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Staff directory and bios

OTC director

Dan Sharp, Associate VP for Research

dsharp@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-4738 Show bio

Dan SharpDan Sharp serves as Associate VP for Research and Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, Mr. Sharp oversees the business of OTC, manages all intellectual property (IP) and licensing activities, and coordinates relationships between OTC and faculty university-wide. He is involved in the creation of new licenses and startup companies and provides counsel to licensing staff on strategy, negotiation, terms, and goals.

Prior to joining OTC, Mr. Sharp was a practicing attorney—most recently with McKool Smith, PC and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC—with a focus on IP and technology law, including patent litigation, technology, and IP licensing. He participated in structuring corporate deals ranging from complex mergers and acquisitions to venture capital financing rounds. Additionally, he participated in multiple jury trials for patent cases with damages models exceeding $100 million. Mr. Sharp has managed complex litigation and corporate transactions. He served as a Law Clerk to the Hon. T. John Ward, the presiding District Judge in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas, and is a member of the bar in Texas and California.

Dan received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Currently, Dan serves as a judge and mentor to students competing in the Idea to Product competition and lectures on intellectual property and technology law. Mr. Sharp is a member of the 1883 Council and is involved with the College of Engineering Advisory Board. In 2009 he created a scholarship for engineering students that will be awarded to a student who is the first person from his or her family to attend college.

Finance, operations, entrepreneurship & innovation

James Earl (Jim) Brown III, Associate Director - Finance, Operations, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

jebiii@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-4735 Show bio

Jim BrownJim Brown provides leadership in the Office of Technology Commercialization to facilitate the achievement of commercialization objectives and increase the quality and magnitude of startups based upon research at The University of Texas at Austin. He identifies and evaluates technologies suitable for new venture formation in collaboration with inventors and the OTC licensing team; evaluates and provides feedback on business plans to launch promising new venture opportunities; assists in the creation of pre-seed launch strategies; helps to identify initial management teams, facilitates introductions to potential funding sources, and acts as a guide and mentor to inventors as they navigate the startup process.

Brown brings expertise and a successful track record in private equity and venture capital, as well as experience as a CEO and as a director in several private companies. He was most notably a General Partner at Polaris Venture Partners, where he identified and led several successful investments, including MarketXT (acquired by E-Trade) and Watchfire (acquired by IBM). He was very active with other Polaris portfolio companies as well, including Avici Systems, Exchange.com (acquired by Amazon), and Akamai Technologies. During Brown's tenure, Polaris grew from over $85 million to over $3 billion under management. He subsequently served as Managing Director of Virtus Capital Partners, heading the firm's Private Equity Investment Group.

Brown's operating experience includes the roles of President & CEO, and as a director at both InvisibleHand Networks and SparkPhone, Inc. He began his career as an investment banker with J.P. Morgan & Co., providing equity and leveraged loan financing in support of acquisitions, investments, and recapitalizations for private equity firms and private companies. He also gained valuable leadership and management experience as a captain and aviator in the U.S. Army. His service included the command of aviation soldiers in the prestigious 101st Airborne Division and the leadership of numerous day and night flight missions patrolling the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the Republic of Korea—duty for which he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal.

Brown holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was President of the student body; a JD from New York University, where he was an Associate Editor of the Law Review, a Root-Tilden Scholar, and an International Fellow; and a BS in Engineering and Political Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was a varsity athlete, and where for four years he made Dean's List.

Drew Glass, Administrative Associate - Accounting

dglass@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-6409

Serena Goodspeed, Administrative Associate - Accounting

sgoodspeed@otc.utexas.edu • 512-475-9562

Kathy Grace, Senior Business Analyst

kgrace@otc.utexas.edu • 512-475-9564 Show bio

Kathy Grace joined the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and currently serves as Senior Business Analyst for the department. In this role, she analyzes and documents the requirements, work flows, rules, and processes of OTC's internal operations. In addition, she maintains the public OTC website, queries internal databases to produce internal metrics and reports, and manages OTC's management information systems, including its intranet.

Prior to joining OTC, Ms. Grace was a freelance front-end developer, creating sites for clients including law firms, public health organizations, and retail stores. She has also worked as a software instructor and contract developer, serving clients such as American Airlines, Informix, and WalMart, and as a publication designer. Ms. Grace holds a BA in Rhetoric and Writing from The University of Texas at Austin.

Leticia Honstein, Senior Financial Analyst

lhonstein@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-6729

Joy Smyrson, Administrative Associate - Accounting

jsmyrson@otc.utexas.edu • 512-475-7829

Esther Thomas, Accountant II

ethomas@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-9357

Intellectual property & licensing

Mandana Ashouri, Technology Analyst - Physical Sciences

mandana@otc.utexas.edu • 512-475-7913 Show bio

Mandana AshouriMandana Ashouripashaki serves as a Technology Analyst for Physical Sciences in the Office of Technology Commercialization at UT Austin. In this role, Mrs. Ashouri specializes in evaluating commercial opportunities for physical science inventions in the petroleum, chemical, and mechanical engineering areas, marketing technologies to prospective licensees, negotiating intellectual property licenses, and assisting in the formation of connections between faculty research and IP management.

Mrs. Ashouri brings more than 12 years of experience in academic research, oil and gas industry, and technology to this role, including research and development, chemical plant process design, and integrated management systems. Mrs. Ashouri holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tehran, and two master’s degrees—in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering and in Chemical Engineering—from The University of Texas at Austin.

Tom Baughman, Program Director, Licensing - Life Sciences

tbaughman@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-2875 Show bio

Tom BaughmanTom Baughman serves as a Licensing Specialist for Life Sciences in the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, Mr. Baughman specializes in life sciences, where he evaluates commercial opportunities for life science inventions, markets technologies to prospective licensees, negotiates intellectual property licenses, and assists in the formation of startups.

Mr. Baughman brings more than 20 years of experience in promoting and marketing life science technology. He has worked as a senior-level sales and marketing executive for three successful California-based startup companies (CardioThoracic Systems, Cohesion Technologies, and Novare Surgical Systems) and served as worldwide Director of Sales and Marketing for the Edwards Laboratories Division of Baxter International. In addition, Mr. Baughman directed his own consultancy that specialized in fundraising and initial marketing strategies for early-stage medical device companies. Mr. Baughman holds a B.A. from Indiana University.

Gayle Burstein, Ph.D., Licensing Specialist - Physical Sciences

gburstein@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-9057Show bio

Gayle Burstein Gayle Burstein, Ph.D., serves as a Licensing Specialist in the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, she evaluates life science and physical science inventions for commercial opportunities, aids in the patent process, markets technologies to prospective licensees, negotiates intellectual property licenses, and assists faculty in many areas of intellectual property management.

Dr. Burstein has over seven years of biochemistry and medicinal chemistry research experience, as well as prior technology commercialization and licensing experience at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Burstein holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Florida Atlantic University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin.

Dan Hussey, Licensing Specialist - Life Sciences

dhussey@otc.utexas.edu • 512-475-6469 Show bio

Dan HusseyDaniel Hussey serves as a Technology Licensing Specialist in the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, Mr. Hussey specializes in life science and biomedical technologies, where he evaluates commercial opportunities for inventions, supports the patent process, markets technologies to prospective licensees, negotiates intellectual property licenses, and provides support for faculty members who wish to form startups.

Mr. Hussey has over six years of life science research experience as well as prior technology transfer and licensing experience at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds an M.S. in Biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University.

Jitendra Jain (“JJ”), Director - Strategic Licensing & Programs/Licensing Specialist - Software & Copyrights

jjain@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-9055 Show bio

Jitendra Jain (JJ)Jitendra Jain serves as Director, Strategic Licensing & Programs, for the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, he helps develop technologies by leveraging UT's intellectual assets and by fostering strategic partners. He also focuses on commercializing UT's software and copyrightable intellectual property (IP). Mr. Jain specializes in commercially assessing and valuating technologies, cultivating inventions, developing IP positions, guiding investments in patent prosecution, developing commercialization strategies, nurturing industry/venture-capital relations, marketing to prospective licensees, assisting in the formation of startups, and negotiating complex IP-based collaborative agreements to monetize IP.

Mr. Jain brings over 20 years of domestic and international experience in academic technology transfer, product marketing, entrepreneurship, and business development spanning the computing, telecom, and semiconductor industries. Prior to joining OTC in February 2008, Mr. Jain served as a Senior Licensing Associate at Ohio State University, successfully commercializing engineering properties. Previously, Mr. Jain worked as a Product Marketing Manager for the Communications Group at Advanced Micro Devices (spun out as Legerity), managing voice and broadband integrated chipsets. Later, Mr. Jain ventured into creating his own large-scale events production house and a related web portal. Mr. Jain has also worked as an Associate for the OTC at Texas A&M University, and as a Sales Manager for Wipro Infotech’s Business Solutions Division, providing turnkey information technology solutions to Fortune 500 clients. Mr. Jain holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.B.A. from Texas A&M University.

John H. (“Wick”) Johnson, Ph.D., Licensing Specialist - Life Sciences

wick@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-4919 Show bio

Wick JohnsonWick Johnson serves as Licensing Specialist for the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC). Prior to joining OTC, he was Senior Director for Worldwide Business Development, Cardiovascular, Metabolic, and Endocrine Diseases, at Pfizer, Inc. In that position, he was responsible for evaluating licensing opportunities worldwide and for determining the probability of technical and regulatory success as well as commercial potential of new investment opportunities. Before Pfizer, Dr. Johnson was a Research Fellow at Parke-Davis, managing the pharmacology and molecular biology department. While an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, he made a number of seminal contributions to diabetes research, including development of technologies that allowed meaningful cell biology research into insulin secretion and action and production of the first islet cDNA library.

Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. and B.S. in Microbiology and a B.A. in English Literature from Oklahoma State University. He has authored over 100 papers, book chapters, and abstracts and holds two patents.

Hugh Li, Ph.D., Licensing Specialist - Physical Sciences

hli@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-9054 Show bio

Hugh LiHugh Li, Ph.D., serves as a Licensing Specialist for Physical Sciences in the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, Dr. Li specializes in evaluating commercial opportunities for physical science inventions, securing patent protection and formulating patent strategies, marketing technologies to prospective licensees, negotiating IP licenses, and assisting in the formation of startup companies.

Dr. Li brings to this role more than 15 years of experience in the semiconductor and electronic materials industries, including research and development, project/program management, senior-level management of cross-functional teams, and most recently, business development and M&A activities. Dr. Li’s unique combination of extensive R&D experience and strategic marketing experience affords him good understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist in the commercial product development process, particularly in the dynamic high tech industries, and how university research can effectively participate in and capitalize on such opportunities. Dr. Li holds a B.S. in Chemical Physics from the University of Science and Technology of China, and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Iowa State University.

Les Nichols, Program Director, Licensing - Physical Sciences

lnichols@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-0275 Show bio

Les NicholsLes Nichols serves as a Licensing Specialist for Physical Sciences in the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, Mr. Nichols specializes in evaluating commercial opportunities for physical science inventions, marketing technologies to prospective licensees, negotiating intellectual property licenses, and assisting in the formation of startup companies.

To this role, Mr. Nichols brings more than 20 years of experience in industry and technology. His broad range of experience includes senior-level sales of a variety of products and technologies to the semiconductor industry and university research areas. He directed his own consultancy specializing in chemical plant process design and optimization, and he was integral in the development and startup of a division of a large diversified energy company that developed the most cost-effective means of providing high-purity chemistry to the largest semiconductor manufacturers. Mr. Nichols holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

Erin Overstreet, Ph.D., Licensing Specialist - Life Sciences

eoverstreet@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-6601Show bio

Erin OverstreetErin Overstreet, Ph.D., serves as a Licensing Specialist in the Life Sciences in the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, she evaluates biomedical inventions for commercial potential, secures patent prosecution where necessary, markets technologies to prospective licensees, negotiates intellectual property (IP) licenses, and assists faculty in many areas of IP management.

Prior to joining OTC, Dr. Overstreet was a Licensing Officer at the University of California, San Francisco from 2007 through 2012, where she was responsible for the IP management and commercialization of a large portfolio of biomedical technologies including medical devices, therapeutics, and diagnostics. Prior to her work at UCSF, Dr. Overstreet was a postdoc at UCLA, studying the neurobiology of fruit flies. Dr. Overstreet holds a B.S. in microbiology and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from The University of Texas at Austin.

Patents

Doug Edwards, Program Director, IP and Technology Transactions

dedwards@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-6597 Show bio

Doug EdwardsDoug Edwards serves as Program Director for Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions in the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, Mr. Edwards is responsible for protecting university intellectual property (IP) and overseeing technology transaction activities related to university IP. Mr. Edwards leads the OTC patent team, which is tasked with processing invention disclosures and managing prosecution of U.S. and foreign patents.

Prior to joining OTC, Mr. Edwards served as Vice President and General Counsel for the U.S. operations of NCsoft Corporation, a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games. Mr. Edwards has also worked in leading law firms, where his practice focused on patent litigation, technology transactions, and corporate law. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Edwards was a program manager and design engineer for Texas Instruments.

Mr. Edwards received his law degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 2001, where he was a member of the Texas Law Review. Mr. Edwards has also received Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. He is a registered patent attorney.

Samantha (Sam) Cardona, Patent Administrator

scardona@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-2842 Show bio

Sam CardonaSam Cardona serves as Patent Administrator at the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, she manages patent prosecution and law firms. Prior to joining OTC, Sam served as Senior Paralegal at Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. for ten years, where she coordinated all U.S. patent prosecution with outside counsel as well as managed the worldwide docketing database. She has also served as Patent Coordinator with Motorola Inc. Sam received her Paralegal Certification from The University of Texas at Austin.

Law firms interested in doing business with OTC: Please review the UT System Selection Guidelines for Outside Counsel before contacting Sam.

Jesse Gonzales, Technology Transactions Compliance Coordinator

jesseg@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-4256 Show bio

Jesse GonzalesJesse Gonzales serves as Technology Transactions Compliance Coordinator at the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, he monitors OTC license and related agreement compliance to ensure university, licensees, and other institutions are in compliance with agreement terms. Prior to joining OTC, Jesse served as an International Patent Paralegal at Meyertons, Hood, Kivlin, Kowert & Goetzel, where he was responsible for filing and prosecution of foreign patent applications. He also served as a Senior Patent Paralegal for over eleven years at Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. and its spinoff GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Jesse received both his B.A. and Paralegal Certification from The University of Texas at Austin.

Sylvia Rodriguez, Intellectual Property Assistant

srodriguez@otc.utexas.edu • 512-475-7954 Show bio

Sylvia RodriguezSylvia Rodriguez serves as Intellectual Property Assistant at the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, she assists with patent prosecution. Prior to joining OTC, Sylvia served as Senior IP Analyst at International Business Machines Corporation for nine years, where she assisted with all U.S. patent prosecution, was the focal point for Austin's acquired patent portfolios, worked with outside counsel and the inventor community, and filed U.S. and foreign patent applications.

Marketing & public relations

Betsy Merrick, Program Director, Marketing & Public Relations

bmerrick@otc.utexas.edu • 512-232-7399 Show bio

Betsy Merrick Betsy Merrick serves as Program Director of Marketing/Public Relations for the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, Ms. Merrick oversees all internal and external marketing and public relations efforts including communications, strategic objectives and media. She was instrumental in the formation of the Marketing/Public Relations department for the Office of Technology Commercialization in 2005, and has developed and implemented highly effective programs and procedures working with diverse peer groups, faculty, administrative personnel, industry, community, and key stakeholders to develop and deliver targeted marketing initiatives.

Ms. Merrick has more than 20 years of national and international experience in corporate communications, marketing, and public relations. Ms. Merrick's corporate experience includes management roles for Fortune 100 companies including AT&T, Dell Computer, and Bell Atlantic. Prior to joining OTC, she was Vice President/Partner for The Thompson Group, a marketing firm focused on major Texas marketplaces. Her background includes branding, image building, and relationship/partnership development in the following industries: wireless, computer, and technology commercialization. Ms. Merrick's experience includes the build-out and launch for the first wireless system, Norcel, in Mexico; the opening of Dell's manufacturing plants in Brazil and Nashville, Dell employee programs reaching 39,000 employees worldwide; and managing projects involving Bill Gates, Lucas Films, The Disney Studio, Marvel Comics, and more.

She has served on the following boards and committees: Association of University Technology Managers, Texas Governor's Emerging Technology Fund/CenTex RCIC Advisory Board, The Association for Corporate Growth, Austin Community College Foundation, Austin Partners in Education, Association for Women in Technology Austin, The UT Austin Women in Engineering Program Advisory Board, The Association for Technology Managers, Project 19, The Seton Cove, the Downtown Development Association, and the Sun Bowl. Ms. Merrick earned B.A.s from The University of Texas in Public Relations and in Advertising.

Christina Craun, Marketing Coordinator

ccraun@otc.utexas.edu • 512-232-1908

Administration

Tracy Hatfield, Administrative Manager

that@otc.utexas.edu • 512-475-9795 Show bio

Tracy Hatfield serves as Administrative Manager for the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Hatfield has over 20 years of experience working in administration.

Debbie Harris, Administrative Assistant

dharris@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-6105

Annette Landry, Administrative Associate

alandry@otc.utexas.edu • 512-471-6586

Roxanne Rodriguez, Administrative Associate

roxanne@otc.utexas.edu • 512-232-5178