Featured Speakers

AUTM Annual Meeting

Get Inspired

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

Fireside Chat

Kathi Vidal
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office


As the chief executive of the USPTO, Kathi Vidal leads one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world, with more than 13,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $4 billion. She is the principal IP advisor to the President and the Administration, through the Secretary of Commerce, and is focused on incentivizing and protecting U.S. innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. She leads an agency whose mission is to help American workers and businesses compete and collaborate, especially in ground-breaking technologies and across all demographics. As Director of the USPTO, Vidal is working to expand American innovation for and from all, and to bring more ideas to impact, including serving as the Vice Chair of the Council for Inclusive Innovation, alongside Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo and the Council members.

Director Vidal has spent her career championing the importance of mentoring and expanding opportunities to include more individuals from underserved communities. She has played an active role on the advisory board of Chiefs in Intellectual Property, a network of women leaders in technology, law, and policy, and on other boards and committees focused on diversity and inclusion, and has mentored diverse women across the globe as part of the Fortune-U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership program. She builds on that work today.

Wednesday Keynote

Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi
Co-Director, Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development



Maria Elena Bottazzi, PhD, is an internationally-recognized vaccinologist and global health advocate for neglected tropical diseases (NTD). With more than two decades of experience applying the product development partnership model, she has built sustainable biotechnology capacity and has successfully transitioned several NTD vaccines from bench up to Phase 2 clinical trials.

As a global thought-leader, Dr. Bottazzi has received national and international awards, published more than 120 scientific papers and participated in more than 200 conferences worldwide. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, the Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement (Infectious Diseases) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Sr. Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.

Currently, she is an Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine Scholar of the National Academies of Medicine and committee member to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for the Stronger Food and Drug Regulatory Systems Abroad consensus study.

Dr. Bottazzi was born in Italy and raised in Honduras where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in microbiology and clinical chemistry from the National Autonomous University of Honduras. She obtained her doctorate in molecular immunology and experimental pathology from the University of Florida and completed post-doctoral training in cellular biology at the University of Miami and University of Pennsylvania. Her academic career started at George Washington University where she resided for 11 years before relocating to Houston in 2011.

Annual Meeting Sponsors

Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP
Osage University Partners
Casimir Jones, SC
Michael Best & Friedrich
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Nixon Peabody
Parker Highlander PLLC
LevelSet Capital
Marshall Gerstein
Blank Rome LLP
KISSPlatform Europe BV
Quarles & Brady LLP
Computer Packages, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim
Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner
NYU Langone
Fox Rothschild LLP