About our Team
At Covanos, we pride ourselves in our strong team. The founders are leaders in the fields of interventional cardiology, biomechanical engineering, computational fluid dynamics and mathematics, who have collaborated for a decade with a shared vision for the future of computational precision medicine. Together with the senior management team, the Covanos team is highly skilled, diversified and experienced, with a broad background in academia, medicine, finance, early-stage and global pharmaceutical and technology companies.
Founders and Senior Management Team
Chief Financial Officer
Mark has been a senior executive in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries for over thirty years. He has been successful in raising nearly $1 billion in public (including IPOs) and private financings. Most recently he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Aviragen Therapeutics from November 2015 until its merger with Vaxart Inc. in February 2018. Previously, he has served as the Chief Financial Officer of several public and private biotech and diagnostic companies. He has also held executive and management positions at Schering-Plough Corporation, and served on the Board of Directors of Endeavor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He currently is a Board Director of Bio-Path Holdings, Inc. a Nasdaq-listed biotech company. He holds an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a BS magna cum laude in Accounting from Ithaca College.
FOUNDER and Chief Operating Officer
Don Giddens, PhD
Don is an Emeritus Dean of the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology whose primary research interest for over 40 years has been the role of biomechanics in the initiation, detection, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. His contributions have garnered over 13,000 citations on Google Scholar and led to numerous awards and honors, including election to the National Academy of Engineering. As Dean of Engineering at Georgia Tech, he was responsible for a unit with over 400 faculty members, 12,000 students, and $300M in total annual budget.
FOUNDER AND CHIEF executive Officer
Russell Medford, MD, PhD
Russell, a Managing Partner of The Salutramed Group, is a senior biotechnology executive with extensive private and public company experience as Chief Executive Officer and Board member of multiple biotechnology and health related companies and organizations. From 1995 to 2009, he was co-founder, President, CEO and Director of publicly-held AtheroGenics, Inc. and was a founding Board Director of publicly-held Inhibitex, Inc. (Nasdaq: INHX) until it was acquired by Bristol-Myers-Squibb in 2012 for $2.5 billion. He has extensive experience in financial markets including IPOs raising over $500 million for corporate, clinical development and research programs.
Founder and Chief Medical Officer
Habib Samady, MD
Habib is Professor of Medicine and Director of Interventional Cardiology for the Emory University and Emory Healthcare. He is recognized as one of the foremost international experts in coronary physiology. He has an actively funded clinical and translational research program, is extensively published with over 250 publications and abstracts in intravascular imaging, coronary physiology, atherosclerosis assessment, and stent biomechanics and has supervised and participated in training over 60 interventional and 100 general cardiology fellows. He serves as Deputy Editor of the Journal of American College of Cardiology Cardiovascular Interventions and is a Co-Editor of a major textbook, Interventional Cardiology, 2nd Ed., McGraw Hill, 2017.
VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Laila Samady-Mustad, PhD
With a PhD in Molecular Pathology and Immunology from University College London (UCL), Laila has 18 years’ experience both academically and in the pharmaceutical-biotechnology industry in cancer research and therapeutics in the UK, France and in the US, with expertise in medical affairs, partnerships, business development and capital raising strategies. Her work at UCL led to the development of patents and a spin out company, BioVex which was acquired by Amgen in 2011 for $1B. While at Boehringer Ingelheim, she served in increasingly senior roles initially in cardiovascular medical affairs leading to a global strategic role in oncology medical affairs and Global Trial Alliance Manager. Prior to her PhD, she obtained a BSc in Biochemistry at Trinity College, Hartford, CT and MSc in Molecular and Cell Biology from Institut Pasteur, Paris.
FOUNDER and Chief Technology Officer
Alessandro Veneziani, PhD
Alessandro is Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Emory University and has strong experience in mathematical modeling with emphasis on cardiovascular diseases. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, and he also had collaborations with several companies for research in computational fluid dynamics. He has advised more than 15 Ph.D. students, more than 30 Master students, and several postdoctoral fellows. In 2007 he was the recipient of the “Giovanni Sacchi-Landriani International Prize” for his work on Partial Differential Equations (awarded to scholars less than age 40). His research has been acknowledged with more than 5,000 citations on Google Scholars.
Senior Vice President of Commercial operations
Brian is an accomplished global medical equipment industry senior executive with over 30 years’ background in general management, operations, commercial development and marketing in a variety of technologies including medical imaging at companies including Siemens Medical, Silicon Valley based ADAC Laboratories, and most recently as past President and General Manager of Dornier MedTech America responsible for North and South America operations. He has been involved in large imaging platform development initiatives in a variety of application spaces including Nuclear Medicine, PET, PACS, Radiation Therapy Planning and Cardiology Information Systems. He received a MS and BA in Bioengineering from the University of California – San Diego and an Executive MBA from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.