OHSU Appoints Physician and Medical Device Innovator to Lead Commercialization Efforts in Bioscience

01/21/03    Portland, Ore.

William New Jr., M.D., Ph.D., is accomplished physician, bioengineer and entrepreneur

Oregon has "all the right ingredients" to become a national leader in the biosciences, said William New Jr., M.D., Ph.D., a prominent physician, engineer, entrepreneur and -- as of Jan. 6 -- Oregon Health & Science University's new point person for bioscience and bioengineering development and commercialization.

Through OHSU, the state has access to world-class experts in primary care and nursing, biomedical research and computation and information science, New said. Add to that the state's receptiveness to new ideas, fueled in part by the current economic downturn, and you have a "magical combination" that can foster dramatic growth across the bioscience sector.

Dr. New will spearhead OHSU's efforts to build a nationally recognized center of research and commercial development in the rapidly growing bioscience industry. A former Stanford anesthesiologist and inventor of a widely used patient-monitoring technology, New has assumed a new dual role involving senior-level duties at OHSU's OGI School of Science & Engineering in Hillsboro and within the university's Office of Research Development and Administration on Marquam Hill.

OHSU officials said his overall mission is to fuel the growth of Oregon's life sciences industry by helping to commercialize promising bioscience and bioengineering technologies developed at OHSU.

"Dr. New is a unique individual who possesses incredible vision, energy and scientific know-how," said OHSU President Peter O. Kohler, M.D. "One of the big challenges facing the biotechnology industry today is the communication barrier between scientists, technology experts and those in the business community. Bill New speaks to all three groups fluently, and is the ideal person to articulate OHSU's strategies to potential partners, investors and beneficiaries."

Kohler cited a recent study by the Oregon Bioscience Association that values the state's diverse bioscience industry -- which includes companies that sell medical devices, chemicals and reagents, and human therapeutics -- at $350 million in revenues for 2001.

"Oregon's bioscience industry is already vital and growing," Kohler said, "and it stands to gain even more momentum with the passage of the Oregon Opportunity initiative. Now what's needed is a person like Dr. New, who can help us fit all the pieces together and start putting OHSU's resources to work for this dynamic sector of our state's economy."

New, 60, will serve as OGI's associate dean for bioengineering, leading the school's initiatives in biomedical engineering and other disciplines involving the application of computation and information technology to the life sciences. OGI, which is in the process of developing what will become one of the few academic departments of biomedical engineering on the West Coast, has existing programs in such fields as biomedical optics, tissue engineering and biomaterials, point-of-care biomedical engineering, informatics and bioimaging.

"Dr. New will actively promote OGI's viability as a world-class center for bioengineering research and business development," said OGI Dean Edward Thompson, Ph.D., "and, in so doing, will enrich the educational opportunities available to our graduate engineering students seeking research experience focused on real-world needs and challenges in the biosciences."

New's other role, working in collaboration with OHSU Vice-President for Research Dan Dorsa, Ph.D., and his staff, focuses on broad issues of technology transfer, industrial partnerships, business spinoffs and spinouts, commercialization and other economic issues as they pertain to OHSU's life science technologies. New will also be working closely with state and local economic development agencies. Most notably, he will be exploring a formal relationship with the Portland Development Commission, OHSU's partner in the effort to jump-start the region's biotechnology industry.

He will be working to secure sources of capital for Oregon-based companies, and to develop comprehensive business and marketing plans for growing, retaining and recruiting commercial bioscience enterprises, Dorsa said. Other goals of the position include recruiting out-of-state businesses to the region and, in general, to develop a culture that emphasizes public-private cooperation in creating an appropriate environment for new bioscience companies.

"Dr. New's goal is, simply stated, to facilitate the development of new bioscience and bioengineering industries in Oregon and to build bridges between academia and businesses seeking to compete in this increasingly important market," Dorsa said. "In both aspects of his position, he will be charged with developing OHSU's relationships with area bioscience, biotechnology and medical device companies, and with identifying cross-disciplinary research opportunities that leverage OHSU's many strengths and synergies in this diverse industry."

A CAREER DEVOTED TO IMPROVING HEALTH CARE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

Dr. New brings to OHSU a unique mix of expertise and education in medicine, technology and business. He earned a bachelor's and a master's in electrical engineering from Stanford University; a doctorate in physiology from UCLA; a medical degree from Duke University; and a master's in business administration from Stanford.

New holds 15 patents and has authored 20 scientific papers and four book chapters. He served for 25 years on the clinical faculty of Stanford's School of Medicine, where his clinical specialty was cardiovascular and heart transplant anesthesia and his research focused on the bioengineering of electronic instruments for intensive monitoring and life support. These interests fueled his invention of the pulse oximetry method of noninvasive monitoring of blood oxygenation during anesthesia. This innovation led to a commercial product now found in virtually every U.S. operating room.

New founded and chaired Nellcor Inc. to develop and market pulse oximetry and other biomedical instruments. Following the successful sale of Nellcor in the late 1980s, New founded Natus Inc., which develops diagnostic and screening devices for pregnancy and infant care. He has also chaired The Novent Group, an early-stage seed investment fund targeting medical, environmental and educational markets, and he has consulted and advised medical professionals in the United States and overseas in technology transfer, technology spinouts, venture financing and new enterprise start-ups. He was chairman of the Board of Visitors at Duke's medical school, and also serves on the boards of numerous educational, corporate and charitable institutions.

ABOUT THE OGI SCHOOL OF SCIENCE & ENGINEERING AT OHSU

The OGI School of Science & Engineering (formerly the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology) became one of four specialty schools of Oregon Health & Science University in 2001. The OGI School has more than 100 full-time and adjunct faculty and more than 300 fulltime master's and doctoral students who take accredited courses in five academic departments. There are more than 300 part-time master's and doctoral students who take not-for-credit courses, and an additional 1,000 working professionals who take classes through the School's Center for Professional Development.

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