Alumni and Friends

Alumnus Jon Snyder helped make patients' lives better through medical devices, therapies

Alumnus Jon Snyder was a communications major at Ohio University, producing a daily cable news show; covering men's hockey games; writing, directing, shooting, producing short films in film classes; and interning at a TV station in Toledo.

The closest he came to the field of health care was a marketing and communications internship with OHIO's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

But his early career in advertising set him on a trajectory to make a difference in the health of millions of people when he was hired as employee #100 in a start-up medical device company called STERIS in 1992.

By October 2008, Snyder was founding his own company, making him employee #1 at Neuros Medical Inc., a company dedicated to helping patients with amputations block pain and restore their quality of life.

Jon Snyder, founding CEO of Neuros Medical
Jon Snyder, founding CEO of Neuros Medical

"Being able to provide therapies and medical devices in the life sciences industry that actually have an impact on patients and patients' lives" has been his greatest career achievement, Snyder said.

"As the founding CEO of Neuros Medical, we saw significant pain reduction and narcotic pain medication reduction in our two initial studies, which was so fulfilling to see and be a part of. It was phenomenal to provide patients with pain relief but also to reduce their narcotic pain medication," said Snyder, who earned a B.S. in Communication 1987, with minors in film and journalism, from the Scripps College of Communication.

Neuros, based in California and Cleveland, helped two Case Western Reserve University professors turn their research findings into a patented platform technology called On-Demand Bioelectric Nerve Block via Neuros’s development of the Altius System.

Jon Snyder with his daughter, Lauren Snyder, a 2021 alumna of OHIO, and his son, Brad Snyder.
Jon Snyder with his daughter, Lauren Snyder, a 2021 graduate of OHIO, and his son, Brad Snyder.

Now Snyder is managing director of Ohio Life Sciences, a trade association that aims to spotlight the state of Ohio as one of the most robust and innovative life sciences ecosystems in the country. He's also a great advocate for Ohio University.

At OHIO, Snyder has been making the case for the life sciences through his engagement with students and staff in the Center for Entrepreneurship and the College of Business, providing time, input, direction, expertise, introductions and financial support. He comes to campus to speak to students, holds Q and A sessions, and supports entrepreneurial pitch competitions.

He's also engaged at multiple levels throughout the state of Ohio, working with start-up companies in the life science space and institutions such as Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, and the Stokes VA Medical Center, plus non-profits including the Lake County YMCA.

Helping patients and their families with the development of medical technologies and therapies to improve their lives continues to drive his efforts.

How did Snyder go from envisioning a career behind the camera to leading international life science companies?

OHIO alumnus Jon Snyder

Q: What path did you follow to get where you are today?

A: After obtaining my degree in communications from OHIO, I started off in the advertising industry, working for a couple of firms in the Cleveland area. I then was fortunate enough to join STERIS Corp. in their marketing department in 1992 as employee 100. STERIS has now grown to thousands of associates, and a couple billion in annual revenue.

STERIS jumpstarted my life science career, which led me on a path of increasing levels of responsibility and executive management through several other companies including Cyberonics, Cardinal Health, and Imalux, resulting in my forming Neuros Medical in 2008. I led Neuros for nearly 10 years, raising $40 million in venture capital and strategic partner investment, completing two clinical studies and our go-to-market product development.

After Neuros, I helped to form a couple of other companies in the sleep apnea and hemodialysis space, and I recently joined Ohio Life Sciences, the trade association for the life sciences industry in Ohio, as their managing director.

Q: What activities and internships were you involved in at OHIO?

A. My main activities were producing the daily cable news and also video projects such as men's hockey games, for example.

I had three internships during my undergraduate study, at PM Magazine in Cleveland, which was similar to Entertainment Tonight, a TV station in Toledo in their news and PR/community relations department, and also at the College of Osteopathic Medicine marketing communications department at OHIO.

Lauren Snyder '21 and John Snyder '87 at an Athens winery.
Lauren Snyder '21 and Jon Snyder '87 at an Athens winery.

Q: Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life?

A: Professor Don Schoultz (journalism) and Professor Maisha Hazzard (also journalism)—they had real-world experiences. Don was one of the first CNN news producers, for example, but also encouraged my creativity, writing and communications skills.

Q: What was your ah-ha moment at OHIO—that point where you said to yourself, “I’ve got this!”?

A: Probably the first semester when I made Dean's List! But also when we produced the daily cable news, when it all clicked and came off smoothly after a lot of hard work in the two to three hour daily span of shooting, writing, editing, and producing.

Q:  What was the hardest hill you had to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) at OHIO? And how did you overcome challenges or obstacles in your path?

A: Scheduling back then was referred to as the Convo Shuffle. Often lower classmen were closed out of classes, so you had to scramble to get your classes on your schedule, going from college to school, table to table on the floor of the Convo.

I didn't have the luxury of finishing in more than four years at OU, as I funded a lot of my college expenses directly, so I was determined to graduate on time (which now seems like a crazy idea since OU is such a great place to be and study!), and I just was determined to get my required classes into my final quarters, even if it meant me taking 20 hours a quarter the last two. But when I graduated, it was such an accomplishment.

While visiting Athens with his wife, Karen Snyder, in May 2021 for Lauren's graduation, Jon Snyder left a message at Tony's Tavern about the music choices finally being played there.
While visiting Athens with his wife, Karen Snyder, in May 2021 for Lauren's graduation, Jon Snyder left a message at Tony's Tavern about the music choices finally being played there.

Q: What are your favorite OHIO memories?

A: How beautiful the campus is, the special bond and connection that OU and Athens provide, Halloween, Springfest, the Beach Party, Court Street "activities," basically the entire experience.

Q: What’s the one thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss?

A: Take advantage of all the clubs and activities available to you, as well as the support structure in place. Don't be afraid to pivot or change course, as that may happen, and also enjoy each day and moment, since your time at OU will go fast!

Connect with Jon Snyder on LinkedIn.

Read more about OHIO's leadership in health education.

See more health-related alumni profiles.

December 21, 2022
Staff reports