2017 OHSU Commercialization Conference

2017 OHSU Commercialization Conference

Registration is now open! 


The 2017 Commercialization Conference connects OHSU innovators with investors, industry partners, and community collaborators to help build a vibrant regional hub for innovative technology. Join OHSU Technology Transfer and Business Development for a day of sessions, startup and collaboration pitches, industry insights, and successful collaboration stories.

We have a great line up of speakers and panelists, including our two keynote speakers, William Ruh, the CEO of GE Digital and Gerry Langeler, managing director of OVP Venture Partners.

OHSU Technology Transfer and Business Development celebrates the fifth year of our signature conference, formerly the Startup Symposium, by expanding the framework to include startup and established enterprises.



Keynote Speakers

William Ruh

William Ruh
CEO, CDO, and Senior Vice President - GE Digital
GE Digital, a $6 billion business of GE, provides premier digital software solutions and services for the industrial world. GE Digital supports customers globally with a broad range of Industrial Internet applications, from asset performance management, operations optimization and brilliant manufacturing to platform-as-a-service, cloud and cyber security. As the CDO, Ruh is responsible for global IT as well as creating GE's Digital Thread a next generation system for streamlining design, manufacturing and support processes. Ruh joined GE in 2011 to establish its Industrial Internet strategy and to lead the convergence of the physical and digital worlds within GE globally. In this role, he focused on building out advanced software and analytics capabilities, as well as driving the global strategy, operations and portfolio of software services across all of GE's businesses. During his tenure, Ruh led the charge to develop the first cloud-based platform for the industrial world. He also played an instrumental role in establishing the Industrial Internet Consortium by bringing together government, academia and industry leaders for setting the standards, best practices and processes for the Industrial Internet. Prior to this, Ruh was vice president at Cisco where he held global responsibility for developing advanced services and solutions. A 30-year veteran of the software and internet industries, Ruh has held executive management positions at Software AG, Inc., The Advisory Board, The MITRE Corporation and Concept 5 Technologies. Ruh is an accomplished author and a frequent speaker on such topics as emerging business models, cloud computing, analytics, mobile computing, agile development, large scale distributed systems, and M2M communications. He earned a bachelor's and master's degrees in Computer Science from California State University, Fullerton.


Gerry Langeler Gerry Langeler, M.B.A.
Managing Director, OVP Venture Partners
For 25 years, Gerry has served as Managing Director for OVP Venture Partners, focusing on investments in the clean tech, communications and software sectors, backing over 125 early-stage startups. Prior to joining OVP, Gerry was co-founder of Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) in Portland, OR in 1981. There he served as President, and over 11 years helped lead Mentor through its IPO to over $400M in worldwide sales and over $1B in market capitalization. Gerry currently serves on the Board of Directors of CradlePoint, Group14, Polysync, and Novomer. He is also the author of The Success Matrix - Winning in Business and in Life, and The Vision Trap (Harvard Business Review). In 2012, he was appointed to the Oregon Growth Board where he serves as co-chair. Gerry holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.



Executive panel: Breakthrough innovations transforming healthcare

Brian Druker

Brian Druker, M.D.
Director, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute; Associate Dean, OHSU School of Medicine - oncology

Dr. Druker's research is focused on translating knowledge of molecular pathogenesis of cancer into specific therapies, and investigating optimal use of these molecularly-targeted agents. His preclinical studies led to the development of imatinib (Gleevec) for chronic myelogenous leukemia; he spearheaded highly successful clinical trials of imatinib, which led to FDA approval in record time, resulting in a paradigm-shift in cancer treatment from non-specific chemotherapy to highly-targeted therapeutic agents. Dr. Druker also serves as a JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.


Pharma's Transition from Internal R&D to External Collaborations

Peter SandorPeter Sandor, M.D., M.D.S., M.B.A.
Vice President, Head of Oncology Therapeutic Area Marketing Strategy

In this role, Peter provides commercial leadership for project's within the oncology therapeutic area and plays an integralrole in the expansion of Astellas's presence in oncology. Peter has 20 years of progressive marketing experience. He was recently the Vice President, Global Marketing Oncology at Amgen responsible for the successful realization of the commercial potential for Amgen's oncology assets. Prior to Amgen, he has held different positions at Bayer Healthcare, including Head of Strategy and Portfolio Management Specialty Medicine, Commercial Development and LifeCycle Management Global Oncology. He also worked for Berlex Laboratories as the lead of the global launch team for a key oncology compound, and held multiple marketing roles with Schering AG in Germany and Hungary.

Women's Contributions

Jennifer FoxJennifer Fox, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI)
Dr. Fox is the Executive Director of OTRADI and the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator. OTRADI is a state-funded non-profit that fuels Oregon's bioscience industry by translating innovative research into products and incubating companies that benefit health and wellness and create high-wage jobs for Oregon. Since founding OTRADI in 2008, Dr. Fox has helped to generate $14M in grant funding and $3M in revenue. In 2013, OTRADI opened Oregon's only bioscience-focused incubator - the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator, which is now home to 17 startup companies, developing medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, digital health and healthcare IT products. 


Christi ShawChristi Shaw, M.B.A.
Senior Vice President and President, Lilly Bio-Medicines

For Christi Shaw, “More Moments for More Memories” isn’t just a mantra – it’s a personal and professional mission. She leads through the lens of innovation, integrity and inclusion and brings an unwavering commitment to addressing the evolving needs of patients, in collaboration with healthcare professionals, advocacy groups, payers and policy makers. Shaw has held positions of increasing influence and authority across the bio-pharmaceutical industry over three decades, including leadership positions at Eli Lilly and Company, Johnson & Johnson and Novartis. She re-joined Lilly in 2017 as Senior Vice President and President of Lilly Bio-Medicines, the company’s broadest therapeutic portfolio.

Company Pitches

Andrew Watson

Andrew Watson, Ph.D., CLP
Director, OHSU Technology Transfer
Dr. Watson manages the licensing, commercialization, intellectual property protection, and industry collaborations aspects for OHSU's Technology Transfer and Business Development office. He is involved in the day-to-day management of the office and technology transfer staff as well as having significant input into preparation and management of departmental budgets. He is also involved in developing and implementing university policies, providing leadership in developing strategies for corporate collaboration, advising on IP contract provisions, actively negotiating complex business agreements, and serving as an OHSU spokesperson for matters relating to IP, commercialization and economic impact of OHSU research. He has authored several scientific publications and technology transfer articles, and also has been an invited speaker at both scientific and technology transfer conferences. Dr. Watson received his B.S. from Whitworth University and his Ph.D. in Biomedical sciences with a research emphasis in immunology and infectious diseases from the State University of New York.


Drawing Interest

James BurdenJames E. Burden, J.D.
Co-founder, Par Equity USA

James E. Burden, a California lawyer, has over 40 years experience in corporate finance, corporate and transaction law practice, and management and business operations. Dorset is a co-founding principal of Par Equity USA, expanding Par Equity in the UK to the United States. The first focus area will be the Par Transatlantic HealthTech Fund I, which will invest in digital health technology companies with proprietary products that are, or are close to, generating revenue where transatlantic expansion can accelerate the next stage of their growth. HealthTech includes patient monitoring, wearable medical devices, robotics, diagnostics and imaging, secure data management and genomic screening. The Par Fund will focus on companies suitable for expansion from the U.K. to the U.S. or expanding from the U.S. to the U.K. Transatlantic expansion is a milestone that can trigger a valuation inflection and significant returns to investors.


Alternative Funding

Mark AllegrettaMark Allegretta, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President of Commercial Research, National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Dr. Allegretta is the Associate Vice President of Commercial Research at the National MS Society, whose responsibilities include providing leadership for the Society's commercial research programs and portfolio, including partnerships developed through Fast Forward. Most recently he was Chief Scientific Officer of BioMosaics Inc. Prior to that he worked in various positions at InterMune Pharmaceuticals and Connetics Corporation. Mark earned his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Vermont and was the recipient of a National MS Society postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. 


Lawrence MayerLawrence Mayer, Ph.D.
Senior VP Translational Development - Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Mayer has played a lead role in the discovery and development of a number of oncology drugs, several of which achieved market approval. He held senior management positions at The Canadian Liposome Company and QLT Inc. before joining the BC Cancer Agency, where he established and directed the Health Canada accredited Investigational Drug Program. Dr. Mayer was Co-founder, President & CSO of Celator Pharmaceuticals which was formed in 2000 as a spin-out of Dr. Mayer's laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency. Celator was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in July, 2016 after the successful Phase 3 outcome with its lead leukemia product CPX-351. Dr. Mayer has authored more than 250 scientific publications and has more than 35 patent families awarded or pending.


Thursday, September 14

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.
8:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Opening remarks
9:00 - 9:45 a.m.
Keynote speaker: William Ruh, CEO, GE Digital
GE's transition from manufacturing to a digital company and it's impact
9:45 - 10:45 a.m.
Executive Panel: Breakthrough innovations transforming healthcare
10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
Break out session
Session 1: Role of molecular imaging in a modern era of medicine
Session 2: Pharma's transition from internal R&D to external collaboration
Session 3: Women's contributions to innovation in science and business

11:45 - 12:30 p.m.
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Startup company pitches
2:00 - 2:30 p.m.
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Collaboration pitches
Session 1: Marketing and branding: Go-to-market strategies for innovations
Session 2: Drawing interest from venture capitalists and angels

Session 3: Alternative funding
3:30 - 4:15 p.m.
Closing keynote: Gerry Langeler, managing director, OVP Venture Partners
4:15 - 4:30 p.m.
Closing Remarks
4:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Networking Reception

* Topics and times are subject to change

Getting to the conference


CLSBCollaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB)
2730 SW Moody Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201
View in Google Maps 



Here are some helpful maps and links based on your transportation needs: 

Car >

Portland Streetcar >

TriMet Bus >



Convenient parking options are available near the CLSB. Attendees may park in the OHSU Schnitzer parking lot, just north of the CLSB, (The address for the parking lot is: 2650 SW Moody, Portland, OR 97201) or in the CLSB parking garage located below the building with an entrance located on the north end of the building (near the Skourtes Tower, where SW Meade meets SW Moody Ave.).