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Auburn University

Auburn's Technology Transfer Staff

Jan Dowdle Thornton, JD

Ms. Thornton holds an MBA degree from the University of Alabama and a law degree from the Cumberland School of Law. Formerly with the Marketing Operations Department of Protective Life Corporation, Thornton came to Auburn in June 1994. As director, she is responsible for the leadership and management of the OTT office, its technology commercialization, industry relations, intellectual property management and policy development activities.

Doug Warrington
Director, Business Development

Mr. Warrington joined OTT in June 2012. He has a broad business development background, having held management and executive positions for several large and small biotechnology companies across the country in markets from software to agriculture. His diverse background includes an undergraduate degree in agriculture from the University of Delaware and an Executive MBA from Auburn.

His experience working with start-up ventures has honed his strategic planning skills and ability to develop complex business strategies. The purpose of the new commercialization initiative is to focus on forming more start-up companies based on Auburn-owned technologies.

George Konstant
Associate Director, Contracts Administration

Mr. Konstant holds an MBA degree and Bachelors' degrees in Accounting and Chemistry from Auburn University. An Auburn employee since 1986, Konstant has served as assistant director of Auburn's Study Abroad/Exchange program and manager of International Projects. He also has been assistant director and a contract specialist with Contracts & Grants (now Sponsored Programs).

As associate director, he works closely with faculty, industry and other universities regarding agreements to promote Auburn-developed technologies.

Brian Wright, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Commercialization

Dr. Wright holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University. He spent several years as a small business entrepreneur before returning to his undergraduate alma mater in September 2002 as a technology transfer officer in Engineering.

As associate director, he oversees Auburn's invention portfolio, working with and assisting other OTT members in marketing, protecting and licensing technologies from Auburn's research laboratories. He also leads initiatives to reach out to industry and other research institutions, and manages OTT's intern program.

Troy Brady, Ph.D.
Licensing Officer

Dr. Brady received a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from Iowa State University and trained as a Postdoctoral Researcher of Retrovirology and Gene Therapy and intern in Technology Transfer at the University of Pennsylvania.

He came to Auburn in September of 2012 as a Technology Transfer Officer in the Life Sciences responsible for faculty outreach, technology evaluation, and licensing. He works to encourage intellectual property protection, identify development partners, and negotiate licenses in the best interest of the inventor, the technology, and Auburn University.

Judy O'Neal
Office Supervisor, Financial and Administrative Management

Judy's role at Auburn is to manage the financial and administrative operations of the office and to provide direct support to the Director of the Office. Prior to joining Auburn in October 2009, she was employed with HD Supply, Inc. for several years serving in multiple national financial roles to include Director of Plumbing Administration and Senior Administrative Manager.

Her responsibilities included operational and financial management, budgeting and financial analysis. Judy attended both Auburn and Columbus State Universities with majors in Mathematics and Accounting.

Rhea Ray
Technology Transfer Assistant, Administrative

Rhea has been employed with Auburn since 1985 and joined OTT in September 2004. Her responsibilities include providing direct general and special administrative support to members of the OTT Staff. These duties include correspondence, preparation and filing of financial records, agreement database file maintenance, coordinating travel needs, event planning, and preparing provisional patent filings as needed. Prior to joining OTT, Rhea worked at Auburn in an administrative capacity at the RBD Library and the Office of Development.

Misty Schwieker
Technology Transfer Assistant, Intellectual Property

Misty joined Auburn University in September 2004. She is an Intellectual Property Paralegal and holds a Specialized Associates of Science in Court Reporting. Her responsibilities include providing direct support to the Office of Technology Transfer Associate Directors and Licensing Officers regarding patent filings, maintenance, and communication with outside counsel. She also provides general staff and administrative support to the office at large.