Mary Tolikas, PhD, MSc, MBA
Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer
Mary Tolikas, PhD, MSc, MBA, joined Dana-Farber in 2022. Dr. Tolikas has more than two decades of experience in establishing and growing technology-based organizations in both industry and academia. Prior to joining Dana-Farber, she was CEO of the Wyss
Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva, Switzerland, where she led the Center's business operations, and managed the development and translation of projects that span neurotechnology, neuroradiology, and neurobiology modalities.
Dr. Tolikas also played a central role in the launch and growth of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, where she spent nearly 10 years on the leadership team as Operations Director. At Harvard, she also served
as Executive Director for Special Projects in the Office of the Provost, and was co-instructor in the Master in Design Engineering Program.
Dr. Tolikas holds a BEng degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, MSc and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an MBA from
the Sloan School of Management at MIT.
Emy Chen, PhD
Emy Chen, PhD, is Senior Director of Licensing at the Robert and Renée Belfer Office for Dana-Farber Innovations (BODFI). In this role, she has oversight over the Innovations Licensing team as a whole. A primary focus for her will be to further refine
and optimize the team's ability to provide excellent partnership and collaboration both with clinicians and research scientists at Dana-Farber and with external stakeholders in industry. Prior to joining BODFI, Emy was most recently a Director of
Licensing at Partners HealthCare Innovation, where she spent 13 years supporting investigators and building relationships with biotech and pharma companies, primarily for innovators in the disciplines of Medicine, Neuroscience and Dermatology. Emy
holds a PhD from Harvard University in Molecular and Cellular Biology, a BA from University of California, Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology, and is a registered patent agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Christiana Iyasere, MD, MBA
Senior Director, Dana-Farber Accelerator
Named Senior Director of the Accelerator in the summer of 2022, Christiana Iyasere, MD, MBA, brings over 15 years of experience developing early-stage technologies from academic medical institutions.
Christiana is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed her residency at Mass General in Internal Medicine in 2005. Following her tenure as a medical resident at Mass General, Christiana undertook an administrative fellowship under the guidance of Dr. Peter Slavin, with an emphasis on technology evaluation, adoption, and promotion. She subsequently went to Harvard Business School for continued management training and completed her degree in 2008.
Christiana previously dedicated her time to administrative and clinical duties and worked as both an Inpatient Clinician Educator and as the Associate Director of the Innovation Support Center at Mass General.
Irena Ivanovska, PhD
Senior Collaboration Director
Irena joined Innovation as the Scientific Collaboration Director in May 2022. She works closely with investigators at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to identify and lead projects for Riverway Discoveries, a Translator opportunity to advance academic discoveries into the clinic.
Prior to coming to Innovation, Irena was a Senior Scientific Director at the Mark Foundation, where she led grant programs that funded basic and translational cancer research. She has extensive experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. At Celdara Medical, she worked with academics to secure funding and lead preclinical drug discovery programs toward the clinic, and at Merch and Co., she led preclinical drug discovery programs in oncology and inflammation. Irena holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute.
Paul Carey, MBA
Senior Alliance Manager
Paul Carey, MBA, joined BODFI as a Senior Alliance Manager. He manages research partnerships between Dana-Farber and corporations, academic institutions, and venture capital funds with the goal of developing research relationships into long-term, sustainable alliances. Among Paul's many alliance management responsibilities, he serves as the primary Alliance Manager for the Broad-Dana-Farber alliance and for Riverway Discoveries, a collaboration between Dana-Farber and Deerfield. Before joining the Innovation Office, Paul led technology transfer and economic development efforts at Cornell University, Tufts Medical Center, and Emory University. He also held roles in alliance management, drug development, and contract management at Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Shire. Paul holds an MBA from Cornell University, a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia, a BS in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College, and is certified in alliance management as a member of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals.
Nancy Rooney joined Dana-Farber in 2022 and supports the Chief Innovations Officer, Mary Tolikas, with her daily operations. Prior to joining the Innovations office, Nancy spent 4 years as the General Manager of a Keller Williams real estate office. In this role, she supported the leadership team and oversaw daily operations, facilities, and compliance. Nancy’s previously held roles in the financial management industry in an analytic capacity.
Nancy obtained her Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and economics from Fordham University and her Master of Business Administration from Boston College. Nancy lives in Boston with her husband and enjoys spending time with her three daughters.
Licensing Team 1
Micah Belew, PhD
Senior Licensing Associate
Micah Belew, PhD, assists BODFI's Team 3 by analyzing invention disclosures for IP strategy and IP portfolio for the marketing of commercially valuable assets. Additionally, Micah reviews collaborative research agreements and manages multiple licensing
agreements. Micah received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, studying the genetics of axon regeneration, aging, and metabolism; he received his MS from the University of California, Davis, studying the molecular muscle physiology
of exercise adaptation.
Jodi Hecht, PhD
Senior Licensing Manager
Jodi Hecht, PhD, joined BODFI in 2017. She negotiates transactions between industry and Dana-Farber 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 alliances between Dana-Farber and industry.
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.
Lisa Lin, PhD
Senior Licensing Manager
Lisa Lin, PhD, is currently a licensing manager and market strategist for Team 1. She joined BODFI in February 2020. She is responsible for negotiating agreements for, and managing inventions from, researchers in the departments supported by Team 1. Before
joining BODFI, Lisa worked as the licensing manager for the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona for four years. Her technology transfer career started as an intern at Emory University technology transfer office. Lisa gained her PhD in
immunology from Duke University in North Carolina.
Tracey Wolfsdorf, PhD, MS
Tracey Wolfsdorf, PhD, MS, joined BODFI in March 2021. She helps the team develop relationships with Dana-Farber researchers, harvest intellectual property, evaluate commercial opportunities, and negotiate agreements in support of academic-industry collaboration
and the deployment of Dana-Farber innovations for patient care.
Before joining the Innovation Office, Tracey prosecuted patents and performed patentability and freedom to operate studies with IP counsel as a technology specialist at Wolf Greenfield and Morse, and, more recently, as a consultant in the start-up space.
Early in her career she led R&D initiatives as a scientist in "big industry" at Intel and Kopin, where she also negotiated joint development and capital equipment deals. She has founded a consultancy to help people in technology-centered environments
with communications, negotiations, and conflict transformation, largely via training, and has lectured on aspects of negotiations at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and MIT Sloan. Tracey holds PhD and MS degrees in Materials Science
and Engineering from Northwestern University, and BSE (Materials Science) and BA (Physics) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
Christopher Davies, JD
Christopher Davies, JD, currently supports the Belfer Office for Dana-Farber Innovations as a Licensing Associate and a member of Licensing Team 1. In this role, Christopher supports Dana-Farber faculty in all efforts related to intellectual property strategy, commercialization of intellectual property, and negotiation and management of agreements that facilitate non-clinical research.
Christopher joined Dana-Farber in 2020 bringing nearly a decade of experience in grant management and legal support. Prior to joining Dana-Farber, he held positions with Harvard Medical School, Nixon Peabody LLP, and more.
Christopher received his Juris Doctor from New England School of Law with a specific concentration in Intellection Property Law in 2015 after completing his undergrad in Biology at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Chris is a registered patent agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and is registered to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Licensing Team 2
Janet Ralbovsky, PhD
Janet Ralbovsky, PhD, is currently the Innovation and Licensing Lead, Team 2 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 (USPTO).
Jill Edgar, PhD
Senior Licensing Manager
Jill Edgar, PhD, joined BODFI in 2020, and is a member of Licensing Team 2, which is responsible for managing and commercializing inventions arising from chemistry-related Dana-Farber technologies. She has over 10 years of substantial scientific, tech
transfer and patent experience. Prior to BODFI, Jill served as a Senior Licensing Associate at Boston College, and prior to that as a Licensing Associate at Tufts University. She also worked as a Patent Agent in the biotechnology area of the law offices
at Nixon Peabody LLP and most recently, Morse. Jill received her undergraduate degree in Biology and PhD in Biomedical Science from Brown University, then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Matrix Biology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm,
Aida Herrera, PhD
Innovation & Licensing Lead
Aida Herrera, PhD, joined BODFI in 2019 and is a member of Team 2, which is responsible for managing and commercializing inventions arising from chemistry-related Dana-Farber technologies. Prior to joining BODFI, Aida worked for both Boston Children’s
Hospital and The Schepens Eye Research Institute/Massachusetts Eye and Ear, where she spent nine years supporting investigators across various departments, including Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Cardiac Surgery, Gastroenterology, and Endocrinology,
and was responsible for the commercialization of a broad range of technologies. Earlier in her career, Aida worked as a technology specialist focused on patent prosecution in the biotechnological, chemical, and mechanical arts. She holds a BS in chemistry
from the University of Chicago, a PhD in chemistry from Tufts University, and completed postdoctoral research work in both the Biological Engineering Division at MIT and the Chemistry Department at Northeastern University.
Senior Licensing Associate
Vlad Leopard joined Innovation in 2020, and is a member of Licensing Team 2, which is one of the teams responsible for managing and commercializing inventions arising from Dana-Farber technologies. Prior to joining BODFI, Vlad worked for MIT's Technology
Licensing Office as a Technology Licensing Associate. Vlad has an interest in commercializing and working with AI/machine learning, open source, software, and computer vision. He holds a BS in Geology from the University of Massachusetts/Boston, and
is currently working on his JD at New England Law in Boston, with a concentration in Intellectual Property.
Zachary Rothman, JD
Technology Transactions Manager
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.
Renatus Sinkeldam, PhD
Renatus Sinkeldam, PhD, conducted his undergraduate research (BSc and MSc) in inorganic and organic chemistry labs at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where he worked on small molecule synthesis and their characterization. He obtained his
PhD from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, completing his doctoral thesis in the areas of macro- and supra-molecular chemistry. As a postdoctoral fellow and later a project scientist at the University of California, San Diego, Renatus
designed and synthesized non-perturbing fluorescent nucleosides for the study of nucleic acid structure, stability, lesions, and interactions with small molecules. After his move to St. Louis, he joined the Biotechnology and Life Science Advising
Group (BALSA) for exposure to the possibilities of a career away from the bench. While at BALSA, he obtained consultancy experience working on short projects in small diverse teams. This led to a marketing internship, and later, a tech transfer trainee
position at the Office for Technology Management at Washington University in St. Louis. The latter was quickly followed by a position as Licensing Associate, where he managed a diverse technology portfolio. In 2018, Renatus joined BODFI as a Licensing
Associate. He enjoys the exposure to new and exciting Dana-Farber technologies and assisting Dana-Farber investigators with all facets of technology commercialization.
This role will support IP matters, agreement transactions and relationship management for DFCI researchers focused on commercialization of IP and academic-industry collaboration in their assigned research departments/divisions.
Charlie Miller, PhD
Associate Director, Research Contracts
Charlie Miller, PhD, joined Innovation as the Assistant Director of Research Contracts in May 2022. He oversees and advises the Research Contracts team in their work reviewing, drafting, and negotiating academic and corporate research agreements such
as MTAs, DUAs, and CDAs. Beyond this aspect of his role, his primary goal is to support the research community by optimizing agreement templates and streamlining transaction negotiations in order to enable improved collaboration with academic and
corporate partners. Prior to coming to Innovation, Charlie oversaw and negotiated research contracts and tangible property licenses in MIT's Technology Licensing Office. He holds a PhD from UNC Chapel Hill in Genetics and Molecular Biology and a BS
in Biological Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University.
Senior Research Contracts Associate
Dianne Volpe joined Innovation as a Senior Research Contracts Associate in October 2021. She is responsible for drafting, reviewing, and negotiating a variety of agreements with industry sponsors, universities, and other collaborating institutions. Prior
to joining Innovation, Dianne served as a Licensing Associate at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School for 23 years. In that capacity, she was solely responsible for managing and negotiating MTAs, DUAs, collaboration agreements, and
inter-institutional agreements. Dianne graduated from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst with a BA in English.
Research Contracts Associate
Quintin Schwab joined BODFI in June 2020. He is responsible for the drafting, reviewing, and negotiation of a variety of academic and corporate research agreements among industry sponsors, universities, and other collaborating
Prior to joining BODFI, Quintin served for over five years as the Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) Coordinator at the Center for Technology Licensing at Cornell University, where he was responsible for processing and negotiating several hundred outbound
MTAs annually for Cornell campuses across the world. He also worked on Inter-Institutional Agreements (IIAs), bailment licenses, and a variety of compliance and due diligence projects.
Quintin graduated with a BA in psychology from Cornell, where he studied Mandarin Chinese and worked as an assistant editor of the Cornell Daily Sun newspaper.
Hussain Tariq, JD
Research Contracts Associate
Hussain Tariq, JD, joined BODFI in November 2020. He is responsible for the drafting, reviewing, and negotiation of a variety of academic and corporate research agreements among industry sponsors, universities, and other
collaborating institutions. Prior to joining BODFI, Hussain held various legal internships, including in Dana-Farber’s Office of General Counsel and in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Healthcare Division. Hussain obtained his BA in Political
Science from Xavier University and his JD from Northeastern University School of Law, where he had a concentration in Health Law.
Nicole Brubaker Dawson, JD
Research Contracts Specialist
Nicole Brubaker Dawson, JD, joined BODFI as a Research Contracts Specialist in August 2021. She is responsible for the drafting, reviewing, and negotiation of a variety of academic and corporate research agreements among industry sponsors, universities,
and other collaborating institutions.
Prior to joining BODFI, Nicole held various legal internships, including residencies at Biofrontera, Inc. and Hage Hodes, PA. Nicole obtained her BA in Biology, Society, and Environment from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and her JD from the
University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, where she was a competitor and board member for UNH Law Moot Court.
Finance and Operations
Senior Finance and Operations Manager
Kathy Copson joined BODFI in 2015. 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.
Senior Technology Transfer Accountant
Christopher Almada joined Dana-Farber in 2019 as a Senior Technology Transfer Accountant. He is responsible for the processing of transactions relating to licensing, patents, and royalty distributions. Prior to joining Dana-Farber, Chris worked at UMass
Medical School and BNY Mellon Asset Servicing, where he handled financial statement preparation relating to assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses, along with applicable footnotes and other disclosures. In addition, he prepared reconciliations
while noting any exceptions and providing necessary support; assisted with the month-end close process; and executed tax reporting per 501(c)(3) requirements. Chris has participated in multiple system conversions in which he spearheaded the automation
of monthly, semi-annual, and annual reporting, building the process from the ground up, including testing, feedback, and implementation.
Technology Transfer Accountant
Cydney Hill joined BODFI in August 2020. Her primary responsibilities include general accounting functions involving preparation, reconciliation, and maintenance of financial information in the BODFI database. Prior to joining Dana-Farber, Cydney worked
at The Envoy Hotel as an accounting clerk. Cydney received her BA from the University of Connecticut.
Peter Hodges, PhD
Senior Agreement Associate
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 out-licensing 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; he did post-doctoral work in RNA biology at the Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, UK, and at the University of Edinburgh.
Ashley Lezama, joined the team in 2020 as the Program Administrator for the Dana-Farber Innovations office. She is responsible for providing administrative support and calendar management to the Administrative, Licensing and Business Development Directors.
In her role, Ashley also provides a variety of general office supports for the Innovations team.
Prior to joining BODFI, Ashley worked at Boston Children's Hospital as an Administrative Assistant to the Director of Nursing Diversity Initiatives, and more recently as an Assistant Property Manager providing parallel administrative support. Ashley received
her BA from Northeastern University.
This role ensures institutional compliance with Bayh-Dole regulations by Dana-Farber for all federally funded intellectual property and reporting obligations regarding intellectual property to other not-for-profit research sponsors. These responsibilities are achieved in part through a team of junior compliance staff who report to the Compliance Manager.
Todd Jennings joined the Innovation Office in June 2022. Todd processes new Intellectual Property Disclosure Forms in Dana-Farber's Minuet database and the federal government's iEdison database, while ensuring that Dana-Farber maintains compliance with
the Bayh-Dole Act via iEdison throughout the patenting process. Prior to joining Innovation, Todd worked at the UMass Donahue Institute where he managed AP (accounts payable) and AR (accounts receivable) grant account transfers, while updating the
company’s archive system. Todd received his BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Luna Latif, MS
Luna Latif joined BODFI as a Compliance Specialist in May 2021. Luna is responsible for intellectual property reporting to foundations and federal research sponsors. Prior to joining Dana-Farber, Luna worked at the Technology Licensing Office at MIT as
a Senior Federal Compliance Assistant, where she was responsible for managing the reporting requirements for all federally funded cases.
Luna received a BA in Psychology from Fairfield University and an MS in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Sacred Heart University.
Ali Mbaye, MS
Senior Technology Transfer Accountant
Ali Mbaye joined Dana-Farber in 2018 as a Senior Technology Transfer Accountant. He is responsible for the review and approval of all Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) budgets; maintenance of the financial records in the database; and submittal of the
awards to Dana-Farber Research Accounting. He works closely with the Institute's departmental grant managers and licensing staff to monitor SRA financial obligations.
Prior to joining BODFI, Ali worked at Youthbuild USA as a Financial Grants Manager, providing monthly financial reports and forecasting, reviewing and approving budgets, preparing and completing drawdowns, and closing both federal and private awards.
Ali earned a Master's degree in Economics from Suffolk University and a Master's degree in Industrial Organization from Cheith Anta Diop University in Senegal.
Senior Technology Transfer Accountant
This role provides day-to-day post-award management of all industry Sponsored Research funding awarded to DFCI researchers through contracts negotiated by BODFI. In doing so, this role safeguards all DFCI industry funds while maintaining sound fiscal controls and compliance according to the terms and conditions set by each industry sponsor.
Business Development and Innovation Strategy
Open PositionThis role establishes and develops their dynamic portfolio of Accelerator projects related to diagnostics and performs a wide range of activities, including market analysis, strategy development, identification, and pursuit of commercial opportunities for technologies being invented and developed at the DFCI.
Director, Business Development, Diagnostics
Director, Business Development, Therapeutics
This role establishes and develops their dynamic portfolio of Accelerator projects related to therapeutics and performs a wide range of activities, including market analysis, strategy development, identification, and pursuit of commercial opportunities for technologies being invented and developed at the DFCI.
Innovations Marketing and Communications Team
Kim De La Cruz
Innovation Marketing Manager
Kim De La Cruz has been with Dana-Farber since 2016 focusing on marketing and communication strategy within the Division of Philanthropy, including the implementation of a new integrated marketing platform in response to COVID-19. Kim recently joined
the Innovation office to oversee the overall communications and marketing activities that engage and inform our faculty, donors, and outside partners about the Accelerator and other innovation-related research programs.
Kim is dedicated to showcasing Dana-Farber's revolutionary breakthroughs in cancer research and care. Kim also serves as Co-Chair to Mosaic, Dana-Farber's Employee Resource Group committed to acknowledging, celebrating, and contributing to the cultural
and racial diversity of the Dana-Farber community. Kim graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA from Westfield State University.
Editorial Content Manager
Alice McCarthy, MBA, is the Editorial Content Manager at the Belfer Office for Dana-Farber Innovations (BODFI). She works closely with researchers at Dana-Farber and the Licensing and Alliance teams to communicate the impact of scientific translation efforts at DFCI to diverse audiences.
Prior to joining the BODFI office, Alice was a senior communications professional at Boston Children's Hospital and at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She holds an MBA from Babson College and a BS in biology from Boston College.