Vincent Smeraglia, Esq., Executive Director
Vincent oversees all patent and licensing matters for UMDNJ. This includes protecting, marketing and commercializing all intellectual property developed at UMDNJ. Previously Vincent served as Associate Director of Intellectual Property in the Office of Corporate Liaison & Technology Transfer at Rutgers University. A graduate of Rutgers University and Franklin Pierce Law Center, he has also conducted biomedical research for the Cytogen Corporation.
Christopher Izzo, Esq., Patent Counsel
Chris is the Patent Attorney for OTTBD. Previously Chris worked in the Technology Transfer Office at Rutgers University as a Licensing Manager and ultimately as the Patent Attorney. He was also an Intellectual Property Associate at the law firm Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland and Perretti. Chris held technical positions at Devro, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Chris has a B.S. from Rutgers, a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law, and a M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Additionally, he is currently completing a M.S. in Food Chemistry at Rutgers.
Laura Schepps, Director of Finance and Administration
Laura leads the financial and license administration functions for the department including financial analysis, budgeting and planning, accounting, management reporting, and compliance. Previously Laura was the VP, Global Information Technology Division Financial Officer for ACE Limited where she strengthened and oversaw the finance and vendor management functions for the corporate IT division. Prior to ACE, she held financial leadership roles for other companies, including Radian Group, Inc., CIGNA Corporation, GE Capital, and Bankers Trust. Laura holds a B.A. in Marketing from Rutgers University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Management from New York University, Stern School of Business.
Tatiana Litvin-Vechnyak, Ph.D., Associate Director
Tatiana is involved with all matters related to commercialization of intellectual property at UMDNJ. This includes reviewing and marketing UMDNJ inventions, and negotiating license agreements for all intellectual property developed at UMDNJ. Prior to joining OTTBD Tatiana worked as an internal liaison and licensing associate for the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Office of Technology and Business Development. Tatiana received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and completed her postdoctoral research in oncology at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
Elysa Goldberg, Ph.D., Esq., Senior Staff Attorney
Elysa develops and implements patent portfolio strategies for UMDNJ. Previously Elysa was an associate attorney in an Intellectual Property law firm in New York. After graduating from Vassar College, Elysa earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology from Cornell University and completed her J.D. at Fordham University School of Law.
Cherise Kent, Compliance Manager
Cherise oversees the Agreement Compliance function for OTTBD. Cherise has over 20 years experience in business development, technology transfer and intellectual property management within academia and the pharmaceutical industry. Before joining OTTBD she was Director of Business Development at Shire Pharmaceuticals, a UK-based specialty pharmaceutical company. At Shire, she had primary responsibility for business transactions that supported Shire's ADHD/NeuroPsych business unit. Her primary responsibility was working with senior management to develop and operationalize a business development strategy. Cherise has held previous business development positions at Johnson & Johnson, 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, Neose Technologies and US Bioscience. She has held technology transfer positions at the University of Pennsylvania and The Wistar Institute. Cherise has an M.B.A. from Drexel University.
Robert Bzdek, Senior Financial Analyst
Bob is responsible for all of the invoicing related to the Office, as well as the financial updating and projects of the internal system. Prior to joining UMDNJ, Bob was a manager in the professional services financial area at Sun Microsystems / Oracle. He has also held financial positions at American Cyanamid and Schering Plough. He holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson.
Norell Hadzimichalis, Ph.D., Licensing Associate
Norell’s primary responsibilities include matters related to invention assessment, marketing, and licensing of intellectual property. Additionally, she is responsible for promoting office and university visibility via the publication of the office newsletter. Prior to joining the office, Norell received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University / UMDNJ in Molecular Biosciences with a concentration in cardiovascular physiology and neuroscience.
Lillian M. Cohen, Material Transfer Administrator
Lilly is the Material Transfer Administrator and Executive Assistant to Vincent Smeraglia. She is responsible for review and negotiation of MTA’s and serves as a liaison between UMDNJ researchers and other institutions. Lilly also provides overall management support to the OTTBD office. She comes to UMDNJ with 15 years of legal experience in large New York City law firms and holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice Administration and Planning.
Susan Dolci, Intellectual Property Manager
Sue supports the department in the management of intellectual property issues within the University. She comes to UMDNJ with more than 25 years of business and legal experience and has previously worked at Avaya Inc. and Ranbaxy Inc. Sue holds a B.S. in Business Administration and M.S. in Management from The College of Saint Elizabeth.
Susan Rae, Special Projects Manager
Susan manages the coordination of marketing and outreach for the department, including departmental seminars, website and social media monitoring, and event planning. She also assists in the processing of Confidential Disclosure Agreements. Susan comes to this office from the PHRI Center at UMDNJ where she provided administrative support and office management to the Office of Technology Transfer. She has a background in human services and program management and holds a M.A. from New York University.
Mona Daniels-Riley, Intellectual Property Assistant
Mona is responsible for docket administration for the department. Her additional responsibilities include management of legal documents and records management for all University intellectual property files. Mona has over 16 years of experience in the healthcare field and she holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Berkeley College.