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The Forsyth Institute announces two new Board members

Cambridge, Mass. – The Forsyth Institute, with its mission of improving oral and overall health through research, innovation, and community outreach, recently appointed two new members to its Board of Directors. Stephanie Hsieh and Dr. Charles Bridges bring to the board a diverse scope of expertise with a strong focus on technology development. Their appointment to the Board aligns with Forsyth’s major goal of delivering new oral health solutions to the public.

Stephanie Hsieh is the executive director of Biocom California’s Los Angeles office, a non-profit trade association for the California life science industry. She is also a member of the Board at Meditope Biosciences, Inc., a privately held preclinical stage immuno-oncology company, where she previously served as CEO. In this role, Stephanie set the strategic and commercial direction for the company, securing significant funding, building transformational partnerships, and providing operational leadership.

Hsieh joins Forsyth’s Board of Directors with 30 years of experience working in the biotechnology field. She said her expertise can be leveraged to help Forsyth harness its existing strengths and expand its efforts in the oral health technology development space.

“There is so much untapped innovation and potential in dental tech that affects not just oral health, but our general health,” Hsieh said. “With Forsyth being right in the center of Kendall Square—one of the largest biotech hubs in the world—I think all the synergies and things that happen in that ecosystem, along with the disciplined and careful planning of the strategy behind the institute, will help reap some nice wins for Forsyth, as well as general oral health and public health.”

Hsieh served as a judge for the presentation competition at Forsyth dentech, the leading oral health technology conference aiming to accelerate innovation and launch new ventures in the oral health space.

Dr. Charles R. Bridges, MD, ScD, is Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of CorVista Health, Inc., a digital health company dedicated to improving cardiovascular disease diagnosis. In this role, Charles leads the scientific and clinical development of the CorVista System for commercialization. He was previously Chief Technology Officer for the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Hypertension Therapeutic Areas and Head of Cross-Enterprise Innovation for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Bridges also served as the worldwide scientific lead for investments and acquisitions for the Cardiovascular and Neurovascular business units within Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices. He was also Co-founder of CardioMyogen, LLC., a biotechnology company developing novel gene therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as well as Chief Medical Advisor for MindMics, Inc., an emerging tech company.

In addition to his deep expertise in business and technology development, Dr. Bridges has had a long and successful academic and medical career. He was previously Full Professor of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital, and Professor and Chairman of Cardiovascular, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery within Carolina’s HealthCare System. He has authored more than 180 peer-reviewed publications, developed 15 patents (issued and pending), and received $10 million in continuous National Institutes of Health research funding for nearly two decades. Dr. Bridges was appointed to the United States National Academy of Engineering this month.

Dr. Bridges said his experience positions him to help advise the Forsyth leadership team on how to diversify funding for the organization, especially in the technology development space.

“Being able to couple the innovation that’s happening at Forsyth with some knowledge of venture, private equity, and industry, and all those sources of funding—that’s where I see synergy between what Forsyth wants to do and what I’ve seen happen,” Dr. Bridges said. “On the other hand, I also have the experience of writing NIH grants and doing the science, and figuring out how to bridge those two worlds, which often don’t talk very well to each other.”

Forsyth’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Wenyuan Shi, PhD, has led the Institute through a new era of growth, including the establishment of a new three-pillared strategic plan focused on biological research, clinical service and public health outreach, and technological innovation. He said the addition of Hsieh and Dr. Bridges to Forsyth’s Board of Directors gives the organization a new competitive advantage in oral health innovation.

“Forsyth is incredibly fortunate to benefit from the collective wisdom of Stephanie and Charles, with their impressive careers and history of success in business development and biotech,” said Dr. Shi. “They offer fresh perspectives to complement our outstanding Board of Directors, and they are committed to helping Forsyth achieve its public health mission. We are lucky to have them on our team.”

Elyse D. Cherry, CEO of BlueHub Capital, President of the Boston Community Venture Fund, and Chair of Forsyth’s Board of Directors, recruited both Dr. Bridges and Hsieh to join the Board, recognizing that their unique expertise would bring value to the Institute.

“Charles and Stephanie each embody the mission of the Forsyth Institute, with their entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to improving public health,” said Cherry. “I was thrilled when they both enthusiastically accepted my invitation to join the board and look forward to their contributions.”

Both Hsieh and Dr. Bridges join Forsyth’s Board of Directors eager to learn more about oral health—a field new to them, but with strong connections to their areas of expertise. They each emphasized the importance of oral health to other systems of the body. “Increasingly, we’re learning how integral the microbiome is, and that the oral cavity is the gateway to the microbiome in many ways in the human body,” Dr. Bridges said. “I think the oral cavity probably has a much larger role in overall health than we ever appreciated previously.”

About The Forsyth Institute
The Forsyth Institute, founded in 1910, is the world’s leading independent research institution focused on oral health and its connection to overall wellness. Forsyth began as a pediatric dental hospital serving disadvantaged children in the Boston area. Today, the Institute is grounded in a 3-pillared strategic plan focused on biological research, clinical service and public health outreach, and technological innovation. Forsyth carries out its original mission through a mobile public health dental program called ForsythKids. The Institute convenes thoughts leaders in the oral health technology innovation space each year through its Forsyth dentech conference.

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