Kelly Sexton, Ph.D., Director
Kelly is responsible for directing all aspects of the office, focusing on strategy, transactional efficiency as well as administration of the $2.5 M Chancellor’s Innovation Fund. Kelly has served as an Executive in Residence in NC State’s Poole College of Management HiTEC startup creation program and serves on the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network steering committee.
Kelly holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology from the University of California, San Diego where she was supported by a fellowship from the California Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She completed her postdoctoral studies at Stanford University where she was awarded a fellowship from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Kelly worked in the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University prior to joining NC State in 2007.
Dinesh Divakaran, Ph.D., Associate Director
Dinesh earned his Ph.D. & M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of South Florida and B.E. in Electronics Engineering from University of Mumbai. A member of IEEE and AAAS, he has been elected to the Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu honor societies. Dinesh is also a member of AUTM and LES.
Wade Fulghum, Assistant Director, Venture Development
As Assistant Director for Venture Development Wade leads the efforts to launch and support startup companies from NC State that are based on University intellectual property. Wade brings eight years of experience advising companies and has served as a Technology Commercialization & Development Counselor for the North Carolina Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC), the Assistant Director for the Economic Development Partnership for NC State University, and as a business advisor for the Economic Development Association’s University Center for NC State. Wade has experience as a small business owner and in commercial finance and insurance with a Fortune 100 company. Wade co-manages the software commercialization efforts for NC State and leads a software development team that works to commercialize software for startup companies. Wade has brought in over $3 million to NC State through grant writing serving as the principal investigator and co-principal investigator on both State and Federally funded research projects. Wade cofounded the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster and served as the first Chair of the Entrepreneurship Working Group. Wade received his Bachelors of Finance from the University of Florida as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Hawaii Pacific University focusing on Organizational Change Management and is a veteran of the US Army.
Jeffrey Bissette, Assistant Director, Business & Licensing Compliance
Jeff earned a BA in Business Administration at North Carolina State University in 1992. Prior to joining the OTT, he worked as a Contract Negotiator for industry funded research agreements in the Office of Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance Services. As Assistant Director for Business and Licensing Compliance, Jeff manages the OTT’s government reporting and licensee diligence.
Amanda Ottaway, Assistant Director, Operations and Strategy
Amanda serves as the Assistant Director, Operations and Strategy performing a variety of duties including informational input into the OTT’s Knowledge Sharing Database System (KSS). She helps manage the uploading of patent documentation, invention disclosures, agreement summaries and IP correspondence into the KSS system.
Kultaran Chohan, Ph.D., Licensing Associate
Kultaran earned a Ph.D. in Genetics from NC State University, a MS in biology from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a LL.M. in Intellectual Property and Technology Law from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He is a member of the New York Bar Association and is licensed as an attorney in New York. Prior to joining the Office of Technology Transfer at NCSU as a licensing associate, Kultaran worked for over a year first as an intern and then as a licensing assistant with this office. Kultaran is well versed in intellectual property matters and has a strong technical background in genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, plant biology, plant breeding, and manages NCSU’s Ag-Biotech and plant variety portfolio.
Brian Eller, J.D., Licensing Associate
Brian earned a BS in Materials Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a J.D. from U.C. Davis School of Law. Prior to joining the OTT, he completed an internship at the U.C. Davis InnovationAccess, a unit of the Office of Research, in addition to an externship at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Technology Center Unit #2800, where he helped examine patent applications in the field of semiconductors, electrical and optical systems, and components. During law school, Brian spent a summer as a judicial extern for the Honorable Charles R. Wolle, Senior Judge for the Southern District of Iowa. Brian has a strong technical background in electronics, semiconductors, telecommunications, nanotechnology, and medical devices.
R. Casey Boutwell, Ph.D., Licensing Associate
Casey earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Optics from the University of Central Florida, Orlando and B.S. in Physics from James Madison University in Virginia. Following his doctorate, he supported the University of Central Florida’s OTT by reviewing and advancing technologies ranging from biophysics to materials science. Casey also served an Orlando-based tech-commercialization start-up as Marketing and Business Development Manager before joining NC State.
Here, Casey’s domain expertise supports the physical science team’s intake, investment, and commercialization activities. He leads management of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Physics, and Chemistry invention portfolios, as well as both NSF ERCs, ASSIST and FREEDM. Casey’s support for technology transfer has enhanced contract negotiations ranging from NC State start-ups to multinational Fortune 500s.
Garth Mashmann, J.D., Licensing Associate
Garth earned a BS in Biomedical Engineering degree from Boston University and a J.D. from Syracuse University. As a member of the OTT Licensing team Garth is responsible for working with departments from the College of Engineering, as well as the College of Sciences. Prior to joining NC State University, Garth worked in technology transfer at The Ohio State University and at Syracuse University, primarily with engineering technologies. Garth is a licensed attorney and practiced law in New York at an intellectual property law firm.
Ashley Stallings, J.D., Licensing Analyst
Ashley earned a B.S. in Chemistry at Appalachian State University and a J.D. from Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. Prior to joining the OTT team as a licensing analyst, she worked as an intern in the office for over a year. While in law school, Ashley completed additional internships with the Law Enforcement Liaison Division of the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office as well as with SAS Institute Inc., and was senior research assistant in the area of education law. Ashley has a strong intellectual property background and technical expertise in chemistry and plant breeding, and manages the plant variety portfolio.
Raghav Narayanan, Licensing Analyst
Warren “Gerry” Sasser, Senior Agreements Manager
Gerry received his Bachelors of Business Administration from Memphis State University as well as a Masters of Business Administration from Campbell University. Prior to joining the OTT, Gerry worked as Director of Research Programs Services for the College of Textiles. As Agreements Manager, he manages and negotiates all miscellaneous agreements for the office including Material Transfer Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements, Interinstitutional Agreements and Collaborative Research Agreements.
Marie Blanchard, Executive Assistant to the Director
Marie received her BA in Sociology with a Criminal Justice option from NC State University, where she has worked for more than 28 years. Prior to joining the OTT, she served as the Executive Assistant to the Director in the Credit Programs & Summer Sessions office. In addition to her duties as Executive Assistant, Marie serves as the Intellectual Property Committee administrator. Marie also serves as the HR rep for the office.
Roberta Terry, Senior Financial Manager
Roberta received her BA of Business Management from Warner Southern College. She has over 15 years experience in finance and compliance. Prior to joining the OTT, Roberta worked as a Fiscal Manager in the Contracts and Grants unit of NC State University where she handled State and Federal Contracts and Grants. As the Senior Financial Manager, her current duties include royalty distribution as well as financial reporting compliance.
Melicia Ryles, Financial Manager
Melicia received her AAS in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting from Hardbarger Junior College of Business. She brings over 15 years of extensive experience in finance and collections to the OTT. Prior to joining NC State University, Melicia was employed with Cigna HealthCare as the Delinquency Coordinator where she developed and implemented strategic collection procedures for the Research Triangle area. As the Financial Manager for the OTT, her current duties include managing accounts receivable and collections within the University’s established policies.
Jodi Falk, Patent Administrator
Jodi received her BS in Criminal Justice from Mount Scenario College, Wisconsin. Prior to joining the OTT, Jodi worked in several investigative areas for over 15 years, followed by over 8 years in law firms, primarily in intellectual property and litigation. As the OTT’s Patent Administrator, she manages patent correspondence, works with inventors to complete patent documents, and tracks various aspects of the patent process using the KSS system.
Nicholas LeBlanc, Ph.D., Agreements & Data Integrity Specialist
Nicholas received his Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics from UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the OTT Nicholas served as Registrar in the Department of Anthropology at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has experience in database management and development in educational, non-profit, and commercial settings. Nicholas performs a number of quality control functions in the OTT’s Knowledge Sharing Database System (KSS). He assists with the processing of invention disclosures, agreements, and patent documentation to ensure the overall consistency and accuracy of KSS data.
Wendy Womble, Diligence Specialist
Wendy brings 20 years of experience in finance and administrative support to the OTT. Prior to joining the OTT, Wendy worked as an Accounting Technician at NCSU’s McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education where she maintained accounting records, prepared invoices, payroll, receipts, and deposits. Her current duties as Diligence Specialist include working directly with company/licensee liaisons to address their license agreement diligence obligations. She reviews reports from licensees against agreement milestones and reporting obligations. Wendy also maintains and tracks aging debt by companies, manages collection efforts associated with overdue invoices, and works with the Assistant Director to audit licensees for missed diligence obligations