UIRF Staff

Zev Sunleaf
Executive Director

Zev Sunleaf joined the University of Iowa Research Foundation in 2001 as a Licensing Associate / Senior Licensing Associate. Prior to the UIRF, Zev served as Vice President of Marketing of Biotech UI spin-offs Solltech and Caviforce Technologies, Inc. Zev has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

Shannon Sheehan
Sr. Licensing Associate

Dr. Shannon Sheehan joined the University of Iowa Research Foundation in 2010 as a Senior Licensing Associate/Licensing Manager. Dr. Sheehan has first hand experience moving laboratory inventions to the market. He is an expert in business and economic development and has facilitated the startup of 23 companies. He has worked extensively in the Venture Capital community and has received venture funding and collaborative industry funding for many of his startup companies. He has been working in technology commercialization for more than 11 years and has licensed dozens of technologies. Additionally, he has worked as a consultant to Intellectual Property Law firms. He has a MBA from the University of Arizona, Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in Biochemistry, and a Bachelors of Science from Iowa State University.

Catherine Koh
Sr. Licensing Associate

Catherine Koh joined the University of Iowa Research Foundation in 2011 as a Senior Licensing Associate. Prior to UIRF, Catherine was a Technology Licensing Manager at Mayo Clinic, and before that, a Licensing Associate / Senior Licensing Associate at Yale University. Catherine has an AB in Biology from Harvard, MBA in Health Care Management from Boston University, and MS in Computer Science from University of New Haven. She is a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).

Sean Kim
Sr. Licensing Associate

Sean has extensive research experience in bioinorganic chemistry and protein engineering. Later he consulted for a University of Illinois start-up company and also managed the research laboratory that developed the platform technology for another University of Illinois based biotech start-up. Before he joined UIRF in April 2008, he worked as a Technology Manager at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he was responsible for managing the university owned intellectual properties. Sean earned his BS, MS in Chemistry, and his MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in Operation Desert Storm.

Kellen Sensor
Licensing Associate

Kellen joined the UIRF in July 2013.

Freda Stelzer
Licensing Assistant - Contracts

Freda joined the UIRF as a Licensing Assistant in June of 2007 following a 2 year position with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, where she was employed as a technology transfer associate. Freda received her AB from the University of California at Berkeley in Political Science – International Relations and followed that up with a JD from Washington University School of Law in 1999.

Tyann Porepp
Intellectual Property Manager

Tyann Porepp joined the UIRF in January 2010 as a Licensing Assistant. She attended Upper Iowa University and received a BS in Human Resources Management. Prior to joining UIRF Tyann worked as a Legal Assistant at an intellectual property law firm in Des Moines, IA where she assisted in patent and trademark prosecution.

Brenda Selck

Brenda Selck joined the University of Iowa Research Foundation in October of 2000. She attended Marshalltown Community College prior to joining the Research Foundation. Brenda is responsible for maintaining the UIRF database, Federal & non-federal sponsor reporting obligations as well as providing information for annual, quarterly and any other requested reports.

Paul Dymerski
Associate Director, UIRF Asset Development

Dr. Dymerski joined the University of Iowa Research Foundation in 2011 focusing on IP discovery and new venture creation.Paul has experience in a wide range of technology commercialization and new venture creation projects in an academic environment as an Executive Mentor for the Entrepreneurial Center in the Fisher School of Business at The Ohio State University. He also has extensive experience as entrepreneur, creating a number of new ventures in the biotech, software, IT, environmental, and pharmaceutical services industries. As CEO of Applied Biomolecular Technologies, Inc., Paul was involved in proof-of concept, prototype development and commercialization road-mapping for numerous biotechnology clients. Paul has a PhD in chemistry from Case Western Reserve University and a MS from the University of Idaho. He performed research at the University of Toronto, Cornell University, and the State of New York Health Dept.

Rob Penington
Assistant Director, UIRF Asset Development

Rob organizes market research and technology marketing activities for the UIRF. He also initiated and serves as the lead of the UIRF's Market Research and Technology Commercialization Internship Program. Rob received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995 with a major in Cell & Structural Biology. He then attended the Mayo Graduate School in Rochester, MN, where he earned his MS in Biomedical Science, specialization Pharmacology in 1998. He spent the following years pursuing research activities in two gastroenterology laboratories at the Mayo Foundation. He then returned to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue his MBA, graduating in 2006 with Academic Excellence honors. Rob joined the UIRF in November of 2006.

Mihaela Bojin
Licensing Associate - Intellectual Property Analyst

Dr. Bojin joined the University of Iowa Research Foundation in 2013. Previously, Mihaela was a patent agent at King & Spalding LLP, New York Intellectual Property Practice Group, where she managed complex patent dockets for U.S. and foreign pharmaceutical, chemical, and cosmetics clients. Mihaela also has extensive research and teaching experience gained as an assistant professor at the City University of New York, and as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Davis, and at New York University. Mihaela holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Bucharest, Romania. Mihaela is a registered patent agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Deborah Dowd
Admin Services Coordinator

Deborah joined the University of Iowa Research Foundation in March of 2008. Deborah received an AS in Applied Science and Legal Assistant, from Kaplan College and Kirkwood Community College. Prior to joining UIRF, Deborah worked as an Executive Assistant at Rockwell Collins for seven years and Pearson Education for one year.

Jolene Griffith
Sr. Accountant

Jolene joined the UIRF as an Accountant in October 2008 and assumed the Senior Accountant position in July of 2013. She performs all accounting and financial reporting functions related to technology commercialization and the subsequent revenue streams. Prior to joining UIRF, she managed accounts payable and receivable for an aquaculture sales company in Fort Collins, Colorado. Jolene also worked as a consultant in Boulder, Colorado to negotiate with the IRS on behalf of small businesses and individuals for the resolution of delinquent tax debts. After working as an executive assistant at a book and gift distribution company in Fairfield, Iowa, she managed the business dissolution, liquidation of assets and settlement with business creditors. Jolene earned a BBA of Accounting from the University of Iowa in May 2008.

Nancy Halder

Nancy Halder worked at the Research Foundation from 1995-2008. She has returned to her former job of accountant and assists the senior accountant in accounting functions in 2013. She graduated from Goshen College (Indiana) with a BA in Communications.

Our Location

The UIRF is located in the north side of Gilmore Hall on the garden level.

Driving Directions

Our Location

Phone: 319-335-4546

Fax: 319-335-4486

Mailing Address: University of Iowa Research Foundation
6 Gilmore Hall
112 N. Capitol Street
Iowa City, IA 52242-5500

Email: Zev Sunleaf, Executive Director

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6 Gilmore Hall, 112 N. Capitol Street, Iowa City, IA 52242     phone: 319-335-4546 fax: 319-335-4486 © University of Iowa 2007. All rights reserved.