Wednesday, November 7, 2007

About me…

(Updated January 2010)


I grew up in the Midwestern US, developing early interests in science and computers, reading lots, spending summers canoeing in northern Minnesota and, later, living on a farm as an exchange student in Switzerland. Undergraduate work in mathematical physics at Vanderbilt University led to graduate work in biomedical signal processing, where I completed my doctorate modeling the human eye movement control system under the mentorship of Dr. A.E. Kertesz at Northwestern University.

I married in 1981, and, after graduation, we moved out to Eastern Washington where I took my first job. Cadwell Laboratories is a family-owned business that develops neurologic devices, and I learned the basics of creating a business, working on an infant audiometer, neurosurgical monitors, and early quantitative EEG and brainmapping products. I also taught math, chemistry, and astronomy at the local college. After the birth of our first child in 1987, I joined Physio-Control as a research scientist, where I wrote the first detection algorithms for out-of-hospital thrombolysis and started their profitable medical informatics division.


A full family and professional life followed: we raised two children in Woodinville, WA, outside of Seattle. The children are grown now, As Senior Principal Scientist and Research Director for Medtronic ERS, I directed global clinical and technical partnerships to create innovative products for cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, and stroke. We worked closely with academic and clinical researchers, creating solutions for early detection and rapid treatment of resuscitative events, including “shock predictive” technologies for automated external defibrillators and interpretive capnography algorithms for respiratory distress. This work led to many patents and peer-reviewed publications.

In 2003, I was elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and, the next year, I was awarded a Bakken Fellowship, Medtronic’s highest scientific honor.

Developing an interest in entrepreneurship, I obtained a management certificate from Stanford University and helped to found Science Factor, an educational Internet provider that lasted two years (an education in itself!). As my children moved on towards college in 2005, I took a sabbatical year to return to school at the University of Cambridge (UK), earning an MPhil degree in Bioscience Enterprise, and graduating with Distinction.

While there, I co-founded CamStent, a biomaterials company that has received $300,000 in seed funding from UK Development Authorities ad angel investors.

I subsequently accepted an expatriate assignment at Medtronic SQDM in the Netherlands, leading a team creating an implantable cardiac monitor to warn patients of life threatening cardiac events. I also lead the Research Group, developing advanced microminiature monitors for monitoring chronic diseases, and was part of the general management team growing the business.  Medtronic moved the division back to Minneapolis in 2008, closing the Dutch offices, and I moved to Maastricht to join the European Research Center, then separated from the Company the following year.

I took the severance opportunity to take on several new projects, spending more time with CamStent (biofilm resistant coatings), creating Stone Bridge Biomedical (remote patient monitoring systems), and joining BioMRC  (medical consulting for early-stage development).  I secured Dutch and UK work / residence visas, and now work independently in Europe and the US.


Professionally, I want to focus on building and leading innovative businesses at the interface of biotechnology and medical devices, with special emphasis on cross-border opportunities for collaborative development. My thesis modeled business opportunities in spinning new start-up companies out of "failed" corporate projects. I believe that too many talented people with good ideas go unrecognized and underdeveloped in our "Good to Great" corporate cultures.

Personally, I work towards creating an active and balanced life, optimistic at the dawn and content at twilight. I want to travel and engage with the world fully, living in inspiring places and among stimulating people. There must be time for sailing rugged coastlines, for long walks in the high open country, and for finding insight and inspiration in a sunlit studio with seascape views. I enjoy reading books that touch and reveal, walking beaches at twilight, losing myself in charcoal and watercolor, walking along stone walls misted with legend, hearing stories of life's defining experiences, ideas that enlighten, quiet moments in large open places, and the special warmth that can only come from time shared slowly in a close and resonant friendship.

Purpose of this site

I do have a real life beyond this journal, filled with thoughts of science, philosophy, travel, and art. I enjoy conversation and exploration of ideas and experiences with thoughtful people of all sorts. By turns active and reflective, I am usually fully engaged in balancing work, relationships, and personal interests. At best, postings on this site will be intermittent and secondary to the rest of my life. But I am finding that it is increasingly important for me to reflect on the experiences that I am having. Initially this series will focus on the expatriate experience, and it may grow or wither from there.

I welcome you, and your participation and comments.

-- Dave

No comments: