About Us

Our Story

Forest Devices is a medical device startup located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We are the creators of ALPHASTROKE, the first stroke and Large Vessel Occlusion (LVO) detection device that can potentially be used by first responders to triage patients directly to the right hospital.

By re-purposing established technology, our team is developing a novel and objective stroke detection method. It would enable early and fast triage so stroke patients go to the appropriate level of care. The gold-standard of treatments are time-limited and early interventions increase effectiveness. With missed interventions annually due to inadequate stroke detection and triage, we are determined to become the new standard of care.

All of our team members have been impacted by stroke to friends or family members. At Forest Devices, we will change the way the world approaches stroke detection.

Objective
Non-Invasive
Easy to Use
Fast
Durable
Safe

The Team

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Matt Kesinger

Chief
Executive Officer

Matt was EMT in Boston, MA for two years where he learned firsthand how hard it can be to diagnose a stroke with just a clinical exam. While attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and afterwards, conducted and published research on the difficulties of pre-hospital providers diagnosing stroke. He was part of the team that conducted the largest US study on identification of large vessel occlusive strokes in the pre-hospital environment. His years of work on this problem led him to create ALPHASTROKE. In order to develop and bring it to market, Matt co-founded Forest Devices with Dan and Steve.

Click here to view Matt's published research
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Dan Willis

Chief
Technology Officer

Dan received his B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University. He started his career at Mine Safety Appliances working with portable and fixed gas detectors. There Dan developed his skill sets in software and hardware engineering. More impactful was his connection to solving real problems for those who need it most. In his experience working with the firefighting, oil and gas, and mining industries he realized how rewarding it is to make products that directly impact a person’s quality of life. While at MSA, Dan was chosen to lead the Electrical Engineering Community of Practice, and founded an engineering hacking group. In both roles he developed tools and teams that were recognized by senior management for rapid development, ultimately implementing his best practices across engineering groups.

With his entrepreneurial spirit, Dan cofounded Forest Devices and is CTO. In this position, he uses his skills and leadership to push ALPHASTROKE to market. Dan is especially interested in reviving engineering as a career of innovation. He volunteers at local Middle and High Schools for various STEM projects to promote the sciences.

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Steve Morrow

Chief
Financial Officer

Steve has spent over half of his 15 years experience in strategy, market analysis, project analysis, and operations in the Life Sciences industry. Before joining Forest Devices, Steve was the Director of Corporate Strategic Development at Mylan. He started his career as a Project Manager and Account Manager at Ariba. After receiving his MBA at The Wharton School, he became a Management Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. The key skills he brings to the team are business savvy, financial analyses and executive communication. He has also served as on the financial committee of various arts and educational boards.

Steve is passionate about bringing ALPHASTROKE to market, as he has a long history of cardiovascular disease in his family, including both strokes and heart attacks. He is excited about the impact that effective screening and triaging can have on stroke outcomes.

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Carmelo R. Montalvo

Chief
Operating Officer

Carmelo has a management background and is COO for Forest Devices. At Forest, Carmelo oversees company-wide operations at both the strategic and tactical level, while also managing Forest’s Human Resources Department. Carmelo started at Forest as a Clinical Coordination Specialist, supporting and assisting in the pathway to, and in the management of, clinical trials. He then spent time as the company's Director of Special Projects, where he managed Forest's non-clinical projects.

Prior to joining Forest Devices, Inc., Carmelo was a teacher as a member of Teach for America and worked as a Management Consultant for the Strategic Innovations Group at Booz Allen Hamilton, Incorporated. Carmelo is an alumnus of North Carolina Central University, Teach for America (Americorps), and Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned his Master’s degree in Healthcare Management.

W. Frank Peacock IV, MD, FACEP, FACC is a Professor of Emergency Medicine, Associate Chair, and Research Director for the department of Emergency Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas. He serves as a member of the Accreditation Management Board for the American College of Cardiology, as well as on the NCDR Action Registry-Get With The Guidelines Research and Publications Subcommittee.

With over 500 peer reviewed publications, predominantly on heart failure and acute coronary syndromes, Dr. Peacock is also the co-editor of the textbooks Cardiac Emergencies, Short Stay Management of Heart Failure, Short Stay Management of Chest Pain, and Short Stay Management of Atrial Fibrillation.

Dr. Peacock is the 2004 and 2010 winner of the Best Research Paper Award from the American College of Emergency Physicians. He continues to serve as PI or co-PI for many high profile national and international clinical trials. His research focus is all aspects of cardiovascular emergency medicine. He is also the founder of Comprehensive Research Associates, LLC, a contract research organization and Emergencies in Medicine, LLC, a medical education company. Finally, Dr. Peacock received his medical degree from Wayne State University Medical School and completed his Emergency Medicine training at William Beaumont Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.

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Ti-Chen Chen, Ph.D.

Director
Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance

Ti-Chen Chen, Ph.D., is the Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance at Forest Devices. Dr. Chen holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Institute of Biomedical Engineering from the National Taiwan University and a Masters in Engineering and Technology Innovation Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to joining Forest Devices, Dr. Chen worked with the Taiwan Supra Integration and Incubation and Center (Si2C) assisting academic teams in the medical devices and pharmaceuticals industries with their early stage concepts; specifically, helping them compile Target Product Profile to be announced by the FDA. She is a Regulatory Affairs certified member of RAC Global and supervised the execution of the government funded SPARK program in five Asian anchor universities, including the National Cheng Kung University.

At Forest, Ti-Chen leads the implementation and maintenance of the company’s quality management system and regulatory compliance practice.

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Andrew Maza

VP
Clinical Affairs

Andrew is the VP of Clinical Affairs at Forest Devices.  Prior to joining the team, he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s in Communications and a concentration in pre-medicine.  He also conducted research at UPMC in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department, where he studied the inflammatory response of post-traumatic brain injury patients, primarily focusing on sepsis and post-traumatic epilepsy.

Passionate in improving patient care, Andrew has enjoyed working with hospital networks across the nation and cooperating with the internal team to bring ALPHASTROKE to the healthcare industry.  After witnessing the effects of stroke firsthand in his family, Andrew is eager to see how Forest can use ALPHASTROKE to help stroke victims receive the early care they need to prevent long-term disability.

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Alex Basalyga

Lead
DevOps Engineer

Alex is Lead Development Operations Engineer at Forest Devices. He designs systems and develops tools that help the team work quickly and effectively. He regularly tackles diverse problems with creative, cost-effective solutions and is responsible for Forest's web services, databases and automation tools.

Alex has worked for tech startups since 2013. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012, where he studied Philosophy. This background informs his unique perspective on software system design. He is passionate about automated testing, symbolic logic and technology ethics.

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Liam Berti

Data Scientist


Liam is a Data Scientist at Forest Devices. He primarily develops analysis software for the ALPHASTROKE, but regularly works on all facets of hardware and software.

Prior to joining Forest, Liam received a BSc in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018, with a concentration in signal processing and communication systems. While at Pitt Liam conducted research concerning the automatic detection and segmentation of acute stroke lesions in MRIs, and autonomous aerial vehicles for indoor use.

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Madeleine Wilcox, Ph.D.

Clinical Research Scientist


Madeleine Wilcox, Ph.D., is a Clinical Research Scientist at Forest Devices. Dr. Wilcox received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh. Her doctoral research focused on drug access to neurotransmitter receptors central to stroke pathology. While a doctoral student, Dr. Wilcox served as the Neuroscience Departmental Delegate to the School or Arts and Sciences.

Prior to joining Forest Devices, Dr. Wilcox worked with the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh teaching STEM to young women and led weekly neurophysiology discussions with undergraduate students at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Wilcox also conducted research on metabolic disease and steroid modulation of sexual behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles, and led health and wellness-centered after school programs for low-income youth.

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Nick Zak

Operations Associate


Nick Zak is an Operations Associate at Forest Devices, managing inventory, and assisting with both purchasing and supply chain development.

He is also a student at the University of Pittsburgh who is pursuing a dual major in Supply Chain Management and Business Information System.