As the Fogarty Institute continues to expand and strengthen its services and broaden its relationships, it has hired medtech industry professional Michael (Mike) Regan as chief innovation officer.
Mike comes to the Institute with 35 years of industry experience, spanning a broad range of positions in general management, product development, operations, sales and marketing, clinical, regulatory and engineering.
He mostly recently served as chief operating officer at Minerva Surgical, a medical technology company focused on women’s healthcare. Prior to that, he was vice president of operations at Emphasys Medical (now Pulmonx), a company that develops therapeutic solutions for patients with emphysema. He was also chief operating officer of Cardeon Inc., which focused on innovative approaches for coronary artery bypass grafting surgery.
Mike’s passion for healthcare stems from his childhood, when he would hear exciting life-saving tales from his mother and grandmother, who were both nurses. He was also intrigued by the prospect of new ways to help people using biomedical technology, as showcased in the popular television series The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.
At the time he attended college, bioengineering was not available as an undergraduate course, so he pursued a degree in industrial engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
But his most formative experiences came through a broad range of internships and full-time positions as he began his career. During his college summers, he worked as an electrical mechanic and machinist helper, where he found that working on the floor and with a team sparked a desire for building things and seeing them come to fruition. He later joined Walt Disney Imagineering, helping build Tokyo Disneyland and the Epcot Center, which gave him great insight into how to start with a blank piece of paper and come up with something very creative.
His first job out of school was where he was initially exposed to the medical field. He joined American Hospital Supply, whose management training program allowed him to rotate into different assignments, fueling his passion for taking on cross-functional positions that tied together different roles and experiences.
Despite the great experience and solid job, he decided it was time to leave Los Angeles and headed to Colorado, where he became a short-order cook, bar tender and “ski bum,” working at Copper Mountain. This was another foundational experience for him, as he learned that he could take risks, try something different, and still land on his feet.
Before long, he knew it was time to rejoin the “real world,” and he fulfilled a desire to return to the medical field with a position at Advanced Cardiovascular Systems. He undertook a variety of assignments, and his career grew with the company, which was eventually spun into Guidant.
When he was invited to join the Fogarty Institute, it was an ideal time and position for him. He has long known and admired Dr. Fogarty and several on the executive team at the organization. “Working with entrepreneurs who have great ideas, combined with a talented team committed to helping them bring their ideas to fruition, is a dream come true for me,” Mike said.
“I think this is a golden time — a renaissance period — for medical technology,” he continued. “When I started in the field, we had great ideas, but were limited by the understanding of the physiology, computing power and materials, among others. Today, there are so many facets and tools, such as artificial intelligence, advanced imaging and nanotechnology, which we can use to bring new solutions to clinical problems. We live in a very exciting time for medtech.”
Outside of the office, Mike enjoys skiing, tennis, hiking and traveling with his wife, who is a nurse at Stanford. He has two daughters who reside in New York and Boston.