Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

Winter 2021 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series with Samantha Zyontz:
Mapping the Worldwide Research, Innovation, and Diffusion Activity of CRISPR

Thursday, March 11, 2021, 10:00am | Virtual Event

CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), a breakthrough technology that can modify or screen DNA or RNA in almost any organism, has profoundly influenced innovation in a range of applications. To illustrate the importance of CRISPR, the 2020 Nobel Prize-winning technology, this project provides four new databases that capture the population of available information on CRISPR academic articles, patent families, companies, and clinical trials geographically, temporally, and across application areas. The data highlight the explosion of innovative CRISPR activities since its introduction in 2012 and show the relative dominance of the US and China. Further, many countries participate in the CRISPR ecosystem, but they appear to focus on different niche areas consistent with their existing academic, business, and cultural environments at the time CRISPR was introduced. The results suggest that countries looking to participate more actively in CRISPR innovation should not necessarily try to replicate the success of Kendall Square in CRISPR medical developments, especially if an entrepreneurial culture must be encouraged first. Instead, such countries can leverage their existing resources and established organizations to find successful niche strategies.  For example, Germany is well-positioned to create quality solutions for the biggest challenges with CRISPR tools (e.g., delivery mechanisms). As such, Germany may not need to directly encourage new ventures, but could help their current established pharma and biotech companies leverage their experience in finding and supporting new technologies from others or further developing these capabilities in-house.

Samantha Zyontz is a Fellow at the Center for Law and the Biosciences and a Research Fellow of Intellectual Property at Stanford Law School. Her research focuses on intellectual property strategy and the influence of institutions on innovation, with an emphasis on the diffusion of CRISPR DNA-editing tools. Dr. Zyontz has also conducted several policy-focused, large-scale empirical law and economics projects with the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation in Germany (EFI), the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School for the US Economic Development Administration, and the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth at Northwestern University School of Law.  

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samantha zyontz

Spring 2021 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series with Carolyn Bertozzi:
Therapeutic Opportunities in Glycoscience

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 10:00am | Virtual Event

Carolyn Bertozzi is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Baker Family Director of Stanford ChEM-H. She is known for developing innovative technologies that open new avenues for biological discovery and therapeutic development. Carolyn launched the field of bioorthogonal chemistry, which has enabled many new experimental approaches in biological research including imaging methods, chemoproteomics, and in vivo drug targeting. Several of her inventions have been translated to commercial settings, including a technology for site-specific protein modification that is now used in antibody-drug conjugates that are in human clinical trials, antibody-enzyme conjugates that are in preclinical development for cancer immune therapy, and a platform for tuberculosis detection in patient sputum samples at the point of care.

Dr. Bertozzi's research focuses on mechanistic studies of glycan/receptor biology and applications of this knowledge to new therapeutic strategies. Her recent efforts center on pathogenic glycans in the tumor microenvironment and new therapeutic modalities based on the concept of targeted degradation.

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carolyn bertozzi

Previous Speakers

Michele Marcolongo

Drosdick Endowed Dean of the College of Engineering, Villanova University

Start-Up Campus: How to Translate Your Scientific Discovery to a Successful Product

Michele Marcolongo discussed the roadmap for translating technology to product launch, as well as how to execute the necessary steps to create and launch a start-up company. In addition to her extensive work in academia, Dr. Marcolongo is a successful entrepreneur who has co-founded three biomedical technology startup companies and is a co-holder of 15 patents/patent applications.

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michelle marcolongo

Jennifer Elisseeff

Director and Professor of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering

"Regenerative Immunology – the Role of Technology Translation in Guiding Discovery"

Jennifer Elisseeff discussed regenerative immunology and the role of technology translation in guiding discoveries. She is currently working to understand the role of the immune system and cellular senescence in the biomaterial response and repair across different tissues. This new therapeutic target serves as the basis for the design of regenerative immunotherapies.

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jennifer e ​​​​​

Kate Rosenbluth

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Cala Health

“What if Electricity Were a Medicine? An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Scientific Discovery to Category Creation”

Kate Rosenbluth shared the story of founding and building a growth startup from spin-out through product launch. She spun Cala Health out from Stanford on a scientific moonshot to deliver a new class of bioelectronic therapies that use wearable devices to deliver non-invasive neuromodulation for major chronic diseases.

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kate rosenbluth

Ken Gall

Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University.

“Translation of New Materials into Medical Implants”

Ken Gall discussed the translation of a diverse set of new material technologies into medical implants. In all the applications, the implementation of the new materials was accelerated by basic research leading to a new fundamental understanding of the relationship between processing, structure, and mechanical properties of the constituent materials. 


  ken gall