Staff Profile: Lili M. Portilla

Lili Portilla
Lili M. Portilla, M.P.A.


Office of Strategic Alliances

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

National Institutes of Health

Email Lili M. Portilla


Lili Portilla is the director of NCATS’ Office of Strategic Alliances, where she oversees the Center’s partnership, strategic alliance and technology transfer functions. She also is the program director for the NCATS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant and contract programs. In this role, Portilla works closely with interested small businesses by providing advice and educational resources about the program. She has worked in the area of strategic alliances and technology transfer at NIH since 1989.

Before coming to NCATS in December 2011, Portilla served as senior advisor to the director of the National Center for Research Resources and as the director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Development at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. She serves as an ex officio board member of the University of Kansas Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation. She also serves as a member of the Federal Laboratory Commercialization Task Force on the governor’s Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board.

Portilla received a master’s degree in public administration in 1992 from American University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1986 from Stephen F. Austin State University, where she majored in finance and Spanish literature.

Professional Interests

Portilla has extensive experience and interest in negotiating and developing commercialization strategies for complex, multiparty collaborations and public-private partnerships. She also spends time mentoring and lecturing to students and postdoctoral fellows interested in strategic alliances and the field of technology transfer.

Selected Publications

  1. How SBIR/STTR Can Support Women in Biotech: Funding for Innovation from NIH’s Small Business Programs
  2. I-Corps at NIH: Entrepreneurial Training Program Creating Successful Small Businesses
  3. Collaborative development of 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin for the treatment of Niemann-Pick type C1 disease
  4. Leveraging public private partnerships to innovate under challenging budget times