University of Maryland, Baltimore
620 West Lexington Street, Fourth Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201
James L. Hughes
Senior Vice President and Chief Enterprise and Economic Development Officer, University of Maryland, Baltimore
410-706-1935Jim Hughes is the Senior Vice President and Chief Enterprise and Economic Development Officer for the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). He is responsible for UMB’s Office of Research and Development, the chief administrative unit and catalyst for advancing research, technology commercialization and economic development at UMB. Mr. Hughes serves as president of the University of Maryland Health Sciences Research Park Corporation, the management operation for the 14-acre University of Maryland BioPark.Prior to joining UMB in 2001, Mr. Hughes worked for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) for six years, most recently as Director of Technology and International Business. Before working at DBED, he was Executive Director of the World Trade Center Institute, a public-private partnership dedicated to expanding international trade and investment.Mr. Hughes is a director of several not-for-profit corporations, including Lexington Market, Maryland Global Initiatives Corporation, the Maryland-Israel Development Center, and the University of Maryland BioPark. Mr. Hughes has an MBA from the Columbia Business School and a BA from Davidson College.
Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA
Associate Vice President, Office of Technology Transfer and Director of UM Ventures, Baltimore
Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, is director of the technology development and commercialization program, University of Maryland (UM) Ventures, at University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Since joining UMB In 2012, Dr. Robilotto has grown UMB’s intellectual property and licensing efforts, launched a new business venture initiative, and started an early-stage investment program that supports UMB start-ups.
Dr. Robilotto has over 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.
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
Mike Ravenscroft, MBA
Mike Ravenscroft leads the Maryland Momentum Fund (MMF), a $16 million investment fund that supports early stage companies affiliated with University System of Maryland (USM) institutions. In this capacity, he is responsible for growing USM’s investment portfolio while defining and implementing strategies to meet the Fund’s dual objectives of investor returns and economic development. He leads sourcing and vetting of prospective companies for MMF investment and, in conjunction with members of the University of Maryland (UM) Ventures and USM teams, works with early stage companies to provide business advice and counseling to help them achieve success.
Prior to joining MMF, Mike served as Startup Success Manager at Dreamit Ventures Healthtech, where he worked with emerging digital health and medical device startups and managed a national network of enterprise healthcare partners and venture funds. Mike is a the former Founder and CEO of re:Founded, a venture advisory supporting institutional investors, federal innovation programs, and technology startups. Mike previously held investment roles at C5 Capital and CIT GAP Funds, where he led investments in seed stage technology startups across industries. In his spare time, Mike advises startups and is a mentor at several early stage accelerators and incubators. He holds an MBA from the University of Maryland and a BA from the University of Michigan.
Baltimore Economic Development Fund
Mary M. Morris
Director, Baltimore Economic Development Fund
Mary M. Morris is Director of the Baltimore Economic Development Fund, a new program created by the Maryland General Assembly under the Center for Maryland Advanced Ventures initiative. Mary engages a host of regional contacts and companies to promote and administer the Fund, a financial incentive for companies affiliated with Maryland Public Higher Education Institutions to relocate into a network of innovation centers in Baltimore City, including the BioPark and the Grid. Prior to joining University of Maryland, Baltimore Mary helped launch the University System of Maryland’s (USM) Office of Economic Development, which supports economic development at all USM institutions. Mary has been fostering economic development and technology innovation across the state of Maryland for over 20 years at the state, regional, and local levels. She is an experienced entrepreneur and has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from James Madison University.
Licensing and Alliances
Nancy Cowger, PhD
Director of Technology Licensing
Dr. Nancy Cowger, Director for Technology 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.
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.
Jeff Purnell, PhD
Senior Technology Licensing Officer
Jeff Purnell, PhD joined OTT in October 2017 as Senior Technology Licensing Officer. He received A.S. and B.S. degrees in Engineering and Chemistry, respectively, from Shepherd College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Penn State University. He conducted postdoctoral work at the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen Germany. Jeff has over 20 years of product development experience in industry. As Technology and Quality Manager at J. M. Huber Corporation (Havre de Grace, MD), Jeff led an international group to develop oral care products, and had responsibility for maintaining cGMP compliance at FDA-registered facilities. As Director of R&D at Adhesives Research (Glen Rock, PA), Jeff led a global team in the development of specialty tapes and served as functional leader on the Business Strategy Team (R&D, Sales, Operations, and Quality). He developed and executed the R&D strategy which included safety, facilities, budgets, IP and CDAs, and worked directly with customers and developers to generate and commercialize products.
Senior Technology Licensing Officer
Rebecca Whipple Bettes is a Senior Technology Licensing Officer that joined the OTT group in September 2016. She received her BS 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
Senior Technology Licensing Officer
Melissa Blackman joined OTT in June 2016 as a Senior Technology Licensing Officer. Melissa received her BS 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.
IP Protection and Compliance
Dustin E. Lee, JD
Dustin E. Lee is a patent attorney that specializes in medical devices, emerging technologies, and software. Before joining the Office of Technology Transfer in July 2016, he worked as an engineer and patent attorney in private practice.
Dustin received his BS in Engineering in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. He began his career as a mechanical engineer, developing integrated robotics and material technologies, before earning a JD from Michigan State University. He has experience in university technology transfer and 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, AIPLA, and is registered to practice before the USPTO. He also volunteers as an Executive Board Member of the University of Michigan Alumni Club of Baltimore.
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.
Technology Transfer Administration
Senior Research Technology Transfer Specialist
Gail Knott is a Senior Research Technology Transfer Specialist who has been with the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) since 2004. Gail’s responsibilities involve both patent prosecution and licensing for the office. She monitors technology transfer compliance and ensures compliance with deadlines, benchmarks and milestones. Gail is responsible for federal reporting required for inventions funded by federal funding. Gail also manages and acts as the primary point of contact for license compliance for University intellectual property that is subject to any third party commercialization agreements and is responsible for federal reporting. Gail serves as an initial point of contact for the office to faculty, staff, and external parties.
Kanchana “Na” Pennington, MPA, MBA
Kanchana “Na” Pennington serves as the lead business analyst in the Office of Technology Transfer where she manages all intellectual property and financials data and reporting. Na is also experienced in grants management systems and other Customer Resource Management applications. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Baltimore she managed data and reporting for the State of Maryland’s Department of Commerce.
Na received her Masters of Public Administration in Data Management from University of Baltimore and an MBA from the Johns Hopkins University.
Research and Technology Transfer Specialist
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
Associate Director, New Ventures
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.
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!).
- A Ph.D.’s Journey from the Lab to Corporate Finance to CEO
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
- A Ph.D.’s Journey from the Lab to Corporate Finance to CEO
Adam R. Kronk serves as Principal for the Office of Research and Development's New Ventures team. 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.
Linda Petrillo, PhD
Research and Alliance Officer
Linda Petrillo, PhD joined the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) in February 2022. Linda serves as Research and Alliance officer in the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) and as the Accelerated Translational Incubator Pilot (ATIP) Grant Program Navigator in the Institute for Clinical & Translational Research (ICTR). Prior to joining UMB Linda was a Research Associate II at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she carried out basic and translational research focused on rare bleeding disorders. Linda received her BS and MS, magna cum laude, in Chemistry from the University of Naples “Federico II” (Italy) and her PhD in Biochemistry from University College of Dublin (Ireland). After completing her PhD, Linda joined an Irish startup biotech company as Senior Application Specialist, where she worked on the development of assays for the characterization of enzymes in complex mixtures.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
Darryl L. Carter, MD
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.
- The Purpose-Driven Career
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
- The Purpose-Driven Career
Venture Advisor, Medical Device Technologies
Steve Roller serves as a UMB venture advisor with a focus on medical device technologies. Through his previous 13 years at Medtronic in manufacturing and R&D, he gained experience successfully developing medical devices from concept through market launch. Most notably he was involved in the development of two new perfusions systems and had leadership roles in bringing both mechanical and transcatheter heart valves to market. Drawing from his background and experience, he works with university startups as well as investigators to evaluate opportunities, establish proof of concept, search out partners, and develop go-to-market strategies for new medical device innovation. He also operates his own medical device-focused consulting company, Steve Roller Consulting LLC. Steve received his BS (Mechanical Engineering) and MS (Biomedical Engineering) from the University of Michigan, and also holds an MBA from Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
A Sports Enthusiast Advises UMB Med-Tech Inventors to Take Multiple Shots on Goal
Thursday, October 25, 2018
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.
- Startups: One Entrepreneur’s View of Balancing Passion with Practicality
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
- Startups: One Entrepreneur’s View of Balancing Passion with Practicality
David W. Wise, MALD
Entrepreneur in ResidenceDavid W. Wise brings more than 30 years of business experience to UM Ventures where he works with early stage companies to provide business advice and counseling to help promote their success.
Prior to joining the UM Ventures’ Entrepreneurs in Residence program, Mr. Wise managed the $10 million University System of Maryland (USM) Momentum Fund, an initiative that provides investment funding for promising technology ventures born out of the USM's 12 constituent institutions. He currently serves on the Momentum Fund advisory board.
Mr. Wise came to the University of Maryland, Baltimore from Pharos Biologicals, LLC, a company involved in preclinical and early stage clinical work on advanced DNA vaccines and vaccine delivery technologies, where he served as CEO. He is the retired CEO of the Genetics & IVF Institute in Fairfax, Va., an international women's healthcare company with operations in both the United States and China.
Wise is the venture advisor to the president of the Abell Foundation on its direct investment program as well as to the LifeBridge Bioincubator at Sinai Hospital. He is a member of the Betamore Advisory Board and the Board of the Maryland Humanities Council. He serves on the Bioscience Committee of the Greater Baltimore Committee. Wise has served as a business competition judge for Accelerate Baltimore, Beta City, and at both UMCP’s Fischell Department of Bioengineering and at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Mr. Wise graduated with highest honors from the University of Dayton and earned a Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Rahul Singhvi, ScD, MBA
Entrepreneur in Residence - Vaccines/Therapeutics
Rahul Singhvi, ScD, MBA, is Operating Partner at Flagship Pioneering and is responsible for operating young start-up companies launched from Flagship’s innovation foundry, Flagship Labs.
Dr. Singhvi was recently appointed as president of Ring Therapeutics, an early-stage biotechnology company developing first-in-class gene therapies using a new viral vector platform based on its groundbreaking work on the human commensal virome. Ring's founding and continued development are resourced by an initial capital commitment of $50 million from Flagship Pioneering.
Before joining Flagship, Dr. Singhvi was Chief Operating Officer of Takeda’s Global Vaccine Business Unit where he was responsible for global supply of vaccines at the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. During his six-year tenure at Takeda, the vaccine business grew to over 500 employees and created an impressive late stage pipeline of vaccine candidates against dengue, norovirus, and zika. Prior to Takeda, he was President and CEO of Novavax, a Nasdaq-listed biotechnology company, where 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.
- Trial by Fire
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
- Trial by Fire
Entrepreneur in Residence - Software and Healthcare IT
Santosh Venkatesha is the Founder & CEO of Vigilant Medical, which is a healthcare IT company developing smart medical imaging solutions. The first commercial product, ImageShare, focused on enhancing physician collaboration and decision making with a HIPAA compliant web-based application currently used by medical centers across the US and worldwide. Over 30,000 patients benefit from this technology each year. Recently, his focus has turned to use of machine learning techniques to improve cardiac image analysis and to aid physician interpretation. This work began in collaboration with Duke University in 2018 as part of a successfully awarded NIH SBIR Phase 1 grant.
Prior to Vigilant Medical, Santosh was part of the management team of Infinite Biomedical Technologies from 1999 to 2009. He grew the company with the Johns Hopkins co-founders from startup to early stage starting from $300k to over $15M in funding. This company focused on translational research and development of medical diagnostics and devices in the application areas of cardiology, neurology, OB/GYN, GI, and upper limb amputees. This led to regulatory 510k approval for multiple products and eventual commercialization that continues today.
Santosh has a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and an MBA from the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania.
When Opportunity Knocked, This Med-Tech CEO Opened the Door
Monday, November 26, 2018