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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.

We are hiring! View the job openings.      

Science and Technology

Eric Ginsburg, PhD
Eric Ginsburg, PhD

Eric Ginsburg, PhD

Interim Director, Technology Commercialization

5113 S Harper Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-834-0746

ginsburg@uchicago.edu

Eric Ginsburg, PhD, serves as the interim director, technology commercialization, at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. As interim director, Eric provides guidance to the technology commercialization team and manages the recruitment and retention of talent within the technology commercialization team. 

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 60615
773.702.8833

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 Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-834-3210

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 Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615

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.

Preeti Chalsani, PhD
Preeti Chalsani, PhD

Preeti Chalsani, PhD

Assistant Director, Technology Commercialization and Associate Director, Innovation Project Program Design

5113 S Harper Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-702-0911

pchalsani@uchicago.edu

Preeti Chalsani joined the Polsky Center team as Assistant Director, Technology Commercialization and Associate Director, Innovation Project Program Design.

Preeti has extensive experience advising on research-based inventions, having spent almost ten years as Patent Agent and scientific advisor to several law firms where she worked with a wide variety of clients including universities, startups, SMEs and multinational corporations. Preeti holds a PhD in Applied Physics from Cornell University, where her research was in the area of spintronics. Prior to that she earned her undergraduate degree in Applied Physics at Yale University. She was a nanotechnology consultant and postdoctoral researcher in the Functional Nanomaterials Group at the National Research Council in Canada where she helped develop various micro- and nano-fabrication techniques. She also has experience in the classroom having been a Professor in the Physics Department of Dawson College in Montreal.

Given her deep materials and broad technology experience, Preeti has taken on two distinct, but complementary roles. She is an important resource extending the depth of our Technology Commercialization team and has her office alongside the team in the Regus building. She is also collaborating with Kristin Barrett, Tim Honaker, Wolfgang Connell and others to help the innovation building team keep varied aspects of that project moving forward.

Preeti and her husband have completed their relocation from Montreal, Canada and are looking forward to their first summer in Chicago.

George Chellapa, PhD
George Chellapa, PhD

George Chellapa, PhD

Manager, Technology Commercialization

5113 S Harper Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-834-2893

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. 

Cristianne Frazier, PhD
Cristianne Frazier, PhD

Cristianne Frazier, PhD

Assistant Director, Technology Commercialization

5113 S Harper Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-834-8752

Cristianne Frazier, PhD is an assistant director for technology commercialization at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Cristi works with faculty to identify, evaluate, market, and license technologies arising from research at the University of Chicago. She manages a broad portfolio in the life sciences disciplines, including molecular biology, biochemistry, and neuroscience.  

Prior to joining the Polsky Center in 2011, Cristi was a doctoral researcher in the committee on neurobiology at the University of Chicago.  She published three first author papers and received a Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual Predoctoral National Research Service Award from the NIH and a Pritzker Fellowship for Academic Achievement from the University. Cristi also served as scientific editor for the journal Cell Metabolism and promotions director for WHPK 88.5 FM, a local community radio station. 

Cristi holds a bachelor of science in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in neurobiology from the University of Chicago. 

Shakira Jones
Shakira Jones

Shakira Jones

Project Coordinator

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-834-3048

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.

Timothy Honaker
Timothy Honaker

Timothy Honaker

Director, Educational Technologies Commercialization

5113 S Harper Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-834-3203

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. 

Su Jun Lim, PhD
Su Jun Lim, PhD

Su Jun Lim, PhD

Manager, Technology Commercialization

5113 S. Harper Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-834-9151

sujunlim@uchicago.edu

Su Jun Lim is a manager of Technology Commercialization at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center. She works with faculty to develop intellectual property strategies and commercialization plans, as well as negotiating agreements between the University and commercial partners. She is committed to assisting University researchers with advancing cutting-edge innovations into commercial products in the marketplace.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Su Jun managed biomedical intellectual property portfolios, both at Michigan State University and the University of Hawaii. Additionally, during her time at the University of Arizona, she was the Business Intelligence Manager at Tech Launch Arizona, where she managed the due diligence process and led the Business Intelligence Unit to produce commercialization assessment reports to assist with Tech Launch Arizona’s decision making process.

Su Jun holds a PhD in genetics from the University of Rochester Medical Center, and conducted her postdoctoral research work in genomics and epigenetics at the National Institutes of Health. Su Jun is highly-driven by her passion for science and, with that, aims to develop solutions for unmet needs by transforming innovations into products accessible to all.  In her spare time, she enjoys music, dancing and aikido.

Jacob Lissoos
Jacob Lissoos

Jacob Lissoos

Business Development Associate

5113 South Harper Ave, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL  60615
773-834-3211

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 Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-834-1270

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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