Richard Rapoza, Division Vice President, R&D, Abbott Vascular

Richard Rapoza is divisional vice president of R&D, New Technologies and Therapy Innovation at Abbott Vascular in Santa Clara, CA. He has more than 25 years of experience in the cardiovascular field, with expertise in biomaterials research, development engineering, marketing, quality, manufacturing, and innovative product development. Abbott ranked No. 1 in the medical products and equipment category on Fortune’s 2014 World’s Most Admired Companies list.

As the head of New Technology and Therapy Innovation for Abbott’s multi-billion dollar vascular business, headquartered in Silicon Valley, Richard has led the development, scale-up, and applicability coronary, carotid and SFA stents, including the world’s first commercially available drug-eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS), a temporary stent that dissolves over time after opening up blocked coronary arteries. Abbott’s BVS technology received top honors in The Wall Street Journal’s 2011 Technology Innovation Awards, in the medical devices category, and a 2012 Edison Award, with gold honors, in the science and medical/surgical aids category. In 2013, the technology was honored with an R&D 100 Editor’s Choice Award, and its currently approved in more than 100 countries worldwide, including the United States.

Richard pioneered the development of several other medical technologies at Abbott, including the company’s first bare-metal, carotid, and peripheral stents.
Previously at Abbott, Richard held executive leadership positions across the vascular business, including vice president and general manager of the BVS group, vice president of R&D for peripheral devices, and vice president of operations. Prior to joining Abbott, he served in senior roles at Guidant and Advanced Cardiovascular Systems.

Richard earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from University of California, Berkeley, an MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from University of Washington.