AUTM Annual Meeting

Get Inspired

Find insight and inspiration to conquer the world. Check out our lineup of headline speakers.

Opening Keynote

Lt. General Russel L. Honoré (Ret.)

Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré helps organizations develop a culture of preparedness and initiates a mindset of problem-solving using strategies that create take-charge leaders.

As the commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, LTG Honoré became known as “The Category 5 Gen.” for his striking leadership style in coordinating military relief efforts in post-hurricane New Orleans. In 2021 he was tasked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., with leading a review of the U.S. Capitol’s security in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack.

Gen. Honoré uses his experience managing natural and man-made conflict to help companies and organizations build a culture of preparedness. On stage, his disciplined leadership shines. In our country’s new normal, change and unpredictability are constants, which mean resilience is mandatory. LTG Honoré offers his business audiences these impactful takeaways plus an instructive message: Don't Get Stuck on Stupid!, the title of his third book.

His uplifting dose of candor with real-world leadership lessons is designed to equip audiences with a preparedness mindset. He shares his no-nonsense approach to getting the job done and instills confidence in tomorrow’s leaders.

The General is a decorated 37-year army veteran and global authority on leadership. When Hurricanes such as Harvey, Irma, and Maria approach, news networks like CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and CBS consider him their go-to expert on emergency and disaster preparedness.

Gen. Honoré developed his crisis-management expertise over an extensive military career. He planned and supported the United States military response to the devastating flooding which swept Venezuela 1999 and Mozambique in 2000. As Commander of SJFHQ-HLS under NORTHCOM direction, he planned and oversaw the military response to the Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy and the DC Sniper Shootings.

Prior to commanding Joint Task Force-Katrina in which he led the Department of Defense response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, he served in a variety of command and staff positions. These roles focused on Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. Lt. Gen. Honoré also participated in three Top Officials (TOPOFF) exercises, as well as the United Endeavor series of Homeland Defense exercises.

In 2004. LTG Honoré was appointed Commander of the oldest and longest established U.S. field army: the 500,000 troop First Army. The First Army World War pedigree includes distinguished names like John “Black Jack” Pershing and Omar Bradley. It serves today as a mobilization, readiness and training command. After 37 years of active service, Lt. Gen. Honoré retired from the U.S. Army on February 29, 2008.

Closing Keynote

Anna Young, CEO of MakerHealth

Anna Young works from a fundamental belief that, with the right tools, everyday people can use their ingenuity to create devices that heal. Applying years of global experience with the Maker Movement, she brings prototyping tools and makerspaces into hospitals enhance the natural problem solving abilities of clinicians and patients. She is the Co-Founder of MakerNurse, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored program to support inventive, frontline nurses. Her roots come from MIT as researcher in the Little Devices Lab and lecturer in the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science. In 2015, She was recognized by LinkedIn as a top Health Innovator under 35 and in 2016 received Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business.

Perspectives from the Far Side of the Moon

Moderator:  Ian McClure, University of Kentucky

Vera Ares, Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp
Katherine Ku, Wilson Sonsini
Kirsten Leute, Osage University Partners
Teri Willey, IU Ventures

They say hindsight is 20/20. That's why stepping out of tech transfer and looking back in can offer a valuable view. This general session event will focus on the insights gained by panelists who were once TTO leaders and now work on the outside to help others succeed. We all know that discussions between academia and industry often end up being more prolonged, antagonistic, and complicated than necessary. This results not only in higher transaction costs, but in delays around getting the deal done — or failure to do so at all. When you consider that many of these innovations could one day save lives, it’s easy to see that the fallout goes well beyond the economic.

About the Speakers
Ian McClure
Ian McClure [moderator] is the Associate Vice President for Research (AVPR), Innovation and Economic Impact, and Executive Director, UK Innovate, at the University of Kentucky (UK). He leads efforts to translate UK discoveries for the public good, seek equitable returns on UK intellectual property, create innovative approaches to develop, fund and support opportunities for near-stage research, enhance UK’s investments in innovation, catalyze a culture and capacity for entrepreneurship, and expand industry and other collaborative research partnerships with UK Research and in Kentucky more broadly.

Ian’s portfolio includes oversight of the UK Office of Technology Commercialization (UK OTC), UK Innovation Connect for industry partnerships, UK Innovation Economic Development, and UK’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training. As UK OTC’s previous Executive Director, he oversaw a team of 25+ staff managing the University’s innovation, intellectual property and startup portfolios. Ian is also the Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors for AUTM, an advisory board member for the Oak Ridge Institute, chair of IPwe’s Advisory Committee for University Technology Transfer, Launch Blue Advisory Board member, and Kentucky Intellectual Property Alliance (KYIPA) executive advisory committee member. He is also a co-founder of Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV), a state-funded and KSTC-managed program to provide IP and tech transfer services to all other universities in the state that do not currently have dedicated IP and tech transfer resources. In addition, Ian is a PI or Co-I on three federal grants (NIH and EDA) focused on tech-based economic development as an innovator.

Vera Ares Vera Ares handles Discovery Transactions at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) in South San Francisco. Merck, one of the most research-intensive biopharmaceutical companies, opened a new nine-story research facility in South San Francisco in 2018. Vera is responsible for helping Merck Scientists in South San Francisco to establish research collaborations with faculty labs at UCSF, Stanford, and UC Berkeley, among others.

Before joining Merck in 2028, Vera was a technology transfer professional at the Stanford Office of Technology Licensing for more than a decade. While at Stanford, she managed a large IP and licensing portfolio of life sciences inventions.

Vera is a scientist by training. She obtained a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Buenos Aires and completed her postdoctoral studies at UCSF. She was a scientist at Geron Corp and The Molecular Sciences Institute before becoming a tech transfer professional.

Katherine Ku is currently serving as Chief Licensing Advisor at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Previously, she was Executive Director of Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) for 27 years, until 2018. Ku was President of AUTM from 1988-90. She received the AUTM 2001 Bayh-Dole Award for her efforts in university technology transfer. In 1999, Stanford OTL received the LES Achievement Award.

Ku is currently the Vice-Chair of the Visiting Committee for Advanced Technology of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Ku has a B.S. Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and is a registered patent agent.

Kirsten Leute is Partner, University Relations at Osage University Partners (OUP). In leading University Relations for OUP, Kirsten is responsible for the relationships with approximately 100 academic institutions that are partnered with the fund, engaging potential new partner institutions, and creating and delivering value-add programs for the partnered academic institutions.

Kirsten is an experienced technology transfer professional, having spent 19 years in technology transfer at Stanford University and the German Cancer Research Center. Prior to joining OUP, she was Associate Director at Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing. Over her career at Stanford, she managed portfolios of inventions in most technology areas, but concentrated in biotechnology.

Kirsten continues to be actively involved in technology transfer and university startups outside her daily work. She is currently on advisory boards for the University of Michigan, University of Arizona, and Oregon Health Sciences University technology transfer offices, is a board member of Women in Bio, is an Adcom member for America’s Seed Fund (SBIR/STTR out of NSF), and is a former two-time board member for the AUTM.

Teri Willey returned to Indiana in 2018 to join Indiana University as an Executive Director of IU Ventures and to launch and manage the new Indiana Philanthropic Venture Fund. She is a member of the IU Ventures Board and Investment Committee; Dimension Mill/Velocities Investment Committee; a Director of the Venture Club of Indiana, a Director of portfolio companies NERx Biosciences, Diagnotes and Periodic, and an Advisor to OnCode Institute in the Netherlands.

Her career has been about starting and re-organizing university technology transfer programs and launching new early stage funds that invest in university science based ventures.

Teri served as Vice President of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory leading a new program for industry engagement, new ventures and intellectual property licensing; Vice President for Technology and Business Development for Mount Sinai School of Medicine; founding Chief Executive of Cambridge Enterprise, Ltd the technology commercialization affiliate of the University of Cambridge in England; founder and Managing Partner of ARCH Development Partners (ADP), a seed and early stage venture fund focused on university and corporate spin-outs; Business Development for Endocyte, Inc., University of Notre Dame Business School Adjunct Faculty; and Vice President of Start-ups at ARCH Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the University of Chicago, which commercialized technology from the University and Argonne National Laboratory. Her prior experience also includes non-executive board positions with a several early stage companies, technology transfer leadership roles at Northwestern University and Purdue Research Foundation, founding membership on the Indiana 21st Century Fund Board and business development for International Minerals and Chemical.

Teri has been an advisor to policy makers, universities and companies, is a past President of AUTM, a former Bye Fellow of Christ’s College Cambridge in England and a Sagamore of the Wabash.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Breakfast

Lecresha Sewell, Founder and CEO of Melanated Healthcare

Lecresha Sewell, a healthcare industry pioneer and innovator, is a board certified, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner in Louisville, Kentucky. She has worked in various healthcare settings including primary care, forensic nursing, prevention and wellness, nursing education, aesthetics, family planning, neonatal nursing, and women’s health. She is passionate about health equity and seeks to eliminate disparities. She promotes health equity through her involvment in  community organizations.

Lecresha earned her bachelors degree in Nursing from University of Louisville, a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in women’s health from University of Cincinnati, and  Doctor of Nursing Practice from Chatham University. She also received a credential as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE).

Annual Meeting Sponsors

Parker Highlander PLLC
Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP
Osage University Partners
Blank Rome LLP
Casimir Jones, SC
Computer Packages, Inc.
Royalty Pharma
Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner
Quarles & Brady LLP
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Marshall Gerstein
Bereskin & Parr LLP
Baker Donelson
Thomas Horstemeyer LLP
DRI Capital
KISSPlatform Europe BV