Eight smiling people standing in a row

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.

 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.

Joe Fiore, MBA – Vice President of Business Development and Operations


Joe comes to the Zucker Institute as a serial entrepreneur with executive leadership experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.  Prior to joining the Zucker Institute, Joe served on boards of directors across multiple industries and realized success in ownership and consulting capacities. Joe supports the Zucker Institute with internal and external market evaluation, sales, and marketing to turn raw ideas and research into real-life businesses, products, and services that better the lives of people across globe.  


Joe received his MBA from North Central College and his undergraduate degrees from Bradley University in Business, Communications and Entrepreneurship. 


Joe Fiore can be reached at 843-876-5793 or fiorej@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.

Joe Ruscito - Vice President of Medical Technology

Joe is a pragmatic, well-versed engineer with extensive knowledge in consumer goods, medical devices and scientific projects. Working side-by-side with inventors and business owners he develops ideas into functioning prototypes through the use of his deep knowledge in manufacturing, 3D solids modeling, and 3D printing. Joe has worked across a wide range of industries and in a variety of positions which helped to develop his diverse set of capabilities. 


Prior to joining the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization Joe owned and operated two engineering consulting firms. One of which specialized in consumer product design and manufacturing. The second focused on aviation products and services. Joe received his BS in Mechanical Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL and his MBA at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC.


Joe Ruscito can be reached at 203-520-4020 or ruscitoj@musc.edu.


Todd Headley– CEO

Todd Headley is the Chief Executive Officer for the Zucker Institute for Innovation Commercialization. Headley has more than 20 years of licensing, business development and startup formation experience, including most recently serving as executive vice president of corporate development at Statera Biopharma, where he worked closely with senior leadership to evaluate and manage strategic growth programs.

He previously served as president of CSU Ventures and vice president of the Colorado State University Research Foundation, where he led a team working in intellectual property management, licensing and university startups and was charged with deriving impact and value from over $450 million in annual research expenditures at Colorado State University. His previous academic commercialization experience also included work at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Iowa State University. Headley received his MBA from Iowa St. University and his undergraduate degrees from South Dakota St. University.

Headley can be reached at 843-876-1904 or headleto@musc.edu.