Meet Our Team


Kelly Sexton, Ph.D., Director

Dr. Kelly B. Sexton is the Director of the Office of Technology Transfer at North Carolina State University, where she oversees technology scouting and development, licensing, and venture development. Under Dr. Sexton’s leadership, OTT has doubled the number of licenses executed and startup companies launched per year. In addition, her office administers the $5 M Chancellor’s Innovation Fund, which supports technology development to strengthen the commercial potential of university discoveries.

Dr. Sexton 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. Dr. Sexton completed her postdoctoral studies at Stanford University where she was awarded a fellowship from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Dr. Sexton has served as an Executive in Residence in NC State’s HiTEC startup creation program, currently serves on the steering committee for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of RTP and is the Incoming Chair of the Licensing Executives Society RTP Chapter.

Kultaran-ChohanKultaran Chohan, Ph.D., Associate Director

Kultaran leads a team of licensing professionals managing innovation, strategizing intellectual property assets, licensing technologies and supporting startup company formation in the life sciences. 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.

Dinesh Divakaran, Ph.D., Associate Director


As Associate Director, Dinesh leads a team of licensing professionals managing innovation, strategizing intellectual property assets, licensing technologies and supporting startup company formation in engineering, textiles, physical & mathematical sciences, natural resources, design, education, management and humanities. He also manages commercialization efforts in software, copyrights and data. Dinesh also holds appointment as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at NC State and serves as a SBIR/STTR Reviewer & Panelist with NSF and NIH. Prior to joining NC State, he worked in technology transfer at the Texas A&M University System and earlier at the University of South Florida, where he also served as an Adjunct Faculty of Electrical Engineering. 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, MBA, 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 research. During the last three years Wade has been responsible for the support of over 30 startup companies and has launched initiatives including the PackStart Program, the Venture Innovation Partner (VIP) Network, the Executive In Residence (XIR) program, and partnership with the CED Venture Mentor program. Wade serves on the North Carolina Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC) Advisory Board, the NC State Alumni Entrepreneurs Network Board, the Innovate Raleigh Task Force, and serves as an Executive in Residence in NC State’s HiTEC startup creation program. 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 Administration’s University Center for NC State. Wade has experience as a small business owner, as a startup consultant and in commercial finance and insurance with a Fortune 100 company. 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 licensee diligence.

Amanda Ottaway, Assistant Director, Operations and Strategy


Amanda Ottaway first joined NC State’s Office of Technology Transfer five years ago. She currently serves as the Assistant Director, Operations & Strategy, performing a variety of duties. These include managing the internal database used in OTT, managing federal reporting obligations under Bayh-Dole, writing and adapting office SOPs, and being the primary point of contact for the invention disclosure submission process. Amanda holds a Masters in Information and Library Science from San Jose State University.

Brian-EllerBrian Eller, J.D., Senior Licensing Associate

As a Senior Licensing Associate, Brian Eller is lead case manager for innovations from the College of Textiles, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the Nonwovens Institute and the Department of Forest Biomaterials.  Prior to joining NC State Office of Technology Transfer in 2011, Brian worked as a technology transfer analyst at University of California, Davis and as an extern at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, where he assisted with examination of patent applications in the field of semiconductors, electrical and optical systems/components. During law school, Brian spent a summer as a judicial extern for a Senior Judge with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

Brian earned a B.S. in Materials Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a J.D. from University of California,  Davis School of Law.  During law school, he earned a Witkin Award for Academic Excellence for a course on Innovation and Technology Transfer.  Brian is a member of the State Bar of California and is licensed as an attorney in California.  He is also a member of AUTM.

R. Casey Boutwell, Ph.D., Business Development and Licensing Associate


Casey’s business development activities enhance the office’s engagement with industry. He helps connect companies with existing University IP and solicits market feedback on inventions and discoveries. This marketing support and lead generation for technology licensing enables strategic innovation and a market-oriented focus on innovation. Prior to joining the NCSU Office of Technology Transfer in 2013, Casey worked as a Business Development and Marketing Manager at Open Photonics, an optical technology commercialization firm based in Orlando, Florida.

Casey is also the lead case manager for innovations from the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, and Nuclear Engineering, as well as for the College of Design. He previously worked as a Licensing Assistant at the University of Central Florida Office of Technology Transfer. Casey stays active in his technical fields by serving as a peer reviewer for journal articles in optics and materials science. Additionally, he serves on the Engineering, Science, and Technology Policy committee for SPIE, The International Society for Optics and Photonics.

Casey earned a B.S. in Physics from James Madison University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Optics from University of Central Florida. While at UCF, he received a Graduate Certificate in Technology Ventures from the College of Business. He will graduate from the NC State Jenkins School of Management with an MBA in 2016. He is an active member of SPIE and AUTM.


Garth Mashmann, J.D., Licensing Associate

As a Licensing Associate, Garth serves as lead case manager of commercialization efforts for innovations from the departments of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Biological & Agricultural Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering, Marine, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences and Forestry & Environmental Resources.  Garth also manages the commercialization of copyrights (non-software), designs and research related trademarks across the university. Prior to joining NC State Office of Technology Transfer in 2014, Garth worked in technology transfer offices at The Ohio State University and Syracuse University.  In the past, he has also worked as an Associate at an intellectual property law firm preparing patent, copyright and trademark applications.  As a law student, Garth served as a Senior Research Associate at the New York State Science and Technology Law Center.

He Garth earned a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University and a J.D. from Syracuse University with a certificate from the Technology Commercialization Law program. While in Law school, he served as a Lead Articles Editor for the Syracuse Science and Technology Law Reporter (now Syracuse Journal of Science and Technology Law) and as President of the Intellectual Property Law Society.  He is also a member of AUTM.


Jason Lamb, J.D., L.L.M., Licensing Associate

Jason earned a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Drexel University 2001, after which he gained nearly 10 years of industry experience in IT, software programming and application development. He then earned his J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2013, where he was named a Temple Law and Public Policy Scholar for his work in telecommunications law and policy. In 2014 he earned his Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Law and Entrepreneurship from Duke University School of Law.  Jason is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is also registered is a patent attorney to practice patent and trademark law before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He brings experience in business, copyright and patent law, e-commerce contract drafting, software due diligence, and early stage venture formation, funding and governance. Prior to joining the NC State Office of Technology Transfer as a Licensing Associate in 2015, Jason worked with OTT for nearly a year and a half as an intern and then as a Licensing Analyst.

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.


Catherine Sutton, Licensing Analyst


Catherine holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Southampton, an M.Res. in Regenerative Medicine from the University of Bath and a Ph.D. in Pathology and Microbiology from the University of Bristol. Following her PhD she was employed as a business development manager at The Electrospinning Company, a startup company established in 2010 to develop products utilizing the world-class electrospinning platform at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, UK. Subsequently she further refined her sales and business development skills working for Cambridge Bioscience Ltd, a distributer of novel life science research tools. In her role at OTT as a licensing analyst, Catherine is using her expertise in the Biotechnology arena analyzing to analyze inventions and technologies in the life sciences.

Warren-SasserWarren “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 the Senior Agreements Manager, he manages and negotiates all miscellaneous agreements for the office including Material Transfer Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements, Interinstitutional Agreements and Collaborative Research Agreements. Gerry also manages the Industry Compliance function with regards to  IP developed under Sponsored Project Agreements.


Seth Crossno, Commercialization Program Manager


As Commercialization Program Manager for the OTT, Seth manages the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund, runs the Springboard Innovation Forum events, and works with OTT’s licensing professionals to market technologies and startup companies that have been developed at NC State.
Prior to joining OTT, Seth worked as the Industry Liaison Officer for the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center, an NSF Engineering Research Center headquartered at NC State. In his seven years at the FREEDM Center, Seth managed a consortium of over 45 industry members. Seth earned a B.S. in Business Administration at North Carolina State University in 2006.

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_LeBlancNicholas 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.

Amy Parker, Administrative Operations Assistant

Amy earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University. As Administrative Operations Assistant, Amy provides assistance to all staff of OTT, including assisting with quality control and assurance in the OTT’s Knowledge Sharing Database System (KSS), processing all incoming and outgoing mail for the office, and planning and scheduling meetings and appointments.