Faculty

Heather Bakalyar, PhD, MBA, has worked in the technology transfer and intellectual property fields for over twenty years. Her experience includes serving as a patent examiner for the USPTO in a variety of Art Units. At Johns Hopkins, she drafted a comprehensive collection of license agreement templates still in use today, directly managed commercialization of an extensive docket of inventions, and served as Portfolio Director of a life science team that successfully closed hundreds of licensing deals. As Director of Intellectual Property at The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for Advancement of Military Medicine, she managed a complex patent docket optimizing the value of IP assets for the Foundation and its partners. At Alba Therapeutics, Heather's role in business development included identifying and evaluating specific commercial applications of the company’s technology platform. Heather is currently President of Liminal Innovation in Rochester, Minnesota, providing contract review, drafting and negotiation, as well as intellectual property-related services.

Peter Ball, JD, is a Senior Licensing Manager at Mayo Clinic Ventures where he manages a variety of technologies, including diagnostics, therapeutics, devices and software. Prior to joining Mayo, Peter held positions as Portfolio Director for Software and IT Licensing and Director of Contracts at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. Before his career in technology commercialization, Peter enjoyed a successful career in data analytics and software engineering. Peter is also a patent attorney registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office and a member of the Maryland Bar.

Anne DiSante joined MSU Technologies in October 2012. Her responsibilities include the day-to-day management of the licensing and commercialization operations and programs of MSU Technologies. Prior to joining MSU, Anne held technology transfer positions at Case Western Reserve University, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. In addition to managing inventions from all scientific disciplines, she has been responsible for the daily operations related to traditional invention management activities. Anne was a founding member of the Intellectual Property Commercialization Committee, the governing body for the Michigan Universities Commercialization Initiative, a $9.0 million State of Michigan-funded project; she was also a member of the MUCI Executive and Finance Committees.

Anne earned her degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor including an MBA in Marketing; MS in Microbiology/Immunology; and BS, Medical Technology and also earned recognition as a Certified Licensing Professional. She is an active member of the Association of University Technology Managers, where she is a frequent speaker on a variety of technology transfer- related topics. In 2012, Anne was presented with the AUTM President’s Award, recognizing her lasting impact on the organization.  She served on AUTM’s Board of Trustees as Vice President, Central Region and as an Executive Committee participant, as well as editor of the AUTM Newsletter. Anne participated in the development of the BioMed Expo (now the MichBio Expo), serving on the planning committee for four years, is a volunteer judge for the Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest, and is a member of the Licensing Executives Society.

Steve Ducommun is a partner with Perkins Coie LLP Corporate practice. He concentrates his practice in corporate and securities law with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, commercial contracting and financings. He regularly represents companies in a number of industries, including health care, biotechnology, food and procurement, cleantech, pharmaceutical, medical devices, agribusiness, metals and information technology.
Steve counsels clients on formation issues, research and development arrangements and with respect to numerous commercial matters, including technology commercialization, licensing, manufacturing and distribution. A major focus of his practice is the acquisition and sale of companies, frequently representing companies that are serial acquirers. He frequently acts as primary outside counsel to a number of companies ranging from mature companies in a number of industries, as well as to a number of early and growth stage companies in the health care, life sciences and cleantech industries. In addition, he has particular experience in representing companies entering into joint ventures with health care providers, such as physicians, in diverse areas including physical therapy, oncology and ambulatory surgery, including the structuring and compliance aspects of such arrangements.
Professional Leadership:

  • American Bar Association
  • Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
  • French American Chamber of Commerce
  • Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO), Board of Directors, 2005 - present
  • New Venture Challenge at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Judge, 2004 - present

Joe Feldman, MBA, consults with a wide range of growing companies to support their growth plans. Over the last eight years, he has served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago.  His work with these two institutions has included:  development of commercialization assessments, workshops for technology transfer staff and graduate students, coaching faculty entrepreneurs, benchmarking “valley of death” funding approaches among university across the country, and development of actionable plans for the launch of ventures from university technologies.
His consulting firm, Joseph Feldman Associates (www.josephfeldman.com) works primarily with middle market companies to support acquisitions, joint venture, cross-border projects and additional growth initiatives.  
Joe’s previous experience includes a wide range of finance, business development, operations and international management roles for The NutraSweet Company, Searle Pharmaceuticals and Monsanto Company.  He served as head of business development for two biotech start-ups and was co-founder and managing director of Sandbox Industries.
Joe’s undergraduate training was at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  He earned his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.  

Eric Ginsburg, SB, PhD, is an Assistant Director, responsible for leading the identification, evaluation, protection and commercialization of inventions arising from University of Chicago research. Eric manages a large portfolio of technologies from diverse scientific disciplines including various aspects of chemistry, molecular engineering and medical imaging. Before joining the office, Eric worked in research and development at Eastman Kodak and Abbott Laboratories. Prior to working in industry, Eric was a postdoctoral researcher at the IBM Almaden Research Center.
Eric holds an SB degree from MIT and a PhD from Caltech, both in Chemistry. His graduate work focused on the synthesis and characterization of soluble electrically conducting polymers. Eric is a registered Patent Agent and a CLP (Certified Licensing Professional).

Ben Johnson is a Managing Director for Silicon Valley Bank, and currently oversees the bank’s Life Science business unit for the Central United States. 
Ben is in his tenth year at SVB, and during his tenure he has either originated or refinanced over $1 billion in loan commitments to over 100 innovative Life Science companies. In the decade prior to joining SVB Ben held various roles in private wealth management and commercial banking for Wells Fargo and US Bank, respectively. Ben received his BA in International Finance and Spanish from the University of St. Thomas and his MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from the University of Minnesota.
A fourth generation Minnesotan, Ben resides in the Twin Cities where he and his wife, Erin, enjoy together a variety of family activities including boating, fishing, tennis, golf, snowmobiling and keeping up with three boys in youth hockey.

Monica Sveen-Ziebell, MBA, joined Mayo Clinic in 2002. She currently serves as the Administrator for the Offices of Medical-Industry Relations and Conflict of Interest Review.  Prior to her current role, Ms. Sveen-Ziebell served as a Contract Manager negotiating consulting, publishing and research related contracts for the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and the Department of Surgery. Ms. Sveen-Ziebell is a member of the Forum on Conflict of Interest in Academe through the AAMC.  The purpose of the FOCI Academe is to provide a forum for the leadership in the biomedical area who oversee and manage conflicts of interest to promote the highest ethical and professional standards in the conduct of their institutions as they carry out their missions of patient care, research, education, business and service.  Ms. Sveen-Ziebell has also spent time as an adjunct professor at Winona State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master’s in BusinessAdministration.