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.
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.
Dina Lozofsky serves as the Senior Director of Business Development, Physical Sciences and Engineering. Dina joined UCLA TDG in August 2019, bringing more than 25 years’ experience working in and around science and technology in Southern California. Most recently, Dina was the Executive Director at Biocom, leading Biocom’s efforts to help grow and support the LA life science industry, raising awareness around the regional cluster’s many research accomplishments. Before joining Biocom, Dina was the Associate Director for Licensing and Business Development at UC Santa Barbara’s Office of Technology and Industry Alliances, where she managed a program to mentor and support startup companies formed around UCSB technology.
Dina has deep experience in intellectual property (IP) management and in leveraging IP to structure strategic alliances for both companies and universities, facilitating university collaboration with industry and fostering startup formation and licensing. She was also Vice President, Corporate Development for Solarmer Energy, a next generation solar startup spun out of UCLA, leading the company’s efforts in strategic relationships, business development, intellectual property, legal affairs, and marketing and worked with BTG International as Associate Vice President in their acquisitions group.
Dina holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from MIT, an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business and is a registered Patent Agent.
Mark Wisniewski is the Senior Director of Biopharmaceuticals. He is responsible for the life science and biopharma intellectual property developed at UCLA, including managing licensing and marketing staff, financial management of the portfolio and outreach to inventors and industry. His career spanned multiple roles in biotech management, entrepreneurship and product commercialization in both start-up to Fortune 100 companies. Prior to his role at UCLA TDG, Mark was the Head of Special Projects at Prolacta Bioscience, a producer of human milk nutritional products for premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit, leading the strategic planning and business development functions. He was also a Principal Advisor to the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute’s Commercialization Accelerator Programs which provides business strategy, product commercialization, fund raising and strategic partnership guidance to hundreds of early stage biotech and life science companies. Mark began his career at Baxter Healthcare where he held positions in business development, strategic planning, marketing and R&D. Mark received his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and his Masters of Immunology and Microbiology at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Ed Beres joined UCLA TDG in November 2017 and brings a background in both industry and university technology commercialization to UCLA. He came to UCLA from the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), where he identified promising start-up companies for the incubator’s portfolio, coached start-up founders, and developed entrepreneurship training programs. Before that, he was with USC for 13 years, working to move USC research into commercial use.His experience also includes a role as market strategy manager for HBT, a start-up company in the hydrogen fuel cell industry, and a position with Southern California Edison, where he helped identify and evaluate new business opportunities for the electric utility during California’s transition from its traditional regulatory structure. His early career included engineering positions in Boeing’s commercial airplane division, and an engineering consulting firm now known as Exponent Inc., that specializes in failure analysis. Ed received a BS from the University of Nevada, Reno, and an MS from Stanford University, both in mechanical engineering.
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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 Portfolio 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’s specialty is in the Physical Science area.
Joel Kehle joined UCLA TDG in August 2017. In his role as Technology Transfer Officer, Joel manages a portfolio of database, algorithm, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, and other types of computer science technologies. He has over 20 years of industry experience in information technology and software development. Joel spent over 10 years at Qualcomm focused on cloud computing, enterprise architecture, infrastructure automation, and middleware software. Additionally, he served as Vice President, Technology for multiple startup companies incubated at Idealab in Los Angeles. Joel earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Greg joined the TDG team in May 2018 as Technology Transfer Officer. He most recently led marketing, communications and business development strategy for the Manufacturing Industry and Intellectual Property (“IP”) practices of Ballard Spahr LLP, a nationally-recognized Am Law 100 firm. Before that, Greg served in several commercial roles for AZ Electronic Materials, a global manufacturer of specialty chemicals and processing materials for semiconductor and flat panel display applications. His work at AZ included deals for commercial licensing and minority interest investment in a materials start-up company in the electronics packaging space; a joint development and licensing program on directed self-assembly (DSA) materials with IBM; and license agreements and sponsored research programs for graphene technologies. Earlier in his career, he worked in engineering and business management roles for Air Products and Hoechst. Greg holds a B.S. from Cornell, a S.M. from MIT, and an MBA from Lehigh.
Megha joined UCLA TDG in December 2018 and manages a Medtech portfolio. She was previously a Senior Licensing Officer at UC Irvine after which she joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as an Attorney and Assistant General Counsel for Global Health. She was then Assistant VP for Research and Economic Development at Cal State University. Megha has a B.S. in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine, a Ph.D. in Physiological Sciences and Genetics from UCLA, and a J.D. from Maurer School of Law, Indiana University.
Dr. Ragan Robertson is the Business Development and Information Systems Officer at UCLA Technology Development Group. He is currently involved in the marketing, patenting, and licensing of UCLA’s extensive life science technology portfolio, focusing on small molecule oncology and gene therapy technologies. With over 10 years of technology transfer experience, he brings some of the industry’s best practices to UCLA TDG to help UCLA continue being a world-wide leader in licensing and entrepreneurism. He is also responsible for the implementation and adoption of several information technology tools aimed at improving the efficiency of the office. 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.
Dr. Guy Rosenthal is the Business Development Officer at UCLA Technology Development Group. In his role, Dr. Rosenthal leads corporate development efforts, amongst others, to commercialize and invest in biopharmaceutical assets at UCLA campus, predominantly in the fields of immuno-oncology, immunology and computational biology.
Previously, Dr. Rosenthal was with the Global R&D of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NASDAQ: TEVA) where he led global external innovation with Teva's academic partners and led search and evaluation of technologies reporting to Teva President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to that, Dr. Rosenthal conducted translational research and drug development at VBL Therapeutics (NASDAQ: VBLT), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of first in class treatments in the fields of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, Dr. Rosenthal is also the Founder and Managing Director of The French Horn Fund, a nonprofit impact fund that invests in social enterprises and special-needs populations.
Dr. Rosenthal holds a B.Sc in Biotechnology and a Ph.D in both Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as part of the Academic-Corporate Partnership Program, Faculty of Life Sciences at Bar Ilan University, Israel.
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.
Ricky Rath joined UCLA TDG in June 2019 as the Business Development Associate for Physical Sciences. In his role, he: assists in the marketing of physical science technologies, development and maintenance of client and industry relations, and the management and supervision of interns in the Technology Fellows Program. Prior to joining TDG in 2019, Ricky served as an IP Marketing Analyst and IP Analyst at UC Davis’s Technology Management and Corporate Relations Office. Between 2016 and 2019, he led the Marketing Team and assisted in managing IP prosecution and licensing for all Engineering patents. During that time, he also worked as a Marketing Consultant for the Sacramento medical device start-up Kili Medical Drain Carrier. Before joining UC Davis, Ricky was the first hire of a basic/clinical cardiac research lab at Maine Medical Center where he set up and supervised research as well as assisted in the oversite and execution of a Phase II cardiac therapy clinical trial. Ricky holds a Bachelor of Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science from Vanderbilt University both in in Biomedical Engineering.
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.
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.
Tara A. Davidoff is an active member of the California State Bar. She joined TDG in 2012 and has over 20 years of legal experience. As an Industry Research and Material Transfer Officer, Tara counsels University clinicians, faculty and researchers primarily in the life sciences with respect to industry-sponsored transactions. Before joining TDG, Tara held various positions including Deputy City Attorney for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office; Associate Counsel at a prominent regional law firm representing real estate investors and redevelopers on multi-million dollar projects; and as a Licensing Manager at a Hollywood studio. Tara holds a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and a B.A in Political Science/Theater from SUNY Albany.
Emilio Gancayco is an officer with the Industry Sponsored Research group. His focus is on facilitating industry engagements with faculty. Emilio joined TDG as an associate in 2014. Previously, Emilio worked as an analyst with UCLA Corporate Financial Services. Emilio received his BA and MBA from UCLA and his JD from UC Hastings.
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.
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
Karla joined UCLA TDG in July 2013 as an ISR-MTA Coordinator. Currently in her role as an ISR-MTA Coordinator she reviews and processes MTA agreements as well as ISR proposals and intake matters. Karla provides support to all ISR staff and reviews applicable information to complete Conflict of Interest Cases. She previously worked in the 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. She has been in charge of processing awards, adding new sponsors and requesting sponsor codes via UCOP-REMS. Karla is a departmental resource between ORDM and EFM with ISR matters.
Iris Heredia joined TDG in November 2014 as an Industry Sponsored Research and Material Transfer Coordinator. In her role as ISR-MTA Coordinator, Iris reviews material transfer requests and manages intake duties for sponsored research matters. Every month, Iris collaborates with faculty and staff to prepare and submit Conflict of Interest cases. She also runs audit reports to check data entry accuracy and solves any pending issues. Prior to UCLA, Iris was a Marketing Intern at Intercollegiate Athletics Department and a Writing Tutor at University of California, Santa Barbara. Iris holds a B.A. in Political Science and Global Studies from UCSB.
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.
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.
Matthew Savary joined the UCLA TDG in 2019 and serves as Principal of New Ventures and the UCLA Innovation Fund. Dr. Savary manages the MedTech vertical of the UCLA Innovation Fund, and is responsible for evaluating early-stage medical device technologies, working closely with UCLA inventors and external advisors to de-risk promising assets, and attracting industry partners, entrepreneurs, and investors to continue development through a license to an established or newly created company. Matthew joined the TDG from Medtronic in Boulder, CO, where he was Director of Medical Affairs for four years. Prior to that he was a Surgical Resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Matthew has a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Steven Institute of Technology, and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Tufts University School of Medicine.
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Mary Sullivan joined the UCLA TDG in 2019 and serves as Principal of New Ventures and the UCLA Innovation Fund. Dr. Sullivan manages the therapeutics vertical of the UCLA Innovation Fund, and is responsible for evaluating early-stage therapeutic technologies, working closely with UCLA inventors and external advisors to de-risk promising assets, and attracting industry partners, entrepreneurs, and investors to continue development through a license to an established or newly created company. Dr. Sullivan also runs the UCLA Startup in a Box program, which aims to lower barriers for UCLA entrepreneurs by providing resources and warm introductions to pre-vetted partners across a multitude of service areas. Previously, Dr. Sullivan was a consultant at L.E.K. Consulting, where she advised investors and executives in the life sciences sector (biopharma, devices, diagnostics, research tools) on corporate, franchise, product, and M&A strategy. Dr. Sullivan received her B.A. in Neuroscience and French from Oberlin College and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University.
Carol Lopez joined UCLA TDG in 2018 as the Operations & Human Resources Analyst for the team and in 2019, she was promoted to Finance & Operations Analyst. In this role, Carol is responsible for managing the day-to-day financial and operational activities, as well as outreach, relationship management, and event management for the UCLA Innovation Fund and New Ventures team. Carol holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Finance from Santa Clara University. She brings with her over 3 years of finance experience, over 6 years of operations experience, and over 10 years of development/relationship management/outreach experience to TDG in varying sectors, including higher education, healthcare and non-profit.
Angi Kujak joined UCLA’s Technology Development Group in November 2017 to serve as its first Director of Contracts, which position was created to improve the consistency, quality and efficiency of TDG’s IP transaction negotiations. Angi is a registered patent attorney and provides IP transactional support to the Associate Vice Chancellor, and President & CEO of UCLA Technology Development Corporation, TDG’s Licensing Directors and Officers, as well as its Industry Sponsored Research team members. Such support includes aiding in accelerating negotiations to execution, enhancing licensing strategy, and providing IP-related advice on copyright, trademark and patent matters and use of name. Her responsibilities also include drafting and negotiating a broad range of IP transactions and addressing complex technology commercialization issues, including those that uniquely arise from start-up company activities. In addition, Angi manages the Licensing Support Team members, who assist the Licensing Team with the drafting, negotiation, execution and monitoring of TDG’s license agreements. Prior to joining TDG, Angi served as Assistant and Associate General Counsel for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation for over seven years, and worked as a patent prosecution and litigation attorney at a private law firm for several years before specializing in IP transactions.
Deb Kowshik joined UCLA’s Technology Development Group in November 2016 and currently serves as its Assistant Director of Contracts. Deb is a registered patent attorney and provides transactional and analytical support to TDG’s Senior Director of Contracts through the drafting and negotiating of moderate risk agreements such as LOIs, Options, Bailments and IIAs, as well as handling more routine consulting, collaboration and confidentiality contracts, and agreement terminations. Deb also assists with the license agreement due diligence process by ensuring all IP – patents, copyrights, and associated technologies – included in each license is adequately vetted for ownership and third party obligations. Deb brings over 10 years of experience, most recently managing the medical device team at a patent search firm, and prior to that working in the legal setting, clinical research arena, and at the lab bench. Deb holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, a B.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University, and is a proud alumni of The Bronx High School of Science.
Griselda joined TDG in October 2016 as a Licensing Support Analyst. Currently as a Contracts Manager for Integrated Sciences, her position involves reviewing and drafting the Business Development and Technology Transfer team’s contracts, and managing contract compliance activities. Griselda has worked for UCLA since she was a student. She previously worked as a Junior Fund Manager and Purchasing Coordinator at UCLA’s Division of Dermatology for 3 years, and prior to that, she worked for UCLA Health and UCLA’s Division of Rheumatology. She holds a B.A. from UCLA in Spanish and a minor in Political Science.
Danica joined TDG in August 2018 as TDG’s first Post Execution Contracts Manager, which position ensures consistent management of TDG’s contracts. She is responsible for ensuring TDG’s IP-related agreements are properly entered into the organizational databases and securely maintained. Danica also works closely with the Sr. Director of Contracts and the licensing officers to monitor contractual performance of TDG’s licensees and audit general agreement compliance, including equity issuance, and progress and royalty reports. Prior to her joining TDG, Danica worked as a Licensing Manager in the toy industry. Danica attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and has a B.A. in Communication Studies.
Charan joined UCLA TDG in December 2013. Prior to UCLA, he was a patent attorney at a New York City law firm where he drafted and prosecuted patent applications. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Cornell University, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and a B.S. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from UCLA.
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.
Lily Yu joined UCLA’s Technology Development Group in March of 2015 as a Patent Prosecution Analyst. She provides patent support to the business development officers, inventors, and licensees by managing their extensive patent portfolios. In addition, she handles all of the annuities for UCLA. She began her intellectual patent career in 2011 at Ladas & Parry. Prior to working in the patent field, she worked in education and nonprofit. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Arts in Asian American Studies from UCLA.
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Tina joined TDG from Silver Spring, MD in November 2019. She has many years of experience in patent prosecution and has worked with some of the top law firms in the country. Tina also specializes in copyrights and licensing. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland University College (“UMUC”), and will be receiving her Masters Degree in Business Administration during the Summer (2020). After which, she will begin the UMUC PhD program specializing in Business. Tina is a competitive fencer and holds over 50 national and regional medals.
Genevieve Mayer joined UCLA’s Technology Development Group in March of 2020 as a Patent Prosecution Analyst. She provides patent support to the business development associates, inventors, and licensees by managing invention intake, federal and non-federal reporting, and iEdison compliance. Prior to working in the patent field, she worked in education at LAUSD and nonprofit. Prior to LAUSD, she was a Law Clerk at Reich, Adel, Crost & Cvitan, and an Administrative Specialist for the JCF Group in Madrid, Spain. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from UCLA and a JD/MBA from the NYU School of Law and NYU Stern School of Business.
Tim Grauerholz joined UCLA TDG in 2013. In his role as the Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operations Officer, Tim is responsible for the overall financial performance 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 and patent prosecution expenses & forecasts, and establishing the appropriate accounting and financial reporting policies and procedures for the group. Tim also oversees the Patent Prosecution team, the Marketing team, and all capital and IT needs for TDG. As Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer for UCLA Technology Development Corporation, Tim is responsible for reporting all operational and patent related financials to the Board of Directors. He also serves on the Finance Committee, the Monetization Committee, and others as requested. He brings over 15 years 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.
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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.
As the Operations & Human Resources Analyst, Jessica is responsible for human resources and payroll processing, travel and entertainment reimbursements, purchasing, building operations, and other operational duties. She has a B.S. in Business Administration with a Human Resources concentration from UC Riverside. Jessica brings with her 4 years of UCLA experience from her time serving as the Administrative Manager at UCLA Anderson Parker Career Management Center and as an Administrative Specialist at UCLA Facilities Management. Prior to UCLA, she worked for 4 years as the Field Human Resources Assistant for Panda Restaurant Group.
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.
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Marivi Valcourt joined TDG in 2019 as the marketing outreach liaison. She is responsible for brand marketing, PR, professional events, social media, content and analytics for the organization. Marivi has spent the majority of her 30 year career as a marketing professional in the music industry and the performing arts. She has held positions at MCA/Universal Records, Capitol Records, UCLA’s Royce Hall and most recently LA Opera. Marivi is excited to bring her creative energy and marketing knowledge to UCLA's tech transfer office. She holds a Bachelor of Music/Music Business from New York University and an MBA from Loyola Marymount University.
Michelle is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at UCLA. Her thesis project is towards understanding the biosynthesis of the essential redox lipid, Coenzyme Q, in the lab of Dr. Catherine Clarke. She graduated from Colgate University in 2015 with a B.A. in Biochemistry and a minor in Political Science. As an undergraduate, Michelle worked on porphyrin organic synthesis at Colgate, in the lab of Dr. Rick Geier III. She also spent time at the National Institutes of Health as an undergraduate, studying triple negative breast cancer under Dr. Jeffrey Green. Michelle is interested in pursuing scientific writing in the form of patent law or clinical development after obtaining her doctorate.
Ruxi Dai is currently a PhD candidate in Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, doing research in the field of Inorganic Chemistry. His research topic is synthesizing organometallic compounds and developing their catalytic activities in bio-degradable plastic preparation. Ruxi moved to the United States in 2016 for the graduate program in UCLA, after he got his bachelor's degree in Peking University, China.
Nebula (Jiaying) Han is a 4th year graduate student in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology. She received her bachelor degree from Rice University in 2016, where she double majored in Biochemistry and Visual Arts. Under the mentorship of Dr. Donald Kohn, Nebula developed her PhD thesis focusing on improving titer and gene transfer of lentiviral transduction in hematopoietic stem cells for autologous gene therapy. Serving as the student representative for the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, she coordinated departmental retreats and recruitment for social and career development events. Outside of the lab, Nebula likes to explore the art, music, and dance scenes of LA. She loves to travel the world to learn about local culture while also making time to stay at home and play with her corgi, Cheddar.
Elliot is pursuing a J.D. at UCLA School of Law. He is a registered patent agent and holds a CIPP/US certification. He graduated from Princeton University with a B.S.E. in Chemical and Biological Engineering. His research at Princeton focused on the simulation and in vivo validation of oxidative stress in bacterial cells during phagocytosis with a goal of determining which oxidizing agents most effectively prolong the duration and severity of cellular oxidative damage.
Ariella is a 5th year PhD candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Mark Goorsky. Her doctoral research focuses on inorganic nanoparticles for targeted delivery applications. Currently, she is conducting research at the University of Helsinki's Faculty of Pharmacy as a joint National Science Foundation- Academy of Finland research fellow. Her research background ranges from solution-processed electrodes and organic solar cells to microfluidic chips for synthesizing PET tracers.
Shuin (“Sue”) is currently a Ph.D. student in the UCLA Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology Program. She previously received her Bachelor’s in General Biology at UCSD and conducted research on endoplasmic reticulum stress in hepatocytes at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. Since 2014, she has been under the guidance of Dr. Reza Ardehali in the UCLA Department of Medicine. Her current project focuses on perivascular cells in the heart and their contributions to fibrotic tissue in myocardial infarction. Outside of the lab, she enjoys playing tennis, going on hikes, and trying out various breweries in the southern California area.
Yilian (Elaine) Wang is a Ph.D. Candidate in Bioengineering at UCLA. Her doctoral research investigates novel microfluidic-based technologies for sample preparation and processing. She holds extensive expertise in device prototyping, protein-based bioanalysis, and assay development. At TDG Elaine is actively involved in the evaluation and marketing of UCLA technologies on a wide range of topics, including novel drug candidates and targets, chemistry processes, diagnostic and therapeutic inventions, semiconductor materials, circuit modules, mechanical components and more. Before joining UCLA, Elaine received B.S. degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Psychology.