Our Team 2018-11-20T17:07:54+00:00

Our Team

The Kite Medical team includes Sarah Loughney (Founder), Joan FitzPatrick (Chief Executive Officer), Paul Frehill (Chief Technology Officer), Professor Prem Puri (Chief Medical Officer) and Paul Gilson (Chairman).  The team has experience in a broad range of relevant medical device disciplines including marketing, product development and quality management, both in multinational and start-up companies.

Sarah Loughney

Founder & Chief Scientific Officer

Sarah is a mechanical engineer with over 10 years of experience in medical device product development. Sarah previously worked in Medtronic as a R&D engineer, working on next generation cardiovascular devices. In 2008, she joined Novate medical, working in design control in a start-up environment. Following that, she worked in design control and quality in Renishaw and Boston Scientific. Sarah completed the BioInnovate fellowship in 2012/2013.

Joan FitzPatrick

Chief Executive Officer

Joan is an Industry Pharmacist with an Honours Pharmacy degree and Masters in Pharmaceutics, both from Trinity College Dublin. Joan has 25 years’ experience in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, primarily in product development, but also in regulatory and quality (Qualified Person) roles. Joan started her career in the formulation laboratories of Élan Corporation at Trinity College Dublin after winning a scholarship from the Irish American Partnership Foundation to complete a project in transdermal drug delivery. Joan subsequently worked in strategic product and business development roles at a number of companies with proprietary and innovative technologies, including Fuisz Technologies, Innocoll Technologies and Freund Pharmatec. Regulatory and QP experience was gained through contracts at the HPRA (formerly IMB) and companies including GlaxoSmithKline and Rottapharm. Joan has worked as a consultant to industry and academia on product & IP development, business development, commercialisation feasibility and grant aid applications since 2011. She also acts as a technical assessor for Enterprise Ireland and is the Director for an investment company, Éabha Investments.

Paul Frehill

Chief Technology Officer

Paul a Chartered Engineer, has a degree in Computer Engineering and masters’ degree by research in medical devices.  Paul started his career in the Telecommunications sector where he worked for Nortel as a Software Design Engineer. Later he worked for Respironics on ventilator design as a Senior Software Engineer.  He also spent 8 years working for Syncrophi as Engineering Manager where he successfully led cross-functional engineering teams in bringing next generation wireless patient monitoring and clinical decision support systems from concept through to market.

Paul Gilson


A Medical Device entrepreneur. Raised >€150 million of VC and Corporate funds in UK, US, EU and Ireland. Currently Founder and CSO at Novate Medical, a Galway based medical device company developing IVC filter technology and CSO at Veryan Medical, an Imperial College spinout developing next generation SFA stenting products. More recently, he was Chairman of Embo Medical a spinout from the NUIG/Stanford BioInnovate Program which was acquired by C.R. BARD in 2015. Previously, he was a co-founder and General Manager of MedNova and was responsible for the development of novel stroke treatment technologies. The Company was acquired by Abbott Laboratories. Prior to his experience in start-up companies he held a number of senior roles in Operations, Development and R&D. He was Director of R&D for Bard Cardiology where he led the development of numerous cardiovascular devices. Paul has extensive experience in licensing and IP portfolio management and is the holder of more than 40 US patents for bio-materials and cardiovascular products.

Professor Prem Puri

Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder

Professor Puri is the president of the National Children’s Research Centre in Crumlin and a Paediatric Surgeon. He is Past President of the World Federation of Associations of Paediatric Surgeons (WOFAPS), and Past President of the European Paediatric Surgeons Association (EUPSA). He is Editor-in-Chief of Paediatric Surgery International, and also on the Editorial Board of several other journals. Professor Puri is a multi award-winning researcher whose previous awards for outstanding contribution to paediatric surgery include the prestigious Denis Browne Gold Medal by the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons and the Rehbein Medal by the European Paediatric Surgeons Association. He has published 10 books, 127 chapters in textbooks and over 500 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Prof. Prem Puri pioneered the development of the endoscopic STING procedure for correction of VUR and is considered a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) in VUR.