Our Team

headshot of John Schultz
John A. Schultz, MBA, CLP


Email - jaschultz@houstonmethodist.org

John is currently the Director for the Office of Technology Transfer at Houston Methodist Hospital and Research Institute. Previously, he was Acting Vice President of Business Development at Pharmozyme Inc., an engineered enzyme production platform company. Prior to that he was Vice President of Corporate Development at Intrexon Corporation where he led all corporate development activities supporting a portfolio of synthetic biology assets in the healthcare, food and industrial biotech sectors. He was also Director of Business Development at Roche Tissue Diagnostics and the Senior Vice President of Licensing and Strategic Development at Clinical Data Inc. a drug development (vilazodone) and laboratory services provider of patient testing and contract DNA sequencing services for pharma, which was acquired by Forest Laboratories. John has also worked in various general management, sales and marketing positions for BioChem Pharma and Sigma-Aldrich Chemical. He began his career as the Asia-Pacific Sales and Marketing Manager –for Mallinckrodt. He joined the Office of Technology Transfer in 2016

headshot of Belisa Diaz
Belisa Diaz, PhD

Senior Licensing Associate – Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Digital Health, Medical Devices

Email - bdiaz@houstonmethodist.org


Belisa earned her B.S. in Microbiology from Texas A&M University and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis in immunology from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She has over 10 years of technology transfer experience in assessment, protection, marketing, and commercialization of intellectual property both from the Office of Technology Commercialization at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and in her current position at Houston Methodist. She joined the Office of Technology Transfer in 2014

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Sandhya Raghuraman, MS

Senior Licensing Associate – Medical Devices, Software and Digital Health, Inteum Administration, Website, Lab Notebooks Coordinator

Email - sraghuraman@houstonmethodist.org

Sandhya holds a M.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah with a research focus in biomedical instrumentation. Post-graduation, she interned in the university’s Technology Commercialization Office as a Technology Analyst for physical and biological sciences. Following this, she worked as a Lab Manager for the Computational Biomedicine Lab at the University of Houston. Sandhya works in various areas of technology transfer - technology assessment, contract negotiation, and technology marketing. She joined the Office of Technology Transfer in 2016.

Senior Licensing Associate – Material Transfer Agreements, Data Use Agreements (data transferred with materials), Lab Notebooks, Invention Disclosures, Bayh-Dole/iEdison Reporting

Email - dhbanas@houstonmethodist.org

Dawn earned her B.S. in Nutrition from The University of Texas at Austin, and M.B.A. from Texas Woman’s University Executive MBA Program with a health care administration emphasis (TWU Institute of Health Sciences- Houston). She has 15 years of intellectual property, legal, and research contracts experience (i.e. Material Transfer Agreements, Data Transfer Agreements, Collaboration Agreements, and private industry Study Orders for Strategic Alliance Agreements) from Legal Services at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, in addition to laboratory management experience in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics. Early in her career, she gained direct patient care and clinical experience in hospital and community settings through the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at The University of Texas at Austin, in addition to several years of business experience as an account manager. Dawn joined the Office of Technology Transfer as a Senior Licensing Associate in 2021.

headshot of Joe Jilka
Joe Jilka, PhD

Senior Licensing Associate – Therapeutics, Diagnostics, Digital Health, Medical Devices, SBIR, STTR

Email - jjilka@houstonmethodist.org

Joe earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Monsanto Agricultural Company, Joe joined Pioneer Hi-Bred Seed Company in Johnston, IA where he worked on the first commercial transgenic insect-resistant corn lines. He left Pioneer as part of a new startup which relocated to College Station, TX. Over the next number of years, he worked in several startups and ultimately at the Texas A&M Technology Commercialization Office as a licensing manager. More recently he worked at the Penn State College of Medicine in commercialization and as a biotech startup consultant. Joe joined the Office of Technology Transfer in 2019.

headshot of Joe Veliz
Joe Veliz, BS

Senior Financial Analyst
Email - jveliz@houstonmethodist.org


Joe earned his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. He has worked for Houston Methodist Hospital for over twelve years. During his tenure, Joe has worked in the Financial Accounting department, Cancer Clinical Trials department, and currently, in the Office of Technology Transfer department. Joe joined the Office of Technology Transfer in 2019.