Director, Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of California Davis Health System, Chief Innovation Officer of Aggie Square
James Kovach MD, JD serves as Director, Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of California Davis Health System, where he supports UC Davis faculty, staff and student training in entrepreneurship and engages in industry outreach.
Dr. Kovach is also Chief Innovation Officer of Aggie Square. Aggie Square is an innovation center launched by UC Davis to spur economic growth in Sacramento through partnerships with the City of Sacramento and other entities, while encouraging collaborations across UC Davis disciplines—in life sciences, food systems, mobility, government, civic technology, arts and communications.
Dr. Kovach received his medical degree with distinction from the University of Kentucky while simultaneously playing in the National Football League. Following his NFL career, he attended law school at Stanford University and practiced corporate law in Palo Alto California.
Dr. Kovach established the Technology Transfer Program at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He also helped launched and has served as Chief Operating Officer of Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHX), a leading public biotechnology company developing stem cell therapeutics.
Dr. Kovach has also served as President of the Buck Institute for Age Research. Named by NIH as a national center of excellence, the Buck Institute is an independent research institute dedicated exclusively to research on aging and age-associated disease.
Dr. Kovach played 7 years in the National Football League (NFL) as a middle linebacker for the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers. He has served previously as a member of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee. He is a member of the College Football Academic Hall of Fame. He is the leading tackler in the history of the University of Kentucky and 4th leading tackler in Southeastern Conference history
Dr. Kovach is a Board member of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.