Board of Directors

The TDG Board of Directors is comprised of distinguished UCLA faculty and executives from a range of industries, including biopharmaceuticals, engineering, finance, private equity, and venture capital. Board members provide guidance in making strategic investment decisions, oversight and direction to TDG's activities.

Andrei Iancu

Andrei Iancu, Chairman

Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Andrei Iancu is a partner in S&C’s Intellectual Property & Technology practice and one of the leading voices in intellectual property law and innovation policy. He is a former Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property in the U.S. Department of Commerce and former Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a position to which he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. Andrei has decades of experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in IP matters across the technical and scientific spectra, including medical devices, genetic testing, therapeutics, the Internet, telephony, TV broadcasting, video game systems and computer peripherals. He represents clients in litigation and trials before the district courts, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the USPTO, the Federal Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court, and also counsels clients on obtaining, licensing, enforcing and defending against IP rights globally. 
During his tenure at the USPTO, Andrei served as the administration’s principal advisor on domestic and international IP issues and created the National Council for Expanding American Innovation, a group of industry, academia and government leaders tasked with helping the USPTO develop a comprehensive national strategy to broaden participation in the innovation ecosystem demographically, geographically and economically. 
Throughout his career, Andrei has been widely recognized for his achievements and contributions to IP law and policy. He has been inducted into the IAM Hall of Fame by Intellectual Asset Management and named one of the “50 Most Influential People in IP” by Managing IP, and has received the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s “Excellence Award,” the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation “IP Champion Award” for “his extraordinary leadership in advocating for the value of intellectual property to stimulate the progress of innovation,” and the IEEE-USA “Award for Distinguished Public Service” for “restoring balance and confidence in the U.S. patent system.” He has earned accolades from leading publications, including Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, Daily Journal, California Lawyer, Los Angeles Business Journal, Legal 500 and many others. 
Andrei is a prolific writer and sought-after speaker, and has received a “Distinguished Legal Writing Award” at Law360’s Burton Awards and a Cicero Speechwriting Award in two separate categories, Public Policy and Technology, for his speech “The Future Keeps Coming.” 

Mert Aktar

Mert Aktar

CEO, Peran Therapeutics

Mert is an accomplished life sciences industry executive with over twenty years of multinational experience bridging science and business in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.  He serves as CEO of Peran Therapeutics, a privately held biotech in Southern California.
Prior to joining Peran Therapeutics, Mert was the SVP and Global Head of Corporate Development & Strategy at Kite Pharma where he played a key leadership role in shaping the future direction of Kite and establishing it as a global leader in cell therapy, delivering the first cell therapy franchise with two products reimbursed in 20+ countries across five indications.  Mert led numerous deals strengthening Kite's R&D portfolio including expansion in Asia, facilitating regulatory approval and commercial launch of the first autologous cell therapy product in China, and transfer of commercial rights from Daiichi Sankyo and regulatory approval and commercial launch of Yescarta in Japan.Previously, Mert held senior leadership positions at biotech and large pharma organizations across diverse modalities (cell therapy, gene therapy, nucleotide-based therapies, antibody therapeutics, small molecules) and therapeutic areas (oncology, hematology, immunology, rare genetic diseases, neuroscience).  Most notably, he played a key leadership role in the transformation of Shire into the global rare disease leader where he facilitated the company’s acquisitions of Baxalta Inc. ($32B) and Dyax Corp.($6B), and orchestrated Shire’s inaugural SEC-registered debt offering ($12B).
Mert holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a M.S. in Engineering Management from Tufts University.

Gay Crooks

Gay Crooks

Director, Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA

Gay M. Crooks is the Rebecca Smith Professor in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics in the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA. She is Co-director of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center and Director of the Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA.

Dr. Crooks graduated from medical school at the University of Western Australia and completed her FRACP (pediatrics) at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children prior to her fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). In 1993, she joined the faculty of the University of Southern California and established her laboratory and clinical programs in the Division of Research Immunology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at CHLA. In 2009 her research program moved to UCLA, where in addition to running her research program, Dr. Crooks is a pediatric bone marrow transplant physician in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Mattel Children's Hospital, UCLA.

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Michael Dal Bello

Investment Partner of Healthcare at Pritzker Group Private Capital

Michael is an Investment Partner at Pritzker Private Capital leading the firm’s Healthcare sector investing. Prior to joining Pritzker Private Capital, Michael was a Managing Director at Blackstone Capital Partners, with an aggregate $63 billion of assets under management in private equity. During his tenure at Blackstone, Michael helped lead sourcing efforts in healthcare and insurance, investing more than $7 billion of equity capital in 13 transactions. Michael also served on ten corporate boards, working with management teams to drive value through operational improvements, acquisitions and divestitures. Before joining Blackstone, Michael was an Associate at Hellman & Friedman where he was involved with the analysis and execution of private equity investments in the media and professional services sectors. Prior to that, Michael worked as a consultant at Bain & Company and also was a Research Associate at the China Center for Economic Research in Beijing, PR China as a Luce Scholar.

Michael earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MA from Oxford University and undergraduate degrees from the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sylvio Drouin headshot

Sylvio Drouin

Vice President, Research Labs Unity Technology

As Vice President of Unity Labs, Sylvio Drouin leads Unity Technologies’ advanced research efforts, looking 3-10 years ahead. Unity Labs creates prototypes, releases new technologies, publishes scientific papers, shares best practices, as well as works with academia and partners on advanced research related to the future of content authoring, content consumption as well as novel forms of applications for the Unity engine. Unity has 2 billions monthly active players as well as 12 millions developers using their technology. Unity Labs's work has already resulted in cutting-edge graphics, AI, AR and VR technologies that demonstrate what developers and consumers will be doing in the near future. 

Prior to Unity, Sylvio served as the CTO of Xtranormal, a 3D storytelling company and before that, CTO of Tiny Pictures, which was acquired by Shutterfly. Before moving to Silicon Vallet, Sylvio was CTO for multiple companies around the world; architected an interactive TV infrastructure in South East Asia as well as creating on of the first Machine Learning startup in Canada. Sylvio has been working in the fields of AI and computer graphic for over 30 years, from large-scale companies to startups and continues to serve as a strategic advisor, with a focus on innovation, core technology, and product vision.

Craig Ehrlich

Craig Ehrlich

Investor, Entrepreneur

Craig is the former chairman of the GSMA, the world’s largest trade association for the mobile industry, a position that he held for seven years. He is also former chairman of Carmel Ventures Asia, now known as Viola Ventures, a leading Israeli venture capital Company. Craig currently serves as the lead independent director of Bharti Airtel, the world’s fourth largest telecom company and has sat on public boards in Hong Kong, Israel, India, the Philippines and the United States.In the Philippines, Craig was vice chairman of publicly listed ISM and formerly a board member of publicly listed Philweb, the country’s leading gaming company. He served as chairman of Taiwan’s largest cable television company, kbro.

Craig was also chairman and co-founder of Novare Technologies Inc. (recently sold), an onshoring and outsourcing software development company, based in Hong Kong that serves clients around Asia). He is also chairman of GTI Beijing, a virtual open platform that advocates cooperation among global mobile operators. Craig formerly served on the board of Israel based company Lumos Global which provides mobile electricity to customers in Africa.

Craig has been involved in Hong Kong’s communications industry since he first settled in Hong Kong in 1987. He joined Hutchison Cablevision as managing director in October 1987 and was a founding member of the team that launched STAR TV, Asia’s first satellite delivered multichannel television network. After four years with Hutchison Whampoa, he became the group operations director at Hutchison Telecommunications and was responsible for the company’s operations in 10 countries.

In 1993, Craig left the Hutchison group and established companies involved in the introduction of cable television and paging services. He sold these companies in September 1996 and started Hong Kong mobile operator. SUNDAY Communications Ltd. in November 1996. Craig was formerly a board member of ECI (NASDAQ) Hutchison Telecom Group, Roamware and ITU Telecom. He is also a member of UCLA/Peking University Joint Research Institute Advisory Committee and former board chair as well as a founding member of Center for Global Management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In 2015, Craig, became a member of UCLA Foundation Board and subsequently its Executive Committee. He established the Norma Ehrlich Scholarship Fund, which to date has helped 78 women attend UCLA, all from California public schools. He is also a former student body president at UCLA.

Craig holds a B.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, a master’s degree from Occidental College and a postgraduate fellowship with the Coro Foundation. He resided in Hong Kong for 29 years and now splits his time between Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

David Gilman Headshot

David Gilman

Chief Business & Strategy Officer, ADC Therapeutics

David has spent the past 25 years working to assist clients’ life science innovation strategies. This work has included a range of portfolio, drug development, investment, transactional and partnering strategies. While the therapeutic span of David’s work has crossed a broad swath of medicine, particular areas of focus have included: oncology, immunology, infectious disease as well as rare and orphan segments.

Prior to joining ADC Therapeutics, David was a partner at Clearview Healthcare Partners. David also spent the majority of his career as a Managing Director of The Frankel Group in NYC and Israel ultimately serving as Managing Director and lead of Huron’s Life Science Strategy team. Most recently, David served as Global Head-Portfolio Management, Business Development & Licensing, at Novartis Oncology. In addition to client work, David has spent time teaching life sciences to business students and business to medical students and has published across drug pricing and reimbursement as well as innovation ecosystem economics.

David holds a A.B., with honors, in East Asian History from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Carole Goldberg

Carole E. Goldberg

Professor, UCLA School of Law

Carole Goldberg is Distinguished Research Professor of Law and the Jonathan D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita at UCLA, where she founded the Native Nations Law and Policy Center and the Joint Degree Program in Law and American Indian Studies.  From 2011-2016, she served as UCLA’s Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel.  She has also served as Chair of UCLA’s Academic Senate (1993-94) and as Associate Dean of UCLA’s School of Law (1984-89 and 1990-91).  She was one of President Barack Obama’s three appointees to the Indian Law and Order Commission, and in 2013 received the prestigious Lawrence Baca Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federal Bar Association’s Indian Law Section.    Professor Goldberg has written widely about criminal justice, tribal sovereignty and jurisdictional issues, cultural resources, and equal protection in Indian country.  Her most recent books are Captured Justice:  Native Nations and Public Law 280 (2nd ed. 2020) (with Duane Champagne) and A Coalition of Lineages:  the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (2021) (with Duane Champagne).  Following retirement in 2018, she has been a special assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel.

Headshot of Josh Green

Josh Green

Founder, UCLA Ventures

Josh arrived in Silicon Valley over 40 years ago and has served as lawyer, venture capitalist and entrepreneur during that time. He has worked closely with some of the Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs and companies, as well as completed many transactions that have been among the largest in Silicon Valley history. Josh was named one of the top 45 lawyers under 45 years old by American Lawyer Magazine and placed on the Forbes Midas List of dealmakers in 2005.

Most recently, he was Senior Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy and General Counsel at Carbon, Inc., a 3D printing company. Previously, Josh was a general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, a venture capital fund with approximately $2B AUM during his tenure at the firm from 2006 to 2019. Josh was also instrumental in helping to build two leading Silicon Valley law firms, Venture Law Group and the Palo Alto office of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. He also served as Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association from 2013 to 2014, and has served on more than a dozen Boards of venture-backed high technology startups.  He estimates that he has led the IPO process for over 100 companies, completed more than 1000 venture financings and advised over 300 venture-backed startup companies during his career.

Josh graduated magna cum laude from UCLA and from the UCLA School of Law where he was on the Law Review.  He was the undergraduate commencement speaker at UCLA in 2001.  Most recently, he is a lecturer at the UCLA Law School on the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem and serves on a committee of the UC Regents to review and revise technology transfer policies and practices.  Josh was previously a member of the committee which led to the formation of TDG at UCLA.  He was also the founder of UCLA Ventures, which seeks to involve entrepreneurial alumni with their alma mater.  He serves on the Advisory Boards of the UCLA Law School Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law & Policy and the Stanford Law School Rock Center for Corporate Governance.

Thomas Herget

Thomas Herget

Head, Silicon Valley Innovation Hub

Thomas studied Biology in Germany, USA and UK. He became R&D Director with biotech start-up Axxima Pharmaceuticals AG (Munich, Ger) working on drug development in infectious diseases. Thomas joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in 2004 and lead large global R&D teams focusing on evaluating new business opportunities in the Life Science arena. In 2017 he accepted the offer to become corporate "Head of Silicon Valley Innovation Hub", Menlo Park, CA, to tap into the local and NA eco system.

Thomas is member of several boards of Merck KGaA incl the Innovation Steering Committee, MBAP (Merck Bioethics Advisory Panel) and chairing the SCROC (Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee). He is professor at the TU Darmstadt University teaching novel technologies in pharma research; he received several awards (e.g. Boehringer Ingelheim Research Award, MERCK Award, EMBL, ICRF and BIF Fellowships) and published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers and 25 patents. Focus of his expertise is signal transduction, novel modalities, cultured meat and biosensors.

Eva Ho

Eva Ho

Partner, Fika Ventures

Eva is a General Partner at Fika Ventures, an early stage technology fund investing in companies that leverage the power of data as a core component of their business model.  Prior to Fika, Eva was a founding GP at Susa Ventures. She is a serial entrepreneur and founder, with a company experience portfolio including Applied Semantics (AdSense), Factual, Google, Youtube and Navigating Cancer. She is active in the non-profit sector, serving on the boards of California Community Foundation and UCLA's Technology Development Group. She was recently the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the city of Los Angeles working with Mayor Eric Garcetti and his team. Eva holds an MBA from Cornell and a BA from Harvard.

Brian Israel

Brian Israel

Partner, Arnold & Peter

Brian Israel is Chair of the firm's Environmental Practice Group, as well as co-lead of the firm’s
Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) working group. Brian's practice
focuses broadly on environmental litigation, crisis management and counseling—including
climate-related issues—and he is one of the nation's leading lawyers for Natural Resource
Damages (NRD) claims. Over the course of his career, Brian has successfully litigated and/or
resolved over one hundred environmental matters. Among other areas, Brian specializes in
cases brought under federal and state environmental laws related to contaminated sites,
including toxic tort lawsuits. Brian represents multiple Fortune 500 companies in some of the
largest and most complex environmental matters across the country. Since 2010, Brian has been
lead counsel to BP in relation to Deepwater Horizon NRD claims, and was also one of the trial
attorneys at the Deepwater Horizon Clean Water Act (CWA) penalty trial.
Prior to joining the firm, Brian was an Honors Trial Attorney in the Environmental Enforcement
Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). While at the DOJ, he handled several
high-profile cases, including the largest NRD trial at the time. Additionally, Brian was awarded
the Distinguished Service Award for his accomplishments in a Clean Air Act jury trial during his
time at the DOJ. He also litigated claims on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
pursuant to the Clean Water Act; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); and the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Brian has spoken and written extensively about environmental law and policy issues. He is a
principal author of "Natural Resource Damages: A Guide to Litigating and Resolving NRD
Cases" (ABA, 2019), the definitive treatise on NRD claims. Brian is also the co-editor of the
recently published book (ABA 2023), “Environmental, Social, Governance: The Professional’s
Guide to the Law and Practice of ESG.” For nearly years, Brian has maintained and regularly
updated the State-by-State Guide to NRD Programs in All 50 States and Puerto Rico. He is the
author of the "Natural Resource Damages" chapter in the Environmental Law Practice Guide
(Gerrard, ed.). Brian has published on many other environmental law topics including
environmental enforcement, crisis management, climate policy, corporate liability, regulatory
reform, trial strategy, and Superfund. Brian's student note, "An Environmental Justice Critique
of Risk Assessment," is published in the NYU Environmental Law Journal.

Rajit Malhotra headshot

Rajit Malhotra

Executive Chairman, AmperSand Biopharmaceuticals

Rajit Malhotra is a Technology Entrepreneur, Executive and Investor. He invests in, advises and helps build rapidly growing, early stage companies. He has a deep expertise in healthcare, as well as extensive experience across a broad range of industries, including Biopharma, Artificial Intelligence, Energy, and Real Estate. He is the Executive Chairman at AmperSand Biopharma, a rapidly growing company. He is also the Executive Chairman of Tour Engine, a novel combustion engine technology based business. He also advises other companies, both within and outside his investment portfolio.

Rajit founded his first business while still in college, building it into the largest retail chain of Paint Technology stores in Oman & Dubai. He was a co-founder and board member of one of India’s largest biotech companies, Shantha Biotech, which was sold to Sanofi Aventis for over $850M in 2009. Amongst a few other ventures, he engineered a rapid performance turnaround at one of the largest pharmacy chains in Oman.

In 2002, Rajit joined the LA office of McKinsey, and eventually took over as the Managing Partner for the SoCal region, until leaving in 2016. While at McKinsey, he counseled CEOs, Boards and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies He was a leader of the healthcare, public sector and EPNG practices. His healthcare clients include biopharma, medical products manufacturers, providers and distribution companies. He accumulated extensive experience across a broad range of C-suite level issues, including organizational transformation, growth strategy, commercial excellence, capability building, mergers and acquisitions and driving change at scale.

Rajit lives in Los Angeles with his two children and golden retriever. He is actively involved with several civic and charitable projects. Rajit is on the Board of the UCLA Technology Development Corporation and the CAFAM Museum. He has been on the Dean’s Alumni Leadership Council at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, a member of the Southern California Leadership Council, and the Board of the Saban Free Clinic. He was a founding member of the Oman Chapter of YEO in the mid 1990s and is currently a member, and on the Executive Committee, of the Bel Air Chapter of YPO.

Rajit received an MPA/ID from Harvard University’s Kennedy School and his MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University. He has dual undergraduate degrees in Business and Liberal Arts from the Wharton School and the College at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Al Osborne Photo

Al Osborne

Senior Associate Dean, External Affairs, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Alfred E. Osborne, Jr., is UCLA Anderson’s senior associate dean for external affairs, with oversight of a variety of key initiatives for the school, including resource development, alumni relations, corporate initiatives and executive education.

Osborne also holds an appointment as Professor of Global Economics, Management and Entrepreneurship and is the founder and faculty director of the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The Price Center serves to organize faculty research, curricula and student activities related to the study of entrepreneurship and new business development at UCLA Anderson.

He served as UCLA Anderson's interim dean from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019.  

His academic expertise and interests include social entrepreneurship and the development of a leadership approach that applies business models and methodologies to the nonprofit world. He holds four degrees from Stanford University, including a Ph.D. in business economics and an MBA in finance.

Cat Oyler Headshot

Cat Oyler

Vice President, Global Head, Clinical Excellence and Transformation Vice President, Integration Leader – Momenta Pharmaceuticals

Cat Oyler serves as Vice President, Global Head Clinical Excellence and Transformation (CET), Janssen Immunology.  In this role, Cat built a new organization leading Janssen Immunology’s cross-functional clinical trial efforts to ensure the therapeutic area is as strong a leader in immunology clinical trial execution as in immunology science. Cat and her team partner closely with Global Development, Medical Affairs, Data Science, Translational Science and other organizations on clinical trial execution for the Immunology Therapeutic Area across all phases, including those in rare disease, which can be particularly difficult to enroll and execute.  CET also collaborates closely with Translational Science and Medicine on execution of healthy normal volunteer and Phase 2 trials.

In addition, Cat co-chairs the Immunology Operations Committee focused on ensuring operational excellence across all immunology trials. Cat also plays an active role as a key stakeholder in other Immunology Therapeutic Area (TA) governance committees, including the Protocol Review Committee (PRC) and the Immunology Portfolio Committee (IPC), and serves on both the Immunology R&D Leadership and the Therapeutic Area Leadership teams. 

Cat’s contributions to the Immunology TA began in 2020, when she served as Vice President, Integration Leader for the Momenta acquisition, and as the interim site head for the Cambridge campus.  Prior to that, she held various roles in Janssen, including Vice President, Global Public Health, Tuberculosis; Global Head, Strategy & Operations, Johnson & Johnson Global External Innovation; and Vice President, Strategy and External Innovation for Janssen Research & Development. In these roles, Cat delivered a 250% increase in use of Sirturo for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis, led strategy development for the company’s cross-sector Lung Cancer Initiative, managed the creation of the “World Without Disease” strategy and led the Janssen R&D China Innovation Initiative. 

In support of Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Cat served as Executive Sponsor for the University Pillar of WiSTEM2D (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design), an initiative which supports and inspires girls and women in their pursuit of STEM2D studies and careers, no matter where they are located around the world.  In this capacity, Cat created the Johnson & Johnson Scholars Award which every year recognizes 6 women at the Assistant Professor level (or equivalent) from across the globe who are research leaders in their STEM2D disciplines and provides 3 years of funding support to accelerate their academic careers

Before joining Johnson & Johnson, Cat held business development roles at AstraZeneca and Myriad Genetics Inc., and marketing and scientist positions at Alza Corporation, Alkermes Inc., and Amgen Inc. She has a B.A. in Biology from Williams College and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Robert Pacifici, Ph.D. headshot

Robert Pacifici, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer, CHDI Foundation

Robert Pacifici is the Chief Scientific Officer of CHDI Foundation, a private, not-for-profit research organization that works with an international network of scientists to accelerate therapeutics development for Huntington’s disease. Previously he was the Site Director and Chief Scientific Officer at the Research Triangle Park Laboratories of Eli Lilly and Company. There he oversaw the company's global screening and quantitative-biology efforts. Prior to joining Lilly, Pacifici was Vice President of Discovery Technologies at Xencor, a pri¬vately held biotechnology company that applied rational design principles to the development of protein therapeutics. At Amgen for nearly ten years, Pacifici held positions of increasing responsibilities including leadership for their automation, high throughput screening, and information technologies groups.

Pacifici received a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Southern California. Outside of CHDI, Pacifici currently participates in several external boards and advisory com¬mittees including:

  • USC Board of Supervisors of the International Center for Regulatory Science
  • Member, Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation Scientific Advisory Board
  • Member, Akashi Scientific Advisory Board

Pacifici has previously served on:

  • Council member for National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS) from 2011 till 2014
  • Chair, Working Group for the NINDS Anticonvulsant Screening Program
  • Chair, NIH/NINDS Spinal Muscular Atrophy Project's Scientific Steering Committee
  • Advisor, Marigold Foundation for Myotonic Dystrophy
  • Advisor, Cooperative International Neuromuscular Group (CINRG) the clinical research arm of the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research Center (DMDRC) and the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at the Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC)
  • Member, Science Advisory Board for Edison Pharmaceuticals
  • Member, TREAT ALS Steering Committee
  • Member, Pathogenesis of Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy advisory board
  • Panel of Experts for National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH, in the NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics (NCTT). This division is home to two programs that seek to advance promising therapeutic agents through late-stage preclinical development: Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND), and Bridging Interventional Development Gaps (BrIDGs)

Robert also serves in the non-scientific capacity of President with the Asia America Symphony Association. Robert, his wife Eunjoo, and his two children Sarina and Noah, live in Palos Verdes Estates California. Robert is an avid amateur road-cyclist and a classic BMW enthusiast.

Arvin Patel

Arvin Patel

Chief Licensing Officer, New Marketing Director, Nokia Bell Labs

Arvin Patel is an accomplished business executive, inventor, lawyer, and global thought leader on creating  innovation and intellectual property ecosytems. Arvin currently serves as the Chief Licensing Officer of New Segments at Nokia, which is one of the largest patent holders in the world and consistently generates more than $1B in patent licensing revenue annually. At Nokia, Arvin is responsible for monetizing the company’s vast portfolio in the Consumer Electronics and Multimedia markets. He has been named one of the “World’s Leading IP Strategists” and “Top 10 Market Makers” by Intellectual Asset Management.

In addition to his role at Nokia, Arvin is an Adjunct Professor at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law where he lectures on global IP issues. He’s also a Technology Executive Council Member for CNBC, which leads ongoing high-priority discussions about employing breakthrough technologies to solve problems and power growth while addressing the challenges presented by these innovations. He frequently contributes to major publications on topics related to diversity in law, technology innovation, and IP policy.

Prior to Nokia, Arvin served as the Chief Operating Officer at Intellectual Ventures, where he played a pivotal role in managing and monetizing its large portfolio spanning the Automotive, Telecommunications, Semiconductor, Cloud, and Fintech markets, among others. Arvin fostered global strategic partnerships by identifying untapped potential within portfolios and unlocking revenue opportunities that were yet to be realized, and he far exceeded revenue targets while there.

He also served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Officer at TiVo, where he led the company's patent and licensing efforts, which generated $300M to $400M in revenue each year. During his tenure, he guided the growth and integration of TiVo's assets across strategic focus areas while safeguarding its most iconic inventions.

Arvin’s experience also includes serving as the Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Technicolor, where he garnered widespread recognition as a leader in intellectual property strategy within the entertainment technology space. Prior to that role, he held the position of Senior Vice President of IP and Licensing at Rovi Corporation and served as the Global Leader of IBM's IP strategy group, where he orchestrated pivotal patent licensing and divestiture deals on a global scale.

Arvin holds a BA in legal studies from the University of California, Berkeley, a JD from the California Western School of Law, and an LLM in Technology, Commerce, and Intellectual Property from the Franklin Pierce School of Law. He has further honed his expertise at Harvard Law School through certifications in advanced negations.

Matt Pendo headshot

Matt Pendo


Mr. Pendo joined Oaktree in 2015 from the investment banking boutique of Sandler O'Neill Partners, where he was a managing director focused on the financial services industry. Prior thereto, Mr. Pendo was the chief investment officer of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he was honored with the Distinguished Service Award. There, he built and managed a team of 20 professionals overseeing the Treasury's $200 billion TARP investment activities across multiple industries including AIG, GM and the banks, and all levels of the capital structure. Mr. Pendo began his career at Merrill Lynch, where he spent 18 years, starting in their investment banking division before becoming managing director of the technology industry group. Subsequently, Mr. Pendo was a managing director at Barclays Capital, first serving as co-head of U.S. Investment Banking and then co-head of Global Industrials group. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from Princeton University, cum laude and is a board member of SuperValu Inc.

Jessica Richter

Jessica Richter

Regulatory & Quality Services General Manager, Veranex

Jessica is the Regulatory & Quality Services General Manager of Veranex, an end-to-end, global, tech-enabled, concept-through-commercialization medical device service provider.  She directs client communications, business development, resource planning, project operations and accounting, and results tracking.  Jessica also establishes policies that promote the organization’s diverse culture and strategic vision.  She possesses extensive experience with medical devices and diagnostics, specializing in Software as a Medical Device (SaMDs), surgical innovation, oncology, aesthetics, and gastroenterology technologies. Jessica previously led commercialization teams within Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) where she spearheaded high-impact projects in the areas of strategic sales planning, physician education, collaboration with patient advocacy groups, and change management.  She serves on the board of directors for MedtechWomen and UCLA's Technology Development Group (TDG).  She is also an advisor for startups, accelerators, and universities, including CLSI’s FAST program, MedTech Innovator, UC Berkeley's Master of Translational Medicine program, the Mayo Clinic’s Executive Steering Committee for the Surgical Innovation Summit, and UCLA Biodesign.   Jessica earned her BA in Communications and Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley.


Headshot of Anne Rimoin

Anne W. Rimoin

Professor of Epidemiology, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Dr. Anne W. Rimoin is an internationally recognized expert on emerging infections, global health, surveillance systems, and vaccination, and has been engaged in pandemic preparedness and response for more than two decades. She is a Professor of Epidemiology at the UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health (FSPH) and Infectious Disease Division of the David Geffen School of Medicine. She is the UCLA FSPH Director of the Center for Global and Immigrant Health and the founding Director of the UCLA-DRC Health Research and Training Program.  Dr. Rimoin has been a strong advocate for capacity building in low resource settings and conducting disease surveillance in complex emergencies.

Dr. Rimoin’s pioneering research in emerging diseases includes the identification of new pathogens in humans and epidemiologic studies of Ebolavirus, human Monkeypox and other emerging infections.  She is currently leading a series of research studies on COVID-19 locally and globally, including the COVID-19 asymptomatic infection and immunity study in Los Angeles health workers and first responders and a study of vaccine hesitancy in essential and frontline workers.

Dr. Rimoin has published more than 80 research articles and book chapters. Her expertise has been featured in The New York TimesThe AtlanticThe EconomistThe Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostWIREDDiscoverScientific AmericanPopular ScienceForbesNational GeographicNature and Science. She also appears frequently on television and radio discussing major issues surrounding disease emergence and has recently been a leading voice on the COVID-19 pandemic in local, national, and international news media outlets including regular appearances on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, CNN International, Fox News, Fox Business News, KCBS, KNBC, KTLA, KTTV, MSNBC, NBC and Spectrum News.

Dr. Rimoin earned her BA at Middlebury College, MPH at UCLA and PhD at Johns Hopkins University. She started her career in global public health in as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa.  She has been recently recognized for her achievements in the fields of Epidemiology and Global Health as a Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Alumni Achievement Award from Middlebury College and the Global Achievement Award from the Johns Hopkins University.

Laura Schoppe

Laura Schoppe

President, Fuentek LLC

Laura A. Schoppe founded Fuentek in 2001, and under her leadership the company has become one of the world’s leading technology transfer consulting companies. Fuentek serves university, government, corporate, and nonprofit research organizations throughout the United States as well as in the European Union, the Middle East, and Asia. 

Recognized as a leading expert in technology commercialization, Laura has an impressive track record of success in helping clients manage their technology proactively, efficiently, and effectively. She has helped clients move their technologies into new markets as well as find sources for technology solutions to address their own R&D needs and product development. Her expertise includes restructuring/establishing technology management organizations; intellectual property portfolio management; open innovation; technology marketing and strategic communications, including the use of social media tools; negotiating licenses, collaborative R&D partnerships, sponsored research agreements, and other deals; and entrepreneurship training for innovators/researchers. She also has numerous publication and speaking credits.

Laura is frequently invited to serve on key advisory panels at the state and national level, including multiple White House panels and the strategic advisory board for the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. She previously served as AUTM’s vice president of strategic alliances, spearheading the design, development, and deployment of what is now known as the AUTM Innovation Marketplace ( Continuing her service to AUTM, she currently serves as the board chair for the AUTM Foundation.

Laura is passionate about encouraging women and minorities to pursue careers in STEM fields. She served on the board of FIRST North Carolina for five years and is still a sponsor and a judge during robotics competitions.

Laura also has 12 years of experience leading research. She worked for several defense contractors as an engineer and manager. For example, at GE-Aerospace/Lockheed Martin, she was responsible for national and international new business development and R&D projects for advanced submarine and surface ship programs. 

Laura holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and Princeton, and she earned her MBA at the University of North Carolina.