Standing Members

Krysten Van Vliet, PhD, Chair

Vice President for Research and Innovation

Krysten Van Vliet serves as Vice President for for Research and Innovation.

As vice president for research and innovation, Van Vliet will oversee research on the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses, and technology transfer and innovation across the university, which in 2020 received $1.19 billion in total research funding – ranking 12th nationally and No. 1 in state research expenditures, according to OVPRI. She’ll also oversee more than 20 multidisciplinary research centers and several accelerators and incubators.

At MIT, where she earned her doctorate in materials science and engineering in 2002 and joined the faculty in 2004, Van Vliet has held senior roles as the Michael and Sonja Koerner Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering, and as an administrator and entrepreneur.  Her research lab specializes in material chemomechanics – the coupling between chemistry and mechanics at material interfaces. Applications include optimizing materials for renewable energy and developing new materials and methods for cell therapies and drug screening.

Van Vliet is the lead principal investigator of a team of more than 50 researchers in Singapore and at MIT working to address bottlenecks in manufacturing cell and gene therapies targeting cancer and tissue-degenerative diseases.

In addition, Van Vliet has coordinated MIT involvement in a range of public-private partnerships. From 2012-14, she was MIT’s faculty co-lead supporting the White House’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 initiative seeking to accelerate manufacturing innovation in the U.S.

Simon Allen

Associate Vice President for Asset Management at Cornell University

Simon Allen is an experienced senior executive in Higher Education Real Estate and Public Private Partnerships. Previously a Managing Director in real estate private equity & asset management, investor relations and fund management. Prior experience in corporate strategy & planning, business intelligence & consulting, strategic partnerships and management roles within the mobile technology sector. Specialties: asset management, real estate investment, fund management, corporate finance, strategic planning, business intelligence, investment & allocation strategy, portfolio & investment management, investor relations and capital markets, fund operations, and risk management.

Alice Li

Executive Director of the Cornell Center for Technology Licensing (CTL)

Alice Li is the Executive Director of the Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) at Cornell University. She oversees all aspects of technology management, marketing, license negotiation, outreach, and CTL activities to facilitate new venture creation in its services to all Cornell campuses and colleges. Alice has 14 years of experience in university technology transfer.
She was the Director of Licensing of the Ithaca office from 2011 to 2014, providing mentorship for licensing professionals in intellectual property protection, license negotiation, and spearheading new commercialization initiatives. Alice joined CTL in 2002 and started with hands-on management of invention portfolios, negotiations of complex deals and engagement with startup companies.  Prior to joining CTL, Alice was an R&D manager at BioArray Solutions, a NJ biotech company in diagnostic and drug discovery. During her five-year tenure there, the company grew from a two-person startup to an enterprise of fifty people. BioArray Solutions was acquired by a publicly traded company in 2008.  Alice obtained her Ph.D. from Cornell University and B.S. from Tsinghua University. She is also an inventor and patent holder. Alice has been a Certified Licensing Professional since 2010.

Robert M. Scharf

Director, The Praxis Center for Venture Development in Engineering and the Physical Sciences, Secretary and ex officio non voting member

Bob Scharf was appointed director in June 2018 as the first Director of the Praxis Center  for Venture Development in Engineering and the Physical Sciences at Cornell University. Bob came to this role with a long track record of building and launching new products and new ventures as a Director of Marketing at Thomas & Betts,  Executive Vice President of Stratos Lightwave;  and Chief Executive Officer of Protokraft. Bob brings field specific experience in Automotive, Aerospace, Computer, Telecommunications and Medical hardware development projects.

Bob earned a BSME degree from Cornell University’s College of Engineering, and a Master of Business Administration from Youngstown State University in OH.