Executive Team

Tom Burnell, President

Ernst Schaefer, MD, Founder and Chief Medical Officer

Bela Asztalos, PhD, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Michael Dansinger, MD, Medical Director, Patient Wellness

Christopher Tomosivitch, Chief Financial Officer

Tom Burnell, President

Tom Burnell joined Boston Heart in July 2016 as President. Tom brings to Boston Heart a wealth of experience leading organizations, both public and private, from startup biotech companies to a global division of a $5 billion multi-national company. He has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare, biotechnology, laboratory sciences, manufacturing, and international business development. He has proven success in developing and executing strategies for revenue and earnings growth as well as leadership, communication, people and organizational development, domestic and international business development, and multi-site management.

Tom’s previous work experiences include CEO and President Viracor-IBT Laboratories, Inc., President and CEO of Elite One Source Nutrisciences, CEO of the The Nebraska Heart Institute, P.C. and Nebraska Heart Hospital, LLC., CEO and Vice Chairman for Eurofins Scientific, Inc., and President and CEO of GenomicFX, Inc. Tom has served on the Board of Accuratus Lab Services, Inc., Viracor-IBT Laboratories, Inc., and Elite One Source. He is currently an Operating Partner at Ampersand Capital Partners since 2014. He also is co-owner and president of Milestone Business Management LLC, a private consulting firm focused primarily on transaction negotiation and “turnarounds” in healthcare.

Tom received his BS and Master's degrees from the University of Nebraska and holds a PhD in Nutrition with emphasis in Statistics and Biochemistry from the University of Kentucky.

Ernst J. Schaefer, MD, Founder and Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Schaefer is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of lipoprotein metabolism, and the diagnosis and management of lipoprotein disorders for the prevention of Coronary Heart Disease. He has made countless contributions to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is a member of the National Lipid Association’s (NLA) Board of Directors.

Dr. Schaefer founded Boston Heart Diagnostics Corporation with Dr. Bela Asztalos and Peter Parker in 2007, after developing the company’s proprietary HDL measurement technology and the Boston Heart Cholesterol Balance® test. They established HDL particle concentration as a more effective predictor for coronary heart disease (CHD) risk than traditional tests, and documented the utility of plasma sterol measurements to guide physician therapy to get patients to their LDL cholesterol goals. Dr. Schaefer is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of lipoprotein metabolism, and the diagnosis and management of lipoprotein disorders for the prevention of CHD.

Dr. Schaefer is a distinguished professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, senior scientist at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, as well as a senior scientist in the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory in Boston, MA. He received the JD Lane Award of the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (1981) and the Irvine H. Page Arteriosclerosis Research Award from the American Heart Association (1981) for defining human HDL metabolism, the metabolic defect in Tangier disease and describing two new genetic disorders apoA-I/C-III/A-IV and apoE deficiency characterized by severe lipoprotein abnormalities and premature coronary heart disease with Drs. Bryan Brewer and Robert Levy.

For his research and patient care he received the Saul Horowitz Research Award from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine (1989), Oliver Smith Patient Care Awards from Tufts Medical Center (1999, 2001, and 2003), the E.V. McCollum Research Award of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition (2000), a Distinguished Faculty Award from Tufts University (2001), an honorary doctorate from the University of Buenos Aires (2007), and the George Lyman Duff Lecture Award from the American Heart Association (2010). Since 1997, he has been a member of Who’s Who in America, and since 2004 has been listed among America’s Top Physicians by the Consumers Research Council of America.

Dr. Schaefer is an author or co-author of over 500 publications and two books on HDL metabolism and heart disease prevention. He served on the first and second adult treatment panels of the National Cholesterol Education Program of the NIH, on the Nutrition Study Section and as chairman of the Metabolism Study Section of the NIH, and the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association.

Between 1997 and 2007 Dr. Schaefer served as the U.S. editor of the journal Atherosclerosis, and in 2009 served as the chairman of the 15th International Symposium on Atherosclerosis, held in Boston.

Dr. Schaefer received his education at Harvard College, Dartmouth Medical School, and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MD). He did his medical residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York, and an endocrinology fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where he also served as a senior investigator and head of the clinical service of the Molecular Disease Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of NIH.

Bela F. Asztalos, PhD, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Asztalos is a founder of Boston Heart Diagnostics and the inventor of the company’s proprietary HDL Map™ technology. Dr. Asztalos received his PhD in biochemistry from Attila Jozsef University, in Szeged, Hungary.

In 1987 Dr. Asztalos joined the laboratory of Dr. Roheim in the Department of Physiology, Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans. At LSU, he studied lipoprotein metabolism and developed the technology for the measurement of apoA-I concentration in HDL subpopulations by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and image analysis.

In 1999, Dr. Asztalos joined Dr. Schaefer’s laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. At Tufts, he has studied the role of HDL in cardiovascular disease in human epidemiological and basic research studies as well as the function of the individual HDL subpopulations related to heart disease risk. In addition, Dr. Asztalos has extensively studied the effects of HDL-modifying agents (statins, fibrates, niacin, CETP inhibitors, apoA-I mimetics, hormone-replacement therapy, diet, and weight loss) on HDL metabolism and remodeling.

Dr. Asztalos serves as a scientist I at the Lipid Metabolism Laboratory at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. He has authored over eighty peer-reviewed publications on lipid and heart disease research.

Michael Dansinger, MD, Medical Director, Patient Wellness

Dr. Dansinger is a nationally recognized authority on dietary and lifestyle counseling for prevention and treatment of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and related conditions. In 2011, he joined the Boston Heart team as the Medical Director of Patient Wellness. He led development of our personalized wellness solution to complement the unique diagnostic insights provided by our approach to cardiovascular disease characterization and management. He works directly with healthcare providers and their patients by providing training and expertise in Nutritional Planning and Lifestyle Coaching solutions specific to a patient’s personal cardiovascular risk.

Dr. Dansinger is the Founding Director of the Diabetes Reversal Program at Tufts Medical Center and an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He serves on the Council of Directors and Media Response Team for the True Health Initiative—a leading voice on nutrition and lifestyle medicine. He is a member of the expert panel for the CDC's Worksite Health ScoreCard project, is a nutrition and diabetes expert for WebMD, and a former Editor of the peer-reviewed Medscape Journal of Medicine.

His research on dietary counseling is well known. He published the highly publicized research study "Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers and Zone Diets for Weight Loss and Cardiac Risk Reduction" in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in January 2005—one of the most highly read and quoted scientific articles of the year. Dr. Dansinger has been interviewed about his weight loss experience on the Today show, CNN, National Public Radio, CBS Radio, BBC Radio, Oprah magazine, Time magazine, Consumer Reports, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe and over 100 other media outlets.

Dr. Dansinger received his BA cum laude, University of Wisconsin, in Madison and his MD degree from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. He also holds a MS degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, where he completed a 4-year fellowship program in Clinical Research.

Christopher Tomosivitch, Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Chris brings over 20 years of global financial leadership experience and expertise to Boston Heart. As the finance leader, Chris directs all financial aspects of the business including billing and reimbursement, sales support, customer care, accounting, financial planning, tax and treasury matters. Chris brings a deep knowledge of strategic planning and forecasting to the company along with acquisition integrations and the development of controls, tools and processes to support profitable growth.

Prior to joining Boston Heart in 2014, Chris held several leadership positions over the course of 10 years at Haemonics Corporation, a manufacturer of blood processing technologies where Chris served as the VP Finance Europe & Emerging Markets. Chris also spent 10 years at Cardinal Health, a healthcare supply chain services & manufacturing company, where he held management positions in finance and accounting. Chris holds an MBA with a concentration in finance from University of Delaware and BA in Economics and Politics from Fairfield University.

Back to Our Team