OHSU Names New Technology Commercialization Head

05/06/04    Portland, Ore.

New Technology and Research Collaborations director brings expertise in a broad range of fields, and a strong community outreach and economic development track record

Oregon Health & Science University has selected Arundeep S. Pradhan, M.S., as its Technology and Research Collaborations director. Pradhan will lead the university's burgeoning technology commercialization efforts.

"Arun Pradhan is uniquely qualified to tap into OHSU's technology commercialization potential in the coming years," said Dan Dorsa, Ph.D., OHSU vice president for research and professor of physiology and pharmacology in the OHSU School of Medicine. "Under the Oregon Opportunity, OHSU is increasingly fostering the transfer of intellectual property to the private sector through patenting, licensing and the creation of new ventures."

In the last three years OHSU has spun off 12 companies, six of those in FY 03, and made 59 license agreements. Forty-four companies have been founded on OHSU technology since 1975.

Pradhan was selected for the position through a broad-based, highly competitive national search conducted by a committee of faculty members and researchers from the university's schools and research institutes, and representatives from the Oregon Bioscience Association and Oregon's venture capital community.

"With 15 years in academic technology transfer under his belt, Arun Pradhan is a seasoned professional," said Larry Simonsmeier, interim TRC director and special assistant to the OHSU vice president for research. "Under his tenure, the programs he has led have shown robust growth."

Pradhan comes to OHSU from the Colorado State University Research Foundation (CSURF), a nonprofit foundation affiliated with the university, where he was director for technology transfer. Before CSURF, Pradhan served as the associate director of technology transfer at the University of Utah. He has negotiated commercialization agreements across a broad array of fields, including bioscience, engineering, bioengineering, software and agricultural biotechnology.

At CSURF, Pradhan developed programs to assist and guide university faculty through the entrepreneurial process and established a preseed fund to fill the crucial gap between federal research dollars and seed funds invested by venture capitalists to develop products. He also fostered a relationship between CSURF and the Fort Collins Virtual Business Incubator to provide early-stage high-tech companies mentoring, assist in raising capital, and make available support services at a reduced cost.

"Arun Pradhan understands the nuances of the research and business communities and knows how to bring them together," said Wayne Embree, managing partner of local venture capital firm Cascadia Partners, LLC, and a member of the search committee. "He really is an excellent choice for OHSU as it continues to expand its technology commercialization efforts."

Pradhan is a member of the Colorado BioSciences Association Council with whom he worked on a management group that developed a growth plan for Colorado's bioscience industry. He also served as the program chairman for the 2004 and 2005 national meetings of the Association of University Technology Managers.

"Arun believes that effective technology transfer requires strong working relationships between academia and the business community," said Carol Pratt, Ph.D., J.D., an attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and representative of the Oregon Bioscience Association on the search committee. "The Oregon Bioscience Association looks forward to working with Arun in building mutually beneficial relationships with Oregon's bioscience industry."

Pradhan replaces Todd Sherer, Ph.D., who last fall joined Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, as the director of the office of technology transfer and assistant vice president of research.

Through its office of Technology and Research Collaborations, OHSU transfers discoveries resulting from its clinical, educational and research activities to companies for commercial development and, when appropriate, creates new ventures.

OHSU scientists have disclosed more than 500 inventions, resulting in nearly $9 million in licensing revenues. This revenue is used to advance OHSU's teaching and research activities.