Engineering & Administrative Staff


Our dynamic team continues to grow, helping the Jacobs Institute remain vibrant and innovative while providing stellar customer service to our clients. We look forward to working with you to help your ideas become reality, to train and educate your employees, and to develop future leaders in biomedical engineering and healthcare in Western New York.

Adnan H. Siddiqui
MD, PhD, FACS, FAHA, FAANS

Adnan H. Siddiqui


Chief Executive Officer & Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Adnan H. Siddiqui, is Chief Executive Officer & Chief Medical Officer of the Jacobs Institute (JI). His goal is to improve the JI’s current offerings and translate technologies being developed in the Institute’s i2R, or idea to Reality Center, into therapeutic and commercial successes.

Dr. Siddiqui is also vice-chairman and professor of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He is the director of neuroendovascular research and stroke service at Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute (GVI), and director of the UB Canon Stroke & Vascular Research Center (CSVRC). He is also a practicing surgeon with the University at Buffalo Neurosurgery (UBNS) which is part of of UBMD Physicians’ Group, a clinical practice where he sees and treats patients.

He completed fellowship training in interventional neuroradiology, cerebrovascular surgery, and neurocritical care from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He completed his neurosurgical residency at Upstate Medical University and received his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Rochester and medical degree from Aga Khan University in Pakistan. He is a fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), American College of Surgeons (ACS), and American Heart Association (AHA), and member of the Society of Neurological Surgeons (Senior Society) and Academy of Neurological Surgeons (the Academy).

Dr. Siddiqui has over 450 peer reviewed publications, more than 50 chapters, almost 70,000 citations and an H index of 72. He is particularly proud of representing Buffalo and the US at most major cerebrovascular conferences around the world with over 200 international presentations to date. He has designed, conducted, and lead multiple major national and international clinical trials and currently serves as national and international principal investigator (PI) for multiple major funded multi-site trials. These efforts have significantly contributed to the success of the department, which was ranked 7th in academic impact in North America by the Journal of Neurosurgery.

He also serves as director of the Canon Stroke and Vascular Research Center (CSVRC) at UB. This multi-disciplinary center, with multiple concurrent major National Institute of Health (NIH) grants, houses neurosurgeons, neuroscientists, physicists and biomedical engineers working collaboratively on cutting edge research focused on neurovascular biology and pathology including stroke and aneurysms, imaging, simulation, and hemodynamics. He is the Fellowship Director for Buffalo’s prestigious Neuroendovascular Program. In addition, he serves as the director of the Neurosurgical Stroke Service at the GVI, one of the busiest Comprehensive Stroke Services in New York State and the US.

Dr. Siddiqui has continuously served on multiple scientific and educational committees of AANS, Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) and Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS). He is the chairman of the Joint Section of Cerebrovascular Surgery of the AANS and CNS and secretary for the SNIS. It has been a major focus for him to achieve consensus between the various organizations involved in fellowship training and credentialing for Neuroendovascular Surgery. He was a founding member of the Neuroendovascular Surgery Advisory Committee (NESAC) for Society of Neurological Surgery’s Committee for Advanced Sub-Specialty Training (CAST) and currently is a member of the American Board of Neurological Surgery’s (ABNS) Central Nervous System Endovascular Surgery Advisory Committee (CESAC). This has been an extremely important role, which is profoundly affecting the training and education pathways of neuroendovascular specialists.

He serves as a neurosurgeon director on the executive committee of the SNIS Patient Safety Organization which runs the NVQI-QOD Quality Outcomes Registry. He was nominated as a co-chair for the Devices for Acute Ischemic Stroke Intervention (DAISI) a Coordinated Registry network run collaboratively by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and NIH with partnership with physician societies and industry. He is committed to this singular opportunity to unify the multi-specialty neuroendovascular surgery field to develop robust prospective quality outcomes databases to shepherd the next generation of evidence-based practice. Recently, he has assumed the role of co-chair of the Neurological Devices Working group for the Medical Device Industry Consortium (MDIC), a not-for-profit group consisting of FDA, CMS, and industry partners dedicated to resuming Early Feasibility Studies (EFS) also known as First in Human studies in the US.

Dr. Siddiqui has special interest and expertise in the performance of complementary microsurgical, radiosurgical, and endovascular techniques for the comprehensive management of cerebrovascular conditions. This spectrum of disease includes aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations, as well as dural, cavernous, and spinal fistulae. He has special interests in endovascular management of acute ischemic stroke, as well as endovascular and microsurgical management of extracranial and intracranial vascular occlusive disease. Other clinical interests include endovascular management of intractable epistaxis, facial vascular malformations, head, neck, and brain tumor embolization, and microsurgical resection of skull base tumors. He is profoundly indebted to his mentors Nick Hopkins, Robert Rosenwasser, Charles Hodge, and Shirley Joseph in shaping his career as a dual-trained cerebrovascular surgeon, clinician scientist and entrepreneur.

All these efforts as a microsurgeon, endovascular surgeon, scientist, and trialist, have allowed Dr. Siddiqui to gain unique insights into a critical and rapidly evolving specialty. At the same time, these endeavors have required significant collaborations resulting in strong and trusting relationships with fellow neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuroradiologists, scientists, engineers, regulatory officers, and industry.

Dr. Siddiqui is married and has three children. He is a proud Buffalonian who is challenged and invigorated by taking care of neurosurgical patients and their families. He is most gratified by his pedagogical responsibilities, which allow him the opportunity to teach medical students, residents, and fellows. He is grateful for the opportunity to work at UB’s Department of Neurosurgery, CSVRC, GVI, and JI facilities, with some of the world’s best technologies and greatest vascular specialists, researchers, and biomedical engineers who are collaborating to advance the care of vascular diseases.

 

Conflicts & Disclosures

Current Research Grants:

Co-investigator for NIH – 1R01EB030092-01, Project Title: High Speed Angiography at 1000 frames per second; Mentor for Brain Aneurysm Foundation Carol W. Harvey Chair of Research, Sharon Epperson Chair of Research, Project Title: A Whole Blood RNA Diagnostic for Unruptured Brain Aneurysm: Risk Assessment Prototype Development and Testing

Financial Interest/Investor/Stock Options/Ownership:

Adona Medical, Inc., Amnis Therapeutics, Bend IT Technologies, Ltd., BlinkTBI, Inc, Buffalo Technology Partners, Inc., Cardinal Consultants, LLC, Cerebrotech Medical Systems, Inc, Cerevatech Medical, Inc., Cognition Medical, CVAID Ltd., Endostream Medical, Ltd, Imperative Care, Inc., Instylla, Inc., International Medical Distribution Partners, Launch NY, Inc., NeuroRadial Technologies, Inc., Neurotechnology Investors, Neurovascular Diagnostics, Inc., PerFlow Medical, Ltd., Q’Apel Medical, Inc.,  QAS.ai, Inc., Radical Catheter Technologies, Inc., Rebound Therapeutics Corp. (Purchased 2019 by Integra Lifesciences, Corp), Rist Neurovascular, Inc. (Purchased 2020 by Medtronic), Sense Diagnostics, Inc., Serenity Medical, Inc., Silk Road Medical, Spinnaker Medical, Inc., StimMed, LLC, Synchron, Inc., Three Rivers Medical, Inc., Truvic Medical, Inc., Vastrax, LLC, VICIS, Inc., Viseon, Inc.

Consultant/Advisory Board:

Amnis Therapeutics, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Boston Scientific, Canon Medical Systems USA, Inc., Cardinal Health 200, LLC, Cerebrotech Medical Systems, Inc., Cerenovus, Cerevatech Medical, Inc., Cordis, Corindus, Inc., Endostream Medical, Ltd, Imperative Care, Integra, IRRAS AB, Medtronic, MicroVention, Minnetronix Neuro, Inc., Penumbra, Q’Apel Medical, Inc., Rapid Medical, Rebound Therapeutics Corp., Serenity Medical, Inc., Silk Road Medical, StimMed, LLC, Stryker Neurovascular, Three Rivers Medical, Inc., VasSol, Viz.ai, Inc., W.L. Gore & Associates

National PI/Steering Committees:

Cerenovus EXCELLENT and ARISE II Trial; Medtronic SWIFT PRIME, VANTAGE, EMBOLISE and SWIFT DIRECT Trials; MicroVention FRED Trial & CONFIDENCE Study; MUSC POSITIVE Trial;  Penumbra 3D Separator Trial, COMPASS Trial, INVEST Trial, MIVI neuroscience EVAQ Trial; Rapid Medical SUCCESS Trial.

Carlos Peña

Carlos Peña


Chief Regulatory Officer / Chief Quality Officer

Carlos Peña, PhD, MS, is Chief Regulatory Officer and Chief Quality Officer, leading the newly-established Office of Regulatory Services at the Jacobs Institute.  Carlos served 20+ years as a public servant in federal government. Prior to the JI, Carlos served as the Director of the Office of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices, at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), based in the Washington, DC area. He was responsible for providing leadership in the development of safe and effective neurological and physical medicine devices to support FDA’s mission. Carlos provided oversight over several cross-functional teams and was the lead contact for the agency’s strategic plans and implementation efforts for neuro devices.

Before his FDA Director role, Carlos served as Assistant Director of Emerging Technologies in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of President Obama for two years (2012-2014). Prior to the White House, Carlos began his career ascension at the FDA, starting out as a Lead Reviewer, Team Leader, and Acting Branch Chief for CDRH, before moving into the role of Science Policy Analyst and, finally, the Director of Emerging Technology Programs in the FDA Commissioner’s Office.

Carlos holds a PhD in Neuroscience from Case Western Reserve University and a Masters degree in Comparative Physiology from the University of Connecticut. He holds an Emergency Medical Technician license in West Virginia and currently volunteers for Emergency Medical Services.

He has relocated to Buffalo in the Allentown area and looks forward to all that Buffalo has to offer.

Jason Davies
MD, PhD

Jason Davies


Research Director

Dr. Jason Davies is research director at the Jacobs Institute. He is also an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Biomedical Informatics at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, where he joined the department in 2016. He completed residency training in the Department of Neurological Surgery at University of California, San Francisco. He completed a fellowship in endovascular neurosurgery with UB Neurosurgery and specializes in cerebrovascular and skull base neurosurgery. He has extensive experience treating aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, cavernous malformations, and arteriovenous fistulae, stroke, carotid stenosis, cerebral bypass, and other vascular disease using both open and endovascular approaches.

Dr. Davies graduated from Stanford University, where he obtained a BS in Chemistry with a minor in Biological Sciences.  He has a significant research background in molecular and cell biology, studying neuronal exocytosis proteins. After graduation, he continued his work on exocytic proteins, shifting to a molecular and computational biophysics perspective. Jason was accepted into the MD/PhD program at Stanford, where he continued his thesis work. He wrote several papers elucidating the atomic structural details of exocytic proteins and developed new computational methods for studying dynamic protein structures at high resolution in real time. During the course of his residency, he spent a one-year post-doctoral fellowship developing computational methods in natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to find ways to mine electronic medical records data.

His active research interests focus on using bioinformatics tools to advance personalized medicine. He is working to develop bioinformatics tools to improve the quantity and quality of data available for medical research, and to lower barriers to entry for all clinicians to contribute to medical knowledge. Furthermore, he is working to create more advanced machine learning and data analytic methods to better understand the insights contained within these rich data resources. These tools in combination will help us to better understand nuances of disease, as well as which patients stand to benefit.

He has co-founded and grown several early stage medical device and medical informatics companies.  He has experience developing intellectual property, conducting early phase clinical device trials, and raising capital.

Dr. Davies is married with three energetic boys.  He loves cycling and skiing with his family.

Jeffrey Mullin
MD, MBA

Jeffrey Mullin


Research Director

Dr. Jeffrey Mullin is an Assistant Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo whose clinical focus centers around spinal deformity and biomechanics as well as treatment of disorders of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. His research interests include spinal biomechanics, quality improvement/outcomes, and neurosurgical medical education. In addition to specialized spine surgery, Dr. Mullin also practices general cranial neurosurgery.

He completed a fellowship in complex deformity spine at the University of Virginia. Prior to that he had completed his general neurosurgical residency at Cleveland Clinic. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2010. He also received his MBA from the University of Notre Dame in 2006 and completed an enfolded fellowship in epilepsy surgery at Cleveland Clinic from 2014-2016.

Dr. Mullin has authored several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and has presented at numerous national neurosurgical meetings. He is an active member of AANS, CNS, and CSNS.

Michael Springer

Michael Springer


Acting Chief Operating Officer

Mike Springer is acting chief operating officer for the Jacobs Institute (JI). In this role, Mike oversees all aspects of operations and technology, including engineering, product development, and program management for the i2R, Idea to Reality Center, at the JI. He recruits entrepreneurs and guides them through the i2R product innovation process, insuring engineering and physician feedback. Additionally, Mike manages all JI daily operations.

He balances the JI’s innovation focus and drive, while being mindful of organizational growth and evolution. Mike continues to build the JI’s engineering team and capabilities, including the implementation of a quality management system. He cultivates business partnerships that advance JI’s technology, particularly in establishing the institute as a leader in 3D printing of vascular flow models. Via the i2R, Mike connects entrepreneurs and global vascular medical device companies with JI physicians and engineers who are devoted to changing the paradigm of medical device development and validation.

Prior to the Jacobs Institute, Mike was at Amazon.com in Seattle, where he was directly responsible for the P&L for the outbound distribution delivery program in North America. He has strategic planning and operations management experience in various industries and has spent a majority of his tenure in the medical device space.

Mike is a native Western New Yorker originally from Rochester, N.Y. He is also a certified project management professional.

He and his wife Renee have three young boys and twin boy and girl.

Pam Marcucci

Pam Marcucci


Vice President, Programs

Pamela Marcucci is Vice President of Programs at the Jacobs Institute. In her previous role as director of global policy studies and initiatives at Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA), Pam worked on a number of research and technical assistance projects for the Lumina Foundation, Finance in Motion, and the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, managed HESA Associates in 25 countries and co-authored two editions of HESA’s Year in Review Global Changes in Tuition Fee Policies and Student Assistance. As a private consultant, she worked with the World Bank, AFC Consulting International, the London School of Economics, and Chemonics International, on higher education finance projects funded by KfW, the European Union, and the Agency for International Development.

In earlier positions at the University at Buffalo and at the Italian Association for Women in Development, Pam designed projects and wrote funding proposals to national and international foundations, government agencies and United Nations’ agencies, and managed projects around the world.

An internationally recognized expert in student financial aid and comparative higher education research, she has authored numerous articles and technical papers and most recently co-authored a book with D. Bruce Johnstone, “Financing Higher Education Worldwide: Who Pays? Who Should Pay?” published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.

Pam has a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College and a Master’s of Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Pam lived and worked in New York City; Cairo, Egypt; and Rome, Italy, before returning to her native Buffalo in the early 2000s. She sits on the board of the Mariah M. Love Convalescent Fund and on the STEM Advisory Committee at Sacred Heart Academy. She has recently become involved as an ambassador for the Girls Education Collaborative.

Pam has two older boys, and enjoys cycling. She also has a dog named Sammy and a cat named Kat.

Richard Ducharme

Richard Ducharme


Vice President, Engineering

Rick Ducharme is Vice President of Engineering. His focus is on industry product development and overseeing the first projects for the Institute’s Idea to Reality Center, or i2R, to develop endovascular medical devices.

Rick has over ten years of experience in developing and commercializing technologies. He has proven expertise as a project manager with a talent for creative, innovative solutions. Rick led multinational interdisciplinary teams at corporations such as Cook Medical and Novasentis. To date, he has 35 patents for medical and consumer-electronic products. Rick holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in biological and biomedical engineering from Cornell University.

Rick is newly-engaged and enjoys backpacking, triathalons, running, skiing, and beekeeping.

Courtney Flick

Courtney Flick


Director, Operations & Administration

Courtney oversees the coordination and execution of logistics, communications, and accommodations for three, annual medical conferences in Jackson Hole, W.Y., hosted by JI Meeting Services.  She is also the friendly ambassador to both customers and visitors at the Jacobs Institute. She oversees the daily administrative functions and bookkeeping, and coordinating our beautiful meeting space.

Prior to the Jacobs Institute, Courtney served as a catering manager at the Hyatt Regency. She planned and oversaw events ranging from educational seminars, to weddings and galas for as many as 800 people. Courtney has extensive experience in hospitality where she served as a front office supervisor.

Courtney received her Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Buffalo State. She currently resides in Allentown with her husband and rescued mastiff Spartacus. She is a coordinator with the Trinity Tupper Community Garden. Courtney is also a “big” through the Big Brother Big Sister Program in Buffalo.

Paul Dressel

Paul Dressel


Director, Marketing & Creative Services

Paul Dressel received his bachelor’s degree in medical illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He recently joined the Jacobs Institute as director of marketing & creative services after 30 years with University at Buffalo Neurosurgery as its director of medical illustration. Paul has extensive experience in medical illustration, photography & video, graphic design, and publishing. His work has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed neuroscience journals and textbooks, helping to elevate the neurosurgery department’s national top 10 ranking.

He has extensive knowledge of the latest multi-media presentation technologies and built a state-of-the-art broadcast studio within the Gates Vascular Institute specifically for transmitting live surgeries and teleconferencing to academic and medical institutions around the world.

Paul designs and produces various marketing pieces for the Jacobs Institute as well as coordinate their strategic marketing and social media efforts. He also oversees the recording and production of surgical videos to enrich the educational content of training and educational programs for industry partners.

He is married with two grown children.

Tom Nemeth

Tom Nemeth


Director, Training

Tom is Director of Training and is responsible for the successful execution of the JI’s clinical training programs. Tom worked for Philips Healthcare for 14 years in various capacities, including National Clinical Specialist. In that role he was responsible for developing and executing training plans for Clinical Education Specialists. He worked closely with sales, marketing, and engineering to ensure his team was prepared for new product launches. Tom travelled extensively throughout North America and abroad to gain customer feedback during medical device development.

Tom is a certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist and worked at Buffalo General Medical Center and a private cardiology office in Williamsville, New York, prior to his time at Philips. Tom is a CompTia CTT+ certified technical trainer and received his B.S. in Nuclear Medicine Technology from the University at Buffalo.

Tom lives in Grand Island, NY, with his wife Kim and two children, their dog Murphy, and two cats. He enjoys playing soccer and participating in his kids’ activities.

Chelsea Nowaczewski

Chelsea Nowaczewski


Human Resources Manager

Chelsea is the Human Resources Manager at JI. She oversees recruitment, onboarding, off-boarding, orientation, employee relations, payroll, benefits administration, performance management and training & development.

Chelsea’s HR career early on began recruiting interns/entry-level staff at UB Career Fairs and other local job fairs, onboarding attorneys and legal staff, conducting weekly orientation classes (~ 20 new hires), approving timecards (400+ staff members) and coordinating company-wide office events. Chelsea is a seasoned HR professional with a wide range of experience working in various industries. In addition to legal, Chelsea has also worked in technology and utility industries. Due to vast industry experience, Chelsea is adaptable to company type and size. She’s used to working in fast paced and demanding work environments. Chelsea began working in a full-sized HR department and has since then worked in stand-alone roles. Acting as a department of one, yet still maintaining a team player mentality.

Chelsea received her undergrad from SUNY at Buffalo State College. Additionally, she has attended various HR seminars and trainings such as: Developing Emotional Intelligence, Opiates in the Workplace, How to Prepare for PFL, Health & Wellness: Employee Benefits, Coaching, Discipline & Managerial Courage and many others. Along with earning a Management Orientation certification.

Chelsea was born and raised in the Buffalo area. A proud Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Bandits fan. When Chelsea isn’t attending sporting events, she enjoys spending time with her family. Along with enjoying all the Buffalo delicacies it offers, a true foodie!

Kelly Carretto

Kelly Carretto


Clinical Training Coordinator

Kelly assists the Clinical Training Manager to insure smooth execution of JI training and clinical programs for industry and physicians. Kelly joins the JI after more than eleven years at UNYTS. As a Quality Coordinator there, she had significant laboratory experience in quality management, training personnel, establishing protocols and standard operating procedures, and updating standards to ensure health and safety compliance with federal and state regulatory agencies. Additionally, when she served as Component Technician she conducted quality controls for blood product processing and distribution. As a Donation Specialist, Kelly coordinated with hospitals and transplant teams, learned about renal perfusion, managed the medical supplies required for the donor operations, and maintained sterile techniques and procedures. Prior to UNYTS, Kelly spent a year in Orlando, Florida, as a Laboratory Aide at Endolab where she gathered, examined, and prepared pathology reports on specimens. Kelly graduated from University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Kelly has volunteered since 2008 at the SPCA Wildlife Department. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys volleyball, hiking, cycling, and running.

Karen Meess-Tuttle

Karen Meess-Tuttle


Project Manager

Karen is Project Manager and biomedical engineer at the JI, responsible for facilitation of physician training and rapid product development using patient-specific vascular anatomic simulators and models created, using 3D printing technology and patient CT images.

Prior to graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Rochester, Karen worked at JI as an intern with CUBRC. As an intern, Karen developed a strategy to purchase vascular device manufacturing and modification equipment for the JI’s i2R, or Idea to Reality Center, focused on advancing vascular medical device development. Karen also has prior research experience with gait and wheelchair transfer biomechanical motion analysis in addition to laparoscopic morcellation device technology.

Karen is a master’s candidate pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering, and specializing in 3D printing.

She was as a competitive swimmer throughout college and now enjoys seeking out new fitness challenges including long-distance cycling and running. Karen completed a half Ironman.

Adam Sparks

Adam Sparks


Engineering Manager

Adam is Engineering Manager at the JI. He creates product designs and testing systems for vascular medical devices. He identifies unmet clinical needs and fast-track them through the product lifecycle in the JI’s i2R, or idea to Reality Center, which accelerates the development of vascular medical devices.

Adam was previously a Product Development Engineer at Integer Holdings Corporation. There he handled project management for new product development and designed advanced power sources for implantable medical devices. Prior to joining Integer, Adam served as Design Engineer in weapon deployment systems for Cobham Mission Systems in Orchard Park. He was responsible for project management and design of electromechanical and pneumatic actuation systems for military aircraft.

Adam received both his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and his master’s of business administration from SUNY at Buffalo. He is a certified associate in project management.

He spends his free time with his wife and two young boys. His favorite seasonal activities are snowboarding in the winter, and hiking the rest of the year.

Kari Anastasia

Kari Anastasia


Senior Project Manager

Kari Anastasia is Senior Project Manager and focuses on auditing and inventorying JI processes and leading the implementation of our quality systems. Additionally, she will spend time working on projects for the JI’s i2R, or Idea to Reality Center. She will collaborate with medical device industry leaders, as well as start-ups, to determine how to evaluate new products. Kari will also lead industry programs through product development, product testing, and the development of 3D-printed test fixtures. Kari received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University at Buffalo (UB). She volunteers at the Buffalo Animal Shelter and is a member of the Buffalo Triathlon Club and Hertel Business Association. Kari also sits on the alumni board of the WNY Prosperity Fellowship Program.

She lives in Buffalo with her husband, Jake, her son, Owen, and their dog, Remy.

 

Dan Rathbone

Dan Rathbone


Research & Development Engineer

Dan is responsible for leading medical device development and engineering projects at the JI’s i2R, or Idea to Reality Center. Dan started his engineering career at a medical device contract design and development firm after earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University. He led multiple projects developing cardiac assist and catheter-delivered devices. Dan later earned a masters degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining his wife in Buffalo. Outside of work, Dan enjoys working with wood and metal, walking through the woods, and sitting down with a good book.

Laura Gunderson

Laura Gunderson


Quality Manager

Laura Gunderson is Quality Manager at JI. In this role, she will ensure that the JI’s processes, services, and product designs meet client, industry, and regulatory requirements. These certifications provide quality assurance to JI’s clients, while fostering medical device innovation. Laura’s role directly supports the JI’s i2R, Idea to Reality Center, which accelerates the development of new technology to treat vascular diseases.

Prior to the JI, she served as Quality Engineer for Curbell Medical Products for four years. She also worked for Astrazeneca/Publicis Touchpoint Solutions as a Customer Service Associate and Baxter Healthcare as a Product Surveillance Analyst.  Laura received her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University at Buffalo.

In addition to being an active member in various company sponsored community events, Laura has volunteered for the American Association of University Women: Tech Savvy Program, which promotes opportunities for young women in STEM fields.

Laura and her husband live in West Falls.  She enjoys spending time on the water, hiking with the family Golden Retriever, and training for her next long distance event.

Jill Bogard

Jill Bogard


R&D Engineer

Jill (Senko) Bogard is an R&D engineer.  In this role, she will contribute to JI’s growing engineering services, with a focus on 3D vascular model design and development and related areas.

She graduated from University at Buffalo with a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. Her thesis centered on the development of patient-based 3D printed cardiac mitral valve phantoms, involving 3D printing of the delicate structures of the mitral valve leaflets and chordae tendineae anatomically in a left ventricular chamber. She has developed many 3D printed replicas of vascular and cardiac models, focusing on realistic anatomy. Jillian received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Lancaster, New York, native has held several roles with the JI over the years, first as a summer intern, followed by a co-op, and most recently as an engineering intern.

She enjoys kayaking, hiking, and skiing. Jillian and her husband, Justin, were married in the fall of 2020.

Eric Wozniak

Eric Wozniak


R&D Engineering Technician

Eric is an R&D Engineering Technician. In this role, he is involved in designing and building innovative prototype devices for cutting edge endovascular procedures. He previously worked as a test technician and assembler in the aerospace industry. Eric set up production units, performed initial tests and calibration of production assemblies, while ensuring that the products met quality standards and target deadlines.

Eric graduated from Ithaca College with degrees in music education and jazz studies.  He taught for many years in private and public schools, primarily in underserved communities of South Los Angeles. Eric is a busy professional saxophonist and musician for local and international projects. In his spare time, he also enjoys gardening and musical instrument repair.

Ariana Allman

Ariana Allman


Associate R&D Engineer

Ariana is Associate R&D Engineer. Ariana served as a research assistant at the University at Buffalo’s (UB’s) Canon Stroke & Vascular Research Center, where she created patient-specific cardiovascular and neurovascular 3D printed benchtop models to test high resolution CT and control compliancy of materials. She also worked as a supervisor to the student machine shop, helping engineering students execute their college and club projects. She is the Vice President of the Society of Automotive Engineers, event manager of UB’s Love Your Melon Fund, and member of the Biomedical Engineering Society at UB.

Cody Smith

Cody Smith


Associate R&D Engineer

Cody is Associate R&D Engineer. Cody was a graduate research assistant in the University at Buffalo (UB) Canon Stroke & Vascular Research Center, where he studied biomechanical changes in the heart following myocardial infarction. He also worked as undergraduate research assistant for Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) analyzing MRI and fMRI data to study lesions in Multiple Sclerosis. Cody also served as an engineering intern with Nestle Purina, where he gained experience in Lean Manufacturing Six-Sigma, worked collaboratively with contractors, staff engineers, and line operators. He graduated from UB Cum Laude with a master’s in biomedical engineering.

Cody enjoys the outdoors, renovating, and woodworking. He stays active by hiking, biking, climbing, and running… and has lived in 8 different cities!

Dayana Brahem

Dayana Brahem


R&D Engineer

Dayana is an R&D Engineer. Prior to the JI, she was the biomedical engineering lead at Glissner, in Ontario, Canada, where she composed manufacturing and standard operating procedures and navigated through regulations, along with conducting electrical safety testing, design reviews, and more. Dayana also served as biomedical engineer at Canadian Hospital Specialties in Ontario, managing new product introduction and development, improved manufacturing processes, and ensured product regulation and standard compliance. She graduated from University of Guelph.

Dayana recently moved to Buffalo with her fiancé.

Michael Avery

Michael Avery


3D Printing Technician

Michael Avery is a 3D Printing Technician at the JI. He is responsible for maintaining and troubleshooting our 3D printers.

Michael has served as an IT Service Desk Agent, Digital Dental Lab Technician, a Soil and Liquid Lab Technician. Michael graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration and has done freelance work.

He grew up in Pennellville, near Syracuse. Outside of work, Michael enjoys technology and gadgets, art and photography, camping, and spending time playing games with friends.

Jessica Martensen

Jessica Martensen


Senior Project Manager

Jessica Martensen is Senior Project Manager at the JI. In this role she will ensure the effective execution of projects by developing and managing project plans, schedules, budgets, and cross-functional teams. Jessica began her career at Baxter as a Quality Engineer advancing to Engineer II, in the Technical Services division working on process improvements. Prior to joining the JI, Jessica was working as a Senior Engineer in Technical Services working on New Product Development. In that role, she supported the development of a global platform of Class II infusion pumps, while leading a cross-functional team through design for serviceability (DFS) assessments, training engineers and technicians, and managing the relationship with the contract manufacturer. She also served as a Research Assistant in the Canon Stroke and Vascular Research Center at University at Buffalo (UB). Jessica has had Lean/Six Sigma training and Green Belt training in DMAIC problem solving.

Jessica received her undergraduate degree and master’s degree in biomedical engineering from UB.

Jessica lives in Clarence with her husband, and in her free time she enjoys golfing, snowboarding, kayaking, biking, learning to play instruments, learning languages, and cooking. Currently, she and her husband are working on perfecting their homemade pizza making skills.

Michael Spengler

Michael Spengler


Quality Engineer

Michael Spengler is a Quality Engineer at the JI. His responsibilities include supporting Quality Management System initiatives, ensuring that the JI’s processes, services, and product designs meet client, industry, and regulatory requirements.

He has former experience working as both a Quality Control Lab Tech and a Quality Control Applications Specialist at Athenex, Inc. Michael graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering in 2018. For his Capstone Engineering Project, he designed a neurorehabilitation glove to help restore hand movement in patients who are experiencing a neurological disease, such as muscular atrophy or stroke.

Being born and raised in Western New York, he is both a Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres fan. Michael’s favorite place is his outdoor cabin, where he enjoys hiking and spending time in nature. He also loves to golf.

Branden Wehrmeyer

Branden Wehrmeyer


Senior 3D Printing Technician

Branden is the Senior 3D Printing Technician at the JI. He is responsible for 3D printing production as well as maintaining and troubleshooting our 3D printers.

He most recently worked as the Additive Manufacturing Engineering Technician at Buffalo Manufacturing Works, where he held duties such as set up & operation for wire fed and blown powder directed energy deposition. He has experience as a machinist, mill operator, and a CNC Lathe programmer and operator. Branden graduated from Erie Community College with an A.O.S. in Industrial Technology in 2015.

Branden has a dog named Levi and loves to spend time outdoors. He frequents the Adirondacks, enjoys snowboarding, kayaking, jet skiing, and rock climbing. He is an avid Buffalo Bills fan. In the holiday season, he works as a volunteer for ‘Christmas Adopt-a-Family.’

Stephen Krytus

Stephen Krytus


Senior R&D Technician

Steve is a Senior R&D Technician involved in designing and building innovative prototype devices for cutting edge endovascular procedures. He has over 15 years of experience in electro-mechanical design, assembly, diagnostics, and repair in a range of industries from printing and food processing to solar energy. Prior to joining the JI, he worked as a technician for Panasonic on cell production for solar panels. He also attended Erie Community College, completing courses in nursing, anatomy, and physiology. His expertise in electronics, mechanics, and technology systems–combined with his education–allow him to bring a unique and adaptable skill set to the JI.

Steve spends time outdoors bicycling, kayaking, camping, and hiking.  He is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys commuting to work on his electric monocycle. He is a proud dad and grandpa. Steve loves exploring Buffalo with his wife, children, and granddaughters, learning more about the city he loves and calls home.

Mike Miller

Mike Miller


Senior R&D Engineer

Michael is a senior R&D engineer at the Jacobs Institute. His primary role is the development of new products as part of the i2R, Idea to Reality Center.

 

For over 10 years, Michael has successfully brought multiple medical devices from concept to production during his time at Buffalo Filter and ConMed. His various roles have included the ideation, design, rapid prototyping, testing, product qualification and manufacturability of products ranging from small handheld instruments to large capital equipment for the OR. He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering.

 

In his free time, Michael enjoys gaming, woodworking, snowboarding and building igloos.

Joshua Davison

Joshua Davison


Senior R&D Engineer

Joshua Davison is a Senior R&D Engineer at the Jacobs Institute (JI). His responsibilities include product and process development of novel endovascular medical devices.

Joshua earned his B.S. in biomedical engineering and M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University at Buffalo. Prior to working at the JI, Joshua worked in both manufacturing and quality engineering roles at several medical device companies in Western New York. He has worked extensively in the manufacture of large volume parenteral infusion pumps and implantable-grade capacitors.

Outside of work, Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife Emily, working on his yard, or watching sports.

Ryan Cavallaro

Ryan Cavallaro


Associate R&D Engineer

Ryan Cavallaro is an Associate R&D Engineer at the JI. In his role he will be contributing to the JI’s model development team focusing on 3D vascular model design/development and other related areas.

Ryan graduated from University at Buffalo in May 2020 with a bachelor’s in mechanical and aerospace engineering. In his time at UB, Ryan worked at an internship his last 2 years at a Buffalo-based company called Innosek, a company focusing on low-volume manufacturing of 3D printed parts. His work entailed product design, as well as hardware and process improvements. After graduating, Ryan spent a year at Pall Corporation in Cortland, NY, where he was part of an R&D group focusing on additive manufacturing of filtration products.

Ryan is originally from Albany, NY. He is an avid New York Yankees fan and New York Giants fan. In his spare time, Ryan likes spending time working on his own 3D printer, spending time with friends/family, and going to Yankee Stadium during the season.

Tim Rodemeyer

Tim Rodemeyer


Engineering Technician

Tim Rodemeyer is an Engineering Technician at the JI.

He graduated from Buffalo State College in May 2000 with a bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering. Tim has over 20 years experience working at Greatbatch. His work entailed engineering and technician work. Tim is originally from Buffalo, NY and is a proud Bills and Sabres Mafia member. In his spare time, Tim enjoys listening to music, watching Monty Python, camping, and spending time with family.

Katie Simon

Katie Simon


Development Coordinator

Katie Simon is the Development Coordinator at the Jacobs Institute. In this role, she supports the mission and vision of the JI through philanthropy activities, such as community cultivation and grant initiatives. Katie was previously the communications and development intern at the JI for over a year where she supported grant initiatives and content creation.

She has a bachelor’s degree from Canisius College and a Master’s in Communication Arts & Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University. At Penn State, she was a public speaking instructor for undergraduate students. Katie is published as second author in the Health Communication journal for her collaboration on a study, titled “Interpreting Cancer Survivors’ Perceptions of the Survivor Label Through Social Identity and Communication Accommodation Theories.”

In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time with family and friends, running, reading, and exploring new places in Buffalo.