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Meet the Team

Meet the Team

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation team is paving the way for Chicago’s entrepreneurial spirit. Housed on a collaborative campus, we are a group of committed professionals dedicated to promoting and supporting students, faculty, staff, alumni, researchers and local entrepreneurs as they navigate the complex process of creating and growing a startup. To see a full list of Polsky Council members, click here. For general inquiries, questions, and feedback about the Polsky Center, please contact us at polsky@uchicago.edu.

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Science and Technology

Bill Payne, PhD
Bill Payne, PhD

Bill Payne, PhD

Executive Director, Science and Technology

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C 
Chicago, IL 60615 
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 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 and is married to a Chicago Booth alumna.

Eric Ginsburg, PhD
Eric Ginsburg, PhD

Eric Ginsburg, PhD

Director, Market Intelligence and Commercialization Initiatives

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.834.0746
E: ginsburg@uchicago.edu

Eric Ginsburg, PhD, serves as the director, market intelligence and commercialization initiatives, at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

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

Heather Bakalyar, PhD, MBA

Assistant Director, Technology Commercialization

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.702.8833
E: hbakalyar@uchicago.edu

Heather Bakalyar, PhD, MBA, serves as an assistant director of technology commercialization at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Heather works with faculty from a variety of departments across the University to advance their discoveries towards the market, and interfaces with legal counsel, 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 twenty 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.

Carla L. Bradshaw-Murry
Carla L. Bradshaw-Murry

Carla L. Bradshaw-Murry

Project Coordinator, Technology Commercialization

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.834.3210
E: cbradshaw@uchicago.edu

As Project Coordinator for the Polsky Center’s Technology Commercialization team, Carla supports several Project Managers in the management of their patent portfolios. Specifically, she handles patent docketing and event monitoring, license maintenance, financial review, government and private foundation compliance reporting, grant closeouts, as well as other intellectual property administrative matters. Carla plays a key role in organizing TCL events and has been a member of several teams assembled to implement office-wide initiatives.

Prior to joining the Technology Commercialization team, Carla spent several years in the banking industry and has also worked with the International Association of Assessing Officers (IIAO) in its Property Appraisal and Assessment Administration department, handling high volume inquiries, tracking progress and serving as liaison for different committees.

Carla has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She is currently pursuing her Paralegal Certificate. She is a Chicagoan, born and raised in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of the city.

Brittany Butler, PhD
Brittany Butler, PhD

Brittany Butler, PhD

Associate Manager, Technology Commercialization

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
E: bbutler6@uchicago.edu

Brittany Butler, PhD, is an Associate Manager on the Polsky Center’s Technology Commercialization team at the University of Chicago. Brittany works directly with University researchers to evaluate, protect, market, and license technologies in the life sciences.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Brittany was a Patent Agent at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, an intellectual property boutique law firm in downtown Chicago. She received a dual Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and Chemistry from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2015 she received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Florida where she published three first-author papers. She later obtained a MS in Patent Law from the University of Notre Dame where she also interned in their Technology Transfer Office. Brittany is a STEM volunteer with iBio Institute’s Stellar Girls program. She enjoys cooking and traveling.

George Chellapa, PhD
George Chellapa, PhD

George Chellapa, PhD

Manager, Technology Commercialization

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.834.2893
E: chellapa@uchicago.edu

George D. Chellapa, PhD, is a technology commercialization manager at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. George works with faculty to protect their intellectual property and bring nascent technologies to market. He is also involved in negotiating agreements between the University and commercial partners, and helps faculty with startup initiatives. George is increasingly involved in developing strategies to protect and commercialize computer related innovations emerging across the University.   

George was with Washington University’s technology transfer office in St. Louis before joining the Polsky Center in 2016. Prior to transitioning to technology transfer, George was a post-doctoral fellow in computational biophysics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  

George earned a bachelor’s degrees in computer science and chemistry, both with first class honours, prior to moving to England to read for his PhD in computational chemistry at the University of Southampton.  

In addition to his primary role, George serves as a mentor with the Polsky’s I-Corps and summer accelerator programs. He is an active member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) where he is co-chair of the Better World Project committee and a member of the TOOLS and membership development committees. George also organizes seminars and webinars of topical interest to the technology transfer community and regularly participates in speaking engagements dealing with computer technologies and emerging trends 

In his spare time, George enjoys playing squash and globetrotting with his wife Anne. 

Kyle S. Hanna
Kyle S. Hanna

Kyle S. Hanna

Data Administrator, Technology Commericialization

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.834.3205
E: kylehanna@uchicago.edu

Kyle Hanna serves as the data administrator at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He works closely with colleagues from the Tech Commercialization and Operations teams to manage data, complete reports, and monitor compliance related to invention disclosures, patents, and contracts. He will also be responsible for business process development of the aforementioned data, reporting, and compliance activities.

Prior to joining Polsky, Kyle served as the assistant director, data management at UChicago ARD, developing engagement data strategy for Harper Lectures and other special events. Before coming to UChicago, he worked in Washington DC in various levels of government, including the DC Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Obama White House. While working for the White House, he became interested in science and technology policy and the application of data science in public institutions.

Kyle is interested in how technology, innovation, and design thinking can support sustainable development and social impact in international communities. In his spare time, Kyle enjoys video editing, international travel, and reading about how technology, politics, and entrepreneurship influence society and culture.

Kyle earned a BA in international economics from the George Washington University and a certificate in data analytics from the University of Chicago.

Shakira Jones
Shakira Jones

Shakira Jones

Project Coordinator

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.834.3048
E: sjones18@uchicago.edu

Shakira Jones is a Project Coordinator at the Polsky Center on the Technology Commercialization Team. She manages invention disclosure, patenting and license agreement data and processes. Shakira brings to the team a strong background in customer relations and administration. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with her church’s food pantry, and has worked with Habitat for Humanity in Louisiana to rehabilitate homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Michelle Li
Michelle Li

Michelle Li

Data and Compliance Analyst, Technology Commercialization

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

Michelle serves as a data and compliance analyst at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. She works on database management to ensure compliance in patent and technology commercialization processes.

Prior to joining Polsky, Michelle was a research assistant for the Center for Robust Decision Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP) and analyzed data for climate statistics research projects. Michelle earned an undergraduate degree in statistics and english language and literature from the University of Chicago.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, embroidery, and practicing on aerial silks.

Timothy Honaker
Timothy Honaker

Timothy Honaker

Director, Educational Technologies Commercialization

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.834.3203
E: thonaker@uchicago.edu

Tim Honaker, MBA, CPA, is director of education technology commercialization at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where he uses Polsky Center resources to help innovators and entrepreneurs commercially scale improvements to educational practice, from pre-kindergarten through continuing adult education. As a successful for-profit education entrepreneur, Tim is committed to leveraging his experience to help others build businesses and generate significant impact from improvements to educational practice. 

Tim has spent most of his career as a serial entrepreneur. He launched his first business at age 20. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Tim co-founded and served as president of National Consolidation Services, a third-party logistics company that revolutionized the use of reverse logistics and advanced packaging technologies to improve supply chain productivity. He also was COO of the founding team that purchased and took private a financial education publishing and training subsidiary of Pearson PLC. That subsidiary was later sold to the Washington Post for a 35x return.  

Tim earned a BA in mathematics and an MBA in finance from Indiana University. He is a registered CPA in the State of Illinois, which has allowed him to serve as acting CFO of several startup educational initiatives until they were large enough to launch. 

Tim is passionate about positively impacting society via the creation of successful commercial ventures that are based on inventions and innovations from the nation’s research institutions. He volunteers as the president of the Midwest Research University Network and as senior advisor to the Innovation Accelerator Foundation. He is also involved in the Five Lakes initiative. Tim and his wife are active angel investors with equity holdings in research-based startups. 

Jacob Lissoos
Jacob Lissoos

Jacob Lissoos

Business Development Associate

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.834.3211
E: jlissoos@uchicago.edu

As a business development associate with the Technology Commercialization team, Jake works on facilitating the transition of faculty innovations to the marketplace. Prior to transitioning to technology transfer, he worked in antibody engineering and oncology drug discovery. Jake holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Tufts University and is a registered patent agent before the US Patent and Trademark Office. In his free time he serves on the American Cancer Society’s associate board of ambassadors and enjoys swimming and aviation.

Sao-Mai Nguyen-Mau, PhD
Sao-Mai Nguyen-Mau, PhD

Sao-Mai Nguyen-Mau, PhD

Invention Strategist, Technology Commercialization

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60637
O: 773.834.1270
E: saomai@uchicago.edu

Sao-Mai Nguyen-Mau, PhD serves as invention strategist at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, focusing on oncology and microbiome-related discoveries. Sao-Mai works with university researchers to seek out inventions, to encourage and support researchers in developing their ideas, and to obtain appropriate intellectual property protection around these discoveries. In addition, she engages with commercial partners to help move university inventions to the marketplace.   

Sao-Mai holds a PhD in microbiology from the University of Chicago and is a registered patent agent before the US Patent and Trademark Office. 

Sao-Mai is a serial hobbyist and enjoys learning new skills. In her spare time, she is either tap dancing, increasing her collection of plants, learning how to vermicompost, or sampling the local doughnut in different cities 

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