USC Stevens Center Welcomes Two Licensing Associates

The USC Stevens Center for Innovation, the University of Southern California’s technology transfer office, has hired Kate Rodriguez and Nicholas Lee to join its licensing team. They began their new positions January 28, 2019.

Rodriguez will work on material science and software technologies, while Lee will focus on chemistry and physical sciences. Licensing associates interact with faculty and researchers, assess their inventions, and identify potential commercial applications through market research and analysis. They manage a portfolio of university-owned inventions and support intellectual property development, protection, marketing to potential business partners capable of bringing the inventions to market, and licensing.

“Kate and Nick are great additions to our licensing team,” said Jennifer Dyer, executive director of the Stevens Center. “They will help us market some of the exciting technologies that are coming out of USC physical sciences research.”

Kate RodriguezKate Rodriguez, PhD, joins the Stevens Center from the University of California, Irvine, where she recently completed a doctoral degree in chemical and materials physics. While at UCI she was a graduate student researcher in the Apkarian Lab at the Center for Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL), a multi-institutional NSF Center for Chemical Innovation. Over the past two years Rodriguez was also a technology transfer fellow with the UCI Invention Transfer Group, focusing on technologies in electrical and biomedical engineering and computer science. Her previous experience includes leading a team in the UCI New Venture Competition and serving as a student researcher while completing a bachelor’s in chemistry at Washington and Jefferson College. Her email is


Nicholas LeeNicholas Lee, MS, worked in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Licensing Office for the past three years. As a technology licensing associate, he managed a portfolio of approximately 100 energy, materials, and chemical technologies, and supported MIT licensing officers in all aspects of case and license management for a portfolio of over 1,000 cases and 120 agreements. Prior to MIT, Lee worked as a research assistant for the Rochford Research Group at the University of Massachusetts Boston and also served as a lab teaching assistant while earning a master’s in chemistry. Lee recently completed the Harvard Business School’s Online Credential of Readiness (CORe) program and also holds a bachelor’s in chemistry from Boston College. His email is

Rodriguez and Lee will begin meeting with faculty and researchers in the near future.

~Post by John Merritt, USC Stevens Center for Innovation