Our Teams

Stephanie Marrus, MBA, MA

Managing Director of Entrepreneurship
Innovation Ventures

Stephanie Marrus is the Managing Director, Entrepreneurship. Her mission is to help start companies from UCSF science and technology and to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the University. Since joining in 2012, she has developed a robust suite of programs that have contributed to a vibrant entrepreneurial community at UCSF. In addition to heading the program, she teaches and mentors startups and is Senior Lecturer/Course Director for UCSF’s entrepreneurship classes.

During a 25-year plus business career, she has worked with over 1000 companies in science and technology-based industries as a member of the management team, business consultant, or mentor. Many of these companies have their technological roots at Berkeley, Stanford, UCSF, MIT, and Harvard. She has had roles as CEO, COO, and VP of Business Development for public and private venture capital-backed companies led partnering and M&A transactions, headed corporate development, strategy, marketing, communications, and investor relations. Her sector experience is in information technology and life sciences/healthcare.

In addition to her business career, she served as Deputy Secretary of Economic Affairs for Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld, leading economic development and business policy, She also chaired an environmental cleanup fund board and became the fund’s Executive Director. She was President of a medical research foundation and served on the Advisory Board of a social venture startup accelerator. She mentors entrepreneurs globally through the US State Department and other programs.

She has translated her business experience to the classroom and teaches experiential courses in entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley and globally. She has been affiliated with entrepreneurship programs at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University’s Technology Ventures Program. She has taught and presented at conferences in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. She frequently presents to international groups at UCSF.

Her academic titles have included Senior Lecturer at UCSF, Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley’s Center for Entrepreneurship in Technology, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Global Entrepreneurial Marketing Course at Stanford, She is National Science Foundation Certified National Faculty for Innovation Corps (I-Corps), its highly successful training for entrepreneurs. She led the creation of Lean LaunchPad for life science/healthcare under an NSF grant, now taught nationally by the NIH. She has been a guest lecturer at Singularity University.

Her global titles have included Adjunct Professor, St. Petersburg State University Graduate School of Management, Russia; Entrepreneur-in-Residence, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; faculty at the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo Startup Academy in Russia and in Silicon Valley. She attended the US Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission meeting on innovation in Moscow. She has been a guest speaker in Saudi Arabia under the sponsorship of Princess Sitah Bint Abdullah Al-Saud, daughter of King Abdullah; the US Consulate General, and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, and taught at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). She has taught at Tsinghua University, Beijing, at ESADE Business School Barcelona in Argentina Chile Mexico Vietnam, and Morocco. She taught for the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology in Vietnam, presented to local and US officials at the US Embassy in Hanoi, and keynoted the Peace through Entrepreneurship conference in Morocco.

She participates in the State Department’s International Speaker Program and led a panel at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2016) in Silicon Valley.

Jon Brown, PhD

Busi. Dev. & Alliance Mgr.
Innovation Ventures

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.

Anna Du

Business Development & EOD Manager
E_Ofc Tech Mngt Admin

Anna evaluates market opportunities for novel technologies identified through research conducted at UCSF. She works closely with UCSF faculty and staff on commercialization activities, including start-up formation and IP licensing. Her role facilitates collaborations between the academic, industry, and early-stage investors to inform development of the next big breakthroughs. 

Anna joined UCSF in 2021. She was previously a life science consultant at CBPartners focused on clinical trial design optimization, go-to-market, and market access strategy for high unmet need pipeline therapeutics -- with particular expertise in oncology and neurological disorders. Anna graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University where she earned a B.A. in Public Health Studies. 

Cammie Edwards, PhD

Associate Director
HDF Comprehensive Cancer Ctr

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.

Tanya Feldman, BA

IP Operations Manager
Innovation Ventures

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.

Jeni Janci, PhD

Program Director
E_VC Innovation Ventures-DO

Jeni manages the Diagnostics, Digital Health and Biotools tracks for the Catalyst Program, and is also the Director of the UCSF LaunchPad. She began her life science career in the start-up biotech industry before earning her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology at University of California, Berkeley. Directly after her graduate career, she re-entered the life science industry, where at Entelos she provided Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP) Modeling and Simulation services to assist Research & Development for international pharmaceutical companies and other life science applications. She applied large-scale, mechanistic systems models to make critical decisions in various stages of the drug discovery and development lifecycle, including clinical trial design. Jeni then expanded her work globally in QSP Modeling via training programs and consulting services. 

Jeni is excited to help advance UCSF’s world-class research to positively impact people’s health and lives, all while supporting UCSF faculty, students, and trainees on their entrepreneurship journey. 

Sean Karlin

Sr Brand and Visual Comm Mgr
Innovation Ventures

Remember the first time you read a book that open your heart to story-telling? For me it was when I first read The Hobbit. I was nine years old and it led me to the entire Lord of the Rings series. By the time I closed the last page I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – Okay, aside from being a Hobbit - I wanted to tell stories.

A two-time Emmy® Award recipient, I am a creative director living in San Francisco, with extensive experience in media communications. My work has been features on a diversity of platforms for a diversity of subjects, from Greenpeace to Bloomberg News and most recently, creating media for the University of California.

Storytelling in a contemporary media environment has become very personal. Every time we tell our audience a story we need to make them feel a real connection that both speaks to and excites them. I believe the power behind a good story comes from its ability to highlight relationships over ideology. And since stories are really all about people, the key is to open your heart, your mind, and your ears to just listen.

Ellen Kats, PhD

Assistant Director, Business Development & Licensing
E_Ofc Tech Mngt Admin

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.

Priya Ramu, PhD

Senior Manager, Business Development & EOD
E_Ofc Tech Mngt Admin

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.

Olivia Roberson, PhD

Alliance & Bus Dvt Mgr
E_Alliances&Prog Mngt Admin

Shikha Sharma, PhD

Senior Licensing Officer, Engagement & Opportunity Development
E_Ofc Tech Mngt Admin

I joined the Office of Technology Management in January 2013. I am a zealous business development professional, with a passion for science and immense respect for innovators. I am privileged to work closely with the UCSF community of students, scientists, clinicians. I manage a diverse and exciting intellectual property portfolio and catalyze the transfer of UCSF scientific developments to the public through licensing and partnerships.

I am responsible for managing a portfolio of intellectual property developed by UCSF researchers comprising of therapeutic, device, software and dHealth technologies. My activities comprise evaluating invention disclosures from the campus laboratories; conducting technology assessments from a commercial perspective; formulating and implementing licensing and intellectual property management strategies; marketing the technology to prospective licensees; coordinating the filing and prosecution of patent applications; negotiating and writing contractual agreements and licenses.

I hold a BS in Life Sciences (with Honors), M.S in Molecular Genetics (with Distinction) and Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Sciences (2011). I did my doctoral work on Angiopoietin ligands at the University of Leicester, UK, where I studied the molecular basis of Angiopoietin-Tie binding interaction using a combination of rational design and directed evolution. I like reading about latest scientific innovations and enjoy the uniqueness and challenges in the field of intellectual property and technology transfer.

Kathleen Wilson-Edell, PhD

Senior Manager, Business Development & Licensing
Innovation Ventures

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.

Peter Kotsonis, PhD

Interim Vice Chancellor of Business Development, Innovation and Partnerships
Office of Strategic Alliances

Peter is a PhD-neuroscientist and drug hunter who has worked in both academic and corporate innovation settings. He joined UCSF in 2013, primarily responsible for developing novel business models and, a partnering vision for the campus eco-system that drives towards commercialization.

Peter has experience in pre-IPO academic start-ups (vasopharm GmbH) and larger global organizations (Novartis Ag and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co, Ltd). Whilst at Julius-Maximilians University of Wurzburg (Wurzburg, Germany) he was the project leader and co-inventor of Ronopterin, a novel medicine for traumatic brain injury that is currently in Phase III clinical development and with Orphan Designation. For the resulting work, he and the team were awarded the 2000 Phoenix Pharmacy Ag Pharmazie-Wissenschaftspreis (Munich, Germany). At the Novartis Institute for Medical Science (London, UK) he led a CGRP migraine program. At Sepracor Inc. (MA, USA) he was the head of operations for Discovery and Early Clinical Research, which included aspects of strategy, portfolio management and external innovation. There he also completed the exclusive licensing of a first-in-class antipsychotic, Ulotaront, from a strategic partnership with PsychoGenics Inc. Ulotaront is currently in Phase III clinical development and received FDA Breakthrough designation in 2019.

Peter completed his studies at the University of Melbourne (BSc HONS) and Monash University (PhD). He is the recipient of the prestigious CJ Martin Fellowship from the Australian NH&MRC and, has been a member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for over 25 years.

Aenor Sawyer, MD

Director, Innovator Enrichment Program
Office of Strategic Alliances

Dr. Aenor Sawyer, has more than two decades of experience in development and evaluation of health technologies, telemedicine and remote medical management. Dr. Sawyer’s experience in remote medical management includes 15 years as an Expedition Medic and Medical Advisor for extreme ocean rowers. She also conducts research with the Australian Antarctic Division on remote medical monitoring. She has expertise in remote care and Space Health/Medical management as the Director of the UC Space Health Program and previously served as the Chief Health Innovation Officer for the Translational Research Institute for Space Health, a NASA-funded program.

She is a member of the UCSF IT Governance Committee, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the UCSF Center for Advanced 3D+ Technologies, Co-Founder of the Center for Digital Health Innovation, and a UCSF HEALTH HUB board member. External roles also include Chair of MCRI HealthTechnology Advisory Board, Advisor to UCSF Invest Fund, Advisor to ANDHealth, External Advisory Board Member of the Scripps Translational Sciences Institute, and prior Associate Editor of Nature’s Digital Medicine Journal.

As a UCSF Orthopedist, she is Founder and Director of the Skeletal Health Service where she combines her background as an Orthopaedic Surgeon, Physical Therapist and Exercise Physiologist enabling pediatric to geriatric patients optimize their bone health across the lifespan. Dr Sawyer's career includes 10 years as a Physical Therapist, after which she received an M.S. in Human Physiology and her M.D. from the University of California, Davis. Upon completion of her Orthopaedic Surgery residency at Stanford University, she completed fellowship training in Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Paediatric/Adolescent Sports Medicine, both at Boston Children's Hospital, in the Harvard Orthopaedic program

Jon Brown, PhD

Business Development & Alliance Manager
Office of Strategic Alliances

Jonathan Brown joined the Office of Strategic Alliances as an Alliance and Business Development Manager in June 2022. Previously, Jon was a Senior Licensing Associate at the University of Southern California where he focused on moving technologies from the benchtop to market through out-licensing and start-up formation. Jon received his PhD in Chemistry from UCLA where he studied the influence of local cage environment on porous, catalytically active materials. He has experience as a licensing professional from time spent at UCSF’s OTMA, USC and Sandia National Labs and has completed numerous deals with both industry partners and venture capital backed start-ups. Jon is also a registered Patent Agent from his time at Wilson Sonsini.

Gabriela Fernandez-Cuervo Velasco

Alliance and Business Development Manager
Office of Strategic Alliances

Gabriela joined the Office of Strategic Alliances as an Alliances and Business Development Manager in June 2021. Previously, Gabriela was an Intellectual Property Technology Specialist at MyoKardia – a wholly owned subsidiary of Bristol Myers Squibb, where she focused on internal proprietary and scientific research to evaluate intellectual property issues impacting business strategy. She received her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a focus on Drug Discovery and Development from the University of Arizona as a HHMI Gilliam Fellow. Her thesis work centered in designing MR imaging small molecule probes and developing them into companion diagnostic tools as enzyme-activated contrast agents. Her highly interdisciplinary work led her to continue postdoctoral training at Stanford University School of Medicine where she secured funding as a recipient of the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign MedTech Grant. Gabriela’s scientific background is strongest in drug discovery and medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, and biomedical imaging.

Amy Gryshuk

Associate Director
Office of Strategic Alliances

Amy joined the University of California, San Francisco, as the Associate Director of the Office of Strategic Alliances for the department of Innovation Ventures in July 2022. She received her PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from the State University of New York at Buffalo – Roswell Park Cancer Institute. She has experience in designing, implementing, and maintaining tailored action plans and partnering strategies for multidisciplinary research collaborations and agreements with government, industry, academia, and philanthropy partners. 

Previously, Amy served as a Lead within the Strategic Science Engagements Office for the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where she coordinated high-level efforts across various Department of Energy (DOE) labs and the National Cancer Institute and was recognized in 2017 by the United States Department of Energy for the Secretary’s Appreciation Award for responding to the Vice President's Cancer Moonshot. She has focused on the application of computational predictive biology in oncology, drug discovery, and neurodegenerative efforts resulting in numerous publications and external funding. 

Sean Karlin

Senior Brand & Communications
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 environmental movement. In 2005 he settled in San Francisco, joined Beyond Pix Studios to cover the world’s biggest technology innovators, including Apple, LinkedIn and Amazon. Along with new priorities came new skills that included commercial production and design.

Working with an incredible team of creative professionals, Sean led commercial campaigns for local and national broadcast television, which was honored with a pair of Emmy Awards for directing ad campaigns in 2009 and 2014.

In 2016, he began working with the University of California designing and producing educational media 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.

Aleksandra Kijac, PhD

Business Development and Alliance Manager
Office of Strategic Alliances

Aleks comes to UCSF after almost a decade at Verily, a precision health company where she worked on multiple diverse programs beginning with the company’s inception as a moonshot project at GoogleX. Notable examples of her experience at the intersection of health and biotech include research on diagnostic and therapeutic nanoparticles, and product management of Virtual Stainer, a digital pathology platform for tissue imaging and deep learning-based histological staining. She has a passion for early-stage product development and building meaningful partnerships that accelerate the commercialization of new technologies. 

Aleks received her Ph.D. in Biophysics and Computational Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC).

Olivia Roberson, PhD

Senior 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.

Inder Takhar

Program Manager
Office of Strategic Alliances

Inder joined the University of California, San Francisco, in June 2022 to manage special projects/programs for the Innovation Ventures team, specifically working with Strategic Alliances and the Entrepreneurship Program.  He has a background in executive public relations, partnership development, and communications. Prior to joining UCSF, Inder worked at Morling Financial Advisors, SLAC National Lab, and the Global Engagement Office at UC Berkeley. Inder graduated from the University of California, San Diego. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, riding his motorcycles, and spending time at art museums.

Charles Hart, PhD

Executive Director
Catalyst

Charles Hart is the director of the Catalyst program. From 2004 to 2017 he was at Threshold Pharmaceuticals and responsible for both in vitro and in vivo preclinical translational studies. He was also project leader for the global clinical development program for the hypoxia-targeted anticancer drug evofosfamide (TH-302), a partnership with Merck KGaA. Prior to joining Threshold, Charles was Senior Director of Biology at Galileo Pharmaceuticals (2001 to 2004), Director of Drug Discovery at Signature Bioscience (2000 to 2001), and a Research Unit Director at Affymax (1990 to 2000). Charles received his AB in cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1977, an MS in developmental biology from Stanford University in 1980, a PhD in molecular biology and genetics from Yale University in 1987, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Strasbourg, France in 1990.

Nathaniel Prorok, MHA

Director - LaunchPad and Senior Program Manager - Catalyst
Catalyst

Nate Prorok brings a diverse and wide ranging skill set and experience to the Catalyst Program team. After undergraduate studies in Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at Loyola Marymount University, Nathaniel worked with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps - International in Tacna, Perú, with local communities to develop sustainable solutions to the problems they faced in health and education. Afterwards, Nathaniel earned a graduate degree in Healthcare Administration from Marquette University and worked with Children’s Hospital Wisconsin to develop a medical home for youth in foster care. Prior to joining the Catalyst Program, Nathaniel completed a fellowship at the University of Utah Health where he worked on various population health, wellness, and social determinants of health projects.

Roopa Ramamoorthi, PhD

Director - Catalyst Program and InVent Fund
Catalyst

Roopa Ramamoorthi brings a diverse scientific background in drug development, bacteriology, biotechnology, and engineering. Prior to joining UCSF, Roopa was Associate Director Partnering and Scientific Affairs at BIO Ventures for Global Health, where her focus was putting together collaborations between academic, non profit and pharmaceutical organizations to accelerate the development of drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for Neglected Tropical Diseases, TB and Malaria for the WIPO Re:Search Consortium. She worked for Bayer in California for more than five years as a scientist and senior scientist in development of antibody and other biological therapeutics and evaluating and bringing in platform technologies and has experience in science and technology consulting with Strategic Perspectives.

Roopa received her Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Washington and at MIT. She is a registered patent agent and holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Roopa grew up in India where she received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai.

Sohela Shah

Program Director Catalyst Program and InVent Fund
Catalyst

Sohela serves as the program director for Catalyst Program and InVent Fund, within Innovation Ventures at UCSF. With a strong passion for advancing research projects and promoting technology patenting and commercialization, Sohela is dedicated to bridging the gap between groundbreaking innovations and real-world applications. Before joining Innovation Ventures, she held the position of founding product manager at The Production Board, a prominent technology incubator and investment holding company in San Francisco, where she made significant contributions to the TERA startup project.

Sohela started her career journey in academia, earning her Ph.D. in Genetics from Tufts University's School of Biomedical Sciences in Boston. Building upon her expertise, she pursued postdoctoral training in rare disease genetics at the University of California San Francisco, followed by a research fellowship in clinical genetics and genomics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a Niehaus Scholar. After her academic research and training, Sohela transitioned to the field of technology startups focused on developing software tools and solutions for curating, interpreting, and analyzing complex biological data. She played a pivotal role in the development of NGS (Next-Generation Sequencing) data interpretation and reporting software for genetic test results at Ingenuity Systems (acquired by QIAGEN) and Invitae Corp.

Driven by her dedication to the field of genetics and genomics, Sohela aspires to continue making significant contributions. She aims to foster collaboration between academia and industry, working towards driving innovation and improving patient outcomes. With her diverse expertise in research, product management, and technology commercialization, Sohela is poised to make a lasting impact in the field.

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.

Benjamin Olsen

Director, Equity Management and Advisory
Office of Technology Management

Ben is responsible for the acquisition, management, and disposition of equity in UCSF start-up companies. With more than $200M in equity under management across almost 100 companies, UCSF continues to be a leader in start-up development.

Ben’s career has included time at Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, a technology seed fund (TTCF), and various start-ups including eight years as CEO of a medical device company founded with university IP which he exited in 2019 to Samvardhana Motherson Group.

Ben holds a Master of Science in Technology Commercialization from the University of Adelaide.

Todd Pazdera, PhD

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

Todd has over 15 years of business development and licensing experience and is currently the director of BD and Licensing in Innovation Ventures at UCSF.  Todd leads both the EOD and Licensing teams which are engaged in identifying, prioritizing, developing and partnering UCSF innovations.  Todd and his teams also lead efforts to cultivate and launch new startups based on UCSF discoveries.  Todd received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in Cell and Structural biology from the University of Illinois.

Daniel Abel, JD

Assistant Director, IP & Business Operations
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

Assistant Director of Business Development & Licensing
Office of Technology Management

Kristin has over 10 years of business development and licensing experience. She is currently Licensing Team Lead for Therapeutics and Diagnostics within Innovation Ventures. She works closely with UCSF researchers to prioritize, develop, and partner their innovations for commercial development. Her portfolio includes therapeutics, diagnostics, and medical devices.  

Kristin holds a Ph.D. in Virology from Harvard University and an A.B. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. She also has experience in business strategy consulting in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical space and in science and technology policy at the National Academies.

Darya Bubman, PhD

Assistant Director, 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

License Compliance Manager
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

IP Project and Compliance Manager
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.

Dorin Donohoe

IP & Business Operations
Office of Technology Management

Dorin joins OTMA with several years of experience in intellectual property formerly as a Licensing Analyst at UC Santa Barbara. She has a BS from Cornell University and a MS in Nutritional Biochemistry from UC Berkeley. As an IP Operations Manager within OTMA, Dorin will be primarily responsible for patent prosecution, patent maintenance, and federal reporting.

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.

Sherri Gini

Licensing Contracts Officer
Office of Technology Management

Sherri has a B.S. in Speech Pathology and a J.D. from Lincoln Law School in Sacramento, and joins OTMA with several years of experience in intellectual property, including most recently as a Principal IP Analyst at UC Davis.  As a Licensing Contracts Officer within OTMA, Sherri will be primarily responsible for Material Transfer Agreements, Bailments, and Inter-Institutional Agreements.

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.

Lorraine Johnson

Senior Business Development Manager, EOD
Office of Technology Management

Lorraine Johnson joined the UCSF Office of Technology Management and Advancement in January 2021 as a manager of Engagement and Opportunity Development. In her role,  Lorraine focuses on evaluating inventions and commercial opportunities in the areas of devices, diagnostics, and digital health. Lorraine comes to UCSF from Industry and has spent more than 20 years commercializing medical devices and digital health platforms with Johnson & Johnson and several start-ups.

Mike Papac

Senior Business Development Manager, EOD
Office of Technology Management

Mike currently lives in the Orange County area and comes to us with significant business development, strategy, product development, and operations experience, at large to mid-sized companies and with start-ups.  Mike was most recently with Optovue where he served as the VP of Strategic Planning and Innovation.  Prior to Optovue, Mike was with Alcon for 15 years.  Mike had several roles at Alcon including the lead on the development of a white space strategy to expand Alcon’s portfolio in new therapeutic areas, head of surgical glaucoma R&D, and the research head for vitreoretinal instrumentation.  He has been responsible for moving several products through the development and commercialization process. 

Mike has a Ph.D. from UC Irvine in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and is an inventor with over 42 patents. 

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.

Monica Ravanello

Senior 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

Assistant Director, Strategic Partnerships & Licensing
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.

 

Abdalla Saad, MS

Business Development & Licensing Manager
Office of Technology Management

Abdalla is an entrepreneurial and results-driven professional with over 10 years of experience in business development, strategy, and licensing within the biopharmaceutical industry. He currently serves as Manager of Business Development and Licensing at UCSF Innovation Ventures, where he collaborates with UCSF researchers to evaluate inventions, develop patenting strategies, and create commercial partnerships in the areas of therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, and digital health.

Abdalla has a proven track record of spearheading and analyzing strategic business opportunities, particularly in deal structuring, partnerships, and executing licensing deals in oncology therapeutics. Prior to joining UCSF Innovation Ventures, Abdalla served as the Director of Business Development and Global Alliances at Elevar Therapeutics. He also co-founded a start-up oncology company, where he led business development, licensing activities, collaborations, and fundraising efforts.

Earlier in his career, Abdalla worked at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, conducting research in neuroscience and cardiovascular fields. He holds a Master of Science in Biotechnology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Danica Scaglione

IP & Business Operations
Office of Technology Management

Danica joined UCSF’s Office of Technology Management in August 2022. In her role as IP Operations Manager, she handles invention case intake, sponsor compliance, processing of material transfer agreements, and royalty reports. Prior to joining UCSF, Danica worked at UCLA’s Technology Development Group for four years as their first Post Execution Contracts Manager. Her position ensured consistent management of TDG’s contracts and was responsible for ensuring TDG’s IP-related agreements were properly entered into the organizational databases and securely maintained. Danica also worked to monitor contractual performance of licensees and audit general agreement compliance, including equity issuance, and progress and royalty reports. Prior to her joining UCLA, Danica worked as a Licensing Manager in the toy industry. Danica attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and has a B.A. in Communication Studies. She also has a Paralegal Certificate from UCLA Extension.

Catherine Smith, PhD

Senior Business Development Manager
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.

Lei Wan

Business Development & Licensing Manager
Office of Technology Management

Lei manages intellectual property, identifies market opportunities, and licenses technologies developed at UCSF.

Lei joined UCSF in the February of 2022. Before that, Lei was a technology transfer associate at Augusta University. She was responsible for patent portfolio management, business development, and licensing negotiation. Lei completed her PhD and Postdoctoral training at The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan respectively. Her research focused on signaling pathways and the treatment of cancer.

Lei is enthusiastic about working with UCSF inventors, transferring research from the bench to the bedside, and advancing the impact of breakthrough discoveries at UCSF.

Kathleen Wilson-Edell, PhD

Senior Business Development Manager, EOD
Office of Technology Management

Kathy has ten years of business development experience in university settings, both at UCSF and Stanford, where she sourced and executed several high-value licenses and managed various industry collaborations. Kathy is passionate about working with faculty members and industry partners to forge paths for startup formation with the goal of bringing new technologies to the public domain. Prior to joining the technology transfer field, Kathy obtained a PhD in Genetics at Yale and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, where her research focused on the roles of histone deacetylase inhibitors and ribosomal proteins in breast cancer. She received her AB in Biology from Cornell.

Hong Zhang, PhD

Business Development Manager
Office of Technology Management

Hailey has extensive experience in life science R&D and business development. Currently serving as the Manager of Business Development and Licensing (BD&L) in Innovation Ventures at UCSF, she collaborates closely with inventors in the UCSF community to identify and cultivate partnerships in therapeutics, diagnostics, and digital health areas.

Before joining UCSF, Hailey worked in Merck KGaA's Business Development team and worked as a consultant at L.E.K. Consulting, specializing in evaluating life science assets for the private equity sector. She holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

Michael Blum, MD

Director
Center for Digital Health Innovation

Dr. Michael Blum is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Informatics and the Chief Digital Transformation Officer at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Blum is responsible for UCSF’s strategic design and implementation of informatics and digital health capabilities in support of clinical care delivery and discovery. He is also a Professor of Medicine in Cardiology, specializing in preventative cardiology and the care of patients with congestive heart failure, valvular heart disease, and general cardiology. Dr. Blum is passionate about wellness and the prevention of heart disease through a heart-healthy lifestyle that includes diet, exercise and stress reduction, as well as early detection of heart disease and aggressive medical intervention to reduce its impact. His clinical and informatics activities intersect as he drives the digital transformation of care delivery.

Dr. Blum earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine, followed by a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American College of Cardiology, and Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, such as the AMDIS Award for Excellence and Achievement in Advancement of Clinical Information Systems. Dr. Blum is a Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at UCSF.

Prior to his medical career, Dr. Blum was trained as an engineer and applies his expertise in technology to health care as UCSF’s Chief Digital Transformation Officer and the Executive Director of the UCSF Center for Digital Health Innovation (CDHI). Previously, he was a leader of the successful enterprise deployment of Epic’s electronic health record and the development of a large-scale enterprise networked data warehouse that will supports the campus’s clinical, research, and education missions and expands data and information sharing and aggregation across the University of California system and nationally.

Dr. Blum has a special interest in the application of digital technologies and clinical decision support to improve clinical care. As the Executive Director of the CDHI, he leads UCSF’s early stage validation and incubation of digital health technologies to improve wellness preservation and disease management. After successful validation of these technologies, CDHI collaborates with industry partners to commercialize and distribute the solutions. Dr. Blum led the formation of the UCSF-Samsung Digital Health Innovation Laboratory, the UCSF-Cisco collaboration to develop the Connected Health Interoperability Platform, and the UCSF-GE collaboration on artificial intelligence and deep learning in healthcare.

Rachael Callcut, MD

Director of Data Science & Advanced Analytics
Center for Digital Health Innovation

Dr. Callcut is General Surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Hospital. She leads a NIH and DOD funded team of researchers focused on integration of biomedical big data and surgical data science into critical care for improved clinical decision support.

Mary Elizabeth Chalk

Business Development
Center for Digital Health Innovation

Mary Beth is responsible for business development, including the recent transaction with GE. She has 25 years of broad healthcare expertise in conceiving and completing deals in digital health, biopharma, behavioral health, disease management, wellness, health systems, pharmacy benefit management, and health plans. Prior to UCSF, she was a co-founder of a venture capital backed digital health coaching solution built from IP validated at Partners Healthcare. Mary Beth holds a BBA in marketing and a BFA in commercial design.

Ed Martin

Director, Technology
Center for Digital Health Innovation

Ed is a technologist with 20+ years of experience in software engineering with the last 5 years at UCSF focused on cloud-computing application solutions.  He has a B.S. in Computer Science from UC Davis and a M.Sc. in Healthcare Information Technology from Boston University.

Aaron Neinstein, MD

VP, Digital Health
Center for Digital Health Innovation

Dr. Aaron Neinstein is Vice President of Digital Health for UCSF Health and Associate Professor in the UCSF Division of Endocrinology. He has led the development and implementation of a wide range of health technology, with a focus on digital transformation and improving patient access and empowerment through virtual care models. This includes leading UCSF’s ambulatory Epic EHR implementation and optimization, development and deployment of numerous digital health solutions transforming digital patient experience and virtual care delivery across UCSF, and co-founding of Tidepool, a non-profit creating open-source software to empower people with diabetes.

Dr. Neinstein was an inaugural inductee as a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association (FAMIA), and is a federal appointee serving on the United States Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC). Board-certified in Endocrinology, Clinical Informatics, and Internal Medicine, he maintains an active clinical practice focused on the care of people with diabetes, and is considered a national expert in diabetes technology. He was named by Marin Magazine to the 2020 Bay Area [415] Top Doctors List and received the UCSF School of Medicine Excellence in Teaching award. Dr. Neinstein is a nationally-invited speaker, peer-reviewed author, advisor to numerous companies, and has appeared in media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC Good Morning America, and NPR. He received his Doctor of Medicine, including the Alpha Omega Alpha honors society, from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, and his undergraduate degree in American Studies from Northwestern University.

Elizabeth Gress, MPA

Dir. Strategy & Operations
Surgical Innovations Team

Elizabeth manages the Surgical Innovations program, playing a key role in goal-setting, strategic planning, and outreach. Working closely with faculty leadership, Liz oversees Surgical Innovations’ accelerator and seed funding program, organizes project teams, and coordinates with stakeholders across campus.

Hanmin Lee, MD

Professor of Clinical Surgery
Surgical Innovations Team

Dr. Lee is a pediatric surgeon with research interests in the integration of emerging devices and technologies in medicine. As Clinical Director of Surgical Innovations, Dr. Lee is passionate about collaborating with multidisciplinary experts to solve clinical needs.

Shuvo Roy, PhD

Professor
Surgical Innovations Team

Shuvo Roy, PhD, is a translational bioengineer focusing on the development of medical devices to address unmet clinical needs through strong collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach.

Dr. Roy is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, and is a faculty affiliate of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3). He is the director of the Biodesign Laboratory located on the Mission Bay campus. In addition, he serves as the Technical Director of The Kidney Project and is a founding member of the UCSF Pediatric Device Consortium. Dr. Roy is the Faculty Director of the joint UCSF-UC Berkeley Master of Translational Medicine (MTM) program. He has developed and currently teaches a course focused on medical device development and commercialization issues. He is the author of more than 100 publications and co-author of five book chapters, and holds multiple patents for device developments.

Before joining UCSF in 2008, Dr. Roy co-directed the BioMEMS Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, focusing on clinical applications of MEMS. In 1992 he earned a BS degree, magna cum laude, for triple majors in physics, mathematics, and computer science, from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. In 1995, he earned an MS in electrical engineering and applied physics and, in 2001, he earned a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science, both from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

He is the recipient of a Top 40 under 40 award by Crain’s Cleveland Business in 1999 and the Clinical Translation Award at the 2nd Annual BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology World 2001 meeting. In 2003, Dr. Roy was selected as a recipient of the TR100, which features the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators as selected by Technology Review, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Magazine of Innovation. In 2004, he was presented with a NASA Group Achievement Award for his work on harsh environment MEMS. In 2005, Dr. Roy was named as a Who’s Who in Biotechnology by Crain’s Cleveland Business. In 2005 and 2007, he was recognized as a Cleveland Clinic Innovator. In 2009, he was nominated for the Biotechnology Industry Organization's Biotech Humanitarian Award, which is given in recognition of an individual who has used biotechnology to unlock its potential to improve the earth. In 2012, he was presented the Rising Star Award by BayBio Pantheon, and in that same year, he received the Innovation Pathway 2.0 Award from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). More recently, he was recognized as a Fellow by the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). He is the recipient of the KidneyX Redesign Dialysis Phase 1 Prize, KidneyX Redesign Dialysis Phase 2 Prize, the KidneyX Artificial Kidney Phase 1 Prize, and most recently, the KidneyX Artificial Kidney Phase 2 Prize.

Jessica Chao

Director
Clinical Innovation Center

Jessica overseas day-to-day operations and leads CIC partnerships with industry and academia. Previously, she has led product design in various San Francisco startups as well as co-founded Healtho, a consumer health information company. She is also the co-founder of one of the largest health meetups in Seattle, the Seattle Health Innovators.

Jessica received her MBA from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in 2012 while she concurrently completed her Residency in Health System Pharmacy Administration at Johns Hopkins Medicine. She also holds a Doctorate in Pharmacy and BS in Biochemistry from the University of Washington. While in college, she attended the UW Academy, an early entrance program for young scholars to attend university at an early age.

Ralph Gonzales, MD, MSPH

Chief Innovation Officer
Clinical Innovation Center

Dr. Ralph Gonzales is Associate Dean for Clinical Innovation and Chief Innovation Officer for UCSF Health. His research has played a significant role in national and global efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance by improving antibiotic prescribing practices - the body of which provides a successful roadmap for translating evidence into practice, policy and public health. Dr Gonzales’ research is multidisciplinary, patient-centered, and informed by relevant stakeholders and policy makers such as the CDC, NCQA, professional societies and community clinicians and patients. It represents the full spectrum of translational research - from practice guideline development, to implementation of innovative health care interventions, to conducting larger community-based trials to examine the comparative effectiveness of different health care interventions.
In addition, Dr. Gonzales is currently leading several project teams in designing, implementing and evaluating new ways to improve primary care-specialty care communication and care coordination, focusing on strategies that achieve the triple aim of improving quality, outcomes and decreasing costs. One includes the use of eReferrals and eConsults to streamline the referral and coordination process; another project is evaluating new team-based strategies to reduce unnecessary follow-up visits in specialty care.