WRF Staff

Lisa Caldwell

Lisa Caldwell, M.S.L.S.

Grants Coordinator and Venture Center Manager

Lisa Caldwell

Lisa Caldwell, M.S.L.S.

Grants Coordinator and Venture Center Manager

William Canestaro

William Canestaro, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Managing Director

William Canestaro

William Canestaro, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Managing Director

Dr. Will Canestro is a venture capitalist, health economist and meta-epidemiologist with a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology industry. He manages the Foundation’s biotech and engineering VC investment portfolio. Through WRF, Dr. Canestaro has made 25 investments in 19 Washington-based companies.

Dr. Canestaro also teaches courses at the UW School of Business and School of Pharmacy on Health Innovation and Meta-Analytic methods, respectively.

Dr. Canestaro earned his doctorate from the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program. He received an M.Sc. in medical anthropology from Oxford University and an A.B. in medical sociology from Dartmouth College.

photo coming soon

Jasmine Coleman

Administrative Assistant

photo coming soon

Jasmine Coleman

Administrative Assistant

Jeff Eby

Jeff Eby, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Jeff Eby

Jeff Eby, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Eby helps WRF Capital achieve its financial goals and provides due diligence and licensing assistance for WRF Capital startup companies.

Prior to joining WRF, he was chief financial officer of the Seattle Art Museum.

Mr. Eby received his bachelor of arts and bachelor of architecture from Rice University and a master’s in business administration in finance and accounting from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Kim Emmons

Kim Emmons, M.L.I.S.

Manager, Research and Information Services

Kim Emmons

Kim Emmons, M.L.I.S.

Manager, Research and Information Services

Kim Emmons is Manager of Research and Information Services at Washington Research Foundation/WRF Capital. Kim joined the foundation in 1990 and has extensive experience evaluating the commercial potential of research innovations. She established WRF’s Research Services, which includes an online search service for WRF staff members, WRF portfolio companies, and WRF Venture Center tenants as well as nonprofit technology transfer organizations in Washington state.

Kim has expertise in researching patents and trademarks, scientific literature, competitive intelligence, and trade and industry sources to support investment, grant-making and licensing decisions.

Ms. Emmons has a bachelor of science from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and a master’s of library and information science from the University of Washington.

Morgan Hellar

Morgan Hellar

Controller

Morgan Hellar

Morgan Hellar

Controller

Ronald Howell

Ronald Howell

Chief Executive Officer

Ronald Howell

Ronald Howell

Chief Executive Officer

Ronald Howell joined WRF in 1989 to execute the Foundation’s licensing strategy on Ben Hall’s platform technology expressing heterologous proteins in yeast. After becoming CEO in 1992, he led the WRF team through an expansion of the organization and its licensing programs. To date, WRF licensing has earned more than $445 million for the University of Washington, putting it among the top-ranked technology-transfer organizations in the nation.

WRF grant-making has provided over $108 million to Washington’s research institutions for the development and commercialization of STEM-based solutions to important areas of public need. WRF’s assets have grown from $13 million to around $250 million under Mr. Howell’s leadership.

WRF Capital, the Foundation’s venture investment arm, was formed in 1994 to invest in local early-stage STEM companies. WRF Capital has backed 105 companies, with approximately 60 exits and an active portfolio of 38 companies today. Returns support the Foundation’s grant-making programs and additional investments.

Mr. Howell holds a bachelor of science in biochemistry from Washington State University. He has served on a number of boards at the University of Washington and is a current member of the Innovation Roundtable. Additionally, Mr. Howell has held board roles with Washington State University, Fred Hutch and The W Fund. In 2019, Mr. Howell received the Dean’s Award at the University of Washington College of Engineering’s Diamond Awards ceremony and was inducted into the Washington Life Science Hall of Fame.

Loretta Little

Loretta Little, MBA

Managing Director

Loretta Little

Loretta Little, MBA

Managing Director

Ms. Little focuses on investment opportunities in the life sciences such as medical devices, health care IT, biotechnology tools and scientific instrumentation. Her portfolio includes consumer technology, software and advanced materials companies. She has worked closely with several of WRF Capital’s investments including C-SATS (acquired by J&J/Ethicon), FlexMinder (acquired by JellyVision), Clarisonic (acquired by L’Oreal), Mirador Biomedical (acquired by Centurion Medical Products), Amnis (acquired by EMD Millipore), Mobisante (acquired by Renew Group), and EKOS (acquired by BTG plc). She oversees WRF Capital’s investments Lightspeed Microscopy, MDmetrix, AbSci, Accium Biosciences, Transformative Med, Cardiac Insight and Modumetal.

Previously, Ms. Little served as senior technology licensing manager at Washington Research Foundation. Before joining WRF, she worked as a marketing manager for a biotechnology company and as a market consultant.

Ms. Little received an MBA from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in zoology from Pomona College. She currently serves as a board member with the Alliance of Angels.

David Schoultz

David Shoultz, Ph.D., MBA

Director, Grants Programs

David Schoultz

David Shoultz, Ph.D., MBA

Director, Grants Programs

Dr. David Shoultz is responsible for WRF’s grants programs, which support innovation at research institutions across Washington state. He manages the development of new grant programs, assessment of existing programs and the evaluation of all grant proposals received by WRF. WRF’s grants focus on commercialization and technology development, student and faculty programs, postdoctoral fellowships and facilities. He also serves in an advisory capacity on life science investments for WRF Capital.

Dr. Shoultz earned his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Washington, and an MBA from the Albers School of Business & Economics at Seattle University. Prior to joining WRF, he held leadership positions in the private sector, at PATH, and at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He serves as an advisor to the board of the Geneva Foundation and sits on the board of Sail Sand Point, a community sailing program.

Dale Wadman

Dale Wadman, M.A.Ed.

Communications Manager

Dale Wadman

Dale Wadman, M.A.Ed.

Communications Manager

Dale Wadman is responsible for Washington Research Foundation’s communications and marketing efforts. He is the principal writer and editor for the Foundation’s press releases and reports, in addition to managing its website and social media accounts.

Prior to joining WRF in 2005, Mr. Wadman was an accounting assistant and taught English to speakers of other languages in the U.K. He holds a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in education from The Open University, and has completed the University of Washington’s Certificate in Public Relations and Strategic Communications.

WRF Board of Directors

Jacqueline Brainard

Jacqueline Brainard, J.D., MBA

Vice President, Operations and Compliance Officer, First Choice Health

Jacqueline Brainard

Jacqueline Brainard, J.D., MBA

Vice President, Operations and Compliance Officer, First Choice Health

Ms. Brainard has over 30 years’ financial, legal, audit & compliance, and administrative experience as a leader in the reinsurance, managed care (HMO, PPO, & TPA) and insurance industries. Her responsibilities have included financial and compliance administrative oversight of reinsurance, premium, claims, management information systems, underwriting, medical management and provider relations. She possesses significant change leadership experience.

In 2010, Ms. Brainard joined First Choice Health, a Seattle-based Preferred Provider Organization and Third Party Administrator (TPA) for employer medical and dental coverage in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. She held the position of Vice President, Re-Engineering at CNO Financial Group prior to joining First Choice and was the first female Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer at BCS Financial Corporation.

Ms. Brainard serves on the Board of Trustees for Childhaven. In addition, she was founding board member of the Third Party Administration Association of America (TPAAA), an affiliate of the American Association of Payers, Administrators and Networks.

Ms. Brainard obtained a bachelor’s degree cum laude in accounting from Moorhead State University, an MBA with an insurance concentration from the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul and a J.D. from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. She completed the University of Washington’s Executive Development Program.

Adriane Brown

Adriane Brown, M.S.M.S.

Senior Advisor, Intellectual Ventures

Adriane Brown

Adriane Brown, M.S.M.S.

Senior Advisor, Intellectual Ventures

Adriane Brown brings over 30 years of leadership experience gained across a variety of industries, serving a number of global customer. Ms. Brown served as president and chief operating officer for Intellectual Ventures (IV) from January 2010 through July 2017. During her tenure at IV, the team delivered more than $3B in revenue, spun out 14 companies and joint ventures closed more than 50 retail customers, and established Global Good and Research, which is changing the game in global health and development.

Before joining IV, Ms. Brown served as president and CEO of Honeywell Transportation Systems. Under her management, this business unit experienced profitable growth through disciplined global expansion and innovative new products. Over the course of 10 years at Honeywell, she held leadership positions serving the aerospace and automotive markets.

Prior to Honeywell, Ms. Brown spent 19 years at Corning, where she began her career as a shift supervisor and gained hands-on experience in operations. She later moved into sales, customer service and product management roles, and became vice president and general manager of Corning’s Environmental Products Division.

In 2017, Ms. Brown was honored by University of Washington Women’s Center as a Woman of Courage. The National Diversity Council presented her with the 2016 Washington Leadership Excellence Award. In 2015, she received the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award. In 2014, she was named a Woman of Achievement by Legal Momentum. In 2013, she received a Grace Hopper Award for outstanding achievement and was recognized as a Woman of Influence by the Puget Sound Business Journal. In 2012, STEMconnector™ recognized Ms. Brown as one of 100 Women Leaders in STEM. In 2011, Ms. Brown was named as one of the Grio’s 100 History Makers in the Making. In 2009, she was named one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.

Ms. Brown holds a doctorate of humane letters and a bachelor’s degree in environmental health from Old Dominion University. She also holds a master’s degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was a Sloan Fellow.

In additon to WRF, Ms. Brown serves on the board of directors for eBay Inc, Allergan Plc and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. She is also on the board of directors of the Pacific Science Center and Jobs for America’s Graduates, the nation’s leading dropout prevention program.

Kevin Cable

Kevin Cable

Managing Director, Cascadia Capital

Kevin Cable

Kevin Cable

Managing Director, Cascadia Capital

Kevin Cable is co-founder and Managing Director of Cascadia Capital. He founded the firm’s efforts in Healthcare IT & Services drawing from a deep history in software, analytics, big data and consumer applications. He is also responsible for cultivating strategic relationships for the firm.

Mr. Cable focuses on a broad spectrum of transactions that include equity private placements, M&A mandates, recapitalizations and buyouts. Having built a career split equally between operating companies and investment banking, he brings a grounded and balanced perspective to help companies achieve their transaction goals. He maintains that “making payroll” is an experience everyone should achieve at least once in his or her life.

Prior to co-founding Cascadia, Mr. Cable served 14 years on the executive teams of several technology companies, including Numera Software, which he co-founded and led as CEO. He has served as a director of the Washington Software Alliance, the Washington State Technology Alliance, the Alliance of Angels, Innovate Washington Foundation and several private technology companies.

Mr. Cable holds a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Washington. He lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife of 25 years and their two children.

Thomas Cable

Thomas J. Cable

Vice Chairman; Private Investor

Thomas Cable

Thomas J. Cable

Vice Chairman; Private Investor

Through activities supporting the University of Washington, Mr. Cable has developed an intimate involvement with the research community in the Northwest. He has more than 25 years of venture experience. Twenty of those years have been spent as a resident of Seattle and deeply involved in the development of the Northwest venture industry.

Kent Carlson

C. Kent Carlson, L.L.M., J.D.

Chairman; Senior of Counsel, K&L Gates

Kent Carlson

C. Kent Carlson, L.L.M., J.D.

Chairman; Senior of Counsel, K&L Gates

Mr. Carlson’s practice is focused on corporate law. After more than three decades of focus on merger, acquisitions, joint venture, and financing work. Mr. Carlson’s current practice focuses on matters of corporate governance and complex strategic relationships. He serves as special counsel to boards and independent board committees, as counsel for private foundations, and as counsel for private profit and non-profit entities in public-private projects.

Mr. Carlson is active in the legal community in Washington and nationally. He is a member of the Committee on Corporate Laws of the American Bar Association’s Business Law section. He has served as the chairman of the Business Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association and long–term member of the Section Executive Committee. He is a founder, past chair, and long–term member of the Washington State Bar Association Corporate Act Revision Committee. He is also a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Mr. Carlson is also active in the broader community. He is chairman of the board of directors of the Washington Research Foundation, member of the University of Washington Foundation Board, past president of the University of Washington Law School Foundation, past chairman and member of the board of trustees of Cornish College of the Arts, past chairman and current trustee of the Pilchuck Glass School and was a two term member and vice chair of the Washington State Arts Commission.

Before joining K&L Gates, Mr. Carlson was an assistant professor of law at George Washington University Law School. He has regularly presented at continuing legal education programs for the Washington State Bar Association, the University of Washington Law School, the Seminar Group, Seattle University Law School and Donnelly “Financial SEC Hot Topics”.

Sue Coliton

Sue Coliton, M.L.A.

Partner, Luma Consulting

Sue Coliton

Sue Coliton, M.L.A.

Partner, Luma Consulting

Ms. Coliton is a partner with Luma Consulting, where she offers strategic counsel to philanthropists, foundations and nonprofits to help them deepen their impact in the communities they serve. She spent 15 years as the head of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s philanthropic programs, where she oversaw regional, national and international grant-making programs through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Through her work, she aligned donor vision with results; designed new initiatives in science, education and the arts; and built nonprofit capacity through research, workshops and convenings.

Prior to joining the Allen Foundation, Ms. Coliton held management positions at several national philanthropic organizations. She directed the west coast office of the New York-based Nonprofit Finance Fund, designed corporate giving programs for Gap, Inc. and worked as a visual arts specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ms. Coliton is a gubernatorial appointment on the Washington State Arts Commission, where she serves as Vice Chair and is past-chair of the Philanthropy Northwest Board. She was a founding board member of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle and serves on the Life Sciences Community Advisory Board at the University of Washington.

Ms. Coliton received a B.A. from Saint Mary’s College and a masters from Johns Hopkins University. She completed Stanford’s Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders and the Executive Seminar at the Aspen Institute.

David Galas

David Galas, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator, Pacific Northwest Research Institute

David Galas

David Galas, Ph.D.

Senior Investigator, Pacific Northwest Research Institute

Dr. David Galas is a Senior Investigator at Pacific Northwest Research Institute, formerly holding the positions of Professor and Senior Vice President at the Institute for Systems Biology. Prior to that, he was Chief Science Officer for Life Sciences of the Battelle Memorial Institute. He was previously Chancellor, Chief Scientific Officer and Norris Professor of Applied Life Science at the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences (KGI), in Claremont, Calif., a research and educational institution in the applied life sciences, which he co-founded. Earlier, Dr. Galas served as President and Chief Scientific Officer of Seattle-based Chiroscience R&D, Inc., a genomics and drug discovery company formed through the acquisition of Darwin Molecular Corporation, which Dr. Galas co-founded in 1993 and served as CEO and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Galas has also served as Director for Health and Environmental Research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, where he headed the DOE’s Human Genome Project from 1990 to 1993, while on leave from the University of Southern California, where he was Professor of Molecular Biology and chairman.

Dr. Galas’ PhD training was in physics, from the University of California. He has also held research positions at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and the University of California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His broad research interests include areas of molecular biology and human genetics, the development and application of new technologies in the life sciences, and the understanding of complex biological networks. He is the recipient of several awards including the Smithsonian Institution–Computer World Pioneer award in 1999. He has served on many federal, university and corporate boards, including several biotechnology companies he has co-founded, and on various advisory and National Research Council committees, including the Board on Life Science and the National Cancer Policy Board. He chairs the Board of Directors of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation. He is a lifetime National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ronald Howell

Ronald Howell

CEO, Washington Research Foundation

Ronald Howell

Ronald Howell

CEO, Washington Research Foundation

Ronald Howell joined WRF in 1989 to execute the Foundation’s licensing strategy on Ben Hall’s platform technology expressing heterologous proteins in yeast. He became CEO of WRF in 1992, leading the WRF team through an expansion of the organization and its licensing programs. To date WRF licensing has earned more than $445 million for the University of Washington. The team’s licensing success puts WRF among the top-ranked technology-transfer organizations in the nation, supporting WRF’s grant-making activities and its startup investments through WRF Capital.

WRF grant-making has provided over $108 million to Washington’s research institutions for the development and commercialization of STEM-based solutions to important areas of public need. WRF’s assets have grown from $13 million to around $250 million under Mr. Howell’s leadership.

WRF Capital, the Foundation’s venture investment arm, was formed in 1994 to invest in local early-stage STEM companies. WRF Capital’s investment managers have backed 105 companies, with approximately 60 exits and an active portfolio of 38 companies today. Returns support the Foundation’s grant-making programs.

Mr. Howell holds a bachelor of science in biochemistry from Washington State University. He has served on a number of boards at the University of Washington and is a current member of the Innovation Roundtable. Additionally, Mr. Howell has held board roles with Washington State University, Fred Hutch and The W Fund. In 2019, Mr. Howell received the Dean’s Award at the University of Washington College of Engineering’s Diamond Awards ceremony and was inducted into the Washington Life Science Hall of Fame.

Brooks Simpson

Brooks Simpson

President, Pacific Rim Medical Systems

Brooks Simpson

Brooks Simpson

President, Pacific Rim Medical Systems

Mr. Simpson has over 40 years of experience in medical sales and marketing. He retired from Physio-Control after 20 years of service including senior management positions as Vice President of World Wide Marketing, International, and North American Sales.

During his tenure at Physio-Control he was involved with the divestiture from Eli Lilly, sale to Bain Capital, IPO and acquisition by Medtronic. In 1999, Mr. Simpson founded Pacific Rim Medical Systems, a distributor of cardiovascular devices. He is a limited partner in Bain Capital and was on the Board of Physio-Control from 2011-2016. Mr. Simpson is also chairman of the R. Hunter Simpson Foundation. He is a Director on the University of Washington Foundation Board, in addition to external advisory board member for the UW Department of Global Health, Department of Bioengineering and co-chair of the School of Nursing. Other boards include the Physio Foundation, Resuscitation Academy and President of the Medic One Foundation.

James Uhlir

James R. Uhlir, J.D.

Partner, Christensen O'Connor Johnson & Kindness

James Uhlir

James R. Uhlir, J.D.

Partner, Christensen O'Connor Johnson & Kindness

After graduation from the University of Illinois Law School, Mr. Uhlir practiced in Chicago for a few years before moving to Seattle, where he is a partner in the intellectual property law firm of Christensen O’Connor Johnson and Kindness PLLC specializing in patent and trademark prosecution, litigation and licensing. He is a past president of the Washington State Patent Law Association, Allied Arts of Seattle and the Broadmoor Golf Club, and is currently a Trustee of the Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Seattle Opera.

Mr. Uhlir was a co-founder of Immunex Corporation and in his practice advises inventors and business startups. His passions include golf, skiing, and his and his wife Camille’s San Juan Island farm.