Meet the Staff
Brandeis University engages in research and scholarship that push the boundaries of knowledge, discover how the world works, and design innovations that improve society. In support of these endeavors, the University has developed an extremely active and supportive Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) to achieve a full range of competencies in licensing, business development and legal matters for transferring technologies created within Brandeis.
The OTL is a cohesive, coordinated group servicing researchers, inventors, thought-leaders, entrepreneurs and industry. Our goal is to take Brandeis inventions and innovations discovered by our researchers and provide the appropriate support and infrastructure to allow technology development, commercialization and, ultimately, the development of products. We help enable research by providing services to the research community.
The team has backgrounds in technology licensing, patenting, bench research, finance, funding, business, law and start-ups. Not only does the OTL manage and provide support for innovations and technologies from within Brandeis, but it prospectively seeks external support in the form of industrial collaborations, patents and licensing, grants and donations.
Rebecca Menapace, MBA, CLP
Associate Provost for Innovation
Executive Director of the Office of Technology Licensing
Rebecca Menapace, MBA, CLP is the Associate Provost for Innovation and the Executive Director of the Office of Technology Licensing at Brandeis University. She is responsible for advancing the university’s academic mission of research excellence by pursuing strategic industry partnerships in a highly competitive business and academic environment. She actively supports science faculty, undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in commercializing their discoveries for the public benefit, and provides leadership and management for all of Brandeis’s intellectual property through the Office of Technology Licensing.
Prior to Brandeis, Rebecca spent 12 years with Partners Healthcare as the Director of Research Ventures and Licensing, leading all intellectual property, licensing and start-up development for Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She has also worked in corporate development, product management, applications engineering and research for a number of Boston-area biotechnology companies.
Rebecca is a registered Patent Agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is a named inventor on two U.S. patents. She earned her Master’s in Business Administration from the Northeastern University High Tech MBA Program and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a concentration in Chemistry from SUNY College at Oswego.
Anupama Ahuja, Ph.D.
Dr. Anupama (Anu) Ahuja joined Brandeis University as the Associate Director of the Office of Technology Licensing in September 2014. In this role, she is responsible for identifying new industry partners and developing strategic relationships to commercialize University inventions. Prior to joining Brandeis, Anu managed all aspects of the intellectual property (IP) portfolio in a broad area including the life sciences, chemistry and engineering at the North Carolina State University for over four years. She has also been involved in counseling businesses, fostering new startups, as well as negotiating complex deals with multinational companies.
Anu has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Wayne State University, MI and a Master of Science in Biotechnology from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Later, as a postdoctoral fellow and a research faculty at Yale University, Anu was responsible for developing new mouse models for immunotherapy and for understanding the adaptive immune response. While at Yale, she took her first step to transition into the IP space by interning at the Office of Cooperative Research.
Melissa Blackman, Ph.D.
Blackman earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Brandeis University. Contact for material transfer and non-disclosure agreements.
Sadie E. Knight, M.S.
Sadie joined the OTL as an intern in July of 2014, smoothly transitioning to Licensing Associate in January 2015 after completing graduate school at Brandeis University. She is responsible for managing the University’s intellectual property portfolios, as well as extending the tools, resources and opportunities provided by the OTL to the University’s innovative community and beyond. In addition to recently earning her Master of Science in Inorganic Chemistry from Brandeis, she also holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from James Madison University in Virginia.
Lipoi M. Finau, MBA
Manager of Finance and Accounting
Lipoi has been a part-time OTL team member since March of 2012. His primary area of responsibility is in that of financial management, leading the annual operating budget and projection process of the OTL. While developing and maintaining multi-year financial plans, Lipoi also oversees the processes for creating, reviewing, and approving vouchers, billings, journal entries, payables, receivables and royalty distributions. Before Brandeis, Lipoi was the Director of Finance and Accounting for 17 years in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, where he managed the financial operations with an annual operating budget of $80+ million. Lipoi received his MBA from Alaska Pacific University and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from University of Hawaii.
Diane has been working in the OTL as the department coordinator and assistant to the executive director since September of 2011. One of her key responsibilities involves managing the annuities docket and maintaining the general IP docket. Diane is responsible for licensee financials, royalty and patent income, office expenses and patent legal expenses. She also assists in the preparation of the fiscal year budget preparation and participates in IP projects. Diane is a certified notary and worked for 15 years at a plaintiff personal injury law firm in Boston. She received her paralegal certificate from the University of New Hampshire, Durham and holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from UNH, Plymouth.
Sumedha Ahuja-Bahri, J.D.
Intellectual Property Consultant
Since September of 2014, Sumedha has been working in the OTL as an Intellectual Property Consultant, where she reviews incoming invention disclosures and determines proceeding strategies. Sumedha reviews and advises on Brandeis' patent portfolio and also advises on any patentability or other patent prosecution related issues. In addition to reviewing licensing agreements and any technology transfer related agreements, Sumedha drafts high tech marketing pieces on inventions to attract potential licensees. Additionally, she plans and implements various marketing strategies, including traditional and social media. Sumedha also teaches seminars on patent law to inventors and students.
Sumedha has over 8 years of experience as a patent attorney in both law firm and in-house environments. She received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and is a registered attorney in MA, as well as a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). She has an engineering background, holding a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a Mechanical Engineering concentration from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
Idil Kan, MAief, M.S. Candidate
Technology Licensing Intern
As a second-year graduate student at Brandeis University pursuing her Professional Science Master’s in Biotechnology, Idil has a diverse background in international business and science. She earned a Master’s in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Koc University, Istanbul. Since joining the OTL in June 2014, she has evaluated invention disclosures and carried out prior art searches to assess patentability. She has also conducted market research to identify licensing opportunities, evaluated international search reports and analyzed royalty reports for existing licensing agreements.
Prior to joining OTL, Idil worked at Drexel University, School of Biomedical Engineering, where she was responsible for evaluating the commercialization potential for portfolio technologies, conducting market research, communicating with medical focus groups and organizing IT systems for product development progress. Later, at Zintro Inc., a market place for highly specialized expertise, she managed communications with over 60,000 highly specialized business and technical experts worldwide in order to write, edit and publish daily business news reports written by industry experts.