Lumeda was formed in 2019 by two innovative engineers and a multidisciplinary team of highly experienced professionals with decades of experience in the photonics industry, systems engineering and commercialization of new technology. In 2020 Sandy Zinke joined the Lumeda team as Chief Executive Officer, who brings over 20 years of experience in the development and global commercialization of medical devices across a wide range of disease states and physician specialties. The Lumeda team is committed to realizing the clinical benefit of photodynamic therapy by addressing its barriers to broad adoption through improved light dosimetry, automation, and new photosensitizer agents.
From Left to Right: Krenar Tasimi, Trevor MacDougall, Sandy Zinke, Paul Sanders, Bryan Outlaw, Frank Birritta, Max Gerhardson, and Scott Nelson
From left to right: Sandy Zinke, Trevor MacDougall, and Paul Sanders
Alexander (Sandy) Zinke
Chief Executive Officer
Sandy joined Lumeda as Chief Executive Officer to lead the company in its product commercialization and growth phase. A graduate of Harvard Business School (MBA), Mr. Zinke has over 20 years of global healthcare industry experience with innovative companies including Boston Scientific, Cynosure / Hologic and CDx Diagnostics. Prior to joining Lumeda, he was Vice President of Marketing & Business Development with CDx Diagnostics, known for an advanced diagnostic platform used to preemptively detect cancer based on AI-enabled tissue analysis and 3D imaging. Over the last 10 years he has led teams that have developed and commercialized more than a dozen products and programs. Sandy has a strong track record of success in building and leading cross-functional teams to drive global growth of healthcare companies with innovative medical device and diagnostics products. He brings to Lumeda significant domain expertise and a network of industry contacts to develop key relationships with medical thought leaders and commercial partners critical to accelerate the introduction of the company’s novel PDT technology to the clinic.
Founder & VP of Engineering
Paul E. Sanders
Founder & VP of Business Development
Justin D. Blasberg MD, MPH, FACS Associate Professor of Surgery (Thoracic Surgery)
Director of Robotic Thoracic Surgery
Yale School of Medicine
Smilow Cancer Hospital Thoracic Oncology Program
Member, Lumeda Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Blasberg is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of Robotic Thoracic Surgery at the Yale School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and completed his cardiothoracic training at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr Blasberg is a Board Certified General Surgeon (ACS) and a Board Certified Thoracic Surgeon (ABTS). His practice includes minimally invasive and open management for diseases of the esophagus, lung, mediastinum, chest wall, thoracic outlet, and diaphragm. He has a particular interest in benign and malignant diseases of the trachea, including idiopathic laryngotracheal stenosis and post-intubation stenosis, as well as complex lung resections requiring bronchoplasty. He also performs first rib resection and anterior scalenectomy for all varieties of thoracic outlet syndrome, sympathectomy for hyperhidrosis, and minimally invasive chest wall reconstructions for pectus deformities. As a skilled surgeon, Dr. Blasberg performs the majority of his surgeries, when possible, in a minimally invasive fashion. Dr. Blasberg has a vision and a passion for Medicine, Surgery, and improving the care of the patient. He best embodies the young academic surgeon possessing an inquisitive mind, perseverant work ethic, and an engaging personality. Dr. Blasberg leads a clinical research program on novel imaging techniques for the detection of lung cancer and surgical outcomes research in thoracic surgery.
Michael M. Conway MD
Board Certification American Board of Internal Medicine
Board Certification Pulmonary Disease
Member, Lumeda Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Conway is a Pulmonary Disease and Internal Medicine specialist who practiced in Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated from Cornell University in 1968 and the University of California, San Francisco Medical School in 1973. He completed his residency at the University of Colorado, Denver in 1976 and his Pulmonary Fellowship at the University of Connecticut in 1978. Dr. Conway has 40+ years of diverse experience in Pulmonary Disease. He has been affiliated with Hartford Hospital where he was Active Senior Staff in the Pulmonary Division and held several administrative appointments there including President of the Medical Staff, Chief of the Pulmonary Division, and a Director of Patient Care Information Systems. He was an Associate Professor, University of Connecticut Health Center (Farmington) School of Medicine and Consultant in Pulmonary Disease at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. He is a Connecticut Thoracic Society Honoree and frequently named among Best Doctors in Hartford and Best Doctors in Connecticut. A recognized pulmonary expert with strong regional ties, Dr. Conway brings to Lumeda significant knowledge and expertise in diagnosing and staging of respiratory cancers and associated standards of care and treatment options.
Arthur DeCillis MD
DeCillis Consulting LLC
Senior Clinical Advisor
Dr. Sandra Gollnick PhD
Director of Faculty Development
Director, Photodynamic Therapy Center
Member, Department of Cell Stress Biology
Distinguished Professor, Department of Immunology
Lead Scientist, Tumor Immunology
Dr. Gollnick joined the faculty at Roswell Park in 1990 after postdoctoral training at DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA and serving as a staff scientist at ImmunLogic Pharmaceutical Corp. Dr. Gollnick is currently the PI as well as a Project Leader of a National Cancer Institute funded Program Project Grant continuously funded for the past 21 years. Dr. Gollnick’s research focuses on the yin and yang of inflammation in the progression and treatment of cancer. Chronic inflammation contributes to the development and progression of many cancers, including prostate cancer. Dr. Gollnick’s laboratory explores how tumor cells co-opt the host immune system to promote chronic inflammation that leads to increased vascularization, suppression of anti-tumor immunity and increased tumor cell proliferation and migration. The goal of this work is to develop novel therapeutic targets based on increased understanding of the interaction of tumor cells and immune cells. Unlike chronic inflammation, acute inflammation promotes the development of anti-tumor immunity. Many anti-cancer modalities, including radiation, chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy (PDT), result in acute inflammation. Dr. Gollnick’s laboratory has shown that PDT stimulates anti-tumor immunity that is capable of combating distant disease. Her current focus is on developing clinical protocols for the treatment of head and neck and lung cancers with a goal of providing enhanced tumor control, including control of metastases, with minimal effect of quality of life. Dr. Gollnick is an Associate Editor of Photochemistry and Photobiology and has served as a reviewer for numerous journals including Cancer Research, Journal of Immunology and Oncogene. Dr. Gollnick is also a member of the NCI Radiation Therapeutics and Biology Study Section and has reviewed grants for the US Army Research Program as well as the Canadian and Dutch Cancer Societies. Dr. Gollnick served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Tumor Immunology Program for many years and is currently a member of the Graduate Studies Steering Committee. She was honored with the Excellence in Graduate Education Award in 2010.
Chief Executive Officer, Optellum Ltd
Member, Lumeda Board of Directors, and Strategic Advisor
Mr. Pesterfield currently serves as CEO of Optellum Ltd, a provider of an imaging biomarker and AI-powered software that enables early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. He has over 25 years of global medical device experience, most recently as CEO of Veran Medical, a provider of an electromagnetic navigation platform for detection and treatment of lung cancer that was acquired by Olympus Medical in December, 2020. Prior to that, he led Stryker Corporation’s Surgical Navigation Division where he was responsible for executing over 50 product launches, driving significant global growth and escalating the company market share and position under his tenure. Mr. Pesterfield specializes in raising growth capital, establishing high performance cultures and assembling talented cross-functional teams that develop and drive transformational technologies into sustainable high growth and high valuation businesses. A seasoned healthcare technology executive, Mr. Pesterfield has significant expertise in developing innovative commercialization strategies to launch new medical technologies in the lung cancer space. He brings a network of industry contacts that will help Lumeda develop key relationships with medical thought leaders and commercial partners to accelerate the introduction and adoption of Lumeda’s novel technology. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, Jason was a scholarship student athlete of the Nebraska football team that won numerous titles including the NCAA national championship in 1994.
Gal Shafirstein DSc, MSc, BSc
Member & Professor of Oncology
Director of Photodynamic Therapy Clinical Research
Photodynamic Therapy Center
Department of Cell Stress Biology
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Member, Lumeda Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Shafirstein leads photodynamic therapy (PDT) translational and clinical research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. His laboratory research work focuses on treatment planning and light dosimetry for interstitial and intraoperative PDT, with the aim to improve the quality of life and survival for patients with locally advanced head neck cancer or lung cancer, who failed to respond to standard therapies or have no effective current treatments. This work performed in close collaboration with physicians to translate the technologies developed in the laboratory into the clinic. The laboratory supports clinical studies and off label use of PDT in the treatment of patients with head and neck and lung cancer. He is a principal investigator or project leader on 4 NIH awards. He designed and secured funding for multiple clinical studies in PDT, with two currently active. He is the co-inventor of 8 issued patents, co-authored 79 peer reviewed scientific papers, frequent invited speaker. Honors and Awards include 2002 Lyon New Scientist Development Award, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, 1986-1992 Technion, Presidential Scholarship for excellence in studies, 1988 Shenkar Prize for distinction in research and studies, University award, 1987-1988 Distinction in the academic year, 1988 Gutwirth Prize for distinction in studies, University award, and 1989 National Award, Landau Prize for distinction in research. Section Editor, Engineering/Physics, International Journal of Hyperthermia. Fellow, American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), Member International Photodynamic Association, Associate Member American Head and Neck Society.
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is Connecticut’s strategic venture capital arm and the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies. CI provides venture capital and strategic support for early-stage technology companies, financial support for innovation and collaboration, and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals. For more information, please visit www.ctinnovations.com.
Cycle Venture Partners is a Connecticut based, early stage venture capital firm committed to supporting proven entrepreneurs and management teams to build innovative and industry leading businesses in the medical and biotechnology sectors.
Scientific and Clinical Partner
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York.