University of Washington Announces New Entrepreneurial Fellows Program

SEATTLE – A new program initiated by Interim President Dr. Phyllis Wise recognizes the University of Washington’s most entrepreneurial faculty researchers.

Eight UW faculty members appointed as members of a prestigious group of UW Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows (EFFs) have achieved success in translating their research into products and therapies, initiated groundbreaking programs for translation, or collaboration with industry. The program and the inaugural EFFs were announced today by the UW Center for Commercialization (C4C).

“The University of Washington is dedicated to maximizing our contribution to the Washington state economy, and the impact of our research. We’re immensely proud of the achievements of those chosen as UW Presidential EFFs,” said Wise. “UW researchers will conduct more than a billion-and-a-half-dollars in federally funded research this year.”

Fellows will mentor colleagues with entrepreneurial aspirations, advise C4C on its programs, and provide input on UW policies and programs related to entrepreneurship.

The program’s awardees for 2011 include: Daniel Chiu, assistant professor, department of chemistry, college of arts and sciences; Joel Durand, professor, school of music; Oren Etzioni, professor, department of computer science and engineering, college of engineering; Vikram Jandhyala, professor, department of electrical engineering, college of engineering; Carla Grandori, research associate professor, department of pharmacology; Rodney J.Y. Ho, Gibaldi professor and director of DNA sequence and gene analysis, department of pharmaceutics, school of pharmacy; Yoky Matsuoka, associate professor, department of computer science and engineering, college of engineering; Buddy Ratner, professor and director UWEB, department of bioengineering and department of chemical engineering.

A committee of UW Deans and UW C4C leadership selected the inaugural awardees. “The University of Washington has an inspiring track record of translating inventions from our labs on campus to real products and services. UW research has generated more than 2,200 patents and provided the basis for more than 250 new companies,” said Vice Provost and Executive Director of the C4C Linden Rhoads. “The Entrepreneurial Fellows Program conveys the University’s top leaders’ commitment to increasing commercialization activity and embracing entrepreneurial efforts by our faculty. The program is one element of our campaign to foster an entrepreneurial culture across the University.”

C4C has also initiated a corollary program directed at supporting the entrepreneurial efforts of the University’s graduate students. The C4C is awarding Post Doctoral Commercialization Fellowships so that graduates of advance degree programs can remain at the University for a year in order to devote their expertise and energies to commercializing research developed in their faculty advisors’ labs.


About the University of Washington Center for Commercialization

UW researchers in hundreds of labs are making extraordinary innovations. As one of America’s leading federally funded public research universities, UW is producing innovations that have the power to change the world—from biofuel alternatives, to more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and brain cancer, to a purification technology for drinking water in the developing world. The Center for Commercialization (C4C) is committed to getting these research outcomes into products, services, therapies, diagnostics, and cures to where they can impact millions of people. Since its founding, C4C has helped create some of the more than 250 start-up companies based on UW research. More information on the C4C can be viewed online at: http://depts.washington.edu/uwc4c/