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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.

Technology Commercialization

Timothy HonakerTimothy Honaker
Timothy Honaker

Timothy Honaker

Director, Educational Technologies Commerialization

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

As Director of Educational Technologies Commercialization, Tim is responsible for guiding educational technology commercialization for the University.

Tim Honaker joined the UChicagoTech as Chief Operating Officer in September 2003. His responsibilities include managing all aspects of the office’s financial and administrative support infrastructure. In addition he provides support and guidance to the office’s efforts in education technology commercialization.

Tim has spent most of his career as an entrepreneur focused on the use of information technology to streamline business processes. He was the Vice-President and General Manager of a Menasha Corporation start-up division that revolutionized the use of logistics technologies to improve supply chain productivity. The business operates today as National Consolidated Services and is a major supply chain partner to Walgreens Corporation. Earlier he was Senior Vice-President of Operations for a management team that purchased and took private a U.S.-based financial publishing and training subsidiary of Pearson. The business was later sold to the Washington Post for a 30-fold return to the original investors and operates today as Kaplan Professional Schools.

Tim received his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and MBA in Finance from Indiana University and is a Registered Certified Public Accountant in the State of Illinois. He has been an active member of the Association of University Technology Managers, Counsel of Logistics Management, American Association of Publishers, Direct Marketing Association, and Illinois CPA Society.

Carla L. Bradshaw-MurryCarla 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

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

Associate Manager, Technology Commercialization

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

George D. Chellapa, PhD, is an Associate Manager on the Technology Commercialization team at the University of Chicago. He enjoys working directly with University researchers on their diverse and cutting edge technologies. He works with faculty to analyze various intellectual property (IP) protection strategies, develop methods to market the technology and identify companies to bring nascent technologies to market. He is also involved in negotiating and drafting agreements between the University and commercial partners.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago, George was a Technology Transfer Trainee at the Office of Technology Management at Washington University in St. Louis. George is a chemist by training.  He was awarded bachelor’s degrees with First Class Honours in Chemistry (College of Chemical Sciences, Sri Lanka) and Computing and Information Systems (London Metropolitan University, England). In 2005, he received an Overseas Research Scholarship from the British Government to read for his PhD in Computational Chemistry at the University of Southampton, England.  He was a post-doctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins University prior to his transition into technology commercialization in 2015.

George enjoys playing squash and is an avid traveler.

Cristianne Frazier, PhDCristianne Frazier, PhD
Cristianne Frazier, PhD

Cristianne Frazier, PhD

Assistant Director, Technology Commercialization

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

As Assistant Director, Cristi works directly with researchers to identify, evaluate, market, and license technologies arising from research at the University of Chicago. She manages a broad invention portfolio from diverse scientific disciplines including neuroscience, biochemistry, molecular biology, and oncology. Cristi also launched and curates the UChicago Tech Transfer Newsletter.

Before joining the Technology Commercialization team, Cristi served as a scientific editor for the journal Cell Metabolism. In addition to her scientific pursuits, Cristi was promotions director for WHPK 88.5 FM, a local community radio station.

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

Eric Ginsburg, PhDEric Ginsburg, PhD
Eric Ginsburg, PhD

Eric Ginsburg, PhD

Associate Director, Technology Commercialization

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

As Associate Director, Eric Ginsburg provides guidance to the Tech Commercialization team and manages the recruitment and retention of talent within the Tech Commercialization team. As an active member of the team, he also directly works with researchers at the University to identify, evaluate, protect, and commercialize their inventions. Eric manages a large portfolio of technologies from diverse scientific disciplines including various aspects of chemistry, molecular engineering, and medical imaging.

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

Eric holds an 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.

He enjoys being somewhere like this or this as often as possible.

Erin Lane
Erin Lane

Erin Lane

Assistant Director, Technology Transfer and Industry Partners

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue, Suite 207
Chicago, IL 60637

erinlane@uchicago.edu

As assistant director of Technology Transfer and Industry Partnerships at the Polsky Center, Erin is responsible for working with faculty and staff across the sciences to build new strategic internal and external partnerships with the potential to yield new licenses, ventures, strategic collaborations, and/or translational funding. Prior to joining the Polsky team Erin was the founding executive director of the Microbiome Center at the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory. She enjoys working with faculty and institutions to build complex and collaborative research initiatives. At the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, Erin established a new statewide STEM education program. With a background in social work, Erin is interested in how groups can come together to solve complex problems whether in a new area of science, education, or with families in crisis. Erin has a MSW from the University of Pennsylvania and BA from Wheaton College.

Shyama Majumdar, PhD, MBA
Shyama Majumdar, PhD, MBA

Shyama Majumdar, PhD, MBA

Oncology Ventures Associate, Technology Commercialization

5113 South Harper Ave, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL  60615
773-702-8696

shyama@uchicago.edu

Shyama is part of the Life Sciences Launchpad within Technology Commercialization, working with other members of the team to create new life sciences ventures in oncology. In addition to working closely with the Technology Commercialization team and with our oncology faculty, her companies also work with and benefit from the many Polsky Center programs.

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 moved to Chicago from Boston where she worked at Harvard Medical school, conducting bladder cancer research.  She also worked for the Harvard Volunteer Consulting group providing services to a non-profit engaged in promoting start-ups in the Boston area.  She earned a PhD and an MBA from the University of Delaware.

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, binge watching TV series on Netflix and reading.

Matt Martin, PhDMatt Martin, PhD
Matt Martin, PhD

Matt Martin, PhD

Microbiome Lead, Technology Commercialization

5113 S Harper Avenue, Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-266-1929

Matt Martin, PhD, is the Microbiome Lead for the Technology Commercialization team. In this role, he works with researchers and leads commercial development of discoveries from microbiome research at the University of Chicago and the Marine Biological Laboratory. Matt provides access to the broad set of Polsky Center resources including intellectual property development, venture creation and support, team building, and fund raising. He also identifies and develops partnerships with existing companies to take the next step in commercializing the breakthrough microbiome research here at UChicago.

Matt began his microbiome commercialization experience leading both business and technology development for Electrochaea, a renewable fuel company. Electrochaea developed a proprietary microbe as an efficient catalyst for producing renewable natural gas and is building its first commercial scale facility in Europe today. Matt was also an entrepreneur-in-residence for Nidus Partners and has worked in several technology commercialization roles for both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

Matt was trained as a physicist with postdoctoral research experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He earned a PhD in physics from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA degree from Goshen College studying math and physics. Matt is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Matt enjoys skiing, hiking, and any other excuse to spend time in the mountains

Sao-Mai Nguyen-Mau, PhDSao-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

As Invention Strategist, Sao-Mai works with University researchers to evaluate discoveries arising from oncology and microbiome-related research. She provides field-specific, strategic insights to faculty and staff to help build and secure appropriate IP protection. Once an IP strategy is in place, she continues to guide researchers on experimental design to accomplish IP and developmental goals.

Prior to joining the Tech Commercialization team, Sao-Mai completed a doctoral program in microbiology while participating as a fellow working with Tech Commercialization team on market assessments and patent prosecutions. Sao-Mai holds a BS from the University of Maryland and a PhD from the University of Chicago, both in Microbiology.

Sao-Mai is a world traveler and donut enthusiast.

Bob Okabe
Bob Okabe

Bob Okabe

Venture Development Principal and Education Lead, Technology Commercialization

5113 S. Harper Ave., Suite 2C
Chicago, IL 60615
773-834-5420

rmokabe@uchicago.edu

 

As Venture Development Principal and Education Lead Bob Okabe is responsible for leading the Polsky Center Tech Commercialization team’s efforts to develop and grow startup companies based on UChicago research technologies. He also leads commercialization practice in the education industry, most notably as leader of UChicago Solutions, the University’s effort to bring innovative STEM instructional materials to K-12 schools.

Previously, Bob has been engaged with startup companies as an angel investor, board director, and interim CEO and CFO for sixteen companies. He has applied this experience to commercialization projects for UChicago, other universities, and corporations as a consultant and advisor for more than 15 years.

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