At Health Advances, we’re passionate about healthcare. We don’t just work with the industry, we’re part of the industry. Our leaders sit on boards. We’ve started companies and worked in business, scientific, technical, medical, and investment environments. The result is an unsurpassed level of industry understanding and knowledge that informs every project.

Advisors Skip Irving and Marie Schiller

Mark Speers

Partner and Managing Director

Mark has been advising senior medtech executives for 30 years. He co-founded Health Advances in 1992 after gaining ten years of strategy consulting experience in the healthcare industry as a Partner at Bain & Company, an international management consulting firm.

At Health Advances, Mark works extensively with clients to evaluate the commercial potential and develop market launch strategies for new medical devices and diagnostics. He also offers expertise in mergers and acquisitions work for strategic and financial buyers, having now contributed to over $75 billion in client transactions. He serves on the Advisory Boards of Water Street Healthcare Partners and Radius Ventures. He served on the Board of Directors of MassMEDIC for six years. Mark is a strong advocate for the industry through his work with AdvaMed and MDMA as well as frequent speaking engagements and publications.

Mark graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with a degree in engineering and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he was honored as an Arjay Miller Scholar.

Paula Ness Speers

Partner and Managing Director

Paula co-founded Health Advances over 25 years ago, and continues to lead senior level client engagements focused on strategies to evaluate and optimize the value of developmental and marketed products and services, business units and companies in the healthcare arena.

She leads Health Advances’ Private Equity and Diligence Practice, the Global Orthopedics Practice and the firm’s Eye Care Sector Practice Specialty. She is deeply involved in leading Comparative Effectiveness and Pricing/Reimbursement/Market Access projects for clients, as well as developing overall growth strategies for companies and new products in development. She is also committed to applying Health Advances’ skills and expertise in the firm’s rapidly expanding HIT practice.

Paula works with clients of all sizes across the device, therapeutics, diagnostics, health IT, and services sectors, as well as with investors and non-profit organizations participating in these sectors. She brings strong quantitative skills to bear on projects, while applying her 32+ years of strategy, project management and client advisory skills to ensure insightful and actionable results. Paula has also played a leading role in designing and helping to build Health Advances’ Knowledge Management function and process. This includes the development of proprietary databases and analytic tools, as well as the codification of external and internal healthcare resources and knowledge, which enable the firm to provide the most insightful, data-driven and efficient insights on all of its projects.

Paula started her strategy consulting career at Bain & Company where she led engagements across a range of industries, including healthcare, with a particular focus on technology-driven businesses, manufacturing, and international ventures. Prior to business school, she served as a Tuberculosis (TB) Control worker with the US Peace Corps in South Korea, followed by work with Samsung Shipbuilding and the Atlantic Richfield Northern Light Project at Daewoo Shipbuilding Company, also in South Korea.

Paula graduated from Dartmouth College with honors in International Government. She received her MBA from Columbia University, where she earned Beta Gamma Sigma honors and was an International Fellow.

Susan A. Posner


Susan A. Posner co-leads the Medtech Practice Group at Health Advances, where she has worked on over 150 project engagements, with a wide variety of clients ranging from small start-ups to some of the largest public companies in the industry.

Susan’s work with these companies has helped to optimize the value of products and technologies through extensive market evaluations, due diligence of M&A opportunities, and the development of strategies for sales and marketing efforts. She has extensive experience in the device sector, including minimally invasive and interventional products, in addition to combination products and clinical areas focusing on women’s health, anesthesiology and pain management. Susan has published articles in a number of industry journals including a recent Medtech Insight article focusing on the value proposition for medtech products and is currently a director on the MassMEDIC board.

Prior to joining Health Advances in 2000, Susan worked at Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the areas of business development, marketing, and product management. Susan’s high technology experience also includes Molten Metal Technology, Inc. Susan earned her BA in General Science with a minor in Business and Managerial Economics from Brandeis University.

Andrew Funderburk


Andrew is a leader of Health Advances’ biopharma practice. He specializes in helping companies formulate development, commercialization, and lifecycle management strategies to grow the value of products and franchises.

Andrew has led over one hundred projects for global biopharmaceutical companies, start-up biotechs, private equity investors, healthcare service businesses, and nonprofits. His therapeutic area experience spans oncology, autoimmune diseases, pulmonology, CNS diseases, gastroenterology, critical care, and many orphan conditions. He is also an expert in drug distribution for specialty products and has worked with drug manufacturers and pharmacies on their distribution channel strategies. In his nonprofit work, Andrew has assisted the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the National Parkinson Foundation with major strategic planning projects.

Andrew joined Health Advances in 2005 with a strong background in corporate strategy, finance, and strategic planning. Prior to Health Advances, Andrew worked with Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School on business strategy and healthcare policy, and with Monitor Group, where he split his time between the Pharmaceutical and Corporate Finance practices. He also worked in Genentech’s internal strategic planning group. Andrew earned an AB in economics, summa cum laude, and a minor in operations research from Princeton University, and an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School.

Sheela Hegde


Sheela Hegde is a leader in Health Advances’ biopharma practice, helping companies maximize the value of their assets and build winning market positions.

Experienced in multiple therapeutic areas, she has particular expertise in metabolic and autoimmune diseases. Sheela brings a cross-sector lens to her biopharma clients, providing strategic advice on integrated solutions and convergent products.

Sheela joined Health Advances in 2005 with a background in corporate strategy and health care provider operations. Prior to Health Advances, Sheela worked at The Advisory Board where she managed client relationships and led research teams in areas related to hospital care delivery and new payment models. She also worked at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in the Cardiovascular Business Franchise.

Sheela earned a BA in human biology with university distinction and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Vivek Mittal, PhD


Vivek leads Health Advances’ San Francisco office and is focused on building Health Advances’ expertise in translational medicine through his work across therapeutics, diagnostics, and life science tools.

This broad exposure allows Vivek to leverage his scientific background to help companies across the spectrum of discovery, development, and commercialization of novel technologies. A core component of Vivek’s work is in opportunity identification, either for new platform technologies or for companies seeking to expand into new markets. Experienced in multiple therapeutic areas, he has particular expertise in immunology, oncology, ophthalmology, and orphan disease.

Prior to his work at Health Advances, Vivek earned his PhD in Molecular Cell Biology at Washington University in Saint Louis, studying G-protein regulation. While at WashU, Vivek founded the BioEntrepreneurship Core (BEC), a program designed to introduce life science students to the drug development process. BEC was a awarded a Kauffman Grant and has gone on to train many like-minded students.

Vivek received a BA in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and an MA in Biotechnology from Boston University.

Donna Hochberg, PhD


Donna Hochberg joined Health Advances in 2005 and leads the firm’s Diagnostics and Life Science Tools Practice, a global practice which combines her consulting and scientific experience to provide results-oriented commercialization strategies for her clients.

Her work includes application and R&D prioritization, launch strategy, corporate strategy and portfolio optimization, deal diligence, international and domestic market analysis using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, and pricing and reimbursement strategies. Her clients offer products and services in personalized medicine, point-of-care, mainstream clinical diagnostic, and life science tools and range from small diagnostics and tools start-ups to the largest public companies and non-profit institutions in the industry.

Prior to joining Health Advances, Donna worked as a scientist at One Cell Systems and Iquum developing diagnostics for oncology and infectious diseases. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her PhD in Immunology from the Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University.

Karen E. Gershman, CPA

Partner and Chief Operating Officer

Karen joined Health Advances in 2011 as a Certified Public Accountant with over 25 years in managerial, operational and financial management in both the public and private sectors.

Prior to joining Health Advances, Karen served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ $60 billion Pension Reserves Investment Management Board.

As Health Advances Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Karen oversees and directs all of the administrative functions and infrastructure necessary to deliver the highest quality product to our clients. Karen earned her BA in Business Administration from Merrimack College.

Tracy Walters

Vice President

At Health Advances, Tracy works with a wide variety of medical device clients ranging from small start-ups to some of the largest public companies in the industry. She has particular expertise in product forecasting, financial modeling, and international markets.

Prior to joining Health Advances in 2006, Tracy worked at the Equinox Group where she advised pharmaceutical companies on the commercial outlook of developmental agents to support licensing and product development decisions. She also worked at Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems on internal consulting projects for various Johnson & Johnson operating companies, including both medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

Tracy earned a BS in statistics from Lehigh University, and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business with an emphasis in Corporate Strategy.

Wyatt A. Gotbetter

Vice President

Wyatt brings 20 years of life sciences experience to Health Advances, and joined the firm after a successful career leading teams in strategy development, product and portfolio management, and new product commercialization in the biopharma and medtech industries.

Wyatt helps lead Health Advances’ Biopharma practice and focuses on commercial growth and business development strategies for therapeutics and their convergence with med tech in our Digital Health and Drug Delivery work.

Immediately prior to joining Health Advances, Wyatt worked at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he advised global biopharma and medtech clients and led teams in growth and product launch strategies, M&A integration, and organizational optimization. He previously worked at Biogen as the Head of New Product Commercialization, developing clinical and commercial strategies for pipeline programs in neurology, immunology and oncology, while supporting corporate and business development activities. Earlier, at Boston Scientific Corporation, Wyatt created and led a new function to achieve market access with US commercial health plans, supporting launches across their portfolio and business units.

Wyatt earned a BS in Economics/Policy Analysis and an MPA, both from Cornell University, where he also earned a certificate from the Sloan Graduate Program in Health Services Management.

Gary Gustavsen

Vice President

Gary Gustavsen joined Health Advances in 2005 and leads the Personalized Medicine Practice at Health Advances.

A noted writer and workshop leader in the field of companion diagnostics and personalized medicine, his work focuses on commercialization strategy, indication prioritization, pricing and reimbursement strategy, and business development opportunities for both diagnostic and therapeutic clients.

Prior to joining Health Advances, Gary worked as a research assistant at Brookhaven National Lab evaluating a proprietary line of synthetic growth factors. Gary also worked in the Cell & Tissue Technologies group at Becton Dickinson, the Exploratory Cancer Research group at OSI Pharmaceuticals, and most recently the Corporate Strategy group at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Gary received his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and his Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University.

Julia A. Gaebler, PhD

Vice President

Julia has accumulated over 15 years of experience in Global Market Access, Health Technology Assessment requirements, health economics, outcomes research, health policy, and health services research in both the biopharma industry and academic research.

A mathematical modeler by training, she applies Health Advances’ Market Access and Health Economic functional expertise across biopharma, medtech, diagnostics and HIT clients.

Immediately prior to joining Health Advances, Julia worked at Biogen as Senior Director, Global Medical Outcomes Strategy where she provided strategic leadership and technical health outcomes expertise to ensure that medical product strategies and tactics anticipated the evolving demands of the global payer landscape. At Biogen she was also Director, Global Market Access where she built and managed a team of Health Economics and Outcomes Researchers (HEOR) responsible for payer value evidence development for the Company’s late stage development products. In that capacity Julia led the global reimbursement and market access launches for TECFIDERA and FAMPYRA for Multiple Sclerosis. Julia has also held related positions at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Hoffmann-La Roche, and the RAND Corporation where she supported payer and ‘Real World Evidence’ development for Phase II/III products in Diabetes, Obesity, HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis.

Julia holds a Doctorate in Health Policy and Decision Analysis from Harvard University, a Masters in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She has held Adjunct Faculty positions at UCSD Division of Global Public Health and at the RAND Corporation and has published many articles on health technology assessment in journals such as Nature, Health Services Research, Diabetes Medicine, and Plos Medicine.

Andrew Matzkin

Vice President

Andrew joined Health Advances in San Francisco in 2009 and leads our Health IT and Digital Health Practice. He specializes in working with companies and investors in digital health, health IT, and the life sciences to develop strategies for development and commercialization of digital solutions. His areas of emphasis include connected devices and diagnostics, patient monitoring, digital disease management, real world data, and big data analytics across a wide range of technologies and therapeutic areas.

In over a decade consulting to healthcare technology companies, Andrew has developed wide-ranging expertise across the healthcare landscape. In acute care, his experience includes transcatheter devices, implantable devices, bedside monitoring technologies, in-vitro and molecular diagnostics, and hospital pharmacy and supply solutions. His outpatient experience includes radiation oncology systems and software, dialysis instruments, point-of-care diagnostics, and consumable supplies for a wide range of ambulatory care venues.

Prior to Health Advances, Andrew was a Consultant at Bain & Company and Axia Limited, focusing on supply chain strategy, operational efficiency, cost reduction, and merger integration. He also worked at Novartis in the global cardiovascular-metabolic franchise.

Andrew holds a BA from Yale University, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was honored as a Baker Scholar.

Dr. Claudia Graeve

Vice President

Claudia brings over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry – both as a consultant and as a line manager – to her role leading Health Advances’ European Practice. Based in Zug, Switzerland, Claudia oversees all of Health Advances research in European markets and is responsible for many European client relationships.

Claudia most recently led the Medical Affairs and Technology functions at Anteis SA, a biotechnology company with biopolymers for aesthetic, orthopedic, and ophthalmic applications. Previously, Claudia focused largely on international strategic planning and marketing with senior executive positions at Johnson&Johnson and Stryker with responsibilities for the EMEA, Africa, and Asia Pacific.

Claudia started her career as a management consultant for Arthur D. Little AG and has run Graeve Consulting Sarl as an independent consultant across the biopharma and medtech sectors.

Claudia earned her Master of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Münster (Westfälische Wilhelmsuniversität), in Münster, Germany, graduating in the Top 5% of her class. She then received her PhD in Organic Chemistry from the same university, earning magna cum laude honors. She later earned her MBA at the Bocconi School of Management in Milan.

A true pan-European executive, Claudia has lived and worked in the UK, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany. She speaks German, English, French, and Italian fluently and has proficiency in Spanish and Portuguese.

Sheldon Ng

Vice President

Sheldon joined Health Advances as a leader in the Health Advances’ biopharma practice. He specializes in commercial strategy, portfolio management, brand planning, global operations, business insights, lifecycle management and organizational development.

Sheldon has deep experience in personalized healthcare, oncology, immunology, respiratory, ophthalmology, rare and orphan diseases, and tissue and molecular diagnostics. Throughout his career Sheldon has worked across multiple healthcare business strategy disciplines and in various geographic regions.

Prior to joining Health Advances, Sheldon was a Vice President with Promidian Consulting, where he headed the Bay Area consulting practice and led the growth of the firm by partnering with a broad range of clients on a diverse set of healthcare issues. His leadership was recognized when he was promoted from the Director role in less than a year. Sheldon was also a Manager with the IMS Consulting Group, where he led strategic projects on organizational transformations to drive stronger brand performance, engage emerging stakeholders, and plan for outstanding product launches. He received the inaugural 2012 IMS Health CEO Award for superior teamwork, performance, and results. Additionally, Sheldon was selected for an international assignment to support and market practice offerings in the Asia Pacific region.

During his career, Sheldon has held product management, business development, and research scientist roles at various biotechnology companies. He has guest lectured at UC Berkeley and has authored articles on the California biomedical industry. Sheldon holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, where he majored in marketing, health enterprise management, and management and strategy. He also holds a BA from Cornell University in biological sciences and a minor in philosophy.

Kate McLaughlin, PhD

Vice President

Kate McLaughlin joined the Health Advances team in 2009 and works across the Therapeutics and Diagnostics/Life Science Tools practices.

She has expertise in supporting the development and launch of novel therapeutics and diagnostic technologies through voice of the customer analysis, competitive landscape assessment, and scenario-based forecasting.

Prior to joining Health Advances, Kate received a PhD in Immunology from Harvard University, where her research focused on developing immunoassays to detect and characterize rare and low-affinity autoantibodies specific for native myelin antigens in multiple sclerosis. She received a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Case Western Reserve University.