The UIRP is a 501(c)(2) non-profit corporation governed by the following Board of Directors whom operate within notarized bylaws.


Jon Darsee, Chief Innovation Officer

Jon Darsee is the University of Iowa’s first Chief Innovation Officer. His responsibilities include economic development efforts such as UI Ventures, protostudios, UI Research Park, MADE, and TRI.  His focus is on developing a foundation built around 3 pillars to support faculty and staff entrepreneurial and commercialization activity: a concierge service to connect and coordinate resources, greater access to funding sources for entrepreneurs and business expertise to support addressing unmet needs in fields across campus. Two targeted strategic areas of focus in alignment with State of Iowa initiatives are Medtech and Edtech.

Jon has more than 20 years experience as an executive in the healthcare industry. Most recently, Jon worked for iRhythm Technologies, a company that develops digital bio-sensing technology and cloud-based data analytics to diagnose heart arrhythmias. He joined the San Francisco–based iRhythm in 2007. Birthed from Stanford University’s renowned Byers Center for Bio Design technology incubator, Jon joined the start up when it had three employees. He retired from iRhythm in 2017 after helping build it into a 600-employee company with roughly $100 million in annual revenue, after having created and executed the reimbursement strategy that was pivotal to the firm’s successful IPO in 2016.

Vice President

Marie Kerbeshian

Marie Kerbeshian,  Assistant Vice President and Executive Director of the UI Research Foundation 

Marie Kerbeshian is Assistant Vice President and Executive Director of the UI Research Foundation where she oversees UI's commercialization efforts for technology developed at the university. She is a Certified Licensing Professional™ and a registered patent agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  She has almost two decades of experience in commercializing university innovations, and before joining UIRF in 2017, she had led the offices for the Indiana University system and at the University of Virginia.

Marie graduated from Wellesley College with highest honors in biological sciences and earned a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining U.Va.'s commercialization office, she was a postdoctoral fellow at that university's Center for Research in Reproduction in the Health Sciences Center and at the National Science Foundation's Center for Biological Timing in the Department of Biology.


Terry Johnson

Terry Johnson, Interim University Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer University of Iowa

Terry Johnson serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at the University of Iowa.  He is a registered CPA and has a Master's degree in Business Administration.  Mr. Johnson joined the University in 1993 to lead the development of the University's financial information systems.  In 1997 he was promoted to Associate Vice President and Controller and served in this role until his appointment to CFO & Treasurer in January 2015.  

Mr. Johnson is a member of the President's cabinet and is currently developing a new university-wide budget model with campus leadership.  Mr. Johnson serves on several university-wide steering committees and he has represented the University at the Big Ten Business Officer meetings since 1996.  Mr. Johnson represented the University as a founding member of the University Tax Peer Group consortium and he served on the COGR Costing Policies Committee for a number of years.

Prior to joining the University, Mr. Johnson worked for a privately held consulting firm.  During his tenure with this firm, he was based out of the firm's offices in Omaha, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.  He has traveled extensively in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.


Stephanie Dengler

Stephanie Dengler, Operations Manager 

Stephanie Dengler received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Mount Mercy College in 2000.  She was appointed the Director of Operations at the UI Research Park in 2011.  In her role as Director of Operations, she oversees the UI Park, BioVentures Center and the Technology Innovation Center.  She is responsible for assisting startup ventures with cost-effective business incubator offices and wet laboratory space; providing them with access to specialized UI research facilities as well as providing linkage to the regional business community and local government.


Kevin Kregel

Kevin C. Kregel,  Executive Vice President and Provost

Kevin Kregel was appointed executive vice president and provost in February 2021, after serving as interim executive vice president and provost since July 2020, executive vice provost and senior associate provost for faculty from July 2019, and as associate provost for faculty from September 2014.  He earned a bachelor’s degree and doctorate (physiology & biophysics) from the University of Iowa, and subsequently performed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona.  In 1993, Dr. Kregel joined the faculty at the University of Iowa, and currently holds the rank of full professor. He was department executive officer in the Department of Health & Human Physiology prior to his appointment as associate provost.

Dr. Kregel’s activities at the University of Iowa have included service on numerous collegiate and university committees, along with participation on steering committees for two campus-wide cluster hire initiatives.  His extramurally funded research laboratory at the University of Iowa has focused on physiological adjustments to exercise, aging, and environmental challenges.  He has also been very active in leadership positions at the national level, including service as the chair of committees addressing science policy issues for the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology and the American Physiological Society.



Frances Johnson

Frances Johnson, Chief Medical Officer

Frances Johnson MD, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine is a founding member and Chief Medical Officer of Viewpoint. Dr Johnson trained in medicine at the University of Washington, with a residency at the University of California, San Francisco, and fellowship, which led to a tenure track appointment at Stanford University. During her time at Stanford, Dr Johnson was involved as an inventor and investor in two previous biotech startups including XDx, Inc., which is a molecular diagnostics company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of non-invasive gene expression testing in the areas of transplant medicine and autoimmunity. The company has developed a proprietary method of utilizing gene expression in blood that provides a new tool for physicians to manage the care of heart transplant patients.

Dr. Johnson is experienced in clinical trial design and commercialization of biotech discoveries for human diagnostic imaging and therapy.

Kelly Hayworth

Kelly Hayworth, Coralville City Manager

Kelly Hayworth graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor and master's degree in business administration in 1983 and 1985, respectively. A recipient of the University of Iowa Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award, Hayworth has served as administrator for the City of Coralville since 1988.  During his tenure the City has added the Town Center District and the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center and has experienced significant growth, particularly in the commercial sector, including the Coral Ridge Mall.  Development continues now with the next phase of the Iowa River Landing, including the Iowa Arena; ongoing trail and park development; and completion of permanent flood mitigation infrastructure.  

Kelly is a native Iowan and past president of the Hawkeye Area Scout Council, member of the Iowa City Area Development Board and Executive Committee, Iowa City Area Chamber Board, Iowa Municipal Workers Compensation Board, University of Iowa Research Park Board, University of Iowa Alumni Association, and is consistently named among the Corridor's most influential by the Corridor Business Journal.  He and his wife Nancy live in Coralville; their son Michael attends the University of Northern Iowa.

Richard Hichwa

Richard Hichwa, Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development 

Richard Hichwa is the Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development and a Professor in the Departments of Radiology, Physics and Radiation Oncology at the University of Iowa.

Hichwa joined the University of Iowa in 1988 as Director of the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Imaging Center in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  He has also since served as the Director of the Small Animal Imaging Core in the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Radiology, Associate Vice President for Research – Compliance, and Associate Vice President for Research – Development.  Hichwa has served as Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development since 2010, currently overseeing the office’s Core and Research Facilities, Centers, and serving as the Institutional Research Integrity Officer.

Mark Nolte, Project Better Together

Mark Nolte has been working to assist Iowa companies and communities for over 20 years.  Mark was the National Training Director for the Abilities Fund, an organization assisting entrepreneurs with disabilities and then led the economic development efforts for the Iowa City Area Development Group.   Through this work he has developed an understanding of the regional market and relationships with area companies, state and local leadership and the University of Iowa which he brings to the planning efforts for a stronger Research Park.

Alec Whitters

Alec Whitters, Higher Learning Technologies Co-Founder


Alec Whitters - In 2012, Alec was a 3rd-year grad student at The University of Iowa's College of Dentistry when he became frustrated that he could not use his smartphone to study. Fast forward five years and he has built a global mobile learning platform used by over 10 million students. HLT has raised over $15M in investment capital and now has 45 employees. Alec was also recently recognized as a winner of "Forbes 30 under 30."

Phillip R. Boothby, Executive Director of Capital Management and Facility Planning for the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics and Carver College of Medicine.

Mr. Boothby provides executive level leadership and day-to-day management of UI Healthcare's aggressive and comprehensive capital program. Through his guidance, his team is focused on creating and promoting the development of patient and family centered healing settings, innovative designs and advancing teaching and research initiatives through the built environment. His oversight touches every aspect of the hospital campus and expansive specialty clinic network to promote a robust portfolio to meet the ever-changing needs of the community healthcare market. 


Prior to joining UI Health Care, Mr. Boothby administered the Capital Program for Cook County, IL, the second populous county in the nation.  His responsibility spanned the health system, corporate facilities, and public safety portfolios.  He administered a capital outlay of almost $2B on a rolling 5-year infrastructure program that covered the entire portfolio. Phil holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration.