It's personal. For each and every one of us.

Manta Cares was born from our team's personal experiences with cancer. Our founder Samira was diagnosed with breast cancer a week after turning 30. Molly, a founding team member, was diagnosed with breast cancer at 32, and joined forces with Samira to help improve the cancer experience for other patients and their families. Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Doug Blayney, was a clinical oncologist for 45+ years. Every member of our team has been impacted by cancer as a patient, caregiver, survivor or oncologist. By bringing together lived experiences with a strong scientific foundation, our team brings a unique combination of humanity and science to every tool and resource we create. We are so grateful for the opportunity to channel our own experiences, and those of our community, into ways to help other patients and families who will hear the life-changing words, "You have cancer."

  • Samira Daswani

    Samira's incubated and launched numerous healthcare startups as a product leader. She started her career at McKinsey & Company and has degrees from MIT, Wellesley College, and Stanford University.

    Founder & CEO, AYA Cancer Survivor 
  • Douglas W. Blayney, MD

    Doug Blayney, MD,Douglas W. Blayney, MD is a Professor of Medicine (Oncology), Emeritus, former Medical Director of Stanford Cancer Center, and specializes in the treatment of breast cancer.

    Chief Medical Officer, Oncologist 
  • Molly Lindquist

    Molly previously founded Consano, a crowdfunding platform to fund medical research after her breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 32. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

    Head of Marketing, Cancer Survivor 
  • Ryan Weathers

    Ryan previously worked as a healthcare and life sciences consultant at KPMG LLP. During business school, he spent his summer working as a technical product manager at Amazon. Ryan has a BS from Binghamton University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

    Chief of Staff, Cancer Caregiver 
  • Irene Shoikhet

    Irene is a seasoned creative director with 20+ years of experience in brand strategy, design, and development for various startup, public, and private companies. Irene has a BFA from California College of the Arts.

    Design 
  • Neha Asher

    Neha uses creative technology solutions to enable digital transformation. She has degrees from the Goa Institute of Management and HR College of Commerce and Economics.

    Engineering 
  • Srinivasarao Aleti

    Srinivasarao has extensive experience working with front-end, back-end and infra technologies. He has a degree in computer science from Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge & Technology Nuzvid.

    Engineering 
  • Suresh Gogu

    Suresh is a "software craftsman" who has nearly a decade of engineering experience. He has a degree in computer science from Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge & Technology Basar.

    Engineering 
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  • Samira Daswani

    Samira is a healthcare strategy and design leader who has incubated and operated numerous healthcare startups. She is the founder and CEO of Manta Cares Inc., a global community of caregivers and survivors dedicated to transforming the cancer experience, a company that emerged from her experiences as a cancer survivor. Manta Cares designs and develops tools and resources that enable cancer survivors to regain control and peace of mind. As part of the Manta mission, she hosts the podcast Patient from Hell, which Spotify ranks within the top 10% of all globally shared podcasts. She is also a Venture Partner for Sozo Ventures, a global venture fund that invests in category-defining companies. Before holding those positions, she was VP of Product at Visby Medical, where she launched a multi-million dollar infectious disease test. Samira started her career at McKinsey & Company and has degrees from MIT (Biological Engineering), Stanford University (Design), and Wellesley College (Art History).

    LinkedIn 
  • Mar Hershenson

    Mar Hershenson is a Founding Managing Partner at Pear VC, a seed-stage investment firm in Menlo Park that backs companies like DoorDash, Gusto, Aurora Solar, Guardant Health, and Branch. Prior to Pear, Mar co-founded three companies and held executive positions in product and engineering at Magma Design Automation. Mar holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, where she is currently a lecturer in the Engineering School. Mar also serves on the board of trustees of Harvey Mudd College and is on the advisory council of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University. She is also a founding member of All Raise and the Equity Summit. She's appeared on the Forbes Midas List three times: 2021, 2022, and 2023. 

    LinkedIn 
  • Phil Wickham

    Phil Wickham is a Founder and General Partner of Sozo Ventures. In addition to Sozo, Mr. Wickham is the emeritus Executive Chairman of the Kauffman Fellows in Palo Alto, California. Mr. Wickham is a veteran venture investor and startup entrepreneur. Mr. Wickham currently serves as an advisor to Angular Ventures (London), MaC Ventures (LA) and Taro Ventures (Tokyo). He is an emeritus advisor to the Creandum Fund in Stockholm. Mr. Wickham is a lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Engineering and a Visiting Professor at Waseda University’s School of Commerce, where he teaches original courses on innovation and capital formation. He was the lead Faculty for the Development Bank of Canada’s GP Academy Charter Class. He is also a regular columnist for the Nihon Keizai Shinbun and has written for Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, CNBC and the Straits Times.

    LinkedIn 
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  • Dr. Don Dizon

    Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO, is an oncologist who specializes in women's cancers. He is the director of women's cancers at Lifespan Cancer Institute and director of medical oncology at Rhode Island Hospital. He is an active member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, SWOG cancer research network, and the National Consortium of Breast Cancers, of which he has served as both vice president and president. He is also the Editor of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the highest impact and the flagship Journal of the American Cancer Society.

    LinkedIn 
  • Dr. Brian Druker

    Brian Druker, MD, is the director of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Knight Cancer
    Institute, associate dean for oncology of the OHSU School of Medicine and the JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research. He performed preclinical studies that led to the development of imatinib (Gleevec) for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and then spearheaded the highly successful clinical trials of imatinib, which led to FDA approval of the drug in record time. This work changed the life expectancy of patients with CML, resulting in a paradigm shift in cancer treatment.

    Learn more 
  • Dr. Melinda Hsu

    Dr. Melinda Hsu is a thoracic medical oncologist at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, specializing in the care of patients with lung cancer, mesothelioma, and thymoma. Dr. Hsu's primary career objective is to investigate the experiences and optimize the care of long-term survivors of lung cancer patients. This interest has been deeply personal, as both of her parents were diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) 6 months apart in 2007.

    LinkedIn 
  • Paula Kim

    Between 1999 and 2004, as Co-founder, CEO, Chairman, and President of the newly formed PanCAN-Pancreatic Cancer
    Action Network
    , I created a unique
    patient navigation and service programs “PALS”- Patient and Liaison Services and Clinical Trials database; along with pioneering programs for Survivor and Caregiver Networks; and Community Based Outreach and Education. For biomedical research, I established a public policy team and program that increased federal funding for pancreatic cancer by more than four hundred percent.

    LinkedIn 
  • Dr. Stanley Marks

    Stanley M. Marks, MD is chairman of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, one of the largest integrated cancer networks in the country, and the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in western Pennsylvania. He is Director of clinical services and chief medical officer of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and clinical professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Marks has authored numerous publications and is the recipient of several additional awards including the National Research Service Award from the United States Public Health Service, the Art Rooney John McGrady Award, Heinz History Makers Award, Jerome Bettis Foundation Humanitarian Award, and Larry Richert Hometown Hero Award.

    Learn more 
  • Debby Meredith

    Debby brings a unique combination of strategic and executional strengths to more than 25 years of working with engineering and product teams bringing new technologies to market. Debby often works hands-on with company founders, helping to assemble world-class teams, architect software products, and establish a roadmap for success and scale. Additionally, given her broad set of operational skills and venture experience, Debby often works with venture capital firms providing great insight into markets and products as well as the technical operational capabilities of potential investment opportunities. Currently, she is working with Define Ventures as a Technical Advisor and Icon Ventures as an Operating Partner. Debby earned a Master's degree in computer science from Stanford University. She received her undergraduate degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Michigan.

    LinkedIn 
  • Eric Rodenbeck

    In 2001 Rodenbeck founded data visualization design studio Stamen, where he is Creative Director. The company’s high bar for elegant, data-driven design has brought many brilliant data artists, designers and technologists through its doors. The studio’s pioneering work in the field has inspired countless more. In 2017 Stamen was awarded the National Design Award for Interaction Design by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Museum.

    LinkedIn 
  • Sasha Khursheed Said

    Sasha K. Said’s mission is to support companies that have a large scale impact on human health. She spent her career helping companies build digital products that improve healthcare delivery. She currently consults as a fractional Chief Growth & Product Officer advising on: 1. Digital TPPs 2. Go-To-Market (GTM) strategies in pharma including: product ideation, product-market fit, competitive landscape, market sizing, market launch, sales, marketing, and business development (BD) 3. Evidence generation, white papers, and regulatory concerns 4. Capital raising. She was co-Founder/ Chairman of The Pharma Digital Health Roundtable convening 200+ life science leaders to discuss the adoption of digital solutions in biopharma and Founder of B7, over 100 women in VC and BD in Boston.
    Said graduated from Brown University with a BA in Business Economics and East Asian History, rowed DI crew, and worked waiting tables and nannying.

    LinkedIn 

Interested in joining us?

Get in touch! Email ryan@mantacares.com to learn about ways to get involved. If you're ready to channel your cancer experience into a force for good, then we want to talk!

Our Process

We created Manta Planner using principles of human-centered design to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test our tools. Gathering user opinions and reflecting on personal cancer experiences as well as perspectives of oncologists and nurses, we craft resources that puts users first and meet the needs of cancer patients and caregivers alike.

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