Our Team


Senior Management

Erik Lium, PhD – Vice President, Mount Sinai Health System and Executive Director, Mount Sinai Innovation Partners   

Erik is responsible for advancing Mount Sinai’s research, instruction, and public service missions through strategic research partnerships with industry, the management, transfer and commercialization of Mount Sinai technologies, and fostering the development of start-up’s to advance promising early-stage technologies. Erik joined Mount Sinai in March 2014.

Prior to this role, Erik served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Innovation, Technology & Alliances at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the UCSF Principal Investigator for the Bay area National Science Foundation I-Corps node. He held previous positions at UCSF as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Research, Director of Industry Contracts, and Director of Business Development for the Diabetes Center & Immune Tolerance Network. Erik served as President of LabVelocity Inc., an information services company focused on accelerating R&D in the life sciences prior to its acquisition in 2004. He served as a post-doctoral research scientist at UCSF in the laboratory of J. Michael Bishop, MD, and earned a PhD with honors from the Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular and Biophysical Studies at Columbia University in the laboratory of Dr. Saul J. Silverstein. Erik holds a BS in Biology from Gonzaga University.

Sybil Lombillo, PhD, JD – Director, Intellectual Property and Asset Development   

Sybil joined Mount Sinai in December 2006. She oversees and directs MSIP’s Patent Group, Contracts Group, and intellectual property (IP) asset portfolio. These teams are responsible for the management, strategy and development of Mount Sinai’s IP assets to enhance commercialization potential, and support legal and policy review of transactions involving IP to secure value and reduce financial and legal risk associated with the portfolio.

Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Sybil practiced patent law for 10 years at two major intellectual property law firms in New York City, and has experience in all aspects of biomedical patent prosecution, litigation, and opinion work. Sybil received a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, and a Ph.D. from Yale University. She is admitted to the State Bars of New York and Florida, and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Felipe Araujo, PhD, MBA – Director, Blue Mountain Technologies   

Felipe joined MSIP in February 2012 to lead Blue Mountain Technologies and direct the commercialization of Mount Sinai’s research tools, diagnostics, and medical devices.

Before joining Mount Sinai, Felipe held positions in business development at Becton, Dickinson & Company (BD Biosciences) and at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. Earlier in his career, Felipe was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Felipe earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from McGill University and an MBA from the Rady School of Management, at the University of California, San Diego. He graduated with a B.Sc. from the University of Maryland. Felipe is an author in thirteen publications including reviews and book chapters.

Robert Hellauer – Director, Finance and Operations   

Bob joined Mount Sinai and the Innovation Partners team in March 2011. He is responsible for the management of all financial and operational activities of MSIP.  He has played a vital role in the re-organization of the MSIP team, while continuing to plan for the future of MSIP.

Prior to working at Mount Sinai, Bob held positions in Finance and Operations at WellGen, the Kamine Companies, AT&T/Lucent Technologies, General Signal Corporation and Johnson & Johnson.  Bob was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree, and from the Wharton School with a Masters in Business Administration.

Business Development

Alan Belicha, PhD – Business Development Manager   

Alan started at MSIP in January 2013. He manages the portfolios of several investigators across several scientific disciplines with a specific focus on the Department of Microbiology. He is responsible for the Business Fellows Internship and manages various projects for the Center of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (cTIE) at Mount Sinai.

Alan earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Tumor Immunology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY and his postdoctoral fellowship in infectious disease in the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is a co-founder of Rehear, and has also worked as a strategy consultant for small biotech, an analyst at Ascent Biomedical Ventures, and as a research associate at Grey Healthcare Group.

Idoia Gamez, PhD, MBA – Business Development Director   

Idoia joined MSIP in November 2012, and is focused on development and commercialization of cardiovascular, liver diseases, nephrology, ophthalmology, development and regenerative biology related inventions as well as pediatric, obstetric, gynecology and reproductive technologies.

Her global professional healthcare experience spans across 15 years which has included working in U.S. private equity firms, pharmaceutical companies, start-up, academic, and multinational environments. Her experience includes business development, R&D, project management, medical-scientific affairs, and marketing and global branding. Idoia holds a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Malaga, a Master in Business Management and Marketing from ESIC-Business and Marketing School, Malaga; and a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Navarre.

Jeanne Farrell, PhD – Business Development Director   

Jeanne started at Mount Sinai in February of 2013. Her primary focus is cancer – heading up the technology development and commercialization efforts by Mount Sinai’s hematological and solid tumors basic and clinical researchers.

Jeanne received her MS and BS in Biology from Fordham University, and she holds a PhD in Pharmacology from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and is a Registered Patent Agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She spent more than 5 years in the technology transfer office at MSKCC and was an intern at Cornell University.

Christopher Frenz, PhD – Business Development Manager   

Christopher joined MSIP in March 2013. He is focused on technology development, market analyses and commercialization efforts within Blue Mountain Technologies.  In particular, he is responsible for licensing tangible research properties such as animal models, cell lines and antibodies along with identifying the appropriate commercial partners for our diverse inventory of medical devices.

Prior to MSIP, Christopher had postdoctoral training in the Neurology Department at Mount Sinai where he was developing animal models for dystonia.  Christopher has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Boston University where he focused on the roles and regulation of voltage-dependent sodium channel isoforms in olfactory sensory neurons.

Lisa Placanica, PhD – Business Development Director   

Lisa joined Mount Sinai in April 2013. She is responsible for managing development and commercialization of innovations in the CNS, Diabetes/Metabolism, Gastroenterology, Pathology, and Pharmacology fields.

Prior to working at Mount Sinai, Lisa was a Licensing Manager in the Office of Technology Development at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where she focused on development and commercialization of cell and gene therapy related inventions. Lisa received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Weill Cornell Medical College where she studied the biochemical composition of gamma secretase and its role in Alzheimer’s Disease.  In 2013, Lisa became a Certified Licensing Professional.

Contracts Group

Julie Durocher – Contracts Assistant   

Julie joined the team at Mount Sinai in 2013.  Julie supports the business development team in all aspects of contracts administration, including database management, new agreement requests, the MSIP mailbox and EchoSign.

Julie received her BS  in Legal Studies from Madonna University in Livonia, MI and eventually earned a spot as a Corporate Paralegal at Masco Corporation in Taylor, MI.  In 2002, Julie was promoted to Business Analyst and was relocated to Daytona Beach, FL.  She has been involved in more than 100 mergers and acquisitions nationwide as well as entity formation and dissolution, litigation, due diligence and finance.  She relocated in NJ in 2012.

Lingling Liu, PhD – Contracts Manager   

Lingling joined MSIP in October of 2012. She reviews all research related agreements, including material transfer agreements, confidentiality disclosure agreements, collaboration agreements, tangible property licenses, sponsored-research agreements, and inter-institutional agreements.

Lingling previously was the Intellectual Property Manager at the technology transfer office of SUNY DownState Medical Center. She graduated from Tsinghua University, China with a BS in Biology and also received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Michael Phillipps, JD – Senior Contracts Manager   

Michael joined Mount Sinai in 2009. He is responsible for negotiating sponsored research, collaboration, material transfer, confidentiality, and other agreements implicating intellectual property rights resulting from research of Mount Sinai investigators.

Michael graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law before going on to work for a decade as a patent litigator. He came to MSIP from the Research Ventures and Licensing office of Partners Healthcare in Boston, where he negotiated research related agreements involving Harvard Medical School principal investigators working out of Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals.

Patent Group

F. Aaron Dubberley, JD – Assistant Director of Intellectual Property   

F. Aaron Dubberley joined Mount Sinai Innovation Partners, part-time, in December 2012 as a patent specialist. Aaron works to ensure that the scope of Mount Sinai IP matches the commercial potential of the research done at Mount Sinai.

Aaron is a patent attorney with 18 years of IP experience in the pharmaceutical industry.  Aaron has previously worked for pharma companies large and small, including Aventis, Hoffmann-La Roche, Organon, Aestus Therapeutics, WellGen, and FORGE Life Science.  Aaron has a JD from Rutgers and an MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of California, Davis.

Yolanda I. Sanchez – Intellectual Property Paralegal   

Yolanda joined Mount Sinai in August 2013. She assists and supports the management of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s expanding patent portfolio.

Yolanda has 9 years experience as an Intellectual Property Paralegal/Legal Assistant. Most recently she worked at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and Alson & Bird LLP. She has her BS in Business Administration.

Denise Walcott – Patent Manager   

Denise joined Mount Sinai in September 2011. She is responsible for administration and management of MSIP’s expanding patent portfolio at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Denise has more than 15 years of experience working in a law firm environment. Much of her experience concentrated on patent prosecution management and specializing in opening patent departments. She has her BS in Political Science.

Finance & Operations

Jesse Chandna, MBA – Finance Manager   

Jesse joined Mount Sinai Innovation Partners in 2013. He is responsible for managing financial matters related to MSIP activities, including post-deal management, performance analysis, Technology Development Fund management, and budgeting/forecasting.

Prior to Mount Sinai, Jesse worked at American Express where he provided strategic and financial decision support to the Global Corporate Payments division.  Jesse has a AB in Biology from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Patrick Cheng – Associate Director, Investment and Return   

Patrick joined Mount Sinai Innovation Partners in 2014. He works closely with the entire MSIP team to optimize the value of Mount Sinai’s intellectual property assets.

Previously, Patrick worked in multiple sectors of the healthcare industry. He assisted pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients in addressing strategic, financial and tactical issues. In addition, he evaluated and recommended equity investments at First Manhattan Co. and Deutsche Bank. He also has had product management and operational roles at Synthes (J&J) and GlaxoSmithKline. Patrick earned a BA in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and a MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Danielle Forcum – Business Analyst   

Danielle joined Mount Sinai Innovation Partners in June 2012 and currently provides widespread financial and operational support in various capacities to ensure the smooth functioning and effectiveness of MSIP.

Prior to working at MSIP, Danielle began her career working for a coffee distributor in California fulfilling numerous objectives, such as inventory control, regulatory auditing, and database administration. Danielle is a graduate from the University of California, Davis, with a double major in Sociology and International Relations.

Edrica Anthony – Assistant Director, Finance & Operations   

Edrica joined Mount Sinai in December 2006. She is responsible for the integrity of the financial processes and Intellectual Property (IP) database System (Inteum) supporting the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s intellectual property (patent) portfolio and the associated license agreements.

Prior to working at Mount Sinai, Edrica held positions in Information Technology, Administrative and Finance supporting roles at Korean Energy Development Peninsula (KEDO) and The New School respectively. She holds a MHA/INF in Health and Informatics from The University of Phoenix and a BBA in Computer Information Systems from Baruch College.

Marketing & Communications

Neil McNulty – Marketing Manager   

Neil joined the MSIP team in January 2012 to build awareness of the office both internal at Mount Sinai and external with industry partners. He manages the MSIP website, coordinates press releases, and takes on various marketing and communications projects.

He began his career at APX Inc., an environmental markets firm that was acquired by NYSE Euronext and later reverted back to APX, fulfilling a variety of business development, marketing and communications objectives. Neil graduated from Villanova University in 2008 with a focus in Marketing and Business Law.