Office of Strategic Alliances

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


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

Partner in Cardiology


Strategic Alliances in the News


UCSF and BridgeBio Pharma to Accelerate Therapies for Genetic Diseases 


Autobahn Collaboration to Accelerate UCSF Innovation from Bench to Bedside





RAN 2.0 continues successful partnership between UC and Bristol Myers Squibb to develop novel therapies.


GSK taps UC’s CRISPR expertise to speed drug discovery.






What We Do

  • Translational Funding
  • Industry Collaboration

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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Inder Takhar

    Project Coordinator

    Inder joined the University of California, San Francisco in June 2022 to coordinator special projects for the Innovation Ventures team, specifically working with Strategic Alliances and the Entrepreneurship Center. Prior to joining UCSF, Inder worked at Morling Financial Advisors, SLAC National Lab, and the Global Engagement Office at UC Berkeley.

    He has a background in executive public relations, partnership development, and...

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