Charting the uncharted territories of vascular disease doesn’t happen overnight. It takes passion, grit, and heart to never stop seeking solutions. The kind of determination that has fueled Infraredx for nearly 30 years.READ MORE
President and CEO, Infraredx, a Nipro Company General Manager, Nipro Vascular Business Division
Having been employed at Nipro for nearly 25 years, Nozomu Fujita takes the Nipro creed of “Willingness” to heart. He joined the company immediately after earning his master’s degree in engineering from the Department of Applied Chemistry at the esteemed Osaka Institute of Technology, and his career grew as Nipro continued to expand.
Fuji’s first job with Nipro was as a project team member in the development of Nipro’s first PTCA balloon catheter. Five years later, he transferred to Nipro’s Medical Division, to manage the development of the Japan vascular market. This was the first of several increasingly important roles in marketing, business development and sales expansion. Over the years, Fuji has been responsible for sales and marketing in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. In 2013, Fuji was promoted to Deputy General Manager at Nipro’s International Division’s Sales Department, where he was responsible for expanding sales and marketing for the global market. Two years later he became Deputy General Manager of Business Strategy for Nipro’s Vascular Business Division, responsible for expanding Nipro's vascular business globally.
When Infraredx joined the Nipro family, Fuji became President and CEO of Infraredx. In this position, he was “humbled to become a great listener” and to focus on teamwork. “A high functioning team will lead to great success, and we have achieved great success by fostering one another’s strengths.” His willingness to focus more on others’ strengths led to his newest role as General Manager of Nipro’s Vascular Business Division.
Fuji has maintained his passion for the Nipro philosophy of developing “innovative, value-added products and technologies that improve patient outcomes and healthcare worldwide.” “The more we are able to improve our products, the better the tools physicians have to help people with heart disease now and in the future.”
We cannot change the past, but we can reshape the future. - Dalai Lama
Sr. Vice President of Technology Innovation and Regulatory
Steve Sum is an academic at heart. After earning a BSc in Chemistry & Mathematics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, he went straight on to earn a MSc in Information & Systems Science from Carleton University, and then a PhD in Chemometrics and Analytical Chemistry from the University of Delaware.
Steve had worked with Dupont during his graduate school years, and the company was eager to hire him when he finished his PhD program. He spent several years as a research chemist at the Central Experimental Station in Delaware developing analytical methods for controlling active ingredients and impurities in crop protection products. His next job as Senior Algorithm Scientist with MediSpectra, was more personally fulfilling for Steve, because he was developing predictive models for an optically-based system that detected cervical cancer cells. Unfortunately, the FDA recommended against market approval, the investors pulled out, and Steve was out of a job. Fortunately, on his last day of work, Infraredx came calling.
Even after 14 years at Infraredx, Steve feels there’s always something new to learn. He began his tenure as Senior Scientist, moving on to Principal Scientist of Algorithm Development, then Director of Biomedical Systems and then Vice President of Research and Development. In his current position as Senior Vice President of Technology Innovation and Regulatory Affairs, Steve maintains strong relationships with opinion leaders in cardiology to understand where some of their less obvious challenges are. He takes that intelligence and applies it to each new iteration of Infraredx devices to ensure alignment with customer needs as well as regulatory requirements.
Over the years, Steve’s passion for developing new and improved ways to detect and evaluate vascular disease has never waned. “Being able to come in to work each day, to learn what MDs need to better identify patients with a high risk of cardiovascular disease, and to help define new standards of care ⎯ that’s what really gets me out of bed every morning.”
We all have the potential to push the boundaries of what is accepted, or expected, and to think big. - Stephen Hawking
Vice President of Product Development
If not for his love of music, David Barone might never have joined Infraredx. When then-Director of Catheter R&D, Jerry Brightbill, asked him to play drums with his band for the Infraredx holiday party in 2005, David found himself at founder Jim Muller’s home, surrounded by the entire company. Brightbill, who plays guitar had joined Infraredx a few years earlier and, during jam sessions, would often ask David to check them out.
At the time, David worked at Medtronic Vascular, a company he joined soon after completing his engineering degree at UC Berkeley. Brightbill, who had been David’s first boss at Medtronic Vascular, noted his quick advancement ⎯ from associate R&D engineer to senior R&D engineer in five years ⎯ and was eager to make him a part of the Infraredx team.
The holiday party gig turned into a job interview. After learning more about the company, David was hooked. Infraredx’s fast-paced, innovation-oriented culture appealed to his keen problem-solving nature, and the technology aligned nicely with his experience working on embolic protection and mitral valve devices at Medtronic Vascular.
Just as he did at Medtronic Vascular, David advanced quickly at Infraredx, from Principal R&D Engineer, to Director of Catheter and Hardware Engineering, on up to his current position as Vice President of Product Development. Over the years and in every capacity, David has been laser-focused on nurturing the development of the NIRS catheter and accompanying devices ⎯ from prototype to commercial viability ⎯ as if they were his own children. Each new iteration reflects his passion for bringing the best technology ⎯ in terms of performance, reliability and user satisfaction ⎯ to the people who need it in the fight against heart disease.
David’s aptitude for bringing out the best in cross-functional teams is part of what gets him out of bed each day. “For me, there’s nothing better than going to work with like-minded, super-smart people who are all equally fixated on making this incredibly complex system even better than it already is.”
The Infraredx band still gets together for jam sessions at least once every week or two, and, like Infraredx, continues to improve and expand its repertoire.
Together, ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results. - Becka Schoettle
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