Team

Team

Cortex combines decades of clinical, technical, and operating experience and a scientific advisory board comprised of leading physicians

Leadership

Duke Rohlen
Chief Executive Officer
Duke Rohlen
Chief Executive Officer
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Duke serves as CEO of Cortex. He is also CEO and Managing Director of Ajax Health.

Prior to these roles, Duke co-founded and served as the Chairman and CEO of EPIX Therapeutics, which was acquired by Medtronic in 2019. Prior to EPIX, Duke served as co-founder and CEO of Spirox, which was acquired by Entellus in 2017. Prior to Spirox, he co-founded and served as CEO of CV Ingenuity, which was acquired by Covidien in 2013. Prior to CV Ingenuity, Duke served in a variety of roles at FoxHollow Technologies before being named President. In this role, Duke led the sale of the company to ev3 (now Medtronic) in 2008. Prior to FoxHollow, Duke served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the private equity firm Alta Partners. Duke began his professional career as the co-founder and President of a 9-unit, ~$20 million per year restaurant company. Duke currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Stanford University Athletic Department and as a Trustee of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.

Duke received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Stanford University.

Melissa Kong, MD
Chief Clinical Officer
Melissa Kong, MD
Chief Clinical Officer
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Melissa serves as Chief Clinical Officer at Cortex. She is also a Clinical Advisor for Ajax Health.

As a cardiac electrophysiologist, she was a partner at Silicon Valley Cardiology, a high-volume private practice with an extensive clinical research program, and has expertise in the management and ablation of complex arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, supraventricular, and ventricular tachycardias as well as comprehensive cardiac device management including pacemaker, cardioverter-defibrillator, cardiac resynchronization therapy device implantation and both laser and mechanical lead extraction. She has also served as the EP liaison on the Heart Failure Council of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and was a Sequoia Hospital Foundation board member for six years. As an author on numerous peer-reviewed articles, Melissa remains actively involved in preclinical and clinical research, having served in principal investigator and international steering committee roles in multicenter and international clinical trials. She also serves as an advisory board member and/or consultant to several public and private healthcare companies.

Melissa received her M.D. from Duke University, where she stayed for her internship and residency in internal medicine, fellowship in cardiovascular disease, and subspecialty fellowship in cardiac electrophysiology. She is board-certified in cardiology and electrophysiology. She received her A.B. from Princeton University where she graduated summa cum laude from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Josef Koblish
Chief Strategy Officer
Josef Koblish
Chief Strategy Officer
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Joe serves as the Chief Strategic Officer of Cortex. He is also an Operating Partner at Ajax Health.

Joe has over 30 years of research and development experience in medical device companies. Prior to his current roles, he served as the SVP of R&D at EPIX Therapeutics and the principal inventor of EPIX’s technology, which was sold to Medtronic in 2019. Prior to EPIX, Joe served as a technology leader at Boston Scientific, US Surgical, and EP Technologies, where he invented, developed, and commercialized numerous diagnostic and therapeutic devices and technologies. Joe is credited with 90 issued U.S. patents covering a wide spectrum of technologies for medical devices, specifically related to steerable catheter technologies and cardiac electrophysiology. Joe is the author of numerous scientific publications related to the diagnosis and treatment of arrythmias and ablation biophysics.

Joe received a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Engineering.

Peter Ruppersberg, MD, PhD
Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Peter Ruppersberg, MD, PhD
Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
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Peter is a co-founder of Cortex, where he serves as Chief Scientific Officer.

Peter founded Ablacon Inc., which became Cortex, in 2015. He has extensive experience in science, technology, and product strategy, focusing on electrophysiology. Previously, he was CEO of Sophono Inc. in Boulder, Colorado, restructuring the company for operational efficiency. He also served as CEO of the Valtronic Group in Switzerland/Cleveland (OH), leading FDA compliance efforts.

Peter has built international teams to support medical technology development and guided start-ups through growth, fundraising, and partnerships as a partner of the public technology development VC fund from the German L-Bank. He has advised healthcare companies on medical technology strategies and operational improvements. Before investing and company building, Peter was a Professor of Biophysics and Physiology at the University of Tübingen. He was a senior member of a Nobel Prize-winning team at the Max-Planck Institute in Heidelberg, uncovering the molecular structure and functions of ion channels.

Peter received his M.D. and completed a Habilitation in physiology and sensory biophysics from Ulm University, graduating summa cum laude. He holds 55 published patents and has authored 94 peer-reviewed publications, including several in Nature and Science.

Philip Haeusser, PhD
Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer
Philip Haeusser, PhD
Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer
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Philip is a Co-Founder of Cortex, where he serves as Chief Technology Officer.

Philip co-founded Ablacon, Inc., which became Cortex in 2015. With over 10 years of experience in computer science, physics, and machine learning, Philip has developed innovative methods to analyze and leverage patient data for more effective treatments. His expertise spans academia and industry, including positions at Google and the German Aerospace Center. In addition to his technical work, Philip has hosted popular science TV programs like "Terra X Lesch & Co" (ZDF) and "Galileo" (ProSieben), and authored several books to share his passion for science.

Philip holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from Technische Universität München and has been awarded scholarships from the Fulbright Program and the German National Academic Foundation.

Doug Koo
Chief Financial Officer
Doug Koo
Chief Financial Officer
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Doug serves as CFO of Cortex. He is also CFO and Managing Director of Ajax Health.

Prior to these roles, Doug was the CFO of EPIX Therapeutics, which was acquired by Medtronic in 2019, the CFO of Spirox, which was acquired by Entellus in 2017, and the CFO of CV Ingenuity, which was acquired by Covidien in 2013. Prior to CV Ingenuity, Doug served as CFO and CEO at several high-tech and healthcare services companies. Doug began his professional career as a management consultant at Gemini Consulting.

Doug received an M.B.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from UC San Diego.

Cason Kynes
Chief Operating Officer
Cason Kynes
Chief Operating Officer
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Cason serves as Chief Operating Officer of Cortex. He is also a Vice President at Ajax Health.

Prior to these roles, Cason received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor and Business Chair of the Harvard Law Review, participated in the Harvard Innovation Lab venture incubation program, and graduated magna cum laude. Prior to law school, he was an account manager at Oracle, covering data security solutions.

He received his B.A. from Stanford University, where he played defensive back on the football team.

Jocelyn Jackson
VP of Finance
Jocelyn Jackson
VP of Finance
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Jocelyn serves as the VP of Finance of Cortex. She is also the VP of Finance of Ajax Health.

Prior to these roles, Jocelyn was the CFO of Symic Bio, a biopharmaceutical company that developed therapeutics focused on matrix biology. At Symic, Jocelyn was responsible for the management of all finance and accounting functions, as well as investor communication. Jocelyn was with Symic Bio from its inception to partnering of its lead assets. Jocelyn was also the CFO of TauTona Group, an early-stage life science venture. She was closely involved in the sale of TauTona’s assets to Allergan (AGN), LifeCell, and Novadaq (NVDQ). Previously, she was the Controller of CV Ingenuity, a medical device company that developed drug-coated balloon platforms that was acquired by Covidien. Jocelyn started her career at Deloitte and Touche, LLP, where she spent time in both the tax and audit departments.

Jocelyn received a B.A. from the University of San Diego.

Laurie Lewandowski
VP of Quality & Regulatory
Laurie Lewandowski
VP of Quality & Regulatory
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Laurie serves as the VP of Quality and Regulatory of Cortex.

Laurie has over 25 years of experience in regulatory affairs and quality assurance with global corporations, including Guidant, Medtronic, and Wright Medical, and with numerous start-ups, including r4 Vascular/Vector, Access Point Technologies EP, SerpeX, Corfigo, and 1WorldVista Medical. She has extensive expertise in overseeing design, development, and manufacturing processes.

Laurie received an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and a BA in physics from Hamline University.

Erik Harks, PhD
VP of Medical Affairs, EU
Erik Harks, PhD
VP of Medical Affairs, EU
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Erik serves as the VP of Medical Affairs for the EU at Cortex.

Prior to Cortex, Erik was Principal Clinical Scientist, leading the Clinical Science team at EPD Solutions (Philips). He managed a portfolio of clinical studies and coordinated product validation activities. Prior to that, he held multiple roles at Philips in Research and Development programs and served as the clinical expert in the corporate venture that developed the 4DICE technology that has been commercialized as Philips VeriSight Pro. Prior to that, he served as a post-doctoral Researcher at Maastricht University investigating mechanisms of atrial fibrillation. Erik is credited with 39 U.S. patents and 20+ scientific publications.

Erik has a Ph.D. from Radboud University Nijmegen and an MSc in from Eindhoven University of Technology.

Eliza Lawrence
VP of Medical Affairs, US
Eliza Lawrence
VP of Medical Affairs, US
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Giselle Campos
Head of HR
Giselle Campos
Head of HR
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Giselle serves as the Head of Human Resources at Cortex. She is also the Head of Human Resources at Ajax Health.

Prior to these roles, Giselle led the People & Talent operations at Orca Bio, a precision cell therapy company improving patient lives, where she was responsible for all facets of providing a great employee experience. Giselle also held previous leadership roles at BDNA (acquired by Flexera) and Xora (acquired by Click Software). She brings over 13 years of human resources leadership experience in building diverse, high performing organizations in the life science and enterprise software industries.

Giselle earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Scientific Advisory Board

Lucas Boersma, MD
Atul Verma, MD
Vivek Reddy, MD
John Hummel, MD
Hugh Calkins, MD

Partners