Transferring Tufts Technologies into the Public Realm
Spring 2008, Issue 8

Wannee AsavaroengchaiWannee Asavaroengchai, PhD, MBA, is a licensing associate in the Office for Technology Licensing and Industry Collaboration (OTL&IC). She is the primary contact for material transfer agreements and confidentiality agreements for Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center. She also helps Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center researchers make their discoveries available for public benefit, either through licensing the technology to an existing company or through the creation of a start-up company around the discovery. The technology transfer process begins when a researcher discloses an invention to the OTL&IC, whereupon the office assists in (1) making sure that the invention is patentable and marketable by doing a prior art search—i.e., finding out what has been done before and what is currently considered state of the art; (2) working with an attorney on patent prosecution strategies; (3) performing market research analysis to locate appropriate industry licensees; (4) contacting these potential licensees about the new technology; and (5) negotiating license terms or assisting the investigator in creating a start-up company. “Technology commercialization is central to our office,” says Asavaroengchai. “We help put Tufts and Tufts Medical Center technologies out there for public use.”

Asavaroengchai worked in the Office of Corporate Sponsored Research and Licensing at Massachusetts General Hospital before joining the OTL&IC in May 2006. She received her MBA from Eastern Michigan University and her PhD in pathology (with a concentration in tumor immunology) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and she did postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in immunology, cancer, and transplantation. Her qualifications allow her to make strong connections between inventors of new technologies and appropriate industry collaborators.

“I like interacting with investigators because it’s fun to talk with someone who’s really excited about what they do,” says Asavaroengchai, who enjoys the combination of science and business that her work at the OTL&IC provides. She also enjoys the exposure to new technologies. Asavaroengchai works primarily with technologies from life science, medicine, and chemistry. Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center researchers should contact Asavaroengchai for assistance with material transfer agreements and confidentiality agreements.

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