At Cleveland Clinic Innovations, we’ve organized our team around these specific focus areas:

  • Engagement: Dedicated Engagement Partners guide inventors through the process of invention disclosure and market analysis. This team draws on experience in marketing and communications, project management, business administration, clinical research and other key areas to advocate for current and future inventors throughout the technology transfer process.
  • Proof of Concept: The Proof of Concept team is a partner, located in the Lerner Research Institute. The POC works with researchers and inventors to help them go from “Idea to Invention.” They help connect inventors with the resources to test and improve ideas before they advance to Innovations.
  • Assessment: Our Assessment team evaluates the commercial viability of new technologies. With diverse backgrounds in business, engineering, life sciences and patent law, they employ a data-driven approach to assess patentability and marketability of the invention pipeline.
  • Technology Development: Our Innovations Development team is comprised of experienced scientists and engineers dedicated to taking innovations from ideas and early concepts to viable medical products. These scientists and engineers have a unique depth and breadth of expertise in medical devices, digital health, and therapeutics and diagnostics.
  • Business Development and Licensing: Our Business Development and Licensing team identifies the right strategic partners, builds those relationships and executes licensing agreements. They draw on extensive experience in marketing and business development.
  • New Companies: Our New Companies team creates and invests in spinoff companies for technologies that have value as stand-alone ventures. They have in-depth expertise in venture capital, investing, company formation, management, governance, funding and strategic transactions. Their experience enables a venture-stage company to be effectively managed across its life cycle.
Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

Transforming an idea into a final product takes a dedicated team of experts. We blend talent, experience and the resources of one of the world’s leading healthcare organizations to achieve exceptional results for inventors, investors, partners and, most importantly, our patients.

Business Development Team

Heather Callahan, PhD, JD, EMBA
Heather Callahan, PhD, JD, EMBA
Senior Director, Strategy, Business Development and Licensing
Joe Barone; Director, Business Development, Life Sciences
Joe Barone
Director, Business Development, Life Sciences
Gerald “Jerry” Wilmink, PhD, MBA; Director, Digital Health
Gerald “Jerry” Wilmink, PhD, MBA
Director, Digital Health
Sonja O’Malley; Senior Director, Digital Health
Sonja O’Malley
Senior Director, Digital Health

Ventures Team

JD Friedland
JD Friedland
Managing Director, Ventures
Linda Li, CFA; Partner, Digital Health
Linda Li, CFA
Partner, Digital Health
Zach Eisen; Principal, Digital Health, Medical Devices
Zach Eisen
Principal, Digital Health, Medical Devices
Todd Schwarzinger; Partner, Medical Device
Todd Schwarzinger
Partner, Medical Device


Erez Podoly, PhD; Principal, Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Erez Podoly, PhD
Principal, Therapeutics & Diagnostics

Proof of Concept Team

Catherine Teringo, MHA, MA, BSTM-HSM; Program Manager II
Catherine Teringo, MHA, MA, BSTM-HSM
Program Manager II
Juliana Woda, PhD; Senior Director and Domain Lead, Therapeutics and Diagnostics
Juliana Woda, PhD
Senior Director and Domain Lead, Therapeutics and Diagnostics
Vara Prasad VN Josyula, PhD; Senior Director Proof-of Concept Office, Innovations, Center for Therapeutic Discovery;
Vara Prasad VN Josyula, PhD
Senior Director Proof-of Concept Office, Innovations, Center for Therapeutic Discovery
Erik Waldorff, PhD, MBA; Senior Director, Innovations Proof of Concept Medical Devices
Erik Waldorff, PhD, MBA
Senior Director, Innovations Proof of Concept Medical Devices
Our Leadership

Our Leadership

Geoffrey Vince
D. Geoffrey Vince, PhD
Executive Director
Jim Ellis
James Ellis, JD, MBA
Managing Director,
Pre-Market Innovation
Sarah Stamp
Sarah Stamp, MBA
General Manager, Engagement
Michael Austriaco
Michael Austriaco, BSBA
General Manager, Assessment
Mohamed Ramadan
Mohamed Ramadan, PhD, MBA
General Manager, Technology Development
Heather Callahan, PhD, JD, EMBA
Heather Callahan, PhD, JD, EMBA
Senior Director, Strategic Licensing
JD Friedland
JD Friedland, MBA
Managing Director, New Companies
Joseph Rich
Joseph Rich, JD
Senior Director, Governance, Grants and Policies
Robin Crotty
Robin Crotty, MBA
Department Administrator
Shawn Zimmer
Shawn Zimmer, CPA
Director of Finance
Heather Lambert-Shemo
Heather Lambert-Shemo, MBA
Director of Marketing & Communications
Join Our Team

Join Our Team

Every member of the Cleveland Clinic Innovations team shares a common goal — to advance the future of healthcare, one idea at a time. We’re always looking for talented people with the drive and experience to bring next-generation technology to today’s marketplace.

If you’re interested in joining our team, we invite you to explore our career opportunities.