The University Record, October 28, 1998

U inventors honored at recognition luncheon

By Jane R. Elgass

U-M researchers and faculty members from a variety of disciplines were honored last week at a recognition luncheon hosted by the Technology Management Office. They represented 256 individuals who were responsible in 1997 for the issuing of 60 patents, 50 license agreements and 150 disclosures. This compares with 1996 figures showing 28 patents, 32 license agreements and 134 disclosures.

When social historians chronicle the University of Michigan, they will note that in the 1990s “research came to be defined more broadly than in the past,” said Frederick C. Neidhardt, vice president for research, in welcoming the inventors and members of the local business community attending the luncheon. Research is now defined as the generation of knowledge and the transfer of that knowledge to society, said Neidhardt, vice president for research. The University is changing from research for research’s sake to research for application.

The unit’s first recognition luncheon in 1993 recognized 26 patent holders, primarily from the College of Engineering and LS&A, with 13 showing up. Seven of those 1993 patent-holders were included in this year’s event.

Regent Philip H. Power congratulated the “talented and imaginative inventors who continue to nourish the technology transfer program. What you are doing is very, very important to the state and the University,” he said. “The quality of the University, if properly channeled, means a great deal to the future of the state.”

Power noted that adoption of Regents’ Bylaw 3.10 in 1996, acknowledging the increasing value of technology transfer to the University, set the stage for a more aggressive transfer program by clarifying mission and offering incentives to inventors. Preliminary results, Power said, indicate that the new Bylaw and policy may have been helpful. “At the end of the day, a great university will contribute to the discovery of knowledge and the transfer of that knowledge.”

The revised Policy on Intellectual Properties that resulted from the Bylaw change states, in part:

“The University of Michigan is a public institution devoted to teaching, research and service. One aspect of its mission is the application of knowledge to problems of general public interest. Technology transfer, as a beneficial outcome of teaching and research, is an application of knowledge that responds to many societal needs. The University recognizes and supports technology transfer and intellectual property development activities as an integral component of its mission, and asserts that the guiding principle governing the conduct of these activities shall be the service of its mission.”

Stephen W. Director, dean of the College of Engineering, noted that there is worldwide recognition of the importance of technology transfer. “This is a significant effort in addition to teaching and research,” he noted, “and we have to figure out a way to recognize this. Michigan needs to be a leader in technology transfer.”

Steven A. Goldstein, assistant dean of the Medical School, acknowledged the important role played by the local business community, working in partnerships with the University in technology transfer activities. He also cited the newly established Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Research at the Health System that “will give the organization the ability to do technology transfer.”

From a biomedical perspective, Goldstein added, “the word at the top of the heap is ‘translation,’ translation of basic research into therapy that actually affects people.”

Chief Financial Officer Robert Kasdin noted that the luncheon offered a “dual set of opportunities”—recognizing academic work of the highest standards and recognizing service to the state and the country. He also indicated that the University will continue work on removing barriers that may hamper technology transfer.

Inventors who received patents or licenses in 1997

The following faculty and researchers were recognized at the Technology Management Office luncheon for patents or licenses granted in 1997:

Philip C. Andrews, biological chemistry; Robert H. Bartlett, surgery; David Belenky, Information Technology Division (ITD); Chris Bolton, Medical Center information technology; Johann Borenstein, mechanical engineering and applied mechanics; Richard B. Brown, electrical engineering and computer science (EECS); William E. Bulley, ITD; Willam E. Burkel, anatomy and cell biology; Mark A. Burns, chemical engineering; Charles A. Cain, bioengineering; Bruce M. Carlson, anatomy and cell biology; Chris M. Chapman, Medical School administration; Timothy Chupp, physics; Michael F. Clarke, internal medicine; Neal Clinthorne, internal medicine; Richard S. Conto, ITD; Lynn A. Conway, EECS; Kevin D. Cooper, dermatology; James R. Corbett, internal medicine; Kevin Coulter, physics;

John C. Drach, dentistry; Subrata K. Dutta, physics; Stephen L. Eck, hematology/oncology; Dee W. Edington, kinesiology; Daniel P. Eitzman, internal medicine; Victor M. Elner, ophthalmology; William P. Fay, internal medicine; Edward P. Ficaro, internal medicine; Theodore V. Fischer, anatomy and cell biology; Ira Gantz, surgery; David Ginsburg, internal medicine; Kun-Liang Guan, biological chemistry; John W. Halloran, materials science and engineering; H. David Humes, internal medicine; Mark S. Kaminski, internal medicine; Linda P. Katehi, EECS; Joon-Koo Kim, physics; Raoul Kopelman, chemistry; Steven L. Kunkel, pathology; Ron Kurtz, Kellogg Eye Center;

Vinod Labhasetwar, pediatrics and communicable diseases; Myron Levine, human genetics; Paul R. Lichter, ophthalmology; John B. Lowe, pathology; Anatoly Maksimchuk, EECS; Michael McClennen, School of Information; Mark Meyerhoff, chemistry; David J. Mooney, biologic and materials science; Gerald A. Mourou, EECS; James R. Moyne, EECS; Elizabeth G. Nabel, internal medicine; Gary Nabel, internal medicine; Ruthann Nichols, biology; Gabriel Nunez, pathology; Michael W. Nurnberger, EECS; Matthew O’Donnell, EECS; David X. Pang, ophthalmology; Peter Pronko, EECS; Chinya V. Ravishankar, EECS; W. Leslie Rogers, internal medicine; Allan C. Rubens, ITD;

Robert M. Schertzer, ophthalmology; Zhong-You Shi, chemistry; Peter L. Smith, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Elliot Soloway, EECS; Adam Strickberger, internal medicine; Robert M. Strieter, internal medicine; Weihong Tan, chemistry; Leroy B. Townsend, medicinal chemistry; Donald Umstadter, EECS; John L. Valakis, EECS, John R. Vollbrecht, ITD; John J. Voorhees, dermatology; Richard L. Wahl, internal medicine; Thomas W. Wakefield, surgery; Wei Wang, ITD; Jonathon Workman, nuclear engineering; Wanda Wysor, Medical School Administration; and Victor C. Yang, pharmaceutics.


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