Team

Gil Granot-Mayer
Executive Vice President
(+81) 98-966-1329

Prior to joining OIST, Gil served as the CEO of Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd., the technology transfer arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science (one of the leading technology transfer and commercializing organizations in the world). Gil co-chaired ITTN (the Israeli Tech-Transfer Organization) and served on the Academia-Industry Committee of the Israel National Council of Research & Development. Gil is a member of 8400 - The Heath Network, a non-for-profit organization aiming at boosting the heath-tech industry in Israel. In addition to his activities, Gil is advising governments and various for profit and non-for-profit organizations globally on various technology transfer and business development issues. Gil holds an MBA and L.L.B. degrees from Tel Aviv University.

Tags: Management | Strategy
Lauren Ha
Associate Vice President
(+81) 98-982-3412

Lauren is responsible for the operations and strategic direction of OIST Innovation, and for overseeing programs to commercialize research at the university, with the goal of making an impact on society and contributing to the self-sustaining development of Okinawa. Prior to joining OIST, Lauren was Vice President of Administration at the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, California where she played a key role in securing its designation as a national Center of Excellence in Genomic Sciences by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. A native of Vietnam, Lauren received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of South Carolina.

Tags: Management | Strategy
Masayuki Kurihara
Corporate Development Director
(+81) 70-3802-2300

Masayuki is responsible for the development of academic-industrial relationships. He has over 20 years of international business experience in the Utility and Infrastructure industry, particularly in renewable energy. Prior to joining OIST, Masayuki worked at Marubeni Corporation, where he held various roles and worked on projects in 100 countries. Masayuki also served as a Senior Executive VP in a Japanese renewable startup and as Managing Director for Envision Digital Japan. He's currently a Project academic specialist at the University of Tokyo and Senior VP, Partnerships and Alliances, Japan Representative at CSER. Masayuki holds an MBA from Henley Management College, UK, and a BA in Economics from Keio University, Japan.

Tags: Academic-Industrial Relationships
Dr. Takanari Ichikawa
Senior Manager
(+81) 98-966-8932

Takanari oversees the management and commercialization of OIST’s intellectual property. Prior to joining OIST, Takanari spent 20 years in academia, as a researcher or faculty member at different institutions, including the University of Tokyo, the Ciba-Geigy (Novartis) Friedrich Miescher Institute, the Max Planck Society, RIKEN and the University of Tsukuba, Gene Research Center. Takanari co-founded Inplanta Innovations Inc., a spin-out from RIKEN, also acting as its CTO until joining OIST. Takanari holds a Ph.D. in Science from the University of Tokyo.

Tags: Management | Intellectual Property | Licensing
Anna Nagamine
Manager
(+81) 98-966-2294

Anna oversees the development of industry partnerships, the activities in support of startups connected to OIST, the management of OIST's incubator, and the promotion of entrepreneurship at OIST. Prior to joining OIST, Anna worked at local think-tanks conducting market research and developing overseas sales channels for SMEs and developing regional development plans for local governments. She has also spent 2 years in Uganda working with community groups to develop new businesses. A native of Okinawa, she received a BA from Chuo University and a MA from the University of Hawaii.

Tags: Management | Industry Programs | Incubator | Accelerator
Dr. Andrea Pensado
Manager
(+81) 98-966-1533

Andrea oversees the strategy and operations of our technology development programs, including the Proof of Concept Program and the Technology Pioneer Fellowship. She also provides hands-on support to program participants to transfer innovative ideas into commercial opportunities. Prior to joining OIST, Andrea worked as a Research Associate at the University of Bath (UK) on projects funded by the US Food and Drug Administration and the LEO Foundation. Andrea completed her PhD in Drug Research and Development at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She is co-inventor of several patents and acts as external scientific advisor to a biotech startup.

Tags: Management | Internal Programs | Proof of Concept | Technology Pioneer Fellowships
Dr. Angela Ares Pita
Technology Development Specialist
(+81) 98-966-1646

Angela supports OIST Innovation’s technology development activities including the Proof of Concept and the Technology Pioneer Fellowship Programs. Prior to joining OIST Innovation, Angela worked for over seven years as an environmental researcher in Japan, first as a JSPS postdoctoral fellow at Riken Yokohama and then as a postdoctoral scholar in the Marine Biophysics Unit at OIST. During her PhD, Angela optimized a plant-based tool to monitor air pollution in Spain. She was a visiting researcher in the UK and Germany before relocating to Japan.

Tags: Internal Programs | Proof of Concept | Technology Pioneer Fellowships
Daisuke Kaga
Technology Development Specialist
(+81) 80-4697-3636

Daisuke supports OIST Innovation’s technology development activities, including the Proof-of-Concept (POC) and the Technology Pioneer Fellowship (TPF) Programs. Prior to joining OIST, he worked as a researcher and alliance manager in small molecule drug discovery research and collaborative research projects in pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He holds an MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Hokkaido University.

Tags: Internal Programs | Proof of Concept | Technology Pioneer Fellowships
Dr. Paola Butler-Zanetti
Technology Licensing Specialist
(+81) 98-982-3782

Paola facilitates the development and commercialization of OIST’s research through licensing and collaboration with industry. Prior to joining OIST, Paola worked for a UK-based start-up as a development chemist, a FTSE100 chemical company as a Technology and Business Development Manager, where she spent 7 years building new businesses and product lines, and a consulting firm as a forensic investigator. She has experience in R&D and product development, intellectual property and new business development, including via M&A. Paola holds a MSc in Chemistry from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, as well as a PhD in Organometallic and Polymer Chemistry from Imperial College London.

Tags: Intellectual Property | Licensing
Ryohei Yoshida
Technology Licensing Specialist
(+81) 98-982-3789

Ryohei explores commercialization opportunities for innovations from OIST and works closely with industry partners in Japan and abroad. He enjoys navigating the languages of diverse scientific and technical fields, from computer science to the life sciences. Prior to joining OIST, Ryohei worked for an intellectual property law firm, managing global patent portfolios and advising clients on business and IP strategies, with focus on the Asian markets. He also co-founded a startup in Tokyo and experienced entrepreneurship first-hand. He holds MSc and JD degrees from the University of Tokyo.

Tags: Intellectual Property | Licensing
Shigefumi Asage
Industry Programs Coordinator
(+81) 98-966-8859

Shigefumi manages OIST’s startup accelerator program and coordinates collaborations between industry partners and OIST researchers. Prior to joining OIST, Shigefumi worked for 15 years at a listed company based in Okinawa, focusing primarily on corporate development activities. He holds an MBA from Hawaii Pacific University.

Tags: Industry Programs | Accelerator
Aya Oyamada
Industry Programs Coordinator
(+81) 98-966-1355

Aya coordinates collaborations between industry and OIST researchers as well as managing OIST Innovation’s entrepreneurship programs. Prior to joining OIST, she worked as a Program Officer at a private foundation and a University Research Administrator at Chiba University and Kyoto University where she engaged with researchers to promote research activities. She holds an MA in TESOL from Hawaii Pacific University and an MA in Education (Higher Educational Administration) from the University of Tokyo.

Tags: Industry Programs
Mari Seto
Industry Programs Coordinator
(+81) 98-966-1595

Mari pursues domestic and international corporate collaborations with OIST’s research community and manages OIST Innovation Network (INO) the first industry-affiliates program at OIST, to further engage with industry. Prior to joining OIST, Mari worked in Tokyo, the USA, and Germany taking on different business development roles.

Tags: Industry Programs | INO
Shinji Suzuki
Incubator Facility Assistant
(+81) 98-966-8940

Shinji manages the OIST Innovation Incubator, which fosters deep tech startups connected to OIST. Prior to joining OIST, Shinji worked for 12 years in research and laboratory facilities.

Tags: Incubator
Miki Takashina
Startup Support Coordinator
(+81) 98-966-1332

Miki leads the collaboration between OIST and The University of the Ryukyus to advance startup support initiatives. She also manages OIST Innovation Slack community cultivating a vibrant network within the OIST Startup Ecosystem. Additionally, she manages OIST Innovation's social media presence. Prior to joining OIST, Miki worked as a marketer across diverse industries including tobacco, advertising, and software. Notably, she served as the Head of Marketing at a legal tech startup, playing a pivotal role from its pre-PMF phase through to expansion.

Tags: Startup support
Léticia Berkate
Social Media coordinator
(+81) 98-982-3412

Léticia is the social media coordinator for OIST Innovation. They support OIST Innovation by communicating its activities on social media and work on engaging the OIST community both online and onsite. Before joining OIST Innovation, Léticia worked as a researcher in the field of cognitive neuroscience in Paris and then, at OIST. They hold a master's degree in Integrative Biology and Physiology, specialized in neuroscience, from Sorbonne Université, Paris.

Tags: Social Media