Vice President, Engineering




Rick Ducharme is Vice President of Engineering at the JI. 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 a diversified product development leader with over 15 years’ experience bringing disruptive medical devices from concept to the marketplace. The devices Rick has developed range from low volume specialty medical devices to high volume consumer electronic products that relied heavily on interdisciplinary collaboration. While at Cook Medical, he invented and managed all aspects of the development (product design, a new production facility, GLP studies, regulatory testing, and first in human studies) for a novel device called Hemospray to treat emergent bleeding. It was awarded the top innovation of the year by the world congress, grosses over $25MM annually, and is and is the most effective treatment option available for many types of emergent bleeds. This development was a revolutionary pivot from existing technologies as Hemospray is a granular hemostat that is simple to apply instead of a mechanical clamp of the target location which is often hard to identify during large bleeds.

After developing numerous devices for Cook Medical, Rick was the VP of Operations and Engineering for Novasentis, a Silicon Valley Start-up. In addition to over $20MM in venture funding and he was the principal investigator for numerous federal grants totaling in excess of $3.5MM for the development of smart materials and integration into medical devices (electrophysiology catheters and portable braille displays). This work was translated into privately funded work in partnership with HumanWare and collaboration with medical device companies such as Boston Scientific and Cook Medical. Furthermore, he worked to integrate our component into companies’ products such as Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Facebook, Lenovo, FoxCon, Huawai and TCL. The product was also awarded a Consumer Electronic Show (CES) Innovations Design and Engineering Award. This company was sold, and Rick joined the Jacobs Institute to focus on developing novel medical devices.

Since joining the Jacobs Institute in 2016 as the first product development engineer, we have hired over 20 engineers, instituted an ISO13485 quality management system and GLP animal facility and been involved in varying levels of product development for every neurovascular medical device approved for use in the US the past 4 years. We have been product development partners for both start-ups and large cap companies including bringing our own device from concept to first-in-human with almost all testing performed within our facility (outsourced specialized nickel leach and particulate testing).

Rick believes that this unique set of resources and collaborators will become a disruptive product development model that accelerates new technologies to the marketplace by ensuring the right product is developed in an accelerated fashion.