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Our Team

  • The Belfer Office for Dana-Farber Innovations is staffed by a skilled and experienced team of business development / licensing professionals and interns drawn from Dana-Farber’s post-doctoral community. Please contact any one of us to begin a conversation.

    Gary M. Sclar, JD
    Vice President, Dana-Farber Innovations or 617-632-5807

    Gary Sclar

    Before joining BODFI, Gary held the position of Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Counsel for MedMetrics Health Partners and Public Sector Partners. Gary has over 12 years of technology licensing experience, having worked in the technology licensing offices of Northeastern University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

    Prior to BODFI, Gary directed laboratories at Washington University School of Medicine and The Jackson Laboratory, specializing in nuclear transplantation and the generation of transgenic and embryonic stem cell knock-out animals. Gary has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, a Masters degree from Webster University School of Business, and a JD degree from Massachusetts School of Law. He is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar and Federal District Court.

  • Elena Vaillancourt, MAppSci
    Manager, Sponsored Programs and Licensing or 617-632-4018

    Elena Vaillancourt

    Elena joined BODFI as a Licensing Associate in 2005. She is an entrepreneurial and strategic academic technology transfer and licensing professional with over 18 years of deal-making experience. She works with many Dana-Farber departments and strategic centers, including investigators from Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and the Cell Manipulation Core Facility (CMCF).

    Elena has a strong interest in public health; she spent the earlier part of her career managing the Health Promotion Center at Curtin University in Western Australia, and then lecturing in the Public Health undergraduate course at Deakin University in Melbourne. Upon moving to Boston in 1995, she became involved with managing epidemiological studies at the Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) and the Harvard School of Public Health. She began her career in technology transfer in 1997 in the Office of Technology Licensing at Massachusetts General Hospital, and also worked for U-Mass Medical School's Technology Licensing Office. She has a BS in Biology and Psychology from Curtin University and a MAppSci in Public Health from Deakin University. Elena has been the founder of several entrepreneurial ventures and in 2011 founded White Lion Baking Company, a paleo, grain-free bakery serving the US market, which she started, grew, and then successfully sold in May 2012.

    She currently coordinates BODFI's Internship Program, manages and mentors a team of Licensing Associates, and serves as Alliance Manager for Dana-Farber's Novartis Drug Development Program.

    Peter Hodges, PhD
    Senior Licensing Associate or 617-632-4818

    Peter Hodgets

    Peter joined Dana-Farber’s BODFI in 2012 and manages IP from multiple departments.

    After teaching at several Boston-area colleges, Peter joined Proteome, Inc., a start-up bioinformatics company. Following the acquisition of Proteome by Incyte Corporation, Peter moved to business development, and was involved in outlicensing Incyte’s vast patent portfolio. Peter transitioned to technology transfer at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2004 and handled a wide range of technologies, including research tools, bioinformatics and software, genetics, genomics and proteomics, cardiology, oncology, and stem cell technologies.

    Peter received his PhD in Human Genetics from Yale University School of Medicine and did post-doctoral work in RNA biology in the UK at the Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, and at the University of Edinburgh.

    Janet Ralbovsky, PhD
    Manager, Chemistry Innovations or 617-632-6058

    Janet Ralbovsky

    Janet is currently a Senior Licensing Associate in BODFI and manages chemistry-related Dana-Farber technologies. Previously, she was a Licensing Associate at the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF), where she was responsible for the commercialization of a broad portfolio of intellectual property developed at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Prior to joining UTRF, Janet worked in drug discovery as a medicinal chemist and project leader at Johnson & Johnson and Cara Therapeutics, Inc. Janet holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University, a MS from the University of Rochester, and a BA from Smith College. She is a registered patent agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

    Anita Ballesteros, PhD
    Senior Licensing Associate or 617-582-7715

    Anita Ballesteros

    Anita joined BODFI as a Licensing Associate in 2015. She comes to Dana-Farber from the Office of Technology Management at UMass Medical School, with primary responsibility for the RNA Therapeutics Institute and the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Molecular, Cell, and Cancer Biology. While at UMass, she was part of the team involved in the launch of two start-ups, Reflectance Medical and Voyager Therapeutics, and volunteered as staff advisor to the UMMS Entrepreneurship Club. Prior to beginning her tech transfer career in late 2006, Anita was Senior Scientific Editor at Cancer Cell at Cell Press, joining Cancer Cell during its launch year in 2002. She has personal interests in mentoring young scientists in alternative careers, and scientific/healthcare policy and health disparities, among others.

    Anita was a postdoctoral fellow at UMass Medical School in Immunology/Virology. She holds a PhD in Molecular Oncology from the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at NYU Medical School and a BS in Chemistry from SUNY Purchase College. Prior to her graduate training, Anita worked in both academic and industry research.

    Jodi Hecht, PhD
    Senior Licensing Associate or 617-632-5516

    Jodi Hecht

    Jodi joined BODFI in 2017. She negotiates transactions between industry and DFCI to support research activities, and she manages the intellectual property portfolio for multiple principal investigators at Dana-Farber. She is also an alliance manager for several DFCI-industry alliances.

    Prior to joining BODFI, Jodi worked as a licensing associate in the Technology Ventures Office at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

    Jodi received a PhD in Molecular Biology from Boston University, and an MSc in Biology and Vision Science and a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo.

    Jing Zhang, PhD
    Licensing Associate or 617-582-8553

    Jing Zhang

    Jing joined BODFI as a Technology Transfer Specialist in 2014. She is responsible for negotiating agreements, as well as monitoring financial post-agreement compliance.

    Prior to joining BODFI, Jing worked in the Fellows Program at Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development to conduct early commercialization assessment of inventions. Jing received her BS in Biological Science from the University of Science and Technology of China, and earned her PhD in Chemical Biology from Harvard University. She conducted her graduate and postdoctoral research on oncogenic kinase signaling at Dana-Farber.

    Robert Distel, PhD
    Special Advisor for Technology Development or 617-632-5258

    Robert Distel, PhD

    Robert Distel joined BODFI in 2015 as a Special Advisor for Technology Development. Robert acts as a point person in the ongoing program to bring novel and innovative early stage-technologies and products, as well as collaborative opportunities, to Dana-Farber’s scientists and physicians. He also works with investigators interested in developing research tools. Prior to joining BODFI, Robert was a member of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research at Dana-Farber and director of its Translational Research Laboratory. He was also the the associate director of the Laboratory for Innovative Translational Technology at Harvard Catalyst. Robert earned his PhD in biology from Tufts University and completed post-doctoral training with Bruce Spiegelman and Dana-Farber. He maintains close ties to the research community as an active visiting member of the Novina Laboratory in the Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology.

    Yinka Green, PhD
    Technology Transfer Specialist or 617-632-2118

    Yinka Green

    Yinka Green joined BODFI in 2016. Her current role and responsibilities include assisting in: agreement negotiation, licensing and management of inventions and technologies originating from Dana-Farber laboratories. Prior to entering the technology transfer field, Yinka worked as a chemistry consultant in IP protection in the legal team at Concert Pharmaceuticals, and as a synthesis and medicinal chemistry consultant at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Before consulting, she worked as a medicinal chemist at two start-ups: Ariad Pharmaceuticals and Astra Research Center Boston, and, following the Astra and Zeneca merger, at AstraZeneca R&D Boston.

    Yinka earned a Bsc in Chemistry from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and an MSc and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Manchester, UK. She completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

    Jesse Medina, JD
    Technology Transfer Specialist or 617-632-4010

    Jesse Medina

    Jesse joined BODFI in 2018 as a Technology Transfer Specialist. He is primarily responsible for reviewing, drafting, and negotiating all academic Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), and assists with other agreements within the office.

    Prior to joining BODFI, Jesse worked as a consultant at Foundation Medicine, where he assisted the legal team with various agreements, compliance initiatives, and intellectual property prosecution and litigation. Before consulting, he worked at Duane Morris in Boston, developing experience in intellectual property litigation and prosecution. Jesse earned a JD from Northeastern University School of Law, and a BS in Biology from The City University of New York at Brooklyn College.

    Zachary Rothman, JD
    Research Contracts Associate or 617-582-7223

    Zachary Rothman

    Zack joined BODFI as a Research Contracts Associate in 2018. He is responsible for drafting, reviewing, and negotiating a variety of research agreements with corporate sponsors and collaborating institutions.

    Prior to joining BODFI, Zack worked in the Clinical Trials Business Office at Boston Children's Hospital preparing written agreements with both for-profit and non-profit organizations for the purposes of conducting and furthering clinical research. Zack earned a JD with a concentration in Health Law from the Boston University School of Law and a BS from Florida State University.

    Yavuz Alparslan, MBA
    Database Manager or 617-632-2323

    Yavuz Alparslan

    Yavuz joined BODFI in 2015 as a Database Manager. He is responsible for day-to-day data management, supporting the BODFI Team and planning future development of BODFI’s intellectual property database in InfoEd Global’s Technology Transfer module. Yavuz works closely with Dana-Farber’s Information Services for technical support, maintenance, and database upgrades. He has extensive experience in information technology and database management systems.

    Yavuz has a BA from De Montfort University in the UK, and an MBA from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. He is currently working on his MS in Database Management, Design and Business Intelligence at Boston University.

    Brendan Mahoney
    Compliance Specialist or 617-632-6658

    Brendan Mahoney

    Brendan Mahoney joined BODFI in 2014. Brendan handles intellectual property compliance reporting to federal and foundation sponsors for Dana-Farber’s inventions and patents. Brendan received a BA in Psychology and Political Science from George Washington University in 2013.

    Kathleen Copson
    Senior Financial Systems and Revenue Analyst or 617-582-7996

    Kathleen Copson

    Kathy joined BODFI in 2015 as the Financial Systems Specialist. She has extensive experience as a revenue manager in the facilities services, software and media licensing industries, with a focus on financial business process improvement and enhanced systems utilization. Her roles have included being a core member of an Enterprise Resource Planning system upgrade team and subsequently, a trainer for ERP Financials. Kathy has a BA from Boston University.

    Liza Summa
    Administrative Specialist or 617-632-2594

    Liza joined BODFI in 2008. Her duties include assisting the BODFI Business Manager with the tracking of legal expenses and the maintenance of monthly royalty sales reports. Liza also provides office management and administrative assistance to the Chief Business Development Officer.

    Before joining Dana-Farber, Liza worked as a Personal Care Attendant and also has considerable work experience in the accounting field.

    Stephanie Brown
    Administrative Support Specialist or 617-582-7645

    Stephanie Brown

    Stephanie joined BODFI in 2014 as an Administrative Support Specialist. She assists with tracking invoices and royalty distributions in our intellectual property database. Stephanie has previous experience working as a financial counselor at Geiger Gibson Community Health Center and as an administrative assistant at Athena Health.