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Exploring Career Paths: Taking Your Research to Market Impact
May 28, 2020
Eighty percent of postdocs and Ph.D. students do something other than enter academia after graduating. If you are curious to explore options for taking your research out into the world as a possible career path, then this webinar is for you. You will hear about the four paths researchers usually take to create market impact with their research, and the resources available as you consider this possible career track. Presented by UW CoMotion and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
Fiona Wills, Director of Innovation Development Group at UW CoMotion
Fiona’s group guides researchers through project development towards impact through licensing either to an existing company, to a UW founder-led startup, or direct-to-user licensing from UW. It encompasses the intellectual property, material transfer agreement, innovation management and licensing activities of CoMotion. Fiona’s scientific background is in protein biochemistry and cell biology.
Katya Cherukumili, Founder and CEO of Global Water Labs
During her doctoral research, Katya developed an inexpensive, locally sourced, and scalable method to remediate globalgroundwater aquifers contaminated with excess naturally occurring fluoride. She recently deployed technical field pilots in Kenya, Tanzania, and India, where nearly 100 million people are at risk of developing bone deformities and mottled enamel through the consumption of fluoride-contaminated drinking water. Katya’s ongoing research is focused on developing low-cost and environmentally friendly solutions to target heavy metal removal (e.g., Cu, Pb, Zn) in industrial wastewater and groundwater domestically in Washington State.
David Younger, Founder and CEO of A-Alpha Bio
David co-founded A-Alpha Bio after completing his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Washington in 2017. The company is developing a platform called AlphaSeq that uses genetically sequencing to quantitatively and simultaneously measure the affinities of millions of protein-protein interactions. A-Alpha Bio is using this platform in partnership with pharmaceutical companies to discover, optimize, and characterize small molecule and protein-based drugs – focusing primarily on infectious disease and oncology.
Greg Newbloom, Founder and CEO of Membrion
Greg founded Membrion in 2016 based on his postdoctoral research with UW Chemical Engineering. He uses silica gel — a nontoxic material often packaged with new shoes and beef jerky — to create a new class of inexpensive, flexible ceramic membranes that selectively transport ions in liquids. The technology could be used for everything from desalinating water to storing renewable energy in massive batteries. After receiving several rounds of federal grant funding, Membrion and its nine employees have raised $7.5 million to commercialize the technology.
Stephanie Berger, Founder of TBDBiotech
Stephanie Berger obtained her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Washington in 2017. She is now working on launching a venture targeting Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). People suffering from IBD have a poor quality of life and the current treatment for the disease, requiring injections, is quite onerous. TBDBiotech’s computationally designed peptides represent a new mode of treatment for IBD: orally administered, locally active therapy that can be safer, more convenient, and less expensive.