OHSU Names New Technology and Research Collaborations Director

05/08/00    Portland, Ore.

New Director Expected to Increase OHSU's Annual Research Funding Level

Oregon Health Sciences University is growing by leaps and bounds. A recent study by the University of Rochester concluded that OHSU was the fastest-growing academic center in terms of National Institutes of Health funding between 1992 and 1998. Currently, the university receives $140 million in research funding from various sources. OHSU's recent success also has attracted dozens of nationally known researchers. In the new millennium, the university hopes to firmly establish itself as a premier center for technology transfer.

To oversee that effort, Todd T. Sherer, Ph.D., has been appointed OHSU's new director of Technology and Research Collaborations. Sherer will be responsible for planning, managing and coordinating technology transfer as well as providing leadership strategies for corporate collaborations and establishing start-up companies.

The Technology and Research Collaborations office at OHSU manages the university's intellectual property rights, markets properties and forms agreements with potential partners. In the wake of a new discovery, the Technology and Research Collaborations office works with the inventors to further develop the idea and find an appropriate licensee to develop new products. Revenues produced from the technology go to fund other research and support education.

"I'll enjoy working to ensure the exciting and beneficial discoveries here at OHSU reach Oregonians and the rest of the country as soon as possible," Sherer said of his new position. "The technology that comes through our office varies from antibodies, reagents and enzymes that can cure disease to drug discovery tools and new diagnostic therapies."

In addition to his funding goals, Sherer wants to increase corporate support for research at OHSU. He also would like to further develop and improve policies that impact research and technology transfer on campus. His long-range goals include facilitating local and regional economic development efforts by focusing on new licensing and company activities in the state. He also hopes to work with other members of the business community to develop an environment that is more supportive of new and emerging growth companies, particularly in the areas of biotechnology, bioengineering and bioinformatics.

OHSU Provost Lesley Hallick is encouraged by Sherer's enthusiasm for the program. "The environment for technology transfer in this state in terms of both investment dollars and interest is at an all-time high, so it was critical that the new director hit the ground running. Clearly that has been the case with Todd. Although we will miss Sandy Shotwell's remarkable insight and good judgment in this role, it is exciting that we have been able to recruit Todd," said Hallick. Shotwell recently vacated the post.

Sherer was formerly the Director for the University of Oregon's Office of Technology Transfer. His doctoral degree is in molecular biology/toxicology. In addition, he is a registered patent agent and brings a decade of experience working with intellectual property to OHSU.

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