Youseph Yazdi, PhD

Youseph Yazdi is the Director of the JHU Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design (CBID), to educate and train Masters level student inventors and entrepreneurs to address unmet clinical needs by forming biomedical solutions. Dr. Yazdi also was the Director of the Johns Hopkins-Coulter Translational Partnership program, which resulted in 200 funded projects, formation of 17 start-up companies and over $300M raised in follow-on funding.

Charles Montague, PhD

Dr. Montague is the Director of Business Development for the Johns Hopkins Dept. of Biomedical Engineering. From 2012 through 2017, he managed the Johns Hopkins-Coulter Translational Partnership, a five-year $5M award for moving JHU research from the lab to a commercial pathway. Thirty-six projects were funded, that have raised over $160M in follow-on funding; nineteen projects moved into commercial entities. He works with faculty and students wanting to commercialize their ideas, and is the department’s liaison with the JHU Technology Ventures. Dr. Montague is actively involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Johns Hopkins, serving as a mentor for teams in both the JHU and regional I-Corps program and lecturing in many local entrepreneurial programs. He serves on the Business Advisory Board of the bwtech@UMBC and is a reviewer for NSF SBIRs and many of the local translational funds.

Before JHU, he worked at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, where he was part of the launch of the Maryland BioCenter, supporting over 500 bio companies in the state. In this capacity, he launched and managed the Biotechnology Development Awards for the first three years after its creation.

He received a BS in Engineering Physics at Lehigh University and a PhD in Biophysics from the Johns Hopkins University. After graduate school, he worked at the Naval Research Laboratory in the Biomolecular Engineering group before leaving to his industry positions.

Santosh Venkatesha, MBA

Santosh Venkatesha is an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience at the intersection of technology, medicine, and business. He launched Infinite Biomedical Technologies, a translational medical device company, and built Vigilant Medical, a digital health company. Venkatesha has developed solutions in neurology, cardiology, imaging, and related biomedical engineering areas. After completing a Master’s in Business Administration in 2007, he co-founded his current company to improve collaboration and decision making with medical informatics and imaging technologies in clinical, quality, and research settings. The company’s first digital health product, ImageShare, leverages machine learning and AI techniques to help users interpret cardiovascular images. This innovation assists in the care of more than 40,000 patients annually. Venkatesha’s goal is to use his experience working with NIH to build biomedical solutions that have long-term, sustainable impact on patient care.

Nitish Thakor, PhD

Nitish Thakor, PhD, is a scientist with 40 years of experience, an inventor and an entrepreneur who has co-founded four companies. He directs the Neuroengineering and Medical Instrumentation Lab at Johns Hopkins University, and, from 2012 to 2020, led the Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology (SINAPSE), where he published extensively and patented the development, experimentation and translation of multiple neuromedical devices and technologies. He has co-founded three active medical device companies and has been elected to the National Academy of Inventors. He was the editor in chief of IEEE Transactions on Neural and Rehabilitation Engineering for six years and will served in that position for the journal Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing.