Samira Kaissi

Samira started her career in California with a Ph.D. and postdoc in Molecular Biology (Viral Gene therapy) from USC and UCLA.  Her journey has since spanned three continents and grew into various leadership roles such as national support manager and global marketing manager at Beckman Coulter in the United States; assistant professor and director of research at the American University of Beirut Medical Center; and finally to Ireland where she was a Site Lead at Becton Dickenson-Gencell and director of BD’s Research Center Ireland.  Recently she held multiple CEO roles at medical device startups such as Cala Medical (developing a novel blood purification cartridge for sepsis) and Capri Medical (developing an implantable neurostimulation device for migraines).  She also works with Enterprise Ireland as a commercial lead to support potential spinouts from Irish universities. Samira continues her foray into the exciting world of medtech and biotech entrepreneurship by joining the team at Lightstone Ventures as an EIR in 2022, where she hopes to play a role in transforming innovative ideas into health improving and life saving products.

Hanson S. Gifford, III

Hanson is a Partner of LSV. He assists the LSV medical device team with deal sourcing, due diligence, and portfolio company management. He has served in this role since November 2013.

Hanson is also a Managing Partner at The Foundry, LLC, a medical device company incubator and a preferred partner to LSV. Since its inception in 1998, Hanson has led The Foundry in all of its activities. These include the invention, identification and development of new technologies, the formation, financing, and staffing of over twenty new companies, and ongoing support of these new ventures as a board member. Success stories include Evalve (acquired by Abbott), Concentric (acquired by Stryker), Ardian (acquired by Medtronic), Twelve (acquired by Medtronic). At ForSight Labs, an Ophthalmology-focused incubator started by Hanson, Eugene de Juan, MD, and K. Angela Macfarlane, successes include Transcend Medical (acquired by Alcon), Forsight Newco 2 (acquired by QLT), Forsight Vision 4 (acquired by Genentech/Roche), and Forsight Vision 5 (acquired by Allergan).

Prior to The Foundry, Hanson was Vice President of Research and Development at Heartport, Inc., which had a successful IPO in 1996. From 1993-1998, he built and led a 62-person team at Heartport developing a wide variety of novel devices and procedures for minimally invasive cardiac surgery. In 1992-1993, Hanson co-founded and served as Managing Director of Bavaria Medizin Technologie, GmbH in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. In 1991, Hanson co-founded and served as President of Cardiovascular Therapeutic Technologies (acquired by Eli Lilly). From 1985-1990, Hanson worked at Devices for Vascular Intervention (acquired by Eli Lilly) in various engineering, clinical research and marketing capacities. Before joining DVI, Hanson worked in engineering roles at Oximetrix and General Dynamics.

Hanson is a named inventor on over 370 issued US patents. Hanson is a Director of FIRE1, Contego, Reprieve Cardiovascular, Half Moon Medical, Tangible Science, Apreo Health, and Mavericks Endo.

Mark Deem

Mark is an Operating Partner of LSV. He assists the LSV medical device team with deal sourcing, due diligence, and portfolio company management. He has served in this role since November 2013.

Mark is a co-founder of the Foundry, LLC. The Foundry is the premier medical device company incubator and a preferred partner to LSV. Since its inception in 1998, The Foundry has founded and financed over twenty new medical device companies. Success stories include Twelve (acquired by Medtronic), Ardian (acquired by Medtronic), eValve (acquired by Abbott), and Concentric (acquired by Stryker). Mark joined The Foundry at its inception in 1998. In addition to spearheading the research and invention process on new clinical opportunities, Mark led the early stage effort in The Foundry’s new companies until the company’s CEO and Senior Staff was hired.

Prior to joining The Foundry, Mark served in a founding role as consulting Director of Research and Development for Ventrica, Inc. Previously, Mark was a senior member of the Research & Development team at Medtronic Micro Interventional Systems. Mark joined MIS as one of the initial members of the company’s engineering team and remained there through the acquisition by Medtronic.

Previously, Mark held engineering positions with Devices for Vascular Engineering, Cordis Corporation and the USCI Division of C.R. Bard.

Mark has spent over thirty years in the design, testing and manufacture of medical devices. He is a co-inventor on over 250 issued and pending U.S. patents.

Mark serves as Chairman of the Board for Allay Therapeutics (formerly Foundry Therapeutics 1), is a Director for FIRE1, and Half Moon Medical and is a board observer for Nuvaira and Shoulder Innovations.

Caroline Gaynor

Caroline joined Lightstone Ventures in 2017 and evaluates new investment opportunities in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors out of the firm’s Dublin office.

Caroline has over 10 years’ operational experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Caroline spent 9 years at Bayer Healthcare, most recently serving on the board of senior management of Bayer Ltd. Ireland as head of market access, pricing and reimbursement. During her time in pharma she held a number of operational roles, predominantly focused on oncology, such as product management, strategic marketing, business development and regulatory affairs. Prior to Lightstone, and following completion of her BioInnovate fellowship in 2013, she co-led R&D on a device targeting Acute Pancreatitis and was subsequently involved in early pre-clinical, strategic clinical and commercial development at Vetex Medical..

She currently serves as a director on the board of Catamaran Bio Ltd., Parvalis Therapeutics and ProVerum.  She is an observer to the board of Carrick Therapeutics, Cerevance, and FIRE-1. She also previously served on the board of ALX Oncology. She is a member of the BioInnovate Ireland Board of advisors.

Stacy Enxing Seng

Stacy is an Operating Partner of LSV and assists the LSV medical device team with deal sourcing, due diligence, and portfolio company management. She joined the LSV team in March 2016.

Since 2013, Stacy has also focused her work on engaging as a Professional Director, serving as an Independent Director and Committee Member for both public and venture-backed private companies across the healthcare ecosystem. Stacy currently serves as a non-executive Independent Director and member of the Compensation and Management Committee for Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC), Sonova Holding AG (VTX: SOON), and LivaNova, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIVN). Stacy also serves as Chairwoman of the Board for both CALA Health and Contego, an Independent Director for Vesper Medical, as well as a Director for the Fogarty Institute, a non-profit educational innovator. Past Director appointments include PreCARDIA Inc, (exited to Abiomed), Claret Inc, (exited to Boston Scientific), Spirox, (exited to Entellus/Abbott) FIRE 1, (Covidien/Medtronic Investment), CVI (exited to Covidien/Medtronic) and Solace Therapeutics.

An accomplished executive leader, Stacy has over 25 years in sales, marketing and operational leadership roles building innovative technology portfolios, demonstrated clinical outcomes, exceptional management teams and world-class company cultures. She has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Women in Business and is a frequent speaker on healthcare, innovation leadership and corporate culture.

Prior to Independent Director work, Stacy served as the President of Covidien’s $1.7B Vascular Therapies business. Stacy joined Covidien following its $2.6B acquisition of ev3 Inc., a medical technology start-up that Stacy co-created in 2000 with ev3’s founding team. Over the course of her career, Stacy has been involved in the launch of over 20 medtech technologies, more than 10 substantive M&A transactions, and under her operating leadership, a reputation of achieving world class customer and employee

Stacy’s earlier work in medtech included sales and marketing leadership roles with SCIMED/Boston Scientific and sales and product management roles with American Hospital Supply/Baxter.

Hank Plain

Hank Plain is a Special Partner of Lightstone Ventures. He also serves as a General Partner at Morgenthaler Ventures, which he joined in 2007 after more than 25 years in the pharma and medical device industry.

Mr. Plain began his career in 1980 with Eli Lilly. He left Lilly to become CEO of Perclose, where he led the company through a successful IPO and acquisition by Abbott Laboratories in 1999. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, he co-founded eight medical device companies along with the team at The Foundry medical device incubator.

Mr. Plain serves on the boards of Earlens, Nuvaira, Moximed and Setpoint. He previously served on the boards of nine companies that were acquired – Claret Medical, Miramar Labs, Twelve Medical, Ardian, Access Closure, Acclarent, Cabochon, EPI and TransVascular.

Mr. Plain is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation in Monterey, CA and the Future Citizens Foundation/First Tee of Monterey County.

Mike Carusi

Mike is a General Partner and Team Leader of Lightstone Ventures (LSV) and focuses on investments in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors. He is based in the firm’s Menlo Park, CA office, where he also serves as a General Partner at Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV). His representative investments include Allay Therapeutics, Altura Medical (acquired by Lombard), Ardian (acquired by Medtronic), Cala Health, EndoGastric Solutions, Gynesonics, MediSix Therapeutics, MicroVention (acquired by Terumo), Nuvaira, Plexxikon (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo), PowerVision (acquired by Alcon), Second Genome, Shoulder Innovations, Tallac Therapeutics, and Willow.

Featured on the Forbes Midas List of top technology and life science investors, Mike is a recognized thought leader in the industry and a frequent speaker at healthcare conferences. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. In addition, Mike has been heavily involved with several programs at Stanford University including the Stanford Biodesign Program and, more recently, the Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education (Spectrum). Lastly, Mike served as a Director on the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Board of Directors and remains active in helping to shape policy affecting both innovation and healthcare.

Earlier in his career, Mike served as a Director of Business Development for Inhale Therapeutic Systems (now Nektar Therapeutics, NASDAQ: NKTR), a venture-backed pulmonary drug delivery company that went public in 1994. At Inhale, Mike led partnering activities with a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Mike also was a Principal at The Wilkerson Group, a leading management consulting firm focused exclusively on healthcare. At The Wilkerson Group, Mike helped establish the firm’s offices in London and San Francisco.

Jason Lettmann

Jason Lettmann is a General Partner of Lightstone Ventures and focuses on investments in the biopharmaceutical and medical technology sectors. Jason brings 20 years of operating and venture experience in the life sciences and also is a General Partner at Morgenthaler Ventures. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of ALX Oncology (NASDAQ: ALXO), Atsena Therapeutics, Carrick Therapeutics, Cerevance, FIRE1, Relievant Medsystems, and Second Genome. Jason led the firm’s investments and served as a Director of Ra Pharmaceuticals (acquired by UCB) and Vapotherm (NASDAQ: VAPO). Jason also served as the interim CEO of Promedior and led the company through its sale to Roche in 2020. In 2014, Jason established Lightstone’s Europe office located in Dublin, Ireland, to expand the firm’s investment activities to Europe and currently serves as Director of Lightstone Capital Management Ireland Ltd.

Before joining Morgenthaler in 2009, Jason was a Vice President at Split Rock Partners where he focused on early-stage investments in the life sciences. During his time at Split Rock, Jason was actively involved with the firm’s investment in Ardian (acquired by Medtronic), Cabochon Aesthetics (acquired by Ulthera), Atritech (acquired by Boston Scientific), Entellus Medical (acquired by Stryker), Evalve (acquired by Abbott), and Transcend Medical (acquired by Alcon). Jason was also previously a co-founder and on the Board of Tarsus Medical before its acquisition by Integra Life Sciences in 2013.

Prior to venture, Jason’s experience includes tenure with Guidant’s Compass Group which focused on corporate venture investing and business development, as well as a consultant with Accenture’s Health and Life Science practice, where he advised clients across the medical device, pharmaceutical, and healthcare payer sectors. Jason also previously worked as a Genetic Research Analyst at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.