Kelly Sexton

Associate VP, Innovation Partnerships


Phone: 734-763-0614

Innovation Partnerships
1600 Huron Pkwy, 2nd Floor-Bldg 520
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2590

Assistant: Abha Wiersba, executive secretary,

As associate vice president for research and innovation partnerships, Kelly works closely with the vice president for research as well as other leaders across the university to provide visionary and strategic leadership of U-M’s innovation, corporate research and technology commercialization activities, including overseeing Innovation Partnerships. In this role, she supports and encourages university-wide programs for intellectual property development, innovation, and engagement with business and venture communities in the region, across the nation, and around the globe.

Prior to her arrival at U-M in 2018, Kelly was the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Technology Commercialization and New Ventures at North Carolina State University, where she served as principal investigator for an NSF I-Corps site and co-founded an alumni angel investor network to provide a new source of funding for university startups and spinouts.

Kelly holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology from the University of California, San Diego where she was supported by a fellowship from the California Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Kelly completed her postdoctoral studies at Stanford University where she was awarded a fellowship from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Kelly serves as co-chair of the U-M Roundtable on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, on the Advisory Board for the Detroit Chapter of Venture for America, and the Executive Committee of Ann Arbor SPARK.