Paula J. Bates
Professor of Medicine
University of Louisville

Paula co-directs several innovation programs that help academic researchers turn their ideas into real-world products. One of these is KYNETIC, a statewide program that provides research grants, entrepreneurial education, and a network of expertise. KYNETIC opportunities are open to all faculty, staff, and students at Kentucky’s public universities and community colleges. Bates is also an active researcher and was a co-founder of a successful biotechnology company. She is an inventor on 17 issued US patents and was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2016.

Doug Hockstad
Assistant Vice President
Tech Launch Arizona

Doug joined the University of Arizona in 2013 initially directing the IP and licensing function, building on more than 30 years of experience in high tech markets.

Doug began his career in the software industry gaining experience in both established companies and startups assuming roles spanning from implementation to product management, marketing, and sales. Through a twist of fate, he moved on to tech transfer at alma mater — the University of Michigan — where his primary responsibility was managing software and other copyright-related intellectual property. Doug has also served on the AUTM Board of Directors, helping to set the strategic direction of the organization.

Rick Huebsch
Executive Director
Technology Commercialization
University of Minnesota

Rick's team is responsible for all facets of technology transfer including IP protection, marketing, licensing, and startups through the Venture Center. In addition, his team partners with the UMN Foundation on the University's Corporate Engagement initiatives. He also serves on the Launch Advisory Board for the State of Minnesota. Rick joined the University in 2008 after 20 years of software industry experience including roles in software engineering, technology strategy, and executive management with Minnesota and California software companies.

Keith Marmer
Chief Innovation & Economic Engagement Officer
University of Utah

In his role at University of Utah, Keith has launching three accelerators, a business incubator and a venture fund to support startup companies. As an entrepreneur, he has launched three companies and helped other entrepreneurs raise more than $1 billion in investment capital. Previously, Keith was co-founder of SG3 Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage life science companies. Prior to SG3 Ventures, Keith was chief business officer at Penn Center for Innovation. Keith serves on numerous boards and is a past entrepreneur-in-residence at Princeton University.

Nichole Mercier
Assistant Vice Chancellor & the Managing Director
Office of Technology Management
Washington University in St. Louis

Nichole sets strategy for technology transfer and oversees operations relating to the licensing and protection of intellectual property. She is committed to ensuring that women and minorities engage in technology transfer and entrepreneurship, establishing the Women in Innovation and Technology (WIT) Program at WashU and also Equalize, a national program that gives the support needed to women who face barriers to academic entrepreneurship. She holds a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Tari Suprapto
Director for Search & Evaluation for Western US and Canada
Novo Nordisk

Tari is a seasoned technology commercialization professional in the life sciences.  She also has experience with the animal health industry when she was a part of the External Innovation team at Elanco, and spent over 15 years in the non-profit sector promoting and commercializing innovative opportunities from world-class research institutions such as the Salk Institute, The Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Tari has extensive experience in licensing, building and managing strategic alliances with industry and other academic institutions, and a well-rounded technical background in a variety of therapeutic areas resulting from her Ph.D. in Molecular & Cellular Biology from The Rockefeller University and an Honors B.A. from Swarthmore College.  Tari is also a mother of two daughters and two dogs, loves kickboxing, yoga, beaches, and sea turtles. 

James Zanewicz
Chief Business Officer
Tulane Medicine

James serves as principal BioMedical business development strategist and connectivity officer to industry, venture capital and other external collaborators; as well as overseeing marketing & communications, working on change-oriented special projects, and crisis management for Tulane Medicine.  His career includes establishing the open science functions for HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus, corporate chemistry at Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, “new media” for the daily news show EXTRA, and Innovation and Engagement functions at the University of Illinois & University of Louisville.   He is on the Board for the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, chaired the Board of ATTP, and served on the Boards of AUTM, NACRO, and the BioJudiciary Project.