President & Chief Executive Officer
After founding two successful technology startups and dedicating his time to global philanthropy organizations, Jeffrey Brewer was facing the greatest challenge of his life - the diagnosis of his seven-year-old son Sean in 2002. Diabetes would become the new focus for his energy. Known as the “Father of the Artificial Pancreas,” the project he launched in his time as a volunteer, donor, and international Board Member for JDRF, Jeffrey Brewer is perhaps best known in the diabetes community for his time spent serving in the role of JDRF’s CEO from 2011 to 2014.
In the role of CEO of JDRF, Jeffrey forged financial partnerships with industry to drive research and development of insulin delivery and glucose monitoring technologies. He further spearheaded US regulatory reform in the area of automated insulin delivery, and elevated the organization’s strategic priorities to include health care policy, reimbursement, and access to technology for people with T1D. He joined in the founding of Bigfoot because he felt that industry could and should do more in each of these areas, marrying the best of our technologies to automate the management of diabetes, and making it available to the greatest number of people in need.
“People with diabetes don’t want another feature on a pump. They want a different way of living.”
Chief Product Officer
Throughout 2014, rumors circulated in the press that there was a man who had invented his own artificial pancreas system, earning him the nickname “Bigfoot." That elusive mystery man was Bryan Mazlish, a devoted husband and father of three, and an expert in computer science and complex mathematics. “Bigfoot,” as it turns out, was more than myth. The legend was true, and his family has been living since 2013 with automated insulin delivery and a newfound relief from the burdens of T1D.
Bryan previously led a successful career in quantitative finance, first as management in one of the world’s largest securities trading institutions, and subsequently as an entrepreneur, where he founded and led a fully automated trading company. After his son’s diagnosis with T1D in 2011, Bryan focused his efforts in the diabetes technology space where he invented algorithms for predicting glucose values and automating insulin delivery. His wife Sarah and son Sam, both of whom have T1D, have benefited since 2013 from the use of a proof-of-concept device that he created to automate their insulin delivery - the first real-world demonstration of successful use of adaptive insulin delivery algorithms in pediatric and adult settings over an extended period of time.
“For the four years that my family has used the first system I created, diabetes has been so much easier to manage that it's like a different disease."
Chief Financial Officer
Brett joined Bigfoot Biomedical in September 2017, bringing to our team his more than 20 years of experience as a financial professional, more than 15 of which have been in the medical device sector. Brett's strong finance and operations background in life science and medical device provide increased depth and breadth to the management team. He has experience in a range of different environments ranging from start-ups through established profitable businesses. Brett has served as the Chief Financial Officer at Cardiokinetix, Vibrynt, Inc., and Concentric Medical, Inc. Prior to his tenure as CFO for these organizations, Brett held the positions of Sr. Director of Finance & Administration at Concentric Medical, Inc. and Corporate Controller at Emphasys Medical. He spent five years at Guidant Corporation/Boston Scientific in strategic planning, sales finance, financial planning, and internal audit, as well as serving as Assurance Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago. Brett holds a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A. from Indiana University and is also a Certified Public Accountant.
"What strikes me about this team is the passion for creating a comprehensive solution for insulin-requiring diabetes."
VP, Clinical and Medical Affairs
Jen Block brings twenty years of experience in diabetes care and clinical research. As a Nurse Practitioner and Certified Diabetes Educator, Jen has worked to empower people to live well with diabetes. Jen spent over 15 years working as a research coordinator for clinical trials primarily focused on novel diabetes devices including continuous glucose monitors, and a myriad of artificial pancreas systems at Stanford University Medical Center. Jen is passionate about the translation of experience gained in clinical research into advances in clinical care and education.
Prior to joining the team at Bigfoot Biomedical, Jen served as a consultant to a number of diabetes care companies and organizations, including Tandem, Insulet, Dexcom, Becton Dickinson, Abbott Diabetes Care, Unomedical, and Lifescan. Jen leverages her experience in education, clinical care, research, and industry to find innovative ways to evaluate novel therapies, improve diabetes care, and reduce the burdens of diabetes for everyone whose life is touched by this challenging disease.
"Every move I’ve made in my career has been because I thought I could have a bigger impact in diabetes. I believe in Bigfoot because there is nothing that I as an individual can do to make a bigger difference than to be here.”
Many in the diabetes community recognize Lane Desborough as one of the founders of the #WeAreNotWaiting movement, coining the phrase during his work in 2013 as the co-creator of Nightscout, a free / open source CGM remote monitoring system, now used by thousands of families around the globe. Lane has spent twenty years creating customer and business value at Honeywell, GE, and Medtronic in the areas of lean product development, data science, modeling and simulation, automation, human factors, and system safety engineering.
His experience implementing and remotely monitoring control systems in industrial plants enabled him to jump immediately into the fight against T1D when his son Hayden was diagnosed in 2009. Lane joined Medtronic Diabetes in 2010, led the commercialization of Predictive Low Glucose Management, and was subsequently promoted to Chief Engineer, Insulin Delivery / Closed Loop. His worldwide volunteer and outreach work has expanded his perspective on the diabetes challenges faced by families, healthcare professionals, and payers.
"Why would I work on something so trivial as the world's energy problem when I could work on something more impactive to my son and the millions of people living around the world with diabetes?"
VP, Research & Development
Mika spent 22 years at Varian Medical Systems pioneering development of cancer therapies. His educational background is in nuclear and energy physics, including alternative energies (solar, wind power, etc.), but his career has seen him in international management positions in R&D, product management, marketing, program management, and RA/QA. Like Bigfoot’s co-founders, Mika is the father of a child with T1D, as his son was diagnosed at the age of 21 months in 2006.