University of Kentucky Research

OTC Team

Ian D. McClure, Director, Office of Technology Commercialization

A Kentuckian, Ian joined the Office of Technology Commercialization as its Director in 2016. Ian began his career as a Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Intellectual Property (IP) transactions attorney with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP in Louisville. Following private practice, he helped raise over $20M and built a start-up company in Chicago focused on technology and IP licensing. Ian led that company through product development, capital raise, proof of concept and growth to 30+ full time employees. He was responsible for identifying, originating, and developing high-value IP and technology licensing programs with leading global corporations, universities, and research laboratories.
Most recently, Ian was Vice President of IP Strategy for Black Stone IP, an investment bank headquartered in San Francisco focused on IP-rich M&A, IP deals and technology-driven transactions. In parallel, he has taught Global IP Management and Maximizing IP Value as an Adjunct Professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Ian has published extensively in law and business journals related to the intersection of IP, business process, and corporate governance, including with top IP & Technology law reviews such as UC Berkeley, Fordham University, and Santa Clara University. He has presented to numerous symposiums and conferences on IP licensing, valuation, risk and strategy, and currently chairs the Regulatory Committee of the Licensing Executives Society (LES). For his work as an academic, entrepreneur and IP transactions specialist, Ian has been named by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine to the IP Strategy 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists (2012-present).
Ian graduated cum laude with a degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University, magna cum laude with a JD from Chapman University School of Law, and a Master of Laws in Intellectual Property Law (L.L.M.) from DePaul University College of Law.

Don Keach, Associate Director, Intellectual Property Development

Don joined the University of Kentucky Research Foundation as an Intellectual Property Associate in 1984. He became Director of the Intellectual Property Development Office in 1989. As Director he has managed all aspects of the University’s intellectual property program including Material Transfer and Confidential Disclosure Agreements, technology assessment, patent filing and prosecution, and licensing. Don has negotiated thousands of MTA’s and CDA’s, directed the filing and prosecution of over 400 patents and negotiated and finalized 194 licenses. Don is a University of Kentucky graduate with BS in zoology and a MPA.

Taunya Philips, Associate Director, OTC Strategic Alliances

Taunya is the Associate Director of Strategic Alliances in the Office of Technology Commercialization at the University of Kentucky, where she is focused on developing key alliances for the commercialization of UK intellectual property. She has been at UK since 1999, where her previous positions have been Assistant VP for Commercialization & Economic Development, CFO for Kentucky Technology, Incorporated; College of Engineering Lecturer; and Minority Engineering Program Director. Prior to UK, Taunya worked at Milliken & Company, a chemical and textile manufacturer. Positions there included production manager, process engineer, technical salesperson and marketing analyst & planner. Taunya is on the College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council, the Executive Committee of the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors, she is the Vice Chair for the Lexington Downtown Management District, she was the 2014-2015 Board Chair for Opportunity for Work and Learning Incorporated, and she is a past President of the UK College of Engineering Alumni Association Board. Taunya has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA, both from the University of Kentucky. She is a native of Danville, Kentucky.

Natasha Jones, Licensing Associate

Natasha Jones has been a licensing associate since 2011. Prior to 2011, she was a commercialization specialist in the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, where she advised start-up companies. Natasha wrote the Von Allmen Center’s winning grant application to the Economic Development Administration to promote high-wage job creation through high-tech jobs in Kentucky, as well as a winning application for the EDA’s 2010 Innovation in Economic Development Award for Innovation in Commercialization. Natasha’ education is quite diverse. After majoring in biology at Centre College, Natasha earned a M.S. in biology at the University of Virginia. Her thesis examined the role of a complete loss-of-function female sterility gene in Drosophila oogenesis. Before attending law school at the University of Kentucky, Natasha researched the cell-to-cell spread of HSV-1 in UK’s College of Medicine. Natasha also earned a M.S.L.S. from UK with an emphasis on academic (law) librarianship.

Sabrina Darnell, Intellectual Property Coordinator

Before joining UK’s Intellectual Property Department in February 2010 as Intellectual Property Administrator, Sabrina worked for a UK start-up company for eleven years as Business Manager/Financial Analyst. While working full time she received her A.A. in Accounting and B.S. in Business Administration from AIU. For the OTC, Sabrina dockets all invention disclosures and patent-related documentation, and coordinates the financial aspects relative to the intellectual property process including the distribution of royalties to inventors. Sabrina also provides Bayh-Dole Invention Reporting and compliance to iEdison.

Gina Tussey, Financial Coordinator

Gina Tussey has worked for the University for over 18 years. Prior to UK, she worked for 10 years in banking with Bank One. She has worked in budgeting roles for both campus and the medical center. With a keen understanding of the UKRF budget, Gina helps manage and plan for Intellectual Property licensing revenue and expenses.

Mitch Lyon, OTC Fellow

College of Law Student
BS in Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University

Isabel Derera, OTC Fellow

PhD Candidate in Physiology
BS in Behavioral Neuroscience, Washington College

Kaia Hampton, OTC Fellow

PhD Candidate in Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences
BS in Biochemistry, University of Tampa