more than seven years at the helm of BPLG, he led the creation of a global leader in smart grid applications to substation automation to integrated distributed energy resources. He forged strategic relationships with Siemens, SAIC, Landis & Gyr, ABB and global utilities such as: First Energy, Electricite de France and State Grid of China. During his tenure, BPLG had a 240% CAGR.
Over the past 26 years, Mr. Schaefer has held senior management positions with companies ranging from hyper-growth start-ups to Fortune lOOs and a Global 500 company. He has co-founded or led more than ten start-ups and two buy-outs and was instrumental in completing two Initial Public Offerings and nine trade sales.
Prior to BPL Global, Schaefer was Senior Partner at Constellation Partners and previous to that Executive Partner and member of the Executive Committee at US Web/CKS. He served as Executive Vice President at Viacom and President of Paramount Communications Technology Group, where he established and successfully led the Venture Capital Group and set up early initiatives and strategic alliances with Microsoft, AOL and Nickelodeon. Previously, Schaefer held presidential and CEO positions at Computer Curriculum Corporation and Worlds of Wonder and was Executive Vice President and General Manager at NEC Technologies. He began his career in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble, followed by Clorox and then achieved the position of Executive Vice President at Atari Corporation.
Mr. Schaefer earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Pittsburgh. He is a past President of the Alumni Association and a current Trustee of the University of Pittsburgh and is actively involved with the University's $2 billion capital campaign. Schaefer serves on the Board or Governors of the Leader to Leader Institute and is a member of the Hesselbein Global Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement. He was co-founder of the Socrates Society at The Aspen Institute. Schaefer also co-authored the best-selling Internet marketing book Net Results, which has been used as a reference text at leading business schools.
Dr. Desai brings a variety of medical industry, health policy, and clinical academic experiences to Avinger. Initially joining Avinger as a consultant in 2009, Dr. Desai helped to direct and publish the pivotal CONNECT study, which successfully established FDA clearance for Avinger’s Wildcat and Kittycat CTO crossing catheters. After joining Avinger full time in 2012, Dr. Desai has expanded his focus to oversee health economics, reimbursement, clinical evidence generation, and scientific theory. In that time, Avinger has successfully published more than twenty manuscripts, clinical conference presentations, and case series. Most recently, Dr. Desai and his team successfully conducted and published the first ever peer reviewed Lumivascular manuscripts hallmarking a large European case series and the landmark CONNECT II clinical trial for the Ocelot catheter.
Prior to Avinger, Dr. Desai served as a consultant and advisor for Incline Therapeutics, developing the IONSYS transdermal fentanyl delivery system. Additionally, Dr. Desai has consulted with pharmaceutical development targeting cancer therapeutics and healthcare IT development for capture of real time quality- metric assessment and implementation. Prior to management consulting, Dr. Desai served as a fellow in the US House Policy Committee, advising members of Congress on healthcare legislation. Additionally, Dr. Desai represented the US State Department and Rotary International as an Ambassador of Goodwill to Singapore where he led vaccine prophylaxis campaigns and lectured in the department of health economics at the National University of Singapore.
Dr. Desai maintains his clinical practice as adjunct faculty at Stanford University in the department of Anesthesia where he completed his advanced anesthesia residency training. Dr. Desai holds an M.D. from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Oklahoma.
Matt Ferguson joined Avinger in December 2010 with a successful track record in the management of growth-stage life sciences and technology businesses.
Prior to joining Avinger, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Tethys Bioscience, a provider of molecular diagnostic tests for cardiometabolic conditions. Prior to Tethys, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Proteolix, a developer of novel drugs for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Proteolix was acquired in 2009 by Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Before Proteolix, Mr. Ferguson served as Chief Financial Officer at FoxHollow Technologies, where he was responsible for the company's 2004 initial public offering and played a significant role in the company's 2007 merger with ev3 inc. Earlier in his career, he held a variety of financial, corporate development and operational positions at ChannelPoint and Hewlett-Packard.
Mr. Ferguson’s educational background includes a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mr. Allison has over 22 years of experience in Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Affairs. Prior to joining Avinger in February 2013, he was Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Affairs & Quality Assurance at Voyage Medical, Inc. a private company pioneering visually guided ablation in the electrophysiology/atrial fibrillation treatment space. Prior to that he spent five years at Guidant/Boston Scientific and previous to that five years at ADAC laboratories/Philips Medical Systems leading the Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Affairs and Quality Assurance functions. From 1989 to 1999 Mr. Allison held progressively responsible positions in the medical device industry in Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs. He has extensive cardiovascular device experience as well as strong working knowledge in diagnostic imaging, patient monitoring/instrumentation and laser technology.
Mr. Allison holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and a certificate in Clinical Trials Management from UCSC.
As Senior Vice President of Operations and R&D, Bunty Banerjee brings 18 years of management experience in the life sciences industry, encompassing disposable devices and capital equipment. Before Avinger, Mr. Banerjee was Vice President of Operations & Quality at Evalve, Inc. where he provided operational leadership from clinical stage to product commercialization. Mr. Banerjee, as part of the leadership team, oversaw the acquisition of Evalve, Inc. by Abbott Laboratories in 2009 and lead the post-acquisition integration and business expansion as Head of Operations at Abbott Vascular, Structural Heart.
Prior to Evalve, Mr. Banerjee served as Plant Manager at Epicor, Inc. (a St. Jude Medical acquisition), holding general management responsibilities including operations, quality, product development, finance, human resources, and providing leadership in product commercialization and new product introductions. Before Epicor, Mr. Banerjee held several operations leadership positions at several newly-acquired, high-growth business units of Boston Scientific. Earlier in his career, Mr. Banerjee held various engineering positions at Crompton-Greaves, Caterpillar, and Larsen-Toubro.
Mr. Banerjee received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Jadavpur University, India and M.S. in Industrial Management from Clemson University, USA.
As Vice President of Marketing, Mr. Beasley is responsible for leading Avinger’s market-driven product development and marketing communications efforts. Mr. Beasley has 20 years of sales and marketing experience in roles of increasing responsibility in the medical device business, primarily focused on high-intensity early stage ventures.
Prior to joining Avinger, Mr. Beasley drove all Market Development efforts at Transcend Medical, an early stage, breakthrough ophthalmic technology company revolutionizing the surgical treatment of glaucoma. Before Transcend, Mr. Beasley served as Director of Marketing for FoxHollow Technologies (acquired by EV3) and helped to drive the explosive growth of both the company and peripheral atherectomy. Prior to his role as director, Mr. Beasley gained extensive global field sales experience with the company. Before FoxHollow, he spent 7 years with Perclose, Inc. (acquired by Abbott Vascular) in a variety of both Marketing and Finance roles.
Mr. Beasley holds a BS in Economics from Santa Clara University and an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.
As the Vice President of Finance and Corporate Development, Phil Preuss handles general business management, strategic operations and partnerships, and finance.
Mr. Preuss spent almost five years in New York City working in equity research, eventually becoming an Associate Director at UBS. During this time, he also supplemented his finance, accounting, and analytical skills by becoming a CFA charterholder. Following his MBA and prior to Avinger, he joined Foxhollow Technologies as a Senior Associate in Corporate Development, where he worked on internal strategic priorities and the exploration of external business opportunities.
Mr. Preuss holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. from Stanford University.