Management Team

Joe A. Pugar

While studying engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, Joe researched many of the surface science principles that Aruga technology is based on. In 2015 he joined a research collaboration between Pitt's chemical engineering department and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's (UPMC) vascular surgery group. As the group's research on improved vascular implants developed, so did the commercial vision for the technology. Ultimately, Joe spun Aruga out of the University of Pittsburgh in Spring of 2018 and is a cofounder and the CEO. 

Luka Pocivavsek

After Luka graduated from the University of Chicago with his M.D. in surgery and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 2011, he performed his residency in general surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. During his residency he became integral in the research collaboration between Pitt and UPMC and is the first author on both of the group's publications. As the primary inventor of Aruga technology he identified the commercial impact of the work being done and began translating the technology out of the academic setting. Luka is a cofounder and the Cheif Technology Officer at Aruga while continuing to practice vascular surgery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. 

Antonio Torres

Tony has mentored Aruga since 2015, oversaw the incorporation of the company, and now leads Aruga's board of managers. Tony has over 25 years of experience in private industry helping re-work, scale and globalize major engineering projects for large chemical companies, as well as becoming an entrepreneur himself. After successfully starting-up new divisions for companies and various spinouts of his own, he now works as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Pitt’s Innovation Institute and holds various company board positions.

Medical Advisory Board

Edith Tzeng MD

Dr. Edith Tzeng is the Cheif of Vascular Surgery at the Pittsburgh Veterans Hospital and a Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. She advises Aruga on surgical and clinical matters.

Robert Kormos MD

Dr. Robert Kormos is the Director of the UPMC Artifical Heart Program and Co-Director of the UPMC Heart Transplantation Program. He advises Aruga on clinical impact and technology translation.

Ross Milner MD

Dr. Ross Milner is the Director of Aortic Diseases at the University of Chicago. He is a key opinion leader for cardiovascular devices and is advising Aruga on commercial translation.