Management Team


Mark Semler

Mark Semler

Mark Semler Chief Executive Officer

Mark is the Chief Executive Officer of the Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences (ZIAN) at the Medical University of South Carolina. For the past 18 years Mark has worked on commercializing multiple complex medical devices. Prior to joining ZIAN in 2012, Mark worked at Orthofix, a medical device manufacturer located in Lewisville, TX. As the Vice President of Engineering R&D for their Spinal Implants group, Mark lead a team of engineers and surgeons to commercialize several devices per year. He has patents and patents pending on several devices Orthofix distributes. Prior to Orthofix, Mark worked at Datascope Corp. in Montvale, NJ on endoscopic vascular staplers. Early in his career, he worked on IV fluid pumps including electronic packaging in a high-tech, rugged, splash-proof housing with a complex integrated motor, transmission and sensors, in addition to blood supply processing equipment, and site-specific drug delivery devices. Prior to his experience with medical technology, Mark spent a few years designing consumer electronics and developed Macintosh gaming software. He was educated at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY where he earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering.



Jesse Goodwin

Jesse Goodwin

Jesse Goodwin, PhD Vice President of Development

Dr. Goodwin is the Vice President of Development for the Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences, a medical device accelerator serving the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).  She is also the Director of the Therapeutics Translation Core for the South Carolina Translational Research Institute.  Dr. Goodwin previously served a the Deputy Director of the MUSC Foundation for Research Development (FRD), which serves as the technology transfer office for MUSC, where a primary responsibility was management of the university’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio.  Dr. Goodwin came to MUSC from a Boston-based IP search and analysis firm where she served as the Medical Device Group Leader. Prior to that, Dr. Goodwin completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, where she was awarded an NIH fellowship.  She holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University.



Chris Hapstack

Chris Hapstack

Chris Hapstack Bio-Mechanical Engineer

Chris is the Bio-Mechanical Engineer for the Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences (ZIAN). He is responsible for the development of technology and technical expertise to ensure proper device outcomes.  Chris has a BS in mechanical engineering from Clemson University.  Prior to working with ZIAN, Chris designed robotic machinery for the medical, aerospace and automotive industries.  His equipment has been used to automate assembly and testing processes for medical devices at companies including the Stryker Corporation and Vention Medical.  As a student at Clemson, Chris worked with a research team to develop a device to assist nurses in inserting IV lines in pediatric patients.



Meredith Gale Development Director

Meredith Gale is the Director of Development for the MUSC Departments of Neurology & Neurosurgery and the Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences (ZIAN).  She brings to the table 10 years of development experience, leading major gift and annual fund campaigns and cultivating repeat donors as well as developing strategic plans to establish and rebuild donor bases for several nonprofit organizations including the American Red Cross & the American Heart Association, where she secured major gifts in excess of $100,000. In 2013 she was ranked second in the nation for raising the most new funds as a Vice President of Development for the American Heart Association.

Prior to her successful transition into nonprofit development Ms. Gale worked as a Sales and Marketing Manager in both the publishing and design industries. Ms. Gale received her BS in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice from the College of Charleston in 2001. As Director of Development; Meredith will help to secure philanthropic support for ZIAN’s promising technologies and cutting edge research.


Susan Freeman

Susan Freeman

Susan Freeman Business Manager

Susan Freeman is the Business Manager for the Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences (ZIAN) at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is responsible for managing all of the business development, operational, financial and administrative tasks at ZIAN. Susan has a BA in Political Science from the University of South Carolina and an MPA in Human Resource Management from Georgia State University. Prior to joining ZIAN Susan worked at Sawgrass Technologies in Charleston where she was the Sales Coordinator for the Industrial Division.



Board of Trustees

William Himmelsbach – Chairman of the Board, ZIAN
Bill retired as President and CEO of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation which is based in New York City, and is a not-for-profit academic research organization housing a pre-clinical lab, a clinical trials center and a medical education division.  It is affiliated with Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Prior to joining CRF, he was Senior Vice President at VHA and Executive Officer of its New York-based VHA Empire – Metro. VHA is a national health care alliance that provides supply chain management and clinical improvement services and supports the formation of regional and national networks to help members improve their clinical and economic performance. Before that, he held President and Chief Executive Officer positions at several hospitals and health care systems, including The Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, Saint Mary’s Health Services in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Holy Cross Health System in South Bend, Indiana, Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health System in Detroit, Michigan. He is currently a guest lecturer in the MHA Program at MUSC and at the BSN Program at USC-Beaufort and also serves on the advisory boards of two small private healthcare companies: Bright Whistle and Intralign. Bill holds a B.A. in Labor-Management Relations/Economics from Penn State University and a Masters in Public Health in healthcare administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Sunil J. Patel, MD – Founder and Senior Advisor to the IAN Board of Trustees for Innovation and Research
Dr. Sunil J. Patel is a Professor and Clinical Chair of the Medical University of South Carolina Department of Neurosurgery, where he carries out an active teaching and research program. Dr. Patel specializes in brain tumors, neurovascular surgery, skull base surgery, facial pain, cranial neuropathies, gamma knife surgery, vertebral fracture program and kyphoplasty. He received his MD from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1985, and his undergraduate degree in Physics from Clemson University in 1981. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and is a member of numerous professional and scientific societies. Dr. Patel is the recipient of multiple awards and honors, including most recently the 2008 Pfizer Humanist Award, and has been a prolific author of articles and book chapters.

Paul Kohlheim
Mr. Kohlheim has over twenty-four years of consulting experience, primarily in the health care industry. Throughout his career, Paul has worked with various academic medical centers, teaching hospitals, large health systems and regional hospitals to substantially improve business performance. He is a former Vice President with Huron Consulting Group. Prior to Huron, Paul served as the President and was an owner of Stockamp & Associates Inc., a privately held healthcare-consulting firm. Prior to Stockamp, Paul was a partner in Accenture’s global Health Services practice.

Mr. Kohlheim’s interests primarily focus on helping the under-served. He is actively involved with and supports a variety of non-profit organizations that address basic human needs, early childhood education and the root causes of poverty. In the Charleston area, he currently serves on the boards of Crisis Ministries, Charleston Promise Neighborhood and Porter-Gaud School.

Joseph C. McDonald
Mr. McDonald is the President and CEO of Belimed, Inc., a manufacturer of equipment for the medical and biopharmaceutical industries.  Prior to his work at Belimed, Mr. McDonald was the President and COO of Berchtold Corporation and held a variety of senior management and leadership positions at Steris Corporation.  Mr. McDonald holds a business degree from Gannon University and completed executive business programs at both Columbia University and the University of Chicago.

W. Andrew (Andy) McKenna
Mr. McKenna is a retired businessman with an extensive business background in corporate governance, retail management, technology, and management consulting. Since 2000 he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of AutoZone, Inc, an international auto parts retailer where he serves on the Compensation Committee and is Chair of the Audit Committee and a former Lead Director. In addition he has served as Director of Bally Technologies (Chair of Governance Committee) for 3 years. He also served as Chairman of the Board for 2 years and Director of Danka, PLC, a former UK listed company for 6 years.

Until his retirement in 1999, he held various positions with The Home Depot, Inc., including Senior VP Strategic Business Development, President, Midwest Division, and SVP-Chief Information Officer. He also was President of, a B to B internet startup in 2000. Prior to joining Home Depot, Andy was Managing Partner, Atlanta office, of the Management Consulting practice of Deloitte & Touche (now Deloitte Consulting). He started his management consulting career in 1974 and specialized in operations management and business planning, providing consulting services to clients in a variety of industries including retail, heath care and manufacturing.

Andy holds a Masters of Industrial Administration degree from Purdue University and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology where he has served as a Trustee of the Alumni Association.

In addition to his participation with ZIAN, he is on the Board of Trustees of the Storm Eye Institute at MUSC and is an active supporter and former Board Member of the OLM Community Outreach.

Larry Olanoff
Dr. Olanoff is Special Advisor to the President for Corporate Relations at MUSC. After a long career in the pharmaceutical industry, he retired from his last position as President and Chief Operating Officer (2006-2010) at Forest Laboratories, Inc. Dr. Olanoff was President and Chief Executive Officer of Celsion Corporation from 2005 to 2006. From 1995 until 2005, Dr. Olanoff was responsible for the leadership of research and development activities for Forest Laboratories, Inc., ultimately as its Executive Vice President-Scientific Affairs. From 1993 to 1995, Dr. Olanoff was Senior Vice President-Clinical Research and Development at Sandoz Pharmaceutical Corporation. From 1984 to 1993, Dr. Olanoff was employed by The Upjohn Company, where his last position was Corporate Vice President-Clinical Development and Medical Affairs.

Dr. Olanoff holds MD and PhD (Biomedical Engineering) degrees from Case Western Reserve University and was a medical resident and clinical pharmacology fellow at MUSC. He is the author or co-author of numerous scientific publications in the fields of clinical pharmacology, drug delivery and pharmacokinetics.