Our team is passionate about transforming the lives of people who struggle with the current post-surgical drains. After years of basic and engineering science research, we decided to start SOMAVAC® Medical because we wanted to help patients now and we got impatient with the slow pace at which scientific research typically moves. After witnessing the experience of people who live with JP drains, we felt compelled to create a solution that has the potential to profoundly help people. 

Esra Roan, PhD


Esra is the co-founder of Somavac Medical Solutions and an Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Memphis. Esra's more than 15 years of experience in product development and biomedical research gives her the tools to enhance the lives of patients with products that make a difference.  Her education is in Mechanical Engineering (TTU and U of Cincinnati). LinkedIN, GoogleScholar.

Please contact Esra @ esra@somavac.com with any questions or comments.

Josh Herwig


Josh is a serial tinkerer with professional experience in machine design, electronics, and manufacturing. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University, and will be a summer 2016 graduate of the University of Memphis/UTHSC joint Master’s program in Biomedical Engineering.  Josh serves as the Chief Technology Officer for Somavac Medical Solutions, and is spearheading the device development.

You can reach Josh at josh@somavac.com.

R. David Oliver, Jr.  

Product Marketing Manager


David has over 15 years of diverse experiences in sales, marketing, and customer relations. He launched medical devices in orthopedics and managed sales in DME. In addition to his professional career in medical device marketing, David is also an avid musician. He is a graduate of UofMemphis with BA and MBA. 

You can reach David at david@somavac.com.

Past Team Members


Klari Farzley,   Communications and Marketing Intern

Klari is a recent English and Film graduate from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. She joined SOMAVAC®’s team as a communications and marketing intern in May of 2018, and specializes in videography, social media and the production of digital materials.  You can reach Klari via email at klari@somavac.com with your questions or comments. 

Klari joined us as part of the LaunchTN's Summer Internship Program and we are very glad to receive this support.


Kaitlin Ganavazos, Engineering Intern

Kaitlin is an outstanding senior Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Memphis.  She joined SOMAVAC's team in June 2017 to take on a variety of supporting roles.  Besides pursuing an engineering degree, she is also an accomplished cellist. We appreciate her contributions already and happy to have her on our team.