Today, approaches for technology transfer from academic to industry settings are shifting. As pharmaceutical and biotechnology needs for pipeline development have become more clear, the pull from industry on researchers is becoming relevant. These increasingly dynamic relationships between university researchers and their potential commercialization partners are opening new grounds for collaboration and partnership.

In this webinar, experts discuss the challenges and opportunities emerging from these new relationship models. 

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Chris Pflaum
Venture Analyst
Rutgers University Office of Research Commercialization

Christopher Pflaum holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Genetics and Biotechnology-Genomics, respectively. Since 2012 he has been a part of Rutgers Office of Research Commercialization’s new ventures group, which focuses on promoting and supporting Rutgers technology based start-ups. As a Venture Analyst, he works with start-ups at all stages, from opportunity evaluation and company formation through product launch and business development. His capabilities include: market analysis, customer discovery, informed business model design, intellectual property strategies in resource limited environments, and planning to successfully leverage government and foundational grants to support early start-up activities.

Kelly Sexton, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Technology Transfer
North Carolina State University

Dr. Kelly B. Sexton oversees technology scouting and development, licensing, and venture development at NCSU. Under her leadership, OTT has doubled the number of licenses executed and startup companies launched per year. In addition, her office administers the $5 M Chancellor’s Innovation Fund, which supports technology development to strengthen the commercial potential of university discoveries.

Dr. Sexton holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology from the University of California, San Diego where she was supported by a fellowship from the California Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She completed her postdoctoral studies at Stanford University where she was awarded a fellowship from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Dr. Sexton has served as an Executive in Residence in NC State’s HiTEC startup creation program, currently serves on the steering committee for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of RTP and is the Incoming Chair of the Licensing Executives Society RTP Chapter.

Program Chair:

Neha Nigam, Ph.D. 
Associate, Harlem Biospace
Technology Transfer Office
Rockefeller University, Rutgers University

Dr. Nigam is quite keen on the proceedings at a Technology Transfer Office and is passionate about the applied aspects of innovative scientific discoveries, striving to be at the interface of business and science. Previously, she has worked in the industry as an Analyst involved in competitive intelligence, strategic business analysis and commercialization of early innovations in several therapeutic areas.  Her foundation in life sciences comes from her Ph.D. in molecular biology from Vienna, Austria. Her Postdoc work was also in the same field at UCL, Belgium. She was working on molecular mechanisms of abiotic stress responses in plants and published some insightful research from her work in both the places. Dr. Nigam was awarded with scholarships and fellowships throughout her study and presented her work at several international conferences.