University of Maryland, Baltimore
620 West Lexington Street, Fourth Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201
Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA
Assistant Vice President Office of Technology Transfer
Phil Robilotto manages the University’s intellectual property, licensing and new business venture efforts. Dr. Robilotto comes to the University with nearly 20 years of clinical practice and pharmaceutical/biotechnology strategic planning and business development experience, most recently with Celera and DuPont Pharmaceuticals. He has led valuation and planning efforts for technology platforms and clinical stage products and has successfully developed, negotiated and executed collaborations across a broad range of life science based technologies with a variety of commercial partners.
In his current role, he has responsibility for managing the University’s IP portfolio, while leading and expanding its technology assessment, marketing and commercialization efforts. Dr. Robilotto is a licensed physician in the state of Maryland and received his DO from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. He also holds a BS in Biology from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from Duke University.
Maryland Momentum Fund
David W. Wise
Director, USM Maryland Momentum Fund
David W. Wise is the Director the Maryland Momentum Fund a new initiative of the University System of Maryland (USM) to provide late seed investment funding for promising technology ventures that come out of any of the twelve constituent institutions of the University System or its incubators. Mr. Wise has a business career spanning over thirty years including serving eight and half years as CEO of The Genetics & IVF Institute in Fairfax, Virginia an international women's healthcare company with operations in both the US and China of which the Inova Health System was the largest shareholder. In 2014 he decided to shift the focus of his career to helping develop the innovation economy in Maryland. Since 2014 he has been the Venture Advisor to the President of the Abell Foundation on its direct investment program. He is also an advisor to UM Ventures and the Sinai/LifeBridge Health Bioincubator. In addition, he is a member of the Betamore Advisory Board and of the Board of the Maryland Humanities Council and sits on the Bioscience Committee of the Greater Baltimore Committee. He has served as a business competition judge for Accelerate Baltimore, Beta City, and at both the Fischell School in College Park and their School of Medicine of the University of Maryland, among others.
In his position with the Momentum Fund Mr. Wise will be responsible for the review and due diligence and recommendations on investments by the Momentum Fund. In addition, he in conjunction with members of the UM Ventures team, will work with these early stage companies to provide business advice and counseling to help promote their success. Mr. Wise graduated with highest honors from the University of Dayton and received a graduate degree in international business from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Marco Chacón, PhD
Assistant Vice President for Industry Alliances
Marco A. Chacon, Ph.D. is the Assistant Vice President of Industry Alliances the University of Maryland, Baltimore. As a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive and entrepreneur, Dr. Chacon works with the leadership team at UMB leading special projects to grow the BioPark tenant base and to strengthen the University’s research collaborations with industry.
Dr. Chacon is the Founder and Chairman of Paragon Bioservices, Inc., a Contract Development and GMP Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) located at the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore. With nearly 200 employees and 75,000 square feet of space, Paragon specializes in the development and GMP manufacturing of viral vectors and vaccines.
Dr. Chacon is also the Founder of IRAZU Biodiscovery, a regenerative medicine company seeking to develop therapeutic interventions to induce hypoxia tolerance and neuroprotection as described in experimental models of caloric restriction and hibernation, as well as during the neonatal period in mammals.
Dr. Chacon’s academic interests include control of metabolism, oxygen homeostasis and the regenerative potential of tissues and organs.
Dr. Chacon received a B.S. degree from Youngstown State University and a Ph.D. Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the UMB Foundation and was appointed in 2016 to the Life Sciences Advisory Board by Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr.
Licensing and Alliances
Nancy Cowger, PhD
Director of Technology Licensing
Dr. Nancy Cowger, Asst. Director for Licensing, leads the licensing and marketing teams at UMB’s Office of Technology Transfer. She and her team members work with UMB inventors on all aspects of IP development - from the initial idea stage, to proof-of-concept and on toward commercialization. The team engages with a variety of outside parties interested in partnering with UMB to foster and commercialize UMB technology. Dr. Cowger began her tech transfer career at ORD in 2005, initially negotiating sponsored research agreements and later moving into OTT’s licensing group. Before coming to UMB, Dr. Cowger was Sr. Scientist for a Maryland startup biotech company, where she was recognized for her leadership role in the planning and execution of the company’s experimental payload on the International Space Station. Nancy holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and a master’s in molecular biology from Tulane University.
Technology Licensing Officer
Rebecca Whipple Bettes is a Technology Licensing Officer that joined the OTT group in September 2016. She received her B.S in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), before obtaining her MS in Biotechnology from UMUC and later her MBA from the Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore/Towson. Becky began her career as a Research Associate at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the Department of Applied Neurobiology before moving on to become a Research Supervisor at UMB’s Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum NCI Cancer Center. She also successfully launched her own business consulting company; BioSense Business Solutions, LLC, where she created market and financial analyses as well as generated business plans for multiple clients. Becky has been the lead author on multiple publications, is a listed inventor on three patents, and has also served as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor for the Merrick School of Business.
Melissa Blackman, PhD
Technology Licensing Officer
Melissa Blackman joined OTT in June 2016 as a Technology Licensing Officer. Melissa received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), before obtaining her PhD in Neuroscience from Brandeis University. After completing work as a Postdoctoral Associate at Brandeis, she teamed with the newly hired Executive Director to reinvigorate the Brandeis Office of Technology Licensing, where she developed office agreement templates, assessed inventions, and negotiated agreements across a broad range of technologies in neuroscience, biochemistry, physics and food science. As part of her duties at Brandeis, Melissa also managed the annual university-wide gap funding competition geared to encouraging entrepreneurship and was instrumental in the growth and development of that program. Melissa is also registered with the USPTO.
Meriem Gaval Cruz
Technology Licensing Analyst
Meriem Gaval-Cruz is a Technology Licensing Analyst at OTT. Meriem holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Psychology from Florida State University and earned her doctorate in Neuroscience from Emory University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Her research has focused on the role of catecholamines in psychiatric disorders, particularly in addiction. Most recently, Meriem was a regulatory science specialist at a boutique consulting firm specializing in regulatory affairs pertaining to products intended to treat orphan diseases. In this role she liaised between pharmaceutical industry clients and regulatory agencies in the US and Europe. Meriem has extensive experience in strategic scientific and regulatory communications across broad therapeutic areas, including briefing packages, orphan designations, oral presentations to both scientific and layperson audiences, peer-reviewed journal articles and research grants.
Assistant Director of Technology Licensing
Mark Wozniak, PhD joined OTT in May 2016. Mark received his B.S in Chemistry, with a Mathematics concentration from the University of Michigan, and also obtained a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from Penn State University. He led a variety of business development and research related functions for the J.M Huber Corporation in Havre de Grace, before being named as the Chief Operating Officer for the Sterilex Corporation in 2009. Mark is an experienced executive with expertise in innovation, product commercialization, business development and startup management. Mark successfully completed the J.M Huber mini-MBA program in conjunction with the Wharton School and has been an active supporter of the Maryland entrepreneurial ecosystem through his past work as an I-Corp mentor, MII reviewer, and Invest Maryland Challenge judge.
Jennifer Yoon, PhD
Technology Licensing Analyst
Jennifer Yoon is OTT’s Technology Licensing Analyst. Jennifer holds a PhD in Physiology from the University of Maryland with a focus on metastatic breast cancer and has recently completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Greenebaum Cancer Center. In her current role, Jennifer focuses on the evaluation and market positioning of newly disclosed technologies and has responsibility for developing initial marketing strategies for new University inventions.
IP Protection and Compliance
Dustin E. Lee, JD
Dustin E. Lee is a patent attorney that specializes in medical devices, engineering technologies, and software. Before joining the Office of Technology Transfer in July 2016, he worked as an engineer and patent attorney in private practice, including experience in technology transfer.
Dustin received his BS in Engineering in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. He began his career as a mechanical engineer, commercially developing integrated robotics and material technologies, before earning a JD from Michigan State University. He has experience in small and large patent boutique firms, in which he focused on patent prosecution, litigation, and counseling in the mechanical, computer, biomedical, and electrical arts. Dustin is an active member of the State Bar of Michigan, and is registered to practice before the USPTO.
Robert McCarthy, JD, PhD
Senior Patent Attorney
Dr. Robert E. McCarthy is a patent attorney with specialization in biotechnology and life sciences. Dr. McCarthy joined the group in September 2007 and has oversight for all patent related matters for the office. He is experienced in all matters related to intellectual property including patent prosecution, patent licensing, and drafting of various technology transfer agreements. His experience spans the academic, industrial and government sectors.
Dr. McCarthy earned his BS in Biology, magna cum laude, from Loyola University in Chicago and his MS and PhD degrees in Microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He performed postdoctoral research in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis. He earned his law degree from Chicago Kent College of Law. Dr. McCarthy is an inventor on several patents obtained during the time he spent working in industrial research and development. He previously held a position as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Maryland law school teaching a course in patent prosecution. He is a member of the Virginia bar and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He holds membership in AIPLA and the American Bar Association.
Shari Corin, JD, PhD
Senior Patent Attorney
Dr. Shari Corin is a patent attorney specializing in biotechnology and the life sciences. Dr. Corin is experienced in all aspects of U.S. and international patent procurement, intellectual property counseling, and portfolio management. Dr. Corin has expertise in a broad range of technologies, including molecular diagnostics, stem cell technologies, pharmaceuticals and biologics, vaccines, screening assays, and medical devices. Before joining the Office of Technology Transfer in September of 2009, she worked in private practice, serving clients from academic, nonprofit, government, and corporate sectors.
Dr. Corin received an MS in Pathology and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She performed her postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Corin received a JD from Emory University School of Law, where she also earned a Certificate in Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialization. She is a member of the Georgia Bar and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
New Ventures and Company Formation
Rana Quraishi, PhD
Director of New Ventures
Rana Quraishi has spent much of her career working in life science directed finance, investment and consulting organizations. At the TCG Group, a premiere private equity firm she focused on business development opportunities for its life science companies. Prior to this she was a Principal at Conning Capital Partners/SwissRe an early stage private equity fund providing growth capital for entrepreneurial companies where she served on Boards of several portfolio companies. She was also CFO/senior advisor for Helicon Therapeutics, a start-up with assets contributed by Cold Spring Harbor and OSI Pharmaceuticals. She developed the Company's business plan, and made investor presentations leading to $6 million in initial funding. Helicon was subsequently acquired. Earlier in her career Rana worked for Standard and Poor’s, GE Capital where she was Commercial Quality Leader for GE Capital and prior to that headed the Business Development Group at its FGIC subsidiary, J.E. Seagram and American Express where she led treasury and acquisitions and divestitures groups. She has served on several for-profit and not for-profit boards, and has also authored the widely read “Market Demand Study for Commercial Biotechnology, Biomedical, and Bioinformatics Facilities in New York City” for the New York City Partnership and Investment Fund. Dr. Quraishi has a PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Columbia University where she was also an undergraduate and an MS degree from Harvard University.
Mark Lafferty, PhD
New Ventures Principal
Mark Lafferty serves as an advisor to UM Ventures Baltimore. In this role, he provides financing and business planning advice to new companies, prepares valuations for startup companies and new products, and evaluates financial aspects and terms for licensing deals. He holds a BSBA in Finance from Georgetown University, an MS in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His doctoral and postdoctoral training at the Institute of Human Virology focused on immunology, innate antiviral factors and HIV-associated cancers. Mark has more than 6 years investment banking experience in the Health Care Investment Banking Group at Deutsche Bank and the Energy Finance Group at Bank of America where he executed numerous public and private financings and provided merger and acquisition advisory services with transaction values totaling over $5 billion.
New Ventures Associate
Adam R. Kronk serves as the New Ventures Associate in the Office of Research and Development – Technology Transfer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. In this role, he aims to accelerate the launch of new university based startup companies and enhance strategic partnerships or joint ventures based on university intellectual property. Adam holds a BS in Biomedical Sciences from Western Michigan University, an MS in Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and an MBA from the Olin Business School at Washington University in St Louis. During his professional career in the life sciences, Adam has been directly involved with product platform development (Luminex®, DuoLink®). Among other accomplishments, he has also worked to characterize original analytical instrumentation used to detect drug-target interaction and better define novel therapeutics specifically designed for lipid profile management.
Darryl L. Carter, M.D.
Venture Advisor (Repurposed/Reformulated Drugs)/Manufacturing
Dr. Darryl L. Carter is co-founder and Vice President of Research of Nora Therapeutics, Inc., a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutics for unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss. Nora’s lead proprietary biologic, NT100, is currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial. In addition to raising a $25M Series A investment from three top tier venture capital firms, Dr. Carter directs Nora’s biomarkers program, conducts sponsored research on NT100’s mechanism of action, and oversees GMP bioassay development. Dr. Carter received his M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed his residency there. Following post-graduate fellowships at Johns Hopkins and NIH, he was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Attending Physician in Diagnostic Immunology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Carter is the sole inventor on 14 issued patents.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
J. Richard Hughen
Entrepreneur in Residence-Diagnostics/Medical Devices
Richard Hughen’s thirty years of professional experience in the medical device industry span three start-ups, a mid-cap and three Fortune 500 companies. His background crosses diverse clinical fronts including interventional pulmonology, thoracic surgery, interventional cardiology, gastroenterology, ENT, oncology, orthopedics, gynecology, wound care, molecular diagnostics and health-IT. He is the founder of Life Science Planning, a strategic consultancy for life science companies with focus on start-up, early stage and emerging growth companies. Ric was a member of the executive team that led start-up CSA Medical from a technology license (Navy), through product development, clinical trials, five FDA clearances, CE mark, four rounds of funding ($50M) and into a profitable commercial business. Before CSA Medical, he directed the marketing efforts for the $210 M molecular diagnostics business of Becton, Dickinson (BD). Prior to BD, Ric was Managing Director of an e-learning start-up, LearnWare, which was successfully built and sold to a private equity fund. Ric also led various management, marketing, training and sales teams for Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Diagnostics and Cordis Cardiology. Ric holds MBA and BS degrees from The Pennsylvania State University. When not working, he is typically outside training for triathlon competition or umpiring little league baseball.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Alastair Mackay with life sciences companies to define key opportunities, then sharpen strategies, plans, pitches, and presentations. At the Maryland Venture Fund (2013-16), he was the Senior Life Sciences Principal, reviewing investment opportunities in startups in the Therapeutics, Medical Device, Diagnostics, Health-IT, Science Tools, and Agriculture sectors. He oversaw the two dozen companies in the MVF portfolio with a business focus in these areas, holding the Fund’s Board Observer seat at Harpoon Medical and GrayBug Medical, among others. For the prior seven years, he was a Wall Street analyst for GARP Research and Securities, covering public companies in Life Sciences and other spaces. His focus: recommend stocks that were poised to benefit from sustained earnings growth fueled by the development and marketing of high-value products and services.
From 1996 to 2005, Alastair was a stem-cell scientist at Osiris Therapeutics, studying the differentiation of adult human stem cells. Away from the bench, he wrote grants, contracted outside research, and worked on SOPs and release assays for Osiris’ first IND application. As a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University in the early 1990s, he cloned and sequenced an essential protein of the chromosome to discover its function. He earned his PhD at the University of Vermont by studying how asbestos exposure leads to lung cancer. Alastair's BA is from Dartmouth College, in Earth Sciences (a field he still loves!).
Elizabeth Good Mazhari
Entrepreneur in Residence
Elizabeth Good Mazhari recently formed Transition Health Ventures, LLC to advise and educate entrepreneurs who are ready to accelerate their innovative ideas through the commercialization process. Elizabeth previously led start-up creation efforts at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) from December of 2009 to June 2015. In this position, she advised and brought together faculty, investors, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of the most promising JHU-owned intellectual property. She represented JHU as a board member for a number of translational funding initiatives, including the JHU - Coulter Translational Partnership and the Maryland Innovation Initiative - and also led I-Corps related activities at JHU.
Prior to joining JHU, Elizabeth was the Director of Strategic Investments at University of Maryland, Baltimore where she was also focused on start-up creation. Before transitioning to technology transfer, Elizabeth oversaw all equity financing activities for the State of Maryland as the Managing Director of the Maryland Venture Fund. Her activities focused on building an economic cluster of venture capital and venture-backed technology companies in Maryland through seed and early-stage funding of life science and advanced technology companies within the state. She remains active in the State’s venture capital activities as a member of the Maryland Venture Fund Authority.
Prior to joining the Maryland Venture Fund in 2000, she worked with two start-up medical diagnostic companies in product development positions. She has a B.S. in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering from Duke University and a M.S. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego.
Rahul Singhvi, ScD, MBA
Entrepreneur in Residence - Vaccines/Therapeutics
Rahul Singhvi, ScD, MBA, is Chief Operating Officer of Takeda’s Global Vaccine Business Unit and is responsible for global supply of vaccines at the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.
Before joining Takeda, Dr. Singhvi was President and CEO of Novavax, a Nasdaq-listed biotechnology company. During his tenure at Novavax, Dr. Singhvi transformed the company from a specialty pharmaceutical business to a premier vaccine company with a robust pipeline. Dr. Singhvi’s professional career began at Merck & Co in 1994, where he held several key positions in R&D and manufacturing. At Merck, he co-led a project team that oversaw the development of Varivax®III (chickenpox vaccine), ProQuad® (MMRV pediatric combination vaccine) and Zostavax® (Shingles vaccine).
Dr. Singhvi graduated as the top ranked chemical engineer from IIT, Kanpur, India and obtained both his MS and ScD chemical engineering degrees from MIT. He received an MBA degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated as a Palmer Scholar.
Entrepreneur in Residence - Medical Devices
Robert Storey serves as Executive in Residence for VIC Technology Venture Development where he assists in the assessment and creation of new ventures, and often serves as the CEO for newly formed portfolio companies, currently including OsteoVantage and Vixiar Medical. After earning degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry at the University of Arkansas, Mr. Storey joined Exxon Corporation in Houston, where he worked in technology, business planning, mergers, and acquisitions, and led the formation of Exxon Chemical’s international joint venture with Mitsubishi Petrochemical. In 1994, Mr. Storey left Exxon for a privately held engineering company in Maryland which he led through a successful sale to Clariant Corporation of Switzerland. He served as Vice President of Clariant’s Performance Products division until 1999, when he established and led Vapotherm, a Maryland company, as President and CEO. Mr. Storey concurrently serves as Executive in Residence Johns Hopkins University, supporting the development and commercialization of medical devices and engineering technologies. In addition, he holds several board memberships and advisory positions for companies and non-profit organizations.