University of Minnesota


Earl E. Bakken
Medical Devices Center

Innovation Fellows Leadership


Dr. Joseph Hale is an independent medical device consultant with expertise in new product and business development. His experience includes various roles - including biomechanical test design, US/OUS regulatory support and market analysis - with several start-up and early stage medical device companies, including Raymedica, Spineology and Conventus Orthopaedics. He is also an alumnus of the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center Innovation Fellows Program at the University of Minnesota.

Joseph received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, an MS in Bioengineering from Clemson University, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Iowa. In addition to the University of Minnesota fellowship in Medical Device Innovation, Joseph completed a post-doctoral fellowship in rehabilitation engineering/wheelchair mobility at the University of Virginia, where he discovered his passion for innovation as well as teaching and mentoring students. In the years since, he has taught in undergraduate and graduate engineering programs and orthopaedic surgery residency training programs at the University of Virginia and the University of Minnesota, as well as in the University of Minnesota program in physical therapy. He currently directs the three-semester practicum for the University of Minnesota Technology Leadership Institute's master's degree program in Medical Device Innovation.

Joseph is a co-inventor on four issued patents, with additional applications pending. He has authored 12 peer-reviewed publications, as well as several book chapters, and is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Biomechanics, and the Orthopaedic Research Society. Joseph is also actively involved in his community as a member of the National Ski Patrol, a Captain/EMT with the Maplewood Fire Department and a volunteer adult leader for the Boy Scouts of America.

Joseph was a member of the Inaugural Class of the Innovation Fellows Program of 2008-2009.

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Gwenyth Fischer is a pediatric critical care physician at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital PICU and CVICU. She is also an alumnus of the Medical Device Innovation Fellows Program at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Fischer founded and currently directs the Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium (PDIC), a group focused on getting pediatric technologies to market. She has been a co-inventor on several adult and pediatric medical devices and currently acts as the clinical advisor for the Earl E. Bakken Medical Device Center fellows program.

Gwen was a part of the of the Innovation Fellows Program 3rd Class from 2010-2011.



Associate Director of Entrepreneurship & Medicine

Danny is a physician entrepreneur. He founded or co-founded several device companies that have attracted venture capital funding, including Respicardia, Amphora, Mainstay Medical, and Kspine.

He was a venture capital investor with Investor Growth Capital and Spray Venture Partners, and served as a director on the boards of ten health care companies. He was previously an Instructor in Medicine in the Division of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Danny holds over 30 patents or applications across a variety of therapeutic areas. He earned BA and MD degrees from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


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