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.

Joe Fiore, MBA – Business Development Manager

 

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 is the Vice President of Medical Technology at MUSCJoe 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.

Michael Yost, Ph.D.

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.