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Dr. Cogan Joins Qualia Oto as CTO

Qualia Oto excitedly welcomes Stuart Cogan, ScD, as its Chief Technology Officer

CTO Stuart Cogan, ScD, has been a Professor of Bioengineering at UT Dallas since 2014

March 1, 2022 – Qualia Oto is thrilled to announce that Dr. Stuart Cogan is now the company’s Chief Technology Officer. As CTO, Cogan will oversee the company’s research and development, help guide regulatory strategy, advise grant applications, and manage the IP portfolio, all of which align well with his past experience. He also will provide technical support for commercial negotiations – critical as Qualia Oto’s business expands.

Cogan welcomed the offer to join Qualia Oto, as he believes there are great opportunities in this space for businesses that can reconfigure the industry to the benefit of patients.

“Electrode technology in clinical cochlear prostheses has not changed in decades,” he said. “There is a huge opportunity to revolutionize cochlear implants with the application of thin-film technology and emerging device technology that will enable enhancements in artificial hearing that have eluded the cochlear implant industry for twenty years.”

“Moreover, new markets are emerging for cochlear prostheses that address unique features of hearing loss in an aging population,” Cogan continued. “I also see expansion of existing markets. Our emerging technologies will lead to improved outcomes for those with hearing loss currently addressed by cochlear implants as well as those with less severe hearing loss who will benefit from greatly improved performance of the new cochlear prostheses.”

Cogan, a professor of bioengineering at UT Dallas, has an impressive background. He holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters degree in Materials Science from Duke University, as well as a doctoral degree in Materials Science from MIT.

After his graduation from MIT, Cogan spent three decades with EIC Laboratories, working his way up to its Vice President where he oversaw the company’s projects in neural stimulation and recording. He left the corporate world in 2014 when he accepted a position at UT Dallas to continue his research.

“Dr. Cogan’s background makes him the perfect fit as our CTO,” noted Connie Manz, CEO of Qualia Oto. “He brings decades of experience in material science applications relating to nerve stimulation and long-term chronic implants, as well as in the thin film fabrication of multielectrode devices. His career of business and academic successes is exactly what we need during this exciting stage of company growth.”

Other Qualia Oto leaders were also enthused about Cogan joining the company.

"Dr. Cogan is a tremendous asset to our team,” added Senior Research Engineer Dr. Jimin Maeng. “I believe his in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in this field from his life-long career in industry and academia will take Qualia Oto’s technology to the next level."

CFO Benedict Voit recognizes Cogan’s unique blend between science and business in this field as a great benefit to the company. “There’s a huge difference between a laboratory solution and a real-world solution,” Voit said. “Many businesses fail, not because they don’t have a good solution, but because they couldn’t convince the market of its value. Dr. Cogan understands the underlying chemistry of our products and of the industry. That’s uncommon and highly valuable. Needless to say, we’re excited.”

Cogan, for his part, is optimistic about Qualia Oto’s role in this space, and he foresees that within the next 24 months, Qualia Oto will be a recognized innovator in the cochlear implant field.

“Technology developed by Qualia Oto will overcome limitations of current cochlear implants that have constrained the CI industry for decades,” Cogan noted. “These limitations center around the range and selectivity of pitch perception and inconvenience around short battery life. Our technology will greatly overcome these limitations and enhance both performance and convenience for CI users.”


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