The management team at Vigilant Diagnostics has decades of experience in the medical technology and diagnostics industries, and in managing startup and emerging growth companies. Together, they share a vision to improve healthcare through faster and more accurate diagnoses of infectious diseases globally, while reducing the economic and cultural burden of such diseases on society.
John C. Bischof, Ph.D. – Chairman of the Board & Cofounder
Dr. Bischof has been the principal investigator and chief scientific officer of Vigilant Diagnostics since its founding in 2014. He is the Distinguished McKnight Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, and is also the Medtronic-Bakken Endowed Chair for Engineering in Medicine, Mechanical Engineering. In 2018, he was appointed Director of the University’s Institute for Engineering in Medicine, which is dedicated to advancing healthcare by strengthening research collaborations between engineering and medicine in both academia and industry. Dr. Bischof works in the area of thermal bioengineering with a focus on biopreservation, thermal therapy, and nanomedicine. In addition to his University appointments, he is also Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center Advanced Technologies for Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio), which launched in 2020. He has been cited more than 15,000 times and has authored 250+ papers.
Steven Vetter – CEO
Steven earned his BS and MS in Software Engineering at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign before moving to Minnesota and enrolling in the MBA program at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. His career has involved extensive work in commercial space development, nanotechnology, semiconductors, electrical CAD, and automation systems. He has founded several companies, including two that he grew from scratch to seven figures. The Minnesota High Tech Association recognized Steven as one of the top three entrepreneurs in Minnesota. Deloitte and Touche declared one of his ventures the seventh most successful company in Minnesota, and Forbes listed it in the top half of their 500 most successful companies.
Tomokazu Sato, Ph.D. – CTO
After Dr. Sato earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard, he joined an early-stage biomedical firm as Senior Research Scientist and Platform Engineer, where he was key in developing core IP for the company. Following that, he returned to academia as a postdoctoral fellow in Biology and Bioengineering at Caltech. He then joined an engineering consulting firm in Minnesota, where he performed engineering, science, and technology development work for Vigilant Diagnostics, before joining the company as its Chief Technical Officer (CTO). His research work has included basic science and pre-clinical work, both with animals and humans.
James Sackrison – CSO
Jim is a clinical chemistry pioneer and key opinion leader in the in vitro diagnostic space, including 15 years at Beckman Coulter (a Danaher Company), a leading global diagnostics firm, and more recently as an independent consultant. At Beckman Coulter, he served as Principal Scientist and was a five-time winner of the company’s Excellence in Innovation Award. Jim has had more than 50 diagnostic assays approved through the FDA, and has been highly successful at transforming multiple technical opportunities into cost-effective business solutions. He enjoys bringing together diverse stakeholders to build sustainable solutions for new and challenging issues.
Dan Chen, Ph.D. – Advisor
Dan is President of 3M’s Transportation Safety Division. His 30+ years of professional experience includes roles in R&D, marketing, strategy, and M&A. Dan is co-inventor on eleven filed or issued patents, including the largest unit-volume disposable respirator design on the market globally. He has also led two major $2B+ acquisition projects, and investments or partnerships with four startup companies. Outside of his career at 3M, Dan is a board or advisory board member of the International Road Federation, Sustainable Resources Center, Texas Transportation Institute, and Voi Mobility. He earned his B.S from Stanford University, his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering the University of Wisconsin, and an Executive MBA from INSEAD in France. He is also a registered Professional Engineer. He was formerly an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota.
Frank F. Jiang, M.D., Ph.D. – Advisor
Dr. Jiang has 25 years of experience heading various medical technology firms. He has served on advisory boards for multinational medical device corporations and PE firms, including Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, Bain Capital, CETIC Capital, and many developing medtech companies. He has also been a thoracic surgeon for 12 years. In addition, he has served as Executive Chairman and CEO of China Association for Medical Devices Industry (CAMDI). His experience includes establishing the largest medical device distribution system in China, which had annual sales of more than $200M USD. Dr. Jiang has founded nine device/pharma companies that exited through acquisition. He has offices in NY, Beijing, and Amsterdam.
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