Issa Yousif


Issa is a PhD student in the department of Bioengineering, working in the lab of Dr. David Baker at the Institute for Protein Design. His research involves designing next generation therapeutics. Before starting his PhD, Issa worked in the Applications and R&D group at 10X Genomics, where he helped develop linked-read sequencing technology. Issa is a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship recipient, and a Senior Venture Analyst at WRF Capital. He is interested in biotechnology research commercialization. Issa received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Stanford University.

Richard Lee

VP of Development

Richard is a PhD student in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Washington working in the lab of Dr. Mehmet Sarikaya (GEMSEC), and received his Bachelor's degree in Physiology & Neurobiology, and Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut. He spent seven years in academic research studying neuroinflammation and stroke disease before starting graduate school. His current research focuses on developing biosensors for cancer diagnostics, for which he received an Amazon Catalyst grant to pursue this endeavor. His activities outside of the lab include serving as Chair on the UW College of Engineering Student Advisory Council where he was previously co-chair and the Facilities, Space and Capital Projects Subcommittee Lead. He has interests in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization and is open to exploring opportunities related to those areas. In his free time, Richard likes to weightlift and study foreign languages.

Fred Yeboah

Career Fair Coordinator

Fred is a PhD student in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, working in the lab of Dr. Jessica Young. His research focuses on using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as a model to study Alzheimer’s Diseases and other age-related disease mechanisms. Fred received his bachelor’s degree from Alabama State University with honors and was awarded the 2015 George H. Andrew Student of the Year Award. Receiving a prestigious research fellowship from Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, Fred spent two years conducting research after college before coming to UW. Fred is interested in technology commercialization, business strategy and entrepreneurship. Fred enjoys swimming and soccer during his leisure hours.

Melissa MacEwen

VP of Networking

Melissa is a doctoral student in the University of Washington Department of Pharmacology working in the Sancak Lab. Her research currently focuses on mitochondrial signaling and calcium regulation -- research areas that have been implicated in diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s disease, to aging, to Parkinson’s disease. Melissa graduated from Tufts University with a double major in biology and English. Before joining the pharmacology department, she spent three years studying molecular botany at the University of Washington and working at a next-generation DNA sequencing startup. She is interested in entrepreneurship, sustainability, and life science business development. In her free time, Melissa enjoys hiking, foraging, and volunteering at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center.

Ashley Allison

VP of Marketing

Ashley Allison is a  third-year undergraduate student in the University of Washington’s College of Engineering. With a passion for business and STEM, she is pursuing a degree in Industrial engineering to prepare for a career that can combine both. After studying high tech industry and technology in Japan, she hopes to continue her work on projects that provide aid for disaster relief operations and manufacturing. Currently she is an Engineering Peer Educator and looks forward to helping incoming freshmen learn to navigate the College of Engineering and University life. Ashley is also a member of the Delta Zeta sorority where she enjoys doing philanthropy work in her free time, along with graphic design, kayaking and photography.

Makoto Take

VP of Membership

Makoto is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UW, pursuing a BS in Mathematics as well as minors in Entrepreneurship and Neural Computation and Engineering. For the past three years, Makoto has been a member of the American Marketing Association where he served as VP of Student Development and VP of Sponsorship. He is also a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, where he has held five leadership roles including Director of Community Service, Head of Alumni Relations, and Head of Public Relations. As a devout futurist, Makoto looks to join the startup boom in Seattle and ultimately start a company based on computer-brain interface technology for health and mental illness applications.

Danielle Faivre

VP of Finance

Danielle is a Genome Sciences Ph.D. student in the MacCoss Lab. Her research involves using quantitative proteomics approaches to study neurodegenerative diseases by analyzing protein structure, turnover, and aggregation in cerebrospinal fluid and brain tissue. Before joining the MacCoss Lab, Danielle received a B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame and worked as an undergraduate researcher under Dr. Norman Dovichi. At UW, she has been part of the Bioscience Careers Seminar Committee and the CoMotion Innovation Development Intern Program. From these experiences, Danielle has become passionate about introducing undergraduate and graduate students to new opportunities and alternative careers in STEM fields. In her free time, she enjoys bouldering, playing soccer, and dancing at Zumba and Oula classes.

Michael Gabalis

VP of Operations

Michael is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Washington, pursuing a BS in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, as well as Applied Mathematics. As a SMART scholar for the Department of Defense, he will intern and work at the Space and Missile Systems Center, providing space capabilities for the United States Air Force. Michael enjoys designing ignition systems for the Society of Advanced Rocket Propulsion, designing powertrains for the Husky Robotics rover, and promoting equity by being a teaching assistant to the UW’s PEERs class.

Luel Mitiku

VP of Mentorship

Luel is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Washington pursuing a BS in Mechanical Engineering, as well as a minor in Informatics. With a passion for data science and new, emerging technologies in the field of engineering, he hopes to find a career in the future that can combine his fascination of the two. As a member of the iMatter Lab he has already begun on this path, looking at how to use machine learning algorithms to predict the ideal fill relationship of liquid metal nanoparticles and silver nanowires within an elastomer. When not working on school or research, his favorite pastimes include listening to music, playing video games, hiking, and swimming.

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Ron Howell

Ron Howell is the chief executive officer of the Washington Research Foundation, one of the nation’s top-ranked technology transfer organizations. After joining WRF in 1989, Ron led the organization through a major expansion, and stewarded WRF through its growth in assets from $13 million to $250 million. In 1994, the WRF leveraged staff expertise in evaluating research and intellectual property, and established WRF Capital, a return-on-investment mission, early-stage venture capital organization.

A renaissance man with a passion for science, jazz, photography and riding motorcycles, Ron is well-known to UW deans and academic leaders in the College of Engineering, the School of Medicine and the College of Arts & Sciences, where his strategic thinking has helped hone out-of-the-box ideas into commercializable technology. Ron has served on a number of boards at the University of Washington, Washington State University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and The W Fund.

Brad Roberts

Brad Roberts is Senior Vice President and co-head of the Innovation Group at Xinova.  Brad is responsible for managing Xinova’s technical staff, its worldwide network of inventors, innovators, and commercializers, sets portfolio strategy, and liaises with each client’s technical team. Brad was responsible for starting Xinova’s operations in Israel. He joined Xinova's predecessor in 2010 as Technical Assistant to the Fund’s Executive VP, helping to implement and optimize programs in global invention sourcing.


Brad has a PhD from the University of Washington’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the synthesis and characterization of transition-metal-doped-oxide semiconductors for use in spin-based electronics. While at UW, Brad also completed a Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate at the Foster School of Business and earned a Washington Research Foundation Capital Gates Foundation Fellowship in Technology Commercialization. As President of the UW Science and Engineering Business Association, he facilitated programs to introduce technical students to the world of entrepreneurship and venture capital.


As an undergraduate, Brad was president of a ski touring club, co-founded a student-run engineering consulting business to utilize on-campus characterization tools, and established the campus chapter of the Alpha Sigma Mu materials engineering honor society. Undergraduate internships included both the Hardware Engineering and Product Design groups at Apple, as well as Software Engineering group at Qualcomm. He is currently a member of the Engineering Advisory Board at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). 


Brad and his wife, who were married while on a school-building trek in Nepal, have since helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for additional schools and infrastructure repairs in earthquake-damaged Nepali villages.

Amy Sallin

Amy Sallin is director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship in the UW’s Foster School of Business. With over 18 years in higher education, her background includes academic marketing, fundraising, relationship building, and program development, both at UW and Portland State University. Amy discovered her passion for entrepreneurship during a stint in Silicon Valley in the early 1980s, and has channeled that interest into helping students grow into entrepreneurs and change-makers. She’s been working with student entrepreneurs and the Seattle startup community for over seven years.

Jeff Chamberlain

Jeff Chamberlain works in Business Development at Seattle-based Pacific Biomarkers, supporting the biotech, pharma, and diagnostic industries in the development of their drug or diagnostic products. Prior to Pacific Biomarkers, Dr. Chamberlain worked for Zwitter Technology as Project Leader and Manager of Business Development, working toward the commercialization of a polymeric coating technology with applications in many fields including medicine, medical devices, and marine coatings. 

Dr. Chamberlain earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he leveraged multiple biosensing modalities to study bacterial binding and biomolecular interaction analysis. He concurrently obtained the Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate from the UW Foster School of Business and served as president of the UW Science & Engineering Business Association (SEBA). He is a frequent volunteer in the Seattle life sciences business community, primarily through his involvement with the industry trade association, Life Science Washington.

Christina Chan

Christina Chan is a corporate attorney with a focus on mergers & acquisitions, equity financings and other significant business transactions. She has significant experience managing deals in the health care and health tech industry. Christina also has extensive experience counseling technology companies in a variety of transactions including sell-side, buy-side, joint ventures, strategic investments, and equity financings.

Dan Ratner

Passionate about improving the student experience, Dan is uniquely qualified to assume this leadership position. Dan is strategic, thoughtful, and skilled in moving impactful programs forward within the university. Through his roles in faculty governance and administration, he has been focused on addressing matters of diversity, equity, and access in university admissions policy and practice.

Dan will lead the college’s academic programs and initiatives to support student success. Dan will manage Academic Affairs’ strategic planning, student-oriented educational processes, implementation of ABET processes, and educational innovation as we continue to shift from a two-year to a four-year academic experience. He will work closely with key stakeholders both within and outside the UW, such as Washington’s unique network of 34 community and technical colleges.

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