Innovation Network

The Innovation Network (IN) is a subcommittee of the Physical Sciences Division Council, which is comprised of alumni, friends of the University, and partners across Campus with diverse experience in industry and academia.  The mission of the IN is to help faculty in the Physical Sciences Division increase their potential world impact through:

  1. Broadened access to alumni expertise;
  2. Assistance via collegial friendship to walk the often unfamiliar path towards commercializing PSD innovative science; and
  3. Identification of funding sources for identified translational work

The Innovation Network leverages its members' diverse expertise and connections to assist in the translation of fundamental, basic science into applied science and commercial products that directly benefit society.

Committee Leadership

Adele Goldberg, Innovation Network Chair 
SM 1968, PhD 1973 (Information Sciences)

Adele Goldberg, Innovation Network ChairDr. Goldberg has been a member of the Physical Sciences Division Council since 1998. She is the retired founder of Neometron, which provides technology development and consulting. She has served as CIO for Celtic Pharma Development Services, the drug development arm of the Celtic Pharma private equity fund, and was Chief Technology Officer of Agile Mind Inc., which creates on-line professional development and assessment tools for secondary school math and science teachers. Dr. Goldberg was the founding Chairman and CEO of ParcPlace Systems Inc, a technology spin-off from her work as Research Laboratory Manager at Xerox's Palo Alto Research enter. Among other industry awards, in 1990 she received PC Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award for her significant contributions to the personal computer industry; ACM Software systems Award in 1987, ACM Fellow, an honorary degree as Doctor of the University from the Open University in the UK for her contributions to computer science education, and, in 2014, an honorary degree as Doctor of Science from the University of Michigan. She previously served on the Board of VERTRO, Inc, (NASDQ: VTRO) and the San Francisco Exploratorium. She received her B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan.

Geetha Rao, Innovation Network Co-Chair 

Dr. Rao is CEO of Technology Frontiers Collaborative and CEO of Springborne Life Sciences. She has over 25 years of experience in high-risk technologies with a focus on start-ups and operations. Dr. Rao is former VP of Corporate Development at Triple Ring Technologies, where she produced MedTech Frontiers, an educational forum exploring the intersection of leading-edge science and technology with medicine. She has served on the faculty of FutureMed at Singularity University and Stanford University’s Biodesign Innovation Program. She was a contributor on the 2013 World Economic Forum research project on Sustainable Health Systems, a TEDMED scholar, and has addressed numerous industry forums and the press. Dr. Rao holds a PhD from MIT and an MS from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Reuben Sandler, Visiting Committee Chair 
SM 1958, PhD 1961 (Mathematics)

Reuben Sandler, Visiting Committee ChairDr. Sandler joined the Physical Sciences Division Council in July 2006.  Dr. Sandler has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc., a research and development company developing technologies in optical sensing and instrumentation, since 1999 (he retired as Chairman in 2007 and remains CEO).  Before that he was President and Chief Information Officer for MediVox, Inc., a medical software development company, and prior to that was an Executive Vice President for Makoff R&D Laboratories, Inc. Dr. Sandler currently serves on the Board of Directors of Optech Ventures, LLC, and as of August 2012 he has joined the Board of Directors of IPCreate.  He was a director of PASW, Inc. from 1999 to 2000, and a director of Alliance medical Corporation from 1999 to 2002.  Dr. Sandler received a PhD from the University of Chicago, is the author of four books on the subject of mathematics and has held professorships at Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, Chicago, the University of Hawaii and Technion University of Haifa.

Innovation Network Members

Kristin Barrett
Director of Partner Relations
Chicago Innovation Exchange

Richard Black
President and CEO
ECRM, Inc.

Preeti Chalsani
Associate Director, Innovation Project Program Design 
Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

George Chellapa
Associate Manager, Technology Commercialization
Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Michael Fain
Retired Founder and President
Alphametrics, Ltd.

Mark Fasciano
Managing Director 
Canrok Ventures, LLC

Hiroshi Fujiwara
President and CEO
BroadBand Tower

Adele Goldberg, SM 1968, PhD 1973 (Information Sciences)

Robert Lanigan, MBA 1981
Executive Director
Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated

Michael Long, AB 1975 (Physics)

Stefan Murry
Chief Financial Officer 
Applied Optoelectronics, Inc. 

Arne Olson, AB 1977 College (Physics)
Olson & Cepuritis, Ltd. 

Conrad Plimpton, SM 1966 (Physics), MBA 1967
Managing Director
Plimpton & Company

Jeff Puschell, AB 1975 (Physics)
Principal Engineering Fellow
Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems

Geetha Rao
Technology Frontiers Collaborative; Springborne Life Sciences

Louise Rehling, AM 1970 (Psychology), SM 1974 (Information Sciences)
Executive-in-Residence and advisor to technology companies

Reuben Sandler, SM 1958, PhD 1961 (Mathematics)
Retired CEO
Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc.

Mike Spertus, AB 1984, SM 1984 (Mathematics)
Computer Scientist
Symantec Corporation

Yuji Suzuki, SM 1970 (Statistics)
Tri-Wall Japan KK

Les Teichner, MBA 1969
Co-Founder & Chairman
Strongbark, Inc.

Gene Zeffren, SM 1965, PhD 1967 (Chemistry)
Retired Senior VP of Brand Development
Unilever Home & Personal Care

University Partners

The University of Chicago Physical Sciences Division
Center for Technology Development & Ventures (UChicagoTech)
Chicago Innovation Exchange
Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Chicago Booth