Kelly Sexton

Associate VP, Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships


Phone: 734-763-0614

Assistant: Abha Wiersba, executive secretary, 734-936-1613,




As associate vice president for research – technology transfer and innovation partnerships, Sexton works closely with the vice president for research and other leaders across campus to provide visionary and strategic leadership for the university’s innovation and technology transfer activities, including the Office of Technology Transfer. In this role, Sexton supports and encourages university-wide programs for intellectual property development, innovation and engagement with business, venture and government communities in the region, across the nation and around the globe.

Prior to her arrival at U-M in January 2018, Sexton was the assistant vice chancellor for technology commercialization at North Carolina State University. Under her leadership, the office doubled its number of licenses and options executed per year, and tripled the number of startup companies launched. She served as principal investigator for an NSF I-Corps(link is external) site and also led efforts to create an alumni angel investor network to provide a new source of funding for university startups and spinouts.

Sexton 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. She completed her postdoctoral studies at Stanford University, where she was awarded a fellowship from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Sexton has served as an executive-in-residence at North Carolina State’s HiTEC Program, on the steering committee for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of RTP, on the board of BioLabs NC and as chair of the Licensing Executives Society RTP Chapter.