From the CEO's Desk

Welcome to the first edition of Medical Innovation News. We are excited to introduce the digital version of our newsletter to friends, supporters and the medical community.

We know you're always on the go, and with so many exciting developments happening almost on a daily basis at the Fogarty Institute, we are looking forward to offer timely news that can easily be read from any mobile device.

Medical Innovation News will be emailed bi-monthly, bringing you updates on the Institute, the latest innovations and accomplishments by our companies-in-residence, thought leadership pieces by our distinguished Board of Directors and Chief Development Officer, Peter Hero, as well as interviews with some of the best-known names in the industry.

We are thrilled to kick off our first edition featuring Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, sharing her thoughts on medical innovation, and opportunities and challenges she sees in our field.

Thank you for your continued support and interest in raising the bar for healthcare. We welcome your feedback and would love to have you share our news with a friend.

Ann Fyfe
President and Chief Executive Officer

Fogarty Institute for Innovation Updates

Dr. Fogarty receives the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama during a ceremony at the White House.

Dr. Fogarty receives the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama during a ceremony at the White House.

One of the most decorated cardiovascular surgeons and innovators of all time, Dr. Fogarty received one of the highest honors when he was awarded the Presidential National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The award is granted by the President of the United States to American inventors and innovators for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology. Dr. Fogarty received the award during a ceremony at the White House.

"The Presidential National Medal of Technology and Innovation award is the highest honor the United States can give to a U.S. citizen for advancing technology, and we can't think of a more deserving individual than Dr. Fogarty," said Dr. Thomas Krummel, chairman of the board for the Fogarty Institute for Innovation.

"Dr. Fogarty has not only spent his entire adult life searching for 'a better way' to help improve patients' lives through his inventions, but has also provided invaluable mentorship, guidance and support to the future generations of medical innovators," added Krummel.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created in 1980 by the United States Congress to foster technological innovation and U.S. competitiveness in the international arena. The first medals were awarded by President Ronald Reagan. Past recipients include renowned technology giants such as Steve Jobs, Stephen Wozniak, Robert Noyce, the DuPont Company and Gordon Moore, among others.

Dr. Fogarty is best known for inventing the embolectomy catheter, more commonly referred to as the balloon catheter, more than 50 years ago. The balloon catheter became the industry standard to remove blood clots and is used in more than 300,000 procedures worldwide per year. It is estimated to have saved the lives and limbs of more than 20 million patients. In addition to being a named inventor on over 165 surgical instrument patents, Dr. Fogarty also founded the Fogarty Institute for Innovation to foster medical technology innovation.

Our Companies

Jessie Becker, co-founder and CEO of InPress Technologies, and Surbhi Sarna, founder and CEO of nVision Medical, both made the Forbes "30 Under 30" list.

Our companies-in-residence make incredible strides in advancing medical technology on a daily basis and it is highly rewarding when their hard efforts are recognized by both the medical and business communities.

Recently, Jessie Becker co-founder and CEO of InPress Technologies, made the Forbes annual "30 Under 30" list, which identifies the best and brightest innovators. Jessie is the second honoree from the Fogarty Institute to receive the award — Surbhi Sarna, founder and CEO of nVision Medical, made the list in 2014. Both women were among a handpicked group of entrepreneurs recognized for shaping the future of healthcare.

InPress is developing a simple device that is intended to quickly and effectively stop postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), which is the leading cause of maternal death globally, taking the life of one woman every four minutes. Early results of the company's clinical trial in Jakarta, Indonesia, have been 100 percent successful. The company has already raised $1.5 million in seed money.

Jessie and Surbhi benefit from sharing ideas at the Fogarty Institute's Fog Shop, where the companies-in-residence reside.

nVision is an early-stage, venture-backed medical device company that is dedicated to filling the void in female health-related innovation. It is currently developing catheter-based diagnostic devices for non-invasive cell retrieval, as well as for detection of fallopian tube blockage — the leading cause of infertility in women. nVision is engaging with the FDA this year.

"We are energized by the progress in medical device innovation made by our early-stage companies, and it is a great distinction that two of our entrepreneurs have been chosen by Forbes for their pioneering role in advancing healthcare," said Anne Fyfe, president and CEO of the Fogarty Institute for Innovation. "Both of these young women are very deserving of the Forbes recognition, and we look forward to continuing to champion medical innovation for the unmet needs of women and newborns."

Guest Q&A — Congresswoman Anna Eshoo

The 2015 Fogarty Institute summer interns had much to learn from Rep. Anna Eshoo and Dr. Thomas Fogarty, during a recent visit by the Congresswoman.

On June 8, we had the privilege of hosting Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who came to FII to learn about the latest medical device advancements of our companies-in-residence, and discuss how government and startups can best work together to improve healthcare.

FII has known the Congresswoman for many years — Dr. Fogarty was one of the first people to meet with her when she first came to office to advocate for the medical innovation community, and that created a strong line of communication which has been ongoing. "Tom has been a mentor to me," said Rep. Eshoo.

Dr. Thomas Fogarty and Congresswoman Eshoo have enjoyed a long-term relationship which has resulted in stronger advocacy for the medical innovation community.

Like the Silicon Valley region she represents, Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo exemplifies innovation. She's creative, boundary breaking and productive; a problem solver and a consensus builder. The San Jose Mercury News named her one of the 10 most powerful women in Silicon Valley "because she sits on committees that oversee the Internet and biotech-areas vital to the Valley's interests." Rep. Eshoo is a senior member of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, which has oversight of the FDA and approval of medical devices. She is also Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee.

We had a lively discussion covering a wide range of topics crucial to innovation in the medical industry:

Q. The U.S. is currently the leader in medical device innovation, but the pressure is certainly on from other countries eager to assume that role. How do you view the medical device approval process?

A. Innovation is in the DNA of Americans. The very founders of our country were innovators, inventors and disruptors. Silicon Valley, in particular, has more biodesign companies working to develop new technologies to ameliorate diseases than any other region in the world. Innovation is the key to unlocking economic growth and improving healthcare. With that said, the FDA and legislators always walk a fine line between the desire to push for medical innovation and protecting people's health. Whenever you innovate, there is an element of risk. We need to evaluate the risk and ensure it will not harm the end users. The FDA is our "gold standard" agency for drug and device approvals. They have processes in place to study new technologies and to respond to continuous developments. Congress in its oversight is constantly looking for ways to improve those processes. The bigger issue I see at the moment for medical innovation is the lack of funding. We need to recommit ourselves to robust biomedical research in our country, and I have legislation in place that will fund research at appropriate levels, keeping the U.S. as a global leader.

Q. What is your personal experience and where does your passion for medical innovation come from?

A. I look at medical innovation through the lens of public service. What is best for our citizens and for patients? To have my hand in helping find cures for diseases is priceless. My congressional district is constantly bringing about change and our medical innovators help push for new breakthroughs. We examine what other countries are doing to ensure we are staying competitive, and we monitor the needs of U.S. companies to see how we can improve processes.

Q. What do you think of the repeal of the medical device tax?

A. The way the medical device tax was written hinders early-stage companies and this needs to change. Had a company like Google, in its early stages, been faced with similar taxes, they would not be where they are today. We need innovation because it is how ideas get pushed through the pipeline, creating jobs and saving lives. I was able to cut the initial medical device tax in half, and I'm firmly committed to ensuring that tax issues are not burdensome to startups.

Q. Where do you see the biggest need/gap for medical innovation today?

A. Lack of funding for biomedical research. Investment in biomedical research is at unprecedented lows, jeopardizing our national health and preventing future breakthroughs. More than half of basic research funding in the U.S. comes from the federal government, yet today, as a percentage of the federal budget, we are spending two-thirds less on research and development than we did in 1965. At this rate, we're curtailing discovery and adding to the overall cost of health care in America for lack of progress. By reinvesting in biomedical research, Congress can help transform America's personal and fiscal health. I've introduced legislation, the American Cures Act, to reinvest $165 billion over 10 years into our biomedical research institutions: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Defense Health Program (DHP), and the Veterans Medical & Prosthetic Research Program. We're presented with great challenges in the field of biomedical research, but with proper investment there is endless potential.

Q. What role can/does Silicon Valley play in medical innovation?

A. What isn't Silicon Valley doing in terms of medical innovation?! We're the innovation capitol of world, and our role will continue to be that of pioneers, experimenters, and risk takers. We are the fearless explorers who will keep propelling medical innovation into new frontiers that benefit our economy, and, most importantly, patients.

Peter's Corner

Recognizing the Taft's Investment in Innovation

The success of the Fogarty Institute for Innovation is directly tied to the generosity and vision of its supporters. It could not be more opportune for us to recognize Pamela and Edward Taft, long-time friends of El Camino Hospital and the Institute, for their generous gift supporting clinical research and life-saving medical device innovation.

Five years ago, the Tafts made a $4 million multi-year donation to bring cutting-edge treatment to Silicon Valley. Their investment in the Institute yielded a state-of-the-art research and clinical studies program, and unparalleled mentorship courses for entrepreneurs who are creating technology to treat some of the most common, and deadly health problems - including ovarian cancer, post-partum hemorrhaging and newborn deaths. Thanks to generous donors like the Tafts, we are able to prolong patients' lives and bolster the future of medical innovation.

Pamela and Edward Taft, Dr. Fogarty and Dr. Fred St. Goar unveil the newly named Taft Workshop.

To celebrate the vision and support of the Tafts, we renamed our workshop - the heart and soul of the Institute, where all the tinkering and innovation is done — after the couple.

We thank the Tafts for sharing and supporting our passion to improve patients' lives through the advancement of medical technology. We commend their leadership in giving in support of these ground-breaking programs and look forward to continuing to use the dollars from these and other generous donors to create a true ROI — a return on investment through innovation.

Thoughts from the Board

by Thomas Krummel, MD, Chairman

Benjamin Graham

Dr. Ed Roberts

Robert Friedland

These three names might not mean much to you, until they are paired with the entrepreneur whom they famously mentored: Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs respectively. This trio benefitted from the experiences of others.

Dr. Fogarty was also fortunate to have had wise mentors guiding him throughout his career, which resulted in his ability to save the lives and limbs of over 20 million patients. As he has famously stated, "I certainly wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for the concept of mentorship, which I believe is critically important for innovation."

Here at FII, we understand that mentors are crucial to the success of any innovator. That's why we not only have a mentorship program for our companies-in-residence, but also for young students who show a passion for medical innovation. We are in our third year of our summer internship program and we are thrilled to welcome our 2015 students from throughout the United States, China and Italy. They will spend six weeks with us, learning via our companies-in-residence and our partner company, Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center, where they will work on Samsung's Simband health tracker. The Samsung Digital Health Initiative is a perfect example of the spirit of innovation we espouse: it brings together developers, academics and healthcare innovators to explore a health open design platform tailored to take advantage of the latest sensors, behavioral algorithms, battery technologies and displays as we work to create a healthier world.

The 2015 Lefteroff Fund interns greatly benefited from strong mentorship during their six-weeks stay at the Fogarty Institute.

The Institute knows that education is the lifeblood of our future. That's why we established the Lefteroff Fund in honor of Tracy Leteroff, an avid supporter and former board member who brought a legacy of commitment and dedication to entrepreneurship, investment and innovation in the life sciences.

The goal of the Lefteroff Fund is to spur innovative ideas and develop and educate promising medical innovators who have already demonstrated potential. Thanks to the Fund's generous donors, we are able to mentor these interns and help nurture the next generation of innovators who will support the goal of creating new technologies, therapies, diagnostics and products for patients with unmet medical needs.

We believe it's an unmatched opportunity for our next generation to learn from some of the best innovators, right here in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Most of us are where we are today because someone has come alongside us and helped show us the way. And, while not all of us are equipped to provide tangible medical knowledge, we are all capable of helping support these innovators by donating to the Leteroff Fund and investing in the future of medicine — today. We will keep you posted on the progress of our interns and the other exciting work taking place at FII.


  • Wine with Heart, September 11 This annual fundraising dinner and auction at the Thomas Fogarty Winery is an event not to be missed. The event benefits the Fogarty Institute and its startups.
  • Investor & Donor Open House
    The Institute hosts monthly events for donors to learn more about the organization and the important work of its companies.

    For more information email