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Office of Technology Management (OTM) Office Hours: Licensing Technology from Tech Transfer Offices for your Startup – A National Perspective

Thursday, April 11 | 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

EPNEC, Seminar Room A 320 S Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110

Join us for this special edition of Office Hours, immediately following the annual Women In Innovation and Technology Symposium in the Eric P. Newman Education Center (EPNEC) on the Medical Campus. Office Hours will be held in EPNEC’s Seminar Room A.

Commercializing intellectual property from a university typically involves a license from the tech transfer office. Office Hours is hosting this panel discussion featuring former and current tech transfer professionals from Emory University and Stanford University to discuss:

  • “How do you license an invention from a university?”
  • “What is the role of the founder in a license?”
  • “What is a license?”
  • “Does my startup have to get a license?”
  • “How do other universities approach licensing?”
  • “Is there a template for a license?”
Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Business & Entrepreneurship



Innovation, Office of Technology Management


Event Contact

Leslie Roettger

Speaker Information

OTM is pleased to welcome three national tech transfer experts for this panel discussion, including:

Katharine Ku

Ku is currently serving on the Visiting Committee for Advanced Technology of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In addition, she is on the Board of Directors for the Ohio State Innovation Foundation and the University of Utah Research Foundation. She also served as an Advisor to the University of California Regents Special Committee on Innovation Transfer and Entrepreneurship. Ku has a B.S. Chemical Engineering (Cornell University), and M.S. in Chemical Engineering (Washington University in St. Louis) and is a registered patent agent.

Katharine Ku is the Chief Licensing Advisor at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.  Previously, she was Executive Director of Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) for 27 years, until 2018. Ku was President of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) from 1988-90. She received the AUTM 2001 Bayh-Dole Award for her efforts in university technology transfer. In 1999, Stanford OTL received the LES Achievement Award.

Kirsten Leute

At Osage University Partners, Kirsten is responsible for the relationships with the more than 100 academic institutions that are partnered with the fund, engaging potential new partner institutions, and enhancing and creating value-add programs for the partnered academic institutions.

Kirsten is an experienced technology transfer professional, spending 19 years in technology transfer at Stanford University and the German Cancer Research Center. Prior to joining OUP, she was Associate Director at Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing. Over her career at Stanford, she managed portfolios of inventions in most technology areas, but concentrated in biotechnology.

Kirsten has also been actively involved in technology transfer outside her daily work. She is a former two-time board member for the Association of University Technology Managers and speaks frequently on university technology transfer.

Todd Sherer, PhD, CLP™, RTTP

For the past three decades, Dr. Sherer has worked extensively with researchers to translate their promising scientific and medical discoveries into new products that benefit society.  This crucial activity helps assure that research is translated into practical applications, including new life-saving medical products that benefit the public who helped to fund it.  He has helped pioneer new funding models to support the translation of research and worked globally to identify, test, and implement best practices to increase the impact of academic technology commercialization. Dr. Sherer has also worked with colleagues to affect federal policy and guidelines that address new intellectual property flowing from federally-funded research.

Since 2003, Dr. Sherer has led the Office of Technology Transfer at Emory University where he serves as Associate Vice President of Research and Executive Director. During that time, he guided the transformation of the program into an internationally recognized leader in academic technology transfer. He introduced the use of product pipelines to illustrate the crucial role that research plays in the innovation pathway and built a team of professionals focused on risk reduction and value creation. He has been involved in transferring technology that led to FDA approval of numerous new drug therapies and medical devices, as well as many other products.  Dr. Sherer has also worked with dozens of faculty-driven startup companies over the years where he guided them in their pursuit of investment dollars and management teams.

Prior to joining Emory, Dr. Sherer held similar roles at Oregon Health & Science University, the University of Oregon, and Washington State University. He received his PhD in Pharmacology/Toxicology from Washington State University in 1991 where his research focused on gene expression during brain development. He holds a BS degree from Oregon State University. Dr. Sherer’s passion for research was ignited in the mid-1980s while serving as a research technician in the Developmental Toxicology Section at Battelle’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA.

Dr. Sherer has been an active speaker nationally on all aspects of academic technology transfer and innovation. He is a Past President of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), the professional association representing more than 3,000 technology transfer professionals from more than 30 countries. He served AUTM in numerous board roles prior to rising to the level of President and has served on countless committees dedicated to the development of the technology transfer profession. He has mentored many young professionals that are currently employed across the country. Early in his career, Dr. Sherer became a Registered Patent Agent (RPA) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  He is also a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP™) and a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP). He received the Georgia BIO Community Award in 2014 and its Industry Growth Award in 2016 for his contributions to the life science industry in Georgia.  He is a Past Chairman of Southeast BIO (SEBIO), a regional non-profit organization that fosters the growth of the life science industry in the Southeast US. He has served on other boards and councils over the years including his role as President, EmTech Biotechnology Development, Inc—a joint-venture biotechnology incubator between Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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