Meet the team

at Ascyrus Medical

Ascyrus Medical was founded in January 2015 by cardiac surgeon Ali Shahriari, MD, who recognized the need for a better solution for patients suffering from aortic dissections and the surgeons treating them. He was soon joined by a group of world-renowned engineers, physicians, and industry experts to develop a unique hybrid graft for the treatment of acute type A aortic dissections. With the support of a strong patent portfolio, Ascyrus Medical has developed a proprietary implantable device that is uniquely positioned to save and improve the lives of patients by reducing the immediate and long-term impact of the disease.


Ali Shahriari, MD, Founder and CEO

Ali is a cardiovascular specialist with 20+ years of experience in patient care and consulting roles for medical device companies, including testing of novel cardiovascular devices. He is highly skilled in medical device design and knowledgeable about regulatory pathways. Prior to his full-time role at Ascyrus Medical, Ali was a practicing cardiovascular specialist with a dedicated focus on aortic diseases. His clinical training includes cardiovascular and endovascular surgery. He is a frequent speaker at national and international symposia and has over 30 issued and pending patents.

Tom Fernandez,- VP of Operations

Tom has more than 20 years of experience in the medical device industry with various roles in R&D, manufacturing, supply chain, and quality assurance.  He has worked for large medical device companies including Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, and Boston Scientific as well as for emerging companies such as Bolton Medical and InNeuroCo.  Tom holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from Florida International University.

Chelsey Ryan,- Director of Product Management and Commercialization

Chelsey is an accomplished and dynamic leader with over 10 years of success in the medical device industry. She brings enterprise-wide experience across engineering, clinical sales, product management, and strategic marketing roles. Chelsey has worked both as a full-time employee and consultant across large and small organizations involving various therapeutic areas. Previously, Chelsey worked for Cook Medical’s aortic division leading the fenestrated/ branched EVAR product portfolio. Chelsey is an alumnus of Purdue University’s School of Engineering and is actively involved in mentoring start-up medical device companies in the Boston community.

Georg Muellender- Director DACH Region

Georg brings over 30 years of experience in the medical device industry across various sales, marketing, training, and business development capacities. Previously, he spent 10 years with Bolton Medical leading the launch and German market development for the RELAY device to treat thoracic aortic aneurysms.

Scientific and Corporate Advisors

Wilson Y. Szeto, MD

Dr. Szeto is the Chief, Cardiovascular Surgery at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Surgical Director for Transcatheter Cardio-Aortic Therapies and is the Associate Director, Thoracic Aortic Surgery. He has a special interest in adult cardiac surgery. His expertise involves thoracic aortic surgery and complex valvular heart surgery, including valve-sparing aortic root replacement and minimally invasive mitral valve repair. Dr. Szeto is also particularly interested in transcatheter heart valve replacement and repair and endovascular stent grafting of thoracic aortic diseases. He is a respected international speaker and authority in the field of thoracic aortic diseases and the author of numerous scientific publications and book chapters. He serves in the membership, program task force, and the workforce on new technology committees of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). He also serves in the TVT Registry research and Publications Subcommittee, clinical guideline committee: Endovascular aortic disease update and clinical guideline committee: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement committees of the American Association of Thoracic Surgery.

Grayson H. Wheatley III, MD

Dr. Wheatley is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in aortic and endovascular therapies. Dr. Wheatley practices at TriStar Health Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, TN. He has served as Director of Aortic and Endovascular Surgery and Surgical Director of the TAVR Program at Temple University Hospital and Associate Professor of Surgery at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to his roles at Temple University, Dr. Wheatley was an attending Cardiovascular Surgeon at The Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix. He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and completed his Cardiovascular Surgery Residency at The University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Texas in addition to completing a Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Fellowship at The Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Author of over 75 journal articles, including many practice guidelines and invited commentaries, Dr. Wheatley is on the editorial board of several leading medical journals and is committed to research and education in cutting-edge cardiovascular and endovascular surgical procedures. Most recently he has been researching new aortic stent-graft devices and autologous bone marrow cells in chronic limb ischemia and embolic protection systems.

Justin Nifong

Justin is a founder of NK Patent Law and has been working with Ascyrus Medical since inception. He is an active investor and entrepreneur that has helped many companies through acquisition and exit. Justin has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and BS in Physics from UNC-Charlotte, a Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering from NC State, and a Juris Doctorate from the Wake Forest University School of Law.

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