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Bench to Business: Launching your own Healthcare Venture

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Discover how to translate your research into a problem-solving venture and the services available to help you become an entrepreneur!

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Summary:

The Office of Research Trainees (ORT) at the University Health Network (UHN) and the Health Innovation Hub (H2i) invite you to "Bench to Business: Launching Your Own Healthcare Venture".

Join us for a Panel and Q & A to learn about how to translate your research into a healthcare venture and the resources available to help you.

Learn from:

Soror Sharifpoor, PhD, Director of Strategy & Translation at the Translational Biology and Engineering Program (TBEP) within the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research

Mark Taylor, P. Eng., MSc, MBA , Director, Technology Development & Commercialization (TDC) at the University Health Network (UHN)

Vivian Cheung, MSc, Program Coordinator for the Health Innovation Hub

Joseph Ferenbok, PhD, Associate Director, Health Innovation HUB; Director, Translational Research Program; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

There will also be a presentation by Jon French, Director, University of Toronto Entrepreneurship (UTE) on the IP Education Program and resources available through UTE.

All are welcome. Zoom links will be sent to registrants before the workshop.

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Soror Sharifpoor (she/her) is the Director of Strategy & Translation at the Translational Biology and Engineering Program (TBEP) within the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. She joined TBEP in 2017 and has been involved in the fostering and implementation of sustainable research plans, successful partnerships, scientific and clinical translation strategies, an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and multifaceted training programs in the cardiovascular health sector. She is also the co-founder of Entrepreneurship for Cardiovascular Health Opportunities (ECHO), where she has been facilitating research translation and start-up creation. Launched in 2018, ECHO is a national entrepreneurship training and mentorship program for innovators of cardiovascular technologies.

Dr. Sharifpoor has over 15 years of academic and industrial experience in the fields of biomaterials, biomedical engineering, and regenerative medicine, specializing in cardiovascular and soft tissue research and innovation. From 2016 to 2020, she served as the Chief Executive Officer of Polumiros Inc., a biomaterials start-up company that she co-founded. While at Polumiros, she led the development of a novel immunomodulatory polymer platform technology and was pivotal to fundraising as well as regulatory and commercialization strategy development. Prior to joining Polumiros, she served as an associate research engineer at Interface Biologics Inc., where she was involved in the commercialization of innovative biomaterials for improving the efficacy of medical devices and targeted drug delivery.

Dr. Sharifpoor received her Bachelors at the University of Toronto (Engineering Science – Biomedical Engineering major), her Masters at Queen’s University (Chemical Engineering) and her PhD at the University of Toronto (Biomedical Engineering). She has been the recipient of several fellowships and awards, most notably FACIT’s Ernsting Entrepreneurship Award and the Norman F. Moody Award for Academic Excellence.

Mark Taylor, P. Eng., MSc, MBA is currently the Director, Technology Development & Commercialization (TDC) at the University Health Network (UHN) – Canada’s largest academic health sciences centre with seven world-class research institutes – a post he has held since February 2020.

Bringing a wealth of previous industry experience in business and commercialization and a passion to transform Canadian institutions into global leaders in commercialization, Mark heads TDC’s team of driven professionals who work on turning UHN research and discovery into viable marketplace opportunities. From his industry and start-up experience within the health sciences sector, over the last 13 years Mark has helped translate many UHN inventions into successful global products to improve patient experience and outcomes.

Under Mark’s leadership at TDC, UHN has benefitted from some of the biggest deals in the Canadian and international biotech ecosystem, UHN spin-offs AVROBIO Inc. and BlueRock Therapeutics among others, that have attracted in excess of one billion dollars in cumulative risk capital investment, and experienced five major spin-off acquisitions/exits totaling more than $2.3 billion—among the highest across all Canadian research institutions. Benefitting from Mark’s business acumen, over the last three fiscal years alone, UHN generated a massive $68 million in licensing revenues, placing the institution in the top tier among all North American peers.

Mark regularly participates in sector professional development and mentorship of emerging young leaders, often accepting local and international speaking engagements where he shares commercialization and entrepreneurial best practices.

An engineer by training, Mark holds an MBA from Rotman School Executive Program, and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Science, both at University of Toronto, plus a Master of Science from Virginia Tech. He has served in director roles on various for-profit Boards, including Acumyn Inc., Avrobio Inc., and Treadwell Therapeutics, all of which have generated significant revenue to UHN.

Vivian Cheung (she/her) is the current Program Coordinator for the Health Innovation Hub. Vivian completed her graduate degree at the University of Toronto in the Department of Molecular Genetics with a focus on epigenetics and gene regulation. She continued to grow her translational research and management capabilities in the Department of Biochemistry, managing several labs and briefly joining an early stage venture that would later become one of H2i’s mentored companies, Micromensio. Vivian returns to the University of Toronto from the rich entrepreneurial ecosystem of Kitchener-Waterloo. Having helped to create the University of Waterloo’s Science Innovation Hub, Vivian is no stranger to guiding the next generation of innovators in transforming their ideas to address the needs of today and tomorrow. She is excited and grateful to be able to bring her dedication to creating equitable, diverse programming and her experience in research management to the H2i team.

Joseph Ferenbok, PhD, Associate Director, Health Innovation HUB; Director, Translational Research Program; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

My passion is bringing people together through collaborative problem-solving to understand and develop systematic approaches for mobilizing knowledge. My aim is to aid in developing more efficient and effective design of person-centric interventions (from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioral change) that improve the health of individuals and the public.

My career path has routinely taken me along the edges of disciplines, institutions and practices. From my entrepreneurial efforts to my research and teaching, I have always been fascinated by trying to see from different perspectives and approach problems from unconventional ways. I have been both an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur, and have helped found programs including: Safewalk (a 500+ volunteer-based organization devoted to personal safety at night; the Translational Research Program, a UofT graduate degree program at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine focused on training students to use creative problem-solving to translate research towards innovation in health sciences; and the Health Innovation Hub (H2i), the faculty of Medicine’s campus linked accelerator for mentorship on Health Matters.

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and I believe (like Azimov), that it is more fun to be a jack of all trades than master of one.

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Organizer UHN's Office of Research Trainees (ORT)

Organizer of Bench to Business: Launching your own Healthcare Venture

 

UHN's Office of Research Trainees (ORT) mission is to provide UHN trainees - graduate students and postdoctoral fellows - with the highest possible quality training and learning experience through lab integration, achievement recognition and career development – thus enhancing the quality of research at UHN.

For information about the ORT, visit www.uhntrainees.ca!


 


UHN's Office of Research Trainees (ORT)

University Health Network (UHN)

Tel: 416-634-8775

Email: ort.admin@uhnresearch.ca

www.uhntrainees.ca

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