Restoring one of our five senses, in this case, touch.
The stakes are immense (1 in 1000 people are affected yearly by a peripheral nerve injury!) and the origins are diverse: traumatic accident, cancer, amputation, and many others.
And solutions to this problem have long needed to be improved.
Karen Zaderej and her team at Axogen have set themselves the goal of changing this situation, by proposing new ways of treating nerves, taking advantage of their regenerative potential.
A chemical engineer by training, Karen began her career at Johnson & Johnson in its surgical solutions subsidiary, ETHICON.
With 17 years of experience in roles ranging from manufacturing to product development and sales, she decided to leave her corporate career behind.
In 2006 she joined a Floridian start-up in its infancy, developing a new type of medical device enabling nerves to regenerate, still at the prototype stage and not yet tested on humans.
A company that has become a world leader in the development of cutting-edge nerve repair solutions, listed on the stock exchange and now employs over 400 people.
In this new episode, we delve into the world of peripheral nerves, the source of our physical and motor sensations, and their formidable regenerative capacities.
You will learn about:
How our nerves work and current approaches to repairing them
Phantom pain, how to explain it, and how to treat it
How women today can regain sensation in their breasts following a mastectomy
The journey of a remarkable woman entrepreneur who has made addressing nerve damage her life mission
Prepare to be nervously amazed as we unravel the secrets of touch restoration!
00:03:00 - Karen’s background as a nerve evangelist
00:07:35 - Key evolutions in medical technology that Karen witnessed
00:10:42 - What Karen learned at J&J that shaped the rest of her career
00:15:43 - What attracted Karen to Axogen and the potential of their technology
00:20:40 - Scaling up a medical device company from a very early stage onwards
00:23:15 - How Axogen enables nerve repair
00:27:18 - Bringing an answer to phantom pain
00:30:47 - The main indication areas covered by Axogen
00:38:31 - What the future of nerve repair might look like
What we also talked about with Karen:
We cited with Karen some of the past episodes from the series:
As mentioned by Karen during the episode, you can find out more about clinical research in peripheral nerve repair through the complete library of published papers curated by the company.
If you want to get in touch with Karen, feel free to contact her over LinkedIn.
If you liked the episode, please share it, subscribe to the podcast, and leave a 5-star review on streaming platforms!