Sandra Saldana who is CEO and co-founder of Alva Health. During her first year in her MBA program at Yale School of Management, Sandra connected with two professors in the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Kevin Sheth and Dr. Hitten Zaveri, who had co-invented a technology — machine learning algorithms coupled with a device for early identification of stroke symptoms — underlying what is today Alva Health. Given that about 1.3 million people in the U.S. are affected by stroke annually, Alva aims to detect stroke earlier to enable the subsequent administration of appropriate interventions in a timely fashion. …

At Theia, we had the opportunity to talk to a remarkable woman who has spent time in both the science and business sides of the life sciences industry. Natalie Ma is currently the director of business development at Felix Biotechnology, a seed-stage biotechnology company working to accelerate its deployment of novel biotherapeutics to manage infectious diseases using their proprietary phage technology. She helped launch Felix Biotech with Dr. Paul Turner when she was a Blavatnik Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Yale Tech Transfer Office. As a fellow, she assisted eight faculty in developing ventures, primarily in the areas of infectious…

Dr. Jerrica Kirkley is the co-founder and CMO of Plume, a Denver-based, direct-to-consumer telehealth company that provides medical consultation and gender-affirming hormone therapy for transgender patients. As a trans woman, family practice physician, and educator, Dr. Kirkley and her co-founder, Dr. Matthew Wetschler, started Plume in 2019 to radically increase access to gender-affirmation services. For a monthly fee of $99, Plume clinicians will create a custom treatment plan for patients, which can include prescriptions of testosterone, estrogen, and testosterone blockers to help individuals align their physical body with their identified gender. Nearly 80 percent of Plume’s clinical team identifies as…

In honor of World Glaucoma Day, we spoke to Rui Jing Jiang, CEO and Co-Founder of Avisi Technologies. Avisi is a University of Pennsylvania spinout company developing a nanoscale, ocular implant called VisiPlate to stop blindness in patients with glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. To date, Avisi has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the University of Pennsylvania, and others. Avisi is a Johnson & Johnson JLABS incubated company, a MedTech Innovator Accelerator company, and a UCSF Rosenman Innovator. Avisi has been recognized as one of ten most promising Philadelphia tech companies…

Andrea Ippolito is the founder and CEO of Simplifed, the first independent tele-lactation consulting and nutrition support platform connecting new mothers with resources in the first weeks of becoming a parent. She is currently a Lecturer in the Engineering Management Program at Cornell University. Prior to this, she served as Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Innovators Network within the VA Innovation Center. There she led the creation of a $10.5M program that provides the tools and resources to VA employees to develop innovations that improve the experience of our Veterans. In 2012, she co-founded health IT company SmartScheduling…

Pooja Chandrashekar is a second-year medical student at Harvard Medical School and is the founder of the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project, which aims to create and translate accessible COVID-19 information into different languages to help all patients know when, and how, to seek care. Pooja founded ProjectCSGIRLS as a high school sophomore to encourage young women in STEM. Pooja graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in Biomedical Engineering and subsequently completed a Fulbright Scholarship in India. Alongside clinical medicine, she is passionate about improving the quality and delivery of healthcare, and hopes to leverage emerging technologies and policy levers…

Sara Nayeem is a Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), where she focuses on investments in biopharmaceutical companies. Her investment career is brimming with high-profile biotech companies, including Loxo Oncology, Tesaro, and Nightstar, which have all been acquired in the past few years. She was included on Fierce Biotech’s 2019 list of the Fiercest Women in Life Sciences and was selected three times as one of GrowthCap’s Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors. Prior to NEA, she was an Associate at Merrill Lynch’s Global Healthcare Group and completed her MD/MBA at Yale. …

Dr. Sejal Hathi is a physician, public health advocate, and serial entrepreneur, who has dedicated her career to serving vulnerable communities in the United States and globally — with a special attention to women and girls. Presently, she serves as a primary care resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

In her early career, Dr. Hathi founded two non-profit organizations, Girls Helping Girls and girltank, that has mobilized over 30,000 young women to create sustainable social change in over 100 countries. Dr. Hathi has spoken about women’s rights and empowerment at TEDWomen, TEDxTeen and…

Check out our interview with Bunny Ellerin on Spotify and Anchor.

Bunny Ellerin is an award-winning leader, thinker, writer, and speaker who has helped transform New York City into a thriving hub of healthcare innovation. She co-founded and serves as president of NYC Health Business Leaders (NYCHBL), a community of 3,500 healthcare executives, entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors. Bunny also serves as director of Columbia Business School’s Healthcare Management Program, and she founded the Harvard Business School Healthcare Alumni Association. She was named to Crain’s Notable Women in Health Care in 2019 and selected in 2018 as one of PharmaVOICE’s 100 most inspiring healthcare innovators. …

To the Theia Community:

In 2020, a year that challenged us all on many fronts, we created Theia.

Theia is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to inspire women to solve healthcare’s most pressing issues through innovation, entrepreneurship, and policy. In five short months, we have assembled a robust community of aspiring entrepreneurs and successful businesswomen in healthcare — each with a diverse set of perspectives, experiences, and learnings. Theia’s community is bound by the common goal of increasing representation and visibility of women as entrepreneurs and investors.

As the year draws to a close, we would like to take…

Theia

Theia is a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and investors in healthcare.

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