Wallace H. Coulter Center (WHCC)

The mission of the WHCC at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine (SOM) is to promote translational research in biomedical science and bioengineering by capitalizing on SOM faculty research projects that address an unmet clinical need and have commercial potential.


Projects are submitted in response to an annual RFP and are reviewed from a business perspective, including how the innovation would be protected, the disruptive potential of the proposed product, pathway to commercialization (regulatory pathway, who would invest, who would buy) and clarity/feasibility of the milestone driven plan. Projects are selected by the Coulter Oversight Committee (COC). The COC membership includes venture capitalists, angel investors, entrepreneurs, corporate experts and clinicians with extensive clinical and clinical resaerch expertise. Awarded projects receive funding and business development expertise. The close interaction of WHCC with the entire U Innovation team is key in driving the projects toward a commercial exit.


Oversight Committee Members

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  • Maria Alcaide, Vice Provost for Research and Scholarship, University of Miami

     Maria Alcaide Headshot

    Maria Alcaide, MD

    Vice Provost for Research and Scholarship
    Professor of Medicine
    Director, Infectious Diseases Research Unit
    Research and Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Clinical Core
    Director, Clinical Research with the office of the Executive Dean for Research
    Leader, Miami Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Mentoring Programs

    Dr. Alcaide is an Infectious Diseases physician-scientist, and faculty member of the University of Miami for over 15 years. Throughout her career as a clinician and researcher, Dr. Alcaide has provided scientific and administrative oversight to numerous multidisciplinary research studies focused on HIV and other emerging infections in the US and other international settings.

    Dr. Alcaide has served as a principal investigator on a large number of NIH-funded studies. Her research portfolio in 2022 was over $10 million, and she is among the top-funded NIH scholars. She has provided exceptional leadership as Director of Clinical Research since 2020 at the Miller School of Medicine. She is also the director of the Miami CTSI and the Miami Center for AIDS Research mentoring programs and plays a critical role in mentoring junior investigators, with a focus on women and underrepresented groups.

    As the Vice Provost for Research and Scholarship, she will oversee the University’s burgeoning research portfolio under the Office of the Vice Provost for Research Administration, and the development of university-wide scholarship initiatives.


  • Kirk Barnes, Co-Founder and President, TransPharMed

     Kirk Barnes Headshot

    Kirk Barnes
    Co-Founder and President

    Kirk is the Co-Founder and President of TransPharMed, a sales excellence firm that uses coaching and connections to accelerate the sales cycle for digital health innovation. TransPharMed is a current member of the American Medical Association Physician Innovation Network (AMA - PIN). Kirk has a background in globally commercializing
    pharmaceutical, biotechnology, nanotechnology, diagnostic, digital health and medical device technologies, including several billion-dollar products. Kirk has held a broad range of positions encompassing leadership, sales, sales excellence coaching and training, business development, global marketing, lobbying and market access. Recently, Kirk served as a Start-Up Catalyst for new and emerging healthtech and digital health start-ups at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) incubator housed at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA, where he recently raised the funds to launch its inaugural Healthcare Technology Program.
    Kirk served in various positions of increasing responsibility for the following companies: Syneos Health (formerly Inventiv Health), Zogenix, Johnson & Johnson, Takeda and Pfizer. Throughout Kirk’s career, he operated and developed competencies in the following therapeutic categories: endocrinology, cardiology, respiratory, neurology, pain management, central nervous system disorders, oncology and hematology. During his time in the pharma/biotech sector, Kirk helped to launch several blockbuster drugs in the diabetes, oncology, respiratory and neurology therapeutic areas.

    Kirk was also a Global Business Development Executive for the NanoProfessor & NanoGuardian divisions of NanoInk, a private equity funded start-up company commercializing research-based nanotechnology from Northwestern University. Kirk marketed innovative anti-counterfeiting solutions to pharmaceutical, defense, consumer and medical device companies in the US, EU and Asia. Furthermore, Kirk led lobbying efforts that contributed to the first draft of the FDA REMS for Long-Acting Opioids, US Health Import Safety Legislation and the E.U. Falsified Medicines Directive. He served as a Board Member of the International Authentication Association (IAA), which monitored and provided guidance regarding authentication techniques and counterfeiting trends.

    Kirk continues to serve as a Together.Health Steering Committee Member (Founded under leadership from ONC/HHS), Board Member of the Institute for Health Information Technology (IHIT), ATDC Healthcare Vertical Advisory Board, Coulter Foundation Oversight Committee Member, GA BIO Commercialization Committee Member, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce BioScience Council Member, and a Board Observer for Patientory (Blockchain Digital Health Company). Kirk holds a B.A. in Economics from Florida A&M University.

  • Bob Buchanan, Partner, Ventac Partners

    Bob Buchanan, PhD, JD
    Ventac Partners

    Robert L. Buchanan is a partner at Ventac Partners, an investment, company building and consultancy firm. He recently spun a company, Ambulero, out of the University of Miami. The company is focused on commercializing gene & cell therapies discovered by Dr. Omaida Velazquez to treat limb ischemia.Robert has over 20 years of experience in executive level management roles. He is General Counsel for Avexxin AS: a clinical stage Ventac Partners’ portfolio company developing anti-inflammatory agents. Other past executive level positions include CEO of Regenesance BV (now Complement Pharma BV), a company Robert co-founded. In 2018, Complement Pharma announced a partnership with Alexion (NASDAQ:ALXN) to co-develop drugs treating neurodegenerative disorders worth a total of EUR 14M.Prior to joining Avexxin AS, Robert was Associate General Counsel at Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) where responsibilities included oversight of the company’s early stage hemophilia patent portfolio and strengthening its R&D collaboration pipeline in gene therapy and gene editing projects. He was lead or co-lead IP counsel for a broad range of transactions in which total upfront and future milestone payments exceeded USD $1.25B. Robert is a board member of Ahram Biosystems (PCR diagnostics) and is a co-founder of Idogen AB (tolerogenic cell therapies): a company listed on the Swedish stock exchange in (IDOGEN:ST).Robert is a past law partner of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge (now Locke Lord) in Boston.Robert received a BS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Biochemistry), a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (Biochemistry), and a JD in law from Suffolk University, Boston. He is a past Biology Fellow with the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. He is a registered patent attorney with the USPTO and is licensed to practice law before state courts in Massachusetts and the US District Court of Massachusetts.

  • Jason Campagna, Chief Medical Officer, Q32 Bio


    Jason Campagna, MD, PhD
    Chief Medical Officer

    Q32 Bio

    Jason Campagna is currently Chief Medical Officer at Q32 Bio, a Boston based biotechnology firm developing novel therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Prior to this, he was Chief Medical Officer at Intercept Pharmaceuticals in New York City. Prior to joining Intercept, he was at The Medicines Company where he was SVP of the Surgery and Perioperative Care Global Innovation Group. He has led teams working at all stages of clinical development, from first in man testing to multiple NDA and MAA approvals of drugs, biologics and devices. He was previously a founding director for Annovation Biopharma, was managing director for ProFibrix B.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Medicines Company, and served on the Board of Directors for Plantable Health Inc based in New York and the Neuroscience Research Institute in Santa Barbara, CA.

    Prior to joining the Biopharma industry, he served on the senior leadership team at Cottage Health System in Santa Barbara, CA as the Chief Medical Quality Officer, and held faculty appointments at UC Santa Barbara and Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Medical School. He graduated from the combined MD/PhD program at The University of Miami and then completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the Neural Plasticity Research Group and his Anesthesia and Critical Care residency and fellowship all at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

  • Steve Glover, Cofounder, CEO, Chairman, ZyVersa Therapeutics

    Steve Glover
    Cofounder, CEO
    ZyVersa Therapeutics

    Mr. Glover has over 35+ years of business experience in biopharmaceuticals and life sciences. Before founding ZyVersa Therapeutics, Mr. Glover was Co-Founder and CBO of Coherus Biosciences where he was focused on the business strategy, partnerships, product development efforts and capitalization of the company. Prior to Coherus, he was the President of Insmed Therapeutic Proteins, a biosimilar company, as well as Chief Business Officer of Insmed Incorporated.

    Prior to Insmed, Mr. Glover held the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager at Andrx Laboratories and Andrx Therapeutics, both divisions of Andrx Corporation. At Andrx Mr. Glover was responsible for the strategy and operation of Andrx Labs which developed and marketed products in metabolic diseases and Men's Health and Andrx Therapeutics which was focused on the development of new controlled release products and contract manufacturing. He earlier held multiple sales, marketing and operational roles at Hoffman LaRoche, Amgen Inc. and IMS Health.

    Mr. Glover has multifaceted experience in Fortune 100, start up and entrepreneurial environments. He has demonstrated results in start ups, large cap and turnarounds with a focus on business strategy, commercial execution, product development, business transformation and corporate development. He has over 25 life sciences transactions in licensing and M&A and has raised over $350M in capital. His strategic and operational experience includes strategic planning, corporate development, operations management, product development, product marketing and sales management.

    Currently Mr. Glover serves on the Board of Directors of ZyVersa Therapeutics and The Coulter Foundation at the University of Miami, and he is Chairman of the Board at PDS Biotechnology and Chairman of the Board at Ambrx Biopharma.

  • Whitney Hough, Director, UM Office of Technology Transfer

    Whitney Hough Headshot

    Whitney Hough, PhD, MBA
    Director, Office of Technology Transfer
    University of Miami

    Whitney Hough has PhD in Chemistry and MBA in Strategy from The University of Alabama. During her time as an undergraduate researcher, she synthesized a new class of ionic liquid compounds that resulted in her first patent application, which later granted as a patent and was licensed to a Fortune 50 company.  Experiencing the transition of her invention from the laboratory to the marketplace energized Whitney and her interest in Technology Transfer. She first entered the field as a Venture Development Associate at The University of Alabama’s Office for Technology Transfer where she streamlined the invention disclosure process to decrease the length of time between invention disclosure and a filed patent application. These process changes increased the number of invention disclosures and inventor engagement. These achievements resulted in her promotion to Assistant Director at The University of Alabama’s Office for Technology Transfer. In this role, she implemented and ran three different internship programs that allowed students from business, STEM, and law to work together on the management of new technologies.

    She then relocated to Cincinnati, OH for her husband’s job and joined TreMonti Consulting, LLC, an innovation and technology transfer consultancy. Whitney primarily worked from home with travel all over the country to work her 20+ clients that ranging from academic institutions to national laboratories to research hospitals. In this role, she performed all duties related to technology transfer and innovation management including managing of financials/royalty distributions, database management, and contract/license negotiation. She was recruited by Procter & Gamble to be the Program Leader for their new Oral Care Monograph Reform program. This position integrated information from all functions to successfully communicate and submit an application to the FDA. In addition, she served as Technical Readiness Leader for several front-end innovation projects, thereby ensuring all tasks were on time for product graduation from R&D. She also managed the budget for Monograph Reform which spanned five different projects. It was wonderful to see a commercial process and product come to life, but she has missed the excitement and passion of inventors. Whitney is looking forward to working as a partner to commercialize University of Miami technology with inventors from all backgrounds and levels of experience.

  • Norma Sue Kenyon, Chief Innovation Officer, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine & Vice Provost for Innovation, University of Miami

    Dr. Norma Kenyon

    Norma Sue Kenyon, PhD
    Martin Kleiman Professor of Surgery, Microbiology & Immunology, and Biomedical Engineering
    Diabetes Research Institute
    Chief Innovation Officer, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
    Vice Provost for Innovation, University of Miami
    Executive Director, Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research

    Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D. is Vice Provost for Innovation at the University of Miami and Chief Innovation Officer of the Miller School of Medicine. Under her leadership, the U Innovation team, including the Office of Technology Transfer and the Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research has successfully increased the number of licensing agreements and startups emanating from faculty innovations from across the university. The Launch Pad provides mentoring for emerging student, alumni and faculty entrepreneurs throughout the university community, and Kenyon established the ‘Cane Angel Network to provide investment opportunities to all startups connected to the university.

    The Martin Kleiman Professor of Surgery, Microbiology & Immunology and Biomedical Engineering at the Diabetes Research Institute, Dr. Kenyon and her research team have focused on ways to transplant insulin producing islet cells, in both clinically relevant transplant models and in clinical studies, without the need for life-long anti-rejection drugs. Kenyon has received research funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and several industry collaborators. She has served as a member of both the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Disease Council and the NIH Council of Councils.  Kenyon was a scientific advisor to the Food and Drug Administration and has participated in several panels involving islet transplantation and stem cells. 

    Kenyon earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, followed by post-doctoral positions at UCLA and the University of Miami. Subsequent to post-doctoral training, Kenyon was a Senior Scientist and Lab Head at Coulter Corporation, holding positions in both research and product development. 

  • J. C. Lopez, Healthcare Principal, NEA

    J. C. Lopez headshot 

    J.C. Lopez, M.D.

    Principal, Healthcare, New Enterprise Associates


    J.C. is a Principal on the healthcare team at NEA with a specific focuse on biopharma investing. He is a Director of Centrexion Therapeutics and a board observer for 858 Therapeutics, Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, Qpex Biopharma, and Stablix.

    Prior to NEA, J.C. led Global Search and Evaluation for Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, and Rare Diseases for Roche/Genentech. While at Roche/Genentech, J.C. sourced, led, and closed Genentech’s collaboration with Clover Therapeutics and was involved with Genentech’s collaborations with Convelo Therapeutics and Atalanta Therapeutics. As Global Search and Evaluation Lead, he was responsible for the sourcing, triaging, and initial diligence of opportunities in neuroscience, ophthalmology, and rare diseases. Prior to Roche/Genentech, J.C. held various roles as an intern at Militia Hill Ventures, where he focused on biotech company creation and as a Tech Transfer Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Tech Transfer Office.

    J.C. received a BS in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, an MD from The Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from The Wharton School where he was a Joseph Wharton Fellow.

  • Mara Neal, former Director of Marketing and Engagement, Cook Biotech (retired)

    Mara Neal, MT(ASCP)SH, MS, MBA
    Former Director of Marketing and Engagement (retired)
    Cook Biotech

    Mara has over 30 years’ experience in laboratory diagnostics and medical device industries as well as sales and marketing management. She is a medical technologist specializing in hematology with experience in both hospital and reference laboratory.

    Beginning her career as a bench technologist, Mara ended her laboratory career as Hematology Laboratory Manager at MetPath, Inc., Teterboro, New Jersey, the world’s largest Hematology laboratory at that time. Mara joined Coulter Corporation and spent 18 years with Coulter Corporation and Beckman Coulter.

    After working for Coulter Corp. and then Beckman Coulter, Mara joined the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, where she served for 13 years as Director, Research Awards for the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. At the Coulter Foundation, she was involved in the operations of the Translational Research Partnership in Biomedical Engineering, the Complete Cellular Analysis Program, and the Legacy Programs. Mara was the Coulter representative for 10 of the Foundation’s University Partnerships. She continues to serve on the Oversight Committees at the University of Miami Wallace H. Coulter Center and the University of Louisville KYNECT program. Mara is often recruited to teach the “Coulter Process” to organizations that have an interest in translating innovation to the marketplace.

    In January 2017, Mara left the non-profit sector and joined the Cook Group Life Science division, serving as Director of Global Sales and Marketing at Cook Regentec. She then joined sister medical-device company Cook Biotech Inc. as Director of Marketing and Engagement in September 2019, finally retiring from Cook in 2024.

    Mara received her B.S. in Medical Technology from Michigan State University, an M.S. in Education from the University of Michigan, and her M.B.A. from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. 

    Mara currently sits on two start-up boards of directors: Quuery Inc., San Francisco, California, and the Medical Innovation Collaboration, Irving, Texas. 

  • John Newcomer, President and CEO, Thriving Mind South Florida

    John W. Newcomer, MD
    President and CEO
    Thriving Mind South Florida

    John W. Newcomer, M.D. is President and CEO of Thriving Mind South Florida in Miami, the non-profit organization that oversees safety net mental health and substance use treatment services for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, with funding of over $135 million per year from Florida's Department of Children and Families (DCF), as well as other federal, state, local and private sources. During two decades at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, he became the Gregory B. Couch Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Medicine and served in leadership roles for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded General Clinical Research Center, the Clinical Translational Science Award and the Center for Clinical Studies. He has also served as Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Research at the University of Miami School of Medicine and as Executive Vice Dean for the College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. He remains an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University.

    Dr. Newcomer is a Principal Investigator on grants funded through the NIH for 30 years. From 2007-2019 he was a member of the Metabolic Disorders Steering Committee of the Biomarkers Consortium of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. In 2014 he was named to the Thomson Reuters List of Highly Cited Researchers. In the public sector, he served as Chair for the Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board for the State of Missouri for 13 years.

  • Len Pinchuk, Founder, InnFocus, Inc., a Santen Company

    Len Pinchuk, PhD, DSc (hc), NAE
    InnFocus, Inc., a Santen Company

    Dr. Pinchuk has 141 U.S. patents, 110 publications and founded 10 companies. His major accomplishments include the invention of the Nylon 12 angioplasty balloon, the helical wire stent, the modular stent-graft, a drug-eluting stent (TAXUS®), several biomaterials (Bionate® and SIBS), a novel glaucoma tube (the InnFocus MicroShunt®) and the next generation intraocular lens.

    His inventions are used in hundreds of millions of patients with a financial impact well over $100 billion. He was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2012, was awarded the 2017 Society for Biomaterials Innovation and Technology Award, San Antonio’s BIOMED SA Award (2017) and the National Academy of Engineering 2019 Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize. He received a B.Sc. in chemistry from McGill University (1976) and a Ph.D. interdisciplinary in Engineering and Chemistry from the University of Miami (1984). Dr. Pinchuk co-founded Corvita Corporation (1987) which went public in 1994, was acquired by Pfizer, Inc. (1996) and then sold to Boston Scientific (1998). He then founded Innovia LLC (2002), which spun-out InnFocus, Inc. (2004) which was acquired by Santen Pharmaceuticals in 2016. Dr. Pinchuk also enjoys an appointment as Distinguished Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami.

  • Jackson Streeter, Director, University of Florida Ventures

    Jackson Streeter

    Jackson Streeter, MD
    University of Florida Ventures

    Dr. Jackson Streeter is currently the Director at University of Florida Ventures.  Most recently, he served as the Senior Vice President for Corporate Development and Strategy at Quanterix, Inc.  Quanterix has developed an ultra-sensitive digital immunoassay platform to detect very low concentrations protein biomarkers, currently marketed for research applications.

    Dr. Streeter was the CEO and Executive Director of the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund a seed stage venture fund investing in companies commercializing technologies developed from state of Florida Universities, Colleges or research Institutes. Since inception, the fund has created over 50 companies with private investment matching Florida state funding at a 9:1 ratio.

    Dr. Streeter served as the CEO of Banyan Biomarkers San Diego, CA. During his time the company received over $110M in contracts and grants with the NIH and Department of Defense and raised $20M in private capital for the development of a first ever blood test for traumatic brain injury which received FDA clearance in 2018.

    Prior to serving as CEO of Banyan Biomarkers, Dr. Streeter founded and served as CEO for PhotoThera, Inc. where he raised over $120M in private capital and was responsible for the design and management of five U.S. and international clinical trials for the treatment of stroke. He was also the co-founder of American Veterinary Laser which was acquired in a private transaction.

    Dr. Streeter is the inventor of over twenty patents and author on multiple scientific publications. Dr. Streeter has served on the following boards and executive committees: Florida Research Consortium, Governor’s Life Science Task Force for the State of Florida, FBI counter terrorism south east working group, Walter H. Coulter Center Committee at the University of Miami, Department of Defense Grey Team in Afghanistan, Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator advisory board and the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

    Dr. Streeter served as an Officer in the U.S. Navy, completing a general surgery internship at Naval Regional Medical Center Portsmouth, Virginia and then primary Flight School at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. During his military service, he was the first Naval Flight Surgeon selected as a TOPGUN staff instructor, served on several overseas deployments and was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal. He earned his B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Nevada Reno and his M.D. from the University Of Nevada School Of Medicine.

  • Robert F. Williamson, III – President & COO, Triumvira Immunologicals

    Robert F. Williamson III

    Robert F. Williamson III, MBA
    President & CBO
    Triumvira Immunologicals

    Robert F. Williamson, III has been active in building biotechnology and related technology companies for over two decades. He currently is President and CBO of Triumvira Immunologicals, a cell therapy company, a board member and Director of Perspective Therapeutics (formerly Isoray NYSE: ISR), a radiopharmaceutical company, and senior adviser to SyntheX, a protein interaction and degrader company. Previously, he was the CBO/CFO of OncoMyx, an oncolytic virus company and CEO of BioTheryX, a protein degradation therapeutics company, raising a $100M crossover round and preparing the company for an IPO. Prior to BioTheryX, Mr. Williamson served as CEO of both PharmAkea and ATXCo, oncology and fibrosis companies financed through a partnership with Celgene, until PharmAkea’s acquisition by Galecto and ATXCo’s acquisition by Blade Therapeutics. Prior, Mr. Williamson was CEO of Arriva Pharmaceuticals, President and COO of Eos Biotechnology, which he sold to Protein Design Labs, and COO of DoubleTwist, Inc. through its acquisition by Merck and Hitachi. Mr. Williamson also serves on the Coulter Oversight Board for University of Miami, FL, is a qualified financial expert and has chaired both Compensation and Audit Committees. Notably, Mr. Williamson served as an early Director of Pharmasset, Inc., where he helped finance, grow, and advance the company into the public markets and through its acquisition by Gilead in 2011 for $11 billion. Earlier, Mr. Williamson was a partner with The Boston Consulting Group and a research assistant for the Federal Reserve Board. He received a BA in economics from Pomona College and an MBA from Stanford.

  • Peter Young, Senior Venture Partner, Pappas Capital

    Peter Young

    Peter Young, MBA
    Senior Venture Partner
    Pappas Ventures

    Peter is an experienced life-science industry executive with over forty years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, spanning all areas of the business from sales representative to country-level general manager and CEO and companies ranging from multinationals like Abbott and Glaxo to start-up biotechs in the vaccine/biologics and specialty pharmaceutical sectors.  At Glaxo Wellcome in the mid-1990s he led the global introduction of combination HIV therapy while keying industry leadership on global treatment access.

    Currently Peter serves as a Senior Venture Partner with Pappas Capital, where he leads the firm’s initiatives in translational medicine and is the Program Manager for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Technology Development Program. He also serves as an Executive in Residence at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories and the Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University, and as a Mentor in Residence in Rutgers’ Health Advance program, as well as on the board of directors of several start-up life science companies.  He is a member of the Oversight Committee for the University of Miami Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research, the Long Island Bioscience Hub External Review Board and the Long Island BioMentor Initiative, the Scientific Advisory Board of New York’s Empire Discovery Institute, a member of Washington University’s Therapeutics Domain Expert Program, a past member of the BIO board and chairman of the North Carolina Biosciences Organization, and a director of Memory Pharmaceuticals from 2004 until its sale to Roche in 2009.

    Peter has lived and worked in the US, Greece and the Middle East, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, and London, and currently lives with his family in New York.  He has a BA and an MBA from Indiana University.


  • Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Observer: Susan Racher

    Susan Racher

    Susan Racher
    Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
    Wallace H. Coulter Foundation 

    Susan is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, which she joined in 1998. Susan is in charge of the endowment’s investment portfolio, including a portfolio of health care venture capital investments. She also oversees the tax; accounting; and compliance and is part of the grant team.

    Prior to joining the Foundation in 1998, Susan was a Senior Managing Director of Bank of America’s Florida Group, in charge of the bank’s $4 billion in capital committed to Florida corporations. Susan was named as “Small Foundation Investment Manager for 2013” by Institutional Investor Magazine. She has a B.A. from Smith College in English and Economics, and an M.B.A from the University of Chicago in Finance and Accounting.

Ex-Officio UM Coulter Center

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  • Michelle Gomez

     MIchelle Gomez

    Michelle Gomez
    Manager, Business Operations
    U Innovation
    Email: m.gomez@med.miami.edu

    Michelle Gomez is an Operations Manager with over 10 years of working at UM at both campuses in various capacities. She is familiar with the University’s policies and procedures and a go-to person for office related issues. Michelle has a positive attitude and energy and encourages others to work together towards success. Michelle is inspired daily by her husband and son. In her free time, she enjoys reading, travel and spending her time volunteering.

  • Gillian Johnson

    Gillian Johnson

    Gillian Johnson
    Executive Assistant
    U Innovation
    Email:  gmj25@med.miami.edu

    Gillian Johnson is the increasingly rare Miami Native. After receiving her degree in communications for Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles she returned to Miami and worked in the non-profit sector with The United Way and Alonzo Mourning Charities. Married life brought her to the Northeast, where she was introduced to academia, assisting the Vice Chancellor of NYU’s satellite campus in Abu Dhabi. She joined U Innovation in 2015 as Dr.Kenyon’s executive assistant.

  • William Silverman

    William Silverman

    William Silverman, PhD, MBA
    Executive Director, Coulter Program and New Ventures
    Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research
    Email:  w.silverman@miami.edu

    Dr. William Silverman is an ion channels biophysicist by training, with over a decade of experience supporting startup companies. His dissertation focused on the molecular mechanisms of activation in voltage-gated potassium channels involved in cardiac repolarization. As a post-doc, he studied cyclic nucleotide-gated channels in synthetic liposomes and planer lipid bilayers and subsequently, the role of the Pannexin 1 channel in activating the inflammasome complex in neurons and astrocytes after traumatic brain injury.

    After earning his MBA, he began a second career supporting entrepreneurs and advising startup companies at The Launch Pad at the University of Miami. While there, he advised on the launch of nearly 300 companies, and trained staff at 17 universities across the United States to open their own entrepreneurship centers, known as the Blackstone Launch Pad. In 2018, Will joined U Innovation at the UM Miller School of Medicine as the Executive Director, Coulter Program and New Ventures, where he works with promising biomedical technologies and medical innovators and advising medical school faculty on translational research projects. In addition, Will is the co-founder of Accredify, Inc., an angel capital-supported fintech company serving online capital markets.

    Past volunteer work includes serving on the Educational Advisory Board of Refresh Miami, the Southeast Chapter Leadership Committee of BioFlorida, and the Advisory Board of the Entrepreneurship Program at the Miami Herbert Business School.  He holds a B.S. from UC San Diego, a Ph.D. from UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, and an M.B.A. from Miami Herbert Business School.

  • Robert F. Williamson

    Robert Williamson, Jr.

    Robert F. Williamson, Jr., MBA
    U Innovation
    Email:  r.williamson2@med.miami.edu

    Bob Williamson is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Miami and a founder and Treasurer of New World Angels. During his career he has founded, managed, and / or funded over 30 startups. He has extensive experience in public and private technology companies and is qualified under NYSE and NASDAQ rules to be chair of the audit committee. He was the founder of Data Net Corporation that pioneered the use of personal computers to automate data collection in factories and warehouses. He was a Director and then VP Finance, CFO, Secretary and Treasurer of Equinox Systems, Inc. and managed it successful acquisition by Avocent Corporation.

    He has additionally served on numerous corporate, civic, government and education boards. Bob is a published mystery writer. His first novel, The Seriously Pink V, was published in 2001. He is an Active member of the Mystery Writers of America and is Treasurer and a Member of its Board of Directors.

    He earned his B.S. degree in Engineering, with Distinction in 1966 and an MBA in 1968 from Stanford University.

Ex-Officio UM Technology Transfer

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  • Bryan Caffrey

    Bryan Caffrey
    Licensing Associate
    Email: bkc67@med.miami.edu

     Brian Caffrey

    Bryan K. Caffrey is a Licensing Associate at the University of Miami’s Office of Technology Transfer. Prior to arriving at the University of Miami, Bryan worked as a legal compliance officer for a platform-based internet game development company. He has entered the legal field from a professional laboratory background, having previously worked in genetic diagnostic analysis along with hands-on DNA extraction and sequencing.

    Bryan is excited to unite his interests in medical science and intellectual property law as a member of the team at the University of Miami. Helping researchers to advance and protect their innovations capitalizes on Bryan’s technological experience and expertise in contracts, negotiations, and patent law.

    Bryan holds a J.D. from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, PA, and B.S. in Micro/Molec/Cell Biology with a minor in Biochemistry from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. He is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

  • Tiffany-Ashley Disney

    Tiffany-Ashley Disney

    Tiffany Disney
    Licensing Associate
    Email: tad26@med.miami.edu

    Tiffany-Ashley Disney is a. Licensing Associate at the University of Miami’s Office of Technology Transfer. Prior to arriving at the University of Miami, Tiffany-Ashley represented and defended businesses of all sizes throughout all phases of litigation in a wide range of disputes involving intellectual property infringement, breach of contracts, partnership disagreements, and various other business claims. Her background also includes drafting and negotiating contracts as well as resolving pre-suit conflicts through alternative dispute resolutions.

    Tiffany-Ashley holds a J.D. from the University of Miami and a master’s in business administration from the University of Florida as well as B.S. in business from Florida International University. She is a member of the New York Bar and Florida Bar. Her background in business and litigation brings a unique prospective to the table for serving all your Technology Transfer needs.

  • Amanda Gladu

     Amanda Gladu

     Amanda Gladu
    Contract Specialist
    Email: agladu@miami.edu

    Amanda Gladu is a contract specialist at the University of Miami’s Office of Technology Transfer. She received her B.A. in Business from St. Petersburg College with a focus on management and leadership. Amanda previously worked in customer service and management developing skills in communication, problem solving, and team development. She is excited to learn and grow in this role with Tech Transfer.

  • Peter Gutenberg

    Peter Gutenberg

    Peter Gutenberg, JD
    Manager, Intellectual Property Licensing
    Email:  pxg372@miami.edu

    Peter Gutenberg is a Manager, Intellectual Property Licensing at the University of Miami’s Office of Technology Transfer. Prior to arriving at the University of Miami in 2018, Peter ran a solo law practice assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses in protecting their intellectual property and food and drug regulation. His expertise includes the drafting and prosecution of U.S. patents and trademarks; preparation and review of transactional agreement agreements; managing foreign IP counsel; preparation of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) premarket notification applications; review of vitamin, cosmetic and nutraceutical labeling for compliance with FDA regulation; and supporting patent litigation. He has been invited to speak to various bar associations on the basics of patenting, the FDA regulation of medical devices, and intellectual property and food and drug regulation issues in legal and medical marijuana.

    In addition to his legal background, Peter spent over nine years in the biopharmaceutical and medical device industry, working in a variety of fields, including: research & development, quality, regulatory affairs and manufacturing.

    Peter holds a J.D. from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA, an M.S. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Florida and B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Microbiology from Michigan State University. He is a member of the California Bar and registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

  • Ernesto Pino Mesa

    Ernesto Pino Mesa

    Ernesto Pino Mesa
    Financial Analyst
    Email: eim33@miami.edu

    Ernesto is a Financial Analyst at the University of Miami’s Office of Technology Transfer. Before joining the OTT department, Ernesto was a Students Accounts Advisor at UM responsible for providing high-level assistance regarding detailed financial analysis of all student accounts' processes to students, parents, and all University partners. Additionally, he was responsible for processes that support departmental operations focused on tuition discounts.

    Prior to joining UM, Ernesto worked as a Line Services Representative at Fontainebleau Aviation where he handled customer accounts and resolved client services issues. Ernesto was also a professional baseball player for the Spain National Team and earned a Master of Science from Saint Thomas University.


  • Mayla Quesada

    Mayla Quesada
    Sr. Manager, Finance
    Email: m.quesada1@umiami.edu

  • David Richart

     David Richart Headshot 

    David Richart
    Manager, IP Licensing


    David is a Manager of IP Licensing at the University of Miami’s Office of Technology Transfer.  Prior to the University of Miami, David worked at the technology transfer office of the University of Kansas protecting and commercializing innovations and research assets.  He managed university technologies emerging from various university departments and especially in the areas of chemical and materials engineering, aerospace engineering, and biomedical devices.  Preceding the University of Kansas, David worked at IBM in upstate New York drafting and prosecuting U.S. patents for software innovations, which emanated from IBM researchers based domestically and internationally.