Carnegie Mellon University

Jamie Quinterno, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, PECA Labs

Innovating with Heart

When Jamie Quinterno (DC 2012) met his CMU roommate Doug Bernstein, he had no idea this serendipitous occurrence would eventually help set his career path — and change pediatric cardiovascular treatment.

As co-founder and chief operating officer at PECA Labs, he works alongside fellow Tartans on the Rise Doug and Arush Kalra, who handle the science and engineering aspects of the company. Jamie rounds out the trio with a focus on the business side and driving growth of products based on the company’s original research.

“Together, we make devices to answer problems that haven't been answered,” Jamie says.

PECA Labs started out with a research project that utilized a synthetic material to create a valve conduit that could fix birth defects in children’s hearts. At the end of the project, technology Doug and Arush had worked on was largely going to be shelved.

“We saw that there were benefits to this, and no one was going to do anything with it,” Jamie says. “With the information and knowledge we gained from the research project, we realized we could form this company.”

“We've come around from taking the valve conduit in the beginning, to having the conduit currently on sale, to evolving that into future products,” he says. “The conduit can be expanded post-operatively, allowing children to get a conduit at birth, then use a balloon catheter afterward to increase the size. We’re helping to remove the need for lengthy recuperations from multiple invasive surgeries as they grow.”

Jamie wears many hats, from setting up the company’s board to writing procedures to ordering supplies. He sees value in even the most mundane of tasks.

“Every single step we take adds up to benefits for people and especially children in need via the devices that we send out. When I take a box on a shelf and ship it out, I know that the content inside is going to go into a child. I feel privileged to have that opportunity.”

Story by Elizabeth Speed