Office of Technology Management



Gonzalo Barrera-Hernandez, PhD

Director, Business Affairs & Strategic Partnerships
Office of Technology Management

I joined UCSF in 2012, following 12 ½ years at the office of Innovation, Alliances & Services (IAS) (formerly known as the Office of Technology Transfer) at the UC Office of the President, where I was responsible for all IP management and technology licensing matters of a life-sciences portfolio of technologies from several UC campuses.  While at IAS I was also responsible for the first UC System Proof-of-Concept Fund, the UC System-Wide Technology Transfer Forum Program, the Technology Transfer Annual Report for the UC System, and for managing for the UC System the approval process for the acceptance of equity in licensing transactions.  Prior to joining UC, I worked in technology transfer for 2 years, on detail, at the NIH.

I received my Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Calgary, Canada, where my research focused on gene regulation in Diabetes mellitus. My postdoctoral research at the NCI-NIH focused on the role of the thyroid hormone receptor in cell cycle regulation and on the mechanism controlling the switch from cell cycle regulation to differentiation.  I received a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I am passionate about helping UCSF achieve its mission of advancing health worldwide through partnerships with industry, and by working closely with faculty to commercialize UCSF inventions.

Anthony Francis

Executive Director
Office of Technology Management

Anthony joins Innovation Ventures to lead the Office of Technology Management after an extensive career in technology management and transfer in Australia, most recently as the managing director of GP Partners, a group investing in primary care innovations made through their own accelerator team. Before that, Francis established Flinders Partners at Flinders University where he became managing director of that organization and led it to establish 12 spin off companies, with numerous licenses and many commercial partnerships. He also founded TCG, a specialist technology commercialization company that was acquired by Deloitte.

Anthony has spent the last 25 years deeply engaged with researchers, commercial partners and investors, often creating new ways to achieve success. Because it is often administrative issues that slow innovation and frustrate inventors and partners alike, Anthony excels at cutting through “red tape” and confusion about business models by intervening personally to find solutions that benefit all stakeholders.

“In the coming year Innovation Ventures will be even more proactive,” Anthony Francis says. “The best way to bridge our researchers to their potential markets is to partner even more closely with both our UCSF peers and our external collaborators. We need to make it as easy as possible to access UCSF innovations.”

Being a trusted partner to our investigators is the key objective of UCSF Innovation Ventures. With Anthony’s leadership we believe that our faculty will discover more opportunities for growth, as their research extends to its full potential. He is a boon to our team, bringing with him a wealth of industry knowledge, experience, and relationships. We trust him to guide our technology management forward as we continue to develop healthcare science and bring these discoveries to the people who need them most.   

“It is a privilege to work among such great science and healthcare professionals,” Anthony says. “We hope to build even stronger partnerships with our UCSF researchers and bring the best innovation to the benefit of all.”

Todd Pazdera, PhD

Director, Business Development, EOD & Licensing
Office of Technology Management

I have over 10 years in licensing and business development experience that includes building significant research collaboration and licensing partnerships between academia and the life sciences industry. I also have significant interest and experience in starting venture backed companies based on university technology.

I did my Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in the lab of Jon Minden, studying the role of programmed cell death in Drosophila embryonic development. I also have a B.S. in Cell and Structural biology (with honors) from the University of Illinois where I did neuroscience research.

My roles include faculty engagement to learn about the commercial relevance of their research and to educate them on what makes a "good invention", evaluating market opportunities to facilitate UCSF based start-ups, and building new relationships with industry and early stage investors. My focus areas include diagnostic, therapeutic, digital health and medical device technologies.

Engagement & Opportunity Development

Daniel Abel, JD

Assistant Director, Patent Prosecution & Business
Office of Technology Management

Dan joined the OTM in March 2006, and is currently responsible for managing patent prosecution, agreement compliance, government reporting, case finances, and the operating budget. Dan earned both his B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) and J.D. degrees from the University of Florida.

Kristin Agopian, PhD

Senior Manager, Business Development & Licensing
Office of Technology Management

Kristin has been managing intellectual property and commercialization for UCSF since 2008. Her portfolio of technologies includes therapeutics, diagnostics, and medical devices.  She works closely with UCSF faculty and staff to develop and commercialize their inventions, build large research collaboration and licensing partnerships, and spin out companies.  In addition, she negotiates and drafts IP agreements including licenses, options, inter-institutional agreements, CDAs and MTAs.

Kristin holds a Ph.D. in Virology from Harvard University and an A.B. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. She has hands-on research experience in HIV pathogenesis, cell signaling, cell biology, mouse genetics and Drosophila development and speciation.  She also has experience in business strategy consulting in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical space and in science & technology policy at the National Academies.

Jon Brown, PhD

Manager, Business Development & Licensing
Office of Technology Management

Jon is a Licensing Associate at the Office of Technology Management where he supports the licensing efforts at UCSF. He received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from UCLA on the influence on cage environment on porous, catalytically active materials. After post-doctoral research and working as a Tech Transfer Fellow at Sandia National Laboratories, Jon worked as a Patent Agent at WSGR where he developed in-depth expertise in building intellectual property portfolios, counseled clients in due diligence matters, and collaborated with business, legal and scientific partners.

Darya Bubman, PhD

Senior Manager, Business Development & EOD
Office of Technology Management

In her role on the Engagement and Opportunity Development (EOD) team of UCSF’s OTM, Darya evaluates novel UCSF inventions for market opportunity, identifies technologies that a start-up company could be built around, works on developing business opportunities for such promising new ventures and negotiates start-up licenses. Darya is also the lead for developing and maintaining the EOD Key Opinion Leader network of early-stage investors and industry as well as the EOD EiR Program.

Darya joined OTM in November 2011. She earned a B.A. degree in Biochemistry from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City. She conducted her doctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Ethel Cesarman, studying deregulation of cancer signaling pathways by the Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) in primary effusion lymphoma, a rare cancer that occurs in immunocompromised individuals. Following her graduate studies, Darya became an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow and worked at the U.S. State Department on international issues related to biomedical IP, access to medicines and innovation. Prior to joining the OTM, she worked as a Technology Partnerships Manager for biomedical inventions at the NASA Ames Research Center located at Moffett Field, CA. Darya has a strong background in molecular biology, oncology and pharmacology.

Darya is passionate about working with UCSF faculty and staff to nurture new venture opportunities that have the potential to improve health on a global scale and change the world for the better.

Heather Carrico, MS

Senior Business Analyst
Office of Technology Management

Heather joined the UCSF Office of Technology Management (OTM) in October 2013. She handles case and license agreement compliance, including analysis of license agreements for diligence and financial terms and interpretation, reporting and enforcement.

Prior to joining OTM, she was at Stanford University’s Office of Technology Management for eight years. Heather earned her MS degree from University of San Francisco and her BA from San Jose State University.

Danielle Casey Callaghan, BA

Patent Prosecution Analyst
Office of Technology Management

Danielle is primarily responsible for handling the intake of invention disclosures and compliance with federal and non-profit sponsor reporting obligations. Danielle also contributes to various projects for OTM, which she joined in May 2016.

Tanya Eliason

Licensing Contracts Manager
Office of Technology Management

Tanya is a Licensing Contracts Officer on the OTM team tasked with nurturing important strategic relationships and facilitating the work of the OTM’s Licensing Officers. In the OTM, she focuses on agreements related to sharing UCSF tangible research property and managing jointly owned IP rights. Being a part of the OTM allows Tanya to indulge her passions for biomedical research, IP law, and exploring emerging technologies.

Immediately prior to joining the OTM in September 2020, Tanya negotiated research agreements in the Industry Contracts Division as an Industry Contracts Officer. Tanya has an expansive background in life science and law. Her life science experiences range from strain engineering at a synthetic biology startup to genetic diagnostic testing in an academic clinical lab. As an attorney, Tanya operated as a sole practitioner for over two years, helping small businesses and artists with their IP and contracts needs.

Tanya’s education includes a B.S. in Microbiology with a minor in Biochemistry from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (formerly, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science) and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Tanya Feldman, BA

Senior Patent Prosecution Analyst
Office of Technology Management

Tanya handles various aspects of patent prosecution, government reporting obligations, and monitoring annuities, as well as special projects to streamline the work of the Technology Management team and support the overall mission of the OTM. Prior to joining the office, Tanya spent more than a decade working with various non-profits and small businesses specializing in cultural exchange and education in an administrative and project support capacity.

David Fung, PhD

Assistant Director, Business Development & Licensing
Office of Technology Management

David manages intellectual property arising from research conducted at UCSF. He works with faculty and staff to evaluate new inventions and to develop appropriate IP strategies, with the goal of commercialization of the technology through licensing, whether to established companies or to new ventures.

David has more than ten years’ experience in academic technology transfer, first at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and then at Yale University. Prior to that, he was with PricewaterhouseCoopers serving its biotech and tech clients. His Ph.D. is in biophysics from Harvard University, and he has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in physics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Stanford University respectively.

David is enthusiastic about working with faculty and other researchers to commercialize new technology for the benefit of the public.

Marlene Grenon, MD

Digital Health and AI
Office of Technology Management

Dr. Marlene Grenon is a practicing physician, scientist and entrepreneur. She currently holds the role of Director of Digital Health at UCSF Innovation Ventures and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Surgery at UCSF, where she practices vascular medicine. Dr. Grenon has served as the Chief Medical Officer of Evry Health, as a vascular surgeon at the VAMC San Francisco and has an Adjunct Faculty at the International Space University. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed publications. She has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry and has been the lead investigator for clinical trials funded by the NIH and NASA/NSBRI.

Dr. Grenon holds an MD from McGill University, a MMSc from Harvard Medical School, an MBA from Brown University and IE Business School, and a diploma in Space Sciences from the International Space University. She completed a residency in cardiac surgery (McGill) and fellowships in vascular surgery (University of British Columbia), endovascular surgery (Arizona Heart Institute) and aerospace medicine research (Harvard/MIT).  She has also held roles in the aerospace medicine community including with NASA and the FAA. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Vascular Medicine, a fellow from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) with Certificate of Specialist in both cardiac and vascular surgery. She advises start-ups in the Bay Area with a focus on digital health and serves as an expert consultant to the American Medical Association on matters of digital health and AI.

Ellen Kats, PhD

Assistant Director, Business Development & Licensing
Office of Technology Management

As an Assistant Director of Licensing at Innovation Ventures, Ellen is responsible for sourcing and completing high value deals for UCSF's most commercially attractive technologies. In addition to helping bring UCSF's innovation from bench to bedside, Ellen manages a large and diverse IP portfolio, advises faculty/staff on IP strategy, and negotiates intellectual property terms for large-scale industry collaborations.

Ellen has been managing intellectual property on behalf of UCSF since February 2007, when she initially joined the Office of Technology Management. Over these years, Ellen has completed a wide range of partnering deals, and played critical roles in the formations of many UCSF start-ups which have gone on to have successful IPOs or acquisitions. Ellen holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from UC San Diego, as well as a B.A. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from UC Berkeley. Her scientific background is strongest in molecular and cellular biology, cancer biology, and human and yeast genetics.

Ellen is passionate about aiding UCSF faculty and staff in realizing the fullest commercial potential in their inventions, and helping UCSF achieve its mission of advancing health worldwide through strategic partnerships leading to successes in clinical development and health sciences.

Benjamin Olsen

Senior Manager, Business Development, Licensing
Office of Technology Management

Ben is an ex-Deloitte strategy consultant and health-tech startup founder who specializes in product development, market research and capital raising for new ventures. He has spent 15 years as a leader in healthcare commercializing devices and digital products. He has taken medical devices through FDA clearance and European Conformity; raised equity and debt from corporate venture, angel, and crowdfunding sources; developed devices from ideation to market launch and established intellectual property portfolios. He is an investor in Kind Health Insurance Services LLC and serves as Commercialization Expert Peer Reviewer for the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia). Previously, he has been a committee member of the Trans-Tasman Commercialization Fund.

To date, his largest role has been CEO and director of a subsidiary of Motherson Group (India, Revenue $10.5B) which he led for 8 years. He founded this company as a startup venture after securing the rights to a university patent. The company went on to raise capital, launch multiple products, secure distribution in 46 countries, become profitable and distribute dividends to shareholders. 

Heather Pittman, MBA

Assistant Director, Strategic Projects
Office of Technology Management

Heather is responsible for the negotiation and ongoing support of strategic partnering agreements and master agreements for UCSF Innovation Ventures. She is focused on supporting those researchers, partners, and companies looking to engage in the UCSF research enterprise. Heather also manages software and tangible research property portfolios and non-exclusive licensing activity, advises on contractual intellectual property matters, analyzes and interprets research and intellectual property policies, and serves as liaison on behalf of the Office of Technology Management for other units.

Prior to arriving at UCSF in April 2018, Heather negotiated on behalf of UC Irvine, UC Berkeley and University of California Office of the President. Heather earned dual MBA-MA degrees from Claremont Graduate University, a member of the Claremont Colleges.

Priya Ramu, PhD

Senior Manager, Business Development & EOD
Office of Technology Management

As part of the Engagement and Opportunity Development at UCSF’s OTM, Priya triages novel UCSF technologies for evaluation of their market opportunity, and works closely with faculty and other inventors to develop the go-to-market strategy for start-up opportunities.

She joined UCSF in 2016 and prior to that, was an Agreements Officer in Oregon Health & Science University where she negotiated industry-sponsored research agreements, collaboration agreements and materials transfer agreements. Priya obtained her Ph.D. from the lab of Alexander Mankin at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she investigated the molecular mechanism of ribosome stalling which is implicated in resistance to antibiotics. Prior to her Ph.D., Priya worked in the drug discovery group at Astra Zeneca, focusing on validating drug targets for Tuberculosis. Priya is excited about working at the intersection of academia and industry, where she can contribute towards translation of discoveries made in the lab to diagnostic, therapeutic or digital health products to improve health and well-being.

Monica Ravanello

Strategic Partnerships and IP Manager
Office of Technology Management

I am excited to have joined the Office of Technology Management (OTM) in June 2020 as a Strategic Partnerships Officer. In this capacity I work closely with the UCSF faculty and researchers to capture and protect Intellectual Property arising from novel research collaborations.

I earned a Ph.D. in Virology/Microbiology from Oregon State University and a B.A. in Biology from University of Oregon. After two post-doctoral fellowships, the first one at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center focused on Human Papillomavirus and an NSF-fellowship at UC Davis working on plant viruses I had a longstanding career at legacy Monsanto Company/Bayer Crop Science. During my time there I was first a researcher in Ag biotechnology and subsequently worked on Intellectual Property (IP) for both the Ag Biotech and the Global Chemistry Organizations. In addition, my IP experience was substantiated by working for a small startup company focused on manufacturing green plastics through chemistry. I am thrilled to be contributing to UCSF’s mission of advancing health through translating science and commercializing technology.

Gemma Rooney, PhD

Senior Strategic Partnerships & Licensing Manager
Office of Technology Management

Gemma has been sourcing and executing high value deals on UCSF’s innovative technologies since 2014, when she first joined the office. She is currently responsible for managing UCSF’s alliances with the ‘Parker Institute of Cancer Immunology’ and 'Chan Zuckerberg Biohub'.  An integral part of this role is determining the commercial and patenting strategy of the University’s intellectual property, engaging with faculty, building and nurturing new relationships with internal stakeholders, industry partners and early stage investors, and negotiating license agreements.  

Gemma holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Stem Cell Biology from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a B.Sc. in Neuroscience from University College Cork, Ireland. She received postdoctoral training from the University of California, San Francisco and the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Her research focused on neurological applications of stem cell therapies.

Gemma is passionate about guiding UCSF investigators in realizing the fullest commercial potential of their innovations.  She believes in working collaboratively to find solutions to problems and drive progress. She loves working at the interface between academia and industry, establishing partnerships that have the potential to benefit patients worldwide.

 

Catherine Smith, PhD

Manager, Business Development & Licensing
Office of Technology Management

In her role as a Licensing Associate for UCSF’s Innovation Ventures, Cathy is responsible for managing the University’s diverse intellectual property disclosures and assisting in licensing transactions.  Cathy joined the office in early 2016 and is enthusiastic about aiding faculty and staff in translating their scientific discoveries for the public benefit through commercial partnerships.

Cathy did her PhD at Columbia University and a post-doctoral fellowship at Ludwig Cancer Research– both focused on understanding the DNA damage response through biochemical, genetic, and molecular biology approaches.

Kathleen Wilson-Edell, PhD

Senior Manager, Business Development & Licensing
Office of Technology Management

Kathy joined the UCSF Office of Technology Management (OTM) in March of 2014. She works with UCSF faculty members to protect intellectual property arising from their research and negotiates licenses to these technologies with both startups and established companies.

Prior to joining OTM full-time, Kathy was a part-time Technology Analyst with UCSF OTM while completing her postdoctoral training at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Dr. Christopher Benz’s laboratory. Her postdoctoral research focused on the role of ribosomal proteins in breast cancer. She received her Ph.D. in Genetics from Yale University in Dr. David Stern’s laboratory, studying regulation of gene expression and cytoskeleton rearrangement by BRCA1-related proteins. Kathy’s A.B. is from Cornell University, where she was a Presidential Research Scholar.

Kathy is passionate about helping UCSF investigators move their discoveries from the laboratory to the public domain.