Lab equipment

Management Team

Upma Sharma, PhD

Upma Sharma, PhD

President & CEO

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Upma Sharma has dedicated her career to transforming medicine with materials. Under her leadership, Arsenal Medical has established its platform of purpose-built biomaterials, achieved FDA breakthrough device status and IDE approval for ResQFoam™, and secured over $65M of non-dilutive funding from a diverse group of partners, including the Department of Defense, DARPA, NIH (both National Cancer Institute and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute), and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

Upma joined the company as a research scientist, and her role quickly expanded. She led Arsenal’s ResQFoam foundational program from concept to the clinic, guiding product development, GMP contract manufacturing, the regulatory process through IDE approval, and clinical trial design. Today, Upma leads the expansion of Arsenal’s biomaterial platform for strategic growth across high-value clinical indications.

Prior to joining Arsenal, Upma was a key member of the Lyra Therapeutics team that created a novel bioresorbable scaffold. She oversaw the development of this technology for the treatment of chronic sinusitis, including leading a Phase I clinical study. The data from that study led to subsequent venture funding and the eventual IPO of Lyra Therapeutics.

Upma earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University in Chemical Engineering and a B.S.E. from Purdue University. During a post-doctoral fellowship in Bioengineering at Rice University, she was awarded a NIH Training Grant in Nanobiology. Upma has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is an inventor on more than 40 issued or pending patents worldwide, including 20 US issued patents.


Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

Chief Financial Officer

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Rich joined Arsenal Medical as Chief Financial Officer in January 2020. He is responsible for the company’s financial functions, including accounting, audit, treasury, and corporate finance. Rich brings 25 years of experience in financial management, business leadership, corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and operational integration. Before joining Arsenal Medical, Rich served as Chief Financial Officer for NWN Corporation and FusionStorm, information technology hardware resellers. His other leadership positions include Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Lake Region Medical, a medical device contract manufacturer, and senior-level accounting and finance positions at A123 Systems, GT Advanced Technologies, and Ocean Spray Cranberries. Rich holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Bentley University and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, where he has been an adjunct professor. In addition, Rich is a Massachusetts-licensed Certified Public Accountant.


Carol Pekar

Carol Pekar

Executive Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory

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Carol oversees Arsenal Medical’s clinical studies and obtains regulatory approvals for new products. Carol has conducted over 50 global clinical trials for medical devices and combination products and obtained multiple PMA approvals. Before joining Arsenal Medical, Carol was VP of Clinical, Regulatory and Quality at Microchips Biotech. Additionally, Carol has held executive leadership positions at Abiomed and Anika Therapeutics. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Bonaventure University, an MBA from Babson, a Certificate in Clinical Research from Boston University School of Medicine, and a Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs from Northeastern University. Carol served as a panelist on the FDA ‘New Innovation Pathway’ Panel and is currently the Industry Rep for the General Hospital and Personal Use Devices FDA Advisory Panel. Carol holds RAC certification from the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society.


Jana Spes

Jana Spes

Senior Vice President, Manufacturing

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Jana Spes leads process development and manufacturing activities for Arsenal Medical as Senior Vice President of Manufacturing. She is passionate about developing novel therapies that enable the delivery of highly impactful products to patients. Jana brings over two decades of global manufacturing and technical operations experience, working with Pfizer, Johnson &Johnson, Ferring, Apotex, and Ironwood across the US, Europe, and Canada. Her experience developing a wide range of products and devices, including combination products, novel drug delivery devices, and polymer-enabled targeted drug delivery technologies. Jana holds M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from City University of NY and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and serves on the board of Outsourced Pharma.


Lee Core

Lee Core

Vice President, Research & Development

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Lee is responsible for Arsenal Medical’s product development and combination device design for clinical investigational use through market introduction. Lee has over a decade of global commercialization experience for PMA/510k products. Previously, Lee held positions at Abiomed, NMT Medical, and Medtronic, developing heart assist pumps, septal closure devices, thrombectomy devices, and transcatheter valves. Lee is listed on over 20 issued US patents and has served as program manager of two NHLBI SBIR programs totaling over $5M in funding. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and a Masters in Business Administration from Babson College.


Barry Shaw

Barry Shaw

Vice President, Quality

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Barry has over 20 years of Quality Control and Quality Assurance experience in the medical device, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries. Before joining Arsenal Medical, Barry was at Boston Scientific, where he was responsible for developing the analytical quality system supporting the successful launch of Boston Scientific’s drug-eluting stent. Additionally, Barry has held Quality leadership roles at Creative Biomolecules, AIR (Alkermes), and Sepracor supporting the development of clinical and commercial products. Barry has extensive experience developing and implementing quality systems to support the manufacture and analytical characterization of clinical trials and commercial products. Barry has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Delaware.


Nancy Berkley

Nancy Berkley

Vice President, Human Resources

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Nancy leads Arsenal’s HR function and maintains HR systems for recruiting, payroll, benefits, policies, performance, compensation, training, and compliance with all laws and regulations.  Previously, Nancy served as an HR generalist, with increasing responsibility, working with start-ups, venture-backed, and Fortune 50  companies across the medical device, biotech, and manufacturing industries. She has successfully implemented major HR initiatives for start-ups and supported companies through acquisitions and subsequent business and HR integrations. In addition, Nancy developed Human Resource functions for Haven, the healthcare joint venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase,  Oxford Immunotec, Mitek, a division of DePuy, a Johnson & Johnson Company, NOVA Biomedical. She has consulted for various clients through HR Insourcing and TechCXO. Nancy is a graduate of Colby-Sawyer College.