Catalyst Fellowship Spring 2022

Catalyst partners
VA Innovation Ecosystem

Catalyst advantages


Focused on real-world medical innovation opportunities


Collaboration across medicine, technology, and business


linQ Innovation Method accelerates impact

Experience highlights


New project discovery with high potential to achieve health impact and without the constraints of a single lab or organization.


Process driven by you in a multi-disciplinary team based environment. Past teams have established new lines of research, launched start-ups, and embarked on new career trajectories.


Mentored by a unique network of leading experts in their field from academic research and industry that shortens the time to realize meaningful healthcare outcomes.


A proven MIT linQ Innovation Method that focuses on real-world medical innovation opportunities and accelerates impact.

The first six months


Proof of Need

Proof of Need: Identify and evaluate relevant unmet medical needs by visiting laboratories, talking with clinicians, and exploring the literature.


Proof of Opportunity

Proof of Opportunity: Identify and evaluate a set of possible solutions. Meet with key stakeholders to assess their potential of solving the unmet need.


Project Proposal

Project Proposal: Develop a research project plan  with milestones over a 12-18 month time frame.



Outcome: Portfolio of validated research projects for ongoing mentorship, with real opportunity to transition to the project execution phase, and exploration of funding and commercialization opportunities. Learn more about the Catalyst process

Program details

Participation requirements

January 2022–mid-July 2022:

  • January 3, 2022: First session
  • Availability to meet during program schedule
    • Mondays, 10am-1pm ET, sessions held remotely
    • Three 3-day working sessions, which may involve travel: January 18-20, February 15-17, and May 10-12.
  • Compatibility with current job, training or activity
  • As appropriate, approval of your supervisor
  • See FAQs for more details

After mid-July 2022: 

While the initial commitment is for 6 months, given that the objective is for you and other Fellows to nucleate a new research/innovation project, candidates should consider the feasibility of working beyond the initial 6 months. Practically speaking, the time required will continue to be at least 20%, but many Fellows have found ways to devote more time than that to accelerate their progress. Again, no a priori commitment is expected, but if you are certain that it would be impossible to go beyond the 6 month period, consider holding off your application until there is some possibility of continuing. Feel free to reach out to us to discuss your situation.


    Want to learn more? We have detailed answers to frequently asked questions.

    Read the FAQs

    Want to know more about the VA–MIT partnership in Catalyst and what it means for VA providers?

    Learn more about the VA–MIT partnership

    Still more questions? Email us at

    Spring 2022 Fellows

    Akshar Abbott

    Akshar B. Abbott, MD

    • Ophthalmologist, Veterans Affairs VISN 23 Technology-based Eye Care Service program
    Zack Buono

    Zachary Buono

    • Biomedical Engineer at the US Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center
    Alexandra Buscher

    Alexandra Buscher

    • Senior Manufacturing Engineer, Stryker Neurovascular
    Jake Drutchas

    Jake Drutchas

    • Master’s Candidate, MIT Integrated Design and Management
    Martha Duffy

    Martha Duffy, MD, MPH

    • Interprofessional Advanced Fellow in Addiction Treatment and Primary Care Physician at VA Boston
    Beatriz Garcia Santa Cruz

    Beatriz Garcia Santa Cruz, MsC

    • Doctoral Candidate at the University of Luxembourg
    Mani Sai Suryateja Jammalamadaka

    Mani Sai Suryateja Jammalamadaka

    • Graduate Research Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Smitta Patel

    Smitta Patel, MD, MPH, MBA

    • Chief of Innovation, Department of Mental Health at the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center
    Amos Raymond

    Amos Raymond, MD

    • Assistant Chief, Emergency Department, VA Medical Center, Memphis
    Aparna Repaka

    Aparna Repaka, MBBS

    • Staff Physician, Gastroenterologist, VA Boston Healthcare System
    Debarghya Sarkar

    Debarghya Sarkar, PhD

    • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital
    Jonathan Sherrod

    Jonathan Sherrod, MD

    • Staff Anesthesiologist, Memphis VA Medical Center
    • Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
    • Anesthesiologist, 94th Combat Support Hospital, US Army Reserve
    Sanjit Singh

    Sanjit Singh, BS

    • Mixed Reality Developer, MPLEX

    Spring 2022 Faculty and Independent Advisory Board members will be announced in November 2021.

    Spring 2022 Faculty

    Pamela Bellino

    Pamela Bellino, MA, OTR/L

    • Director of Patient Safety VA Boston Healthcare System
    • Lean Healthcare Black Belt
    • Faculty of the Medicine/Surgery/Psychiatry VA Chief Resident in Quality and Safety (CRQ&S) training program at VA Boston Healthcare System
    • Faculty of the Ambulatory Patient Safety and Quality Improvement (QI) rotation BMC Medicine Resident Program at VA Boston Healthcare System
    Zack Buono

    Eric Bruns, MBA

    • Director, EES SimLEARN Division, VHA Employee Education System
    Stephan Gaehde

    Stephan Gaehde, MD, MPH

    • Boston VA Medical Informatics Fellowship Program Director
    • Boston VA Chief of Emergency Services
    Dimitra Georganopoulou

    Dimitra Georganopoulou, PhD

    • Venture Partner, FundRx
    • Chief Business Officer, MyGenomeRx
    • Director, Women in Bio
    • Formerly with Baxter International
    Roshni Ghosh

    Roshni Ghosh, MD, MPH

    • Executive Director, Center for Care and Payment Innovation, Veterans Health Administration
    Martha Gray

    Martha Gray, PhD

    • J. W. Kieckhefer Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Director, MIT linQ
    Anh Hoang

    Anh Hoang

    • Chief Science Officer at Sofregen
    Jacob Hooker

    Jacob Hooker, PhD

    • Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport MGH Research Scholar
    • Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
    • Director of Radiochemistry, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
    Beth Kahn

    Beth Kahn

    • Associate Director, NE I-Corps at MIT
    Tim Padera

    Timothy Padera, PhD

    • Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
    • Rullo Family MGH Research Scholar
    Anne Quaadgras

    Anne Quaadgras, PhD

    • Director of the MIT Sloan Health Systems Initiative
    • Senior Lecturer at the Sloan School of Management
    Ravi Rasalingam

    Ravi Rasalingam, MBChB

    • Catalyst Alumnus ’19
    • Staff Cardiologist, Medicine/Cardiology, Boston VA Healthsystem
    • Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School
    Indra Sandal

    Indra Sandal, PhD, MBA

    • Director of Innovation at the Memphis VA Medical Center
    • Innovation Strategic advisor, VHA Innovation Ecosystem
    • 2022 VHA Executive Management Fellow
    Pranjul Shah

    Pranjul Shah, PhD

    • Head of the Incubator at the University of Luxembourg
    Andy Shin

    Andy Shin, JD, MPH, MBA

    • Senior Vice President of Strategy at Mass General Brigham
    Suzanne Shirley

    Suzanne Shirley, LCSW

    • Director of Community Engagement & Fellowship with the Veterans Health Administration Innovation Ecosystem (VHA IE)
    Nancy Steele

    Nancy R. Steele

    • Vice President, Strategy & Innovation at Pfizer, retired & Mentor, Entrepreneurship for All
    Iván Uray

    Iván Uray, MD, PhD

    • Senior Research Scientist & Associate Professor, Dept of Oncology, University of Debrecen Hungary
    Ben Vakoc

    Benjamin Vakoc, PhD

    • Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
    • Massachusetts General Hospital Wellman Center for Photomedicine

    Spring 2022 Independent Advisory Board

    Satish Annadata

    Satish Annadata, MD, MPH, MBA

    • Chief Medical Officer of Behavioral Health, UnitedHealthcare Health Plan of Nevada
    • Triple board certified physician in Brain Injury Medicine, Psychiatry, and Addiction Medicine
    Saurabha Bhatnagar

    Saurabha Bhatnagar, MD

    • Chief Health and Innovations Officer, Commure
    Bonnie Charland

    Bonnie Charland, PhD

    • Associate Director of Quality Management, VA Boston Healthcare System
    Heather Davidson

    Heather Davidson, MD

    • Deputy Chief of Staff, VA Boston HCS; Hospitalist
    • Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine
    Melinda Decker

    Melinda Decker

    • Digital Health Advisor and Fractional Chief Commercial Officer
    Samuel “Mooly” Dinnar

    Samuel “Mooly” Dinnar

    • Founder of Meedance
    • Instructor at Harvard and MIT
    • Author of "Entrepreneurial Negotiation"
    Will Febbo

    Will Febbo

    • CEO of OptimizeRx
    Christiana Iyasare

    Christiana Iyasare, MD

    • Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine Innovation Program
    • Co-Founder, Dyrnamix, Inc.
    Angela James

    Angela James, PhD

    • Vice President, Head of Clinical Pharmacology, MacroGenics Inc
    Terry Keane

    Terry Keane, PhD

    • Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development at VA Boston Healthcare System
    • Director of the National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder’s Behavioral Science Division
    Jochen Klucken

    Jochen Klucken, MD

    • Chair of Digital Medicine, University Luxembourg, Luxembourg Institute of Health, Central Hospital Luxembourg
    Daphne Psacharopoulos

    Daphne Psacharopoulos

    • Advisor in Digital Health, Commercialization, and Strategy
    Smithri Sunil

    Jagesh Shah, PhD

    • Vice President, Gene Therapy Technologies at Sana Biotechnology, Inc.
    Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith, MD, PhD

    • Chief Scientific Officer, BD 
    Tonya Smoot, PhD

    Tonya Smoot, PhD

    • Senior Director of Biostatistics for Therapeutics, Inc.
    Barry Stein

    Barry Stein, MD, MBA, FSIR, FACR, RPVI

    • Chief Clinical Innovation Officer at Hartford HealthCare
    Frances Toneguzzo

    Frances Toneguzzo, PhD

    • Intellectual Property and Business Strategy Consultant

    Catalyst projects

    Catalyst projects involve Fellows and their international teams of collaborators. They focus on identifying unmet medical needs that can be addressed by new biomedical technologies. Successful Catalyst projects demonstrate a real potential for healthcare impact.