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.
Mark Wisniewski joined UCLA TDG in September 2017 as the Senior Director of BioPharmaceuticals. Prior to joining UCLA TDG, Mark was the Head of Special Projects at Prolacta Bioscience, leading the strategic planning and business development functions. He was also a Principal Advisor to the National Institutes of Health SBIR Commercialization Accelerator Program which provides business strategy, product commercialization, fund raising and strategic partnership guidance to hundreds of biotech and life science companies. Mark was previously 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 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.
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).
Lukasz Kowalik joined UCLA TDG in August 2017. As a Life Science Technology Transfer Officer, Lukasz manages the Central Nervous System, Infectious Disease and Stem Cell portfolios. He dedicated his career to enabling innovation in academia and business. His personal innovation philosophy is to create as many productive interfaces as possible between different disciplines, units and industries. Lukasz joined us from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, where he was an Innovation Facilitator and Head of the Innovation Think Tank. Prior to that he was a Technology and Business Development Consultant at Now Labs in San Francisco. He holds a BA and MS in Chemistry from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, a PhD in Neuroscience from the Rockefeller University, and he completed his postdoctoral training in Chemical Biology at Stanford University.
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 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.
Guy Rosenthal is the Business Development Officer of Biopharmaceuticals at UCLA Technology Development Group. In his role, Guy leads commercial and business development efforts, amongst others, to advance the commercialization of immuno-oncology, immunology, and computational biology programs.
Previously, Guy served as the Manager of Academic Affairs and Networks at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NASDAQ: TEVA) Global R&D headquarters, where he lead global external innovation with Teva's academic partners. In addition, Guy lead search and evaluation efforts of academic technologies reporting to Teva President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to that, Guy served as a Research Associate at VBL Therapeutics (NASDAQ: VBLT), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first in class treatments for immune-inflammatory diseases and cancer. Guy led research in the fields of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, managing the development of novel drug delivery systems. In addition, Guy 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 in Israel. Guy holds a B.Sc in Biotechnology and a Ph.D in Molecular Biotechnology 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.
“Rutwik “Ricky” Rath joins the Technology Development Group as a Business Development Associate for Physical Sciences. He joins TDG from UC Davis’s Technology Management and Corporate Relations Office, where he worked as an IP Marketing Analyst and IP Analyst from 2016 to 2019. At Davis, he led the Marketing Team and assisted in managing IP portfolio prosecution and licensing activities for all Engineering patents. He has also consulted as a Marketing Consultant for a Medical Device start-up, and set up and supervised a new basic/clinical cardiac research lab at Maine Medical Center. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.”
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.