Our Team

Kunovus Board of Directors

  • Divya Bhargav, M.D. PhD.
    M.D. PhD.

    Divya is the founder and chairwoman of Kunovus Technologies. She has worked as a clinician in Sydney Children Hospital and brought her human development knowledge to help develop unique solution for disc regeneration. Her PhD was in the field of orthopaedic surgery and she also has the unique honor of being mentored by late Adele Bosky and M Bostrom during her research stints in New York.

    Divya has governance training by the AICD and conceptualised and effectively ran the Special Spinal Rehab non operative division of Spine Service from 2002-14 at which point to focus on device commercialization she chose to outlicense the underlying IP. An inventor her unique strengths are in risk assessment and strategic thinking whilst providing effective human resource management service.

  • Shauna Jarrett
    Shauna Jarrett

    Shauna Jarrett is a lawyer and governance specialist.  She is an experienced senior executive and Non-Executive Director with a strong professional background in strategic design and implementation, specialising in governance across the education, legal, arts and community sectors.

  • Stephen Attkins
    Stephen Attkins
    Executive General Manager, EBOS Medical Devices

    Stephen is tasked with the EBOS group expansion into Medical Devices where he is responsible for 

    • Identification of suitable strategic acquisitions
    • Successful business Integration into the EBOS group
    • Identification and sourcing of both new technologies and OEM distribution agencies

    He has extensive commercial sales, marketing and product launch & development experience in medical devices having previously worked in various senior positions over the last 20 years with Baxter Healthcare, Covidien, Medtronic and GE Healthcare. His last role was at GE where he was the country leader for the healthcare business in New Zealand and then the General Manger A/NZ for the diagnostic Imaging business.

    Stephen also has a clinical background in institutional healthcare and has lived and worked in the UK, Australia and New Zealand

Core Team

  • Cameron Dean
    Cameron Dean
    BEng(Hons) DipProfEngPrac
    Production Engineer

    Cameron is a recent graduate with 2 year’s experience in industry. He graduated from the University of Technology Sydney with a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Engineering with First Class Honours and a Diploma in Professional Engineering Practice.

    Cameron is responsible for carrying out in-house manufacturing activities, liaising with suppliers and external contacts for Kunovus.

    Cameron is committed and works to the highest standards to deliver superior outcomes for Kunovus.

  • Dr Esther Apos
    Dr Esther Apos
    Regulatory and Clinical Affairs Lead

    Esther studied biochemistry at Monash University and completed her PhD in immunology and protein chemistry at the University of Melbourne.

    Esther has worked with numerous MedTech and biotech startups in a product development and QA capacity over the past 20 years and set up her own consultancy SciDoc Solutions in 2007.

    In 2019, she partnered with George Loizou, to form CMS SciDoc Pty Ltd, an IVD and medical device compliance consultancy.

    She is also currently scientific affairs director for Ramsey Coote Instruments and the Australian Spine Registry National Manager.

  • Johnathon Choi
    Johnathon Choi
    BEHons(Mechanical), MBiomedE
    Production Manager

    An experienced leader and entrepreneur with over 18 years experience in the medical device industry. He has held multiple management roles across many business functions including Product Development, Manufacturing and Business Development.

    He brings with him years of expertise and solutions, specialising in product development and manufacturing, in particular implantable medical devices, focusing on minimally invasive procedures. He possesses a strong technical background across a broad discipline of devices and holds several international patents and pending applications.

    Johnathon graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Masters in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering with first class honours.

  • Senori Perera
    Senori Perera
    BEng (Biomed) (Hons) Dip in Professional Engineering Practice
    Quality Lead

    Senori is a qualified engineer with 4+ years of experience in technical and research driven roles across the medical device and diagnostic industry. Senori is responsible for the implementation and upkeep of the Kunovus Technologies Quality Management System and liaising with internal/external contractors and stakeholders. She is committed and works diligently to meet the highest standards of product safety and quality in accordance with established ISO standards and applicable regulatory requirements, customer expectations and industry standards. She has successfully identified shortfalls, developed corrective measures, and implemented quality control systems.

    In parallel, Senori is also actively involved in manufacturing and production activities. Senori brings a fresh perspective and a can-do attitude to the Kunovus Team.

  • Xiaolong Chen
    Xiaolong Chen
    PhD, MD, MBBS
    Medical officer

    Dr. Chen is a spine surgeon, with experience in minimally invasive spine surgery. He received his MBBS and MD from the Capital Medical University (Beijing, China) in 2011. He completed his doctoral training in the Department of Orthopaedic at Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital (in 2016, China). He completed his training in spinal surgery at Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital and USC Medical Centre in Los Angeles, California in 2015. In 2018, he joined Spine Labs of UNSW for doctoral training. Dr. Chen has been awarded many international grants, including The International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) traveling fellowship award (clinical fellow at Spine Service, UNSW, Australia), AOSpine clinical research award, NASS traveling fellowship award (fellow at Keck Hospital, USC, USA), International ISSLS Young Investigator Travel Grant, etc.

    Dr. Chen focuses on the efficacy and complications following different surgeries for degenerative spine diseases via big data and database (network meta-analysis, meta-analysis, systematic review, and bioinformatics analysis), biomechanical, radiological, and clinical studies, especially the failures following discectomy surgeries. As an early-stage investigator and surgeon, Xiaolong, brings the scientific rigour to Kunovus' clinical trial.

  • Valerie Followell
    BS Chemi, MBA, RAPS & ASQ Member
    Regulatory Affairs

    Valerie is a results-driven professional with 20+ years in regulated industry with a progressive record of achievement and success. Motivated, enthusiastic problem solver. Proven ability to cultivate and foster solid relationships to meet goals and objectives of the organization. Successfully fostering global, cross-functional collaboration to meet the demands of the business as well as global, federal and state regulatory authorities such as FDA, Health Canada, MOH, EPA, and CPSC. She is Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies.

  • Jyoti Chandra
    Jyoti Chandra
    Diploma of Leadership and Management (Swinburne University)
    Office Manager

    Jyoti has 5+ years’ experience in management role who is highly experienced in operations and administration. Jyoti is dedicated to deliver the best outcomes when it comes to assisting the team with operational roadblocks. Ensuring there is high attention to detail whilst being process driven.

  • Simon Mak
    Simon Mak
    BEHons(Mechanical), MBiomedE
    Lead Engineer

    An experienced engineering professional dedicated to achieving excellence. With over 20 years of industry experience in product development and manufacturing companies of high-quality consumer, medical device and pharmaceutical products. His experiences equip him with a wide knowledge of product development, quality and manufacturing skills within ISO9001, ISO13485 and cGMP quality system companies. Simon graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Master in Biomedical Engineering and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

    A strong leader and project team builder with people at all levels, attention to detail, and a hardworking attitude that empowers him to perform to the best of his ability. Enjoys being part of a team that values contribution to the growth of an organisation and its individuals.

    Simon’s aspiration is to continuously excel with his technical and management skills. Excited with opportunities to design, plan and execute project schedules to derive changes and actions to meet business requirements. He is a strong believer in continuous improvement for everybody and for every company.

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Dr. Ashish Diwan
    Chief Scientific Advisor

    Dr Diwan is a leading spinal surgeon, forms the leadership group for the International Society for the Study of Lumbar Spine, an editorial board member for the leading spinal publication European Spine Journal and a past Merrill Lynch Global Innovation awardee. His area of research explores intervertebral disc regeneration and augmentation of the intervertebral nucleus as a means of preserving the disc function that will lead to solutions for back pain cure. He holds 12 patents in the field and has an h-index of 30 with more than 3000 citations.

    He completed his spine and scoliosis fellowship from Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell University New York NY. Better known as HSS this hospital consistently ranks as the No1 Orthopaedic Hospital in The US and globally remains a matchless institution in the field. Dr Diwan received their most prestigious award, the Phillip D Wilson award during his stay there and currently acts as one of their International Ambassadors.

    He is both process and outcomes focussed not just with his surgery but also with his research and brings these skills to Kunovus the Chief Scientific Advisor. This has allowed for a concept to go through all steps required to get to clinical trials.

  • Dr. Saeed Kohan
    Neurosurgeon & Spinal Surgeon
    St George Hospital & Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney Australia

    Dr. Cohen graduated from the University of New South Wales, and completed his neurosurgical training in Sydney and Melbourne. He then spent a year at St. Vincent’s Hospital for spinal surgery fellowship. Following training in neurosurgery and spine surgery he undertook fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery in Istanbul, Turkey, with Prof. Memet Ozek (past president of European Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery) His current interest is in minimally invasive spine surgery.

  • Safdar Khan, M.D.
    Chief, Division of Spine Dept Orthopeadics Wexner Medical centre. A.Prof, Integrated Systems Engineering
    A.Prof, Orthopaedics Spine Research Institute Columbus, OH USA

    Dr Khan takes care of patients with all conditions affecting the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine including complex degenerative conditions as well as adult and pediatric advanced deformity, which is his area of interest. Prior to clinical orthopaedics and spine surgery, Dr Khan spent 4 years investigating the complexity of spine surgery by performing bench-top and clinical research at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City in the Spine Service under the tutelage of Harvinder S. Sandhu, MD and Joseph M. Lane, MD. This was followed by a 6-year residency at the University of California, Davis, working with Mark Lee, MD.

    Residency was followed by a fellowship at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Thereafter Dr Khan was recruited to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to develop a spine service in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr Khan is the author of over 90 research publications, over 18 book chapters and has presented his research numerous times both nationally and internationally. He is on numerous national committees including the Biologic Implants Committee of the American Academy of Orthoapedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the North American Spine Society (NASS) Biologics Section. He is Section Editor of the Clinical Spine Surgery Journal and a member of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery Research Board. He has received grant support from OREF, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) and Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA). He is currently a member of international and national Spine Societies such as AAOS, CSRS, NASS, ISASS, LSRS and OOS.

  • Dr. Guy Tsafnat
    Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie Univ. Sydney Australia

    Dr. Guy Tsafnat is an experienced entrepreneur and health informatics researchers with over 20 years of experience in AI and related technologies. Guy’s background in IT research and development is combined with experience in health services research and translational medicine to form a complimentary and set of skills not often seen in the healthcare market.

    Guy received his PhD in biomedical engineering from UNSW, and has worked as a senior research fellow at leading universities in Australia. Guy helped grow ten start-ups, half of them as co-founder, both in Australia and in Silicon Valley. Guy authored over 50 peer reviewed papers. He is a co-founder of the international collaboration for the automation of systematic reviews and CEO of Spokade Pty Ltd and Evidentli Pty Ltd. As an academic, innovator and entrepreneur he brings synergistic expertise to the Kunovus board. PhD (Computer Science and Engineering, UNSW); MSc (Computer Science (machine learning), California State University); BSc (Computer Science (cum laude), California State University).

  • Ralph Mobbs, M.D.
    Spinal Neurosurgeon, Prince of Wales Private & Public Hospitals, Sydney, Australia. Director of NeuroSpineClinic
    Chair of the NSURG
    Clinical Associate Professor in Neurosurgery UNSW

    Dr Mobbs is an Australian trained neurosurgeon with an interest in minimally invasive and complex spine surgery. He completed his medical degree in 1993 at the University of New South Wales, Sydney and his Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, in Neurosurgery in 2003. He then worked overseas in Vancouver, Canada – completing further subspecialty training in spine tumours, spinal trauma, and minimally invasive exposures where he has developed new systems, approaches and techniques that are in common use today.

    Dr Mobbs has diverse research interests with numerous publications, presentations at scientific meetings and book chapters. Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Spine Surgery. He completed a Master of Surgery in 2002, gaining the award for his thesis on minimally invasive exposures. He is known as an innovator and key opinion leader in the field of spinal surgery. He shares Kunovus’ frustration about lack of meaningful and substantial advancement in the area of microdiscectomy leading to a failure rate that has not improved over two decades.

  • Dr. Vin Sandhu, M.D. MBA
    Dr. Vin Sandhu
    M.D. MBA
    Clinical Associate Professor, Hospital for Special Surgery
    Weill Medical College, Cornell University, NYC USA

    Dr. Harvinder Sandhu specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, endoscopic spine surgery, microsurgery, computer-assisted surgery, and the study and use of spinal biologics. He completed his training in spinal surgery at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California and was subsequently Chief of the Spinal Surgery Service at UCLA until 1997. At that time, he was recruited to join the staff at Hospital for Special Surgery.

    Dr. Sandhu has more than 75 peer reviewed scientific publications in areas such as biologic enhancement of spinal surgery and novel minimally invasive management of spinal disorders. He has received research awards from the North American Spine Society, the Orthopaedic Research Society, and the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, including the prestigious Volvo Award in Spinal Research.

    In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Sandhu is actively engaged in the research, development, and invention of a variety of medical devices and instruments used in spinal surgery. He holds several patents involving the diagnosis and treatment of spinal disorders. He has been closely involved with the Kunovus device development plan and has been the key champion in discussions with the FDA.

  • Dr. Andy Carter, Phd
    Dr. Andy Carter
    Consultant Gastroenterologist
    Emblem House, London Bridge Hospital, London UK

    Andy is CTO at TheraCell and has more than 30 years leadership experience in the medical device industry and is an expert in orthobiologics, orthopaedics, and biomaterials with more than 30 US patents and patent applications.

    Previous experience includes, founder and President of Accent Biomedical, a provider of innovation services, and CTO at Anika Therapeutics, NASDAQ listed developer of hyaluronic acid based products for orthopedics, ophthalmics and aesthetic dermatology. Former Vice President R&D and General Manager at Spine Wave Inc. a Connecticut based start up spine company. There he was responsible for development of injectable nucleus replacement and other motion preserving technologies. Andy spent over twenty years at Smith & Nephew, both in the US and UK. As Group Director of R&D at Smith & Nephew Endoscopy in Boston, USA he led 80+ engineers developing implants, RF and mechanical resection systems, fluid management systems for arthroscopy and endoscopy applications. As Program Manager for Orthopedics and Endoscopy and Head of Materials Research at Smith & Nephew's Group Research Center in York, UK he formulated and led long term research programs in orthopedics, spine and endoscopy, setting up joint ventures in tissue engineering and collaborative research programs with numerous universities.

Disclaimer: The Kunovus System and the Kunovus Disc Device are not approved in any jurisdiction for clinical use. The System and the Device are investigational only at this stage and not available for commercial sale.