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Santa Clara Valley Chapter

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Calendar Year 2011 Presentations

Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 7:30 pm
Location: Room M-114, Stanford University Medical School
Optional dinner: Stanford Hospital Cafeteria, 6:15 pm (no host, no reservations)

Getting in the flow: What happens when a cell undergoes interrogation in a flow cytometer?

Joseph Trotter
Director of Cytometry, BD Fellow
Advanced Technology Group
BD Biosciences


Flow Cytometry makes use of multiple technologies in the process of providing a means to analyze, and occasionally sort, a wide variety of cell types. The discipline combines appropriate sample preparation, fluidics, optical design, signal processing electronics, and ultimately sophisticated data analysis to accomplish this. Flow cytometers analyze suspended cell samples, and many models additionally can separate viable cells after multiparameter analysis and classification. This presentation will give an overview of what happens when a cell traverses one or more laser intersects within a typical analyzer or sorter, and the challenges and solutions to understand what information ends up in the data that is generated.


Joe Trotter started work in flow cytometry back in early 1970's within the Cell Biology laboratories of Nobel Prize laureates Robert Holley and Renato Dulbecco at the Salk Institute, where between 1973 and 1990 they built and modified several flow cytometers based on Los Alamos designs, including a custom multilaser/multiparameter cuvette based sorter with Coulter Volume capability that converted from cuvette to jet-in-air when desired. He developed software for cytometer acquisition & control while at Salk, and the first freeware Windows based analytical flow application (WinMDI, 1995). Helped to developed numerous flow applications with investigators while at Salk and later as the director of the flow facility at The Scripps Research Institute. Assisted BD in the implementation of high-speed sorting technology and digital acquisition systems while at Scripps. Joined BD Biosciences in 2000 and was the technical lead for the BD LSR II program. He is currently in the Advanced Technology Group in BD R&D, and among other activities is helping in the efforts to develop robust approaches to automated cytometer characterization and setup. In 2010 he was awarded the Wesley J. Howe Award for Technical Innovation as a BD Fellow. His main focus starting the year in 2011 is new software for the BD Influx Cell Sorter.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 7:30 pm
Location: Room M-114, Stanford University Medical School
Optional dinner: Stanford Hospital Cafeteria, 6:15 pm (no host, no reservations)

Title: The Basics of Intellectual Property

James Fox, PhD
Patent Attorney
Arnold & Porter LLP

This talk will cover topics such as: What is intellectual property (IP)?; How does IP fit in with the business factors that investors consider when placing a value on a company?; What are the timelines for protecting inventions worldwide?; What goes into a patent application?

James Fox is an associate in the intellectual property practice group in the Palo Alto office at Arnold & Porter LLP. He has extensive experience preparing and evaluating patents for biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical clients worldwide. His biotechnology experience includes preparation and prosecution of antibody, growth factor, medical diagnostic and small molecule patent applications. He also has experience in preparation of patentability, freedom-to-operate, and non-infringement opinions, participated in intellectual property due diligence reviews, and has negotiated and prepared technology licenses for medical device companies.

Prior to practicing law, Dr. Fox was a product line manager at Axon Instruments, a biomedical instrumentation company (now a division of Molecular Devices, part of MDS); a research scientist at Neurex, a biotech company developing peptide therapeutics (acquired by Elan Pharmaceuticals); and a post-doctoral fellow at UCSF and UCLA performing research in physiology and ophthalmology. Dr. Fox's research includes stroke research, vision research, and other areas of physiology and biophysics. He is an inventor on eight issued patents.

JD, Santa Clara University School of Law, 1999
PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, 1984
BA, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1977

Wednesday, March 16,2011, 7:30 pm
Location: Room M-114, Stanford University Medical School
Optional dinner location change: Stanford Hospital Cafeteria, 6:15 pm (no host, no reservations)

Title:Neuro-Imaging to Guide Acute Stroke Treatment

Maarten G. Lansberg, MD PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Stanford Stroke Center
Stanford University

Acute stroke treatment can lead to greatly improved clinical outcomes in some patients. However, in others the treatment may lead to significant harm. During this talk Dr Lansberg will discuss 1) currently available treatment strategies for acute stroke; 2) how neuro-imaging can be used to select appropriate patients for the available treatment options.

Dr Lansberg is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University. He completed his medical training at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. He completed residency training in neurology at UCSF and completed a stroke fellowship at the Stanford Stroke Center. His research involves the use of neuroimaging to guide acute stroke treatment.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 7:30 pm
Location: Room M-114, Stanford University Medical School
Optional dinner: Stanford Hospital Cafeteria, 6:15 pm (no host, no reservations)

Title: Robotic Rehabilitation with the Bionic Leg

Robert Horst, PhD
Chief Technology Officer
Tibion Corporation

Tibion is an emerging medical device company pioneering the use of novel bionic technology for stroke rehabilitation. This talk will discuss the engineering, clinical and market challenges in taking a medical device from initial idea to viable business. Tibion has developed the Bionic Leg, a wearable powered assistive leg brace that includes a high-torque actuator, electronics, sensors, and embedded firmware. The device amplifies the residual intention of stroke patients and provides assistance for sit-to-stand, walking, and stair climbing as well as controlled resistance for stand-to-sit and stair descent. The device is now in use in over a dozen clinics and has been shown to be an effective tool for use by therapists in gait retraining of patients with neuromuscular deficiencies.

Robert Horst is a Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Tibion Corporation where he has over nine years of experience designing products for robotic therapy and mobility enhancement.  He has extensive experience in electronics, systems architecture and fault-tolerant computing from his tenure at Hewlett Packard, Tandem Computers, Compaq, 3ware, and Network Appliance.  As a consultant, he has worked with several startup companies and served as an expert witness in patent litigation.  Dr. Horst is an IEEE Fellow and currently holds 73 U.S. patents.  He received a BSEE from Bradley University, an MSEE from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Illinois.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 7:30 pm
Location: Room M-114, Stanford University Medical School
Optional dinner: Stanford Hospital Cafeteria, 6:15 pm (no host, no reservations)

Title: Bionanoelectronics: The State of the Art and The Near-Term Future

Mark Buenger
Director of Research
Lux Research

Recent strides in multiple disciplines have enabled the
precise engineering of polymers, biomolecules, and
electronics, and the integration of the three. In
applications like diagnostics, medical devices,
industrial sensors, and environmental monitoring,
nano/bio/electro hybrid technologies are being brought
to bear, and making their way to the marketplace. Lux
Research will provide an overview of the field, placing
particular inventions and developers on the timeline to


Mark Buenger is the Director of Research at Lux Research
based in the firm's San Francisco office. Mark joined
Lux Research 5 years ago with 14 years of business
strategy experience, both as a management consultant
and technology analyst. His previous work experience
includes Principal Analyst at Forrester Research,
International Engagement Manager at European
consultancy Icon Medialab, and Managing Director of
Icon Medialab's U.S. office. The first six years of
Mark's career were spent at Accenture in the U.S.,
U.K., and Sweden. Mark's education includes
International Marketing at Maelardalen Polytechnic in
Sweden, and Market Research at the University of Texas
in the U.S. He also studied biochemistry through the
University of California at Berkeley's extension

Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 7:30 pm
Location: Room M-114, Stanford University Medical School
Optional dinner: Stanford Hospital Cafeteria, 6:15 pm (no host, no reservations)

Title: Endocardial Visualization and Therapy

Vahid Saadat
President & Chief Executive Officer
Voyage Medical, Inc.

Voyage Medical, Inc. is a venture-backed medical device company developing a high-resolution, direct visualization technology that will transform therapy in intracardiac procedures. The IRIS™ Catheter System integrates direct visualization with advanced steering to allow clinicians to visualize and treat targeted cardiac anatomy during percutaneous procedures as if it were open surgery. Voyage Medical’s initial focus is on developing products to treat Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and other cardiac arrhythmias.

Vahid Saadat founded Voyage Medical in 2006 and has over 20 years of experience in the medical device industry. Mr. Saadat is also a co-founder and board member of Baxano, Inc., an orthopedic and spine company backed by Prospect Venture Partners and Three Arch Partners. Previously, Mr. Saadat co-founded and was President of USGI Medical Inc., a gastrointestinal device company backed by Alta Partners and Interwest Partners. Before USGI, Mr. Saadat served as President and CEO of AngioTrax, founded in 1997. AngioTrax developed myocardial revascularization technologies for the treatment of ischemic heart disease. Before AngioTrax, Mr. Saadat was at Gynecare, Inc. as VP of R&D which was subsequently acquired by Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Saadat also helped found Cardiac Science, which developed an automatic defibrillator device. Mr. Saadat holds a B.A. and M.S. in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He has many scientific publications to his credit and is inventor on over 200 issued and pending patents.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 7:30 pm
Location: Room M-114, Stanford University Medical School
Optional dinner location change: Stanford Hospital Cafeteria, 6:15 pm (no host, no reservations)

Title: Deep brain modulation of hypersynchrony and movement in Parkinsons disease

Helen Bronte-Stewart MD MSE
Associate Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Director Stanford Movement Disorders Centre
Stanford University School of Medicine

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease that affects over 1.5 million Americans. Important discoveries about underlying mechanisms of disease in PD have led to successful therapies. Dopaminergic medication revolutionized the quality of life for people with PD, after the discovery that several motor signs in PD resulted from a loss of dopamine producing neurons in the midbrain. The motor response to medication becomes less predictable, however, as the disease progresses and is accompanied by disabling involuntary movements (dyskinesias). Surgical treatment developed empirically, originally with lesions and now with high frequency deep brain stimulation (HF DBS), placed in nuclei “downstream” from the deficient dopaminergic pathways. HF DBS delivers constant electrical stimulation via a chronically implanted lead and has the same effect as a lesion but with fewer side effects. HF DBS improves the stability of the motor response without dyskinesias and has allowed people with PD to look forward to more years of relatively stable treatment and a predictable lifestyle. However, currently the outcomes of DBS can vary dramatically in PD; some people receive only ~30% improvement in mobility while others do much better. Some develop freezing of gait and speech difficulties that may be improved with better use of DBS.

HF DBS for PD is a partially realized therapy largely because discoveries analagous to those that led to targeted medical therapy have not been utilized yet in surgical therapy. DBS is a neurophysiological therapy and alters the neural activity in the circuits it stimulates. Abnormal hypersynchrony of neural activity in the alpha and beta frequency bands (8 – 35 Hz), which may restrict normal sensorimotor information processing, has been recorded from sensorimotor circuitry in the brain in PD. While great advances have been made in knowledge about abnormal neurophysiology in PD, as yet it is not known which brain signals if any are correlated with which motor sign in PD and what parameters of electrical stimulation are optimal for each sign. Until recently this has been hard to determine because it has not been possible to record neural activity and motor activity simultaneously during HF DBS to demonstrate that neural hypersynchrony is directly responsible for motor abnormalities in PD.

The result is that currently DBS for PD operates in an open loop fashion: the device producing the electrical stimulation cannot sense or read the motor state of the subject nor the neural state of the brain that it is stimulating. The DBS system is programmed based on clinical assessment of improvement in motor signs and by trial and error, a limited and time consuming process. Great improvements may occur if the device instead used neural signals to guide the location and manner of DBS. The critical unmet need to realize this (closed loop DBS) is to determine the correlative relationships between neural signals and abnormal movements in PD, and to develop more customized programs of neuromodulation for different motor signs.

Helen Bronte-Stewart, MD, MSE, is an Associate Professor, in the department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and in the department of Neurosurgery (by courtesy) at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California. She is the Director of the Stanford Comprehensive Movement Disorders Centre. She received a Master of Science in Bioengineering (MSE) from University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and her MD degree from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Bronte-Stewart competed her internship in medicine and a residency in neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. She then completed a fellowship in movement disorders at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and a postdoctoral fellowship in single unit electrophysiology and motor control with Dr. Stephen Lisberger at UCSF. Her expertise in single neuronal electrophysiology in primates has been transferred to the operating room where she performs the intra-operative microelectrode mapping of basal ganglia nuclei during deep brain stimulation procedures for the treatment of Movement Disorders in patients with Movement Disorders. She is board certified in psychiatry and neurology.

Dr. Bronte-Stewart’s research goal is to understand how the brain controls movement. She developed computerized technology to measure human movement and currently uses this in conjunction with recordings of neuronal and neural network activity in the brain to correlate brain signals with different movements in Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia. She and her team have discovered that people with Parkinson’s disease may have signature “brain arrhythmias” in the subthalamic nucleus in the brain. These rhythms are reduced by deep brain stimulation at intensities that improve movement. She and her team are now investigating whether these rhythms are directly associated with abnormal movement and therefore whether that can be used as a biomarker for demand brain pacemakers, similar to demand cardiac pacemakers. In conjunction with Dr. Jaimie Henderson they are investigating whether this abnormal rhythm comes from the cortex and whether this will be another potential site for electrical stimulation to treat movement disorders. Dr. Bronte-Stewart is also very interested in balance and gait disorders and has an active research program in this area.

Dr. Bronte-Stewart has authored or co-authored over 60 articles, abstracts, book chapters and other materials on Parkinson’s Disease, deep brain stimulation, and related issues, and has lectured widely on these topics all over North America. Throughout her career she has held many teaching positions, beginning during her undergraduate years with directorships of 2 dance companies. In addition, she has been a principal investigator in several studies of treatments for Parkinson’s Disease. Her research has been supported by the generous donations of the Kinetics Foundation, the Vincent Coates Foundation, the Robert and Ruth Halperin Foundation, the John A. Blume Foundation, and the Cahill Family Foundation as well as by the NIH.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 7:30 pm
Location: Room M-114, Stanford University Medical School
Optional dinner location change: Stanford Hospital Cafeteria, 6:15 pm (no host, no reservations)

Title: An autonomous implantable system with locomotion

Daniel Pivonka
Center for Circuit and System Solutions
Stanford University

Fully autonomous implantable systems with locomotion can revolutionize medical technology, and include applications ranging from diagnostics to minimally invasive surgery. However, the extreme power requirements of fluid locomotion impose significant design challenges. For mm-sized antennas in tissue, the optimal frequency for power transfer efficiency is in the low-GHz range. Combining this power transfer method with a highly efficient electromagnetic fluid micro-propulsion system, remotely controlled sub-mm implants become possible. This work focuses on the development of this propulsion system and its implementation on a real device. There are two proposed propulsion methods: the first is based on magneto hydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion, and the second relies on asymmetrical fluid drag forces on an oscillating structure. Analysis and simulation predict that speeds ~cm/s can be achieved with around 100µW, suggesting that this propulsion method is about 10 times more efficient than existing mechanical techniques.

Daniel Pivonka is currently working on a PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford University, with his research focusing on miniaturized implantable systems. He received his Bachelor's degree from Harvey Mudd College in 2007 and his MS degree from Stanford in 2009. He is a recipient of the Clay/Wolkin Fellowship, the Stanford Graduate Fellowship, and is a member of C2S2, the Center for Circuit and System Solutions.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 7:30 pm
Location: Room M-114, Stanford University Medical School
Optional dinner location change: Stanford Hospital Cafeteria, 6:15 pm (no host, no reservations)

Title: Unleashing the Power of Integrated Circuits for DNA Sequencing

Stefan Roever
CEO & Founder
Genia Technologies, Inc.

There is no debate that genetic information is needed to truly realize the promise of personalized medicine. The problem is that today’s DNA sequencers cost anywhere from $50K - $1M, rely on complicated optics, and utilize a complex workflow that does not lend itself to clinical utility.

Genia is using standard semiconductor technology to enable massively parallel, single molecule DNA sequencing.  The company has developed a versatile nanopore-based platform which allows for single molecule, electrical, real-time analysis without the need for enzymes, complicated optics, labels, amplification, or fluidics. Genia’s key proprietary innovations around the nanopore allow single molecules of single stranded DNA to move through the pore slowly so the sequence can be measured accurately. The sensor itself is truly transformative and allows very small electrical signals (~0.2 pA current levels) to be seen high above the noise floor, which is one of the issues other nanopore companies are currently struggling with. The data shows that with highly accurate analog electronics and clever data analysis techniques, single base discrimination is possible, and adequate SNR can be reached to perform DNA sequencing.

Genia’s mission is to unify Moore’s Law with biotechnology to make genetic information universally available. By developing a true integrated circuit on standard semiconductor process technology, Genia brings Moore’s Law to the biological world to revolutionize the world of DNA sequencing.

Stefan Roever has a broad entrepreneurial, software, and finance background. He was Co-Founder and CEO of Brokat Technologies, an encryption banking software company. Brokat reached a several billion dollar market cap and went public in 1998 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on NASDAQ in 2000. Mr. Roever was honored with the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Germany. He is an active private equity investor and currently serves as Chairman of WRS Materials, a roll-up of wafer reclaim companies. Mr. Roever also is a two time award holder of Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. He earned degrees in both economics and law from the University of Tuebingen.

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