Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization Staff

A picture of Alia Akins, the executive assistant of the Zucker Institute.

Alia Akins – Executive Assistant 

Alia Akins is the Executive Assistant for the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization.  Alia has over 10 years of experience in supporting attorneys and executives in an administrative capacity. 

Prior to joining MUSC, Alia worked for Benefitfocus and Vikor Scientific in Charleston, and the Litigation group for Nationwide Mutual Insurance in Columbus, Ohio.  Alia earned her B.A. in Communications from Ohio State University.

Alia Akins can be reached at 843-876-1900 or akinsa@musc.edu.

Paul Asper Senior Vice President of Commercialization and Operations Paul Asper, MBA - Senior Vice President of Commercialization and Operations 

Paul is a healthcare industry and innovation veteran whose experience spans finance, strategy, operations, business development, and executive-level leadership. Prior to joining the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization, Paul served as Division Vice President at DaVita Inc., a Fortune 200 healthcare services company, where he led a 760+ person team and had total accountability for a multi-site, $150 million P&L across South Carolina and Georgia.

Before that, Paul held other executive roles at DaVita, including Regional Operations Director, and Director of Clinical Strategy and Special Projects. Prior to DaVita, Paul was an Associate at Nashville Capital Network, a manager of early-stage investment funds, where he evaluated potential deals and mentored entrepreneurs on the capital raising process. Before that, Paul was Senior Financial Analyst for Spheris, a private-equity-backed provider of healthcare technology and services.

Paul received his Health Care MBA, with concentrations in finance and accounting, from Vanderbilt University, and his undergraduate business degree, with minors in finance and economics, from Middle Tennessee State University.

Paul can be reached at 843-792-5406 or asperp@musc.edu.

Casey Charboneau

Casey Charboneau, JD, MBA – General Counsel

Casey Charboneau is counsel for the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization. In this role, she provides expert guidance to the Zucker Institute and its board of directors, on complex issues relating to intellectual property (IP), IP-related policies, the Zucker Institute’s and its member organizations’ governing documents, affiliation agreements, industry relations and compliance. Casey also serves as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at MUSC where she supports the MUSC enterprise on various legal matters relating to university, research, and hospital operations.


Casey holds a J.D. from the University of Tulsa College of Law, an MBA from the University of Tulsa, a BS in Bioengineering from Syracuse University, and is a US Registered Patent Attorney.

Casey can be reached at 843-792-0434 or edwardsr@musc.edu.

Kaitlyn Crobar

Kaitlyn Crobar, JD – Innovation Commercialization Manager

Kaitlyn Crobar is the Innovation Commercialization Manager for the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization, assisting in the identification, protection and licensing of MUSC innovations. Kaitlyn began her career with the Zucker Institute’s precursor MUSC Foundation for Research Development.

Prior to joining the Zucker Institute, Kaitlyn graduated with her Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law where she completed the curricular program in Technology Commercialization Law Studies, was a senior research associate for the Innovation Law Center and was a student attorney in the Transactional Law Clinic. Kaitlyn also holds a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Politics from Ithaca College. 

Kaitlyn Crobar can be reached at 843-792-0466 or crobar@musc.edu.

Troy Huth

Troy Huth, JD, Ph.D. – Vice President of Intellectual Property and Licensing

Troy is the Vice President of Intellectual Property and Licensing at the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization, serving as the institution’s lead in the identification, protection and licensing of MUSC innovations. A US Registered Patent Attorney by training, Troy is a veteran of life science intellectual property development and innovation commercialization.

Troy started his career in the lab studying the impact of genomics on the cellular stress response, leading to a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with a focus in molecular genomics and computational biology from the University of South Carolina. Troy went onto to earn his Juris Doctor from the Charlotte School of Law before practicing intellectual property litigation and counseling at Alston & Bird, LLP, where he counseled Fortune 100 clients on a variety of issues pertaining to intellectual property. Troy then began applying his legal and technical expertise towards innovation commercialization at the University of South Florida, where he served as a Licensing Manager shepherding the University’s life science assets from conception through to commercialization and was an instrumental part in the University’s top 10 status in issued patents.

Troy arrived at MUSC by joining MUSC’s Foundation for Research Development, and then also the Zucker Institute for Applied Neurosciences, to lead their intellectual property and licensing strategies.

Troy can be reached at 843-792-6752 or huth@musc.edu.

Pamela Kaufman

Pamela Kaufman – Senior Director Intellectual Property Administration

Pamela Hood Kaufman is the Senior Director, Intellectual Property Administration for the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization. Pam has almost 40 years of paralegal experience supporting lawyers in varying law practices which includes 12 years with the Zucker Institute’s precursor MUSC Foundation for Research Development. The patenting process and all areas related to the support of technology has always been her primary professional focus.

Pam's background includes managing Intellectual Property portfolios in a premier boutique law firm as well as a large multi-national corporation. Following her emphasis in mathematics at the University of Houston, Pam obtained her paralegal certification from Houston’s Southwestern Paralegal Institute - one of the first ABA approved paralegal certification programs in the United States. 

Pamela Kaufman can be reached at 843-876-1012 or kaufmanp@musc.edu.

Michael Yost MD

Michael Yost, Ph.D. – CEO (Interim)

Dr. Yost holds a BSChE from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, an MS degree from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of South Carolina in Columbia. He has 100 peer reviewed publications in bioengineering and regenerative medicine and has been a principal investigator partner in raising millions in research funding for the State of South Carolina and an additional over $5 million for his own laboratory. Dr. Yost has mentored 62 students consisting of surgery residents, graduate students, and undergraduate research students in bioengineering. He is the former chairperson of the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation for Research Development Board of Directors., a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Yost has created three startup companies to commercialize technology patented by his laboratory.

Dr. Yost can be reached at 843-792-7789 or yostm@musc.edu.