Dean Banks | Chairman of the Board
Dean is currently at X, the R&D arm of Alphabet (formerly Google). He serves the Chairman of Vergent’s Board and is also its former CEO. Before joining Vergent, Dean served as the Vice President of Product Excellence at Tornier. Tornier acquired OrthoHelix Surgical Designs in October 2012, where Dean was the SVP of Business Development and Strategic Marketing. He also was a VP at Highland Capital Partners, where he led or participated in many early and growth-stage medical technology and healthcare industry investments. Dean has also served in executive, strategic planning, business development, consulting and sales roles at Cleveland Clinic Innovations, Connective Orthopaedics, Cytyc (acquired by Hologic), and Ethicon Endo-Surgery (a Johnson and Johnson Company). Dean served for five years with the United States Marine Corps, has a BA from Miami University and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Doug Kohrs | Director
Doug has more than 34 years of experience in the medical device industry, primarily as a founder, transformer or executive of innovative companies. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Tornier N.V. from 2006 to 2012, and Chief Executive Officer and President of American Medical Systems Holdings, Inc. from 1999 to 2005. Prior to American Medical Systems, Doug was one of the founders of Spine Tech, a pioneering spinal surgery company where he worked from 1991 to 1999. Prior to Spine Tech, Doug spent 7 years with Johnson and Johnson Orthopedics where he was the chief designer for the PFC knee and PFC hip systems. Since 2013, he has served as Managing Director of Responsive Orthopedics; a new company focused on value based healthcare solutions.
Doug also currently serves as the President of the Foundation for Essential Needs, a Minnesota based non-profit serving those struggling in the state of Minnesota. He has formerly served on the non-profit boards of both In-Health and VEAP. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Proto Labs, Bio2 Technologies, and Medshape. He is additionally Chairman of the Board of Seed Partners and SmartZyme Innovation. Doug has previously served on the boards of ev3, Kyphon, Pioneer Surgical, InnovaSpine and five other medical device companies.
Doug holds a B.S. in Bioengineering from Texas A&M University, a B.A. in Engineering Sciences from Austin College and an MBA from Northeastern University.
Jeff Julkowski | Director & Founder
Jeff is an entrepreneur and investor, and he has incubated, operated, and exited several companies prior to co-founding Seed Partners LLC. He co-founded the jewelry company Chamilia and served as its CEO, in addition to founding several other consumer product companies. Jeff spent seven years on Wall Street as an equity analyst researching investments at Morgan Stanley and Salomon SmithBarney/Citigroup. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds an MBA. Jeff was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2011 Upper Midwest Awards Winner.
John T. Santini, Jr., Ph.D. | President & Chief Executive Officer
John is the President & CEO of Vergent Bioscience. He is a seasoned life science executive, serial entrepreneur, and scientist that has spent his career focused on the creation and growth of businesses developing next-generation pharmaceuticals, drug delivery systems, and biosensors. John is also a co-founder, board member, and interim CEO of ApoGen Biotechnologies, and previously served as the CEO of MicroCHIPS, On Demand Therapeutics, and RadioRx.
He has been honored as one of Popular Science Magazine’s “Brilliant Ten” and one of the Top 100 Young Innovators in the world by Technology Review Magazine. He has over 60 issued US and international patents, and his work resulted in a Technology Pioneer award from the World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland) and a Gold Medal from the Edison Awards in the Science and Medical, Game Changers category. John obtained his PhD in chemical engineering from MIT as a National Science Foundation Fellow and his BSE in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.