Meet the Team


Luke Sebby

Contact Luke Sebby.

Luke Sebby is the Director of the Office of Innovation at NIU and Chair of the Strategic Development Team. Born and raised in Illinois, Luke spent his early career in national security. After enlisting in the Army and serving two combat tours in Iraq as a cryptologic Arabic linguist, Luke worked as a civilian in the Washington, D.C. area in various defense, intelligence, red teaming, and technology innovation roles. His most recent position was the Vice President for Operations and Development with the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation. He holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University, a Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT, and a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Georgetown.


Karinne Bredberg

Assistant Director for Commercialization and Innovation
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Karinne is a double NIU alumna having received her bachelor’s in biology and her master’s in public administration. As the assistant director for commercialization and innovation, Karinne assists the university community on partnership development, startup creation and intellectual property matters, and has been involved in facilitating innovative student programs like the IDEAL INDUSTRIES Intrapreneurship Program and Discover Campus Innovator Program. She also works with local government on providing relevant university research data for site selections for DeKalb County, having most recently served as chair for the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation’s Target Industry subcommittee. Among her duties at NIU, Karinne also currently serves as the Secretary to the Northern Illinois Research Foundation, a university related 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to contribute to and advance the education, research, public service and economic development mission of NIU.


Mark Hankins

Assistant Director for Technology Transfer
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Mark has over 25 years of experience in the health care industry, including positions with start-up companies, large pharmaceutical companies, emerging pharmaceutical companies, and government/non-profit organizations. Mark currently serves as the Assistant Director for Technology Transfer at Northern Illinois University. Immediately prior to this position, he was an executive consultant to early stage and start-up companies focused primarily on therapeutic products and medical devices. Prior to his consulting work, he was the Director of Licensing at Medical University of South Carolina and the CEO of Codevax - a vaccine start-up in Rochester, NY. He has held Vice President of Business Development positions for CIMA Labs and Cardinal Health. Mark has also held senior business development and licensing positions with Sanofi Pasteur in both the US and Canada. Mark began his career in health care as a Technology Licensing Specialist for the National Institutes of Health.

Mark is a patent attorney, member of the Georgia State Bar, and a Certified Licensing Professional. He holds a Juris Doctor from University of Georgia School of Law, a Master of Science in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Emory University. He also holds a Financial Decision-Making certificate from the University of Chicago. Mark currently serves as the Chair of the Licensing Executives Society Chicago Chapter.


Bryan Flower

Assistant Director for Food Systems Innovation
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Born in England and raised in South Africa, Chef Bryan started working in the hospitality industry in the mid-nineties. Over the past 30 years, his talents have taken him from South Africa to Europe, the Middle East, and finally to the United States. Chef Bryan has worked at several renowned resorts, clubs, restaurants, and hotels, before moving into education. Chef Bryan loves to share his passion and knowledge of all things pertaining to the food service industry and has taught culinary and hospitality in higher education for over 15 years. He is now the Asst. Director of Food Systems Innovation at Northern Illinois. His desire to work with quality ingredients led him and his wife to buy the property now called “The Red Home Farm”, where they raise grass fed beef and operate a food trailer.


Rachel Roling

Graduate Staff Assistant

Rachel Roling is a third-year law student at NIU College of Law. She will graduate with a Juris Doctor degree and certificate in international law. As an intern in the technology transfer office, Rachel dockets NIU’s patent applications, drafts model agreements, and helps commercialize available innovations. She has also created marketing material for 71 North Partnership Studio and helped create the Innovation Club.

Rachel graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Global Resource Systems from Iowa State. After graduation, she briefly worked in landscape design before taking a job in advertising. In law school, Rachel participated in the global rounds of the Jessup International Moot Court competition. She is also the symposium editor of NIU Law Review, where she is organizing a symposium dedicated to outer space development and space law.