Submissions were evaluated by a judging panel composed of federal employees from across NIH and potentially other government agencies. The judging panel selected eight Phase 1 winners based on the official judging criteria, subject to a final decision by NIH.

Given the volume of entries in Phase 1, submissions were initially be evaluated by a multidisciplinary group of technical reviewers, including experts in biomedical engineering, neuroscience, and systems biology. 

Phase 1 judging panel

Joe Bonner, Ph.D.

Joe Bonner, Ph.D.

Program Officer
National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, NICHD

Dr. Joe Bonner is a Program Officer with the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). His portfolio includes rehabilitation research addressing many disabling conditions, including stroke, spinal cord injury, and limb loss.

Theresa Cruz, Ph.D.

Theresa Cruz, Ph.D.

National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, NICHD

Dr. Theresa Cruz became director of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR)  at the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in August 2020, after serving as acting director since September 2019. In her capacity as a health scientist administrator in NCMRR, Dr. Cruz manages grants in the Devices and Technology Development and Rehabilitation Diagnostics and Interventions Programs. She also manages Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) awards in medical rehabilitation and is a team lead in the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.

Daniel Gossett, Ph.D.

Daniel Gossett, Ph.D.

Program Director
Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases, NIDDK

Dr. Daniel Gossett is a Program Director in the Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). His portfolio includes biomedical imaging of the kidney, technology development efforts, and translational research in the areas of kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases, including research conducted by small business (SBIR & STTR). He is also a Project Scientist for the NIDDK programs (Re)Building a Kidney Consortium and Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP). 


Ranu Jung, Ph.D.

Ranu Jung, Ph.D.

Executive Director and Endowed Chair
Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research, University of Arkansas

Dr. Ranu Jung is Executive Director and Endowed Chair of the Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research, Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Associate Vice Chancellor at University of Arkansas. Professor Jung’s research is at the cutting edge between engineering and neuroscience, developing devices that lead to scientific advances with clear pathways to clinical application. Her team developed the first wireless, implantable, intrafascicular neural-interface system for restoring sensations to individuals with upper limb amputation and received FDA approval to conduct a first-in-human trial. Dr. Jung has been a grantee of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering for over fifteen years, she holds 14 U.S. patents, has founded a company, and has authored more than 130 publications.

Note: Dr. Ranu Jung is a Special Government Employee.

Matthew McMahon, Ph.D.

Matthew McMahon, Ph.D.


Matthew McMahon leads the Small Business Education and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) Office in helping to transform cutting-edge technologies into products that improve health and save lives. He previously served as the first director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Office of Translational Alliances and Coordination, and he created and led the National Eye Institute’s Office of Translational Research. His previous experience also includes service as the principal scientist for the bionic eye company Second Sight Medical Products and as a staff member on the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committees responsible for science, technology, and innovation policy.

Roger Miller, Ph.D.

Roger Miller, Ph.D.

Program Director
Neural Prosthesis Development, NIDCD

Roger Miller is the Program Director for Neural Prosthesis Development at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). He is also responsible for coordinating the institute’s Small Business Innovation Research (SEED Funding) program and other projects in the Division of Scientific Program’s Hearing and Balance Program. He has represented the NIDCD’s mission areas in biomedical engineering, regulatory science, translational science, nanoscience, open-source hardware and software development, hearing aid signal processing, and data science on a number of trans-NIH committees.

Terez Shea-Donohue, Ph.D.

Terez Shea-Donohue, Ph.D.

Program Director
Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, NIDDK

Dr. Terez Shea-Donohue is a Program Director in the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). She supports basic and translational research related to neurogastroenterology, gastrointestinal (GI) and GI epithelial barrier function, and her research portfolio covers the enteric nervous system including neuroimmune interactions; the brain-gut axis including the impact of neurodegenerative diseases on gastrointestinal physiology; basic and translational gastrointestinal motility; mechanisms of non-nutrient luminal sensing including those involved in pain; and changes in mucosal barrier function in response to inflammation or infection. 

Siddharth Shenoy, Ph.D.

Siddharth Shenoy, Ph.D.

Program Officer
Division of Lung Diseases - Airway Biology and Disease Branch, NHLBI

Dr. Siddharth Shenoy is a Program Officer with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering in the Airway Biology and Disease Branch in the Division of Lung Diseases at National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). His portfolio includes Digital Health and Informatics Technologies, SBIR/STTR activities and NHLBI Air You Wear Challenge. His specific expertise includes translational pulmonary technologies, drug delivery, FDA medical device design, machining, microfluidics, microelectronics, electrophysiology and computer programming.

Siavash Vaziri, Ph.D.

Siavash Vaziri, Ph.D.

Program Director

Siavash Vaziri is a Program Director at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) where he oversees grants and funding opportunities in the areas of computational neuroscience and brain reward systems. Prior to joining NIMH, he was a scientific program manager at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) working on the SPARC Common Fund program, an initiative aimed at advancing peripheral neuromodulation research. Siavash’s academic research is focused on cortical sensorimotor processing, combining computational approaches with experimental work spanning behavioral studies in humans and electrophysiology in non-human primates.

Michael Wolfson, Ph.D.

Michael Wolfson, Ph.D.

Program Director
Division of Discovery Science & Technology, NIBIB

Dr. Michael Wolfson is a Program Director in the Division of Discovery Science and Technology at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). He specializes in performing characterization, analysis, and integration of novel biologic and microscale systems within commercial, small business, and academic R&D environments. His expertise spans multiple disciplines and covers emerging domains, such as bio-, micro-, and nano-system technologies.

Technical review panel

Andrei Pakhomov, Ph.D.

Research Professor
Old Dominion University

Andrew Cornwell, Ph.D.

Associate Director of the Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership
Case Western Reserve University

Antonino Cassara, Ph.D.

Neurostimulation Project Leader
IT’IS Foundation

Cindy Chestek, Ph.D.

Associate Chair for Research in Biomedical Engineering
University of Michigan

Daryl Kipke, Ph.D.

CEO and Managing Director

David Linden, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Mayo Clinic

Douglas Weber, Ph.D.

Carnegie Mellon University

Erika Ross, Ph.D.

Director of R&D Applied Research
Abbott Neuromodulation

Graham Creasey, FRCSEd

Emeritus Faculty
Stanford University

Heike Muenzberg-Gruening, Ph.D.

Louisiana State University

James Fallon, Ph.D.

CTO and Head of Research Operations
Bionics Institute

Jeffrey Ardell, Ph.D.

University of California, Los Angeles

Jessy Dorn, Ph.D.

Vice President of Clinical and Scientific Affairs
Second Sight

Jeyakumar Subbaroyan, Ph.D.

Vice President of Clinical Affairs & Research

Kent Leyde

Cadence Neuroscience

Jimmy Harris, Ph.D.

Director of Science and Technology
Presidio Medical

Kristen-Smith Edwards, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Pittsburgh

Laurent Gautron, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Natalia Biscola, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Nicole Thompson

Research Assistant
University College London

Pierre Mourad, Ph.D

University of Washington, Bothell

Robert Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D.

Chairman and CEO
Alfred Mann Foundation

Sylvia Daunert, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Terry Powley, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor
Purdue University

Yvette Tache, Ph.D.

Distinguished Research Professor
University of California, Los Angeles

Zachary Danziger, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Florida International University