Technology Transfer

Office of Technology Transfer
phone: (208) 885-4550
fax: (208) 885-4551
Morrill Hall 414
PO Box 443003
Moscow, ID 83844-3003

Meet the OTT Staff

Gene Merrell
Associate VP of Research - (208) 885-4550
Dr. Merrell is Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Chief Technology Transfer Officer at the University of Idaho. Gene oversees the Office of Technology Transfer, which is responsible for the management of the University’s intellectual property portfolio. He serves on the Clearwater Economic Development Association’s Board of Directors, Business Development and Finance Council and its Operations and Finance Council. Gene is the University’s representative on the Board of Directors of the American Manufacturers Network and the Palouse Knowledge Corridor. Prior to joining the university, he was Vice President for Research of the Process Chemicals and Energy Chemicals subsidiaries of BetzDearborn, Inc. Gene was with the company for 19 years and is listed as inventor on seven U.S. patents. He was also co-founder of Analytical Laboratories, Inc., a small independent service organization providing consultation and testing on environmental issues. Gene received his B.A. in Chemistry and Physics from Houston Baptist University and Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Washington State University.
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Karen Stevenson
Licensing Associate - (208) 885-4550
Karen Stevenson joined OTT in early 2007. Her main area of focus is working on commercializing inventions that have evolved out of research activities from the physical science and engineering departments at the University. Karen holds a BS in biochemistry and PhD in nuclear chemistry. For nearly 15 years she was employed as a scientist for various federal agencies, first at the US Geological Survey, then the Department of Energy, followed by the US Department of Defense. In addition to her ongoing research, she would review research proposals and ongoing applied research activities and then work with stakeholders to commercialize technologies that resulted from such funding. After leaving federal service, Karen worked as a private consultant assisting companies with their product marketing strategies within government and in the private sector. She also contracted to SIRTI, a Washington State agency that assists technology-based companies, and Foresight, Science & Technology, Inc., a technology consultant company that has a core focus on assisting companies with Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) funding.
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Yong Zhang
Licensing Associate - (208) 885-4550
Dr. Zhang joined the Office of Technology Transfer in 2013. He protects and commercializes the life sciences related discoveries for the University. He holds a BS in biology, MS in plant physiology, and a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology. His scientific background includes agriculture, marine biology, and biomedical sciences. Prior to joining the team, he worked as a researcher in the Department of Pharmacology at Rutgers University for nine years. He has authored over twenty peer reviewed scientific articles. He also worked as an IP intern in the Office of Technology Commercialization at Rutgers University for one year. Dr. Zhang is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) and a patent agent registered to practice before the USPTO.
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