Patricia Stepp is leaving Skysong Innovations to become assistant vice-president for technology transfer at Rice University next month.

Headshot of Patricia Stepp

Patricia Stepp, director of intellectual property in life sciences at Arizona State University’s tech transfer office Skysong Innovations, will join Rice University on July 17 to become its assistant vice-president for technology transfer.

She will be tasked with promoting a culture of innovation and commercialisation, leading the strategic planning and operations of the Office of Technology Transfer, managing the intellectual property portfolio and negotiating licences and contracts.

Stepp had been at Skysong Innovations since 2018 and created the office’s diversity initiative. She managed more than 600 active technologies and contributed to the launch of seven spinouts and supported more than 20 agreements in the 2021 fiscal year.

She has also been involved in the launch of a local chapter of Nucleate, a student-led nonprofit to create life science spinouts,  and she acts as a technology specialist reviewer for the US Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

Rice announced Stepp’s appointment alongside that of Tam Dao, who will become assistant vice-president for research security also on July 17. Dao joins from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, where he was most recently promoted in 2020 to oversee the Counterintelligence Task Force.

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).