Upcoming Events

2024 Innovation Awards Ceremony

Inspiring Tomorrow through Innovation and Excellence

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM ET

The Office of Technology Commercialization is thrilled to announce the 2024 Innovation Awards Ceremony. Please join us for an evening celebrating the exceptional innovations of Georgetown’s research inventors. The Innovation Awards Ceremony will recognize and celebrate the dedication and ingenuity of our faculty and researchers as they continue to shape the future through their discoveries and inventions.

Click here to access the ceremony complete program.

Event Highlights:

Keynote Speakers:

Vaishali Udupa, JD

Commissioner for Patents, USPTO
As the Commissioner for Patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Ms. Udupa brings over two decades of expertise in intellectual property. Join us as she discusses the critical role of patents in fostering innovation, drawing from her rich background in patent prosecution and litigation.


Sally Allain, MBA, MS

Head of JLABS @ Washington, DC
Sally Allain, the strategic force behind JLABS @ Washington, DC, will share insights into the dynamic world of life sciences innovation. Drawing from her extensive experience at Johnson & Johnson and Janssen R&D, she will guide us through the evolving landscape of healthcare entrepreneurship.



  • Opening Remarks
  • Keynote Address by Vaishali Udupa, Commissioner for Patents, USPTO
  • Awards Presentation
  • Keynote Address by Sally Allain, Head of JLABS @ Washington, DC 
  • Awards Presentation (continued)
  • Closing Remarks & Networking Reception

Speaker Biographies:

Vaishali Udupa, JD

Vaishali Udupa is the Commissioner for Patents of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As Commissioner for Patents, Ms. Udupa manages and leads the Patents organization as its chief operating officer. She oversees the agency’s 10,000 Patents employees, including more than 9,000 patent examiners responsible for fostering the country’s innovation system by providing patent protections to inventors as stated in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Udupa was already a nationally recognized leader in intellectual property (IP), with over twenty years of experience in strategic IP advisement and complex litigation. She has a wealth of experience in patent prosecution and litigation, global IP policy, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. In the private sector, Ms. Udupa secured multiple IP trial wins and managed numerous IP cases to favorable resolutions in the United States and abroad. She assisted in the development of patent and trademark portfolios and counseled internal clients regarding licensing deals, asset acquisitions, and agreements involving IP rights. Her technological experience includes, among others, electronic devices, networking and telecommunication systems, computer software, electronic commerce, consumer products, sporting goods, and medical devices.

Throughout her career, Ms. Udupa has achieved a proven track record of addressing diversity issues in the science, technology, and legal professions. She has sought to promote diversity and inclusion through pro-bono work and bar association involvement, including by serving as Honor Roll Committee Co-Chair of ChIPs, a non-profit organization that advances and connects women in technology, law, and policy; volunteering with the Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital to provide young girls with their inventor patch; and teaching basic IP topics to Washington, D.C., high schoolers through the Street Law Program. Her efforts have received accolades, including the National Bar Association’s 2020 Diversity in Tech and IP Law award. She also maintains a keen interest in increasing entrepreneurship and the number of patents applied for and obtained by all inventors, including women, minorities, veterans, and those from rural and economically disadvantaged areas.

Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Udupa was the Vice President, Associate General Counsel for Litigation at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Prior to HPE, she was an IP litigation manager at HP and an associate at Jones Day and Pennie & Edmonds. Ms. Udupa earned her Juris Doctor from American University’s Washington College of Law and her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia.

Sally Allain, MBA, M.S.

As Head of JLABS @ Washington, DC, Sally sets the strategic direction and oversees all activities for JLABS in the greater Washington-Maryland-Virginia region. In this role, Sally is responsible for external engagement, innovation sourcing, company onboarding, portfolio management, operational and P&L excellence. She is also leads in building strategic partnerships with corporate, academic, government and industry organizations that aim
to strengthen the region’s life sciences innovation network.

Sally brings more than 20 years of international life science, healthcare, and biotech experience, from positions held in both the US and the UK, and in the management of global R&D programs.

Sally joined JLABS after serving as Senior Director, Strategy & Operations on the Global External Innovation tea at Johnson & Johnson where she supported the establishment of a new operating model for the organization, global portfolio management, and strategic business development efforts. Prior, Sally held roles within Janssen R&D, Immunology, where she directed a team responsible for managing the global alliance portfolio and research
operations for early discovery to early development projects, as well as supported new strategies for Immunology’s Translational Medicine’s team to enhance capabilities, capacity and to shape smaller and shorter clinical trials.

Sally understands well the needs of healthcare entrepreneurs, having launched her research career at a San-Diego based biotech startup acquired by Centocor R&D, then working internationally for a UK-based governmental economic development agency driving early-stage programs aimed at accelerating the development an commercialization of products; to include programs focused on intra-ocular delivery of biologics for the treatment of AMD and an international stem cell technology program.

As a Champion for Health Equity, Sally helped shape and lead J&J’s WiSTEM 2 D Scholars Award Program to fuel the STEM 2 D talent pipeline and Co-Leads Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s Board Fellows Program.

In 2022, Sally was recognized within PharmaVoice’s Top 100, acknowledging standout executives and R&D disrupters; and in 2023, recognized by the Washington Business Journal within their Power 100.

Sally received her MBA from the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business; a Master of Science Degree in Microbiology / Immunology from Virginia Tech; and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Virginia Tech. She sits on the Boards of BioHealth Innovation and Mindshare, two organizations supporting early-stage companies, and was selected to be an Executive Fellow at The Economic Club of Washington, DC.