Our Teams

MSU Innovation Center Leadership Team

The MSU Innovation Center Leadership team supports the mission and vision of the MSU Innovation Center. Collectively, we integrate innovation, technology transfer, support for start-ups, and partnerships with businesses and communities to bring ideas to the marketplace to help Michigan and the United States compete in a global environment. MSU brings pathbreaking ideas to the …

Brian Wright

Associate Director

Teams: Leadership
Charles Hasemann

Charles Hasemann, Ph.D.

Associate VP for Innovation & Economic Development

Teams: Leadership

Anne C. DiSante

Executive Director

Teams: Leadership
David Washburn

David Washburn

Executive Director, MSU Foundation; President of Spartan Innovations; President, Red Cedar Ventures

Technology Manager Team

Technology managers help evaluate commercialization potential based on factors such as intellectual property strength, market value, level of development, ease of implementation and timing. Learn who represents your space of MSU.

Katie James

Technology Transfer Fellow

Brian Copple

Brian Copple

Technology Manager

Tom Herlache

Tom Herlache, Ph.D., J.D.

Technology Manager Assistant Director for Commercialization

Julia Miller, Ph.D.

AgBio Technology Manager

Corporate Engagement Team

The Corporate Engagement Team works to create collaborations between university and corporate research teams. These collaborations work to advance research and bring MSU innovations closer to the world where they will have direct impact.

Leon Ma Headshot

Leon Ma

Assistant Director for Corporate Relations

Jeff Myers

Jeff Myers

Director of Corporate Relations

Brice Nelson

Director of Corporate Partnerships

Business Connect Contracts Team

The Business Connect Contracts Team reviews, negotiates and drafts contracts with for-profit companies sponsoring research, clinical trials and fee for service activity at MSU. The team is involved in the contracting process from beginning to end to ensure both parties are satisfied with the outcome and to ensure consistency with MSU policies. The team works …

Charlene Fortin

Contract and Grant Sponsored Accountant

Jeff Myers

Jeff Myers

Director of Corporate Relations

Brice Nelson

Director of Corporate Partnerships

Tina Ramos

Tina Ramos, MPA, J.D.

Contract & Grant/Sponsored Programs Administrator

MSUT Operations Team

The MSUT Operations Team oversees the Intellectual Property portfolio of the Innovation Center. From managing the patents to executing license and option agreements to distributing royalties, this team has a hand in all things IP.

Innovation Center

Andréa Beauford

Agreement Compliance Assistant

Stephanie Taylor Headshot

Stephanie Taylor

Patent Assistant

Karen Lavery

Financial Analyst

Karen Chang

Karen Chang, J.D.

Agreement & Compliance Coordinator

Sandra Clough

Sandra Bishop

Intellectual Property Administrator

Guangming He

Guangming He, Ph.D.

Information Management Analyst

MSUT Translational Grant Team

The MSU Technologies Translational Grant team works to manage grant awards given to researchers, from the application process to granting the award. Grants include the ADVANCE Grant, the MTRAC Starter and Full award, and TSGTD internal MSU grant. To grant these awards, the team works with the technology managers and university researchers. “We are particularly …

Joseph Affholter

Commercialization Program Director MTRAC AgBio Innovation Hub

Weian Ou

Weian Ou

Grant Manager for the MTRAC program and MSU SMART ZONE


The CDA/MTA/DUA Team assists with material transfer agreements (MTA), confidential disclosure agreements (CDA), and data use agreements (DUA) for the university. They help faculty members protect their intellectual property, transfer data and materials to and from other institutions, and conduct research. The team works diligently to secure the CDA/MTA/DUA agreements for the university. They execute …

Stacey Paksi

MTA/CDA/DUA Coordinator

Audrey Grantz

MTA/CDA/DUA Coordinator

Jean Zwier

Jean Zwier

MTA/CDA/DUA Coordinator

Startup Support Team

The Startup Support team helps MSU faculty turn their technology innovations into startup companies. The Entrepreneurs-In-Residence (EIRs) and Mentors-In-Residence (MIRs) are available to provide support, mentorship and resources to faculty looking to turn their research into a viable company. “We are here to help accelerate technologies from concept to market and create the companies of …

Brad Fingland, Ph.D.

Director of Venture Creation, Physical Sciences

Thomas Stewart

Thomas Stewart

Assistant Director of Venture Acceleration

Frank A. Urban

Director of Venture Creation - Life Sciences

Incubators and Real Estate Team

The Incubators & Real Estate Team spurs placemaking and economic development for startups and established companies through spaces such as incubators, corporate innovation and research space and multi-tenant flex space. The team works together to support these companies by providing resources and space in which the companies can grow. “Our team is small, efficient, and …

Investment Team

The investment team mentors entrepreneurs and provides early stage support and funding to startups emanating from Michigan State University as well as the wider Michigan ecosystem. Each member of the team brings a unique set of skills, which allows them to make decisions to best help entrepreneurs. “We accentuate the talents of each other and …

David Washburn

David Washburn

Executive Director, MSU Foundation; President of Spartan Innovations; President, Red Cedar Ventures

Communications Team

The Communications Team oversees all communication and marketing from the MSU Innovation Center. They share news of work within the university that hits on the Center’s three main pillars: Corporate Engagement, Tech Transfer & Commercialization, and Startups & Entrepreneurship.

Administrative Support Team

The Administrative Support Team is the backbone of the Innovation Center. They perform a variety of jobs including scheduling, administrative support, reception, hiring, accounting, travel planning, internal communication and much more. “I’d like to think of myself as a point person in the office,” said Janet Foreman, the Executive Staff Assistant and Office Manager. “Whether …

Janelle' Flores

Janelle' Campbell, CHRS

Human Resources Administrator

Janet Foreman

Janet Foreman

Executive Staff Assistant and Office Manager

Marta Sinclair

Marta Sinclair

Executive Staff Assistant

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