Linda Suzu Kawano has worked to identify and commercialize early stage innovations for over three decades. Her experience includes licensing diagnostic technologies for Abbott Laboratories, directing Northwestern University’s Technology Transfer Program, working in business development for Amersham Corporation and consulting with numerous inventors, academic institutions and start up companies in the U.S. and abroad. At Northwestern University, Dr. Kawano negotiated the license agreement for the University’s discovery, pregabalin that was eventually commercialized as the blockbuster drug, LyricaR. She founded GroupOptima, her consulting firm in 1996 specializing in business communications training. Her formal education includes a doctorate in Biological Sciences and Experimental Pathology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. For her work in promoting university-industry relations Dr. Kawano received the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Excellence Award and the AUTM Volunteerism Award for her work promoting women inventors and entrepreneurs. She is a co-author of a book chapter about women and innovation in “New Perspectives in Gender, Science & Innovation”, published in February 2020 by Edward Elgar Publishing.