Ventures Office | UC Davis Health

UC Davis Health

Ventures Office

We extend UC Davis as a first-in-class destination for researchers and industry to tackle big opportunities in health care.

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The Ventures Office at UC Davis Health promotes a collaborative innovation and entrepreneurship culture by translating best-in-class research to commercial practice.

UC Davis Health is a national leader in the following areas. We are always looking for partners to expand our research and help make our innovative clinical and scientific research come to life. 

The success of the UC Davis Health Ventures Office is possible through these tremendous UC Davis partnerships and the guidance of our executive committee.

Ventures Office Leadership

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Donald P. Taylor, Ph.D., M.B.A., C.L.P.

Donald P. Taylor is the inaugural chief ventures officer of UC Davis Health, where he leads the Ventures Office. The office partners with the innovation, entrepreneurship, and industry engagement teams at UC Davis to develop and commercialize intellectual property and advance research translation.

Before joining UC Davis Health, Dr. Taylor served as The Ohio State University’s executive director of licensing and the University of Pittsburgh’s assistant vice chancellor for commercial translation in the health sciences. At Pitt, Dr. Taylor also served as an associate professor of Biomedical Informatics in the School of Medicine.

A five-time life sciences entrepreneur, Dr. Taylor headed corporate development for Cellumen, Inc., a bio-tools drug discovery company, and for its spinoff, Cernostics, Inc., a cancer molecular diagnostics company. Prior to these positions, he led the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology marketing segments for Thermo Fisher Scientific.

In 2023, Dr. Taylor was conferred as a distinguished alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh for his pioneering work in biomedical entrepreneurship and research translation. He earned his B.S. degree in information systems from Carnegie Mellon University, his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, and an M.B.A. at Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business. He conducted postdoctoral research in pathology at Pitt’s School of Medicine.

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Larissa May, M.D., M.S.P.H., M.B.A.

Larissa May is a professor of emergency medicine and director of Emergency Department Innovation and External Partnerships at the UC Davis School of Medicine.

She is currently an Innovation Fellow in the Center for Diagnostic Innovation and the Ventures Office at UC Davis Health. Dr. May will serve as UC Davis Health’s inaugural assistant clinical ventures officer.

Dr. May’s research centers on the application of rapid diagnostic assays, behavioral economics, and digital health to improve healthcare quality and outcomes in the ED, hospital, and outpatient settings, particularly for infectious diseases. She has served as an investigator on multiple studies and has published over 110 peer-reviewed articles.

She earned her medical degree with distinction from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. At GW, she also earned a dual Master of Science plus a Master of Business Administration from The University of Colorado Denver Business School.

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James Kovach, M.D., J.D.

James Kovach is the executive director of Translational Entrepreneurship in the Ventures Office of UC Davis Health. Dr. Kovach designs and deploys infrastructure for the Ventures Office to develop and support affiliated startups.

Dr. Kovach established the Technology Transfer Program at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He also helped launch and served as Chief Operating Officer of Athersys, Inc., a leading public biotechnology company developing stem cell therapeutics.

He received his medical degree with distinction from the University of Kentucky while simultaneously playing in the National Football League for seven years as a middle linebacker. Following his NFL career, he attended Stanford Law School and practiced corporate law in Palo Alto, California.

Contact the UC Davis Health Ventures Office at