our team

University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) Departments

Executive Director

Marie Kerbeshian, PhD, CLP

Assistant Vice President and Executive Director
Phone: 319-335-4155

Dr. Kerbeshian is Assistant Vice President and Executive Director of the UIRF where she oversees UI’s commercialization efforts for technology developed at the university. She is a Certified Licensing Professional™ and a registered patent agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She has almost two decades of experience in commercializing university innovations.  Prior to joining the UIRF in 2017, Marie led the offices for the Indiana University system and at the University of Virginia.

Marie graduated from Wellesley College with highest honors in biological sciences and earned a PhD in zoology from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining University of Virginia’s commercialization office, she was a postdoctoral fellow at that university’s Center for Research in Reproduction in the Health Sciences Center and at the National Science Foundation’s Center for Biological Timing in the Department of Biology.

Licensing

Mihaela Bojin, PhD, CLP

Associate Director
Areas: Cardiovascular Medicine, Chemistry, College of Engineering, College of Law, College of Pharmacy, Neurology, Orthopedics, Physics & Astronomy, Radiology, Surgery
Phone: 319-335-2723

Mihaela BojinDr. Bojin joined the UIRF in 2013.  She has an expertise in intellectual capital management (licensing, business and intellectual property assessment) in a variety of technical fields (pharmaceuticals, medical devices, software, etc.)  She is a Certified Licensing Professional™ and a registered patent agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Prior to joining the UIRF, 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 PhD in Chemistry from Cornell University, and a BS in Chemistry from University of Bucharest, Romania.

Kellen Sensor, MBA, MS, RTTP

Associate Director
Areas: Anatomy & Cell Biology, Biology, College of Business, College of Dentistry, College of Nursing, Computer Science, College of Education, Epidemiology, Immunology, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Otolaryngology, Pedatrics, Psychiatry, Urology
Phone: 319-335-4073

Kellen SensorKellen Sensor joined the UIRF in 2013 as a Licensing Associate. He has extensive experience in negotiating agreements, developing marketing strategies, and assessing commercial viability of technologies. Prior to joining the UIRF, Kellen was a Licensing Associate at the University of Cincinnati’s Intellectual Property Office for four years. He has been designated as a Registered Technology Transfer Professional by the ATTP. Kellen holds an MS in Genetics from Cornell University, an MBA in Marketing from the University of Iowa, and a BA in Biotechnology from the University of Northern Iowa.

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Phone: 319-467-1897

Dr. Sarah Sapouckey joined the UIRF as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in late 2019. She earned her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology here at the University of Iowa. Sarah’s graduate research focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms within the brain that control sympathetic nerve activity and resting metabolic rate. Sarah also has a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching. Prior to her time in Iowa, she completed a BS in Biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts and an AS in Animal Science from Holyoke Community College.

 

Hozhabr Mozafari, PhD

Post-Doctoral Associate

Dr. Hozhabr joined the UIRF as a Postdoctoral Associate in 2020. His responsibilities include technology scouting, innovation assessment, licensing and agreements, and marketing. Prior to join the UIRF, Hozhabr was a Commercialization Analyst Intern at NUtech Ventures, where he gained extensive experience with technology transfer procedures. Hozhabr, holds a PhD in Material Engineering and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His technical expertise is in the micro-mechanics, medical devices, and Mechanotransduction. Hozhabr also has experience with safety and crashworthiness of railed vehicles.

Intellectual Property

Tyann Porepp, BS

Manager of Intellectual Property
Phone: 319-384-2718
Notary

Tyann PoreppTyann Porepp joined UIRF in 2010 as the Intellectual Property Manager. Tyann manages correspondence and deadlines associated with patent prosecution. Prior to joining the UIRF, she worked at an intellectual property law firm in Des Moines, Iowa where she assisted in patent and trademark prosecution. Tyann holds a BS in Human Resources Management from Upper Iowa University. She is also a registered notary.

Accounting & Operations

Jolene Griffith, BBA

Assistant Director of Finance and Operations
Phone: 319-384-0886

Jolene Griffith joined the UIRF in 2008  as an Accountant, Senior Accountant, and Finance & Operations Manager.  As the Assistant Director of Finance & Operations, she oversees the administrative and financial functions of the UIRF. She reports, evaluates, and improves financial and operational performance, assures the effectiveness of internal controls and compliance with applicable standards, and assists in the negotiation of agreement terms. Jolene holds a BBA of Accounting and a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics from the University of Iowa, Tippie College of Business and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Purdue University.

 

Sherry McClellen, BS

Accountant
Phone: 319-384-4227

Sherry McClellen joined the UIRF in 2018 as an Accountant. She manages the accounts receivable and payables, assists distribution recipients, and licensee financial terms. Prior to joining the UIRF,  Sherry was the accountant for several profit and non-profit businesses. Sherry holds a BS in Engineering from the University of Iowa and a AAS in Accounting from Kirkwood Community College.