Team Directory

BioVenture eLab

Loren A. Busby
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Loren A. BusbyCFA
  • Director, BioVenture eLab at Weill Cornell Medicine
Phone: (917) 853-4684

Loren A. Busby is director of Weill Cornell Medicine’s BioVenture eLab and previously served as one of its Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. Trained in corporate finance, Ms. Busby is a veteran of the New York City venture capital ecosystem. Life sciences and digital technology were central themes in her 20+ year career at three early-stage venture capital funds. Over the years, she has served as venture investor and operator in numerous academic spinouts and health care-related companies. She delivers lectures and programming at Weill Cornell Medicine and other Cornell University schools and neighboring academic institutions. Ms. Busby also mentors researchers and clinicians on startup formation, fundraising and team-building. She has served on corporate boards of directors and chaired committees for CFA Society of New York and other nonprofits. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst who earned an M.B.A. from Columbia University and B.S. from Central Connecticut State University. 

Krista Fretes
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Krista Fretes
  • Operations Associate
Phone: (917) 776-8337

Krista Fretes is an operations associate at Weill Cornell Medicine’s BioVenture eLab. As part of this role, Ms. Fretes works directly with faculty, students and researchers by providing training and resources to help them commercialize their ideas. She helps with event programming/marketing and facilitates relationships between the BioVenture eLab, Tri-Institutional (Weill Cornell Medicine, The Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) entrepreneurial community, eLab's mentor network, and eLab's ecosystem partners.

Prior to joining the team at Weill Cornell Medicine, Ms. Fretes founded Gentroma Inc. (formerly Centragen) as an NYU spinout in 2017. Gentroma is developing an innovative graphene-based DNA/RNA sequencing nanodevice. She expanded her industry experience by working with life science startups as a community relations lead with Unite Life Sciences (ULS), the biotech-devoted B2B networking, market research and event production division of the International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC).

Ms. Fretes earned her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology with a focus in genetics with a minor in Business Management at New York University, graduating from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship program.

Business Development and Licensing

A young Caucasian male with a mustache, wearing a dark green and khaki suit
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James BellushPh.D.
  • Manager, Scientific Scouting
Phone: (646) 962-7080

Dr. James Bellush is a manager of scientific scouting for the Business Development and Licensing team at Weill Cornell Medicine. In this role, he helps to continually expand the pipeline of Weill Cornell innovations by sourcing and developing research projects with high commercial translation potential. Dr. Bellush is also responsible for identifying external funding opportunities, research collaborations and strategic alliances with industry and academic partners.

Prior to joining the Center for Technology Licensing in 2024, Dr. Bellush worked as a venture associate with RTW Investments, a full-life cycle health care investment firm based in New York. In this role, he was responsible for the sourcing, scientific diligence and preclinical development of assets for RTW portfolio companies. Dr. Bellush has drug development experience across a range of therapeutic areas which include cardiovascular, neurological and rare disease.

Dr. Bellush received his doctorate in Molecular Biology from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, where he used genomics approaches to study how chromatin structure influences DNA replication and transcription dynamics during C. elegans embryogenesis (lab of Dr. Iestyn Whitehouse, Memorial Sloan Kettering). He holds a B.S. in Biology from Moravian University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Iris Bica
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Iris Bica
  • Business Development and Licensing Associate
Phone: (646) 962-5966

Iris Bica joined the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) at Weill Cornell Medicine as a Business Development and Licensing Associate in 2022. In this role, she assists the CTL team with identifying, assessing and marketing their portfolio of life science technologies.

Before joining the team, Ms. Bica gained experience in business development and technology transfer at Tulane University’s Office of Intellectual Property Management and at, the reagent arm of Cancer Research UK. Ms. Bica holds a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Tulane University.

Jamie Brisbois, Ph.D.
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Jamie BrisboisPh.D.
  • Manager, Business Development and Licensing
Phone: (646) 962-7049

Dr. Jamie Brisbois is a manager, business development and licensing based in New York City. In this role, he collaborates with Weill Cornell Medicine innovators to identify, market and license life sciences technologies.

Prior to joining the Center for Technology Licensing in 2021, Dr. Brisbois worked as a consultant with ClearView Healthcare Partners, a boutique health care consulting firm based in Boston. In addition, he served three years as a fellow with Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV), the technology transfer office of Columbia University.

Dr. Brisbois received his doctorate in Chemistry from Columbia University, where he helped develop a scalable signaling language for engineering multicellular communication in the laboratory of Dr. Virginia Cornish. He holds a B.A. in Chemistry, Biochemistry and French from Lawrence University (Appleton, WI) where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Dr. Brisbois partners with innovators from the departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, and Pharmacology.  

Dr. Ivan Gando, a young male in dark blue suit
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Ivan GandoPh.D.
  • Business Development and Licensing Associate
Phone: (646) 962-6708

Dr. Ivan Gando joined the Center for Technology Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine as a business development and licensing associate in 2023. In his role, he supports the team's technology commercialization efforts.

Prior to joining the team, he gained experience in technology transfer by participating in the Mount Sinai Innovation Partners internship program as a business development fellow, where he completed didactic coursework on academic technology transfer and then, as a selected participant, gained immersive, hands-on experience.

Dr. Gando obtained his Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from New York University Grossman School of Medicine, where he worked on translational drug discovery efforts targeting ion channels across various therapeutic areas in Dr. William Coetzee's laboratory. He earned his B.A. from New York University, with studies in Biochemistry, Mathematics, and Anthropology.

Dr. Jeff James
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Jeffrey Anson JamesPh.D.
  • Associate Director, Business Development and Licensing
Phone: (646) 962-4194

Dr. Jeffrey Anson James has over 15 years of experience helping academic institutions to commercialize their early-stage inventions. Prior to joining the Center for Technology Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine, he was associate director for licensing at the Penn Center for Innovation, University of Pennsylvania, where he managed commercialization activities in the life science space. He has also held positions as licensing manager at both the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. James received his doctorate in biomedical sciences from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and from there moved on to complete his postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Later, as a licensing and patenting associate at the NIH, he cultivated his passion for helping to translate nascent inventions into commercially viable products and has worked in the field ever since. Dr. James’ goal is to work with faculty and industry to catalyze and facilitate productive interactions that lead to commercial success.

Dr. James partners with innovators from the Weill Department of Medicine and the departments of Anesthesiology, Neurology and Psychiatry, as well as the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute, the Weill Center for Metabolic Health, and the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center. 

Brian Kelly, Ph.D.
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Brian KellyPh.D., CLP
  • Director, Business Development and Licensing
Phone: (646) 962-7041

Dr. Brian Kelly is the director of Business Development and Licensing in the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) at Weill Cornell Medicine. He manages a portfolio of inventions focusing on oncology, gene therapy, metabolic diseases, the microbiome and endocrine disorders.

Prior to joining CTL, Dr. Kelly served as director of intellectual property for New York University’s tech transfer office. He has also held positions at the University of Minnesota as a licensing associate, Heide, Hyde & O’Donnell as an associate European patent attorney and Smith, Kline & French as a research chemist.

He received his doctorate in Organic Chemistry from University of Leicester and MSc in Intellectual Property from the University of London. Dr. Kelly is also a member of AUTM, the Licensing Executives Society and is a Certified Licensing Professional.

Dr. Kelly partners with innovators from the departments of Dermatology, Genetic Medicine, and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, as well as the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  

A young Asian man wearing a white shirt and black suit and smiling.
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Richard NguyenPh.D.
  • Manager, Alliance Management PICI
Phone: (646) 962-7735

Dr. Richard Nguyen is the manager, alliance management PICI for the collaboration between Weill Cornell Medicine and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI). In this role, he supports the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) and Dr. Jedd Wolchok, the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, by serving as the primary liaison to manage intellectual property matters pertaining to the consortium.

Dr. Nguyen leverages over a decade of experience in securing and managing strategic partnerships with academic collaborators and top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Weill Cornell Medicine in 2024, Dr. Nguyen led business development efforts at Xylyx Bio, Inc., a university spinout that develops advanced preclinical drug testing platforms for metastatic cancer and fibrotic diseases. During the pandemic, he worked with a multidisciplinary team of experts on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care diagnostics for feasibility of accelerated scale-up manufacturing. He has developed an expansive network from working at top-tier research institutions and in various technology transfer offices including as a technology licensing officer at Columbia Technology Ventures. He has also participated in several accelerator and entrepreneurial programs, contributing his expertise toward evaluating innovations for commercial potential and developing business strategies for early-stage ventures.

Dr. Nguyen earned his doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a minor in Neurobiology. He holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with minors in Physics and French.

Donna Rounds, Ph.D
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Donna J. RoundsPh.D.
  • Associate Director, Business Development and Licensing
Phone: (646) 962-7044

Dr. Donna Rounds is an Associate Director, Business Development and Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine. She has over 25 years of experience building value in early-stage life science technologies—from sourcing emergent technologies to developing strategies for commercialization. She specializes in managing complex scientific and business relationships and leveraging the synergy of cross-functional teams in due diligence and technology assessments, prototype development and proof-of-concept studies. She has a strong track record of successful outcomes through negotiation and transactions for licensing, startup formation, sponsored research and the creation of strategic alliances in pharma, biotech and academia. Her passion is launching innovative projects into next-generation products for health and wellness care.

Dr. Rounds received her doctorate in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University. Instead of pursuing a postdoctoral position, Dr. Rounds joined the startup world as one of the founders of Physiome Sciences, Inc., the first in-silico drug discovery platform using computational models of cells, tissues and organs. She later joined the British Technology Group (BTG Plc) as a technology scout, where she visited academic institutions across the East Coast searching for biotech projects in the early stages of development. Later, Dr. Rounds joined Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV) and managed a portfolio of world-class scientists and Nobel laureates at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. She was later recruited to lead the technology development program at Hospital for Special Surgery with a focus on musculoskeletal innovations and medical devices in orthopedics and rheumatology. Dr. Rounds was on the scientific advisory board of Tohi Ventures and co-founded Nirova BioSense, which is dedicated to the development of optical sensors for real-time detection of ovarian cancer biomarkers.

Dr. Rounds partners with innovators from the departments of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Neurological Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Population Health Sciences, Radiation Oncology, Radiology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Surgery, and Urology, as well as the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine and the Cardiovascular Research Institute.

Louise Sarup, Ph.D
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Louise SarupPh.D.
  • Associate Director, Business Development and Licensing
Phone: (646) 962-3523

Dr. Louise Sarup is an associate director, Business Development and Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine. Prior to joining the Center for Technology Licensing, Dr. Sarup was based in Singapore where she was head of business development and licensing for D3 (now EDDC), a drug discovery and development group based at A*STAR. Some of her previous roles include corporate development manager at S*BIO Pte Ltd. (Singapore), an oncology-focused biotech, vice president of business development at Paramount Biosciences (London), where she was responsible for in-licensing drug development assets and director (licensing) at Cytiva, a global life science company. Dr. Sarup has also worked for leading life science and health care communication agencies and UCL Business, the commercialization company of University College London.

Dr. Sarup earned her doctorate in Biochemical Engineering from University College London, MSc in Biotechnology from Nottingham Trent University, and B.Eng (Hons) in Chemical and Process Engineering from Newcastle University.

Dr. Sarup partners with innovators from the departments of Cell and Developmental Biology, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, and Physiology and Biophysics. She also supports the Ansary Stem Cell Institute and Hartman Institute for Regenerative Medicine, as well as some faculty from the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Department of Radiology.

Jessica Tabankin
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Jessica Tabankin
  • Director of Operations and Portfolio Management
Phone: (212) 746-5767

Jessica Tabankin is the director of operations and portfolio management for BioPharma Alliances and Research Collaborations. In her role, Ms. Tabankin manages the BioPharma portfolio including contract compliance, accounting and financial operations. She also oversees daily operations of the office.

Prior to joining Weill Cornell Medicine, Ms. Tabankin spent 18 years at NYU Langone Health in the Office of Industrial Liaison. She also worked at Darby & Darby, P.C., an intellectual property law firm for five years.

Ms. Tabankin has a B.A. from SUNY Albany and an M.B.A in Finance from Iona College. She is a member of AUTM.

Bruce Toman
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Bruce Toman
  • Technology Transactions Associate and MTA Coordinator, Center for Technology Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine
Phone: (646) 962-7042

Bruce Toman is the technology transactions associate and Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) Coordinator for the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) at Weill Cornell Medicine. He started working at CTL in 2000 and managed a portfolio of therapeutics, diagnostics, devices, medical imaging methods and research tools, mostly in neurology, before leaving CTL to join a startup in 2016. He later returned to CTL as a consultant. Mr. Toman works on a diverse range of projects for the licensing professionals and handles outgoing MTAs.    

Mina Zion, JD
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Mina W. ZionJ.D.
  • Associate Director for Innovation and Commercialization, Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar
Phone: (646) 962-7058

Mina Zion is the associate director for innovation and commercialization for the Weill Cornell Medicine location in Doha, Qatar (WCM-Q). In this capacity, he oversees the broadening of the research enterprise in Doha by leading external research alliances with global partners across North America, Middle East and North Africa and the EU.

Prior to joining Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, he was the corporate relations officer and interim president of Sentrimed Corporation, a university founded clinical stage biotech company that develops therapeutic drug candidates for targeting oral squamous cell carcinoma. In this role, he was responsible for identifying and negotiating a portfolio of licensing, partnership and manufacturing agreements, in addition to leading corporate fundraising and overseeing multiple c-suite and board appointments. Mr. Zion assumed similar roles at the University of Pennsylvania, at the University of Southern California and was the founding executive director of the Rowan University Office of Technology Commercialization, where he successfully led an effort to attract leading biotech partners to the region to engage in sponsored research, startup and licensing opportunities. Earlier in his career, Mr. Zion was an innovation scout at BASF Venture Capital and a Thomas G. Labrecque Scholar at JPMorgan Chase.

Mr. Zion received his Juris Doctorate from Rutgers University School of Law where he studied pharmaceutical, administrative and patent law. He holds a B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from New York University Polytechnic Institute.

Mr. Zion partners with research faculty across WCM-Q with the mission of broadening external research impact in Genomics, Proteomics, RNA, Imaging and Metabolomics. 

Intellectual Property Management

Eric Bryant
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Eric BryantM.S., J.D.
  • Intellectual Property Officer
Phone: (646) 962-7052

Eric Bryant is an intellectual property officer for Cornell University's Center for Technology Licensing. He holds a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from New York University (NYU), a Juris Doctor from New York Law School, and is a registered patent attorney.

Mr. Bryant joined the Center for Technology Licensing May 2022, and he works closely with the Weill Cornell Medicine business development and licensing team to execute on intellectual property strategy, review submitted invention disclosures, and manages domestic and foreign patent filings and patent prosecution. Prior to joining Cornell University, Mr. Bryant practiced as an intellectual property attorney and as in-house IP counsel managing health care-focused IP portfolios. Mr. Bryant’s expertise encompasses a variety of technologies including, but not limited to, diagnostics tools and methods, pharmaceuticals, controlled release therapeutic devices, respiratory devices, surgical tools, biological technologies and nanotechnology.

Office Management and Administration

Annie Cheng
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Annie Cheng
  • Office Manager, Center for Technology Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine
Phone: (646) 962-7043

Annie Cheng is the office manager of Center for Technology Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine. In addition to managing activities related to the office’s daily operations, she handles attorney invoices and patent reports. She also works closely with our inventors to complete formal papers.

Prior to joining Center for Technology Licensing, Ms. Cheng worked at GE Medical Systems as a mechanical engineer. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Brenda DeWitt
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Brenda J. DeWitt
  • Administrative Assistant
Phone: (646) 962-7045

Brenda DeWitt is the administrative assistant of the Center for Technology Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine. She supports the New York City team with all administrative tasks including office operations and procedures, scheduling and correspondence. Previously, she worked at Weill Cornell Medicine as an administrative assistant in the Department of Surgery’s Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. Prior to joining Weill Cornell Medicine Enterprise Innovation in 2022, Ms. DeWitt also worked at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  

Qian Hua Ge headshot
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Qian Hua GeM.A.
  • Communications Specialist
Phone: (646) 962-9539

Qian Hua Ge joined the Weill Cornell Medicine External Affairs team as a communications specialist dedicated to supporting Weill Cornell Medicine Enterprise Innovation communication and branding needs. In this role, she works closely with different Enterprise Innovation teams to harmonize, integrate and amplify communications about the innovation ecosystem and oversees the Weill Cornell Medicine Enterprise Innovation website and social media channel.

Ms. Ge held roles in alumni engagement and communications at Pace University prior to joining Weill Cornell Medicine. Her work at Pace was a blend of fundraising and communications, with her primary responsibilities for the latter focusing on the creation of marketing materials, newsletters, and web and social media content. Ms. Ge received her master’s degree in English from University of Rochester and a dual certificate in web and graphic design from Pace University.

Deanna Scarcella
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Deanna Scarcella
  • Administrative Assistant
Phone: (212) 746-6181

Deanna Scarcella provides administrative assistance for research alliances and collaborations between Weill Cornell investigators and the biopharma industry. In this position, she supports organizational success through the management of daily operations including meeting coordination and assisting with the preparation of various documents.

Prior to Ms. Scarcella’s position at Weill Cornell Medicine, she provided administrative and federal project support to the operational and research teams in the Research and Development Division of Educational Testing Service for seven years.

Ms. Scarcella holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from The College of Staten Island.