Meet The Board
Ashok C. Khandkar, PhD
Ashok C. Khandkar, Ph.D. has a 25+ year track record of leadership in founding, capitalizing ventures and launching groundbreaking products. Xenocor is his third venture where he leads its efforts to disrupt the laparoscopy markets. He has 38 U.S. and international patents. In January 2010, he won the Utah Governor’s Science & Technology Medal for successfully pioneering a new class of biomaterials for orthopedics and growing a venture- backed high-tech industry. He won the HAP Paul Award of the International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty in 2007 for his silicon nitride hip implants. He also leads Elute Inc., an emerging antibiotic eluting bone graft company. On the side, he is an Adjunct Professor in the Materials Science and Eng. Dept. of the University of Utah and is an avid mountaineer. Dr. Khandkar earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science from Arizona State University in 1985.
John Langell, MD, PhD, MPH, MBA, FACS
John Langell, MD, PhD, MPH, MBA, FACS is a Stanford-trained minimally invasive general surgeon. He is the inventor of the concept for a new cost-effective laparoscopic platform which led to the development of the XenoscopeTM. Dr. Langell currently serves as both President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Xenocor Inc. He is also Vice Dean for Innovation and Executive Director of the Center for Medical Innovation at the University of Utah School of Medicine. His research efforts are focused on the translation and commercialization of medical technologies and digital medical therapeutics. His work has resulted in the development of many innovative new devices and software applications in the fields of laparoscopic surgery and patient care access for advanced and resource-poor regions.
Troy D’Ambrosio is currently the Executive Director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah, an Associate Dean of the David Eccles School of Business and holds a presidential chair. The Institute assists student and faculty from idea to launch through programs, competitions and curriculum. The Lassonde Institute is ranked #23 by the Princeton Review.
Troy D’Ambrosio is co-founder, officer and director of multiple start-up companies, which attracted over $500 million in capital; include founding Transworld Telecommunications which was sold to Sprint in 1996,
Convergence Communications which was sold to Lockheed Martin in 2005and EPM Mining Ventures listed on the
Toronto Venture Exchange. He has served as the VP of Investor Relations and Corporate Communication for
American Stores Company, an NYSE listed company, and the Director of Mutual Fund Operations for Wasatch
Advisors. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1982 and was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000, a v100 Technology leader in 2008 and Best in State Educational Administrator in 2009.
Dinesh Patel, PhD
Dr. Patel is the founder and managing director of Patel Family Investments (2014) and co-
founded vSpring Capital ($400 million under management) in 2000 and has been a founding managing director till October 2014.
Prior to vSpring Capital, Dr. Patel was an active angel investor in over 20 biotech and technology companies. From 1985 – 1999 Dr. Patel served as Co-Founder, Chairman of The Board of Directors and President & CEO of TheraTech, Inc., a biotechnology company which he took public and eventually sold to Watson Pharmaceuticals (now Actavis) for $350 million. From 1999 to 2004 he was the Founder, Chairman, President & CEO of Ashni Naturaceuticals, Inc., a company that specializes in the research, development and marketing of clinically tested and patent-protected naturaceutical products. In 1999, Dr. Patel co-founded and was the Chairman of Salus Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the research and development of nucleic acid-based therapeutics, including antisense and gene therapy drugs. He currently holds 15 US Patents and Foreign Counterparts.
Dr. Patel also served on the board of Mediconnect Global, a worldwide leader in medical record retrieval, digitization, and one of the largest cloud based health information exchange. In March 2012, Mediconnect was acquired by Verisk Analytics (VRSK) for over $377 million.
Dr. Patel serves on several non-profit boards, and has won numerous awards including; 2013 Willem J Kolff Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2011 Father of the Year, 2010 Utah Youth Village Helping Hand Award, 2006 Utah Technology Council Hall of Fame Inductee, 2006 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, US Small Business Administration’s Business Achiever Award, Scientific and Technology Award (State of Utah), Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Mountain West Venture Group) and Scientific and Technology Development Pioneer of Progress Award to name a few. He is also a charter member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).
Dr. Patel served as co-chair of Governor Huntsman’s transition and he served as the Chairman of the USTAR Governing Authority board from 2006-2014. He is a member of the Life Sciences and Management Board at the University of Pennsylvania , on the University of Michigan’s President’s Advisory Group and on the University of Utah’s National Advisory Council.
Born and raised in Zambia, Africa, Dr. Patel received his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy at Gujarat University located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, his master’s degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and his Ph.D. in Physical Pharmacy from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Patel led the firm’s investments in Altea Therapeutics, American Academy, Athena Feminine Technologies, Axial Biotech, Coherex Medical, Exagen Diagnostics, Mirabilis Medica, Numira Biosciences, Lineagen, NanaMR, Q Therapeutics, Scintila, ZARS Pharma and Salus Therapeutics which was acquired by Genta (NASDAQ: GNTA) for $30 million.
Jim hogan is recently retired from Medtronic, the world’s largest medical technology company, where he was Regional President for international markets, and member of the CEO Executive Committee. Prior to his career with Medtronic, he spent 13 years with Pfizer in Sr. European leadership roles. He also founded three medical device start-ups, Biostent, Argomed and Cortrak, all of which had successful exits to major multinational companies. Jim holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota.
Shawn Fojtik has 100+ combined issued and pending patents and is co-founder of Distal Access, Control Medical, CIRCA Scientific, and others with experience at GE, Boston Scientific, and Black & Decker.
His experience includes devices for cardiology, interventional radiology & oncology, electrophysiology, and other procedures.
Distal Access’s team commercialized the SPINR high-performance guidewire controller then sold it to Merit Medical in 2015. Then, Distal developed the Resectr, launched it remove uterine polyps in July 2016, and sold it to Boston Scientific in November 2016.
Control Medical’s award-winning platform is used to remove blood clots during heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, and stroke.
CIRCA Scientific commercialized a self-expanding rapid-sensing catheter-probe that achieved profitability <3 years from financing.
Shawn is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Utah with a BS from the University of Illinois and a MA from Harvard University.