Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program

Mentoring from seasoned life sciences business executives and entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program offers OHSU inventors and entrepreneurs opportunities to receive one-on-one mentoring with seasoned business executives. The purpose of this program is to provide OHSU researchers with advice about commercialization and startup processes and paths.    

Entrepreneurs in Residence have a wealth of experience in facilitating the development of innovative ideas, new venture development and advising innovators in the life sciences industry. You can learn more about each of our EIRs below.

Rob Arnold

Rob Arnold
OHSU Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Rob Arnold is a Healthcare Innovation Advisor at the University of Washington and Partner at Quad+Aim Partners advising emerging growth companies on business strategy, planning, and investment. Prior to UW, Rob was CEO of Geospiza, Inc., a leader in cloud computing solutions for genetic analysis, which was sold to Perkin Elmer in May of 2011. Prior to Geospiza, Rob was CEO of Crossport Systems, a leader in internet security solutions, which was sold to Lineo/Metrowerks, a division of Motorola. Rob also co-founded and was CEO of ST Labs, Inc., an international leader in software quality assurance and testing, which was sold to Lionbridge.

David Katz

David Katz
OHSU Entrepreneur-in-Residence

David is CEO of Sparrow Pharmaceuticals, which is developing a new standard-of-care for patients (and others like them globally) who rely on long-term corticosteroid (e.g. prednisone) therapy to control autoimmune and other diseases. Since the discovery of prednisone's potent immune suppressive efficacy, which comes with high risk of a range of adverse effects, at the Mayo Clinic in 1949 physicians and patients yearned for a replacement autoimmune disease treatment that is effective, safe, convenient, and cost-effective. The pharmaceutical industry has failed in that goal, so corticosteroids remain a mainstay of treatment for nearly 2 million patients in the US and many more globally. Sparrow's proprietary technology has potential to block many corticosteroid adverse effects, yet is not expected to alter corticosteroid efficacy.

Prior to founding Sparrow, David held a series of pharmaceutical R&D leadership positions at Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie. His roles in discovery, clinical development and personalized medicine included experience across all stages of pharmaceutical product development from target identification to post-marketing clinical trials, and multiple disease areas. David is an alumnus of Pomona College (BA cum laude in Chemistry), earned a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, and conducted post-doctoral research at University of Michigan and University of Chicago. He is an author of 47 peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Following his recent move to Portland, David is excited to mentor OHSU (proto-) companies as he has previously for spinouts from research at University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago.

Steve Runnels

Steve Runnels
OHSU Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Steve Runnels has more than twenty-eight years of successful and proven international business management experience in the healthcare industry. He has held the position of President and CEO of several startup biopharmaceutical companies in the US and internationally. He was executive vice president and board member of publicly traded NeoTherapeutics, Inc. and vice president of marketing and business development at Sigma-Aldrich, a fortune 500 company.

He has led drug discovery and in vitro diagnostic product development activities in the therapeutic areas of the central nervous system, oncology, clinical cytogenetics, assisted reproductive technologies, immunohematology and disease of bone and cartilage.

Mr. Runnels is an entrepreneur in residence at the University of Washington and recently held the position as CEO of ProtoTech, Inc., a private, clinical stage company focused on the development of therapeutics for Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and AL Amyloidosis. He is a senior industry advisor for the National Institutes of Health Commercialization Program, managed by the Los Angeles Regional Technology Association. He was on the advisory board for extension courses in medical product development at the University of California - Irvine and is on the board of directors at Biosome, Inc. Mr. Runnels holds a B.S. in Cell Biology and a certification from the American Society of Clinical Pathology as a specialist in Immunohematology. He is an M.B.A. and Ph.D. candidate in management.

Richard Rylander

Richard Rylander, Jr.
OHSU Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Rylander has more than 40 years experience in pharmaceutical and biotech, covering a wide range of areas including sales, management, marketing, training, operations, market research, and IT. His ground-breaking work creating the specialty distributions systems for Tracleer® and Zavesca® became the basis for the FDA's Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies program. He is also an inventor and patent holder. His device development work in diabetes combined several technologies for a unique product.

Having launched several Orphan drugs, Rylander is well versed in identifying unique market niches as well as dealing with managed care, pricing, reimbursement, Medicare and Medicaid. He has also created call center support systems, including a unique software system for managing high-risk patients. Rylander has been involved in multiple startups and has consulted for companies evaluating new products. He has extensive experience in contract negotiation and management, performance review systems, and incentive planning.

Please contact Lisa Lukaesko, Alliance Manger, New Ventures to connect with an EIR or learn more about this program.