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Forum: Collaborating for Progress: What Engineers & Entrepreneurs Need to Know to Work with Doctors
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This month's forum will bring the perspectives of accomplished medical development professionals from the engineering and medical disciplines who have successfully combined diverse disciplines and worked as part of multidisciplinary teams.

When: Mon, June 12, 2017
5:30-8:30 PM
Where: Regis College, Fine Arts Center
235 Wellesley St
Weston, Massachusetts  02493
United States
Contact: Bill Munger

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June 12 MDG Forum

Collaborating for Progress: What Engineers and Entrepreneurs Need to Know to Work with Doctors
This month's forum will bring the perspectives of accomplished medical development professionals from the engineering and medical disciplines who have successfully combined diverse disciplines and worked as part of multidisciplinary teams.

Early registration fees
Member-$30, Non-member-$40, Student-$15





Monday June 12, 5:30 - 8:30 PM
Regis College Fine Arts Center
Who Should Attend
  • Physicians who have a product idea and want to understand the team they need to transform that idea into a commercial reality
  • Scientists and engineers who have a product idea and want to learn how physician involvement is crucial to success
  • Business entrepreneurs who want to understand how to distinguish between business opportunities staffed with the right set of players in terms of skills and experience vs. those with a great idea that makes a lot of sense
Our Distinguished Panel

Jessica Schenck
Principal R&D Engineer
Surgical Division, Hologic Corporation

Peter Rosenblatt, MD, FACOG, FPMRS
Director of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge
Assistant Professor of Ob/Gyn, Harvard Medical School
Richard J. Cohen, MD, PhD
Whitaker Professor in Biomedical Engineering, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, MIT
Harvard - MIT Health Sciences and Technology.
[MDG Boston Advisory Board]


Scott Stropkay
Partner and CoFounder
Essential Design

Program Description
When Andrew von Eschenbach, former head of the FDA and National Cancer Institute, addressed MDG his talk was entitled:  Basketball, not golf. This was a plea for teamwork in medical development, a common culture in complex engineering and physical science, but much less common in the practice and science of medicine. 

This month's forum will bring the perspectives of accomplished medical development professionals from the engineering and medical disciplines who have successfully combined diverse disciplines and worked as part of multidisciplinary teams.
Jessica Schenk will share her experiences on what innovation and product development look like from the engineer's standpoint. She will describe the innovation process of an established medical device company and how physicians and engineers can join forces take a simple idea into the concept/prototype stage and ultimately deliver medical device products that revolutionize patient care.

Peter Rosenblatt will follow with what constitutes surgical "innovation" and how this differs from surgical "variation." We will learn how innovation can come from various sources, be it careful planning or emergency situations. Peter will then describe the advantages and disadvantages of clinical oversight in product development. For although engineers have a vast amount of design knowledge, surgeons bring a unique sense of short-term problems encountered in the operating room as well as the long-term results, both of which are essential to product design.  For these reasons, we'll see how surgeons remain vital to the development of new techniques and technologies.

Richard Cohen will then discuss common sense in the context of medical innovation. The audience will learn how the common sense process involves retrospective analyses of data and not the prospective evidence-based hypothesis testing which is the basis of experimental science. The danger in relying on common sense will be demonstrated in the field of medicine, where time and again randomized, prospective clinical trials have demonstrated that a universally accepted clinical treatment paradigm was ineffective at best or patient harming at worst. Retrospective analysis of data is a useful means of forming hypotheses, but these hypotheses must be tested prospectively.

Panel Bios
Scott StropkayPartner and CoFounder, Essential Design
As a designer and advisor to companies on cross-functional innovation, Scott uses design thinking methods to align management, marketing, R&D, engineering, and manufacturing goals in new product development processes.
Scott designs products that simplify end-users experiences with new technologies. Working in the areas of human factors, industrial design and user-experience design, he has helped clients develop new surgical systems, diagnostic equipment, drug delivery devices, home therapy systems, monitoring wearables, robotic telepresence systems, control interfaces, and future medical service offerings.
Prior to Essential Scott lead IDEO’s Boston-based industrial design and human factors team and Fitch’s Boston-based design team. He can be reached at

Jessica SchenckPrincipal R&D Engineer, Surgical Division, Hologic Corporation
Jessica Schenck has been a Research and Development Engineer in medical devices for 13 years. She has worked in the spaces of interventional neuroradiology, endoscopy and women's health. She has launched products for breast brachytherapy, uterine tissue removal and endometrial ablation. After working in product development for 12 years, she has recently taken a position within the innovation group at Hologic. Here she is focused on uncovering unmet needs and developing solutions that promise to advance healthcare.
Peter Rosenblatt, MD, FACOG, FPMRSDirector of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Assistant Professor of Ob/Gyn, Harvard Medical School
Since 1995, Dr. Rosenblatt has been the Director of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery at Mount Auburn Hospital, in Cambridge. He served as the Urogynecology Fellowship Director at Mount Auburn Hospital from 1999 - 2010. Dr. Rosenblatt is an Assistant Professor of Ob/Gyn at Harvard Medical School. He is board certified in Ob/Gyn and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. He has an active clinical practice and specializes in laparoscopic reconstructive pelvic surgery and minimally invasive treatments for urinary and fecal incontinence. 
Dr. Rosenblatt has authored many original research papers in urogynecology and laparoscopic surgery, serves as an editorial board member for FPMRS and JMIG and is an ad hoc reviewer for many peer reviewed journals in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Urogynecologic Society, and has been the video chair of the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons, AUGS, and AAGL. He has invented and licensed technology to several major medical device companies, and holds fifteen patents in the field of urogynecology and general surgery.

Richard J. Cohen, MD, PhD, Whitaker Professor in Biomedical Engineering, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, MIT. Harvard - MIT Health Sciences and Technology. Member, MDG Boston Advisory Board
Richard J. Cohen is the Whitaker Professor in Biomedical Engineering in the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program.  He received an MD degree from Harvard Medical School and PhD degree in physics from MIT.  He trained in internal medicine and cardiology at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now the Brigham and Women's Hospital). Dr. Cohen's research has been in the application of physics, engineering and mathematics to solving problems in medicine - in particular with regard to the cardiovascular system. He has authored over 250 journal articles and is an inventor on more than 35 US patents. He directed HST's Center for Biomedical Engineering and the NASA Center for Quantitative Cardiovascular Physiology, Modeling and Data Analysis. For ten years he led the Cardiovascular Alterations team, composed of investigators from across the country, at the NASA sponsored National Space Biomedical Research Institute. Dr. Cohen has taught courses in a wide range subjects including quantitative physiology, cardiovascular pathophysiology, pharmacology, cell and tissue biophysics, and biomedical enterprise. Dr. Cohen has consulted for many biomedical companies, served on boards of directors and scientific advisory boards, and made presentations on a number of occasions at the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He has co-founded two biomedical companies. Dr. Cohen has also has served as an expert witness in patent litigation cases. For nine years he co-directed a combined MS/MBA program run jointly by HST and the MIT Sloan School of Management.  

5:30-6:15PM Arrival, Networking & Dinner
6:15-6:30PM Announcements and Introductions
6:30-8:00PM Speakers and Q&A
8:00-8:30PM More networking

Program Co-Chairs

John O'Gara, PhD, PMP, Senior R&D Manager, Hologic, Inc.

John is a Senior R&D Program Manager at Hologic Corporation in Marlborough, MA where he manages new product development projects for women's health. Prior to this role, John was a Principal Scientist and Senior R&D Manager at Boston Scientific where he developed medical device implants for peripheral vascular and gastroenterology therapies. 


Before transitioning into the medical device industry, John spent 14 years in R&D at Waters Corporation where he developed purification products serving the healthcare, pharmaceutical, chemical, and biotech industries. While at Waters, he managed a team that led to the development and launch of industry changing ACQUITY UPLC®. He is a coauthor on 16 publications, an inventor on 43 patents and a recipient of a R&D 100 Award for technological innovation.


John holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in polymer chemistry at the University of Florida.

Peter Madras, MD, President of MDG Boston and Chair of the Advisory Board.

Dr. Madras graduated McGill Medical School and trained in surgery at Boston City Hospital and Harvard Medical School, along with a fellowship at the University of Toronto, after which he was Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, practicing at the New England Deaconess Hospital.

He was Director of the Medical Group of the Avco Everett Research Laboratory which developed cardiac assist devices which are still in use today. He also was Medical Director of Grace Biomedical in the development of Liver Support Systems and an artificial pancreas, as well as other consulting positions.
Dr. Madras was appointed by the State Governor to serve on and chair the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine and was commissioned by Harvard Medical International to assemble a team to develop the regulations for the Practice of Medicine in the Dubai Healthcare City.
Now retired from the active practice of surgery, Dr. Madras is Senior Staff at the Lahey Hospital, is core faculty at the MIT Sloane School and has been president of MDG since 2015.

(Light dinner included)
Registration Fee: Early Reg.
(By June 5)  
Wee6k Prior
(June 5 - June 12)  
At the Door
(June 12)
Members: $30 $35 $40
NonMembers: $40 $47  $55
Students with a Valid ID
$15  $15  $15 
Location (Free Parking)

Regis College, Fine Arts Center
235 Wellesley St, Weston, MA 02493
About MDG
The Medical Development Group (MDG) is a community of individuals professionally committed to the Medical Device and other Medical Technology Industry segments united by the belief that innovation and advances in technology lead to substantial improvements in health care. MDG pursues this mission through the organization of educational programs and forums: the facilitation of cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaboration; the creation of venues for networking and information sharing for current and aspiring professionals, clinicians, and entrepreneurs; and the development of alliances with complementary organizations.

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