Office of Strategic Alliances



Peter Kotsonis, PhD

Executive Director
Office of Strategic Alliances

Peter is PhD-neuroscientist and drug hunter with 14 years in the pharmaceutical industry, project leader and co-inventor of Ronopterin (VAS203) for traumatic brain injury currently in Phase III clinical development. Peter has experience in academic start-ups (VasoPharm Biotech GmbH) and pharma settings (Novartis Ag and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co, Ltd). He joined UCSF in 2013, and his responsibilities include driving new partner opportunities, developing novel partnering models, and programmatic support using alliance management “best practices” comparable to industry. 

Elizabeth Edmiston, PhD

Alliance and Business Development Manager
Office of Strategic Alliances

Beth joined the Office of Strategic Alliances as an Alliances and Business Development Manager in October 2018. Previously, Beth worked in market research consulting where she informed pre-launch strategies for global biopharmaceutical companies. She received her Ph.D. in Immunology from UC Davis, where she studied the maternal immune system and its effects on neurodevelopment, specifically she was working to elucidate the role of maternal autoantibodies in autism spectrum disorders.

Cammie Edwards, PhD

Associate Director
Office of Strategic Alliances

Cammie Edwards, PhD, Program and Alliance Management (ITA), provides a direct interface between UCSF teams and external collaboration partners. In that role, she works with both teams in establishing collaborative strategic plans, maintaining effective communication, promoting cross-functional activities, monitoring progress and developing risk mitigation strategies. Cammie joined UCSF as the Program Director for the Stephen and Nancy Grand Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative (Grand MMTI) in 2011, where she provides strategic and operational oversight for the program. Prior to joining the Grand MMTI, Cammie worked for 10 years with DNA Bridges, Inc., a corporate development firm dedicated to helping life science companies advance their programs and products. In her role there, she assisted clients in raising funds (> $20 million in both private and federal funding), corporate positioning, business development and managing large contracts for clients. She worked successfully with both U.S. and international clients in a broad range of areas including cancer therapeutics, biologics, vaccines, biodefense and biomarker technologies. Dr. Edwards obtained her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sean Karlin

Branding & Visual Communications Specialist
Office of Strategic Alliances

With an education in film, a passion for adventure, and the good fortune to work with organizations like Greenpeace, Amazon Watch and Sea Shepherd, Sean has spent much of his life travelling and documenting the world. In 2005 he settled in San Francisco, joined Beyond Pix Studios and was introduced to a whole new side of media, working many of the world’s biggest technology innovators, including Apple, LinkedIn and Amazon. Along with new priorities came new skills that included brand management, business communications, and design.

With a great team of creatives at Beyond Pix, Sean led commercial campaigns for local and national broadcast, which culminated in an Emmy Award for their Sonoma Raceway ad campaign in 2014.

In 2016, he began working with the University of California designing and producing online educational projects, and today you can find him wandering the ivy walled campus of UC San Francisco tending to brand and visual communications with the Innovation Ventures team.

Yuxi Lin, PhD

Alliance Manager
Office of Strategic Alliances

Yuxi is an Alliances and Business Development Manager at the Office of Strategic Alliances, where she works on developing industry partnerships, research scouting, and business development at UCSF. Previously, Yuxi worked as an intern at Columbia University's tech transfer office, Columbia Technology Ventures. She received her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Columbia University focusing on metabolic disorders and did her postdoctoral research in neurobiology and gastroenterology at UCSF.

Olivia Sims, PhD

Alliance and Business Development Manager
Office of Strategic Alliances

Olivia joined the Office of Strategic Alliances in November 2018 as an Alliances and Business Development Manager. Previously, Olivia worked as a scientific advisor where she focused on protection of biotechnology intellectual property. Olivia received her PhD in Immunology from Mayo Clinic School of Biomedical Sciences where she studied the endogenous antiviral mechanisms in the domestic cat. Subsequently, Olivia was awarded an NIH institutional research and academic career development award to pursue her postdoctoral studies at UCSF in the laboratory of Dr. Melanie Ott. A focus of her postdoctoral research was to identify the molecular mechanisms contributing to transcriptional repression at the HIV-2 promoter. During her tenure as a UCSF postdoctoral fellow, she also worked as an immunology consultant, where she provided technical expertise to support a biotechnology litigation case. Additionally, Olivia was an intern in the Office of Technology Management where she conducted prior art searches for patentability and determined commercial assessment of UCSF technologies.

William Smith, PhD, JD, MPH

Alliance Manager
Office of Strategic Alliances