Our story started when Dr. Nao Gamo and Dr. Amir Manbachi met at the local I-Corps program at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gamo was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Molecular Psychiatry Program, looking to jump headfirst into translational research and build something that directly helped patients with brain disorders. Dr. Manbachi, as the only biomedical engineer in the Department of Neurosurgery, was turning cutting edge research and ideas from neurosurgeons into reality. Based on Dr. Manbachi’s invention for a novel therapeutic ultrasound device for minimally invasive neurosurgery, we founded NeuroSonics Medical in 2018.
Knowing how much and yet how little we still understand about the brain, we are well aware of the frustrations of patients with brain disorders who are trying, even for years, to find a treatment that works. This is why we are passionate about our company’s mission to provide a personalized approach to brain surgery without the traditional risks, and we are driven to translate brain research into technologies that impact patients’ wellbeing.
NeuroSonics Medical is a portfolio company at the MDC Studio, Inc., a startup studio dedicated to building health and medical technology companies from the earliest stages. NeuroSonics Medical is a woman- and minority-owned company in an Opportunity Zone in Baltimore City, contributing to economic growth in a historically economically distressed region.
Nao J. Gamo, PhD
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Gamo has led NeuroSonics Medical since incorporation. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she spent 15 years as an academic researcher in neuroscience and psychiatry, with a focus on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment related to psychiatric disorders. She was also an Adjunct Assistant Research Engineer and Research Associate in Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University, where she worked to develop the NeuroSonics Medical technology. She completed undergraduate degrees in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a PhD in Neurobiology from Yale University, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Molecular Psychiatry Program at the Johns Hopkins University.
Amir Manbachi, PhD
Lead Inventor, Technical Advisor
Dr. Manbachi is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. He is also a Co-Director of the HEPIUS Innovation Laboratory, where he leads the development of novel ultrasound devices for spinal cord injury patients. He is the former Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Spinesonics Medical Inc., in which he commercialized an ultrasound imaging-guided device for spine surgery based on his PhD thesis at the University of Toronto.
Joon-Yi Kang, MD
Dr. Kang is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and epileptologist at the Johns Hopkins University. Her clinical focus is on drug-resistant epilepsy, and her research interests include minimally invasive techniques for epilepsy surgery. As an active participant in clinical trials in the field, she is highly familiar with the range of surgical techniques available to patients with epilepsy, as well as current unmet needs.
Gil Blankenship, PhD
Dr. Blankenship is the Founder and Chairman of the MDC Studio, and a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland. Over his career, he has built and sold several technology companies, including TRX Systems, E14 Technologies, and Techno-Sciences, which have taken numerous products to market. He is also a Co-founder of Sonosa Medical, which develops ultrasound devices to diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnea.
Stephen Restaino, PhD
Dr. Restaino is the Director of Engineering and a Partner at the MDC Studio, where he manages and develops an array of medical devices. He is also a Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sonosa Medical, where he develops ultrasound devices to diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnea. He previously worked at the US Food and Drug Administration to study the physiological and regulatory implications of implantable nerve stimulators. Thus, he has a broad skillset in biomedical engineering, as well as experience throughout the biomedical commercialization pathway.