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The Catalyst Program is UCSF’s translational accelerator focused on advancing UCSF discoveries for patient benefit and commercialization. The Catalyst Program enhances early translational research and entrepreneurship education for UCSF Innovators (Faculty, Students, Trainees).

Catalyst Awards 

The centerpiece of the Catalyst Program is the Catalyst Awards, our program that provides both industry advisor mentorship and seed funding to UCSF Principal Investigators with promising projects. The Catalyst Awards are focused on the development of therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, digital health, and biotools.



Catalyst LaunchPad

The Catalyst LaunchPad focuses on student and trainee (including postdoctoral scholars, medical residents, clinical fellows, etc) innovation and entrepreneurship - regardless of career path. The LaunchPad offers several hands-on experiences and learning opportunities to cultivate an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset amongst students and trainees.

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Born in California


Kunal Patel UCSF Innovation Fund

in support of the Catalyst Program

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On February 6, 2024, the UCSF Catalyst Program hosted its third Rare Disease Symposium titled "Catalyzing Innovation and Bridging Gaps in Rare Diseases" sponsored by Foundation Ipsen. This event was combined into a two-day symposium with LaunchBio's "Invest in Cures".

watch the recording


The Catalyst Internship provides an opportunity to be part of an innovative project team to learn about early translational research and the process of translating academic discoveries into products for patient benefit. The primary focus for Catalyst Summer Interns is to draft Target Product Profiles (TPPs) for the Catalyst Award projects. While creating the TPPs, interns will learn about important aspects of translating an idea into a project. 

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The Catalyst Program Newsletter contains program highlights, success stories, funding resources, and upcoming events and opportunities. 

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The Catalyst Program has compiled a list of disease databases, incidence & prevalence figures, core facilities information, as well as other useful links to guide researchers and students through the translation of therapeutic, diagnostic, medical device, digital health, and biotool discoveries to clinical impact.

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UCSF Lab Samples
Alex Marson's Lab, UCSF 2018

UCSF Thrives on Bold Ideas!

The Innovation Ventures Philanthropic Fund was established by Barry Selick, PhD,  formerly Vice Chancellor for Business Development, Innovation, and Partnerships, and is now being led by Roopa Ramamoorthi, PhD, Director, Catalyst and InVent Fund, and Program Director Sohela Shah, PhD.

Roopa Ramamoorthi, PhD
Roopa Ramamoorthi, PhD
Sohela Shah, PhD.


With the UCSF Innovation Ventures InVent Fund, a philanthropic trust to boost the University’s most promising healthcare discoveries, we now have the power to invest in ourselves. UCSF seeks to rewrite the rules on how breakthrough discoveries are developed at our university. Instead of prematurely licensing the rights to our most promising but early findings to the industry, we have created a fund to provide financial support, as well as experienced product development mentoring and expertise to a small number of outstanding projects. By supporting and de-risking our most promising projects through translational development, we expect to capture greater value for UCSF and our inventors with the added benefit of building a sustainable program of funding for future innovations.

Find out how Silicon Valley philanthropists are supporting the University's science.


Successful Exits

  • Stephen Nishimura, MD, Jim Marks, MD and Yifan Cheng, PhDAntibody targeting integrin alphavbeta8 to inhibit TGF beta activation, licensed to Corbus. LINK.
  • Natalia Jura, PhD and Kevan Shokat, PhD, Novel class of HER3 inhibitors, part of the UCSF spin-out company Rezo. Listen to the Podcast.
  • Shant Vartanian, MD,  Percutaneous arteriovenous fistula for hemodialysis access, licensed to Venova Medical, Inc.
  • Bryan King, MD, MBA, and Michael Godoy, GritX, a digital application for mental health and wellness. Read the press release.

Current Portfolio

Some of the current healthcare technologies in development are:

2020 Awarded Projects

Jennifer Chen, MD, Bill DeGrado, PhD, A novel compound inhibitor to treat fibrotic diseases and potentially cancer. 

  • Harrigton Discovery Institute Scholar Innovator Award to Jennifer Chen 
  • Publication: Targeting acid ceramidase inhibits YAP/TAZ signaling to reduce fibrosis in mice, Science Transl Med, 2020. LINK

Jason Gestwicki, PhD, Development of novel inhibitors against a validated cancer target.

  • Publication: A phosphoramidate strategy enables membrane permeability of a non nucleotide inhibitor of prolyl isomerase Pin1, ACS Med. Chem Lett, 2020, LINK

Arun Wiita, MD, PhD, Immunotherapy targeting cell surface markers for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.

  • CIRM Award for $3.33M  LINK
  • Publication: CD72 nanobody based CAR-T cells have potent anti tumor efficacy in B cell malignancies, Blood, 2021. LINK​​


Alan Verkman, MD, PhD, Onur Cil, MD, PhD, Small molecule inhibitors for treatment of hyperoxaluria and constipation.

  • NIH RO1 award to Onur Cil, with total funding of $1.61MLINK
  • Publication: Small molecule inhibitor of intestinal anion exchanger SLC26A3 for therapy of hyperoxaluria and nephrolithiasis, JCI Insight, 2022. LINK
  • Small molecule inhibitors of intestinal epithelial anion exchanger SLC26A3 (DRA) with a luminal, extracellular site of action, European J. of Med Chem, 2023. LINK

Flavio Vincenti, MD, Charly Craik, PhD, Novel enzyme technology for prevention of kidney transplant rejection.

Charly Craik, PhD and Kevan Shokat PhD, Platform technology to target KRAS mutant cancers using recombinant antibodies.

  • Publication: A covalent inhibitor of K-RAS (G12C) induces MHC class I presentation of haptenated peptide neoepitopes targetable by immunotherapy, Cancer Cell, 2022.  LINK


2021 Awarded Projects

Adam Renslo, PhD and Charly Craik, PhD, Small molecule inhibitors for treating cytomegalovirus and HSV.

  • Publication: Inhibiting a dynamic viral protease by targeting a non-catalytic cysteine, Chem. Cell. Biol., 2022. LINK


John Chorba, MD, and Kevan Shokat, PhD, Inhibiting PCSK9 to treat atherosclerosis.

  • Harrington Discovery Institute Scholar Innovator Award to John Chorba.
  • NIH RO1 award to John Chorba with total funding of $1.81M. LINK​​​​​


Jack Taunton, PhD, Davide Ruggero, PhD, Preclinical development of a compound targeting a select pathway for treatment of myc driven cancers.

  • Publication: mRNA decoding in human is kinetically and structurally distinct from bacteria,  Nature, 2023, LINK
  • Publication: Synthesis and single molecule imaging reveal stereospecific enhancement of binding kinetics by the antitumor eEF1A antagonist SRA-3,  Nat. Chem, 2022, LINK

Aparna Sundaram, MD and Bill DeGrado, PhD, Select Integrin inhibitor to mitigate exaggerated smooth muscle contraction in asthma.

Pamela England, PhD and Matthew Jacobson, PhD, In vivo proof of concept of Nurr1 agonists in Parkinson’s Disease.

Dean Sheppard, MD and Bin Liu, PhD, Humanized potent monoclonal antibodies against murine and human target integrin for cancer immunotherapy and prevention of corneal scarring after cataract surgery.

  • Publication: Alphavbeta8 integrin targeting to prevent posterior capsular opacification, JCI Insight, 2021. LINK ​​​
  • Publication: Integrin alphavbeta8 on T cells suppresses anti-tumor immunity in multiple models and is a promising target for tumor immunotherapy, Cell Rep. 2021. LINK ​​​​

2022 Awarded Projects

Nadav Ahituv, PhD, Leveraging sequences missing from the human genome for early diagnosis of cancers.

Bin Liu, PhD, A novel antibody for bone regeneration.




Make a Gift

To join our visionary donors in supporting the growth of the fund and helping UCSF realize its mission, please contact Brandon (Bo) O’Hare, Senior Director Development at 773-354-1471 or [email protected]


The Entrepreneurship Program

In this era of Covid, the Entrepreneurship Program at UCSF has converted to a global online course, “Entrepreneurship for Life Science/Healthcare Startups:  Master Class Direct from Silicon Valley”.  The course is open to anyone with an interest in learning about startups and connecting with the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Find Out More

How Covid Has Connected Entrepreneurs Globally

It's been almost two years since the first Covid lockdown. We thought we’d be locked down for two weeks.


Our amazing Biopharma Industry provided an exit in less than a year, vaccines that work. But we’ve tragically learned that science isn’t enough and here we sit at the end of 2021, waiting out Omicron.


I’m proud to be part of the industry that birthed life-saving vaccines. My industry’s success here evidences the power of entrepreneurship. The two leading vaccines came from mere startups 10 years ago, BioNTech and Moderna. Their stories mirror those of many startups – speculative, unproven science, persistence, pivoting from initial directions, committed teams, and risk-taking financial investment. Without these ingredients eventually leading to a scientific triumph, where would the world be today in its Covid battle?


I sit in one of the great medical research institutions in the world, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Our scientists and clinicians are among the best in the universe. They have ideas steeped in deep science, refined from observations in clinical practice. My goal as head of Entrepreneurship is to help translate ideas to the commercial world so they can benefit human healthcare at scale.


Covid in 2020 presented an opportunity. Why not take our expertise in creating startups, leverage the Silicon Valley ecosystem we belong to, and bring this knowledge to a virtual world? I created the idea of a global entrepreneurship course, “Entrepreneurship for Life Science/Healthcare Startups: Master Class Direct from Silicon Valley”. The course was in itself a startup experiment. We did what we teach: tested the market with the concept, listened to feedback, and created a course that fed the startup appetite at a time we couldn’t leave our houses. We hypothesized the rest of the world would like to learn from our successful startup model. We held our breath and launched in September 2020.


The experiment worked. We completed our third cohort in December 2021 and now have over 300 alums from 18 countries and 5 continents. These professionals from the US, Canada, Mexico, South America, Asia, Australia, Eastern, and Western Europe are entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs, and people supporting the startup ecosystem. Thanks to UCSF’s global class, they are part of a network of like-minded colleagues and the Silicon Valley experts who taught and mentored. Our participants have learned from life science/healthcare practitioners who contribute to the Valley’s outsized success as a startup ecosystem.


This course has changed lives, bestowing confidence and motivation for healthcare professionals to follow an entrepreneurial path. Maybe one of them will form the next BioNTech or Moderna.


Stephanie K. Marrus

Managing Director, Entrepreneurship

University of California San Francisco, Innovation Ventures




Man walking through foggy window

The Office of Strategic Alliances develops and manages UCSF's largest industry partnerships. It is our goal to identify mutually beneficial collaborations and strategic partnerships between UCSF and industry, often with the objectives of providing research funding for projects at UCSF and securing a commercial partner suitable for commercializing and developing a product should a new invention arise.

We leverage our extensive internal and external networks to connect the right partners to our PIs, and after a partnership is established, we provide alliance management support to ensure a successful collaboration and identify additional collaborative projects as desired. As scientists by training, we're invested in ensuring that UCSF science has the support it needs to progress, both within the lab and into the clinic.

Please learn more about Our Team below, reach out to the director of our office, Peter Kotsonis, with inquiries, or see below for other information.


UCSF-only INDUSTRY Funding Opportunities

Learn About UCSF Innovation Ventures


Find out about UCSF Health: Cardiology, and the opportunities for partnerships.

Partner in Cardiology



QB3 is the University of California’s hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in life science. The institute supports UC researchers and empowers Bay Area entrepreneurs to launch startup companies and partner with industry. With five incubators, two seed-stage venture capital firms, and a special initiative in medical devices — the Rosenman Institute — QB3 helps bio-entrepreneurs create high-value jobs and brings more than $750 million into the Bay Area each year.

OTM Banner 3

To better understand how we translate your science into commercial products – watch the 5-minute video:


The powerful combination of high quality science, an entrepreneurial culture, and strategic partnerships between UCSF’s researchers and Innovation Ventures Office of Technology Management and Advancement (OTMA) has resulted in an impressive track record of commercial successes. We will work with you to evaluate and grow new ideas, devise a commercialization and intellectual property (IP) plan including formation of a start-up, connect your research with appropriate potential internal and external collaborators, and negotiate suitable licenses with appropriate commercialization partners such as existing companies, venture capitalists or other investors.

Services & Programs

Engagement and Opportunity Development 


Innovation Ventures New Co Start-Up Services

Engage with Faculty: Working closely with the inventor(s), evaluating technologies, and developing corresponding commercialization plans focusing on new start-up opportunities.

Opportunity Development: Perform market research and actively reach out to a robust network of external partners including business development professionals and venture capitalists (VC) to obtain feedback, raise funding and work together to create a roadmap for developing the technology; 

Grow Your Idea: Planning your next steps to developing a commercially viable product or solution, getting input from industry experts, and identifying gap funding opportunities.

Entrepreneur in Residence Program (EiR):  EiRs offer our academic community the lived experience of the marketplace so that their science can be translated into real-world, commercial opportunities. 

Key Opinion Leaders (KOL): This feedback network is a list of 50+ venture capitalists, pharmaceutical company contacts, entrepreneurs, special area experts, and angel investors whose experience and perspectives are available to support UCSF as we seek better market opportunities for our technologies.

For more information about our strategies and tactics to launch your technology...

Technology Licensing


License the Technology: Negotiating complex and customized agreements such as licenses to existing and significantly funded start-up companies, collaborative research agreements, confidentiality disclosure agreements, and material transfer agreements to enable commercial partnerships.

Market the Technology: Actively reaching out to a robust network of external partners including business development professionals and venture capitalists (VC) to match UCSF’s intellectual property assets with their partnering interests, raise funding and work together to create a roadmap for developing the technology; developing and managing on-going industry relationships.

Facilitate External Collaboration 

Partnering with other UCSF groups to attract and develop partnerships with industry, research foundations, etc. to provide expertise, funding, and other resources to further develop technology leading to reduced risk for licensees and increased value for UCSF and inventors.

For Frequently Asked Questions...



Recent Advances of UCSF NewCos 


Part of the mission at the University of California has been to encourage the scientific research conducted here to advance into useful healthcare technologies for the benefit of all who may need them. At our San Francisco campus, it's the Office of Technology Management and Advancement (OTMA) has been tasked with encouraging our academics and researchers to collaborate both internally and externally to launch businesses based on the technologies they developed. OTMA has multiple tools to facilitate startup development. 

See recent advances in UCSF NewCo technologies: 

NewCo Technology

Questions or Comments?

Please feel free to reach out to Anthony Francis, Executive Director of Technology Management at [email protected] or 415 813-7978.




  • Entrepreneurship Center

    Facilitates starting companies and exploring entrepreneurship as a career option through courses, mentorship, exposure to investors and at industry conferences. 

  • Office of Technology Management

    Provide a full range of business development capabilities including generation of IP strategy, marketing and establishment and maintenance of licensing and strategic partnerships with companies and VCs based on transformative UCSF innovations

Strategic Partners at UCSF

What We Do

  • Translational Funding
  • Industry Collaboration
  • Translating Science/Commercialization
  • Translational Funding
  • Technology Development
  • Translating Science/Commercialization
  • Start a Company
  • Translating Science/Commercialization
  • Industry Collaboration
  • Start a Company

Our Team

  • Peter Kotsonis, PhD

    Interim Vice Chancellor of Business Development, Innovation and Partnerships

    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...

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  • Charles Hart, PhD

    Executive Director

    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...

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  • Stephanie Marrus, MBA, MA

    Managing Director of Entrepreneurship

    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...

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  • Todd Pazdera, PhD

    Director, Business Development, EOD & Licensing

    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...

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  • Gonzalo Barrera-Hernandez, PhD

    Director, Business Affairs & Strategic Partnerships

    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...

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  • Benjamin Olsen

    Director, Equity Management and Advisory

    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...

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  • Aenor Sawyer, MD

    Director, Innovator Enrichment Program

    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/...

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  • Amy Gryshuk

    Associate Director

    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...

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  • Roopa Ramamoorthi, PhD

    Director - Catalyst Program and InVent Fund

    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...

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  • David Fung, PhD

    Assistant Director, Business Development & Licensing

    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...

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  • Daniel Abel, JD

    Assistant Director, IP & Business Operations

    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.

  • Heather Pittman, MBA

    Assistant Director, Strategic Projects

    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...

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  • Olivia Roberson, PhD

    Senior Alliance and Business Development Manager

    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...

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  • Gemma Rooney, PhD

    Assistant Director, Strategic Partnerships & Licensing

    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...

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  • Kristin Agopian, PhD

    Assistant Director of Business Development & Licensing

    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...

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  • Darya Bubman, PhD

    Assistant Director, Business Development & EOD

    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...

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  • Sean Karlin

    Senior Brand & Communications

    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...

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  • Mike Papac

    Senior Business Development Manager, EOD

    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...

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  • Lorraine Johnson

    Senior Business Development Manager, EOD

    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 &...

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  • Nathaniel Prorok, MHA

    Director - LaunchPad and Senior Program Manager - 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...

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  • Catherine Smith, PhD

    Senior Business Development Manager

    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...

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  • Kathleen Wilson-Edell, PhD

    Senior Business Development Manager, EOD

    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...

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  • Heather Carrico, MS

    License Compliance Manager

    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...

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  • Danielle Casey Callaghan, BA

    IP Project and Compliance Manager

    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.

  • Monica Ravanello

    Senior Strategic Partnerships and IP Manager

    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,...

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  • Marlene Grenon, MD

    Digital Health and AI

    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...

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  • Gabriela Fernandez-Cuervo Velasco

    Alliance and Business Development Manager

    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...

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  • Jon Brown, PhD

    Business Development & Alliance Manager

    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,...

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  • Lei Wan

    Business Development & Licensing Manager

    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...

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  • Hong Zhang, PhD

    Business Development Manager

    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...

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  • Abdalla Saad, MS

    Business Development & Licensing Manager

    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,...

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  • Sherri Gini

    Licensing Contracts Officer

    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.

  • Dorin Donohoe

    IP & Business Operations

    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.

  • Aleksandra Kijac, PhD

    Business Development and Alliance Manager

    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...

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  • Danica Scaglione

    IP & Business Operations

    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...

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  • Sohela Shah

    Program Director Catalyst Program and InVent Fund

    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...

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  • Inder Takhar

    Program Manager

    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...

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  • Ralph Gonzales, MD, MSPH

    Chief Innovation Officer

    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...

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  • Rachael Callcut, MD

    Director of Data Science & Advanced Analytics

    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

    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...

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  • Jessica Chao


    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 ...

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  • Elizabeth Gress, MPA

    Dir. Strategy & Operations

    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

    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.

  • Ed Martin

    Director, Technology

    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

    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...

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  • Shuvo Roy, PhD


    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...

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Strategic Partners at UCSF