Meet Our People
Mano Thubrikar, PhD, FAHA
President, Founder & Board Director
Samir Wadke, MBA
Vice President, Business Development & Co-Founder
Mr. Wadke has led the strategic operations of the company since its founding in 2010 and has over 20 years of cross-functional business experience. He previously consulted for early-stage lifesciences companies on corporate planning and project management. He worked in Business Development for VGX Pharmaceuticals (now Inovio Pharmaceuticals – NYSEMKT: INO), where he played a significant role in both its integration of ADViSYS and merger with Inovio, and participated in negotiations that resulted in several license agreements and other sources of funding. He previously held roles in finance, marketing, and strategy at JP Morgan, MB Financial, and UBS. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S.E. from the University of Michigan.
Nikhil Heble, PharmD, JD
Intellectual Property Advisor, Secretary & Co-Founder
Dr. Heble is a registered patent attorney with significant experience handling intellectual property related matters, including patent procurement, infringement and validity studies, due diligence, and client counseling; particularly in the areas of diagnostics, medical devices, controlled-release delivery forms, immunomodulators, vaccines, bioadhesive films, synthetic processes, polymer-based coatings, enzymes, liquid and semi-solid formulations, nanotechnology, nutraceuticals, catalysts, and oxidizing agents. His experience also includes acquiring and licensing patents, as well as litigation.
Prior to Thubrikar Aortic Valve, Dr. Heble held the position of Senior Patent Counsel for the in-house patent department of a Fortune 500 consumer products company, where he was responsible for developing and managing the patent portfolio and business interests related to its largest business unit. Dr. Heble is currently a partner at an Am 100 firm and practices out of the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
Prior to attending law school, Dr. Heble worked as a pharmacist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. In addition to his experience at Jefferson, Dr. Heble has pharmacy experience in both government and industry settings.
James Wudel, MD, BCMAS
Medical Affairs Officer
One of the first U.S. cardiac surgeon implanters of the transcatheter aortic valve since its initial approval, Dr. Wudel has been active in TAVs since 2011. He has served as an investigator in multiple aortic PARTNER trials, mitral transcatheter device trials, and surgical device trials spanning a 25-year career. He was a founding member of the Nebraska Heart Hospital, the only U.S. cardiovascular hospital exclusively owned and managed by physicians, and led the program to numerous top ratings in Society of Thoracic Surgery quality metrics and patient outcomes. He holds an M.D. from Emory University, and completed graduate medical training in surgery at Vanderbilt University with thoracic surgery training at the University of California, San Francisco and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He is board certified by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs and is a member of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society.
Ali Recber, MS, MBA
Mr. Recber brings with him 17 years of medical device development experience, including the development of various orthopaedic devices and hemostatic agents. Prior to joining the company, he spent 7 years at Becton Dickinson and 10 years at DePuy Synthes of Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Recber has held roles as Research & Development Lead, as well as Program Manager, in leading cross-functional teams in the development of medical devices. His education and career have led to a number of patents and published articles related to medical devices and the characterization of polymers. He has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University. He also holds an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A from Penn State Great Valley.
Prior to joining the company, Mr. Roush was a Research Engineer for 6 years at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine. He conducted research in the Orthopaedics Department on biomaterials, biomechanics, internal and external implants, joint replacements, fracture fixations, and soft tissue reconstructions. In the Artificial Organs Department, he assisted in the research and development of ventricular assist devices and mechanical heart valves. Mr. Roush has co-authored several publications in Orthopaedics and many conference abstracts. He has a B.S. in Biomedical Materials Engineering Science and a minor in Chemistry from Alfred University.
Vishal Thubrikar, MD
Dr. Thubrikar is one of the company’s founding members. He is a board-certified Cardiologist and has been in private practice in New York City since 2015. Dr. Thubrikar holds an M.D. from St. George’s University and completed graduate medical training in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease at Stony Brook University. He holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Hrishikesh Gadagkar, PhD
Dr. Gadagkar has over 30 years of experience in the medical device industry. In addition to Regulatory experience, he brings a deep understanding of, and experience in, Quality Systems, Clinical Studies, Engineering, and Manufacturing. He has worked with a number of medical devices from GE Healthcare, Medtronic, Terumo, Greatbatch, and several early-stage medical device OEMs. Dr. Gadagkar has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University, and a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Bombay University. He has published several scientific papers and is named on several medical device patents.
Among the most experienced TAVI physicians in the world.
Susheel Kodali, MD
Dr. Kodali is an Interventional Cardiologist, and recognized authority on percutaneous heart valves. He has been one of the investigators on the PARTNER Trial, the first randomized U.S. clinical trial of a transcatheter aortic valve, since it began in 2007 and has worked with TAVs since 2005. Dr. Kodali is Director of the Columbia Heart Valve Center in New York City. He has done significant research on valvular heart disease and specializes in adult interventional cardiology and percutaneous valve therapies. He has authored numerous publications on transcatheter valve therapy. He is also Assistant Professor of Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Kodali holds an M.D. from the University of California (Los Angeles) and a B.S. in Biology from Stanford University. He also completed graduate medical training in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease at the University of California (San Francisco).
Mathew Williams, MD
Dr. Williams is the first U.S. physician to have joint training and appointments in both Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, and is a recognized authority on percutaneous heart valves. He serves as Chief of the Division of Adult Cardiac Surgery, Director of the Structural Heart and Valve Program, and Director of Interventional Cardiology at NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Williams holds an M.D. and a B.A. from Columbia University. He also completed graduate medical training in general surgery at the University of California (Los Angeles) and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, as well as Cardiothoracic Surgery and Interventional Cardiology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
Board of Directors
Mano Thubrikar, PhD, FAHA
President, Founder & Board Director
Douglas Hamilton, MBA
Mr. Hamilton is a Co-Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of i3 Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Pontis Pharma, LLC. Previously, in 2004, he Co-Founded and held the position of President at Synerx Pharma, LLC, a specialty generic pharmaceutical company which was sold to Mylan Laboratories in 2011. Over his 35+ year career, he has held senior executive positions in Sourcing, New Product Development, Commercialization, Manufacturing, and Business Development at leading pharmaceutical companies including Lederle Labs (now Pfizer), Bristol Myers Squibb, Novartis/Sandoz, and Sanofi-Aventis. Mr. Hamilton holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Sachin Parate, CFA
Mr. Parate has been a Partner/Owner of a proprietary trading desk specializing in arbitrage opportunities since 2002. He began his career in 1994 at Susquehanna International Group for whom he traded equity derivatives as a market maker, specialist, and lead market maker on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and Pacific Stock Exchange. He has also built a portfolio of public equity, real estate investments, as well as private debt and equity, including Thubrikar Aortic Valve. He holds a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Tony Zhu, MBBS, MBA
Dr. Zhu is the President and Founder of CCRF, a leading Contract Research Organization (CRO) for medical devices focused on interventional cardiology in China. Wide Line Limited is the main shareholder of CCRF. Dr. Zhu has over 20 years of sales, marketing, and management experience in the medical device industry, with specialties in Interventional Cardiovascular, Electrophysiology, and Cardiac Rhythm Management. He has also co-founded start-up companies for interventional cardiology devices and serves as a Board Member to multiple medical companies. Dr. Zhu practiced as a physician specialist in Microbiology and Immunology from 1992-1996, and began his business career in the medical industry in 1996 when he joined Ethicon Wound Closure, Johnson & Johnson Medical, China. He holds an M.B.B.S. from the School of Medicine of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, and an M.B.A. from the Lord Ashcroft International Business School of Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom.