François Baneyx is the Charles W.H. Matthaei Professor of Chemical Engineering and an adjunct professor of bioengineering. His research lies at the confluence of engineering, biology and nanotechnology. In addition to his role as director of CoMotion and Vice Provost for Innovation at the University of Washington, he currently 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 a number of leadership positions at UW, including site director of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, director of the Center for Nanotechnology and most recently chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. He is also the co-founder of Proteios, a UW spinoff. Baneyx is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences.
Baneyx earned a doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, was a postdoctoral researcher at DuPont and joined the UW faculty in 1992.
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.
Gaia Borgias joined CoMotion as Program Manager for the Mobility Innovation Center. Previously Ms. Borgias held an external relations role in the College of Engineering where she promoted interdisciplinary faculty research in aerospace and space applications, as well as advanced manufacturing and robotics.
Her career has included professional roles in advertising, manufacturing, consulting and non-profit management. She has a personal interest the future of human mobility and currently volunteers as vice-chair of the Museum of Flight Future Leaders Team. She is also supports K-8 innovation learning through educational programs like Invent Washington.
Ms. Borgias earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Design Management from the Art Institute of Portland in 2007 and is enrolled in a Leadership MBA program at the University of Washington. In 2013, she was named one of “20 under 40” by Inland Business Catalyst magazine.
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.
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.
Jeanette Ennis supports UW researchers pursuing grant money to commercialize their innovations, and helps CoMotion secure economic development grant opportunities. Ennis joined CoMotion in 2009 after more than 15 years of broad research experience as a scientist, entrepreneur, and manager. Her areas of expertise include pharmacology, biochemistry, molecular biology, tissue engineering, and medical devices. She has worked with a variety of start-up companies as project manager, grant writer, and intellectual property manager, and held senior research positions at Cornell University and the UW Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. She earned a doctorate in medical and molecular pharmacology from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she trained with Louis Ignarro, Nobel Laureate in Physiology. She also holds a certificate in technical writing and editing from the UW Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering.
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.
Lara Littlefield is Associate Vice President for Innovation Strategy at CoMotion and the Global Innovation Exchange, and also leads business development for both organizations. With over 20 years of experience in resource development, she also oversees CoMotion’s operations, Labs, and innovation investment programs. Prior to CoMotion and GIX, Ms. Littlefield was the Senior Director of Advancement at the University of Washington where she was responsible for the ongoing strategic design, oversight and implementation of the UW’s California advancement program. Prior to this, she was a Principal at Collins Group, where she consulted with over 50 nonprofit organizations across the arts, education, environment, health and human social service sectors. She is President for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Washington Chapter and holds an M.P.A. and Certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington and a B.A. from Evergreen State College.
Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, I earned my B.A. in History with an American Studies Concentration from Kalamazoo College and spent a semester studying abroad at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. While at Kalamazoo College, I researched and wrote the nomination for a college owned farmhouse to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. After moving to Seattle, I obtained a Paralegal Certificate from Edmonds Community College. Most recently, I worked at AMPACC Law Group, PLLC, where I spent two and a half years as an Intellectual Property Legal Assistant and Docketing Specialist.
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.
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.
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.
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 Waggener Edstrom 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.
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.
Scott Smith manages all aspects of trademark and copyright prosecution and maintenance. He works closely with UW researchers, the director of technology licensing, technology managers, and the agreements group to ensure proper protection for the UW’s intellectual property. Prior to joining CoMotion, he was an intellectual property attorney at various boutique intellectual property law firms, focusing on intellectual property prosecution and management. He earned a B.S. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from UCLA, an M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Glasgow, and a J.D. from Loyola of Los Angeles Law School.
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.
Andrea Valladao joined CoMotion in March of 2016, focusing on innovations in the life sciences and managing the Biological Materials portfolio. While completing her graduate studies, Andrea served as a Technology Licensing fellow at CoMotion where she evaluated the patentability of academic technologies. Andrea received her PhD in Immunology from the University of Washington, where she studied the allergic airway responses to fungal pathogens. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a research associate at Roche Palo Alto and MedImmune studying the immune mechanisms governing the development of obstructive pulmonary disorders and protection to influenza. Andrea earned a BS in microbiology from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Fiona Wills is 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.