Meet the Team

Meet the Team

We are a 60-person professional staff dedicated to supporting all University of Chicago students, faculty, staff, alumni, and outside small business owners in navigating the complex process of creating and growing a startup or bringing their idea to market. We also serve as an important gateway for industry partners, helping them access new research and technologies from the University of Chicago.

Science and Technology

Science and Technology

Bill Payne, PhD

Bill Payne, PhD

Executive Director, Science and Technology

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Bill Payne, PhD

Executive Director, Science and Technology

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773.834.7846
E: billpayne@uchicago.edu

Executive Assistant:
Beatriz Gonzalez
O: 773.834.3209
E: gonzalezb@uchicago.edu

Bill Payne is the executive director of science and technology at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. In this role, he leads the technology commercialization, Polsky Science Ventures, and industry relations teams working to bring groundbreaking faculty research to the market.

As a seasoned business and technology executive from the telecommunications industry, Bill most recently served as vice president and chief operating officer of Roberson and Associates’ consulting. The firm’s clients are from various technology industries, and its services include intellectual property assessment and expert witness testimony.

Bill has held leadership roles in product and technology development at Nokia, Motorola, and AT&T. He had business unit chief technology officer (CTO) responsibilities at both Nokia and Motorola, driving innovations into commercial products and services. He led Nokia’s Small Cell Business Line, as well as the development of Motorola’s first commercial 4G/LTE cellular infrastructure products. As CTO of Motorola’s infrastructure business, he incentivized the development of idea disclosures and introduced an innovation gate process to track, promote, and move concepts toward patent filings and/or commercialization. Bill has 9 issued patents.

Bill is also a startup veteran—having founded and built a company that developed a mobile advertising and sponsorship service that was integrated into AT&T’s and Verizon’s networks and approved for use.

Bill received his BSEE from Purdue University, his MSEE from Georgia Tech, and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He is a lifelong Chicagoan who enjoys boating and sports.

Eric Ginsburg, PhD

Eric Ginsburg, PhD

Senior Director, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

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Eric Ginsburg, PhD

Senior Director, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773.834.0746
E: ginsburg@uchicago.edu

Eric Ginsburg, PhD, serves as the senior director, intellectual property and technology development at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Eric’s team works with faculty and other researchers to move their discoveries and inventions towards the marketplace.

Prior to joining Polsky, Eric worked in research and development at Eastman Kodak and Abbott Laboratories, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the IBM Almaden Research Center.  

Eric earned a SB degree from MIT and a PhD from Caltech, both in Chemistry. His graduate work focused on the synthesis and characterization of soluble electrically conducting polymers. Eric is a registered patent agent and a certified licensing professional.  

In his spare time, Eric enjoys being somewhere like this or this as often as possible.

Heather Bakalyar, PhD, MBA

Heather Bakalyar, PhD, MBA

Principal, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

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Heather Bakalyar, PhD, MBA

Principal, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773.702.8833
E: hbakalyar@uchicago.edu

Heather Bakalyar, PhD, MBA, serves as Principal of Intellectual Property and Technology Development at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  Heather works with faculty to transition raw discoveries to partnership-readiness by the strategic protection of intellectual property.  She also broadly engages with prospective and current licensees, entrepreneurs, and Polsky Center colleagues to promote the mission of the University and the Polsky Center.  

Prior to joining Polsky, Heather accumulated over 20 years of experience in the technology transfer, intellectual property, and commercialization fields. She headed a licensing team in the Technology Transfer department at Johns Hopkins University, closing hundreds of deals and coordinating several high-level, multi-departmental, R&D collaborations with industry partners. Her background includes focused responsibility in intellectual property, including work as a U.S. patent examiner and a director-level role in intellectual property management at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation. Heather has also worked in two clinical-stage biotechnology companies, providing market assessment, business development, and intellectual property support. 

Heather earned both a PhD in molecular biology and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. She is a registered patent agent and has held a licensing professional certification (CLP). 

Heather is passionate about the transformation of discovery and invention into real world products that directly benefit the public and is proud to be a part of that at Polsky. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and feels particularly fortunate to be living next to one of the Great Lakes, which she believes are a true natural wonder of the world. 

Preeti Chalsani, PhD

Preeti Chalsani, PhD

Deputy Director, Duality and Director, Industry Partnerships for Quantum Information Science

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Preeti Chalsani, PhD

Deputy Director, Duality and Director, Industry Partnerships for Quantum Information Science

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773.702.0911
E: pchalsani@uchicago.edu

Preeti Chalsani, PhD, serves as the deputy director of Duality where she helps set the accelerator’s strategic vision while providing the technology context to the accelerator and build relationships with corporate partners, mentors, quantum startups, partners, and stakeholders. She also serves as the director of industry partnerships for quantum information science in a joint position with the Polsky Center and the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE).

In this role, Preeti seeks to build connections between industry and CQE member research institutions with the goal of advancing development of quantum information science and enabling technologies. She interfaces with CQE researchers and manages a portfolio of industry partners ranging from Fortune 500 companies to startups to build strategic partnerships for research, knowledge and technology transfer, and workforce and ecosystem development. She engages the Polsky Center’s resources and network and the CQE’s technical expertise and talent to spur the creation and growth of new quantum information science ventures.

Prior to taking on this role, Preeti served in the Polsky Center team as Assistant Director, Technology Commercialization and Associate Director, Innovation Project Program Design. She worked with UChicago faculty in physical sciences and engineering to support commercialization of their research, including through the formation of new ventures. She also worked on collaborative initiatives with institutions such as Argonne National Lab and University of Illinois to help grow the innovation ecosystem around UChicago.

Preeti earned a bachelor’s of science in applied physics from Yale University and a PhD in applied physics from Cornell University where her doctoral research was in the area of spintronics. After finishing her graduate studies, Preeti worked as a nanotechnology consultant and postdoctoral researcher at the National Research Council in Canada and then transitioned to a career outside the lab by teaching physics at Dawson College in Montreal, Canada before eventually moving into the field of intellectual property. Preeti worked as a scientific advisor and Patent Agent at several law firms in Canada for almost a decade developing patent portfolios for clients including from multinational corporations with mature commercial products as well as universities and startups with emerging early-stage technologies. She has experience working on diverse technologies from automotive and consumer products to software and quantum technologies.

In her spare time, she enjoys binge watching TV shows and taking in the architectural and culinary delights of Chicago.

Steven Gould, MD

Steven Gould, MD

Consulting Director, Polsky Science Ventures

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Steven Gould, MD

Consulting Director, Polsky Science Ventures

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
M: 847.902.0304
E: sgould2@uchicago.edu

Steven Gould, MD, serves as the Consulting Director for Polsky Science Ventures and is responsible for leading the formation and launch of new science based ventures from University of Chicago faculty research. In this role, he advises faculty founders, engages the investor community, and works closely with leadership to develop future strategies for Polsky Science Ventures.

Steve is the Founder and Principal of The Gould Consulting Group, which provides advisory services to companies, universities and venture investors seeking to develop and capitalize on healthcare innovations on healthcare innovations in biotechnology and life sciences, devices, diagnostics, and healthcare IT. He is deeply engaged in the Chicago healthcare and entrepreneurial ecosystem. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors for MATTER; chair of the Advisory Board for Point B, a mentoring program formerly called Chicago Innovation Mentors (CIM); and a member of the Bioscience committee of WBC’s ChicagoNEXT. He has also previously served as a judge in the New Venture Challenge and has been an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Polsky Center.

He has in-depth experience raising capital for and investing in early stage companies in both clinical and scientific research in an academic environment, and as an executive for a publicly traded biotechnology company. As the scientific founder and former CEO of Northfield Laboratories, he led the company’s IPO and raised nearly $300 million in both public and private financings. Prior to Northfield, Steve was Chief of Surgery at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center and a professor of surgery at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Steve received his BA from Williams College and his MD degree from Boston University School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in surgery at Yale and the University of Vermont, and a research fellowship at Michael Reese and the University of Chicago.

David Gross

David Gross

Director, Industry Relations and Strategy

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David Gross

Director, Industry Relations and Strategy

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773.702.8443
E: davidgross@uchicago.edu

David Gross is the director of industry relations and strategy for the Polsky Center. He focuses on building relationships with industry partners on behalf of the Polsky Center and manages a portfolio of strategic projects in the areas of innovation and science.

Prior to moving to Chicago, Dave was the COO of a commercial construction company in Des Moines, Iowa. He has also worked in real estate strategy for Walgreens, and as a business analyst for Target in Minneapolis.

Dave holds an MBA from Duke University and a BA from Northwestern University in economics and geography. 

Thelma Tennant, PhD

Thelma Tennant, PhD

Director, Business Development and Licensing

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Thelma Tennant, PhD

Director, Business Development and Licensing

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773.834.4020
E: trtennant@uchicago.edu

Thelma serves as the director, business development and licensing, at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.   She is responsible for licensing new university technologies to commercial partners, and works with faculty and her Polsky colleagues to find companies or build new companies that will transform scientific discoveries into products.   

Thelma holds a PhD in Cancer Biology from the University of Chicago, and received her BA in Biology and English from the University of Virginia. A native of Alexandria, Virginia, she enjoys off-shore sailboat racing and paddleboarding in her spare time. 

Omkar Bhave

Omkar Bhave

Manager, Industry Relations

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Omkar Bhave

Manager, Industry Relations

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773.702.6365
E: obhave@uchicago.edu

Omkar Bhave serves as manager of industry relations for the Polsky Center, where he works to develop, enable, and grow strategic partnerships with the private sector.

Omkar has a strong background in business development, product commercialization, corporate engagement, and project management. Omkar works with UChicago faculty, students, staff, and entrepreneurs to identify the highest value industry partners and structure mutually-beneficial collaboration models and research partnerships.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Omkar managed a significant portion of chemicals revenue for FutureFuel Chemical Company and guided the company to several new business development opportunities. He has experience with negotiating new business agreements and patent licensing agreements, building business cases for new product portfolios, and developing cost estimates. He has worked as a process engineer at Pryor Chemical Company. He has also held research positions at the University of Arkansas where he authored papers in the biotechnology and chemicals space and presented at international scientific conferences.

Omkar holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The University of Arkansas. His hobbies include fishing, playing guitar, and scuba diving.

Benjamin Cox, PHD

Benjamin Cox, PHD

Associate Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

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Benjamin Cox, PHD

Associate Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

6054 S Drexel Ave, Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773-834-3211
M: 608-469-4846
E: blcox@uchicago.edu

Ben Cox, PhD, is associate manager of intellectual property and technology development at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He manages a diverse intellectual property portfolio consisting of inventions related to physics, medical imaging, and devices. He also serves as a resource to faculty, assisting them with invention disclosures and the patenting process.

Prior to joining Polsky, Ben was a postdoctoral fellow in the Medical Engineering Group at the Morgridge Institute for Research in Madison, WI, working on novel medical device development with campus area clinicians. During his postdoctoral fellowship, he also served as an associate lecturer in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, teaching undergraduate design courses. He also volunteered on the board of directors for WiSolve Consulting Group, a non-profit business consulting group that trains STEM grad students in business consulting and entrepreneurship, serving a term as their director of operations.

Ben earned his PhD in medical physics from the University of Wisconsin, leveraging his engineering background to design and fabricate hardware for a variety of medical imaging applications. Before graduate school, he helped found a fabrication facility at the Morgridge Institute in Madison as a staff engineer. Additionally, he is an inventor of a novel nuclear medicine imaging phantom and co-founded a startup company to commercialize it. In his spare time, he enjoys learning how to cook new things and spending time with family and friends.

Anna Dembo, PHD

Anna Dembo, PHD

Associate Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

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Anna Dembo, PHD

Associate Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

6055 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773-834-8752
E: adembo@uchicago.edu

Anna Dembo, PhD, serves as an associate manager, intellectual property and technology development, at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She manages patent filings and prosecution for a diverse portfolio, including cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. Anna also participates in faculty outreach efforts and in assessing new technologies from intellectual property and commercial potential perspectives.

Prior to joining Polsky, Anna was a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Dr. Geoffrey L. Greene, chair of the Ben May Department for Cancer Research at the University of Chicago. She also received her doctorate degree at the University of Chicago from the Committee on Cancer Biology. Anna’s research focused on preventing outgrowth of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

In her spare time, Anna enjoys traveling, cooking, and listening to podcasts.

Mike Hinton, PhD

Mike Hinton, PhD

Manager, Market Intelligence

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Mike Hinton, PhD

Manager, Market Intelligence

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773-834-9151
M: 815-757-0651
E: mhinton@uchicago.edu

Mike Hinton, PhD, serves as a manager, market intelligence, at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Mike’s responsibilities include sourcing industry partners for the commercialization of a diverse portfolio of University intellectual property. He also identifies and monitors market trends and supports optimization of strategies for introducing technologies into the competitive environment.

Mike holds a PhD in microbiology and immunology from Virginia Commonwealth University and conducted research on the hepatotoxic effects of anti-HIV therapeutics under a National Institute of Health fellowship. Prior to joining Polsky, Mike served on the board of directors of Colonial Scientific, a laboratory and medical supplier primarily serving the northeast region.  He also worked as a chemist for Chemtool Incorporated providing technically oriented project management and sales support.  He also volunteered as a technical consultant with the Chicago Inventors Organization working with early stage medical device companies addressing patentability and marketability of inventions.

In his spare time, Mike enjoys spending time with family, live music shows, and outdoor recreational activities.

Luke Hwang, PHD

Luke Hwang, PHD

Associate Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

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Luke Hwang, PHD

Associate Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773.834.1270
M: 201.787.9912
E: hhwang04@uchicago.edu

Luke Hwang, PhD, is an associate manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development, at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He manages a diverse intellectual property portfolio of chemistry related inventions, mostly arising from the Physical Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. He also assists the faculty and researchers to bring their innovative work to the market via invention disclosures and patents.

Prior to joining Polsky, Luke was a postdoctoral researcher and graduate student in experimental physical chemistry working on fundamental protein-lipid interactions under Provost and Professor Ka Yee C. Lee in the chemistry department at the University of Chicago. He elucidated the biophysical workings of a key protein implicated in Parkinson’s disease, using synchrotron X-ray scattering as a primary tool. While completing his Ph.D., he served on the advisory board of Center for Identity + Inclusion where he helped first-generation, low-income, and immigrant students to better succeed at the University.

He volunteers as an active advocate for vulnerable immigrant communities across Chicago and is currently on the board of directors of Hana Center, a Korean American community organization dedicated to advancing immigrant rights and providing social services to those in need. In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor running and spending time with his wife.

Anne Juggernauth, PhD

Anne Juggernauth, PhD

Senior Manager, Business Development and Licensing

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Anne Juggernauth, PhD

Senior Manager, Business Development and Licensing

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
E: annej@uchicago.edu

Anne Juggernauth, PhD serves as a senior manager of business development and licensing at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Anne works with faculty in quantum engineering, molecular engineering, and materials sciences to help transform their ideas and discoveries into patents, licenses, products, services, and startup ventures. She helps lead intellectual portfolio patenting, licensing, strategic partner development, and technology commercialization activities.

Prior to joining Polsky, Anne spent several years in the research in the materials industry where she worked with open innovation, technology scouting, and global platform technologies. She also spent time at the University of Michigan managing a diverse portfolio and leading the tech transfer fellows program to train graduate students and postdocs in conducting market and commercialization assessment reports on new inventions.

Anne earned a PhD and MS  in macromolecular materials science and engineering from University of Michigan and BS from Michigan Tech University. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, visiting family all over the world, trying new cuisines, and yoga.

Shyama Majumdar, PhD, MBA

Shyama Majumdar, PhD, MBA

Senior Manager, Science Ventures

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Shyama Majumdar, PhD, MBA

Senior Manager, Science Ventures

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.702.8696
E: shyama@uchicago.edu

Shyama Majumdar, PhD, MBA, is senior manager of science ventures at the Polsky Center. In this role, Shyama works with faculty, staff and students to facilitate the creation of science and technology-based ventures developed by innovators at the University. While she has a focus on life sciences due to her scientific background, she is passionate about technology startups in general.

Prior to joining the Polsky Center, Shyama was a research assistant professor at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where she conducted Prostate cancer research. While at UIC she also worked as program coordinator at IllinoisVENTURES where she oversaw the running of the proof-of-concept fund that funds early stage technologies developed at the university. Prior to this Shyama worked as a consulting program manager at EnterpriseWorks where she helped develop and manage their accelerator program. 

Shyama earned a PhD and an MBA from the University of Delaware and conducted her postdoctoral research cancer biology at Harvard Medical School and University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Originally from New Delhi, India, Shyama now lives in the West Loop with her husband (MBA ’18) and two daughters. In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading, and binge watching TV series on Netflix. 

Sergio Marrero

Sergio Marrero

Assistant Director, George Shultz Innovation Fund

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Sergio Marrero

Assistant Director, George Shultz Innovation Fund

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
E: hellosergio@uchicago.edu

Sergio Marrero leads the George Schultz Innovation Fund at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. He is also the founder and general partner of Rebel One, an investor network and fund focused on accelerating founders for a better world.

Sergio graduated from the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Previously he worked at Gotham Ventures, PepsiCo, Teach For America, and Deloitte Consulting. While in graduate school he conducted his thesis on venture studios and accelerating impact innovation at the intersection of business and government. He also runs a podcast and LiveStream Series called RBL1 Live focused on advocating for diversity in venture capital.

Kevin Muite, PhD ’16

Kevin Muite, PhD ’16

Manager, Business Development and Licensing

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Kevin Muite, PhD ’16

Manager, Business Development and Licensing

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773.834.7846
E: kmuite@uchicago.edu

Kevin Muite serves as a business development and licensing manager at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Kevin works with University faculty and commercial partners for licensing new technologies and building new companies to accelerate the transition of scientific discoveries into accessible and sustainable products.

Prior to joining Polsky, Kevin was senior manager of strategic programs at MATTER, where he built pitch programs and workshops for promising new ventures and established business connections throughout the Chicago innovation ecosystem. Before MATTER, Kevin was a senior portfolio manager at Villgro Kenya, where he partnered with global life sciences companies and major foundations (UNICEF, USAID, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others) to bring therapeutics and diagnostics to residents of East Africa.

Kevin enjoys going on safaris and visiting local museums, restaurants, and playgrounds with his son and an occasional visits to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra play.

Kenneth Gayosa Onishi, PhD

Kenneth Gayosa Onishi, PhD

Associate Manager, Business Development and Licensing - Microbiome

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Kenneth Gayosa Onishi, PhD

Associate Manager, Business Development and Licensing - Microbiome

6054 South Drexel Avenue, Suite 405
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.834-8154
E: kgonishi@uchicago.edu

Kenneth Gayosa Onishi, PhD, serves as associate manager for business development and licensing at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Ken works with faculty in the Duchossois Family Institute to build partnerships with companies working in the microbiome and helps researchers transform their ideas and discoveries into licenses, products, services, and startups.

Prior to joining Polsky, Ken managed the chronobiology and neuroimmunology laboratory at the Institute for Mind and Biology. He earned his PhD in integrative neuroscience from the University of Chicago and his research focused on circadian rhythms and sex differences in biomedical research. While pursuing his doctoral degree, Ken performed due diligence as a George Schultz Innovation Fund Associate and screened novel University technologies for scientific merit, market size, and consumer adoption.

Ken is dedicated to commercializing microbiome-related technologies to improve health outcomes via therapeutics and diagnostics. In his spare time, Ken enjoys climbing, running outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

Shane Thomas Peace, PhD

Shane Thomas Peace, PhD

Associate Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

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Shane Thomas Peace, PhD

Associate Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
E: stpeace11@uchicago.edu

Shane Thomas Peace, PhD, is an associate manager, intellectual property and technology development, at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He manages patent filings and prosecution for a diverse set of faculty from the Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. In addition, Shane participates in faculty outreach efforts and in assessing new technologies from intellectual property and commercial potential perspectives.

Prior to joining Polsky, Shane was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Mind and Biology, where he researched the role of cortical feedback in the olfactory system during odor discrimination tasks using electrophysiological and optogenetic tools. Shane earned a PhD in neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University where he used a microelectrode array and optogenetics to study neural synchronization mechanisms that coordinate coherent oscillations in the olfactory bulb. Shane earned a BA in psychology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

In his free time, Shane enjoys low and slow barbeque, listening to the Mississippi delta blues, and spending time in the great outdoors.

Mario Riojas, PhD, JD

Mario Riojas, PhD, JD

Associate Director, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

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Mario Riojas, PhD, JD

Associate Director, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
E: riojasm@uchicago.edu

Mario Riojas, Ph.D., J.D., serves as an associate director of intellectual property and technology development at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He works with faculty to develop intellectual property strategies and commercialization plans, as well as negotiating agreements between the University and commercial partners. He is committed to assisting University researchers with advancing cutting-edge innovations into commercial products in the marketplace

Prior to joining Polsky, Mario was a patent attorney for a major law firm in New York City. Mario also worked as a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office specializing in the examination of artificial intelligence patent applications.

Mario earned his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and his Ph.D. and M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Arizona.

Mario is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Dane Smith

Dane Smith

Senior Associate Director, Business Development and Licensing for Computer Science Technologies

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Dane Smith

Senior Associate Director, Business Development and Licensing for Computer Science Technologies

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.834.3208
M: 858.997.8716
E: danesmith@uchicago.edu

Dane Smith serves as the senior director of business development and licensing for computer science technologies at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Dane works with faculty in computer science and AI to help transform their ideas and discoveries into patents, licenses, products, services, and startup ventures. He helps lead intellectual portfolio patenting, licensing, strategic partner development, and technology commercialization activities.

Prior to joining Polsky, Dane spent over thirty years managing global field operations for early stage companies and Fortune 100 enterprises, penetrating new markets, commercializing research, implementing technologies, helping to start new companies, and fundraising. Most recently he served as a strategic advisor to the CEO and   chief academic officer for the Winward Academy, a research-based, student-centered learning platform for high school students to build English, math, and reading skills. Dane’s nonprofit experiences include fundraising, creation, production, marketing, and global distribution for Arbella Studios, a Los Angeles-based documentary film studio.

Dane earned a bachelor’s degree from the Scripps College of Communications at Ohio University and is presently pursuing his doctoral degree from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, where he is a Doctor of Business Administration Nonprofit Management Fellow. In his spare time, Dane enjoys his board and fundraising advisory roles with BoomCloud 360, VRx Medical, Copernicus Microbeam Radiation Therapy, Teens Rise Foundation, and the Emanuel Trust. He and his wife, Nicole, always look forward to global travel, yoga, skiing, tennis, pickleball, and periodically, golf.

Han Sun, PhD

Han Sun, PhD

Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development, The Duckworth Family Cancer Fellow

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Han Sun, PhD

Manager, Intellectual Property and Technology Development, The Duckworth Family Cancer Fellow

6054 S. Drexel Ave., Suite 405
Chicago IL 60637
E: hansun@uchicago.edu

 

Han Sun, PhD, serves as the associate oncology manager at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Han works closely with University of Chicago researchers and cancer research community to evaluate, develop, and market oncology-related discoveries and match new discoveries to unmet needs.

Han earned a PhD in cellular and molecular medicine from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. While at JHU, she started her cancer research career and contributed to the successful development of a therapeutic antibody that was licensed to a company. Han completed her post-doctoral training at City of Hope National Medical Center, gaining more experience in cancer immunotherapy research. 

In her spare time, Han enjoys reading and cooking – really spicy food. 

Zongxing Wang, PhD

Zongxing Wang, PhD

Manager, Science Ventures

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Zongxing Wang, PhD

Manager, Science Ventures

6054 S. Drexel Ave.,
Suite 405,
Chicago IL 60637
O: 773 834 6453
E: zwang21@uchicago.edu

Zongxing Wang, PhD is the manager of Polsky Science Ventures at the University of Chicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. In this role, he leads multiple efforts to commercialize advanced new deep technologies developed at the University of Chicago. He handles technology assessment, market research, and strategy formulation.

Prior to joining Polsky, Zongxing Wang worked at ARCH Venture Partners to help source deals and analyze investment opportunities. He also has experience working with a unicorn startup, Magic Leap, to help research and develop its first commercial product – Magic Leap 1. Dr. Wang has experience building startups ground-up as well. He successfully founded Neukit Corporation to manufacture a drug delivery particle, and generated significant returns to his business partners. He won several awards for technology invention and commercialization, including SBIR grants from NIH and awards from philanthropy.

Zongxing earned his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently working towards an MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Zongxing is deeply passionate about commercializing technologies, especially those that bring profound social impact and improve people’s lives. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with his family.

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