Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Staff

Kathy-NugentKathy Nugent, Ph.D.
Managing Director
Phone: 205/934-7384 or 205/934-9911

Dr. Kathy Nugent is the Managing Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She is a senior biotechnology executive with over 20 years of healthcare industry experience. Dr. Nugent also currently serves as the director and assistant professor of the Masters of Biotechnology program at UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham.) Dr. Nugent specializes in providing senior counsel to companies focused on pharmaceutical discovery and development. Specifically, she provides strategic guidance in the areas of financial, scientific and regulatory communications, product launches and crisis management.

Dr. Nugent also serves as the current President of the Biotechnology Association of Alabama. In this role, Dr. Nugent interacts with state biotechnology companies, affiliated organizations, economic development allies, academia, and state government officials. Dr. Nugent was an adjunct professor at the City University of New York, Hunter College, Baruch College and Medgar Evers College.

Dr. Nugent earned her Ph.D. in biopsychology at the City University of New York and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Pharmacology at the Weill-Cornell Medical College.


IIE:  Debbie Bidanset-PonderDeborah J. Bidanset, PhD
Assistant Director of Technology Transfer
Phone: 205/975-6851

Dr. Bidanset joined the UABRF as Program Director II/Licensing Associate 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 the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 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.


IIE: Holly MeadowsHolly Wales Meadows, JD
Senior Licensing Associate
Phone: 205/975-9443

Ms. Meadows is a Senior Licensing Associate with the UABRF. 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 UABRF, 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.


IIE:Dugald HallDugald Hall, Ph.D.
Licensing Associate
Phone: 205/996-7578

Dr. Dugald Hall joined the UABRF in December, 2008 as a Licensing Associate. Dr. Hall 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.


IIE:  Eve VickEve Vick, Ph.D.
Licensing Associate
Phone: 205/996-4740

Dr. Eve Vick joined the UABRF in 2011 as a Licensing Associate/Material Transfer Agreement Specialist. Dr. Vick earned a B.S. degree in Biology from Francis Marion University in South Carolina, a M.A. in Psychology from East Tennessee State University, and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with research focused in neuroscience. Dr. Vick has also worked in the pharmaceutical industry and as a science editor.


skelpkeStacey Kelpke, Ph.D.
Licensing Associate
Phone: 205/996-2538

Dr. Stacey Kelpke joined the UABRF in 2013 as a Licensing Associate.  Dr. Kelpke 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 UABRF, Dr. Kelpke served as an Instructor in the Department of Surgery developing a report mouse using recombineering technology and was responsible for statistical analysis of ongoing clinical studies. 

CIIE:Catherine Oztekinatherine (Cacky) S. Oztekin
Director, Administrative and Fiscal Affairs
Phone: 205/975-6068

Ms. Oztekin joined The UAB Research Foundation in 1999, and brings with her extensive expertise in corporate accounting and financial management. She oversees financial matters, in addition to monitoring compliance of agreements. Ms. Oztekin has a BA in Economics from Sewanee: The University of the South, and an MBA, with a concentration in finance and accounting, from Emory University.


IIE:  Karen SongerKaren Songer
Program Administrator II
Phone: 205/934-7871

Ms. Songer has been with the Research Foundation since 2002. She currently serves as the Patent Manager, manages the department’s database and coordinates patent prosecution for intellectual property submitted to the Research Foundation. She is also responsible for grant and contract compliance reporting to federal government agencies. Prior to joining the Research Foundation, Ms. Songer worked in the Legal Office for the University of Alabama System; she has over 25 years experience in the legal field working in private practice law firms. Ms. Songer attended Dyersburg State Community College in Dyersburg, Tennessee; Jefferson State College in Birmingham, AL and Auburn University-Montgomery where she majored in Business and Education.


 IIE: Denise RichardsonDenise Richardson
Executive Assistant I
Phone: 205/ 934-9911

Denise Richardson joined the UAB Research Foundation in 2004 and serves as Executive Assistant to the CEO / Sr Assoc VP for Economic Development and Innovation Alliances. Ms. Richardson attended Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama, where she pursued a degree in Art (Studio) with a double minor in English and Psychology. She has worked for the Dept. of Finance for the State of Alabama and brings with her over 18 years of experience in the legal field, specializing in legal billing, collections and administration from various law firms in the Birmingham area.


IIE: Deborah PoweDeborah Powe
Administrative Associate
Phone: 205/934-5395

Deborah Powe joined The UAB Research Foundation in January 2006 as an Administrative Support Specialist.  Ms. Powe is currently the Administrative Associate to the Director of Technology Transfer and also manages Intellectual Property Disclosures submitted by inventors for licensing and patenting.  Ms. Powe has been with UAB since 1996.


OVPRED: Leona C. FitzmauriceLeona C. Fitzmaurice, PhD
Assistant VP, Business Development
Phone 205/934-7868

Dr. Fitzmaurice is the Director of Technology Transfer. She joined the UABRF in October, 2004. She has served as the Executive Director of the Washington State University Research Foundation and as Associate Director for Life Sciences in the University of Florida’s Office of Technology Licensing. Her experience in these two institutions includes patenting and licensing university technologies as well as assisting in the formation of start-up companies. She spent ten years developing and managing the Plant Sciences Program for the Salk Institute’s biotechnology company, SIBIA, in San Diego, California. Dr. Fitzmaurice holds a BA in Biology from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California.



MTO:  Hayes Lowe Hayes A. Lowe, Jr, JD
MTA Manager
Phone: 205/975-0843

Hayes Lowe manages the review process for material transfer agreements and collaborative research agreements, and negotiates terms and conditions, both for UAB and the UABRF. He has been reviewing contracts and agreements for UAB since 1996, including material transfer agreements since 2001. Mr. Lowe has previously worked in the Office of University Contracts, under both the Office of Legal Counsel and Financial Affairs. He has also worked in the Office of Grants and Contracts Administration. Most recently, he managed the Office of the Material Transfer Liaison, under the Office of Legal Counsel. In November, 2005, the Material Transfer Office became a unit reporting to the UABRF.



MTO:Joy BruceJoy Bruce
Program Coordinator II
Phone: 205/934-4591

Joy Bruce has been with The UAB Research Foundation since 2004. Before joining with UABRF, Mrs. Bruce retired after 25 years as a Network manager for a communications company.  Ms. Bruce assists in the administration of Materials Transfer Agreements and coordinates the office IT and communications.