AUTM Annual Meeting in Austin to Feature Kathi Vidal, 
Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Other Luminaries

Washington, DC – Feb. 9, 2023 — Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), will be a featured speaker at the AUTM Annual Meeting Fireside Chat, on Sunday, February 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the JW Marriott Austin. She will discuss the USPTO’s efforts to accelerate the commercialization of taxpayer-funded research, the importance of increasing the involvement of women and other underrepresented groups in technological innovation, and how her office is using artificial intelligence to serve its customers, among other topics.

As chief executive of the USPTO, Ms. Vidal leads one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world, 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. 

The media is invited to attend the Fireside Chat as well as the rest of the four-day Meeting, which will also feature:

Healthcare venture capitalist Marcus Whitney is the founding partner of Jumpstart Health Investors and creator of the first healthcare venture fund in America to invest exclusively in Black-founded and led startups. His keynote will address how embracing innovation can help to inspire change. Whitney will be the opening speaker on Monday, February 20. 

Vaccinologist Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, is an internationally recognized global health advocate for neglected tropical diseases and a 2022 Nobel Peace Prize nominee for her groundbreaking work creating an open-access COVID-19 vaccine. Bottazzi will discuss the development of that vaccine as a catalyst for innovative and collaborative models for increasing the impact of vaccine science. Dr. Bottazzi will be the closing keynote speaker on Wednesday, February 22. 

About AUTM
AUTM is the non-profit leader in efforts to educate, promote and inspire professionals, throughout their careers, to support the development of academic research that changes the world. AUTM’s community is composed of more than 3,000 members who work in more than 800 universities, research centers, hospitals, businesses and government organizations around the globe. To learn more, visit

Media Contact
For press credentials and complimentary registration, contact: 
Brook Pritchett
Senior Marketing and Communnications Director
[email protected]

The conference program can be found here.  Additional information, including a Media Resource Center, is available on the conference website.