University of Washington President Michael Young has recognized eleven professors for their innovative spirit, appointing them to the Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows (EFFs) program. The program was begun in 2011.
“I believe we’re at the early stages of a new wave of entrepreneurial innovation at the university, led by our faculty leaders who are models of energy and imagination,” Young remarked. “These eleven professors are remarkable examples of that innovative spirit, and their contributions to our university and the state are extraordinary.”
Vice Provost and Executive Director of the Center for Commercialization Linden Rhoads said that, “The Entrepreneurial Fellows Program conveys the University’s top leaders’ commitment to increasing commercialization activity and embracing entrepreneurial efforts by our faculty. The program is one element of our campaign to foster an entrepreneurial culture across the University.” Vice Provost Rhoads is also a WCTA Board member.
In two-year terms, Fellows may serve as mentors to other University of Washington faculty, researchers, and staff with entrepreneurial aspirations and share their experiences with student and faculty groups at entrepreneurial events organized on campus. Fellows also advise the University of Washington Center for Commercialization.
The 2012 University of Washington Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows are:
- David Baker is a professor of biochemistry and an adjunct professor of genome sciences, bioengineering, computer science, chemical engineering, and physics. His research group develops methods to compute the structures of biological macromolecules and interactions, and to design and experimentally validate novel macromolecules with new and useful functions. Baker is the principal investigator for development of the Rosetta Software suite, which has been licensed to more than twenty-five companies including many of the world-class pharma and biotech companies. The discoveries made using the Rosetta software have led to a license with Johnson & Johnson, and the formation of two start-up companies: Arzeda, which is engineering novel enzymes not available in nature, and Bio Architecture Lab, which is making renewable fuels and chemicals from seaweed.
- Carl Bergstrom, professor of biology, uses mathematical models and computer simulations to study how information flows through the world. His research interests include evolutionary biology, animal behavior, philosophy of biology, network theory, epidemiology, and reach into domains of the social sciences such as economics and bibliometrics. In 2007, Bergstrom introduced the Eigenfactor® Metrics (now a University of Washington registered trademark) for ranking and mapping the total importance of scholarly journals. As a component of this project, Bergstrom’s lab aims to use recent advances in network analysis and information theory to develop novel methods for evaluating the influence of scholarly periodicals and for mapping the structure of academic research. Bergstrom is now exploring multiple licensing and company models for his innovations.
- Guozhong Cao is the Boeing-Steiner Professor of materials science & engineering, professor of chemical engineering, and adjunct professor of mechanical engineering. His current research is focused mainly on processing, characterization, and applications of dielectrics, ferroelectrics, piezoelectrics, scintillation oxides, intercalation compounds, organic-inorganic hybrids, and nanostructured materials and coatings. Technologies from his lab have led to University of Washington spin-out company EnerG2, which has received $15 million in venture funding and has just completed a factory to produce a new carbon material to increase the storage capacity of electric car batteries. Cao is working on several new technologies with great commercial potential, and he has plans for a new start-up.
- Felix Chew is a professor of radiology, vice-chair for academic innovation, and section head of Musculoskeletal Radiology. He is the author of two popular textbooks of skeletal radiology, Musculoskeletal Imaging: A Teaching File, and Skeletal Radiology: The Bare Bones; both have recently become available in third editions. Chew also serves as an editor for various radiology-based scholarly journals, including Radiology Case Reports, which is licensed through University of Washington Center for Commercialization. Felix is an acknowledged leader in development and publishing of digital content on muscoloskeletal radiology and innovative ePublishing commercialization models.
- Daniel T. Chiu is the A. Bruce Montgomery Professor of Chemistry, Endowed Professor of Analytical Chemistry, and Professor of Bioengineering. Chiu is a member of the Center for Nanotechnology and the Neurobiology and Behavior Program. He is also a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Cancer Consortium. Daniel’s research activity is focused on the development of new tools that combine ultrasensitive laser-based detection and manipulation methodologies with micro- and nano-fabrication techniques for interfacing with biological systems at the nanometer scale, and on applying these new techniques for addressing biological problems and towards understanding biological complexity. Daniel played a part in founding MiCareo, which currently is developing a device to detect and isolate circulating tumor cells in blood.
- Joel Durand is Professor of Music and Associate Director of the University of Washington School of Music where he has taught composition, analysis, and theory since 1991. Joel’s music has been commissioned and performed by many leading ensembles and orchestras in Europe, the US, Brazil, and South Korea. His work for orchestra, Athanor, was premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2003 and was released on a CD (Mode Records) in 2004. Joel developed a high-end tonearm, the Talea, for demanding audiophiles and markets them through his start-up Durand-Tonearms LLC. The result of over 2000 hours of research and development, Joel’s tonearm was conceived, designed and realized by Joel, mostly in the machine shop of the University of Washington Mechanical Engineering department, with resources and help from several departments including Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, the School of Music, the School of Art, the Business School and the School of Law, as well as the Center for Commercialization.
- Oren Etzioni is the Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Professor in the University of Washington Computer Science Department where he also directs the Turing Center, a multidisciplinary research center investigating problems at the crossroads of natural language processing, data mining, Web search, and the Semantic Web. His research interests include fundamental problems in the study of intelligence, web search, machine reading, and machine learning. Oren founded the start-up company Farecast, which was acquired by Microsoft’s Bing Travel in 2008. He was the Chief Technology Officer and a board member of Go2net (acquired by Infospace in 2000), and a co-founder of Netbot, acquired by Excite in 1997. At Netbot, Oren helped to conceive and design the web’s first major comparison-shopping agent. In 1995, Oren and his student Erik Selberg developed MetaCrawler, the web’s premier Meta-search engine for several years – now being run by Infospace. He is a co-founder of Clearforest, a text-mining startup (acquired by Reuters in 2007), and has served on the board of Performant (acquired by Mercury Interactive in 2003). Oren has served as a consultant or advisor to Google, Microsoft, Northern Telecom, SAIC, Infospace, Excite, Askjeeves, Zillow, Vivisimo, and others.
- Carla Grandori is a Research Associate Professor at University of Washington where she serves as Director at the Quellos High Throughput Screening (HTS) Core. Carla also leads a laboratory in the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Human Biology Division, where she focuses on identifying therapeutic targets for MYC-driven cancers, in particular neuroblastoma and ovarian cancers. As a cancer molecular and cellular biologist, she has been a pioneer in the application of genomic technologies and high throughput screening to identify new targets for cancer therapy. Carla trained as an M.D. but later decided to pursue a career in science to ultimately contribute to novel therapeutics. In 2006, Carla joined Rosetta Inpharmatics, a subsidy of Merck to exploit her expertise toward identifying new therapeutic cancer targets utilizing high throughput technology. The results of Carla’s research lead to several publications in major journals as well as inventions. Carla’s plan for the future is to foster the rapid discovery of new cancer therapeutics through new initiatives as well as through collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry.
- Rodney J. Y. Ho is the Milo Gibaldi Endowed Professor of Pharmaceutics and Director of the DNA Sequencing and Gene Analysis Center at University of Washington. Rodney has extensive experience in areas of neuropharmacology, lipid chemistry, and translational medicine. He has written over 90 original research publications, 20 book chapters, and two textbooks on drug delivery. Rodney’s research contributed to the development of the Pressurized Olfactory Delivery (POD) device, which helps deliver drug molecules beyond the blood-brain barrier and into the central nervous system. In 2008 Rodney founded Impel NeuroPharma, where he continues to chair their scientific advisory board. Rodney is also an inventor on six patents and numerous patent disclosures related to drug delivery and drug formulation.
- Vikram Jandhyala is professor and chair of electrical engineering at University of Washington and director of the applied computational engineering lab. He is the founder and chairman of Nimbic, Inc. (formerly Physware), a cloud-based electronic design automation and electromagnetic simulation startup. His research interests include several aspects of large-scale simulation, physics-based computing algorithms, and electronic design automation. He has published approximately 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. He received his BTech EE from IIT Delhi in 1993, and his MS and PhD in EE from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995 and 1998, respectively. He developed electromagnetic boundary element solvers at Ansoft Corporation, Pittsburgh, from 1998-2000 prior to joining University of Washington in 2000. Honors include an NSF CAREER award, Chair’s award, and Outstanding Research Advisor award at UWEE, a NASA inventor award, and graduate research awards from IEEE and UIUC. His research at University of Washington has been funded by DARPA, NSF, NASA, SRC, INTEL, WRF, DoD, Air Force, Navy, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, the SBIR program, and by several industrial grants.
- Shaoyi Jiang is the Boeing-Roundhill professor of chemical engineering and an adjunct professor of bioengineering. His research interests include biomolecular interfaces, biomaterials, and biosensors. The Jiang Lab aims to provide a fundamental understanding of molecular-level non-fouling mechanisms and to develop biocompatible and environmentally benign non-fouling materials using molecular design principles. He is an inventor on more than eight patent families in the field of non-fouling polymers. Jiang’s technologies have been licensed to an MIT start-up company, Semprus Biosciences. Jiang has also licensed the intellectual property to start his own company, Zwitter Technologies, which is developing surface coatings based on zwitterionic thin films that are highly resistant to fouling. Zwitter Technologies has already received Phase I and II SBIR grants.
- Vipin Kumar is associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of the University of Washington Microcellular Consortium. His professional interests lie in the areas of design and manufacturing, including such areas as product and process design, and characterization and processing of polymeric composites. His research program focuses on microcellular composites, a family of novel cellular materials expected to be used in a variety of applications in the decades to come. In the course of this research, Vipin developed technology to create lightweight, cost-efficient plastics, which are now licensed to University of Washington spin-out company MicroGREEN Polymers. MicroGREEN’s goal is to provide the plastics industry and the world with environmentally-sound plastics technologies that offer substantial economic advantages.
- Marsha Linehan is a professor of psychology, adjunct professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and director of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics. Linehan’s primary research is in the application of behavioral models to suicidal behaviors, drug abuse, and borderline personality disorder. She is the developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a treatment originally developed for the treatment of suicidal behaviors and since expanded to treatment of borderline personality disorder and other severe and complex mental disorders. Marsha is founder of Behavioral Tech LLC, a behavioral technology transfer group, and Behavioral Tech Research, Inc., a company that develops innovative online and mobile technologies to disseminate science-based behavioral treatments for mental disorders.
- David T. Linker is an associate professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the University of Washington and an attending physician at the University of Washington Medical Center, with an adjunct appointment in bioengineering. He has over 80 publications, four patents and numerous other patent disclosures. With degrees in medicine and bioengineering, he was the engineering project leader for one of the world’s first commercialized intravascular ultrasound systems. He also developed commercial software for detailed research analysis of cardiac ultrasound data. David Linker’s most recent interest has been diagnosing asymptomatic atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that increases the risk of stroke if untreated. He developed an algorithm that is over 50 times more accurate than existing software for screening for atrial fibrillation, and an inexpensive and comfortable monitor to perform the necessary recordings. Variations of the algorithm can also be used to prevent inappropriate shocks from implantable defibrillators. These technologies led to the launch of the start-up company Cardiac Insight. Linker also developed the software which makes the Seattle Heart Failure Model (SHFM) accessible on the web and smartphones, which is now used world-wide to help health-care practitioners make the best treatment choices in treating their patients with heart failure.
- Bonnie Ramsey is a professor of pediatrics holding the Endowed Chair in Cystic Fibrosis Research, the associate program director of the University of Washington General Clinical Research Center and Cystic Fibrosis Research Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and co-PI of the University of Washington Institute for Translational Health Science Award. Ramsey is a pioneer in developing new treatments to meet the needs of the cystic fibrosis community and is the lead investigator of the clinical trials for TOBI™ (Tobramycin Solution for Inhalation), an inhaled antibiotic treatment for cystic fibrosis. Together with Arnie Smith, she was involved in commercial development of TOBI™, which is now virtually a standard treatment for CF patients. Ramsey also helped develop the new CF drug, Kalydeco, which recently received FDA approval and is the first CF treatment to target the disease’s genetic cause, not just the symptoms.
- Buddy D. Ratner is the Michael L. and Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Bioengineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering at University of Washington. Buddy is a long-standing driving force for collaborations with industry. He directs the UWEB 21 corporate affiliate program, which brings together experts on hot topics and controversial subjects in biomaterials and medical devices. Buddy is one of the lead organizers and instructors in the University of Washington Program in Technology Commercialization (PTC). His research interests include biomaterials, tissue engineering, polymers, biocompatibility, surface analysis of organic materials, self-assembly, nanobiotechnology, and RF-plasma thin film deposition. Ratner has played a part in founding numerous startups including Asemblon, Healionics, Inson Medical Systems, and Calcionics.
- Patrick Stayton, is the Washington Research Foundation professor of bioengineering and director of the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute. His research areas include “smart” molecular materials designed for applications in the drug delivery and bioanalytical fields. Stayton’s technologies are the basis of two University of Washington spin-out companies. The first company, PhaseRx, founded in 2007, is an RNAi delivery technology company developing a polymer-based system that enables the systemic delivery of RNAi drugs. PhaseRx has attracted $19 million in venture funding. The second company Nexgenia, founded by Stayton in 2012, utilizes advanced nanotechnology to replace traditional micro beads for immunoassay diagnostic testing and analysis. In 2005, together with professor Paul Yager, Stayton created the Pacific Northwest diagnostic consortium that received $15 million in 2005 to develop a diagnostic device for developing countries, in collaboration with other not-for-profit (PATH) and for-profit (Micronics, Epoch) entities. This funding yielded the development of the DxBox, manufactured by Micronics.
- Dan Weld is the Thomas J. Cable / WRF Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. He is an active entrepreneur with several patents and technology licenses. In May 1996, he co-founded Netbot Incorporated, creator of Jango Shopping Search, later acquired by Excite. In October 1998, Dan co-founded AdRelevance, a revolutionary monitoring service for internet advertising which was acquired by Media Metrix and subsequently by Nielsen NetRatings. In June 1999, Dan co-founded data integration company Nimble Technology which was acquired by the Actuate Corporation. In January 2001, Dan joined the Madrona Venture Group as a Venture Partner and member of the Technical Advisory Board.