Megan Aanstoos

Kentucky Commercialization Ventures

Megan is a Licensing and New Ventures Manager for Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV). In this role, her primary responsibilities include outreach and education on matters related to assessing, managing, and licensing intellectual property developed at KCV partner institutions. She is driven to help get innovations to market that can help people live the lives they want. Before joining the KCV program team, Megan obtained her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, a Master’s in Bioengineering from the University of Utah, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Colorado State University. Megan is a strong advocate for equity, accessibility, and bringing awareness of different needs to light, so people can form closer, stronger connections and improve communication and social engagement. She currently serves as the Chair for AUTM’s EDI Committee and as a member of the USPTO NCEAI working group to increase representation of innovators on AUTM’s behalf. Harvard Business Review published an article in 2013 on new research wherein it was found that “companies with [employees exhibiting] 2-D diversity (different skills or backgrounds plus diversity in gender, race or age) out-innovate and out-perform others” by creating an environment on innovation where “outside of the box” ideas can be heard and deployed. Improving inclusion of diverse groups of people makes businesses better, people more aware, employees happier and enhances outcomes for everyone.

Cory Acuff

University of Georgia

Dr. Acuff has twenty years of experience in the field of academic technology transfer and biotech business development. In that time he has developed many highly regarded and innovative technology commercialization strategies and faculty outreach practices for technologies predominately in the life science sector. This activity has focused on creating high value business practices in the academic environment that enhances technology value and marketability. Dr. Acuff has been very active in giving back to the academic licensing community through the training and development of more than 50 young technology professionals. He is also active in supporting the advancement academic technology transfer globally though his involvement in AUTM, nationally and regionally.

Antwi Akom

Social Innovation and Universal Opportunity Lab

Dr. Antwi Akom is the Director of the Social Innovation and Urban Opportunity Lab, a joint research lab between the University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco State University. Named by President Obama (2016) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2019) as one of world’s top innovators, Dr. Akom’s works to improve health outcomes and advance tech-equity with our nation’s most vulnerable populations by building new technologies in community and clinical settings, evaluating them, and launching across university and commercial partnerships. Rooted in community, guided by data science, and inspired by racial and social justice, Dr. Akom’s Social Innovation Lab is catalyzing a new era of data democratization, participatory health, participatory technology and precision medicine with vulnerable populations around the world.

Gaylene Anderson

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals

As Boehringer Ingelheim’s Director, Global Transactions and Contracts Management, Gaylene is responsible for negotiating licensing/collaboration deals, research agreements, and managing strategic alliance programs. Prior to joining BI, Gaylene served as the Director, Cleveland Clinic/ University of Notre Dame Global Alliance Commercialization Program – managing all life science IP. Earlier in her career she worked for the University of Idaho and the University of Hawaii as a Senior Licensing Associate. Gaylene has a strong focus on entrepreneurship activities, and as a result, she created over a dozen university startup companies – including her own (Waterproof Kids®).

Justin Anderson

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Justin Anderson is a Senior Intellectual Property Manager for the Wisconsin Alumni Association Research Foundation (WARF), the technology transfer office for the University of Wisconsin (UW)–Madison. Justin, a registered patent agent with a background in chemical engineering and biochemistry, has managed new discoveries from technology areas spanning physical sciences for over thirteen years. In addition, Justin spent a year working at a clean tech start-up where he drafted patent applications and managed an active IP portfolio that included numerous patents, trademarks, and trade-secrets. Prior to joining WARF, Justin worked as a process engineer with an emphasis on project management, process design, and quality control. Finally, Justin will receive his Juris Doctor from UW-Madison in May 2021.

Janice Ankeny

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

Janice Ankeny oversees IP Operations at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV), the commercialization and entrepreneurship hub of the university. The Intellectual Property Operations team is responsible for development and management of daily operational workflow processes and functions to support Johns Hopkins’ growing portfolio of over 3,100 active patents. This includes management of the processes related to reports of invention, an international docket, annuity payments, law firm invoice review, patent related communications, and federal compliance with Bayh-Dole regulations. Janice’s team seeks to optimize technology to improve data integrity, compliance and to leverage operational resources. Janice joined JHTV in 2011, having spent her early career as a Human Resource Software Systems Administrator and Implementation Consultant focused on workflow process re-design, system customization, and user training. Janice worked with a range of clients, including Fortune 100/500 companies, federal agencies, and university systems. In her “second career” of technology transfer, Janice has applied the process improvement mindset to the complexity of Intellectual Property operations, leading among other projects the implementation of a new IP management system, Inteum, in 2015. Janice has also led efforts to improve the efficiency of – and respond to evolving requirements of – federal IP reporting. Janice was recently awarded the Registered Technology Transfer Professionals (RTTP) certification in 2020; she also serves on the AUTM Annual Meeting Program Committee. Janice has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania.

Jordana Armstrong

Innovate Calgary

Jordana Armstrong has been a social impact practitioner for a decade including building and leading Innovate Calgary’s Social Innovation team for the past five years. As Sr. Innovation Manager, she manages a portfolio of 100+ impact-oriented researchers and entrepreneurs at UCalgary who are using market approaches to achieve financially sustainable impact in communities they serve. Jordana launched Innovate Calgary’s first programs specifically for social entrepreneurs in 2016 and 2017 and leads UCeed Social Impact, a $5M Social Impact Fund. She draws on experience as a community leader and educator, volunteer, and Director across various social impact organizations, to inform her mission to create inclusive economic growth and resilient communities.

Steven Auerbach

University of Hawai‘i

Steve Auerbach is the Interim Director of the Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) at the University of Hawai‘i. OIC promotes University of Hawai‘i developed intellectual property and technology assets and shares those assets to address the challenges and opportunities faced by Hawai‘i and the world. OIC helps UH researchers, staff, faculty and students: identify, protect and commercialize innovative intellectual property; foster innovation and entrepreneurship through its programs; and improve access to strategic grants. In addition, OIC is committed to developing and fostering long-term public-private partnerships through sponsored research, corporate alliances, and other opportunities for collaboration. The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), the Office of Indigenous Innovation (OII) and UH Ventures are housed within OIC. Previously, Mr. Auerbach served as the Director of the Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training and Continuing Education (PCATT), at Honolulu Community College. PCATT is a consortium of the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges responsible for incorporating an active advisory board serving as catalysts for workforce, economic development as well as job creation on behalf of the State of Hawai‘i.

Alisa Band

Henkel Tech Ventures

Alisa is a Senior Investment Manager with Henkel Tech Ventures, the venture arm of Henkel Adhesives. Henkel is a global chemical and consumer goods company. Henkel’s adhesives, sealants and functional coatings are integrated into Automotive and Metals’ markets, Packaging and Consumer Goods, Electronics and Industrials and are brand-name products for private consumers and craftsmen as well as for maintenance and manufacturing professionals from more than 800 different industries. Before joining Henkel, Alisa led the technology scouting team for Israel Chemicals Group (ICL), a global mining and specialty chemicals company. Previously, she was a Business Development Manager at Tel Aviv University’s tech transfer office. Earlier on in her career she was an entrepreneur and founder of a healthcare IT platform for the fertility medical domain. Alisa holds a MSc in Material Sciences from The Weizmann Institute, a BSc in Chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MBA from Tel Aviv University. Alisa is also Chair of the Industry Advisory Committee of AUTM, in a voluntary position.

Brooke Beier

Purdue Research Foundation

Brooke L. Beier, Ph.D. Vice President, Office of Technology Commercialization. Beier oversees the Office of Technology Commercialization whose mission is to translate Purdue innovations out of the lab and into society with the goal of helping people live healthier, happier and longer lives. Beier works closely with partners from industry to identify Purdue technologies for licensing opportunities and also with entrepreneurs to support technology venture creation. Further, she evaluates the commercial viability of Purdue technology, develops strategies for the protection of related intellectual property, and oversees the drafting, negotiation and execution of commercialization transactions. Throughout this process she educates and works closely with Purdue faculty, staff and students to serve as a liaison between the inventor and attorneys during the drafting and prosecution of intellectual property. Beier holds a BS, MS and PhD in biomedical engineering from the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering of Purdue University. Her graduate research focused on the development of wireless, implantable medical devices in the fields of cardiology, diabetes and spinal cord injury. During her collegiate career she was an All-Big Ten selection and captain of the Purdue Women’s Tennis Team and throughout graduate school was the assistant coach for the team. Following the completion of her doctorate, Beier joined the Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development at Purdue University (AMIPurdue) as a development engineer. In this role, she was responsible for supporting the commercialization of Purdue life science research by performing market assessments, developing strategies for regulatory and reimbursement approval, interfacing with contract manufacturers, rapid prototyping, and formulating business.

Julia Black

London School of Economics & Political Science

Julia Black is Strategic Director of Innovation and Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She was Pro Director of Research from 2014-19 and interim Director of LSE from 2016-17. She is also an External Member of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority, Senior Independent Member of the Board of the UK Research and Innovation Council, a member of the Council of Science and Technology and in July 2020 joined the Board of the Courtauld Institute of Art. Julia is also a director of Zinc, a social sciences, mission based incubator. Julia completed her first degree in Jurisprudence and her DPhil at Oxford University and joined the LSE Law Department of the LSE in 1994. Her primary research interest is the legitimacy and dynamics of regulatory systems, including transnational and non-state regulators. She has written extensively on regulatory issues in a number of areas, and has advised policy makers, consumer bodies, law reform bodies and regulators on issues of institutional design and regulatory policy in the UK and overseas over many years. She has received grants from the British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, the ESRC and the Canadian SSRC. She has been a visiting fellow at the University of Sydney, All Souls College, Oxford and in 2014 was the Sir Frank Holmes Visiting Professor in Public Policy at the Victoria University, Wellington, NZ. She served as an independent Board member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority from January 2014 – December 2018 and chaired its Policy Committee. She was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy in 2015, and an Honorary Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford in 2017. She received a lifetime achievement award from the Standing Group on Regulatory Governance of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) in 2016 and was awarded a CBE in the 2020 New Years’ Honours List for services to the study of law and regulation. She is President-elect of the British Academy, the United Kingdom’s national academy for the humanities and the social sciences, taking up the role in July 2021.

Richard Brandon

University of Michigan: Office of the Vice President and General Counsel

Rick joined the University of Michigan Office of the Vice President and General Counsel in 2000. His practice at the University of Michigan focuses on patent, technology transfer, and research legal issues, including: counseling on intellectual property and licensing matters; negotiating agreements on behalf of UM relating to intellectual property and research; transactions and counseling related to UM’s receipt of equity as part of licensing transactions; addressing and litigating intellectual property and research disputes; counseling and managing patent prosecution relating to UM research; and policy and administrative projects relating to technology transfer. Rick has been a frequent speaker on patent and research issues at the University, with the local tech community, and internationally. Rick has had a significant role in lobbying and educating on U.S. patent legislation reform, including serving as the Co-Chair of a committee for a joint effort among six major university organizations led by the Association of American Universities. This work included testifying before the full United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee regarding patent law reform in 2012, as well as meeting with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office senior leadership. Rick has served on a number of committees at the University, for example those at or relating to the Office of General Counsel, Office of Tech Transfer, Office of the Vice President for Research, conflict of interest, and numerous search committees. Prior to joining the University, Rick was a partner in a Chicago patent law firm, where he practiced from 1991 through 2000. In private practice, Rick secured and protected IP rights for a broad range of clients, but with a focus in chemical and medical fields. He performed domestic and foreign patent prosecution, including considerable experience in reexamination, reissue, and protest proceedings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Rick also litigated patents in various United States Federal District Courts, including as a key team member in a successful, high profile enforcement of patents covering a blockbuster biotech drug. Rick received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1991 and concurrent bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Spanish from Wayne State University, where he received the honor of speaking at commencement as the “Outstanding Male Graduate” of his class of 1988.

Matthew Bryan

World Intellectual Property Organization

Matthew Bryan serves as Director of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Legal and User Relations Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a position he has held since 2004. Mr. Bryan is responsible for providing PCT legal and strategic advice to users, overseeing the resolution of “special handling” cases, PCT-related teaching and training, managing relations with PCT users, providing the “PCT Infoline” service, and advising PCT Contracting States on legal issues relating to their PCT responsibilities. He speaks frequently on PCT and WIPO matters, has testified before parliamentary committees, and served as a PCT expert witness in litigation. On behalf of WIPO he has taught about the PCT in 69 countries.

Almesha Campbell

Jackson State University

Almesha L. Campbell, Ph.D. is the Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Jackson State University (JSU). In this capacity, she supports the Vice President with overall responsibility for the Division of Research and Economic Development, which overseas Grants and Contracts, Sponsored Programs, Research Compliance, Technology Transfer and Commercialization, Federal Relations, and the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. For over 10 years, she served as the Director for Technology Transfer and Commercialization at JSU, and continues to manage the intellectual property process from triage of invention disclosures to commercialization. She provides strategic direction and vision for defining partnerships in commercialization and innovation initiatives between JSU and other institutions, funding agencies, and industry stakeholders. Almesha is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the NSF-supported JSU I-Corps Site, which is designed to train teams of faculty and students to take their ideas from the lab to the market. She is also PI of an NSF EAGER grant designed to help change perception of underrepresented minorities in innovation and entrepreneurship. She also led the effort to establish JSU as a newly funded SBA Women’s Business Center. In partnership with the University of Kentucky Office of Technology Commercialization and XLerateHealth, Almesha serves as the executive director of the Engaging Researchers and Innovators in Commercialization at HBCUs (EnRICH) pre-accelerator program, which engages faculty and students at HBCUs in innovation and commercialization. She led the development of the newly established Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at JSU, which houses a VR Academy, makerspace, eSports program, learning collaboratory, production room, and more. Almesha is a member of the AUTM Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and a member of the Women Inventors SIG. In addition to AUTM, Dr. Campbell holds membership in professional organizations such as the Licensing Executives Society, Society of Research Administrators (SRA) International, and the American Society of Public Administration.

Anne Carlson

Oregon Health & Science University

As a Technology Development Manager in Oregon Health & Science University’s Technology Transfer office, Anne is responsible for the evaluation, protection, marketing, and licensing of a portfolio of oncology-related technologies. Before joining OHSU, Anne was a post-doctoral researcher and an Assistant Research Biologist at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She then spent twelve years working as a patent agent specializing in biotechnology patent law at an intellectual property law firm in Portland, Oregon. Anne holds a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology from UCLA, and Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Biology from McGill University (Montreal, Canada).

Daniel Catron

Scintillon Institute

Daniel Catron possess experience encompassing the pre-approval stages of drug and device development, from basic research, translational research, clinical research, to commercialization. He understands what both small and large companies experience in assimilating new tech or initiating and funding a new venture. Given this breadth and depth of experience, Mr. Catron enjoys serving as a valuable resource to inventors who are traversing the path from ideation through commercialization. Receiving doctoral training from Duke University and an MBA from University of Miami, he has transformed academic technology transfer offices, founded start-ups, and lead business development initiatives throughout his career.

Dongmin Chen

Peking University

Dr. Dongmin Chen is a chair professor at the Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies at Peking University. He is the Executive Director of the Songshan Lake Materials Lab. He was the former Director of the Office of Science and Technology Development at Peking University, which oversees university-industrial partnership, university technology licensing, spin-offs, several incubators and investment funds. Prof. Chen is the International Adviser of WIPO Global Innovation Index. He is also an advisor in innovative economic development of a number of municipal government. Prof. Chen is a partner advisor of the Light Capital, an early stage venture fund specialized in AI and blockchain technology startups. Dr. Chen is a serial entrepreneur and has co-founded two silicon-valley-startups,raised more than 100M USD from top VC firms. He co-authored more than 100 scientific publications and 150 US and international patents. Dr. Chen is an Associated Editor for the Journal of Applied Physics.

Richard Chylla

Michigan State University

Rich is the Executive Director of MSU Technologies, the technology transfer office at Michigan State University, the nation’s pioneer land grant university, leading an office of 20 professionals who manage the university’s diverse intellectual property portfolio. Rich has been in university technology transfer since 2008. Prior to joining MSU, Rich served as the Director of Technology Transfer for the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan Rich spent the first two decades of his career in the specialty chemicals industry working in a variety of technology management, engineering, and product development roles for BASF and Johnson Polymer, including assignments in Europe as the European Technical Director, and Asia as the Global Product Development Manager. He won his company’s highest inventor award three times, developing polymer technology that achieved more than $1 billion in sales over the life of the patents.

Marck-Arthur Clerveau

MedStar Institute for Innovation

Marck-Arthur Clerveau is an Innovation Manager at the MedStar Institute for Innovation, (MI2). In his role, Marck engages with inventors, set strategies to commercialize MedStar Health technology, assesses commercial market, develops technology including prototyping and testing, identifies funding for development, develop financial models, structure deal terms, identifies appropriate commercial partners, negotiates deal terms, executes and enforces agreements. Prior to joining Mi2, Marck was the Physical Sciences Licensing Analyst for the Office of Technology Commercialization at the University of Maryland College Park. Where he Identified university discoveries and inventions for commercial potential through direct interaction with university scientific, licensing, and intellectual property staff. Marck holds a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering as well as a Masters of Science in Innovation Technological Entrepreneurship from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell).

Mike Cohen

University of California, Berkeley

As the Office of Technology Licensing’s Director of Innovation Ecosystem Development, Mike drives initiatives and agreements that catalyze the commercialization of UC Berkeley innovations, and support the funding of campus research. In this role, Mike collaborates with faculty, students, startup companies, large corporations, entrepreneurs, investors and attorneys. Mike has worked with hundreds of startups, and he has spearheaded the licensing of over 100 innovations in numerous areas including biofuels, medical devices, nano technologies, novel materials, photovoltaics, robotics, semiconductors, software, smart grid, wireless sensors, and biomimetic inventions.

Adam Cragg

Innovate Calgary

As the Executive Director, New Ventures, Adam is responsible for helping startups achieve scale. His programs include the Life Sciences Fellowship, Medventions, GreenSTEM, and GrinSTEM programs. New Ventures also oversees coaching and mentorship to assist startups via the Expert Advisors (EA’s), and Preferred Suppliers (PS) programs. New Ventures supports organizational metrics and client initiatives to meet donor and stakeholder requirements. Adam is a UCeed representative for the Haskayne Student Fund, the first student-run venture capital fund in western Canada. During his career, Adam has invested in over 120 seed-stage startups and worked with entrepreneurs from some of the world’s top universities.

Tania Das Banerjee

Rutgers University

Tania DasBanerjee is an Assistant Licensing Manager with Rutgers University’s Innovation Ventures team. Tania manages a diverse IP portfolio in life sciences spanning disease diagnostics and therapeutics, biotechnology, and drug discovery. She also actively initiates discussions with industry partners for research collaborations and out-licensing opportunities. Tania is a biomedical scientist by training with expertise in the areas of neuroscience, molecular toxicology, and environmental public health. She holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from SUNY Upstate Medical University, and a Master’s in Public Health in Environmental Toxicology from Columbia University. Prior to joining the Rutgers Innovation Ventures team in September 2019, Tania was a research scientist at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute while simultaneously pursuing a Fellowship at Princeton University’s Office of Technology Licensing.

John Dement

Federal Lab Consortium for Tech Transfer

John Dement is the Chairman of the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC). From 2007 to 2014, he was Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center’s (NSWC Crane) Technology Transfer (T2) director where he negotiated over 140 licenses and collaborative partnership agreements. He then was loaned to the State of Indiana under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) in 2015 and 2016 to help establish a statewide T2 and commercialization model and capability leveraging of federally funded innovations and assets. Today, he continues in advancing his lab’s engagement in the innovation ecosystem inside and outside of NSWC Crane. During his career, the lab and its partners have won 22 T2 awards, including the FLC 2012 Service Representative of the Year and the DoD’s 2012 George Linsteadt Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. Mr. Dement has a BS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Evansville and a Masters degree in Public Administration from Indiana University. He is also a DAWIA-certified Level III in Systems, Planning, Research and Development, and Level III in Science and Technology.

Andrew Dennis

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Andrew P. Dennis graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Following undergraduate education, he entered into the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, where he earned his doctoral degree studying gene transcription and the involvement of the proteasome degradation machinery. During his doctoral education he was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Department of Defense and the Dean’s Award. Andrew has co-authored several peer-reviewed journal articles through his work as a graduate student. Andrew’s financial and business interests in healthcare led him toward a career in the technology transfer field within the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, where he has served in several roles, most recently as Managing Director of the OTC. In this role, he oversees the OTC’s licensing and commercialization efforts of new inventions by OTC staff members. In addition, he continues to negotiate license agreements, form start-up companies, develop commercialization strategies among inventors and institutional research programs, and facilitate the development of business relationships with our healthcare industry partners, with the goal of driving cancer care forward.

Dinesh Divakaran

Duke University

Dinesh Divakaran, PhD, MBA, serves as Director, Digital Innovations with Duke’s Office of Licensing & Ventures (OLV). In this role, he leads the commercialization of digital, high tech and emerging tech innovations (software/IT, data, content and creative works) from R&D, QI/QA, and innovation activities across Duke Health and Duke University through technology licenses, innovative ventures, strategic alliances, and tactical collaborations. He also directly manages a portfolio of technologies including AI/ML/IoT, digital health, SaMD, health IT, clinical informatics, imaging, diagnostics, pathology, telemedicine, bioinformatics, genomics, data analytics, computer science, high tech, ed-tech, fin-tech, supply chain, and logistics. Dr. Divakaran brings to Duke OLV broad expertise in translating and commercializing digital and high tech innovations across domains, sectors, industries, and fields. His experience includes evaluating technologies, exercising due diligence, strategizing IP assets, advancing innovation, raising gap funding, mapping commercialization pathways, developing business models, building alliances/collaborations, facilitating translation, negotiating licensing deals, mentoring entrepreneurs and catalyzing startups. Outside of his work at Duke, Dr. Divakaran regularly serves as a reviewer/panelist with the Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grant programs at NIH and NSF. He also volunteers as an advisor, mentor & grant reviewer with NC IDEA and sits on the board of advisors of North Carolina Technology Association (NC TECH), Innovation Committee of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Entrepreneurship & Innovation Committee of IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society (IEEE TEMS). Outside of working in technology transfer, Dr. Divakaran also had a short stint in venture capital as a fellow with the Alumni Ventures Group. He joined Duke OLV in late 2015 after having worked as the Associate Director of Technology Transfer at North Carolina State University (NCSU). At NCSU, he lead a group of licensing executives and directed commercialization efforts across engineering, IT, materials, textiles, physical sciences, design, arts, and humanities. Prior to working at NCSU, he worked in technology transfer at the Texas A&M University System and the University of South Florida (USF). Dr. Divakaran also served as an adjunct assistant professor at NCSU and USF and collaborated as a co-investigator on research translation projects. He earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering with a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship from USF and his MBA in Innovation & Finance from NCSU. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu honor societies.

Elizabeth Dougherty

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

As the Eastern Regional Outreach Director for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Elizabeth Dougherty carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO and is responsible for leading the USPTO’s East Coast stakeholder engagement. Focusing on the region and actively engaging with the community, Ms. Dougherty ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders.

Jennifer Dyer

University of Southern California: Stevens Center for Innovation

Jennifer Dyer is the Executive Director of the USC Stevens Center for Innovation, a university-wide resource that facilitates the transfer of research, enabling inventors and companies to benefit society through products that develop from university innovation. She leads a team of 27 who manage university-owned IP stemming from nearly $700 million in annual research funding in all areas of the University including medicine, engineering, sciences and the arts. USC Stevens focuses on the licensing of technologies, expanding industry collaborations, supporting start-ups and entrepreneurial programs for students and faculty. Dyer has more than 20 years of experience and a strong record of success in technology commercialization, including serving as Director of Technology Development at The Scripps Research Institute. At TSRI, she contributed to growth in both licensing activity and corporate sponsored research, including the management of major funding relationships with Novartis, Johnson & Johnson and PPG. Her experience at TSRI includes supervising 800 licensing negotiations for equity, royalties and other financial terms, formation of 30 start-up companies and the completion of more than 300 research funding agreements. Dyer joined USC Stevens from Life Technologies Corporation (now ThermoFisher), where she served as a Corporate Development Consultant, leading the negotiation of key licensing deals. Prior to Life Technologies, Dyer served as Vice President of Business Development for Wellspring Worldwide. Dyer is a Certified Licensing Professional and has a degree in Physiology from California State University, Long Beach. Since 1993, Dyer has been an active member of the Licensing Executives Society (LES) and the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

Derek Eberhart

University of Georgia

Derek Eberhart serves as director of the University of Georgia Technology Commercialization Office, under the Office of the Vice President for Research. Through intellectual property licensing and other efforts, TCO serves the UGA community by connecting industry with university expertise and inventions for the public good, promoting economic development, and increasing research visibility. TCO evaluates inventions for patentability and commercial potential, protects intellectual property rights, negotiates all IP-related agreements, and facilitates strategic partnerships with universities, industry, and government. In pursuing these goals, TCO works closely with UGA’s business incubator, the Georgia BioBusiness Center. Eberhart received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia. He earned his doctorate in genetics and molecular biology at Emory University, where he studied the molecular basis of a common form of mental retardation known as Fragile X syndrome. As an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, his research focused on the generation and analysis of mouse cancer models. Prior to joining UGA in 2008, Eberhart served as director of Alliance and Portfolio Management at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals in Texas, where he was involved in alliance management, technology licensing and business development activities. He managed several of Lexicon’s drug discovery partnerships, including alliances with multiple pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as collaborations with federal and non-profit entities.

Darren Fast

University of Manitoba

Dr. Fast joined the University of Manitoba in 2012. He leads a team that is responsible for assessing and moving research-based technologies into the private sector as well as facilitating collaborative research partnerships with industry partners. He is also the Chair of the Canadian Committee of AUTM. Previously, Darren was the Senior Intellectual Property Advisor at the Public Health Agency of Canada. He was also the President of Solalta Advisors, providing market and business development services for early stage, technology based companies. Prior to Solalta, Darren was Chief Technology Officer for the Western Life Sciences Venture Fund, where he created new companies based on licensed technologies. Darren has also served as manager, Product Planning and Development at Viventia Biotech, where he was responsible for the development of several human therapeutic antibody projects. He has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Alberta and a M.Sc. in chemistry from the University of Manitoba.

Dan Fero

OMX Ventures

Dan Fero is a co-founder and Managing Director of OMX Ventures where he is involved in all aspects of the firm’s investment activities, covering the synthetic biology, life science tools, and biopharma sectors. OMX Ventures generally invests in Seed and Series A rounds and tends to take an active role in company and team building activities within portfolio companies. Prior to OMX Ventures Dan was on the venture capital team of Merieux Equity Partners, and before that was with L.E.K. Consulting in their life science practice. Dan holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Diego where he studied the cell signaling pathways that control the localization and polarization within complex tissues. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Rhode Island College. Dan has served as a Board Director or Board Observer for numerous companies including Twist Bioscience (NASDAQ: TWST), Xeris Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ; XERS) Inscripta, TARA Biosystems, Matterworks, 1859, and Cellsonics.

Corey Ferrick

University of Maryland

Corey is the Intellectual Property Analyst for UM Ventures, College Park at the University of Maryland. He is a registered patent agent and advises on intellectual property prosecution. Outside of his IP responsibilities, Corey compiles and reports on metrics related to technology transfer activities and general office operations.

Jen Folger

Michigan State University

In 2012, Jen was named Intellectual Property (IP) Finance Coordinator at MSU Technologies. She oversees the finance tasks related to patenting and licensing MSU’s intellectual property, including accounts receivable and royalty distribution. Jen first joined MSUT in 2007 to work on special projects. Over the years, her responsibilities evolved and expanded to include a leadership role in the record-cleaning activities in the finance area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

Maryrose Franko

Health Research Alliance

Dr. Maryrose Franko is Executive Director of the Health Research Alliance. Working closely with the organization’s board, she sets its strategic priorities, advances its members’ objectives through key programs, and develops tools for the nonprofit biomedical community. Dr. Franko’s background includes over 20 years of program management at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), including strategic planning as well as creating, implementing, and managing over a dozen programs and initiatives. These include graduate, medical student and postdoctoral research fellowships, and an innovative and groundbreaking joint initiative with the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Franko also ran both the graduate and undergraduate programs at HHMI’s state-of-the-art research facility, Janelia Research Campus, and created professional development opportunities for Janelia’s postdocs. Dr. Franko’s collaboration with the Burroughs Wellcome fund to develop a residential Lab Leadership and Management course, led to the creation of Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, and the companion guide, Training Scientists to Make the Right Moves, which were joint efforts of HHMI and Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Dr. Franko received her PhD in molecular genetics from University of Southern California and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health before joining HHMI. During her time at HHMI, Franko was a founding board member of HRA, serving from 1995 to 2012. While a member of HRA, she initiated and led the Early Career Scientist Working group which is now the Research Workforce and Early Career Development working group. She serves on many boards, including the Center for Open Science, and Northern Virginia’s new interactive science museum – the Children’s Science Center.

John Fraser

Burnside Development & Associates

President, Burnside Development & Associates (BDA), John’s personal consulting business focused on academic technology transfer commercialization, and start-up formation/financing. Current clients are in Chile (universities), China (International Technology Transfer Network), Philippines (USAID), Serbia (member of technology transfer team at the Innovation Fund World Bank/EU financed) and Geneva (WIPO, teaching academic technology transfer in 7 SE Asia countries) and as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Washington DC.. John retired from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida as Assistant VP for Research & Economic Development in December 2014. Prior to FSU, he served as: Executive Vice President and co-founder of UTC, Inc., a venture capital backed, North Carolina-based university licensing/technology transfer firm; Vice President of TDC, Inc., a Toronto and Vancouver-based venture capital investment firm. He has co-founded 3 companies, assisted entrepreneurs to launch another 40+ university technology-based firms and created or headed 4 university technology commercialization organizations – 2 in the US, 2 in Canada, 2 for–profit and 2 not-for-profit. In 2006, he served as elected President and Chair of the AUTM Board, the global association of academic technology transfer professionals. In 2020 awarded AUTM’s highest annual award – the Bayh-Dole Award in recognition of outstanding service to academic technology transfer community globally. John holds a master’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of California – Berkeley. He has experience over many years assisting researchers, entrepreneurs and institutions in different countries in product definition, based on market needs; business model and commercialization strategy formulation and implementation; preliminary market assessment, and raising the needed finances from government and private sources to fuel successful commercialization. Given extensive training courses globally on Entrepreneurship, Start-Up companies and academic Licensing. He is very familiar with working in environments which are not resource rich and still growing their innovation eco-systems.

Glen Gardner

Vortechs Group

Glen Gardner is President of the Vortechs Group, a retained executive search firm, specializing in assisting organizations worldwide to recruit technology transfer, intellectual property licensing, commercialization, and innovation professionals. Glen served in the U.S Navy for six years, as a Navy nuclear instructor and operated nuclear submarines. With the Navy, he traveled the world and gained cultural and leadership experience. Before starting the Vortechs Group in 1998, Glen’s professional background included technical sales and sales training. Under Glen’s leadership, the Vortechs Group has placed talented individuals regionally, nationally, and internationally. Client types include universities, national laboratories, medical research institutes, hospitals, intellectual property consulting firms, and industry. When not running the Vortechs Group, talking to clients and candidates, Glen likes to ride his mountain bike, participate in speedskating, attend concerts, travel, and enjoy life with his wife, Christine, granddaughter Penny and Waverly, and the rest of his family, including a furry dachshund named Lucy.

Jennifer Gottwald

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Jennifer Gottwald is a Director of Licensing at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), where she has worked for eighteen years. WARF manages the patenting and licensing of the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW), the WiCell Research Institute, and the Morgridge Institute for Research. Dr. Gottwald is responsible for the licensing of a portfolio of life science research tool and biotechnology intellectual properties, including green technologies. She also leads the WARF Clean Technologies Accelerator group. She is a Certified Licensing Professional and Patent Agent. She received a B.S. in botany and German literature, and a Ph.D. in plant molecular biology, from the UW. She lectures in the M.S. in Biotechnology program at the UW, serves as a trustee of the WiSys Technology Foundation, and is a founder and active in the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Women Inventors group.

Massimiliano Granieri

University of Brescia

Massimiliano Granieri is the Fernand Braudel Senior Research Fellow at the European University Institute (Fiesole) and professor of Comparative Private Law at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of the University of Brescia where he teaches Business Law and Intellectual Property. He has been adjunct faculty at LUISS Guido Carli Department of Management and Widener Law School. He was visiting scholar at the George Washington University National Law Center (Washington, D.C.) and at the Jamail Center for Legal Studies of the University of Texas at Austin, School of Law. Massimiliano earned a J.D. (cum laude) in Comparative Law from the LUISS Guido Carli Law School. He received a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of California at Berkeley, School of Law; a Ph.D. in Comparative law from the University of Florence and was the Jemolo Fellow at the Nuffield College, Oxford. In his professional life, Massimiliano has been admitted to practice in Italy as an attorney-at-law (Rome bar). Former Head of the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer group at the Fondazione Torino Wireless, he was board member of ARTI Puglia, Fondazione Felice Chirò, Mekna, ASTPPRoton. He is currently serving as board member of NETVAL (the Italian Network for the Valorization of Research). He acted several times as consultant for the European Patent Office and was the member of the IPR Expert group of the European Commission (DG Enterprise) for the exploitation of patents. Massimiliano has published extensively in the field of economic analysis of law, antitrust, intellectual property and contract law. He is author of five books and authored an co-authored more than a hundred of book chapters and scientific articles.

Shaun Grannis

Regenstrief Institute

Dr. Shaun Grannis collaborates closely with national and international public and population health stakeholders to advance the technical infrastructure and data-sharing capabilities in varying settings. His research is focused on improving discovery and decision support in a variety of contexts by developing, testing, and implementing innovative approaches for data integration, patient matching, predictive modeling and other novel data science use cases, including developing novel population health data frameworks supporting fusion of community and social determinants of health with clinical data, as well as leveraging machine learning-based models to improve discovery and decision support in a variety of contexts. Dr. Grannis has been a part of Regenstrief Institute since 2001 when he began a National Library of Medicine sponsored medical informatics fellowship. He became the Associate Director of the Clem McDonald Center for Biomedical Informatics at Regenstrief in 2015 and was appointed Director in 2017. He assumed the role of Vice President in 2019.

Rupinder Grewal


Rupinder has served as MIT’s (first) COI officer for over 5 years. Prior to that role, Rupinder spent 5 years in MIT’s Technology Licensing Office working on MTA’s, tangible property licensing and multi-party research collaboration agreements. Prior to joining MIT, she spent over 10 years in research management roles in both academia and industry with a focus on the development and implementation of high-throughput genomic platforms, tissue based research collaborations and molecular pathology processes for gene expression profiling which led to an NIST-approved method for submitting gene expression data to support IND filings. In her current role, her responsibilities include the day-to day management of MIT’s COI disclosure, review and management process; advises department heads, deans and other senior administrators on COI policy interpretations; provides extensive faculty outreach on the topic; works closely with the technology licensing office to improve IP policies and process which impact COI; designs new tools to facilitate information gathering while reducing administrative burden and speaks at national conferences on COI.

Carol Grutkoski

University of Minnesota

As the Operations Manager in the University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization office, Carol Grutkoski oversees a staff of eight people who are responsible for contract compliance, patent and IP management, government reporting of inventions and software tools used by the office. In her role as Chief of Staff, Carol provides data analytics and reports for the executive staff, participates in strategic planning and manages several projects. She joined Technology Commercialization to launch their technology marketing website after a software development career at large companies such as Unisys, United HealthCare and Symantec. Carol has a degree in Computer Science from Michigan Technological University.

Margalit Haber

Osage University Partners

Margalit joined OUP in 2019 and focuses on investments in therapeutics, diagnostics, and medical devices. Prior to joining OUP, Margalit was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania where she studied therapeutics and prognostic biomarkers for traumatic brain injury. Her entrepreneurial experience spans her scientific career, from the small business she owned and operated during graduate school to the life science accelerator she participated in during her postdoc. She has provided market strategy and business development support for life science biotech and start-ups. Margalit earned her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from SUNY Downstate Medical Center and holds a B.S. in Psychology from the Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College.

Jody Hankins

Vanderbilt University

Jody Hankins is a Senior Licensing Officer at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization, where she is responsible for the intellectual property protection and out-licensing of life science technologies. Her portfolio is heavily weighted toward therapeutic antibodies, a number of which have been licensed for the development of therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and research reagents. Jody also has particular expertise in the responsible management of inventions related to infectious disease epidemics and global health equity, as well as the complexities associated with multi-party inter-institutional agreements. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, she was introduced to tech transfer through an internship at the Office of Technology Development at the Penn State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA, where she completed a Ph.D. in the Department of Pharmacology and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in a dual graduate degree program. Jody has work experience across the spectrum of translational medicine, which includes work in academic research laboratories, a contract research organization, a pharmacy, and direct patient care.

Robert Hardy

Council On Governmental Relations

Robert B. Hardy is Director of Research Security and Intellectual Property Management at the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR; (, an association of 190 research universities and several affiliated hospitals and research institutes. COGR focuses on the impact of government policies and regulations on university research. Mr. Hardy has lead COGR responsibility for university issues pertaining to research security issues and technology transfer policies and regulations. Prior to coming to COGR in April 2001, Mr. Hardy was with the National Science Foundation (NSF) for over 30 years, serving in a variety of capacities, including Special Assistant to the Director and Deputy Director of the Division of International Programs. During the last eight years of his NSF career he served as Director of the Division of Contracts, Policy and Oversight. Mr. Hardy holds a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College and J.D. from Catholic University, and is a member of the Bars of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Orin Herskowitz

Columbia University

Orin Herskowitz is the Senior VP of Intellectual Property and Tech Transfer for Columbia University, as well as Executive Director of Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV). He also is an Adjunct Professor, teaching an Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs course. He has been a peer reviewer for innovation and entrepreneurship awards for the National Science Foundation and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; is a board member for the Center for American Entrepreneurship, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research, policy, and advocacy organization engaging policymakers in Washington on the importance of entrepreneurship; and a member of the National Advisory Committee on Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the Secretary of Commerce. Each year, Columbia Technology Ventures receives over 400 inventions, files over 200 patent applications, executes over 100 patent licenses, and helps start over 20 startups. It also supports Columbia’s 5 lab-to-market technology accelerators in clean energy, media, medical devices, therapeutics, and oncology.

Chris Hewitt

BASF Corporation

Currently, Chris is Innovation Network Manager for BASF. In his role Chris is responsible for building connections inside and outside BASF to provide sustainable innovative solutions for our customers unmet needs. Chris is passionate about creating value through working as the interface between chemical technology and business and is a frequent panelist and invited speaker on university/corporate collaboration and teaches on business case development and innovation. Chris joined BASF in 2008 in a specialty chemical reagents business which he led as Global Business Manager from 2010. In 2014 he transitioned back to research, developing a strategy for and leading relations with universities and national labs in North America prior to his current role. Prior to joining BASF, he held positions with increasing responsibility in research and marketing at Sigma-Aldrich, latterly leading global marketing and R&D for the Aldrich catalog business. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Durham University in the United Kingdom and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Eri Hoshi

Kosei LLC

Eri Hoshi is a Co-founder of KOSEI (Knowledge of Sports, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation) LLC, based in Japan. KOSEI LLC operates Entrepreneurship Programs for corporations and University students and assists in transforming concepts and technologies into commercial enterprises. KOSEI LLC also supports the creation of startup innovation ecosystems as well as assists American startups and Universities to enter the Asian markets. Additionally, Eri is a Lecturer with the Innovation Academy at the University of New Mexico, a Senior Sales Executive with Wellspring Worldwide Inc., and a Visiting Professor with the University of Yamanashi, Kofu, Japan. Eri renders consultation services to University Technology Transfer Programs and other Japanese Universities and National Research Institutions. Eri worked for 12 years at the University of New Mexico’s Tech Transfer & Economic Development office (UNM Rainforest Innovations) as Invention Disclosure Coordinator, Intellectual Property coordinator, Economic Development Manager, and International University Ventures Manager. Ms. Hoshi has a B.A in Business Administration from the Gakushuin University, Tokyo, Japan, and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of New Mexico.

Emily Hostage

Burford Capital

Emily Hostage is a Vice President with responsibility for managing Burford’s pipeline of new legal finance investment opportunities in technology and intellectual property. Prior to joining Burford, Ms. Hostage was Vice President of Strategic Analytics and Policy at RPX Corporation, a leading global provider of patent risk management services. At RPX, she managed a team of researchers evaluating patent lawsuits and forecasting risk to potential licensees. Previously, Ms. Hostage practiced law at Arnold & Porter, where she represented technology clients in patent, copyright and trade secret litigation cases. Ms. Hostage graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she also served as Executive Director of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Boston University.

Jovann Huesser

Skysong Innovations

Jovan joined Skysong Innovations in December of 2019 and serves as the Director of Business Development for the Life Sciences team. Her role involves working closely with ASU faculty and staff and Skysong Innovations’ life sciences team to identify, evaluate, protect, market, and commercialize innovative life-science-based technologies developed at ASU. Prior to joining the Skysong Innovations team, Jovan spent more than a decade at STC.UNM, the technology transfer office for the University of New Mexico, where she facilitated the formation of more than 50 new start-up companies and hundreds of technology transfer-related agreements with start-ups, industry, and other academic institutions. Jovan has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management.

Lewis Humphreys

Tech Launch Arizona

Lewis is the Software & Copyright Sr. Licensing Manager at the U of A, and is embedded in the country’s #1 MIS school at Eller College of Management. Tech Launch Arizona provides a wide variety of services for UA faculty and staff seeking to create startup companies based on University IP, including asset development funding and entrepreneurial mentorship. Lewis’ areas of expertise include digital therapeutics, cybersecurity, quantum computing, open source licensing, bioinformatics and copyright. Prior to Tech Launch Arizona Lewis worked in various roles throughout North America and Europe focusing on community social innovation and helping people adapt to social and technological change. He is the founder of TEDxTucson, has presented at AUTM multiple times since 2014 and is a member of the AUTM Software Licensing Committee.

Gwendolyn Humphreys

Northwestern University

As an Invention Manager at INVO, Gwendolyn leads patent prosecution and licensing in the focus areas of synthetic biology, medical sciences, and biological therapeutics. She works on a variety of agreement types to support technology transfer activities including: options, inter-institutional agreements, non-exclusive and exclusive licenses. Gwendolyn also leads licensing efforts for life science research tools, such as antibodies and mouse models. Additionally, Gwendolyn interfaces with several other Northwestern offices including Office for Sponsored Research, Office of General Counsel, Internal Review Board, and Conflict of Interest office on intellectual property and license related matters. Gwendolyn is an Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) member and volunteers on the AUTM Central Region Planning Committee. Prior to joining INVO, Gwendolyn was a graduate student in the department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focused on the neuroprotective effects of estrogen in the female brain. She also worked on a collaborative project with bioengineers to develop a proof-of-concept cancer diagnostic device. In addition, Gwendolyn was a Commercialization Analyst Intern at the Office of Technology Management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Gwendolyn received her B.S. in Microbiology from Indiana University in Bloomington and her Ph.D. in Molecular and Integrative Physiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Lucas Huntimer


Lucas began his career with Novartis Animal Health after completing a bachelor’s in science in biology and microbiology from South Dakota State University. At Novartis Animal Health, Lucas held roles as a laboratory technician and scientist focusing on bacteriological fermentation, downstream processing, batching and vaccine formulation, in process and potency release assays, safety testing, quality control, and host animal efficacy models. Lucas then decided to pursue a doctorate in Immunobiology from Iowa State University focusing on evaluating the efficacy and immunological mechanisms behind vaccines designed using novel polyanhydride biomaterials as adjuvants and antigen carriers. He then returned to Novartis Animal Health in 2012 as a Scientist and Project Leader responsible for development of innovative cattle and swine vaccines and maintaining current vaccine product licenses through requalification testing. After the Elanco Animal Health acquisition of Novartis, Lucas has served in multiple leadership and strategy roles within Elanco Research and Development for global licensure of companion and food animal health products. In these roles, has performed many duties associated with product development including host animal disease modeling, in vitro assay development, safety and efficacy study execution, evaluation of internal and external research opportunities, and subject matter expertise in immunology and food animal health. Lucas currently serves as a Senior Advisor for the External Innovation team within Elanco Animal Health focusing on interfacing and evaluating external opportunities for application within the R&D pipeline.

Janie Hurley

Texas A&M University

Janie currently oversees the team that develops commercialization and intellectual property protection strategies for Texas A&M AgriLife’s technology portfolio, represented by Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, AgriLife Research Centers and Institutes, Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, and parts of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. She has negotiated commercial agreements for a wide range of A&M technologies for over 22 years, with specific experience in the area of protecting and licensing plant varieties and germplasm from Texas A&M plant breeding programs, representing over 25 different crops. Janie received her MBA and B.S. in Biomedical Science both from Texas A&M.

Karin Immergluck

Stanford University

Karin Immergluck is the Executive Director of the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) at Stanford University, where she leads a large, internationally renowned team of technology development, licensing and industry contracting professionals. She continues to be a regularly invited speaker at national and international conferences, and has served as an adviser to several government and academic institutions in Europe. Karin is leading several new initiatives within the OTL to increase faculty and investor engagement, and to ensure that the OTL continues to be an active facilitator and promoter of Stanford’s highly successful entrepreneurial ecosystem, which has led to the founding of over 40,000 companies. Prior to joining Stanford, Karin rose through the ranks of technology transfer at the University of California, initially for three years at the UC Office of the President, and then for 14 years at UCSF, where she eventually led the Office of Technology Management as Executive Director for five years. Under her leadership, UCSF became a pioneering national leader in digital health licensing and collaboration, faculty were more actively engaged resulting in a 25% increase in invention disclosures per $100M in research funding, and overall licensing productivity was increased by nearly 40%. She also taught several IP-related classes and workshops at UCSF. Karin received her M.S. equivalent in Biochemistry and her Ph.D. in Developmental Molecular Genetics from the University of Zurich in Switzerland. She conducted her doctoral research at UCSF under the dual tutelage of Nobel Laureate and former Chancellor Dr. J. Michael Bishop, and Professor and former President of the Federal Institute of Technology and former Professor of University of Zurich, Dr. Ernst Hafen.

Rohit Israni


Rohit Israni is the director of strategic business development for AI programs in the Developer Relations Division at Intel, where he leads a global team responsible for bringing Intel’s AI initiatives via the Intel AI Academy and Intel AI Builders to universities and independent software vendors (ISVs) worldwide. He’s also the vice chair of US TAG of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) steering committee on AI (JTC 1/SC 42). Rohit has 20 years of multifaceted experience in engineering, new product innovation, strategy, finance, and business development in both large and small companies. He’s strategized and executed a wide variety of transactions including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, LBOs, fundraising (both debt and equity), investments, partnerships, and alliances. Previously, he developed industry-leading pattern recognition algorithms at imaging technology (M&A Teledyne DALSA) and in the Advanced Technology Group at KLA-Tencor. He holds two patents in machine learning and image processing. Rohit earned his master’s degree in engineering with a specialization in robotics and AI from Tulane University and his master’s degree in management science and engineering from Stanford University.

Jon Jensen

Salk Institute

Jon joined the Salk Institute in October, 2017 as the Director of Licensing. He has over 14 years of experience in technology partnerships, business development and in/out licensing with research institutions across a variety of market sectors. Prior to joining Salk, Jon was a part of the Business Development team at Indigo Agriculture where he identified and licensed plant microbial technology to help farmers more sustainably feed the planet. Prior to Indigo, Jon was a Senior Licensing Manager in the Partners HealthCare Innovation office where he commercialized innovations from the departments of Anesthesia and Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Jon spent the preceding eight years of his career at Boston University. As Director of Business Development, he was part of the core team that developed the most successful licensing program in Boston University’s history. Jon grew up in Hampstead, NH. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University and a MBA from Boston University. Jon is a registered patent agent and a Certified Licensing Professional.

Fabian Kausche

Stonehaven Incubate

Dr. Kausche owns and runs FK Consulting, LLC a company located in Atlanta, GA specializing in supporting animal health companies in product innovation and organizational efficiency strategies. In addition, Dr. Kausche is a member of the board of Sequent Scientific/Alivira a global India-based company developing and marketing high quality generics. He is also Chairman of the Board of PetMedix, a start-up company in Cambridge, UK developing monoclonal antibodies for companion animals and Stonehaven Incubate, AG, an incubator bringing breakthrough human health technologies to animal health. He also and works as scientific advisor for Rejuvenate Bio a California-based startup that develops modern gene therapies for companion animals. Dr. Kausche has several decades of senior executive experience in the animal and human health industries in both biological and pharmaceutical research and development. He held subsequent positions as Global Head of Research & Development for three of the top eight global Animal Health companies: Novartis Animal Health, Merial, and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. Before leaving Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health in December 2018, he led the post-merger integration of the largest R&D organization in the Animal Health industry with more than 1,200 scientist and support staff. In addition to his extensive Animal Health R&D experience, he gained additional expertise in the human health space as head of R&D for Novartis Consumer Health. Prior to that, he also successfully led a companion animal sales force for Novartis Animal Health. A native of Germany, Dr. Kausche received a veterinary degree from the Hannover Veterinary School. He subsequently completed a Master’s of Science degree at Iowa State University. Following the completion of the M.S. degree, Dr. Kausche returned to Europe and took part in a research program that led him to receiving the German PhD ( in a combination program between the Hannover Medical and Veterinary Schools. Having completed the Advanced Management Program in 2005, he is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School

Melissa Kelly

University of Pennsylvania

Melissa is the licensing manager for primarily the Dental, Nursing and Veterinary Schools. As part of the licensing team, she works with Penn researchers to help identify and advance the development of technologies by cultivating relationships with commercial partners. Their responsibilities include assessing new technologies, managing intellectual property portfolios, developing and executing marketing and commercialization strategies, and structuring and negotiating licensing agreements.

Melanie Knetsch

Economic & Social Research Council

Melanie Knetsch is the Deputy Director of Innovation and Impact at the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) which is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). She leads on social science strategic knowledge exchange and innovation activities to ensure that the portfolio of ESRC funded activities is visible to potential users as well as creating opportunities for researchers to undertake impact-led activities. This includes supporting the social science community to respond to impact opportunities in more flexible, responsive and creative ways via ESRC’s Impact Acceleration Accounts. She is overseeing the development of a social science/business engagement vision, ensuring the social sciences are able to respond to business challenges via the Innovation Caucus, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Melanie is also scoping potential opportunities and support needed for the social sciences to sustain and scale up their impacts, including the potential to commercialise their research. Melanie joined the ESRC in 2008 and has worked in a variety of roles including communications, public engagement, the Newton Fund and Deputy Director of the Office in India. She holds a Masters Degree in Medical Social Anthropology from Keele University, and a Masters in Science Communication from the University of West of England.

Christoph Koller

Görgen & Köller GmbH

Christoph is a co-founder and managing partner of Görgen & Köller GmbH (G&K), a science consultancy company based in Germany. He supports research institutions which intend to turn their research into innovation and startups. He has developed and applied innovation evaluation and management methodologies as well as innovation processes which find widespread use by his clients. Christoph conducted various projects in innovation management and knowledge transfer with major research facilities from Fraunhofer Society, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, Leibniz Association, and universities. His work is focused on creating innovation and impact of social sciences, humanities and the arts (SSHA) research. Based on that Christoph is frequently invited as an expert or speaker to workshops and symposia for knowledge transfer and innovation from SSHA. He also acts as a director of the ASTP/PraxisAuril-teaching course “Knowledge Exchange in Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts”. Furthermore, he belongs to several pools of experts and evaluators on SSHA knowledge transfer in Europe, including Germany, Austria, Spain and Finland. Christoph is member of ASTP (EUR), AUTM (USA), ISPIM (EUR), TII (EUR), and TransferAllianz (DE). He established and leads a special interest group on social sciences and humanities knowledge at ASTP. Christoph is carrying a Ph.D. in Business Administration and Marketing.

Steven Kousouris

Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

Steve Kousouris oversees the Technology Transfer Office at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV), which supports, protects and promotes the commercialization of ideas and discoveries made by Johns Hopkins faculty across the institution’s nine schools. Among the busiest technology transfer offices in the country, JHTV annually evaluates over 450 reports of invention, secures ~150 new patents, processes ~5,000 Material Transfer Agreements, and signs as many as 150 licensing agreements. Since Steve’s assumption of the role in 2019, licensed technology has enabled the formation of more than 25 new startups and licensing revenue has exceeded $100m. At JHTV since 2013, Steve previously served as Senior Director of Finance & Administration at JHTV, where he helped the university’s technology transfer function grow into a multi-faceted commercialization hub, providing both core tech transfer functions as well as a rich environment for entrepreneurs and a growing corporate partnerships function. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Steve held a number of health care management positions, overseeing sales and marketing and general operations in both established corporate and startup environments. During his health care career, Steve worked on a number of mergers and acquisitions, including the acquisition of startup companies, and did extensive work selling to life sciences companies. Steve also founded a consulting firm that conducted business valuation, acquisition marketing, negotiation, and due diligence support services for small and mid-sized privately-held companies in the greater Baltimore area. Steve received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Western Maryland College, a master’s in health science from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an MBA from Loyola College in Maryland.

Stephen Koziol

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Stephen (Steve) Koziol is the Managing Assistant Regional Director of the Western Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and oversees outreach operations for all the USPTO regional offices. Mr. Koziol joined the USPTO in 2007 as a patent examiner, and has managed teams of examiners in the computer graphics and digital imaging fields. Prior to his move to the West Coast, Mr. Koziol worked in the Rocky Mountain regional office of the USPTO in Denver, Colorado, where he led the design and implementation of various intellectual property outreach and education programs. He has also focused on the development of patent-specific programs within the USPTO, including the Post-Grant Outcomes program, AIA First Inventor to File implementation, AIPLA Partnering in Patents, and patent operations cost and fee modeling. Mr. Koziol received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

Julie Kratz

Next Pivot Point

Julie Kratz is a highly-acclaimed speaker and trainer who led teams and produced results in corporate America. After experiencing her own career “pivot point,” she developed a process for women leaders to build winning plans. Promoting gender equality in the workplace, Julie is a TEDx speaker, a frequent keynote speaker, and executive coach. She holds an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, is a Certified Master Coach, and is a certified unconscious bias trainer. Her books include Pivot Point: How to Build a Winning Career Game Plan, ONE: How Male Allies Support Women for Gender Equality, and Lead Like an Ally: A Journey Through Corporate America with Strategies to Facilitate Inclusion.

Raja Krishnana

University of Kentucky

Raja Krishnan is a commercialization manager for the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), where his primary responsibilities include assessment, marketing and licensing of intellectual property focused on the life sciences area covering inventions from UK’s Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine. His previous commercialization experience includes working as an intellectual property manager at the Illinois Institute of Technology OTC. Prior to that, Raja spent more than 15 years working in roles of increasing responsibility in product development for various pharmaceutical companies and led the development through the launch of multiple commercial products. During his time in the pharma industry, Raja was trained to be a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and gained a Regulatory and Quality Compliance Graduate Certification from Purdue University. In 2013 he achieved the RAPS Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC). Raja has also consulted and advised several startup companies, including coaching teams through business plan competitions. He is a graduate of Steve Blank’s Lean Launchpad Program for Life Sciences and serves as a judge in the UK’s Entrepreneurs Bootcamp. Raja received a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Cornell University, a Master of Science in pharmaceutics from Long Island University, a Master of Science in Law from Northwestern University, and most recently a Master of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.

Tim Kurt

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

Dr. Kurt is the scientific program director for the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research’s (FFAR) Advanced Animal Systems Challenge Area, a position he has held since October 2016. At FFAR, Dr. Kurt develops and manages cross-sector, collaborative research initiatives related to animal health, infectious diseases, and the environment. His portfolio includes research consortia focusing on judicious antibiotic use (ICASA), development of sensors (Egg-Tech Prize) and automated monitoring technologies (SMART Broiler), and the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases (ROAR). He also oversees the FFAR Vet Fellows program for scientific workforce development. His goal at FFAR is to support innovation with real-world impact. Dr. Kurt completed a combined DVM/PhD degree at Colorado State University, where he studied the molecular determinants of susceptibility to cross-species and zoonotic transmission of infectious diseases. He spent five years as a research scientist at the University of California San Diego, designing and characterizing new transgenic animal models, evaluating protein interactions in vitro and in vivo, and presenting research findings to scientific and medical audiences. He is a recipient of awards from the National Institutes of Health, the Morris Animal Foundation and the American Veterinary Medical Association. He has two children and enjoys the outdoors.

Lisa Kuuttila

UNM Rainforest Innovations

Lisa Kuuttila joined UNM Rainforest Innovations (RI) (formerly known as STC.UNM (STC)), the University of New Mexico’s technology-transfer program, as President & CEO in 2003. She is currently CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer of the organization. She works with the UNMRI Board of Directors in developing strategies for implementing RI’s vision to play a vital role in New Mexico’s economic development and to be a leader in technology commercialization. Under her leadership, RI is substantially growing its program using the Rainforest model to develop an innovation ecosystem in New Mexico. In 2013, RI was tasked by the University with implementing its economic development initiatives under Ms. Kuuttila’s leadership. Ms. Kuuttila has more than 30 years of prior leadership experience in technology commercialization and licensing. This includes positions as Assistant Vice President for Technology Commercialization at Purdue Research Foundation; Director, Technology Commercialization, University of Georgia; and Director, Office of Technology Commercialization, Center for Advanced Technology Development, Iowa State University. Her prior experience also includes a consulting practice that provided strategic marketing and technology-transfer consulting services for a wide variety of well-known technology corporations, universities and foundations, including Stanford University. She began her career in industry in several engineering and technology-marketing positions.

Gibson Lanier

Meunier Carlin & Curfman

Dr. Lanier is a Patent Attorney in the Biotechnology and Life Sciences practice group at Meunier Carlin & Curfman. Dr. Lanier focuses his practice on providing counsel to his clients in all aspects of domestic and foreign patent prosecution in the biotechnology, medical device, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Lanier earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Emory University and his J.D. from Georgia State University. Dr. Lanier is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and a board member of the Intellectual Property section of the Atlanta Bar Association. Dr. Lanier is also heavily involved in the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee of the Association of University Technology Managers.

Amy Laster

Foundation Fighting Blindness

Dr. Amy Laster, VP, Science and Award Programs for Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s largest private funder of research for treatments and cures of blinding retinal degenerative diseases. The Foundation has raised nearly $800 million since its inception and is currently funding more than 80 research projects globally. Dr. Laster oversees the Foundation’s preclinical research portfolio consisting of research awards supporting career development, laboratory-based science research, translational research, and multi-investigator projects. She also drives the overall strategic planning, management, and execution of the Foundation’s research portfolio. Dr. Laster holds a B.S. from Spelman College and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.

Nhi Le

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Nhi Lê, PhD is the Accelerator Associate for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). She specializes in gap funding and commercializing academic research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Nhi has 7 peer-reviewed publications and 5 issued patents. She received her undergraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering from Georgia Tech and PhD in Materials Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining WARF, Nhi ran pre-accelerator and equity-based accelerator programs. In addition to her work at WARF, Nhi is currently also a fund manager for a family office that focuses on deep tech investments.

Eleftheria Ledaki

Queen Mary University of London, UK

Eleftheria Ledaki is a cRTTP, part qualified patent attorney with a scientific background. She currently works as a Commercialization Manager for Queen Mary Innovation, the technology transfer office of Queen Mary University of London, UK where she focuses on commercializing life science technologies. She has been a LifeArc- AUTM fellow in 2018- 2019, she has co- authored a chapter at UK IPO’s book ‘Growing Business Innovation’ and has also been an invited speaker in international TT conferences. Lastly, she supports the TT community by being a committee member for AUTM small TTOs, mentoring entry level TT professionals and start- ups.

Russell Levine

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Russell is a Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP where he has spent his entire 34+ year career. He focuses his trial, appellate and alternative dispute resolution practice on patent infringement matters and disputes involving and related to technology transfer and patent license agreements. His trial practice includes jury trials, arbitrations and Section 337 proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission. His appellate practice concentrates on appeals in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. His technology transfer and licensing practice includes structuring and negotiating both licensing-in and licensing-out transactions. Russell has received numerous accolades for his IP practice. His strategy of seeking and obtaining a writ of mandamus earned “stand-out” recognition in the Financial Times, U.S. Innovative Lawyers 2011. He also won the International Law Office 2012 Client Choice Award in Litigation for the U.S. The clients ILO interviewed had this to say about him: “Russell has that unique ability to provide legal advice in a manner that is understandable, practical and useful for our business.” The 2020 edition of IAM Patent 1000 included the following: “One of the longest-serving anchors of the firm’s top litigation practice is Russell E. Levine; over the course of his nearly 34-year tenure, he has masterminded many of the set’s greatest high-tech successes. ‘Russell builds strong teams and mentors the associates on them very effectively. He’s a deeply strategic thinker with exceptional commercial awareness – for in-house counsel, the value he brings is easy to show to the business. He is also very amenable to creative alternative fee arrangements.’ Levine also flexes deep licensing and transactional expertise and contributes much on the deal side.” Russell is active in bar associations, industry organizations and his community. He is a Past-President of LES (USA and Canada); a past-chair of the By-Laws Committee of the USTA’s Midwest Section; and a past-chair of the President’s Council at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. He is an author and frequent speaker on IP issues. He is co-editor of International Licensing and Technology Transfer: Practice and the Law. His “Top 10 Court Decisions of the Year” workshop at the LES Annual Meeting is consistently standing room only. Russell holds a B.S. in Engineering and a B.S. in Economics, both degrees from the University of Michigan, and his J.D. from the University of Chicago. He is on WIPO’s List of Mediators and Arbitrators, and he is registered to practice before the USPTO. He also is a Certified Licensing Professional.

Alicia Löffler

Northwestern University: Innovation and New Ventures Office

Dr. Alicia Löffler is the founding Executive Director of the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO), Associate Provost for Innovation and New Ventures, Associate Vice President for Research. Dr. Loffler is responsible for all short and long term strategies and operations for INVO, including all educational commercialization and new ventures. Dr. Löffler has served as advisor and director on multiple profit and non-profit boards for biotech/medical and investment firms. Dr. Löffler received a BS from the University of Minnesota, a PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and had her post-doctoral training at Caltech. Dr. Löffler was named one of the Tech 100 stars by Crain’s Chicago Business, and received the “Women in Black” I-Street Award and the 2011 Innovator Award presented by the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS).

Felice Lu

University of California

Dr. Felice Lu is a Research Policy Manager at the University of California Office of the President, where she develops research policy and guidance for the University of California’s ten campus system. Dr. Lu focuses on research policies related to intellectual property and has worked with numerous non-profit funders to develop University of California systemwide master grant agreements. Dr. Lu holds a B.S. from Harvey Mudd College and a Ph.D. from University of California, San Francisco.

Ellen MacKay

Lakehead University

Ellen MacKay is the Director of Innovation Development at Lakehead University. As a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP), Ellen primarily works with faculty to identify, evaluate, and protect intellectual property developed at the University, as well as manages all commercialization and licensing activity. Ellen also oversees the on-campus business incubator, Ingenuity, as well as all entrepreneurial activities on both campuses. Her office also partners with other local economic development, innovation, and entrepreneurship organizations, to support economic outreach in the City of Thunder Bay, where she has resided for twelve years.

Del Mackey

New Mexico State University

Del Mackey is a Senior Economic Development Officer for the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University. Del carries multiple roles within the Arrowhead Center, which governs Intellectual Property for NMSU and serves as an entrepreneurial development center for the state of New Mexico. In his role with the NM FAST program, Del assists small businesses in learning more about the SBIR/STTR programs, provides oversight and guidance in developing SBIR/STTR proposal packages, and delivers workshops and trainings on the value of these programs to small businesses. Additionally, Del is also part of the IP/TT team for the university, and performs industry outreach and engagement for potential partners and licensees.

Joann MacMaster

Desert Angels

Joann MacMaster is Chief Executive Officer of Desert Angels, a non-profit organization of accredited investors who invest in Southwest regional start-up or early stage companies. Previously she served as Director of Venture Development for the University of Arizona’s Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) team, and was Director of AzCI, a tech incubator housed at the UA Tech Park, and as Program Director and OTT Liaison for the UA McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. Joann has an extensive background as an entrepreneur with three successful exits, including one IPO. Her background includes software translation, simulation, network technologies, healthcare education and international business. She is past president of the Arizona Business Incubation Association. Joann holds an MBA from Edinburgh University Scotland.

Keith Marmer

University of Utah

Keith Marmer serves as chief innovation & economic engagement officer at the University of Utah. In this role, Keith has transformed the culture of commercialization at University of Utah, launching three accelerators, a business incubator and a venture fund to support startup companies, facilitating the creation of 52 companies, and generating more than $60 million in university revenue from licensing and industry collaborations. His strong leadership skills come from 30 years of experience as an inventor, entrepreneur and investor. He has three patents, launched three companies, and helped entrepreneurs raise more than $1 billion in investment capital. Previously, Keith was co-founder and managing director of SG3 Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage life science companies. Prior to SG3 Ventures, Keith was chief business officer at Penn Center for Innovation, University of Pennsylvania. Before his university-based commercialization roles, he was an entrepreneur, founding and scaling two companies and co-founding a consulting firm that advised early-stage growth companies. Across his career, Keith has launched, help to launch or overseen teams responsible for starting more than 140 companies. Keith serves, and has served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards and is a past entrepreneur-in-residence at Princeton University. He received an MBA, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Physical Therapy and Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from University of the Sciences.

Tommy Martindale

San Diego State University Research Foundation

As director of the TTO, Tommy Martindale is responsible for the protection and commercialization of technologies and creative works developed through the research endeavor at SDSU. Tommy also serves as a member of the teaching team for the NSF funded CSU Biological Sciences I-Corps Site program, which provides education to researchers in lab to market commercialization. Additionally, Tommy is the Immediate Past President of the San Diego Innovation Council (2018-2019) and currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the SDIC. Tommy is a USPTO registered patent attorney and has over a decade of technology commercialization experience gained in a variety of capacities.

Denise Mayfield


Denise brings sophisticated scientific, commercial and legal experience combining patent, health care, pharma, biotech and software/AI advances to protect client assets. Denise’s strong science background (with an advanced degree in genetics and physiology, and years of experience as a medical researcher) together with her legal training, brings strategic and technically focused legal services to her clients. A skilled and experienced patent attorney, she assists domestic and international clients in identifying, protecting, licensing and litigating bet-the-company technologies. Denise works closely with internal corporate and university technology transfer professionals in patent portfolio development and prosecution, product commercialization strategies, technology transfer and regulatory compliance resolution. She represents companies directly in negotiating technology licenses, cooperative research agreements, joint venture agreements, international distribution and marketing programs, patent litigation matters and university pooling arrangements. Her gift for understanding the business needs of the client permits her to create the strongest protection strategy for her clients. Denise partners with clients to protect a wide range of products and methods, including genetic testing, disease detection and screening tools, veterinary medicine, vaccines, orthopedic devices, dental devices, chemical purification and extraction techniques, plant products, and cannabis and hemp products and their preparation, as well as extraction/purification methods. Denise counsels clients on matters such as pharmacophore drug modeling and selection, antibody and stem cell technologies, regenerative medicine and stem cell technology, disease-screening methods and bio-signature development and disease detection. She also handles IP matters related to medical devices (spine, shoulder, knee), DEA-regulated research, controlled substances (anabolic steroids, cannabinoids) and Bayh-Dole compliance and iEdison reporting. Denise negotiates global and regional licenses that drive revenues while allowing clients to retain ownership of intellectual property assets. She has worked in all aspects of the technology transfer process assisting and drafting license agreements, option agreements, and other transactional documents concerning pharmaceuticals (human and veterinary), medical devices, biologics, and health care monitoring wearable technologies. In developing comprehensive licensing strategies for emerging and larger technology companies, Denise takes into account the unique business pressures each group faces. She also has significant experience helping clients divest assets they no longer wish to pursue. Denise is a registered patent attorney, admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She works closely with clients to maximize an effective path to market, especially for products, methods and systems related to technologies requiring the experienced handling of FDA regulatory compliance issues and trade secret and/or patented technologies. Denise is admitted to practice in Washington, D.C., Texas, and Colorado, and frequently assists clients in navigating and resolving governmental agency-related and state-compliant issues.

Scott McBride

Quarles & Brady LLP

Scott McBride, Ph.D., is a partner and registered patent attorney in the Intellectual Property Group. He focuses his practice on domestic and international patent prosecution and enforcement. Scott also provides counseling and opinion work related to freedom-to-operate, non-infringement and patent invalidity. Scott has over 18 years of legal knowledge related to the patentability of modified natural products, antibodies, diagnostic methods, new chemical entities, pharmaceutical formulations, vaccines, treatment methods, food products, cosmetic products, and animal feed products. Scott’s representative clients include university technology transfer offices and companies involved in the development of healthcare and diagnostic products. In addition to his legal experience, Scott has over ten years of experience as a research scientist, and has co-authored articles in scientific journals including the Journal of Virology, RNA, Molecular Cellular Biology, and Gene. Scott also is involved in academics and is an Adjunct Professor at Marquette University Law School where he teaches courses in intellectual property law.

Ian McClure

University of Kentucky

Ian McClure is the Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization at the University of Kentucky where he oversees a team of 18 staff managing the University’s inventions. In this role, Ian is also a PI on the NIH’s Regional Technology Transfer Accelerator Hub grant for the Southeast IDeA states region, chairs the Ohio Valley Affiliates for Life Sciences (OVALS), and is a PI and sits on the Board for the Commonwealth Commercialization Center (C3), a state-supported project to provide tech transfer services to all other universities in the state. Ian began his career as a Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Intellectual Property (IP) transactions attorney. Following private practice, he helped build a start-up company in Chicago that was the world’s first financial exchange for IP and technology rights, which he led through product development, capital raise, proof of concept and growth to 30+ full time employees. Most recently, Ian was Vice President of IP Strategy for Black Stone IP (acquired by Houlihan Lokey), a boutique investment bank headquartered in San Francisco focused on IP-rich M&A and technology-driven transactions. In parallel, he teaches graduate courses on the Law & Business of IP Management at Chicago-Kent College of Law and the University of Kentucky College of Law. Ian is a founding member of the LES Standards Initiatives’ Intangible Assets in the Boardroom committee and has been named one of the World’s Leading IP Strategists by IAM Magazine every year since 2012.

Kevin McCreight

Eastman Chemical Company

Kevin currently serves as a Technology Fellow in the External Innovation Division at Eastman Chemical Company. His role involves identifying and documenting internal technology needs and then scouting externally to universities, startups & peer companies for developments that could help Eastman address these gaps. Kevin has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a PhD in Polymer Science from the University of Akron. He joined Eastman in 1998 and moved through a variety of individual contributor and leadership assignments across R&D prior to a role as technology liaison to Corporate Development related to assessment, diligence, and integration of Eastman acquisitions. He spent a number of years in Technology Management for Additives and Functional Products as well as Corporate Innovation before joining External Innovation in 2018.

Matt McLellan


Matt is a leader in EdTech and Research Systems with more than 20 years of experience focused on SaaS solutions that ease administrative burden and simplify complex processes. He brings significant software development, product strategy, sales, marketing, operations, M&A and leadership skills to his role as President and CEO of Cayuse. He oversees the company’s business and growth strategy, with an emphasis on meeting customer and market needs by delivering industry-leading SaaS solutions. Matt earned his Bachelor of Business Management degree from Pepperdine University and his Masters in Business Administration degree from the University of California, Irvine.

Nichole Mercier

Washington University in St. Louis

Nichole Mercier is an Assistant Vice Chancellor for Washington University in St. Louis & the Managing Director of the Office of Technology Management. In this role, she sets the strategy for technology transfer at the University and oversees all operations relating to the licensing and protection of intellectual property assets. Dr. Mercier originally joined the Office of Technology Management in 2005 as a member of the licensing team. In addition to her licensing background, she has been dedicated to addressing developed and directed all educational outreach to the University community and instituted the Women in Innovation and Technology (WIT) Program so that her office could better engage female faculty and post-docs in technology transfer related activities. Prior to joining Washington University, she worked as a licensing associate for Boston Children’s Hospital’s Intellectual Property Office. Dr. Mercier received her PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biology from Clark University. Dr. Mercier serves on several not-for-profit boards including Academic Venture Exchange, Midwest Research University Network, and the Balsa Group. She is actively involved in the Women Inventors and Diversity & Inclusion special interest groups for the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). In her spare time, she volunteers for the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in St. Louis, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, the FoodBank of St. Louis, and her church and children’s schools.

Heather Metcalf

Women in Engineering ProActive Network

Heather Metcalf, Ph.D., is Chief Research Officer for the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), where she is project lead for the STEM to Market and ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network initiatives. She has undergraduate degrees in applied mathematics and computer science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, master’s degrees in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and gender studies from the University of Arizona, and a doctorate in higher education, science, and technology policy from the University of Arizona. Dr. Metcalf uses her unique interdisciplinary background to engage in research, policy, and programmatic efforts related to inclusive organizational cultures, individual and organizational change, and career pathways and experiences in STEM fields across all sectors, including commercialization and entrepreneurship. She holds a patent on anti-bias training materials for effective search and hiring processes and is the lead investigator on projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Kapor Center, and the Small Business Administration. She has appeared on a variety of media channels, including: Public Radio International, The Atlantic, The Guardian, National Public Radio, Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Scientific American, Nature, Forbes, and more.

Cliff Michaels

Georgia State University

Clifford Michaels is the Director of Georgia State’s Office of Technology Transfer & Commercialization with over thirteen years of experience in academic technology transfer, licensing, industry partnerships, and research administration. Prior to joining GSU, Cliff was the Interim Executive Director of Emory University’s Technology Transfer Office overseeing both its technology transfer activities as well as industry sponsored research functions. Cliff is an active member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), volunteering with that organization’s strategic communications committee and moderating AUTM’s biannual Leadership Forum event. He also volunteers on the CLP standards, admissions, and recertification committee. Cliff regularly speaks about commercialization, technology transfer, and careers in technology transfer at events around Atlanta and elsewhere. Cliff received his Doctorate in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2007 with his doctoral research focusing on the impact of early-life stress on endogenous opioid systems and behavioral measures of reward. It was during his time as a graduate student where his interests in commercializing university discoveries was piqued, and he started his technology transfer career as an intern during the final year of his graduate studies. Cliff holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience from Lafayette College in Easton, PA and is both a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP™) and a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP™).

Zach Miles

Oklahoma State University

Miles holds a Bachelor of Science from Weber State University and a law degree from the University of New Hampshire. Before joining OSU, Miles served as the associate vice president for economic development at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he oversaw technology transfer, commercial collaborations, UNLV’s Small Business Development Center and was executive director of UNLV’s Research Foundation. As OSU’s senior associate vice president for technology and economic development, Miles will direct OSURF and the Technology Development Center and serve as a primary touchpoint for OSU’s relationship with the corporate community.

Katja Mjos

University of British Columbia

Dr. Katja Mjos is a Technology Transfer Officer at UBC’s University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO). As an experienced research chemist, she knows how to establish connections (“bonds”) between two entities (“atoms”) to make something bigger (“molecule”), which sometimes requires just a little bit of extra energy. At UBC, she uses her connecting skills to bring technologies out of the lab and into the market by being the innovation catalyst who enables strong research and innovation bonds between members of the UBC research community and industry, entrepreneurs, government or non-profit organizations for the betterment of society. She holds a PhD in medicinal bioinorganic chemistry from The University of British Columbia (Canada), and an MSc in chemistry from the Carl-von-Ossietzky University (Germany).

Thomas Moga


Thomas T. Moga is a patent attorney with the national law firm of Dykema Gossett. He holds a degree in biochemistry and has extensive experience in preparing and prosecuting US patent applications, developing and enforcing domestic and foreign patent portfolios, and in technology licensing. A pioneer in protecting and enforcing IP rights in China, Mr. Moga has represented foreign companies in that country for 20 years. While a Fulbright Scholar in China, he taught patent law and was an instructor to Chinese patent examiners. He worked as a foreign legal expert for a patent and trademark law office in Taipei.

Michel Morant

University of Liège

Michel Morant is presently the Managing Director of the Knowledge Transfer Office of the University of Liege and the Hospital. Michel Morant graduated as MSEE and PhD. Je joined first the AEG Daimler-Benz group and in 1998, the University’s TTO. With about 45 staff members, more than 150 spin off companies created, 20 licences a year, the ULiege Interface is today one of the more active KTO of Belgium. He is RTTP and CLP registered, and member of international associations as Curie, AUTM, IASP, TII, ASTP. He is the current President of LIEU, the Belgian association for knowledge transfer.

DJ Nag

Ventech Solutions

As Chief Partnership Officer, DJ leads Ventech Solutions’ strategic partnerships with universities, research hospitals, global research organizations and commercial entities to collaborate on technologies and innovations and is responsible for the acquisition and licensing of intellectual property. Prior to joining Ventech Solutions, he successfully led technology transfer at The Ohio State University, Rutgers University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is credited for creating more than 70 startups and successfully licensing hundreds of technologies. DJ was previously Director of Ocean Tomo as well as Vice President at ICAP Ocean Tomo leading patent transaction markets. He served on the Board of AUTM from 2012 until 2014, focused on technology transfer and intellectual property and on the board of Licensing Executive Society’s Standards Development Organization. DJ was recognized as one of the top IP strategists by IAM in 2019. He is a Professor of Practice at Rutgers University and visiting professor at Shizuoka University. DJ also volunteers as the first Executive-in-Residence at the Dublin City Schools leading a startup academy for high school students and serves on the foundation board at the Dublin Methodist Hospital. DJ earned a bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Engineering from Jadavpur University. He received a Master of Science in Chemistry, a Master of Business Administration, and a Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Niven Narain

Berg Health

Dr. Niven R. Narain is Co-Founder, President & CEO of Berg, a Boston-based biopharma driving next generation drug and diagnostic development by combining patient-driven biology and Bayesian AI. He is a pioneer in technology development at the intersection of Biology and AI and is inventor of the Interrogative Biology® platform that has unraveled actionable disease insight leading to both de novo and repurposed development of a deep pipeline of products in oncology, metabolic, rare, and CNS diseases, namely BPM 31510 currently in Phase 2 trials for cancer covered by over 650 issued and pending US and international patents. Dr. Narain is a member of the NASA/Gene Lab Steering Committee, Advisor to US Department of Defense leadership on breast and prostate cancer and forged strategic partners with industry, academia, and US and UK governments. He serves on the Advisory Board of Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School and the Healthy Aging Initiative Commission at No. 10 for the UK Prime Minister. He is an industry thought leader in precision medicine, drug development, and AI/ML serving as a frequent speaker at Economist, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Wired, and Aspen Ideas and many international meetings on medicine and technology.

Vidushi Neergheen

University of Mauritius

Vidushi is an associate professor since April 2019 based at the Biopharmaceutical Unit at the Centre for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research at the University of Mauritius. She graduated with a PhD in Biosciences in 2008. Her research interest focusses on the cancer preventive effects of nutraceuticals, functional food and medicinal plants. This discipline involves interdisciplinary research and holds much promise in reducing the burden of several types of cancers in the African countries. Vidushi firmly believes that there is a dire need to recognise and advocate this approach in the promotion of health towards the implementation of the sustainable development goals. Moreover, to uphold her belief and engagement in scientific networking and knowledge sharing, she has been an active member of the Global Young Academy from 2012 to 2017, has been a Next Einstein Forum Ambassador and is a fellow of the African Science Leadership Program. In 2014, she was honoured by the World Economic Forum as one of the Global Young Scientists. In 2017, she received the Best African Woman Researcher Award from Merck Africa for her outstanding contribution to cancer research. She is currently a Next Einstein Forum fellow and the Vice-President of the Mauritian Chapter of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World.

Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa retired from federal service in 2018 as Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which leads the human space flight enterprise for the nation. She is an experienced astronaut, having served as a crew member on four space shuttle missions in a variety of roles including leading onboard scientific activities, operating the robotic arm, and serving as flight engineer during the launch, rendezvous, and entry phases of the mission. Prior to being named Center Director, Dr. Ochoa was Deputy Center Director for five years; she previously led the Flight Crew Operations Directorate, managing the astronaut office and the aircraft operations divisions. As the first Hispanic female astronaut, Dr. Ochoa has given more than 300 presentations focusing on the importance of a science, technology, engineering and math education. She has six schools named after her, several books written about her for the K-8 grades, and has been profiled in textbooks and on websites geared toward encouraging females and minorities to pursue technical fields. She is the recipient of many awards including NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Presidential Distinguished Rank of the Senior Executive Service, and honorary doctorates from six universities. Dr. Ochoa began her career as a research engineer at Sandia National Laboratories and NASA’s Ames Research Center. She has 3 patents in the area of optical information processing and numerous publications in technical journals. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors and the Optical Society of America.

Deborah Palestrant

5AM Ventures

Deborah Palestrant, Ph.D., M.B.A joined 5AM Ventures in 2018 as Partner, Head of 4:59. Previously, Dr. Palestrant was Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy at Relay Therapeutics, where she executed business strategy including alliances, partnerships, and other collaborations and led communications. She has over 15 years of life sciences industry experience including drug discovery, company creation, operations, business development, and strategy. Following her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Palestrant was a lab head at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where she advanced multiple structure-based drug discovery programs. In 2010, Dr. Palestrant joined Third Rock Ventures as a senior associate and helped to build and launch Blueprint Medicines (NASDAQ: BPMC). Upon its launch, Dr. Palestrant served an interim role in operations at Blueprint Medicines. Subsequent to her return to Third Rock Ventures, Dr. Palestrant helped to conceive and launch Editas Medicine (NASDAQ: EDIT), and as part of the original founding team, she led the business development group until joining Relay Therapeutics. Dr. Palestrant holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from Columbia University, an M.B.A from Northeastern University, and was Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute. She is based in the Boston, MA office.

Janhvi Patel

CVS Health

Janhvi Patel is a Senior Director at CVS Health, where she manages strategic partnerships. Prior to joining CVS Health in 2021, Janhvi was the Digital Ventures Lead in Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Office of Technology Development. At MSK, she led the commercialization of digital, diagnostic, and data assets via spinouts, strategic partnerships, and licensing. Prior to joining MSK, Janhvi was Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategic Partnerships at Cota Healthcare, a data analytics startup focused on precision medicine. In this role, she defined and executed partnership strategies to enhance product offerings, grow data assets, and scale go-to-market efforts to drive revenue. Previously, Janhvi worked at IBM Watson, where she led business development across healthcare for the Watson Health Ecosystem, establishing a portfolio of partnerships focused on developing AI-enabled products. Additionally, she spent several years as a Management Consultant with IBM Global Business Services’ Strategy and Operations Consulting team, focused on commercial strategy and organizational transformation for healthcare organizations. Janhvi started her career in the pharmaceutical industry at Merck, focused on sales and marketing in various chronic disease markets. Janhvi received her MBA degree from Duke University, and a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Biochemistry from the State University of New York, Geneseo College.

Simon Pearson

Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology

Simon Pearson is Professor of Agri-Food Technology and Founding Director of the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology at the University of Lincoln. His research group focusses on the development of robotic and autonomous systems as well as digital system deployed across the agri-food sector. This includes the development of robotic systems for crop harvesting, crop care and phenotyping. Prior to joining Lincoln, Simon was CEO of a large farming group and worked as a technologist for Marks and Spencer plc.

Deborah Perez Fernandez

Rutgers University

Deborah Perez Fernandez is Assistant Director of Licensing in the Innovation Ventures Office overseeing intellectual property protection, marketing and licensing of Physical Sciences, Engineering and Agriculture technologies. Prior to joining the office in 2010, Deb worked in an intellectual property law firm as a technology specialist, drafting patent applications and responses to U.S. and foreign office actions in various technological fields. Before that, she was a post-doctoral fellow at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School studying degenerative changes in the cochlea that lead to hearing loss. Deb holds a MS in Chemical Engineering and Organic Chemistry from the University of Strasbourg, and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from ETH Zurich. Her Ph.D. work focused on aminoglycoside antibiotics that selectively target bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA. Deb also holds an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She is a USPTO registered patent agent and a certified licensing professional.

Orakanoke Phanraska

National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand

After received a Bachelor of Laws from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, Dr. Phanraksa won a prestigious Royal Thai Government scholarship to pursue her education in the USA. She received a Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Ph.D. in laws from the University of Washington in 2000 and 2005 respectively. She is a policy specialist in the field of intellectual property laws. Currently, she is with the Technology Licensing Office, Technology Management Center at the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Pathumthani, Thailand, as a manager of the Intellectual Property Policy group. Since 2010, she has been working closely with the Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC) and has played a key role to form a policy framework to promote and strengthen technology licensing offices and IP professionals in the academic institutes in Thailand. This effort has further extended to a recent collaboration between the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP), and NSTDA to run a six year project titled the “Enabling IP Environment” in Thailand. In 2019, she was the first to be awarded the Global IP Champion Award from the Global Innovation Policy Center, US Chamber of Commerce. This award was given to five individuals in the field of intellectual property who are leading efforts to bring about positive change in their communities and around the world. Apart from her professional experience in the IP regime, she was past Co-Chair of the Global Young Academy, a non-profit organization with 200 top young scientists from all disciplines from around the world. During her membership term, she was leading the Global State of Young Scientists (GloSYS) ASEAN and the ASEAN Science Leadership Program. This has made her become the only Co-Chair from low-middle income countries who lead two flagship projects under the GYA. Currently, she is the Interim Co-Chair of the ASEAN Young Scientists Network and also serving the academic team of the Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, Thailand.

Leena Prabhu

Washington University in St. Louis

Leena Prabhu, Ph.D., M.B.A., leads the licensing team at OTM (Office of Technology Management), which is responsible for commercialization of technologies at The Washington University in Saint Louis. Leena and her team evaluate invention disclosures, manage patent portfolios, negotiate licenses and develop commercialization strategies to maximize the translational impact of university technologies. Prior to joining the OTM, Leena worked both as a research scientist and later as a senior licensing associate at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Leena has also worked at Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals (Merck) as a product management associate. She holds a Ph.D in Molecular Biology from I.I.Sc. (Indian Institute of Science) and a M.B.A. from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Donald Prather

Meunier Carlin & Curfman

Dr. Prather is a Patent Attorney in the Biotechnology and Life Sciences practice group at Meunier Carlin & Curfman. Dr. Prather earned his Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University and his J.D. from Georgia State University. For university clients in the life science and biotechnology industries, Dr. Prather’s patent experience includes therapeutic antibodies, recombinant protein therapeutics, RNAi therapeutics, gene therapy, human vaccines, veterinary vaccines, and in vitro diagnostics. Prior to becoming an attorney, Dr. Prather worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Licensing Associate with the Technology Transfer Office.

John Puziss

Yale University

Dr. Puziss is the Executive Director of Business Development at Yale University’s Office of Cooperative Research, where he leads a team of professionals who are responsible for the advancement and commercialization of technologies developed at Yale. He is a recognized expert in licensing university technologies and in negotiating academic-corporate research collaborations. He has been a member of the Office of Cooperative Research since 2001, is also a member of Yale’s Conflict of Interest Committee, and is on the Board of Directors of ReNetX, Inc, a Yale spinout developing therapies for spinal cord injury, stroke, and glaucoma, and MindNest Health, a Yale spinout that is commercializing online digital behavioural training for parents. Prior to joining Yale, he was an Associate in Business Development and Marketing at Proteome, Inc., and a Senior Research Investigator in anti-infective drug discovery at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Dr. Puziss received his B.S. cum laude in Microbiology from the University of Rochester, and his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in the Dept. of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Sangeetha Raghavan

National Institutes of Health

Sangeetha Raghavan is a technology transfer specialist with experience in evaluating technologies in wide ranging areas of biologics, diagnostics, drug delivery, therapeutics, medical devices, plant varieties, small molecules and software. Her experience includes assessing technologies for their patentability and commercial viability, negotiating a variety of intellectual property agreements, and marketing technologies to facilitate the transfer of such technologies from the lab to the marketplace. Sangeetha’s technology transfer career began at the University of Maryland’s technology transfer office in 2008 where she worked as a Technology Assistant and thereafter as a Life Science Technology Licensing Associate in 2011. She then transitioned to the role of Senior Licensing Associate at Children’s National Medical Center’s Innovation Ventures in 2017 where among other things she co-developed a technology evaluation system that is used to report to the Intellectual Property Committee. She currently serves as a Senior Licensing and Patenting Manager at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As part of her efforts to commercialize the technologies at Children’s, she also served as a primary liaison between Innovation Ventures and external Entrepreneurs-in-Residence comprising of industry experts. Her business development and marketing efforts led to pre-licensing discussions with top biotech and medical device companies both at University of Maryland and Children’s National. Sangeetha has also served as an independent NSF SBIR/STTR proposal reviewer for medical devices, diagnostic and medical imaging technologies. When she is not engaged in technology transfer activities, Sangeetha loves to cook, read and spend time with her family.

Gage Ramos

Georgia Tech Research Corporation

Gage Ramos began her technology transfer career in 2008 at the University of South Carolina and currently serves in the Georgia Institute of Technology Office of the General Counsel supporting industry sponsored research functions and commercialization of innovations/intellectual properties developed at Georgia Tech as a service to the GT community. She holds a B.S. in biological sciences from Clemson University and a J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Mukul Ranjan

National Institutes of Health

Mukul Ranjan, serves as Senior Advisor specializing on complex deals for NIAID in collaborations between the public, private academic and non-profit sectors. His duties also cover international technology transfer for NIAID and maintaining relationships with Pharma, Biotech and non-profit foundations. Mukul has been a part of the NIH technology transfer community since 1996 serving both in the NHLBI and NIAID technology transfer offices. In addition to federal technology transfer, he also has extensive knowledge U.S. patent laws, issues and procedures, and is a member of the US Patent Bar. He has worked at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as a Biotechnology Patent Examiner. Before joining the PTO, Dr. Ranjan was a research scientist, at NIH studying gene regulation during early embryonic development and during cell differentiation in the brain. Mukul has a special interest in alleviating the global disease burden due to infectious disease and is keenly interested in international collaborations and development issues. He has attended and spoken at a number of national and international symposia on intellectual property management in the biomedical sciences

Robin Rasor

Duke University

As Executive Director of OLV, Ms. Rasor oversees all functions of the tech transfer process at the University. Previously, Ms. Rasor was Managing Director of Licensing at the University of Michigan where she oversaw the licensing process ranging from management and marketing of disclosures to developing and negotiating appropriate licensing terms for license agreements, and finally to maintaining and monitoring existing agreements. Ms. Rasor is also a former Director of Licensing at The Ohio State University and former employee of Battelle Columbus Laboratories, a leading US contract research firm. Ms. Rasor has a MS in Genetics from The Ohio State University and a BS in Bacteriology and Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University. She has earned the CLP (Certified Licensing Professional) credential and is past President and Chair of the Board of Governors of Certified Licensing Professionals, Inc. Ms. Rasor is a Past President of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Board of Trustees. She has also served on the Board of Directors, most recently as Treasurer, of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2005, she was awarded the President’s Award for service to AUTM. In 2007, Ms. Rasor was part of the team headed by Michigan’s Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan honored by The American Association for Cancer Research in its first annual AACR Team Science Award.

Fred Reinhart

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Fred Reinhart is currently Senior Advisor for Technology Transfer in the UMass Amherst Technology Transfer Office. He is a Past President of AUTM over 35 years of experience as a technology transfer executive at New England Medical Center, University of Michigan and Wayne State University. He is on the Board of Directors of the University of Iowa Research Foundation and was previously Chairman of MichBio. He is a Registered Technology Transfer Professional and a graduate of the University of Michigan with an MBA degree in Marketing and New Product Development.

Kelley Rich

IDEA Center of the University of Notre Dame

Kelley Rich is the Executive Director of Commercialization at the IDEA Center of the University of Notre Dame overseeing the Commercialization Engine process that transforms early-stage innovations into attractive investment opportunities through problem, technology and market validation. Kelley is an experienced intreprenuer with previous brand management, innovation and marketing leadership roles at SC Johnson and Whirlpool Corporation. Her brand innovation experience includes: WhirlpoolⓇ, AmanaⓇ, KitchenAidⓇ, ZiplocⓇ, RaidⓇ, and GladeⓇ. She has an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, a masters in aerospace engineering from University of Cincinnati and a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Rodney Ridley

Alvernia University

Dr. Rodney Ridley, associate provost and vice president, is the chief operating officer of the institute. Ridley has more than 28 years of higher education experience and has held myriad positions from research assistant and engineering professor to his current role as executive director of The Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University. He also has served in numerous private sector engineering capacities, earned numerous awards, including the 2017 Pennsylvania Acceleration Educator of the Year and holds 27 U.S. patents. Ridley earned a doctorate in engineering science and mechanics and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Penn State University as well as a bachelor’s degree in physics from Lincoln University.

Chad Riggs

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Chad Riggs has been marketing the incredible inventions from the Office of Technology Licensing at St. Jude in March 2013. Prior to that, Chad received his MBA from the University of Tennessee (2006), and founded Mill Creek Holdings, LLC (2007) – a Technology Transfer and New Technologies Consulting Firm with clients that include the University of Memphis, the State University of New York, Voices Heard Media, Elixir Media Group, 360ip, Innovation Valley Partners, Battelle Ventures, SoHoVista, Aldis, & Academy Funds; and 6 years with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2006-2013). He obtained his BS in Engineering Design from East Tennessee State University and was previously employed in doing 3D design for video games, TV, medical/surgical simulation, and construction; as staff and as a manager. He also has been constantly engaged with the communities that surround his work. He starts, organizes and leads groups; and plans and coordinates enrichment activities and competitions do encourage and develop new skills.

Eagle Robinson

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Eagle is a partner in the Austin office of Norton Rose Fulbright, where he focuses primarily on patent law, both transactional and litigation, and develops and defends patent portfolios for a number of universities and industry clients in various technology areas, including medical devices and oil and gas equipment. Eagle also maintains an active IPR docket before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and has litigated infringement claims for a variety of technologies in the Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas, the Eastern District of Virginia, the District of Delaware, the Western District of Michigan, and the Southern District of Florida. Eagle began drafting and prosecuting patent applications as a patent agent with an Oklahoma City IP Boutique during law school, and earned his J.D., and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Oklahoma. He is an active member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), and is currently Chair of the Central Region Planning Committee of AUTM.

Michael Rohlfsen


Mike Rohlfsen brings deep international agribusiness experience, including 18 years with Cargill Inc. in a variety of financial, strategic marketing, product and business development positions. Most recently, he founded and led Somaris Global, a Minneapolis-based business development firm working in next generation ag technology. Mike has experience directing agricultural strategies in companies ranging from multinational corporations to start-ups. He has practical experience in managing research and development, venture funding and business development. His career has consistently focused on applying new technology, spanning aquaculture, organic food supply chains and sustainable biomass product development among other areas. Prior to starting Somaris Global, Mike was director of business development at Pipeline Foods, a global supply chain firm working in organic and non-GMO food, feed and fertilizer. Earlier he founded Signal Biologics, an algae-based production technology company for organic, agricultural biologic applications. His past business development positions include work with Heliae, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Parabel, of Melbourne, Fla. Prior to those positions, Mike spent 18 years with Cargill Inc. in a multifaceted career spanning agricultural and industrial commodity trading, corporate strategy and M&A, business and geographic development, and renewable energy work across three continents.

Michael Rondelli

University of North Texas

Michael Rondelli joined the University of North Texas in December 2015 as the Associate Vice President of Innovation and Commercialization and has grown his role into the Associate Vice President of Research Commercial Agreements. In this role, he is responsible for managing the technology transfer function within UNT as well as other projects related to intellectual property negotiations, development of new research clusters, and developing entrepreneurial activities on campus. Additionally, all research contracts are developed, negotiated and executed by his office. Prior to UNT, Michael was the Director of Licensing for the University of Southern California’s Stevens Center for Innovation where he was able to turn around the licensing function that was under-performing license goals for many years prior to his term. Prior to that, Michael built San Diego State University’s Technology Transfer Office into one of the most efficient university licensing operations. Prior to technology transfer, Michael worked in corporate finance and venture capital in New York City. He earned his BSBA with honors in Business from Washington University in St. Louis, his MBA in Finance from Texas Christian University and his JD from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Kim Rosenfield

Dartmouth University

Kim Rosenfield is the Director of Technology Transfer at Dartmouth College. She has 30+ years of business, legal, and entrepreneurial experience in both academia and industry, and has worked in law firms and the government. She has helped to found, raise funds for, and manage several start-up companies, and has worked in-house as General Counsel in a publicly traded company. She has also represented many global companies, non-profits, and medical centers. She started her career as a litigator, working as a prosecutor on cases from street crime to espionage, and on civil and employment cases in a major law firm. Kim also is a certified mediator. Her best career advice, however, comes from her experience parenting 4 kids.

Daniel Rudoy

Wolf Greenfield

Dan Rudoy focuses his practice on patent prosecution in the areas of artificial intelligence, speech and image processing, industrial automation, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, cybersecurity, autonomous devices, software, medical devices, computer security, networking, radar systems, and electronics. He is particularly skilled in technologies related to machine learning, including deep learning, signal processing, big data, data science and bioinformatics. Dan works regularly with startups and midsize companies, advising them on all aspects of IP strategy and portfolio development both in the United States and abroad. Dan works with clients on many IP issues beyond patent prosecution including due diligence, trade secrets, licensing, freedom-to-operate and litigation. Dan was previously an associate staff member in the Air and Missile Defense Technology, and the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Systems Technology divisions at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he developed target tracking, multi-sensor fusion and discrimination technologies for radar and electro-optical infrared systems. Subsequently as a graduate student at Harvard University, he carried out research in speech and audio signal processing, computational statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and atomic force microscopy.

Cami Samuels


Cami Samuels focuses on healthcare with an emphasis on biotech, medical devices, and consumer health. She currently serves on the board of Iris, Unity (UBX), and XCaliber – and previously served on the board of several other Venrock companies including Corvidia (sold to Novo Nordisk), Spirox (acquired by Stryker via Entellus) and RegenXBIO (RGNX). Prior to Venrock, Cami was a Managing Director at Versant Ventures where she supported many companies including Genomic Health (GHDX), Jazz (JAZZ), Kythera (KYTH/acq by Allergan), Novacardia (acq by Merck), and ParAllele (acq by Affymetrix). Before her venture career, Cami worked in business development at Tularik (acq by Amgen). During her early career, Cami worked in corporate development at Genzyme and Millennium Predictive Medicine and was a management consultant at LEK Consulting. Cami earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she graduated as a Baker Scholar.

Laura Savatski


Laura is the Technology Transfer Officer for the non-profit organization Versiti | Blood Research Institute. In this role, she is responsible for technology protection, commercialization, and partnership development. Laura has a diverse background as a research scientist, entrepreneur, and start-up advisor, and broad experience bringing inventions to market. Laura’s early career in medical research focused on vaccine trials, molecular virology, stem cell biology, transplant/oncology, and cellular assays. Her past roles include Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Prodesse, a company she co-founded, which make molecular infectious disease diagnostic products and is now part of Hologic. Laura currently serves as the AUTM Board representative for the Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals (ATTP).

Marc Sedam


Marc is the Vice Provost for Innovation and New Ventures of UNHInnovation. He joined UNH in 2010. Marc has an extensive background in intellectual asset management, licensing, and start-up formation. In addition to his position with UNH, he was the founding director of the Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center and serves as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center, New Hampshire’s only translational research funding program. Marc is currently the Principal Investigator of UNH’s National Science Foundation I-Corps Site. Marc served on the Board of Directors of NHICC/AlphaLoft from 2011 to 2016, and as Vice-Chair of the Board of Alpha Loft from 2014 to 2015. He has been a member of the NH Governor’s “Live Free and Start” advisory council, an initiative designed to help high tech companies succeed in New Hampshire, since its inception in 2014, and also serves as an advisor to the boards of two non-profits founded at UNH: Operation Hat Trick and PLAN (Post-Landfill Action Network). Marc previously served on the AUTM Board of Directors from 2015 to 2016 as the Vice President for Professional Development, responsible for AUTM’s education and training activities.

Eric See

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Eric See is the Manager of Operations for the Technology Ventures Office at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In this capacity, he assists with managing the intellectual property data, financials, and database system for the Technology Ventures Office. Eric was formerly an elementary school teacher, he pivoted away from the classroom the TTO. Eric received his Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Masters of Art in Teaching both from the University of Southern California.

Sharon Semones

Eli Lilly and Company

Sharon works for Lilly’s Discovery Search and Evaluate External Innovation team as a Strategic Advisor to partnering with academic, alumni and external parties to foster novel business models, research collaborations and licensing opportunities. She is also co-chair of BIO’s Technology Transfer Office Committee. Sharon received her B.S. in Chemistry from Chatham University and earned her M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from Indiana University. She joined Lilly Research Labs in 1999, building a Physical Properties group in Discovery Research. In 2004, Sharon transferred to Global External R&D where she developed and managed technology portfolios across the value chain of drug discovery and development, including the founding of Lilly’s Open Innovation Drug Discovery Program.

Kelly Sexton

University of Michigan

As associate vice president for research – technology transfer and innovation partnerships, Kelly works closely with the vice president for research as well as other leaders across the university to provide visionary and strategic leadership of UM’s innovation and technology transfer activities, including the Office of Technology Transfer. In this role, she supports and encourages university-wide programs for intellectual property development, innovation, and engagement with business, venture, and government communities in the region, across the nation, and around the globe. Prior to her arrival at the University of Michigan in January of 2018, Kelly was the assistant vice chancellor for technology commercialization at North Carolina State University. Kelly holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology from the University of California, San Diego.

Jennifer Shieh

U.S. Small Business Administration

Dr. Jennifer Shieh advances technology commercialization through the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs, building partnerships and coordinating policy across the 11 participating Federal agencies. She served as the Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), where she led national efforts to improve the transfer of federally-funded technologies from lab-to-market, advance Federal agency coordination on R&D infrastructure, and champion open innovation through prizes and citizen science. Previously, she managed the Small Business Program for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and served as a Program Director at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) SBIR Development Center, having joined NCI as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow. She was involved in product and customer development at Syapse, a precision medicine-focused startup, and mobile games startup Subversus Interactive. Dr. Shieh studied brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, then earned her PhD in neurosciences at Stanford University. She is co-author of the textbook Guide to Research Techniques in Neuroscience.

Hope Shimabuku

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

As the Regional Director of the Texas Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Hope Shimabuku carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and is responsible for leading the Texas regional office. Focusing on the region and actively engaging with the community, Ms. Shimabuku ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders. Ms. Shimabuku brings to the USPTO nearly two decades of experience as an engineer and intellectual property attorney. Most recently, Ms. Shimabuku was part of the Office of General Counsel at Xerox Corporation serving as Vice President and Corporate Counsel responsible for all intellectual property matters for Xerox Business Services LLC. She also worked for BlackBerry Corporation advising on United States and Chinese standards setting, cyber security, technology transfer, and intellectual property laws and legislation. As an engineer, she worked for Procter & Gamble and Dell Computer Corporation. Ms. Shimabuku is a leader in the Texas region. She currently sits on the Board of Visitors for the University of North Texas Law School and is an honorary member and inaugural member of the Barbara M.G. Lynn IP Inn of Court. She is a past chair for the Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of Texas, served as past president of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, chaired the Dallas Diversity Task Force, served as a facilitator for the DFW Women in Intellectual Property group and served on the board of the Dallas Bar Association and as a member of the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas – District 6. Throughout her career, Ms. Shimabuku has championed diversity efforts, including service as the first Asian-American Chair of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and was honored with the Champion of Diversity Award by the Association of Corporate Counsel and separately by the Asian Pacific Interest Section of the State Bar of Texas. She has received numerous professional honors, including being honored as a Hero of Innovation by the Center for American and International Law, being selected as a Dallas Business Journal “Top 40 Under Forty,” named Dallas Business Journal’s Corporate Counsel Rookie of the Year, and selected as one of DCEO’s “500 Most Powerful Business Leaders.” Ms. Shimabuku received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and graduated cum laude with a J.D. from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. She is a native Texan, born and raised in Houston. She currently lives in Flower Mound, Texas, with her husband and two daughters.

Uttam Shrestha

Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal

Uttam Babu Shrestha is founding director of the Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (GIIS), Nepal. He has completed a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA and has two masters’ degrees. He was awarded by Outstanding Graduate Student Award for my Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2014 and the Graduate Academic Excellence Award for my Master’s degree at Northeastern University in 2008. So far, he has published 57 peer-reviewed papers, one book, two book chapters, and several articles in popular press. He was a member (2015-2020) of the Global Young Academy—a global organization of young scien¬tists around the world where he co-leaded a working group—Science Diplomacy in South Asia and a fellow for the global assessments of Biodiversity at the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) from 2016-2019 and lead author for the assessments of sustainable use of wild species at IPBES from 2018-2021. He is a fortnightly columnist for Kantipur daily–the most widely circulated daily newspaper in Nepal.

Tobin Smith

Association of American Universities

Toby Smith has served at AAU since January 2003. As Vice President for Policy, he oversees AAU’s policy projects, initiatives and activities including the AAU Undergraduate STEM education and PhD education initiatives. He is responsible for matters relating to science and innovation policy and broader impacts of science. He shares responsibility for matters concerning research costs and compliance issues including facilities and administrative costs, export controls, scientific openness and security, technology transfer and regulatory reform. He also staffs the Senior Research Officers constituent group. Prior to joining AAU in January 2003, Toby worked as a federal relations representative in the Washington D.C. Offices of the University of Michigan (1999-2002) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1992-1999). He began his Washington career on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant to Congressman Bob Traxler (D-Michigan). Toby has written and spoken widely on science policy and funding issues. He is the co-author a book on national science policy published in 2008 by the University of Michigan Press titled, Beyond Sputnik – U.S. Science Policy in the 21stCentury. He is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on the Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Sciences and serves on the Advisory Board to the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI). He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Toby holds a master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree from the University of Michigan.

Jon Soderstrom

Yale University

Jon Soderstrom is currently the Managing Director of University Technology Commercialization and Faculty Innovation at Yale University. The Office manages the intellectual assets created at Yale to achieve the maximum benefit for the public and provide a financial return to support the University’s research efforts. He is responsible for managing the intellectual property portfolio of Yale faculty members, including (1) defining and executing commercialization strategies including negotiation of licenses and corporate-sponsored research agreements, (2) initiating strategic corporate partnerships, and (3) development and marketing of business concepts for new spin-off companies to the venture investment community. Since joining the Office in 1996, he has helped form more than 25 new ventures including Molecular Staging (acquired by Qiagen), Agilix, Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASQ: ACHN), PhytoCeutica (acquired by Kadmon), Protometrix (acquired by Invitrogen), Iconic Therapeutics, Applied Spine Technologies, HistoRx (acquired by Genoptix), VaxInnate, Affomix, Kolltan Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Celldex), Arvinas and Artisan Bioscience. Collectively, these companies have raised over $500 million in professional venture capital. In 2007, the Office created the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute to help undergraduate, graduate and professional school students at Yale to start scalable new ventures. Over 100 new ventures have been formed that have raised over $135 million in investment capital. Prior to this position, Dr. Soderstrom was the Director of Program Development for Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) after serving for ten years as Director of Technology Licensing for Martin Marietta Energy Systems. In the Office of Technology Transfer, he directed a group of ten professionals responsible for negotiating licenses and Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). Dr. Soderstrom was a founding board member and past president of the Association of Federal Technology Transfer Executives as well as a member of the Licensing Executive Society and Association of University Technology Managers where he was, in 2008, President and, from 2003 – 2005, Vice President for Public Policy as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. He is frequently asked to lecture and teach seminars on various aspects of the technology commercialization process and economic development both within the United States and abroad. He has testified before Congress on technology transfer issues and served as an expert witness in patent infringement litigations. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Soderstrom was honored as the 87th “Point of Light” by President George H. W. Bush in March, 1990 for volunteer work with low-income families in East Tennessee to build and rehabilitate housing and provide other essential services. Dr. Soderstrom received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1980 and his B.A. from Hope College in 1976.

Debbie Stewart


Debora R. Stewart, CPA – Managing Director with InvotexIP. InvotexIP is a consulting firm that specializes in royalty audits and compliance. Ms. Stewart is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 25 years’ experience working with corporations, universities, government entities and their counsel in the intellectual property area. Debbie was at the forefront of the royalty audit industry as one of the first professionals who understood the unique relationship between the licensor and licensee. She is dedicated to helping clients proactively manage their license royalty reporting and revenue. Arguably, Debbie has personally managed more patent royalty audits than anyone else in the industry. Her firm is known for the ability to uncover large underpayments while preserving the licensor-licensee relationship.

Adam Stoten

Oxford University Innovation Limited

Adam has overall operational responsibility for the Licensing & Ventures and Consulting Services activities, in addition to several business support groups. He has worked for more than 15 years in commercial roles encompassing business development and licensing, new venture formation, product development, lobbying/advocacy and general management. Prior to his current role Adam led the Life Sciences Licensing & Ventures Group at OUI, where he oversaw the formation of more than 20 new spin out companies and led the creation of LAB282, a £13M partnership with Oxford Sciences Innovation plc and Evotec AG to accelerate Oxford drug discovery activities. Between 2010 and 2013 Adam worked as Deputy General Manager for the Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium Ltd, a joint venture between the University of Oxford and Emergent BioSolutions Inc, which raised more than $30M to conduct the first ever efficacy study of a next generation TB vaccine in infants. Prior to this Adam worked in healthcare consulting with Technomark Ltd and then in increasingly senior commercialisation roles at OUI.

Rebecca Stoughton

Fuentek, LLC

Rebecca Stoughton is a vice president with Fuentek, a leading technology transfer consulting firm. With more than 30 years of experience, Becky’s expertise includes technology assessment, marketing, licensing, increasing researcher engagement and satisfaction, conflict of interest management, and facilitating startups. Before joining Fuentek, she played a key role in re-launching and subsequently leading the University of Texas at Dallas Office of Technology Commercialization. Having first-hand experience with several knowledge management systems, including Inteum and Sophia, Becky has developed a deep understanding of the powerful role they can play in enhancing TTO operations and researcher engagement via inventor portals.

Per Stromhaug

Binghamton University, State University of New York

Dr. Per Stromhaug is the Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development at Binghamton University. He oversees the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships including tech transfer activities, the start-up suite, entrepreneurial support and economic growth initiatives. He is also overseeing the new High Technology Incubator in downtown Binghamton and is the lead contact for the Start-Up NY initiative at Binghamton University. He holds a PhD degree in cell biology from the University of Oslo, Norway, and an Executive MBA degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Dr. Stromhaug has a lot of experience in technology transfer, entrepreneurship, business incubation and economic development on the business and administrative side; at the hands-on and at the executive level. Prior to Binghamton University Dr. Stromhaug has worked at an assistant professor and licensing associate at the University of Missouri – Columbia, and as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and the University of Florida – Gainesville, conducting research in the area of molecular and cell biology. He has been also a post-doctoral research fellow at the Norwegian Radium Hospital, with a fellowship from the Norwegian Cancer Society.

Tari Suprapto


Tari Suprapto, Ph.D., RTTP is a Senior Advisor for External Innovation at Elanco, a Top 5 global animal health company as a member of a team responsible for search and evaluation of external opportunities for collaboration and licensing for the company. She is a seasoned technology commercialization professional in the life sciences with over 15 years in the non-profit sector promoting and commercializing innovative opportunities from world-class research institutions such as the Salk Institute, The Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Tari has extensive experience in licensing, building and managing strategic alliances with industry and other academic institutions, and a well-rounded technical background in a variety of areas. She is currently the Vice President of the San Diego Innovation Council, an organization that highlights the importance and brings together multiple stakeholders in the value chain of the San Diego innovation ecosystem.

Stephen Susalka


Steve works to ensure that AUTM serves the needs and interests of its members through strategic planning, outreach and advocacy, while empowering Association members and promoting the profession. A regular speaker on technology transfer issues, Steve has presented on Capitol Hill and internationally on topics ranging from the evolution of the technology transfer profession to start-up formation. Before joining AUTM, Steve served as Associate Director for Commercialization at Wake Forest Innovations where he was responsible for commercializing high-impact inventions, and drafting, negotiating and executing a wide variety of licensing and start-up transactions. Steve is a registered U.S. Patent Agent and a past Board member of multiple Wake Forest-affiliated start-ups. Steve has also led the Winston-Salem Technology Council to retain and grow local technology businesses to strengthen the economy.

Louise Sutherland

Ceres Agritech Partnership

Louise Sutherland joined Ceres as Director in June 2019. Her extensive agri-tech credentials include chairing the Raspberry Breeding Consortium (a joint research and industry partnership) at James Hutton Ltd., as well as previously chairing both the AHDB Soft Fruit Panel and the Red Tractor Fresh Produce Scheme. Louise has also been a member of the AHDB Horticulture Board and the Assured Food Standards Board. She has over a decade’s experience working at Marks & Spencer, holding a variety of technical and commercial roles across their food business. Louise has a PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Reading and worked on novel biocontrol systems for tree diseases.

Matt Takvorian


Matt has over ten years of experience in the Biotechnology Sector with nearly eight years in Licensing and Technology Transfer. Currently, Matt is the Director of Business Development – Licensing at Addgene. He manages Addgene’s Technology Transfer group and explores new avenues to meet Addgene’s mission to “Accelerate research and discovery by improving access to useful research materials and information.” Prior to re-joining Addgene in 2019, Matt work with Absolute Antibody and Kerafast as both organizations were expanding their licensing activities in research reagents. Matt holds an MBA (BioSciences Management) and a Master in Microbial Biotechnology, both from North Carolina State University.

Daren Tang

World Intellectual Property Organization

Daren Tang, a national of Singapore, began his six-year mandate as Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization on October 1, 2020. Prior to his appointment as WIPO Director General, he served as Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), driving the strategic transformation of IPOS in support of Singapore’s innovation-based economy. Between 1997 and 2012, before joining IPOS, Daren Tang held different legal positions within the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore. In 2016, he received the Public Administration Medal from the Prime Minister’s Office Singapore for outstanding efficiency and competence in the service of his country. Daren Tang is a graduate of the National University of Singapore (Bachelor of Law, Honors) and the Georgetown University Law Center (Master of Laws, Distinction). He also attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He is fluent in English and Chinese.

Iain Thomas

Cambridge Enterprise

Iain Thomas heads Cambridge Enterprise’s Life Science team. The team is responsible for technology in fields as diverse as therapeutics, diagnostics, biofuels, IVF and agritech. Spin-outs from Cambridge University include Mission Therapeutics, Cambridge Epigenetix, XO1 Therapeutics, Z-factor, Phoremost, Predictimmue and Polyprox; XO1 was sold to Janssen for an undisclosed sum. Iain led discussions with GSK in respect of the University of Cambridge–GSK open innovation drug discovery initiative based at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, founded (with others) Apollo Therapeutics an innovative vehicle for developing early stage therapeutic opportunities from three Universities (Cambridge, University College London and Imperial College) and led the creation of Ceres a funding partnership of technology in the Agritech sector.

Ian Tomlinson

Apollo Therapeutics

Ian Tomlinson has over 30 years of experience in the lifesciences sector from academic research to biotech startup to big pharma. He co-founded Domantis Limited with Sir Gregory Winter, which was acquired by GSK for $454 million. He then served as Senior VP, Head of Worldwide Business Development and Head of Biopharm R&D at GSK, where he led an ambitious strategy to grow GSK’s pipeline of clinical stage biopharmaceuticals from under 10% in 2008 to over 50% by 2016. Following his departure from GSK, he chaired the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, the UK’s first open innovation biomedical campus and is currently chair of Apollo Therapeutics, a unique venture dedicated to turning academic science into cutting edge medicines in collaboration with Astrazeneca, GSK, J&J, Imperial College, UCL and the University of Cambridge. He also chairs Start Codon, the first life sciences accelerator based in Cambridge, UK, which aims to nurture vibrant new lifesciences companies that are built to succeed globally. Dr Tomlinson graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, UK. He then spent 11 years at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, where he worked on antibody genes, antibody structure and various antibody technologies prior to starting his career in industry.

Ed Tori

MedStar Institute for Innovation

Edmund A. Tori, DO, FACP, CHT is the Director of The Influence Center and the System Lead for Care for the Caregiver at MedStar Health. Ed teaches physicians, nurses, mid-levels, executives, leaders and associates the sciences of influence, rapport and engagement for mindfulness, better communication and improved care delivery. He conducts “Influence Consults” that touch nearly every aspect of healthcare – consults have included such diverse healthcare domains as patient experience, philanthropic efforts, patient adherence, system- wide change initiatives, government affairs, bedside manner, staff satisfaction, quality and safety, digital marketing, smoking cessation and the opening of new healthcare delivery facilities. His training in influence and persuasion comes from two decades of apprentice arrangements with experts in diverse influence domains including coaching, social sciences, direct response marketing, advertising, game design, copywriting, hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, parenting, public speaking, internet marketing and others. Dr. Tori is a certified hypnotherapist. Ed completed his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine followed by a residency in internal medicine at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital where he was both Chief Resident and Resident of the Year. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies from Cornell University. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Chuck Valauskas

Valauskas Corder LLC

Charles Valauskas is legal counsel to business ventures, non-profit organizations, and individuals involved in the development and commercialization of a variety of new technologies and creative products and services. Mr. Valauskas speaks on a regular basis throughout the world on technological and intellectual property topics. Mr. Valauskas has also authored books, chapters of books, and articles on intellectual property and business-related topics. Most recently, for the American Bar Association, he authored an article advising novices how to prepare intellectual property licenses more efficiently. Mr. Valauskas also wrote the chapter entitled The Other Intellectual Property: Thinking Beyond Patents that was published in the ABA’s book, The Technology Transfer Law Handbook, plus numerous articles including those published in the: Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, and Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Newsletter. He has appeared on the BBC World Series and in articles published in a variety of popular publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the ABA Journal, and Crain’s Chicago Business. Mr. Valauskas is a former adjunct law professor for intellectual property matters in Chicago. Mr. Valauskas’ involvement in the activities of organizations include serving on the Advisory Board of the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the American Bar Association’s University Intellectual Property Law Committee, and the Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals “Future Look” Task Force. He was the Vice President for Industry Relations of AUTM and has continued to serve on many of its committees. Mr. Valauskas received his B.S. from the University of Illinois (Chicago), his J.D. from the DePaul University College of Law, and his LL.M. from the Northwestern University School of Law. Mr. Valauskas is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Illinois.

Gayatri Varma


Gayatri Varma is Director of Partnering & Strategy at AstraZeneca where she leads business development activities focused on respiratory biologics. She engages in partnering activities including with industry, academia and government. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Gayatri was the Executive Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization at the University of Maryland. There she oversaw the licensing and patenting activities and was involved in developing and amending policies, as well as initiating new programs. She started her career at the University of Maryland as a licensing associate in the life sciences.

Michael Villalobos

Vanderbilt University

Michael joined CTTC in September 2011 and is responsible for commercializing life science technologies. Prior to joining CTTC, Mike managed the commercialization of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic assay and medical device technologies for The Cleveland Clinic and prior to that for Purdue University. Prior to his career in licensing, he was a Senior Process Scientist at Abbott Laboratories where he oversaw the manufacturing of diagnostic assays for human blood borne pathogens. Michael brings an extensive background in the life sciences to his position, which includes a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Illinois – Urbana and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Loyola University Chicago. He is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers and the Licensing Executives Society.

Andrew Watson

Oregon Health & Science University

In his current role, Dr. Watson is responsible for the overall management of OHSU’s technology transfer office and is responsible for developing and implementing university policies, providing leadership in developing strategies for corporate collaborations, and serves as an OHSU spokesperson for matters relating to intellectual property, commercialization and the economic impact of OHSU’s research. Previously, Dr. Watson served as a Technology Development Officer in the Office of Technology Development at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego and in technology transfer roles with Health Research Inc. and the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc., in New York. He is a Certified Licensing Professional through the Licensing Executives Society.

Ofra Weinberger

Columbia Technology Ventures

Ofra Weinberger, PhD, is Director of Commercialization and Licensing at Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV), and Associate VP for IP and Technology Transfer at Columbia University. Ofra leads the licensing and startup formation team at Columbia, overseeing the commercialization of technologies in a portfolio comprising both life sciences and physical sciences opportunities and has extensive experience negotiating licenses, research collaborations and strategic alliances, and spinning out companies to commercialize university technologies. She oversees the management of over 400 inventions, 200 patents, approximately 100 licenses to industry, and the formation of approximately 25 new startups per year. Ofra received a PhD in immunology from Harvard University. CTV, the technology transfer office of Columbia University, has been involved with launching over 180 companies based on Columbia’s technologies to date, and has returned over $2B in revenue to Columbia, making it one of the most successful university tech transfer programs in the world.

Chad Womack


Dr. Chad Womack is the Senior Director of STEM Initiatives and leads the HBCU Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (HBCU I.C.E.) at the UNCF. Dr. Womack launched the HBCU Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship in partnership with the White House Office of Science, Technology and Policy (OSTP), White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). At the UNCF, Dr. Womack has raised over $50M and manages a STEM program portfolio that has a $2.5M annual budget. The program portfolio includes the STEM Scholars Program, the Annual HBCU Silicon Valley Summit, UNCF TechVentures, the Ernest E. Just Institute for the Life Sciences that includes the UNCF Bristol-Myers-Squibb E.E. Just Postgraduate Fellowship Program in the Life Sciences and the newly launched pilot HBCU Bioscience Education Hub Project. In addition, Dr. Womack manages partnerships with several tech companies including Genentech, Google, Facebook and others. Prior to joining the UNCF, Dr. Womack Co-Founded The America21 Project and DC Innovates, both innovation-based community and economic development nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering metro-centers and underserved communities through STEM education, tech- entrepreneurship and access to capital. Dr. Womack also founded the Philadelphia Biotechnology and Life Sciences Institute as a nonprofit initiative dedicated to addressing unmet educational and workforce development needs of the City of Philadelphia. As a bio-entrepreneur, Dr. Womack co-founded 3GEN Vaccines – a nano-biotechnology company. Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, Dr. Womack completed several research fellowships at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most recently at the National Institutes for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center (VRC) and at the Harvard AIDS Institute at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Womack earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the Morehouse School of Medicine, and is a proud graduate of Morehouse College where he was a Biology and Chemistry major. Dr. Womack resides with his family in his home city of Philadelphia, PA.

Alwin Wong

International Strategic Technology Alliance

Alwin had been the longest serving secretary-general of the International Strategic Technology Alliance (ISTA) comprised of 31 top league universities for advancing technology transfer management and university-industry collaboration. Until his retirement in 2020, Alwin was the key driving officer for knowledge transfer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University overseeing knowledge transfer and entrepreneurial initiatives. For over 20 years, he has dedicated much of his development work in connecting China’s academic-driven “double excellence” innovation ecosystem to the international tech transfer communities. Prior to shifting some of his focus to entrepreneurship funding programs in 2012, he had spent almost 10 years on managing gap research fund to support applied R&D projects for commercialization. Based in Hong Kong, he now serves in the International Strategy Committee of AUTM, the ATTP board, and advises various regional bodies and organizations on tech transfer matters.

Travis Woodland

Portland State University

Travis Woodland is the Director of Innovation & Intellectual Property at Portland State University, an urban campus in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon. Travis holds a Master of Chemical Engineering degree and Juris Doctorate, a dual education which has proven invaluable understanding both the technical and legal/business aspects of university technology transfer. In his fifteen years working in technology transfer, Travis has coached, curated, and championed dozens of technologies into startup companies and other external licensing partnerships across many different technology sectors.

Bin Yan

University of Miami

Dr. Lanier is a Patent Attorney in the Biotechnology and Life Sciences practice group at Meunier Carlin & Curfman. Dr. Lanier focuses his practice on providing counsel to his clients in all aspects of domestic and foreign patent prosecution in the biotechnology, medical device, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Lanier earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Emory University and his J.D. from Georgia State University. Dr. Lanier is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and a board member of the Intellectual Property section of the Atlanta Bar Association. Dr. Lanier is also heavily involved in the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee of the Association of University Technology Managers.

James Zanewicz

Tulane University

James Zanewicz originated the Chief Business Officer role at Tulane in 2015, where he serves as the principal business development strategist and engagement officer to industry, investors and other external collaborators, as well as overseeing communications efforts for the School of Medicine. Education: B.S. (chemistry) Centre College, J.D. Tulane University Law School and an LLM in Intellectual Property and Media Policy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also trained in Science Policy and Leadership from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and previously spent over 20 years in the private and academic sectors, including: Rhone-Poulenc/ Rhorer, CompuServe, Warner Bros., the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the University of Louisville & the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is currently on the Board for the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (AAIH), and his service to the profession has included chairing the University/Corporate Discussion group for BIO; serving on the Boards of the BioJudiciary Project, NACRO and AUTM; and chairing the Board for ATTP – the international knowledge transfer standards/accreditation organization.

John Zhang

International Technology Transfer Network

Since 2013, as the general secretary of International Technology Transfer Network (ITTN), Mr. John ZHANG committed to the international technology transfer cooperation, science and technology commercialization, technology transfer professionals training and related knowledge system construction. He promote ITTN established 35 countries 610 institutions of international technology transfer network, accumulative total to undertake commissioned by Ministry of Science and Technology of the central ministries and commissions such as the BRICS Technology Transfer Center, China-Italy Technology Transfer Center and other inter-governmental platforms for international technology transfer cooperation have carried out more than 26 special projects, continuous innovative technology to implement the introduction of overseas projects each year nearly 3000. In addition, ITTN has become one of the national level international technology transfer center which identified by Ministry of Science and Technology in 2018. In 2016, Mr. John ZHANG was responsible for the establishment of the International Technology Transfer Committee of China Association for International Science and Technology Cooperation (CAISTC), and the establishment of the national training and certification system for “China International Technology Transfer Manager”. Since now 47 training sessions has been organized and more than 1,800 Chinese and foreign students has been trained. In 2019, Mr. John ZHANG was appointed as the executive director of China International Talent Exchange and Development, member of the Academic Committee, Standardization Committee of Chinese Management and Research Institute on Science & Technology Evaluation and Achievements, and National Technical Committee for Science and Technology Assessment Standards (SAC/TC580).

John Zurawski

Ballard Spahr LLP

John Zurawski is a licensed patent attorney who combines his patent prosecution background with deep experience in corporate and contract matters to help clients maximize the value and success of their businesses. John provides strategic guidance on business and legal issues, with an emphasis on intellectual property procurement and technology development in the life science and biotechnology industries. John works closely with startups and entrepreneurs, supporting these emerging businesses with 360-degree guidance throughout their commercial lifecycle—including the critical period between formation and early-stage financing. John routinely prepares, prosecutes, and manages complex patent portfolios focused on biotechnology, molecular biology, immunology, gene therapy, virology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, stem cells, and biosensors. He provides patentability opinions and performs portfolio diligence for acquisition and sale-side transactions. In addition, John prepares and negotiates agreements for both in- and out-licensing, sponsored research, joint development, clinical research agreements, and other technology-specific commercial contracts. John advises clients on securing, protecting, commercializing, and managing IP assets, with concentrated experience in exclusivity of patents and regulatory designations for life science companies. John’s clients include higher education institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and large equipment and vehicle manufacturers. He represents life sciences companies in preclinical and clinical development of diagnostics, therapeutic products, and medical devices. John has deep, direct experience working with higher education clients to protect and manage their IP assets. He teams with university tech transfer and licensing offices to prosecute, license, and manage portfolios of patents in the mechanical, biological, and chemical arts. John is active with the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), serving as Chair of the organization’s Eastern Regional Committee. Prior to attending law school, John worked as a laboratory scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and a DNA vaccine development company, Apollon, Inc., where he successfully co-authored funded grant applications and journal articles related to therapeutics to treat cancer and HIV infection.