Michael Lesh, MD

Executive Director, Health Technology Innovation
Catalyst

Michael D. Lesh, MD is a physician, scientist and entrepreneur. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science and Bioengineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before entering medical school at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).

He is currently Executive Director of Health Technology Innovation in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Business Development, Innovation and Partnership at UCSF whose mission is to commercialize the University's research and inventions. Dr. Lesh focuses on high value digital health and medical device opportunities, mentors entrepreneurs and start-ups, and has ultimate responsibility for the  Catalyst program, UCSF’s translational accelerator.

After completing Internal Medicine training at UCSF and Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the faculty at UCSF, where he was Chief of Cardiac Electrophysiology. Dr. Lesh's research spanned a wide range from bench to bedside. He pioneered a number of procedures for catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias, and is the author of over 300 scientific papers, book chapters and books. Dr. Lesh holds over 200 patents issued or pending, including the fundamental method for pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) for atrial fibrillation, and left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) to prevent stroke.

Since 1997, Dr. Lesh has founded a number of medical device companies based on his inventions. Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) acquired his first venture, Atrionix, developer of a novel ultrasound ablation catheter for PVI in AF.

Dr. Lesh founded and was Chairman and CEO of Mitralife, which developed a catheter-based treatment for mitral valve disease and CHF; and Appriva, which developed PLAATO, a percutaneous trans-catheter device for preventing stroke. Mitralife and Appriva were acquired by ev3, Inc. and subsequently Medtronic. He was the founder and CEO of Evera Medical, which developed novel implants for plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Lesh was founder, Chairman and CEO of Middle Peak Medical (acquired by Symetis SA), which is developing a percutaneous implant to replace surgery for mitral regurgitation.

He is, or has been, on the Board of Directors of HeartScape Technologies (acquired by Roper), Stentys (IPO as STNT), Abate, Inc. (break-through biologic for atopic dermatitis), Sira Medical (futuristic augmented reality for surgical planing), and Cordance Medical (open BBB for treatment of brain disease). Dr. Lesh serves as a mentor to numerous entrepreneurs and participates as an “angel" investor in early stage companies across the healthcare space.