July 12, 2019

The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute has promoted two of its licensing managers into newly established managerial roles.

Maria Vanegas is now Senior Licensing Manager for Life Sciences and George Coulston is now Senior Licensing Manager for Physical Sciences.

In these new roles, Vanegas and Coulston each oversee a team of licensing managers and associates and help plan and execute strategies for commercializing the University’s life science and physical sciences intellectual property portfolios. Both will continue to oversee substantial innovation portfolios of their own. They will report to Alex Ducruet, Director of Licensing & Intellectual Property.

“As the pace and volume of our activities has increased significantly since the Innovation Institute was formed more than five years ago, we have now taken steps to evolve our organizational structure to better position the Innovation Institute to respond to the demand for our services across campus,” said Ducruet. “I am pleased to have such dedicated and talented individuals as Maria and George to fill these newly established roles.”

Vanegas joined the Innovation Institute 12 years ago from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where she obtained her doctorate in Immunology. Following her doctoral training she began an internship at Mayo Clinic Ventures. During her internship she was exposed to various aspects of technology transfer including business development, patentability, and licensing and subsequently became a patent liaison. Her portfolio at Pitt includes research reagents, diagnostics, vaccines, and small molecules.

Coulston joined the Innovation Institute in 2016 with more than two decades of experience in corporate entrepreneurship and the technology transfer across multiple industries. He has experience starting a new company and obtaining venture funding for spin off opportunities. Prior to joining the Innovation Institute, George held management and leadership positions with Vesuvius PLC in London; Kennametal, Inc. in Latrobe, PA; and DuPont, both in Delaware and North Carolina.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, a PhD in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business.