About Us

Fueling Innovation for a Robust Economy

The UC San Diego Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) is part of the Office of Research Affairs. The OIC has established a campus-wide innovation platform to build a systemic and sustainable innovation culture, to create a vibrant regional ecosystem, and to accelerate the commercialization of campus inventions.

Innovation is a diversity of thought leading to original ideas with value. OIC is here to promote diversity, break down barriers, create a transparent and efficient environment, and provide tools for entrepreneurs to innovate.

OIC is relationship-driven

  • Developing Entrepreneurial Talent
  • Aligning and Supporting Existing Resources
  • Streamlining and Simplifying Technology Agreements
  • Raising Awareness and Building Reputation
  • Building a Regional Ecosystem

Innovation creates new value when people with diverse ideas come together to develop solutions that meet societal or market needs


Paul Roben
Assoc. Vice Chancellor for Innovation & Commercialization
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Paul Roben, Ph.D., was named Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Commercialization at UC San Diego in June 2015.

Working with the Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Roben is transforming the functions provided by the Technology Transfer Office, Industry Research Alliances, and Industry Contracting into an integrated organization to include patenting, strategic corporate research partnering and industry contracts. He oversees the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, which will establish a campus-wide innovation platform to build a systemic and sustainable innovation culture, create a vibrant regional ecosystem, and accelerate the commercialization of UC San Diego inventions.

Previously he was Senior Director of Office Technology Development at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, working with multiple academic institutes to develop strategic processes to drive innovation alliances, and help translate their research programs into products for patients and society. He guided the formation of multiple new start-up companies and was responsible for the negotiation of a broad spectrum of technology licenses to industry.

As a key member of Ireland’s Innovation Taskforce (2009 to present), he co-authored a national economic-development plan for Ireland, among other achievements.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology, as well as his Ph.D., at Dublin City University in Ireland, and studied as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Greg Silverman at UC San Diego.

William Decker
Director - Operations
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Bill Decker grew up in Michigan and Virginia. He received his PhD from the University of Virginia in Engineering Physics and his dissertation was entitled “Numerical Studies of Bifurcations and Chaos in Natural Convection.”

Prior to joining UC San Diego, Bill was employed for five years at a biomedical device start-up, first based in Florida, then in Orange County, CA, where he held positions of increasing responsibility and performed duties that were cross-functional between business and R&D. Bill’s work at the company resulted in eight issued U.S. patents, four issued non-U.S. patents, and several patents pending in the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Hong-Kong.

Over the years, Bill has been an invited guest speaker at meetings sponsored by the American Physical Society, the American Nuclear Society, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the International Society for Analytical Cytology, the Association for Women in Science, and the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

Sandra Brown
Vice Chancellor for Research
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Sandra Ann Brown, professor of psychology and psychiatry, was named the Vice Chancellor for Research at UC San Diego in December 2010. As such, she oversees the Office of Research Affairs, which is charged with creating opportunities, enhancing the research experience, developing tools and training to improve research administration, and supporting and promoting university innovations.

The office collaborates with or oversees the campus Organized Research Units, Office of Innovation and Commercialization, Animal Care, Animal Welfare, Contracts and Grants, Research Ethics, Government Research Relations, University-Industry Relations, Conflict of Interest, Stem Cell Research, Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholars programs, and Research Communications.

Under her leadership, UC San Diego has achieved yearly billion-dollar investments in research and has maintained the university’s top-five ranking as one of the nation’s premier public research universities. She has also designed a major transformation of research-related processes, saving researchers valuable resources and time in a competitive funding environment.

In 2015, she launched the Office of Innovation and Commercialization to accelerate UC San Diego related start-up companies. She serves on the Board of Directors of BIOCOM and CleanTech San Diego, and the APLU’s Council on Research.

Dr. Brown is a Distinguished Professor in two UC San Diego departments: Psychology and Psychiatry in the School of Medicine. Her pioneering studies of cognitive features of youth addiction and adolescent development have led to 26 federally funded grants including the current National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) and Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD), which is the largest longitudinal study of youth brain development ever funded by NIH. In addition to over 300 peer reviewed publications and one book (Adolescent Substance Abuse, Oxford Press), she has served as President of the Society of Addiction Psychology and on the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association and Research Society on Alcoholism. She has also simultaneously directed the development of clinical, education and research activities as the Chief of Psychology at the Veterans Affair Health Services System in San Diego.

She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Wayne State University in 1981, and is licensed as a psychologist by the California Board of Psychology.

Rubén D. Flores
Director - Commercialization
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Rubén received a Doctorate in chemistry and biochemistry from UCLA and soon after began his career in the San Diego biotechnology industry at BD Biosciences Pharmigen. Rubén has held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility in R&D, marketing, business development and technology commercialization. His professional career includes Biosite (now Alere), where he helped design, initiate, negotiate and monitor clinical trials; Rubén later joined Chemicon (now Millipore-Sigma), where he managed R&D, worldwide clinical-trial operations, and marketing activities for diagnostic products. While at Millipore-Sigma, Rubén also founded the world-wide Scientific Collaborations and Business Development group, tasked with working with academic partners across the globe for the development of early-stage academic research in a multitude of areas including stem cell research, biomarkers, cancer, neuroscience, diagnostics, therapeutics and microfluidics.

Most recently, Rubén served as Vice President of Business Development and Technology Transfer for the Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he focused on fostering the entrepreneurial ecosystem for startups in Los Angeles working with local academic centers, the County of Los Angeles, LAEDC, LARTA, BIOCOM and local REITs.

Rubén has lent his expertise to the Southern California life sciences industry as a past member of BIOCOM’s FDA committee. In addition, Rubén acted as a member of the Scientific Advisory board of UC Riverside’s department of Bioengineering, the advisory board to the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program at the departments of Bioengineering at the University of Washington and at the University of Southern California, and the advisory board for graduate programs in Biotechnology at Cal State University San Marcos.

Greg Horowitt
Director - Innovation Design
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Greg Horowitt is the cofounder and Managing Director of T2 Venture Creation and has spent 25+ years working in startups and venture capital. He is the co-author of the bestselling book, The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley and has consulted on innovation with top organizations like the Aspen Institute, National Academies of Science, World Bank, and US Department of State. He worked under Warren Buffett as an executive at a Berkshire Hathaway operating company, is a Kauffman Fellow, and has been a founder, investor, and board member in many leading organizations.

UC San Diego in the news

Inside Innovation with Todd Coleman

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Todd Coleman, PhD is Associate Professor of Bioengineering in the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, with joint appointments in Electrical &… Read More

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Evening with an Entrepreneur – Dr. Magda Marquet interviewed by Carin Canale-Theakston

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On April 4th, 2016, UC San Diego Office of Innovation and Commercialization hosted their first “Evening with an Entrepreneur” talk. An inspirational interview featuring… Read More

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UC San Diego Inventions Gain $6-Million Venture-Capital Backing

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“MouthSense” and “SmartFoam,” two new inventions by engineers in the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California San Diego, have attracted funding… Read More

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