Kathy Nugent, PhD

Kathy Nugent, PhD

Executive Director

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Phone: 205/996-2556 or 205/934-9911

Dr. Kathy Nugent joined the UAB Harbert Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HIIE) in 2014 as Executive Director where she oversees the commercialization efforts of all UAB technologies. Under Dr. Nugent’s leadership, the HIIE executed 52 licenses and was issued 45 patents in FY2017. In that same period the HIIE launched 6 start-ups and is poised to more than double that number in 2018 following the launch of the UAB Commercialization Accelerator where Dr. Nugent also serves as Executive Director. In addition, she is Assistant Professor in the Master of Science in Biotechnology program at UAB. She serves on the Board of Directors of numerous regional organizations including Southeast BIO, BioAlabama, Innovation Depot, Birmingham Business Alliance, and Birmingham Venture Club.

Dr. Nugent’s background includes more than 20 years as a senior biotechnology executive in which she specialized in providing senior counsel to companies focused on pharmaceutical discovery and development. Specifically, she is skilled in providing strategic guidance in the areas of financial, scientific and regulatory communications, product launches and crisis management.

Dr. Nugent was an adjunct professor at the City University of New York, Hunter College, Baruch College and Medgar Evers College. She earned her Ph.D. in biopsychology at the City University of New York and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Pharmacology at the Weill-Cornell Medical College.


Holly Wales Meadows, JD

Holly Wales Meadows, JD

Associate Director

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Phone: 205/975-9443

Ms. Meadows is the Associate Director of the HIIE. She is a registered attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and a member of the state bars of Alabama and Arkansas. Ms. Meadows received a BS degree in Microbiology from The University of Arkansas in 1998, and her Juris Doctor from The University of Arkansas School of Law in 2001. Prior to joining the HIIE, she was the Director of the Office of Technology Development at The University of South Alabama. Since 2000, she has worked exclusively in the areas of patent law and technology licensing.


Deborah J. Bidanset, PhD

Deborah J. Bidanset, PhD

Senior Licensing Manager

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Phone: 205/975-6851

Dr. Bidanset joined the HIIE in 2004. Dr. Bidanset received a BS degree in General Biology from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, a MS degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, a PhD in Cell Biology and a MBA from UAB. She was a Helen Keller Research Foundation Fellow at UAB and a Trauma Training Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Bidanset has extensive experience in various fields of scientific research including neuroscience, extracellular matrix biology and virology, as well as considerable experience in program management and its applications in laboratory research.


Dugald Hall, PhD

Dugald Hall, PhD

Senior Licensing Manager

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Phone: 205/996-7578

Dr. Dugald Hall joined the HIIE in December of 2008. He attended the University of Otago in New Zealand where he earned a BSc (1st class Honors) degree in Microbiology and a PhD in Virology. In 2003, he came to UAB as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Microbiology, where he studied the molecular mechanisms of RNA virus replication. Dr. Hall has also served as a Research Associate with the South Central Center for Public Health Preparedness in the UAB School of Public Health. In this role, he was responsible for all activities relating to food safety, agricultural security and zoonotic disease.


Stacey Kelpke, PhD

Stacey Kelpke, PhD

Licensing Manager

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Phone: 205/996- 2538

Dr. Stacey Kelpke joined the HIIE in 2013. She earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering at Auburn University and both a MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from UAB. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the UAB Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program as well as the UAB Center for Metabolic Bone Disease. Before joining the HIIE, Dr. Kelpke served as an instructor in the Department of Surgery and was responsible for statistical analysis of ongoing clinical studies and, in the Department of Biology and Molecular Genetics, developed a reporter mouse using recombineering technology.


Eve Vick, PhD

Eve Vick, PhD

Patent/Licensing Manager

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Phone: 205/996-4740

Dr. Eve Vick joined the HIIE in 2011. She earned a BS degree in Biology from Francis Marion University in South Carolina, a MA in Psychology from East Tennessee State University, and a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from UAB with research focused in neuroscience. Dr. Vick has also worked in the pharmaceutical industry and as a science editor.


Max W. Polec

Max W. Polec

Director, UAB Commercialization Accelerator

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Phone: 205/934-7871

Mr. Polec joined the HIIE in 2017 and currently serves as the Director of the UAB Commercialization Accelerator. Prior to that, Max attended the University of Pittsburgh where he studied finance. He relocated to Birmingham through an entrepreneurship fellowship known as Venture For America. Max has professional experience in marketing, business development, and entrepreneurship.


Natalie A. Cox, J.D.

Natalie A. Cox, J.D.

Sponsored Program Analyst and HIIE Liaison

Ms. Cox joined the HIIE in 2014. She is a registered attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and a member of the state bars of Alabama and Florida. Ms. Cox received a BE degree in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 2005, and her Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2008. Prior to joining the HIIE, Ms. Cox practiced law with a law firm in Birmingham, Alabama.


Justin S. Daigneault

Justin S. Daigneault

Financial Officer III

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Phone: 205/975-6068

Mr. Daigneault joined the HIIE in 2015. He has more than 11 years of experience at UAB, serving the majority of this time as a Financial Officer for research-intensive departments. He now serves as the Financial Officer for the HIIE. Justin graduated from the UAB School of Business in 2004 with a BS (honors) in Finance. He served as Secretary of the UAB chapter of the Financial Management Association, and was inducted into the Financial Management Association Honor Society. He also was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. He is currently working on a MBA at UAB.


Amanda Dove

Amanda Dove

Operations Coordinator

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Phone: 205/934-9911

Ms. Dove joined the HIIE in 2017. Prior to that, Amanda most recently worked as an English teacher in Japan in both elementary and high school classrooms. While there she also developed a grant-sponsored kids club exploring international children’s literature. Amanda has a background in writing, including developing marketing collateral and technical documentation. She has also lived and worked in the Netherlands. She has a BA in English from Samford University.