? Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars | The University of Utah

2017 Translational Medicine Syposium

All University of Utah faculty, staff and students are invited to the 2017 Translational Medicine Symposium on Feb. 27 at 11:30-6 p.m. Continuing medical education credit is available. Registration is required and free. The symposium will address how clinicians' ideas and research results can have an impact on patient care -- if they are translated into clinical practice. It is a collaboration of the Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars (EFS) program, led by Dr. Glenn D. Prestwich, the HHMI Med to Grad program (U2M2G), co-directed by Drs. Anthea Letsou and Dean Li, and the Center for Medical Innovation. A great opportunity for faculty, student and postgraduate entrepreneurs to get acquainted with the complex and non-linear process of translating medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, digital health applications, and research tools so they can be used to impact patient care. Clinician innovators and entrepreneurs will share their experience and a panel of experts will discuss opportunities, barriers, and steps in creating impactful healthcare innovations.

When: Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: University Guest House, Douglas Ballroom, 110 S. Fort Douglas Blvd, Salt Lake City

Directions and map: www.universityguesthouse.com/Location-Transportation

Contact information: If you have questions about the event, contact Kai Kuck, Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Utah, kai.kuck@hsc.utah.edu, 801-581-6393

2017 Event Video

2017 Session Videos

Event Agenda

11:30 - Arrive and Collect Lunch Boxes
12:00 - Welcome (Kai Kuck)
12:10 - Introduction and Opening Remarks (Glenn Prestwich, Rachel Hess)
12:30 - Session I: Medical Devices (Moderator: John Langell, MD, PhD, MPH, MBA)

1:20  Session II: Therapeutics (Moderator: Sunil Sharma, MD, MBA)

    • Antibiofilm Technology (Ryan Looper, PhD)
    • Translational Genomics for Developing Cancer Therapies (Joshua Schiffman, MD)
    • Panel Discussion
      • Leena Bhoite, Technology Management (TVC, University of Utah)
      • Scott Marty, Patent Attorney (Ballard Spahr LLP)
      • Jared Rutters, Professor (Biochemistry, University of Utah)
      • Jaci Skidmore, Business Development & Regulatory Compliance (CTO, University of Utah)
      • Gaylen Zentner, Founder & Principal Partner (Comprehensive CMC Outsourcing)

2:10  BREAK (20min)
2:30  Session III: Diagnostics (Moderator: Edgar Braendle, MD, PhD)

    • Antibody-based Diagnostics (Shawn Owen, PhD)
    • Real-time, web-based genomic big data analysis (Alistair Ward, PhD)
    • Panel Discussion
      • Chuck Hensel, Senior Research Manager (Lineagen Inc.)
      • Noriko Kusukawa, VP New Technology Assessment and Licensing (ARUP Labs)
      • Liz Jenkins, Manager Reimbursement Services (Sera Prognostics)
      • Michael Langer, Patent Attorney (Michael Best and Friedrich LLP)

3:20  Session IV: Apps & IT (Moderator: Chris Wasden)

    • Virtual Reality for Pediatric Anesthesia (Ben Chortkoff, MD)
    • The Memory Care Navigator (Troy Andersen, PhD, MSW, MS, LCSW)
    • Panel Discussion
      • Brent Elieson, Associate Director IT Business Office (University of Utah)
      • Julio Facelli, Vice Chair Biomedical Informatics (University of Utah)
      • John Hurdle, Professor, Biomedical Informatics, (University of Utah)
      • Kevin Wethington, Vice-Chair IT (Department of Anesthesiology and U. of Utah Medical Group)

4:10  BREAK (20min)
4:30  Session V: Research Tools (Moderator: Florian Solzbacher, PhD)

    • In Vivo Modeling of Mouse and Human Breast Cancers (Alana Welm, PhD)
    • 3Helix Collagen Targeting Technology, (Michael Yu, PhD)
    • Panel Discussion
      • Mark Lehmkuhle, CEO (Epitel Inc.)
      • Eric Paulsen, Legal Counsel (TVC, University of Utah)
      • Chad Testa, Director of Chemistry (Curza)
      • James Thompson, Technology Management (TVC, University of Utah)

5:20  Open Discussion
5:40  Closing Remarks: Keith Marmer, Executive Director and Associate VP (TVC, University of Utah)

Accreditation for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)

3e319de4-0f4b-4694-91cb-ac34117dea2a_uploaddocumentAccreditation: The University Of Utah School Of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Disclosure: None of the faculty or planners or anyone in control of content for this continuing medical education activity have any relevant financial relationships since the content does not cover any products/services of a commercial interest; therefore, there are no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

AMA Credit: The University of Utah School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 5.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nondiscrimination and Disability Accommodation Statement: The University of Utah does not exclude, deny benefits to or otherwise discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran’s status, religion, gender identity/expression, genetic information, or sexual orientation in admission to or participation in its programs and activities.  Reasonable accommodations will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request, with reasonable notice.  Requests for accommodations or inquiries or complaints about University nondiscrimination and disability/access policies may be directed to the Director, OEO/AA, Title IX/Section 504/ADA Coordinator, 201 S President’s Circle, RM 135, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, 801-581-8365 (Voice/TTY), 801-585-5746 (Fax).

Resources

Presentations by Session

Biographies by Session (with Photos)

Biographies by Session

Hosts & Oganizers

Leena Bhoite, Ph.D. – Leena has a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology with broad industry experience in preclinical drug development from Myrexis Inc. and proje t management in medical devices from Great Basin Scientific Inc. She joined the Technology and Venture Commercialization Office in 2012, implementing the breadth of experience to leading  and managing University of Utah Healthscience innovation portfolio, with focus on medical devices, therapeutics, and diagnostics.  She has worked closely with faculty inventors and external partners to advance many innovations to market-readiness.  She routinely evaluates University innovations for business opportunity and protectable intellectual property that can be further developed for commercialization through funding, partnerships, license negotiations and start-up creation by recruiting management talent.

Kai Kuck, PhD Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of Bioengineering, has been involved in the research and development of anesthesia and critical care technologies since 1991. He has authored more than 30 publications and 14 US and international patents. Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Kuck served in a senior management position as Dräger's head of research, overseeing 40 industrial scientists and 30 students.

Tomasz J. Petelenz, PhD Currently a Research Associate Professor at the Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah. His teaching and research interests include translational bioengineering, regulatory science, and medical device design. His professional experience encompasses a range of bioengineering areas, including implantable cardiac pacemakers, iontophoretic and infusion drug delivery, kidney dialysis machines, biosensors, optical sensors, cardiovascular devices, wireless data communication, prosthetics, and small business startups. Dr. Petelenz holds degrees in physics-microelectronics (MS) and bioengineering (PhD), and is an inventor / co-inventor on 30 patents, and author/co-author of more than 40 publications and presentations.

Glenn D. Prestwich, PhD Presidential Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Presidential Special Assistant for Faculty Entrepreneurism at the University of Utah, where he created the Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars program. He also chairs the U’s Internal Commercialization Coordination Council. He is also the Chancellor’s Distinguished Visiting Professor at Washington State University, and recently led an External Review of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at WSU. His research includes phospholipids in cell signaling, synthetic matrices for regenerative medicine, and anti-inflammatory glycosaminoglycans.

Medical Devices

Chris Coppin, MD, Ph.D. – Chris Coppin, MD, PhD, Chief Business Development Officer and Associate Dean for Technology Development and Commercialization at Washington State University, supports the translation of breakthrough discoveries made in the College of Medicine into inventions, and to ensure their successful implementation to benefit healthcare and the economy. Specifically, Dr. Coppin leverages his experience in the management of R&D programs in the medical device industry to guide the college’s research community in entrepreneurial activities.

Shawn Fojtik, MA – Shawn Fojtik is co-founder of Distal Access, Control Medical, CIRCA Scientific, Pinyons, Transit, Axiom, Occam, and Fluidx with experience at GE Medical, Boston Scientific, and Black & Decker. His experience includes devices for cardiology, interventional radiology & oncology, electrophysiology, surgery, enteral feeding, and other procedures. Shawn has 40+ issued and pending patents, a BS from the University of Illinois, MA from Harvard University, and is an adjunct professor of surgery at the University of Utah.  

Jim Hotaling, MD, MS – Jim Hotaling, MD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Urology at the University of Utah and has received a number of research grants and has several patents. He has several NIH grants, has performed numerous trials for validating and development of new technology and has a faculty appointment that allows significant time for research. He is on the management team of StreamDx, Inc.,  which has developed low cost functional, novel point of care uroflow meter.

John Langell, MD, Ph.D. – John Langell, MD, PhD, MPH is the Executive Director of the Center for Medical innovation and a minimally invasive gastrointestinal and endocrine surgeon at the University of Utah and Chief of General Surgery at the George E. Wahlen VA medical Center. His current academic and research efforts are focused on the translation and commercialization of medical technology. Dr. Langell is a recognized leader in medical innovation education programs and is funded by the national Institutes of Health in this area. He has developed or co-developed five nationally recognized innovation educational programs addressing the needs of all levels of students from undergraduates to faculty innovators. Dr. Langell's own work has resulted in the development of innovating new laparoscopic instruments for use in remote and extreme environments. This work is funded through local and state development grants and private investors.

Derek Sakata, MD – Dr. Sakata received his bachelor of science degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 1993, his medical doctorate from Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California in 1999, a transitional internship at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, San Bernardino, CA in 2000 and a residency in anesthesiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2003.  He is currently Professor (Clinical) and vice-chair in the University of Utah, Department of Anesthesiology. He also has adjunct appointments to Ophthalmology (2013) and Bioengineering (2014).  He is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology. He holds patents associated with two medical devices that are FDA cleared and on the market.  He is founder of Anecare and Dynasthetics that currently manufacture, market and sell these products from Salt Lake City, UT.

Paul N. Taylor –With a mechanical engineering degree and JD from the University of Utah, Paul Taylor has drafted and prosecuted patents for medical devices, clean-room technologies, hydrocarbon exploration, automotive safety devices, exercise equipment, software, optics, embedded devices, consumer electronics, and other technologies. During his career, he has also obtained copyright and trademark registrations, prepared intellectual property related employment agreements and assisted clients in patent infringement litigation.  Paul is currently secretary for the United States Bar European Patent Office Liaison Council.  During law school, Mr. Taylor was a William H. Leary Scholar and was a founding member of the Student Intellectual Property Law Association at the University of Utah where he served.

Phil Triolo PhD, RAC – Phil Triolo and Associates have been providing regulatory and quality consulting services to multinational, small, and virtual companies since 1997, specializing in all aspects of pre-market activities for devices and combination products. We are particularly successful at creating regulatory strategies for novel medical products whose regulatory pathway is not well defined, and at simultaneously creating documents and quality systems that meet both US and EU (CE Marking) requirements.

Therapeutics

Leena Bhoite, Ph.D. – Leena has a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology with broad industry experience in preclinical drug development from Myrexis Inc. and proje t management in medical devices from Great Basin Scientific Inc. She joined the Technology and Venture Commercialization Office in 2012, implementing the breadth of experience to leading  and managing University of Utah Healthscience innovation portfolio, with focus on medical devices, therapeutics, and diagnostics.  She has worked closely with faculty inventors and external partners to advance many innovations to market-readiness.  She routinely evaluates University innovations for business opportunity and protectable intellectual property that can be further developed for commercialization through funding, partnerships, license negotiations and start-up creation by recruiting management talent.

Ryan E. Looper, Ph.D. – Ryan E. Looper, PhD is Vice President of Discovery at Curza and Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Utah. Dr. Looper has received numerous honors and awards for his research most notably the Amgen and Eli Lilly Young Investigator Awards and the Thieme Chemistry Journals Award.  Dr. Looper has developed an integrated research program at the interface of natural product synthesis, chemical biology and medicinal chemistry. Dr. Looper has developed new synthetic methodology to prepare compounds of significant biomedical interest, particularly as anti-cancer and anti-microbial agents. Dr. Looper has also developed a new technology to prepare guanidines, which has subsequently been commercialized by the Sigma-Aldrich Chemical Company. 

Scott D. Marty, Ph.D. – Scott D. Marty, PhD, patent attorney and partner at Ballard Spahr, LLP,  focuses on various aspects of biotechnology patent prosecution and patent litigation, including Post-Grant Proceedings. Representative technologies include DNA and protein therapeutics, biomarkers, genetic engineering, transgenic animals, gene therapy, molecular and cellular biological screening assays, vaccines, peptide/protein therapy and diagnostics, cloning fermentation, methods of nucleic acid amplification, and various biotechnical research tools.

Jared Rutter, Ph.D. – Jared Rutter, PhD, is professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah and co-leader of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute. He is a Dee Glen and Ida Smith Endowed Chair of Cancer Research. Dr. Rutter studies how cells sense and detect energy needs for growth. Understanding the energy-sensing pathways in cells is important in cancer research because these pathways are often overactive in cancer and a good target for new chemotherapy treatments.

Joshua Schiffman – Joshua Schiffman is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and an  Adjunct Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences in the School of Medicine at the University of Utah. He is an investigator in the Huntsman Cancer Institute and a member of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation program. Since 2008, Dr. Schiffman has served as the Medical Director of the High Risk Pediatric Cancer Clinic, which is run through both Primary Children’s Medical Center and Huntsman Cancer Institute. He is the Education Director for the Program in Personalized Health Care at the University of Utah, and he oversaw the Translational Oncology Core (TOC) at HCI, which analyzes clinical samples from patients to identify targetable changes in tumors.

Sunil Sharma, MD, MBA, FACP – Sunil Sharma, MD, MBA, FACP is professor in the University of Utah School of Medicine, the Chief of Medical Oncology, a Senior Director of Clinical Research, Director of the Center for Investigational Therapeutics, and an investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. He holds a Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professorship in Cancer Research and has acquired extensive expertise in the development and testing of new cancer therapies. At HCI Dr. Sharma has established an extensive Phase I clinical trials program with over 20 trials open, including first in human studies of new drugs. In addition he has started a translational research laboratory effort focused on drug discovery and clinical trials support.

Jaci R. Skidmore – Jaci R. Skidmore is manager at the University of Utah School of Medicine's Business Development & Regulatory Compliance Clinical Trials Office. She focuses on facilitating clinical research between industry sponsors, potential investigators, and divisions within both the University Hospital and Primary Childrens Hospital.  Ms. Skidmore provides protocol and regulatory support required for activation and maintenance of investigator-initiated trials, ensuring investigator-initiated protocols contain quality research design ensuring data-integrity. I also ensure that the trial conduct is in compliance with GCP, requirements of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and all applicable regulations. She leads a team of regulatory compliance coordinators, clinical research site monitors and marketing professionals working to ensure high quality research in an academic setting.

Gaylen M. Zentner, PhD – Pharmaceutical chemist with 40 years experience in pharmaceutical R&D focused on CMC [Chemistry (drug delivery, formulations, drug properties and candidate selection, PK/PD optimization), Manufacturing (drug substances and drug products for preclinical / clinical studies, and commercial sales), and Controls (cGMP/GLP and worldwide regulatory compliance)].  Currently managing partner in Comprehensive CMC Outsourcing, LLC, a CMC consulting group.  Previous positions include Merck & Co. (Director), Myriad Pharm (VP), Sarcos (Director), MacroMed (Exec VP), and Universities of Kansas (Adj Prof), Connecticut (Asst Prof), and Utah (Adj Prof).

Diagnostics

Edgar E. W. Braendle, MD, PhD, CEO and President, ARUP Labs – Dr. Braendle received his MD and doctorate at RWTH Aachen University and completed a postdoctoral lecturing qualification (habilitation) at the University of Ulm, both in Germany. He is board certified in internal medicine, oncology, pharmacology, and urology, and is the recipient of seven national and international awards. Dr. Braendle has spent nearly two decades in drug and in vitro diagnostic (IVD) development at two major pharmaceutical companies. As senior VP and global head of Companion Diagnostics at Novartis, he advanced 12 companion diagnostic programs into full development and led successful clinical efficacy trials for three novel diagnostic tests.

Chuck Hensel, Ph.D. – Chuck Hensel, PhD, is Senior Research Manager at Lineagen Inc. In that role he manages external autism genetics research collaborations, including the University of Utah, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Golden Helix, Inc. Dr. Hensel maintain a summary of published autism genetic markers and evaluates the relevance of markers for genetic testing purposes. In addition, he manages multiple sclerosis genetics/biomarker discovery project, including U. of Utah Department of Neurology and Department of Human Genetics collaborators, funded by Fast Forward.

Liz Jenkins – Liz Jenkins serves as the Manager of Reimbursement Services at Sera Prognostics, which offers an innovative proteomic blood test (the PreTRM test) to identify a woman’s risk of preterm birth. Ms. Jenkins currently manages all reimbursement activities and works closely with Sera Prognostics’ Managed Care team in the company’s efforts to obtain broad payer coverage. Prior to joining Sera Prognostics, Ms. Jenkins spent ten years working for the Boston-based medical device company NormaTec. She was instrumental in obtaining consistent Medicare coverage of their products, and oversaw their commercial and government reimbursement activities. Ms. Jenkins earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology and a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology, both from Brigham Young University.

Noriko Kusukawa, Ph.D. – Noriko Kusukawa, PhD, is an adjunct associate professor of pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She is the Vice President and Director New Technology Assessment and Licensing at ARUP Laboratories, where she locates new technologies and organizes collaborations with like-minded organizations with the goal of bringing those technologies into the clinical laboratory setting. Dr. Kusukawa has more than 20 years of business-development experience.

Michael R. Langer, JD – Michael R. Langer, JD, is an intellectual patent attorney and partner at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. He works with clients to provide practical, strategic patent counsel. He represents clients of all sizes, including universities, emerging and mid-sized companies and Fortune 500 corporations. Mike has experience working on a broad range of technologies, but has particular experience with technologies in the chemical and life science arts.

Shawn C. Owen, Ph.D. – Shawn C. Owen, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Bioengineering. He is also a Faculty Member of the Nano Institute of Utah, the Biological Chemistry Program, and an Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholar. Dr. Owen earned his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics at the University of Utah followed by postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto in the lab of Professor Molly S. Shoichet.

Alistair Ward, Ph.D. – Alistair Ward is currently Director of Research and Science in the lab of Gabor Marth in the USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery and co-founder of Frameshift Genomics, a startup company based in Boston, MA. He got his master’s degree in Physics from the University of Cambridge and PhD in Physics from Boston College, before switching to bioinformatics in Gabor Marth's lab in 2009, where he focused on algorithm and pipeline development as part of the 1000 Genomes project. After moving to the University of Utah, he has collaborated closely with ARUP and clinicians at University hospitals to move lab projects, in particular, the iobio project, into the clinical domain. As a co-founder of Frameshift Genomics, he is actively working to commercialize the iobio project to complement the academic project.

Apps & IT

Troy Andersen, Ph.D., MSW, MS, LCSW – Dr. Andersen is a dementia specialist clinical social worker at the Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research at the University Of Utah School Of Medicine and an Assistant Professor-Lecturer in the College of Social Work at the University of Utah. Dr. Andersen received his PhD in Social Work with an emphasis in developing proactive dementia care services for individuals in the early stages of the disease and other aging related topics. In his 23 years of clinical experience he has also worked extensively with individuals with chronic mental illness, as well as in crisis intervention, trauma and grief issues.

Ben Chortkoff, MD – Ben Chortkoff, MD, is the Director of Anesthesia Services at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital (HCH) of the University of Utah and is board certified professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Utah. In addition to his full time clinical duties, he has role on the executive committee overseeing the HCH operating rooms, and is involved in the financial planning of the anesthesiology department and the University Medical Group, and in bridging the relationships between clinicians and the University’s pharmacy department. He works with bioengineering and the business school on a new virtual reality device he invented for easing the anesthesia induction experience of children.

Brent Elieson, MBA – Brent Elieson leads the IT Business Office for The University of Utah which includes innovation activities for Health Care IT. His project experience includes: real time location of medical equipment, telemedicine technology development, inpatient digital experience, home monitoring technologies, clinic automation, limited mobility home automation and artificial intelligence for medical informatics. He also serves in advisory positions with multiple startups along the Wasatch front. His undergraduate studies were in EE & IT-Security. He is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School Masters program and holds an MBA in IT Management.

Julio Facelli, Ph.D. – Julio Facelli, PhD, is Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, Associate Director for Biomedical Informatics, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Adjunct Professor of Chemistry and Physics and member of the Institute for Clean and Safe Energy and the Utah Nano Science Institutes. Dr. Facelli is co-author of more than 200 international per review publications and his research has been funded by NSF, NIH and DOE.  Dr. Facelli served as Chair of the Coalition for Scientific Computing (CASC) during 2003 and 2004. He is referee for numerous international publications and funding agencies and has participated in advisory panels at NSF and NIH. He has taught classes in Physics, Chemistry, Computational Sciences, Telecommunications and Medicine. His current research interest are in parallel and distributed computing applications in biomedical informatics

John Hurdle, MD, Ph.D. – John Hurdle, MD, PhD, Professor in Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah has a long-standing interest in quality and safety issues in healthcare. His natural language processing lab develops practical and efficient tools that can extract information locked in clinical narrative text to augment traditional structured information like laboratory test results for medication lists. His other lab focuses on nutrition data mining (NDM). We currently have two primary goals for this work: 1) creating clinician-facing apps that display the nutritional status and trends of patients, and 2) building scalable tools that can measure the food quality of what patients eat as well as deliver targeted, personalized recommendations.

Chris Wasden, EdD, MBA – Dr. Chris Wasden is the Executive Director of the Sorenson Center for Discovery & Innovation at the University of Utah, and author of the book Tension - The Energy of Innovation , which outlines his approach to innovating technologies and business models. His mission is to enable organizations, leaders, and audiences to regain their creative genius by creating and harnessing the powerful tensions necessary to power the innovation process. He is a named inventor on 11 issued patents and has been a leader in 10 different startups where he developed many of his ideas around the innovation cycle and lifecycle and how fast, frequent, frugal, and failure accelerates innovation.

Kevin Wethington, MD – Kevin Wethington, MD, entered anesthesia training in 1996 after spending 4 years as a medical officer and flight surgeon in the US Air Force. He has practiced as an anesthesiologist since completing training in 1999. He became board certified in 2001 and joined the faculty at the University of Utah in 2003. Dr. Wethington is the Vice-Chair Information Technology in the Department of Anesthesiology and the Vice Chair of the University of Utah's Medical Group's IT Committee.

Research Tools

Mark Lehmkuhle, Ph.D. – Mark Lehmkuhle, PhD is CEO/CTO of Epitel, Inc., and Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Utah.  Epitel manufactures and markets its Epoch pre-clinical wireless transmitter systems for adult and neonatal rodent models of human disease. Epitel is currently developing connected health wearable medical devices for counting seizures (Epilog) and quality metrics for sleep disorder therapies (Tessa), both of which are undergoing multi-center feasibility studies across the nation.

Eric Paulsen, Ph.D. – Eric Paulsen has worked with Technology and Venture Commercialization for 11 years. Eric began as a Business and Technology Development Manager, where he worked for over seven years. Eric then transitioned to the Director of Partnership Development, where he and his team worked to forge relationships between university faculty researchers and outside companies who have a need for university expertise or facilities. Eric is now the Director of Legal & Strategy, where he and his team work to negotiate and finalize all agreements, handle all legal matters that affect the office, and liaise with the Office of General Counsel as needed. Eric is a registered Patent Attorney, with a BS in chemistry, a JD and an MBA.

Florian Solzbacher, Ph.D. – Florian Solzbacher, PhD and Professor at the University of Utah serves as Director of the Microsystems Laboratory at the University of Utah and co-Director of the Utah Nanotechnology Institute. He is also Executive Chairman and President of Blackrock NeuroMed, LLC and Chairman and President at Blackrock Microsystems LLC, and I2S Micro Implantable Systems, LLC. Dr. Solzbacher's research focuses on harsh environment microsystems and materials, including implantable, wireless microsystems but also high temperature and harsh environment compatible micro sensors. He is co-founder of several companies such as First Sensor Technology, and holds numerous board and advisory positions in the US and the EU. He served as the Chairman of the Association for Sensor Technology AMA from 2001 to 2009.

Chad Testa, Ph.D. – Chad Testa, PhD (U. Utah). Director of Chemistry, Curza Global; Director of Chemistry, USTAR Synthetic & Medicinal Chemistry Core U. Utah. Currently developing and implementing research tools for advancing novel antibiotics. Previously Vice President, Research & Development at Echelon Biosciences and Frontier Scientific leading efforts to develop research tools primarily around lipid signaling and isoprenoid biosynthetic pathways and chemical building blocks for drug development.

James Thompson, Director Engineering Team, Technology & Venture Commercialization, University of Utah – Thompson is currently the Director of the Engineering Team at the University of Utah’s Technology & Venture Commercialization (TVC) office. Thompson has over 15 years of industry experience in the biological sciences previously serving as interim Executive Director at University of Utah TVC, the director of R&D and executive director of the Spendlove Research Foundation, co-founder of Quansys Biosciences and Petrobio Tech, director of new product development at Echelon Biosciences, adjunct professor of biology at Salt Lake Community College and the director of business development for both Frontier Scientific and Echelon Biosciences.

Alana Welm, PhD – Dr. Welm completed her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX under the supervision of Gretchen Darlington, PhD. She then went on to conduct postdoctoral training in Dr. J. Michael Bishop’s laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco where her work focused on developing new models of breast cancer metastasis. Dr. Welm started her laboratory at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute in 2007, and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2013.The research in Dr. Welm’s laboratory is focused on solving the problem of breast cancer metastasis using in vivo modeling of mouse and human breast cancers.

Michael Yu, PhD – Michael Yu is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering and a recipient of Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). His main research interest is in applying basic principles of protein folding for biotechnology in the areas of diagnostic imaging, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. His research group pioneered a new peptide-based collagen targeting strategy which is being developed into commercial products for disease detection at 3Helix, the company he cofounded in UT.