Sid Martin Biotech


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UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech is a world-recognized leader in biotechnology business incubation – and with well-equipped laboratories and specialized equipment, plus an outstanding network of mentors, advisors and collaborators, it’s the perfect place for you to grow your biotech business.

We are here to assist you in growing your therapeutic, diagnostics, medical device, ag-bio, clean energy and/or biopharma enterprise. We’ve been making growth happen in North Central Florida since 1995, and we know what it takes to assist your company.

Why Us

Our facility is one of the most experienced bio-business incubators in the nation, and we’ve got some awards to prove it. Our success aids your success.

Our Companies

We’ve got a list of successful resident and alumni companies that represent billions in client funding activity. See who’s who among our startups.

Client Resources

Access to core scientific equipment, invaluable business advice, and investor and legal introductions are here for you.

Our Community

We’re nestled in the heart of a 204-acre research park in North Central Florida, the best of UF and Alachua without the traffic.


Interested in joining us? We would love to learn more about your business.

Contact Info

UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech
12085 Research Drive, Box SMBI-300
Alachua, Florida 32615


Staff Directory


Photo of Mark S. Long Mark S. Long Director of Incubation Services

Mark is the director of incubation services at UF. This includes UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech and UF Innovate | The Hub. He focuses on incubating companies according to industry best practices efforts, utilizing sales and marketing techniques and entrepreneurial mentoring.

Mark was the former President and CEO of the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation (IURTC), which owned and operated the Indiana University Emerging Technologies Center (IUETC), a life sciences incubator, and Mark served as President and CEO of that facility. Mark was also President and CEO of the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute, a cancer treatment facility located at Indiana University, during his tenure at IURTC. Mark was the former Director of Technical Operations at Washington University in St. Louis.

Mark has a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in Molecular Biology from Florida State University. He attended both Florida Atlantic University and Indiana University for work on his Ed.D. He has been a member of the NBIA for 12 years and authored the books “Put It In Writing 2”, “Wholesale Economic Development”, and writes a blog on incubation titled IncubatorBlogger.

Photo of Merrie Shaw Merrie Shaw Assistant Director of Incubation Services

Merrie focuses on the life science incubator, Sid Martin Biotech, where she manages the day to day operations as well as promotes Incubation Services and recruits companies. Merrie oversees finance, budgets, administration and human resources. Merrie has attended numerous management classes at the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) conferences and training sessions, and she helped the Sid Martin incubation program win global incubator of the year awards twice, in 2013 and again in 2017.

Merrie has been with UF for 13 years. Previously, she was an orthopedic surgical assistant in south Florida for 15 years, and then she assisted various hospital
foundations with fund raising.

Merrie earned an AS degree from Santa Fe College, surgical tech certification from Manatee College and her Incubator Management Certification from INBIA.

Sid Martin Biotech Staff

Photo of Barbara Carter Barbara Carter Laboratory Manager

Barbara oversees the more than $2 million of common equipment at Sid Martin Biotech. As a scientist herself, she is responsible for providing training on and supervising the proper use of each piece of equipment, planning for new equipment purchases, and assisting in coordinating repairs. She also coordinates with EH&S on laboratory safety.

She jokingly says that when she graduated from college, she couldn’t even spell “PCR” because the technology didn’t exist. That was fine, because she was commissioned in the U.S. Navy, performing intelligence, administrative, and manpower responsibilities. Returning to graduate school, she almost completed her Ph.D. before family considerations brought her to Florida in 1998. She worked at UF in genetic research (hydrocephalus) before she was hired by EcoArray, a small biotech company that started at the Sid Martin. In 2010, the company was acquired and Barb joined Applied Food Technologies, with a concurrent role on the Sid Martin Biotech staff.

Barbara holds a B.A. in biology and anthropology (dual major) from Northwestern University, which she attended on a full academic N.R.O.T.C. scholarship. In 1978, Barb was one of 12 women nationwide to receive such a scholarship; it was only the second year this scholarship was offered to women. She also has a M.A. in archaeology from the University of Washington. She is a retired U.S. Navy Captain (27 years).

Photo of Lynda Graves Lynda Graves Senior Fiscal Assistant

Lynda joined the staff at Sid Martin Biotech in 2006 and handles all of the program’s accounting issues.

Before joining the team at Sid Martin, she worked 30 years for UF as a senior accountant and supervisor at the UF Brain Institute.

Photo of Sarah Jackson Sarah Jackson Administrative Assistant

Sarah provides administrative support for the staff and provides customer assistance for clients in the Sid Martin Biotech Incubator.

Sarah has worked for UF Innovate since October 2017.

She graduated with a B.S. from the University of South Florida in 2017.

Photo of Orlando Rivera Orlando Rivera Facilities Manager

As the facilities supervisor, Orlando is responsible for ensuring the Sid Martin Biotech building functions as well as it looks. He works closely with UF Physical Plant and Housekeeping Departments on daily tasks and scheduled maintenance, keeping clients informed and scheduling around their needs.

Orlando has been on the staff since 2011. Prior to that time, he learned many of his skills as a maintenance mechanic and “jack-of-all-trades” at UF, Physical Plant Department. He has been a fiberglass technician, and a group leader for a concrete firm. Since starting at Sid Martin he has added journeyman and biological safety cabinet maintenance training and certification to his areas of expertise.

Orlando studied business administration at the University of Puerto Rico.

Photo of Elliott Welker Elliott Welker Client Services Manager

Elliott works on programs and progress for startup companies and recently launched the Innovate NaviGator pilot program, which includes gathering and posting information for communitywide events for entrepreneurs.

Before joining UF Innovate, Elliott was a business development intern for ReliOx Corporation, a resident startup at Sid Martin Biotech; a legal assistant for Robert S. Griscti, Esq., assisting him in his practice of white-collar criminal law, criminal defense, federal and state litigation, professional licensing and appeals; and volunteered with the North Central Florida Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

He earned his BA in history with a minor in teaching English as a second language (2013) and MBA focusing on entrepreneurship and marketing (2017) from UF. He was a Bob Graham Center for Public Service Student Fellow and Poe Center for Business Ethics Education and Research MBA Fellow.