We invite you to get to know our staff and the work that we do to help facilitate collaborations with industry, and build new startups.
Associate Vice Chancellor and CEO & President, UCLA Technology Development Corporation
Amir Naiberg serves as Associate Vice Chancellor, and President & CEO of UCLA Technology Development Corporation. He leads the UCLA Technology Development Group, a campus wide resource that serves as a Gateway to Innovation, Research and Entrepreneurship at UCLA. Additionally, he leads the UCLA Technology Development Corporation as Chief Executive Officer and President, a non-profit technology company wholly-owned by UCLA focused on better protecting and optimizing the discoveries and inventions developed through UCLA research. Mr. Naiberg also works in concert with several on campus incubators and accelerators to further advance innovation, entrepreneurship and research at UCLA.
Prior to joining UCLA in August 2016, Mr. Naiberg worked at Yeda Research and Development Co, Ltd., In Rehovot, Israel, the technology transfer company of the Weizmann Institute of Science, ranked as one of the top three technology transfer organizations in the world. At Yeda, he served for ten years as CEO, following five years as General Counsel. He led the organization’s growth in licensing and business partnerships, while building an entrepreneurial ecosystem with local incubators, investors, and the Israeli government. Mr. Naiberg is one of the founders of the Israel Technology Transfer Organization (ITTN), a non-profit organization that unites various technology transfer offices throughout Israel. Before joining Yeda, he worked for a private law firm specializing in intellectual property, privacy and cyberspace law. Mr. Naiberg holds law degrees from the Hebrew University School of Law and the University of Connecticut School of Law.
Senior Director of Licensing & Strategic Alliances
Emily Loughran joined UCLA TDG in 1994 as a technology transfer officer. Currently, as the Senior Director of Licensing she manages the licensing and patent prosecution groups, and oversees the office’s large portfolio of invention disclosures, patents, and license agreements. Emily started in intellectual property administration at the City of Hope Medical Center where she was the Technology Transfer Manager responsible for patenting and licensing activities. Emily holds an M.B.A. from USC and a B.S. from UC Berkeley.
Associate Director, Licensing
Earl Weinstein joined UCLA TDG in 2005 and is currently Associate Director of Licensing. In this role he works closely with faculty, staff and students to evaluate, protect and commercialize University inventions, and assists with the formation of UCLA startups. Prior to joining UCLA, Earl was with PureTech Ventures, a seed stage venture capital firm in Boston. Earl completed a Ph.D. at MIT working on computational and experimental analysis gene regulatory networks and his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania.
Senior Technology Transfer Officer
Benjamin Chu earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with the Biomedical Option and Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering, both from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Chu joined the UCLA Technology Development Group (UCLA TDG) in 2007. As a Technology Transfer Officer, Dr. Chu is responsible for managing a portfolio of UCLA intellectual property, reviewing invention disclosures for patentability and commercial potential, securing patent rights, marketing technologies to industry, facilitating the commercialization of UCLA technologies for the public benefit, negotiating and drafting licensing and inter-institutional agreements, and guiding UCLA faculty and students through the patenting and commercialization process. In his role at UCLA TDG, Dr. Chu works closely with faculty in engineering and physical sciences on commercializing technologies in nanotechnology, wireless communications, semiconductors and solid state devices, polymer and CNT electronic devices, materials science, medical devices and diagnostic tools, Clean/Green tech, MEMS and bioMEMS, and regenerative medicine.
Technology Transfer Officer, Physical Sciences
Scott Davis joined UCLA TDG in 2013 as a Technology Transfer Officer. He has a broad background in Intellectual Property. He started in patent litigation as an IP Technical Consultant working for Microsoft LCA. Scott also worked for Intellectual Ventures at its inception in Bellevue, WA as a Senior Patent Analyst. Additionally, Scott was the Director of IP for American Power Conversion (APC), which develops data center cooling and backup power systems. Most recently, he was Director of IP for General Compression, a CleanTech company based in Boston. Scott has an undergraduate degree with high honors from Oregon State University in Civil Engineering and he did graduate studies at the University of Nottingham in England.
Technology Transfer Officer, Life Sciences
Tariq joined UCLA TDG in 2016 as a Life Sciences Technology Transfer Officer. His responsibilities include evaluating new inventions, securing intellectual property protection where appropriate, and licensing the university’s rights to both established companies and startups. Most recently Tariq served as Associate Director at the Center for Innovation, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Before working at Children’s, Tariq handled licensing and technology transfer at Partners HealthCare Innovation in Boston on behalf of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He also has prior technology transfer experience with the National Cancer Institute in Maryland and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. He holds a B.S., M.B.A, J.D./L.L.M., and a Master’s of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Tariq is a registered patent attorney with the USPTO.
Technology Transfer Principal
Dr. Ragan Robertson is currently involved in the marketing, patenting, and licensing of UCLA’s extensive life science technology portfolio. With over 10 years of technology transfer experience, he brings some of the industry’s best practices to UCLA TDG to help UCLA become a world-wide leader in licensing and entrepreneurism. Previously, he worked at Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV), the technology transfer office for Columbia University in New York City. There, he was part of the operations team and led a variety of projects including organizing licensee compliance, improving the patent decision process, and programming an internal website for management reporting. Prior to this work, he was one of the first Fellows at CTV, helping shape their successful, and widely cloned, internship program. He received his doctorate from Columbia University in Biological Sciences studying the biophysical properties of several DNA repair proteins at the single-molecule level under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Greene.
Licensing Support Analyst
Carol Thompson joined UCLA TDG in December 2003 as an Administrative Assistant. Currently, as a Licensing Support Analyst, she processes case-related Non-Disclosure Agreements and provides licensing support to the technology licensing officers. Prior to UCLA, Carol had a long career in both the independent film and the recording industries.
Senior Licensing Analyst
Katharine joined UCLA TDG in December 2013 as a Licensing Support Analyst to provide agreement management for the licensing support team. Katharine will also assist with processing invention and copyright reports. Katharine earned her BA in History and Women's Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has since then worked as a Resident Service Coordinator at Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM), where she connected affordable housing residents with social service organizations in Santa Monica to assist with living necessities. Katharine began her UCLA career as a Faculty Resident Coordinator with University Apartments (UA) in 2007, where she prepared leasing agreements and arranged property management services for UCLA faculty. Katharine, then joined the Office of Contract and Grant Administration (OCGA) as an Administrative Specialist and was later promoted to a Grant Analyst. She has gained a multitude of experience pre-reviewing contracts and grants, processing awards and working with faculty and departmental staff in order to effectively manage active agreements.
Head of New Ventures
Thomas Lipkin joined UCLA TDG in 2012 and serves as Head of New Ventures. Dr. Lipkin and his team work to further the entrepreneurial environment at UCLA by building startup companies around UCLA's intellectual property, serving as a resource to faculty members, aiding existing UCLA startups in sourcing financing and talent, and helping secure additional funding for campus-wide startup initiatives. Dr. Lipkin is also responsible for actively promoting UCLA's intellectual property assets and engaging with parties interested in further developing early-stage technologies in the life sciences, physical sciences, and internet technology space. Previously, Dr. Lipkin was with Osage University Partners, a venture capital fund that invests exclusively in university-based startup companies. Dr. Lipkin received his B.S. in Biology from Indiana University and his Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Pathology from Columbia University.
Principal, New Ventures
Shaina Oake joined UCLA TDG in 2014 as an Entrepreneurship Associate. As Principal, New Ventures, Shaina is a part of the New Ventures group supporting entrepreneurial faculty members and existing startup companies out of UCLA. Previously, Shaina was with ClearView Healthcare Partners, a boutique life science consulting firm based in Boston. While at ClearView, Shaina conducted a range of projects for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including market opportunity assessments and advising on both internal asset development and external acquisitions. Prior to ClearView, she was a Junior Fellow at the Center for Technology Transfer and a Research Specialist in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. Shaina holds a MSE in Bioengineering and a BSE in Materials Science and Engineering, both from the University of Pennsylvania.
Director, Industry Research and Material Transfer
Brian Roe joined UCLA TDG in 2008 as an Industry Contracts Officer. In 2012, Brian was appointed Director of Industry Sponsored Research where he oversees the operations of TDG's Industry Sponsored Research and Material Transfer Teams. Before coming to UCLA he spent two years with UC San Diego in their Office of Contract and Grant Administration. Brian received his law degree from Loyola Law School in 2006 where he was a member of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review. His undergraduate degree is from the University of California, San Diego, where he majored in Political Science.
Associate Director, Industry Research and Material Transfer
Karla Zepeda joined UCLA TDG in 2008. As the Assistant Director, Industry Sponsored Research and Material Transfer, Karla works closely with faculty seeking to obtain funding from industry and non-profit sources. Prior to UCLA, Karla worked at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas as a Contract Specialist within the Office of Technology drafting, negotiating, and executing industry sponsored research agreements and material transfer agreements. Karla received her B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from California State University, Chico and her M.S. in Biotechnology from UT Texas.
Industry Research and Material Transfer Officer
Tara A. Davidoff joined UCLA TDG in August 2012. In her role as Sponsored Research Officer, Tara works closely with faculty and staff to help advise on and negotiate research agreements with for-profit entities. Her responsibilities include helping to identify business development and collaborative opportunities and protecting intellectual property rights for inventions and discoveries that may result from industry sponsored research. As a lawyer with over ten years’ experience, Tara has a well-rounded background that includes negotiating licensing deals at an entertainment studio; prosecuting criminals on behalf of the City of Los Angeles; and working as a land use and environmental transactional associate at a highly-regarded law firm. Tara holds a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and a B.A. in political science/theatre from SUNY Albany.
Assistant Director, Industry Research and Material Transfer
Winston Lin joined UCLA TDG in August 2012 as an Industry Contract and Material Transfer Officer. He brings a wide array of legal and business experiences, most recently having served as director at a Los Angeles-based clean technology startup. Winston is a licensed California attorney and received an MBA from Cornell University, JD from USC, and BA from UC Berkeley.
Industry Research and Material Transfer Officer
Amy Warder joined UCLA TDG in 2013 as a Industry Research and Material Transfer Officer. She is responsible for negotiating and drafting material transfer agreements and industry sponsored research agreements. Prior to UCLA, Amy spent five years in Washington, DC working in various legislative offices analyzing legislation. After becoming a licensed attorney in California, Amy began negotiating clinical trial agreements with industry sponsors while working for the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She received her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and her B.A. from Claremont McKenna College.
Industry Research and Material Transfer Officer
Kathleen Wrobel joined UCLA in 1990 and TDG in 1997 as material transfer administrator. She currently is an MTA and Industry Contract Officer handling both MTAs and industry sponsored research agreements for various campus departments. Kathleen holds a BA from SUNY Buffalo and an MA and C.Phil. from UCLA.
Industry Research and Material Transfer Associate
Chris Tomera joined UCLA TDG in 2007 and is currently an Industry Research and Material Transfer Associate. He is responsible for the negotiation and administration of material transfer agreements for both incoming and outgoing transfers and specializes in handling non-profit and academic agreements. In addition to material transfer agreements, Chris also assists in export control compliance with the office of Research Policy and Compliance. Chris was previously with the Business Affairs office of Lucasfilm Ltd. in Northern California and holds a B.A. in Communications Studies from Sonoma State University.
Industry Research and Material Transfer Coordinator
Darin Riggs joined UCLA TDG in 2010 as the MTA Specialist. In this role he helped transition the internal OIP MTA database to a web-based online MTA management system. Darin is also the primary contact for researchers requiring assistance with obtaining Material Transfer Agreements. Prior to UCLA, Darin worked for Mercer Human Resource Consulting in Records Management. Darin attended the University of Minnesota, and has a B.A. in Political Science.
Industry Research and Material Transfer Associate
Emilio Gancayco joined UCLA TDG in 2014 as an Industry Research and Material Transfer Associate. Previously, he worked for UCLA Corporate Financial Services doing legal compliance. Prior to UCLA, he served as compliance and accreditation director for a private college. Emilio received a JD from UC Hastings and a BA from UCLA.
Industry Research and Material Transfer Coordinator
Karla joined UCLA TDG in July 2013 from the UCLA Office of Research Data Management (ORDM). She started at UCLA as an Administrative Assistant in the office of Extramural Fund Management (EFM) in 2000, where she gained experience with reviewing awards and assigning fund numbers. In 2006 she was promoted to an Administrative Analyst role in ORDM. She has experience with the UCLA Financial System and PATS, and has been in charge of processing awards, adding new sponsors and requesting sponsor codes via UCOP-REMS.
Director of Human Resources
As the Director of Human Resources, Laura is responsible for leading employee relations, training and development strategies, recruitment, performance management, compensation, payroll, and benefits for UCLA TDG. Laura joined TDG in 2013, and prior to that she worked in several roles over thirteen years in the Office of the Chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley. Her most recent role was as the Director of Human Resources & Operations for the Vice Chancellor of Administration & Finance. Laura holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley.
Chief Financial Officer & Interim Chief Operations Officer
Tim Grauerholz joined UCLA TDG in May 2013. In his role as the Chief Financial Officer, Tim is responsible for the overall financial analysis of TDG’s portfolio, including the royalty and patent distribution, revenue allocation to campus units, creating and managing the annual budget, oversight of all operational expenses & forecasts, and establishing the appropriate accounting and financial reporting policies and procedures for the group. As Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer for UCLA Technology Development Corporation, Tim is also responsible for all operational and patent related financials to the Board of Directors and the Finance Committee. He brings over a decade of financial experience and leadership having previously worked in the Aerospace/Defense industry in various expanding roles at TRW, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. Tim holds an M.B.A. from USC and a B.S. from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Finance and Economics.
Senior Financial Analyst
Kristen Robertson joined UCLA TDG in 2015. As senior financial analyst, Kristen works closely with the CFO to monitor the overall finances of OIP-ISR’s portfolio, including royalty and patent distribution, campus revenue allocations, the annual budget, and operational expenses and forecasts. Kristen graduated with a degree in Economics in 2009 from Pepperdine University and has spent her career thus far focusing on financial management, process improvement, and data analysis. She has held various high-level roles in the Aerospace/Defense and the commercial sectors, primarily in the areas of finance and strategy.
Campus Relations Manager
Heather Felix joined UCLA TDG in 2013 as Campus Relations Manager. In this role, Heather works to build relationships on campus and support faculty in their innovation efforts. She is also responsible for outreach efforts that promote UCLA’s intellectual property and research. Previously, Heather worked for over 15 years in product development for Discus Dental, LLC and Philips Oral Healthcare. Heather received her B.S. in biology from Stanford University and her M.S. in Molecular Biology and M.B.A from UCLA.
Digital Communications and Marketing Manager
Bob Nidever joined UCLA TDG in the late 90's as a tech-transfer market research intern, and has since held several marketing positions in research commercialization at UCLA. Currently, Bob manages digital communications and intellectual property marketing for OIP-ISR. Bob is also the editor of UCLA INVENTS, and publisher/editor of several external blogs including University TechTransfer & Startups, ArtScience.News, and 310Tech.Com (mHealth and Biotech emerging from the LA area). Bob studied Electrical Engineering at UCLA.
Technology Transfer Associate
Liz Peek joined UCLA TDG in October 2016 and is currently a Technology Transfer Associate for Marketing. She is responsible for the preparation of marketing materials for industry partners and manages the group’s graduate Technology Fellowship program. For a year prior, Liz was, herself, Technology Fellow while completing her dissertation. Liz received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 2016 from UCLA. She previously received her B.S. in 2011 from the University of Virginia.
Patent Prosecution Manager
Charanjit Arora joined UCLA TDG in December 2013 as a Patent Prosecution Analyst. Prior to UCLA, he worked as a Patent Attorney at a New York City law firm where he drafted and prosecuted patent applications. Charan holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a B.S. from UCLA.
Patent Prosecution Analyst
Shemekia Brown joined UCLA TDG in June of 2014 as a Patent Prosecution Analyst. She brings over 12 years experience in intellectual property prosecution. Prior to UCLA, she worked for Kilpatrick Townsend as a Patent Prosecution Specialist for 10 years. Shemekia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from San Jose State.