François Baneyx has served as the University of Washington Vice Provost for Innovation and Director of CoMotion since 2019. The Charles W.H. Matthaei Professor of Chemical Engineering and an adjunct professor of Bioengineering, Dr. Baneyx is an internationally recognized authority on protein production technologies and the biological fabrication of advanced materials with applications in medicine, sensing, opto-electronics, and catalysis. For his contributions to these fields, he was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2013), the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (2015), the American Academy of Microbiology (2015), and the Washington State Academy of Sciences (2016).
As Vice Provost for Innovation, Dr. Baneyx drives and coordinates innovation activities, builds connections with the economic development community, and engages with industry, government, nonprofits, and the regional and global innovation ecosystems to shape the university’s innovation strategies. He directs CoMotion, overseeing intellectual property protection and licensing, training of a diverse entrepreneurial workforce, and funding and mentorship programs that support the creation, incubation, and launch of startups.
Dr. Baneyx also directs the Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales, a multi-institution Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. He previously served in various leadership positions, including site director of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (2004-2012), director of the Center for Nanotechnology (2005-2013), and most recently, chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering (2014-2019). He is the co-founder of Proteios, a University of Washington spinoff dedicated to reducing the cost and complexity of protein and therapeutic cell purification.
Dr. Baneyx earned a doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He was a postdoctoral researcher at DuPont before joining the University of Washington faculty in 1992.
Anson Fatland is the Associate Vice Provost for Innovation Strategy and Venture at CoMotion. Prior to joining CoMotion he was the chief of staff for Jeff and Tricia Raikes. Anson joined the Raikes’ team in 2017 from Washington State University where he was the Associate Vice President for Economic Development and External Affairs. In that role he managed the university’s technology transfer programs, development functions including corporate and foundation relations, Small Business Development Centers, and external affairs. He has worked in philanthropy for Paul Allen, life-science venture capital in San Francisco, and in biotech. He earned his MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, his PhD in chemistry from Washington State University, and a BSc in chemistry from the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle with his wife, their two children, a dog and a cat, and enjoys ultra-running on our regional trails.
Fiona Wills is the director of the Innovation Development Group that encompasses the intellectual property, material transfer agreement, innovation management and licensing activities of CoMotion. Her group guides researchers through project development towards impact through licensing either to an existing company, to a UW founder led startup, or direct-to-user licensing from UW. Fiona’s scientific background is in protein biochemistry and cell biology. Prior to joining CoMotion, she worked for the business development department of Molecular Probes, engaged in both in-licensing and out-licensing activities for the research reagent and diagnostic markets. She has also worked in the health technology assessment field, providing healthcare funding agencies with evaluations of new and emerging medical technologies.
Kasie Becker is the Executive Assistant to the Associate Vice Provost for Innovation Strategy and Venture at CoMotion. Prior to joining CoMotion, she was the Executive Office Assistant at The H & R Block Foundation and the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri. She also worked in philanthropy for the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING and the Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research in Los Angeles, California, as well as in employee benefits administration and public relations. Kasie earned her B.A. in Communication from the University of Washington and lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and their two dogs.
Forest Bohrer joined CoMotion in May of 2014, focusing on innovations in chemistry, materials, and engineering. His portfolio includes technologies in the fields of sensors, functional coatings, clean energy, and organic electronics. He received his PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, studying organic semiconductors for chemical sensing and organic field effect transistor (OFET) development. As a senior scientist in advanced development for aerospace, defense, and marine markets at TE Connectivity, he developed nanocarbon conductors, chemical sensors for hydrazines and aerospace fuels, and selective metallization processes for electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding, sensing, and conformal antennas. He earned a BS in chemistry from the University of California, Davis.
Judy Bridges joined CoMotion in 2021, where she manages a diverse portfolio in the physical sciences. Judy brings 32 years of industry experience in large and small companies including startups. Prior to CoMotion, she was a Performance Improvement Manager for Saint-Gobain, a large construction materials manufacturer. Judy was also the Director of Product Development for HaloSource Inc., Engineering Manager for SGL Carbon Composites, Operations Manager for a ceramic filtration company, and an environmental/engineering consultant. Judy authored/co-authored eight patents as part of her journey in commercializing ideas. Judy holds an MBA from the Peter F Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Davis.
Frieda Chan joined CoMotion in 2021, where she manages a portfolio with innovations in the fields of biological materials, therapeutics, and medicine. Prior to joining CoMotion, she worked as a Technology Manager at Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center and a Patent Agent at Seed IP LLP and Cooley LLP. She has a PhD in Molecular Biosciences from Washington State University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She has extensive background in biochemistry, immunology, vaccines and infectious disease, cell and gene therapy, stem cell research, reproductive biology, and microbiology. Additionally, she is a professional musician with Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate degrees in flute performance.
Laura Dorsey is an Associate Director of Innovation Development, Software and Copyright. She joined CoMotion in 2005 in what was then called the Software & Copyright Ventures group. Prior to joining CoMotion, Laura ran a grant program that funded the university side of industry-university projects at Washington State universities and worked at Honeywell. Laura manages a portfolio of various technologies ranging from computer engineering, healthcare IT, software, and digital content, to cardiology and oceanography. She also provides valuable resources for stakeholders in achieving innovation milestones, including co-creation of the Idea to Plan curriculum.
Roï Eisenkot joined CoMotion in 2014, where he manages a portfolio of diagnostic and therapeutic bioengineering technologies. Before, he spent six years at T3, the technology transfer arm of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, where he led business development in the Physical Sciences, and initiated and structured deals as lead deal-maker for Technion with partners at various levels. Before that, he worked as Application Engineer for Dune Medical Devices. He managed Dune’s clinical site at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland, and co-modeled Dune’s reimbursement plan for the US market. He holds an MBA with emphasis on strategy and entrepreneurship and a degree in biomedical engineering (summa cum laude) from Technion.
Dennis Hanson started in academic technology transfer in mid-2007 at the University of Washington, and enjoyed a two-year stint at Oregon Health & Science University’s tech transfer office from 2012-2014. Prior to a career in tech transfer, he was a scientist in both academia and the biotech industry, performing research in a wide range of fields, from immunology to cell biology, intracellular signal transduction to extracellular matrix protein biochemistry. He has a BS from the University of Washington in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and a PhD from Stanford University in Immunology.
Jennifer McCullar manages a diverse life sciences portfolio. She joined CoMotion in 2010 after completing a post-doctoral position at the University of Washington, where she worked on identifying cell signaling pathways integral to regeneration in the inner ear. She earned her doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Oregon State University and is currently a co-organizer for Science on Tap, a monthly public lecture series. She also holds a Masters in Animal Science.
Kelly Meinig joined CoMotion in 2019 focusing on innovations related to content, software, databases, web services, and other digital media. She thoroughly enjoys the full lifecycle challenge of bringing innovation to market, from the spark of an idea to commercialization. Prior to joining CoMotion, Ms. Meinig worked for a private firm as a Senior IT Product Manager, Project Manager and Business Analyst providing custom, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and business solutions across numerous sectors. Prior to this, she founded, secured funding for, and launched a Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) internet startup focused on improving waste management in the U.S., co-founded a 501c3 to promote evidence-based healthcare (also a DaaS model), and was a Project Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cleaning up hazardous waste sites. Ms. Meinig earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, did graduate work in Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington, is licensed as a Mechanical Engineer, and holds two patents – one in a commercial healthcare product, and a second in database management.
Lisa Norton manages a portfolio of medical devices and biomaterials technologies, with a primary focus on ultrasound and medical imaging. She works with UW innovators to define intellectual property rights, evaluate marketing and regulatory processes, create commercialization strategies, and license their technologies. Before joining CoMotion in May 2004, she was a Senior Applications Scientist at Combimatrix, a Washington biotech startup. After completing a BS in biomedical engineering at Cornell University, she worked at the University of Washington in the Department of Medical Genetics prior to pursuing graduate work. She earned a PhD in cell biology and biotechnology from the University of Virginia.
Shamim Naigaga joined CoMotion in September 2021 as an innovation manager working with UW faculty and researchers on innovations in the software and copyright space. A large part of her portfolio includes managing the licensing of the Rosetta software suite. This suite includes algorithms for computational modeling and analysis of protein structures and has enabled notable scientific advances in computational biology. Shamim also manages the Commercialization Fellows Program, a one-year fellowship for entrepreneurial UW grad students and postdocs who want to further explore the commercialization potential of innovations they helped create. Prior to joining CoMotion, Shamim was a fellow at the Institute of Applied Life Sciences where she provided strategic and business advising to life science startups and scientists in their research commercialization journey. Shamim has a Ph.D. in Fisheries and Aquaculture from Auburn University and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Dev Narasimhan is a registered patent attorney (70,051) with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in Biomaterials and Cell and Tissue Engineering. Dev also has extensive experience as an in-house attorney, where he worked with inventors and stakeholders to obtain global patent protection and counseled on patent matters. Previously, Dev worked at a law firm specializing in patent prosecution, where he drafted patent applications, responded to office actions, and consulted with inventors and clients in technologies pertaining to databases, telecommunications, and mechanical devices. In his spare time, Dev likes to play soccer, ride his mountain bike, take walks, and play board games.
Venu’s educational background is in biology and chemistry and she has developed her patent management skills in the areas of mechanical and software innovations. Her work experience spans developing and managing patent portfolios in-house and more recently working with start-up companies while at her solo IP law firm. She is a registered patent attorney with the U.S. Patent Office.
Uly has been involved in the Seattle startup scene for the last five years in both marketing and operations capacities. He laid the foundations of car2go in Seattle and most recently worked for a biotech startup overseeing marketing and operations. Outside of work Uly is an avid sports fan and accumulating random facts.
Ryan Buckmaster has been with CoMotion since 2010 and focuses on new technologies and innovations in the microelectronics, optics, materials and medical device areas. Prior to joining CoMotion, he worked in the semiconductor fabrication industry. He did his graduate work at Tohoku University on the development of novel nanostructure fabrication methods, and at the University of Washington on optical spectroscopy based real-time single cell analysis systems. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington and a M.S. in Materials Science from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan.
Magali Dieny Eaton is CoMotion’s Assistant Director for Innovation Training and a faculty member at the University of Washington’s School of Law.
Before joining the university, she practiced law in two major international firms in France and in Seattle. She managed intellectual property portfolios and transactions for clients in a wide breadth of industries, including retail, manufacturing, therapeutics, wine, publishing, luxury goods and gaming. In her spare time, she also started and grew a youth non-profit organization. Magali joined the UW in 2014 through the entrepreneurial law clinic, a program pairing law students with mentors to offer legal advice to low-income entrepreneurs. She currently designs and deploys innovation training programs for faculty, startups and students at UW CoMotion and teaches intellectual property law at the University of Washington School of Law.
A member of the New York bar, she also holds a Master’s degree in international law from Universite Jean Moulin in France, and an LLM from the University of Washington where she attended thanks to a Fulbright scholarship. In her free time, she likes to mountaineer, ski, and paint.
Ken Myer works with UW researchers, students, staff, and CoMotion Labs startups to provide education on the commercialization process and hands-on advice on commercialization questions or challenges.
Ken is an interim executive and advisor to commercial and non-profit organizations, providing both strategic and hands-on assistance to companies in transition. For more than 25 years, he has helped launch or turn around companies that ranged in size from startups to Fortune 100. His professional career includes executive positions at IBM, Active Voice, TeleSym, Washington Technology Industry Association, as well as cofounding Interval Systems.
Ken has been recognized as one of Seattle’s most influential business leaders according to Seattle Magazine, and was twice recognized for leading a “best company to work for” from Seattle Business Magazine and the Puget Sound Business Journal. He holds an MBA and MA from the University of Washington and teaches Leadership at the UW Foster School of Business. He currently serves on the boards of AnswerDash and the Washington Trails Association.
Bart Treece is the Director of the Mobility Innovation Center at CoMotion. Prior to joining the team, he spent 10 years at the Washington State Department of Transportation working on various projects, issues, and initiatives. Bart also spent 12 years as a broadcast journalist in Austin, Phoenix and Seattle markets.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies from Arizona State University and holds a Master of Sustainable Transportation from the University of Washington school of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Bart is a certified Professional Transportation Planner® (PTP), and a member of the American Planning Association and the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
In his free time, he enjoys watching soccer, cooking, hitting the road to travel, explore the outdoors, run, and ride his bike. He lives in Seattle with his wife, two sons and their cat.
With over 25 years in marketing and communications, Donna brings a wealth of knowledge in strategic communications, storytelling, media relations and marketing. Most recently, she was Vice President at WE Communications where she worked most closely with Microsoft leading the Microsoft Commercial Analyst Relations team. In addition, she led the communications team representing Caradigm, a joint venture between Microsoft and GE Healthcare, and prior to that led the Microsoft Health Solutions Group communications team, which included Microsoft’s enterprise health intelligence platform. She has plied her trade across several industries including high tech, healthcare and financial services. In her free time, Donna enjoys playing tennis, outdoor activities, and spending time with her family.
I am from Indianapolis, Indiana. I am a graduate of Florida A&M University. My previous position was with Sherwin Williams as a District Financial Specialist. I had 40 stores in my territory where I managed their commercial credit accounts. University of Washington was one of my many accounts that I managed. I am very happy to be here and very excited to learn all about Intellectual properties.
Elaine Tobin joined CoMotion in April 2011 as an Intellectual Property Program Coordinator. In June 2014, she became CoMotion’s HR Specialist and Office Manager and is currently the CoMotion Community Manager.