Our team has unique and extensive leadership in startups, health care and technology
Our team has unique and extensive leadership in startups, health care and technology
Our Mission
The solution we’re building supplants surgical microscopes, navigation systems, loupes, and screens, etc. Replacing surgical microscopes alone wouldn’t be a compelling enough goal for us though.

Our greater vision is to move medicine out of the past and into a future that fully leverages not only existing technologies, like AR/VR, but one where medical innovation can move at the pace of software development in other industries. In order to realize that future, we have to move away from a dependency on ground glass, in the case of microscopes, and toward a focus on software and data, and leverage the emerging capabilities of computer vision and machine learning to enhance the combined performance of humans and computers. That’s our mission.

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Gabriel Jones, MBA
Co-founder, CEO
Gabe Jones has over a decade of leadership experience in technology and intellectual property law, with specific expertise in product development, business strategy and engineering management. He began his career in international trade and IP law in Japan and Washington, DC, and worked in large-scale mergers and acquisitions on Wall Street.
Prior to joining Proprio he helped Bill Gates’ evaluate technologies while working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on global initiatives in health and technology. Seeking to create a more direct, positive societal impact in the health systems space, his work has led him to the technology venture world. He has assisted several successful startups on their commercialization path, notably in the complex process of pursuing FDA approvals for pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Gabe has worked extensively with Proprio Chairman of the Board, Ken Denman, and has held seats on the boards of the Washington Biotech and Biomedical Association and the Group Health Foundation through its acquisition by Kaiser.
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Samuel Browd, MD, PhD
Co-founder, Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Sam Browd is a leading pediatric neurosurgeon at Seattle Children’s Hospital, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington and a prolific entrepreneur. He currently serves as the Medical Director of Seattle Children’s Concussion Program, teaches in both the UW Foster School of Business and the department of Neurological Surgery, and is the Director of the UW Medicine Sports Health and Safety Institute.
Throughout his academic and clinical career, Sam has focused on need-based solutions, leading to collaborations with engineering colleagues who have been able to move physician ideas to real devices that scale medicine’s ability to profoundly impact patient’s lives. Over the last decade, he has developed devices and founded several venture-backed companies in in neurosurgery and sports safety, including: Aqueduct Neurosciences, an FDA-approved approach to treating hydrocephalus; and Vicis, a new helmet for contact sports like football and hockey, aiming to dramatically reduce the incidence of concussion. Vicis was named one of the Top 25 inventions of 2017 by Time Magazine and will be launched commercially in 2018. The idea for Proprio originated when Sam observed that the critical navigational imaging used in surgery could be revolutionized using novel technologies to dramatically improve visualization and reduce risk—and fundamentally transform the way that physicians and healthcare systems function to advance patient care. This led him to the Sensor Systems Lab and Joshua Smith, PhD at the University of Washington, whose team led the creation of the light field imaging solutions at the heart of Proprio.
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Joshua Smith, PhD
Co-founder, Chief Technology Officer
Josh Smith, PhD is the Milton and Delia Zeutschel Professor in Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Washington, where he leads the Sensor Systems Lab, jointly appointed in the Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, and the department of Electrical Engineering.
Josh received his PhD with Neil Gershenfeld at the MIT Media Lab, where he did groundbreaking work in electrical field sensing that has yielded real-life applications in areas such as automotive passenger sensing in smart airbag systems. His work on electric field sensing has also influenced the multi-touch capacitive sensing products that have been incorporated in smart phones since the iPhone. Josh began his career as Chief Scientist at Escher Group, a startup born at MIT. Prior to joining the UW faculty, he worked as a Principal Engineer at Intel. At the University of Washington, Josh’s Sensor Systems Lab has spun out two other venture-backed companies: Jeeva Wireless and Wibotic. With Proprio, Josh is exploring a new angle on research themes that he has long engaged with, including novel camera systems, human pose tracking, image processing, and interpretation of complex sensor data—all of which apply to the challenges of estimating anatomical geometry from a light field array of images, for the greatest accuracy and real-time 3D visualization during surgery.
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James Yongquist
Co-founder, Head of Engineering
Jim Youngquist has researched topics in computer vision and robotics throughout his career. His work focuses on digitizing biological systems for machine understanding and enhancing human capabilities, particularly in high-tech solutions for safety-critical endeavors that can help to prevent loss of life.
Jim Youngquist has researched topics in computer vision and robotics throughout his career. His work focuses on digitizing biological systems for machine understanding and enhancing human capabilities, particularly in high-tech solutions for safety-critical endeavors that can help to prevent loss of life. As a member of the University of Washington’s Sensor Systems Lab, Jim collaborated with computer scientists and electrical engineers on projects ranging from augmented reality to robotics to low power embedded computation. That work led him to build the early technology pipeline for Proprio. Since 2016 he has led the development of Proprio’s light field capture and render system from inception to deployable systems. Jim’s current work relates to his in-process PhD in Computer Science and Engineering with Dr. Smith. He previously was the lead software architect at robotics startup Wibotic (co-founded by Dr. Smith), for which he won the UW CSE Outstanding Engineer Award in 2015. Jim was an Arabic translator in the Air Force in direct support of U.S. troops, and also speaks German.
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Michael Levitt, MD
Director of Clinical Operations
Dr. Michael Levitt is a fellowship-trained cerebrovascular neurosurgeon with a robust clinical practice and joint appointments in the University of Washington departments of Neurological Surgery and Radiology. He also holds an appointment at the University of Washington as adjunct faculty in the department of Mechanical Engineering.
As an investigator on multiple institutional, industry and NIH-funded grants, he has helped pioneer a translational approach to incorporating patient-specific imaging and physiological data into computer simulations of aneurysm hemodynamics, and has developed novel techniques for intraprocedural neuronavigation using preoperative imaging such as CT and MRI. As the Director of Clinical Operations for Proprio, he supports the scientific pathway between engineering research and direct patient care, overseeing the studies that will set the stage for clinical trials and commercialization.
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Kenneth Denman
Chairman of the Board
Ken Denman is a vastly experienced technology CEO with executive, strategic and operational experience across software, artificial intelligence, wireless and enterprise applications. Most recently he was President and CEO of Emotient, an innovative venture-backed software startup that built an artificial intelligence-based platform for measuring facial expressions to predict emotions.
Emotient was acquired by Apple in 2016. Ken has also been CEO of two Silicon Valley public software companies, including Openwave (since re-named Unwired Planet) where he directed this NASDAQ listed mobile middleware technology company through a major strategy transition. At iPass, Ken was Chairman and CEO and led a successful IPO in 2003. He has also served as Senior Vice President for MediaOne, leading a significant portion of the cable operator’s US operations. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer, Wireless, for MediaOne in London. Ken sits on the boards of Costco, Motorola, and the University of Washington Foundation. He is an advisory board member of the UW Foster School of Business.
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David Colmenares, PhD
Software Engineer, Carnegie Mellon
David’s background is in electromechanical design, robotics, and control systems. He is leading Proprio’s efforts at tracking objects in the surgical scene, innovating techniques for depth mapping, and integrating sensing modalities. David worked on bioinspired micro air vehicles, multi-camera tracking, and computer vision at CMU as well as a virtual reality system to study insect flight at UW. Previously, David worked at Intel Labs building a photometric stereo depth sensor for robotic grasping.
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Evie Powell, PhD
Lead UI Developer
Dr. Evie Powell is a games researcher and developer specializing in immersive interactions and prototype design. She received her Ph.D. in computer science in pervasive game experiences and context-aware gaming.
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Eric Mellino
Rendering Pipeline Engineer
Eric Mellino is a rendering pipeline engineer, specializing in 3D graphics and system integration. Previously, he spent five years at Microsoft on the .NET Framework team, where he led the development of high-performance numerics computing features. He has extensive experience with designing and building low-level systems and rendering architecture.