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SBIR & STTRs for Health Tech Startups

The webinar program would explore topics relevant to high tech entrepreneurs and utilization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs. It will also discuss how researchers and small businesses can use this funding source.


  • Matthew Portnoy, NIH SBIR/STTR Program Manager at the National Institutes of Health LinkedIn

  • Jennifer Shieh, Chief Scientist at the US Small Business Association LinkedIn

  • Sally Hu, CAPT U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) at the Defense Health Agency (DHA), SBIR/STTR

Panelist Biographies: 

Matthew Portnoy, NIH SBIR/STTR Program Manager at the National Institutes of Health

Dr. Matthew Portnoy is the NIH SBIR/STTR Program Manager and Director, Division of Special Programs, Office of Extramural Programs, Office of Extramural Research, Office of the Director, NIH.   In this role, he manages the SBIR/STTR programs at NIH and coordinates the 24 NIH Institutes/Centers that receive funding for the programs.  Additionally, as the Director, Division of Special Programs, Dr. Portnoy and his staff provide scientific program management and oversight of the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Program, and support for conferences and scientific meetings (R13/U13), ensures that NIH extramural staff are trained to meet the ever-changing demands of their job, and communicates funding opportunities and critical information concerning NIH's programs, policies, and procedures to the biomedical research and training community through the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.

Dr. Portnoy received his B.S. in molecular and cell biology from Penn State University.  He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.  Matt then joined the Intramural Program of NIH National Human Genome Research Institute as a post-doctoral fellow.  Dr. Portnoy made the leap to the extramural side of NIH in 2005 and joined the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) as a program director.  Over his time at NIGMS, he managed R01 grant portfolios in DNA repair, recombination and replication, SBIR/STTR grants, F32 post-doctoral fellowships, cooperative agreements, and R25 education grants.   Dr. Portnoy also served as SBIR/STTR program lead for NIGMS for 6 years prior to his current post.

Sally Hu, CAPT U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) at the Defense Health Agency (DHA), SBIR/STTR

CAPT Sally Hu is the Director of Small Business Science and Technology for J9 in the Defense Health Agency (DHA) of the Department of Defense (DoD). In this role, she leads the DHA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Research Programs (SBIR/STTR) to stimulate high-tech innovations while meeting special research/developmental needs to support the oversight and management of a $1.7 billion/year budget. CAPT Hu also provides guidance and leadership to the DHA funded Global Health Engagement (GHE) projects that are run by a variety of domestic and international groups across DoD and beyond.  Prior to her present position, CAPT Hu was a Senior Licensing and Patenting Manager at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and at the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). CAPT Hu was responsible for managing patent prosecution, marketing, and licensing activities for NIDCR’s technologies as well as for NIH’s therapeutic technologies for the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIVinfectionDuring her tenure at NIH, CAPT Hu completed over 120 license agreements with numerous companies and organizations worldwide.

Moreover, CAPT Hu has led 35 deployments as the team commander of the Regional Incident Support Team-National Capital Region (RIST-NCR, Tier 1) since 2009.  CAPT Hu has received over 30 U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) awards including 2 Outstanding Service Medals and 8 civilian awards for her continued and exemplary achievements for the advancement of the nation’s public health. Finally, CAPT Hu received her Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology from Boston University School of Medicine and her M.B.A. from Boston University School of Management.


Jennifer Shieh, Chief Scientist and Senior Technology Policy Advisor at the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Investment and Innovation

Dr. Jennifer Shieh advances technology commercialization through the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs, building partnerships and coordinating policy across the 11 participating Federal agencies. Previously, she managed the Small Business Program for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and served as a Program Director at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) SBIR Development Center, having joined NCI as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow. She was involved in product and customer development at Syapse, a precision medicine-focused startup, and mobile games startup Subversus Interactive. Dr. Shieh studied brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, then earned her PhD in neurosciences at Stanford University. She is co-author of the textbook Guide to Research Techniques in Neuroscience.