The Johns Hopkins Gazette: January 6, 2003
January 6, 2003
VOL. 32, NO. 16


JHU-Born Technology to Get Boost

By Dennis O'Shea
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Two new universitywide offices are opening to help faculty and outside businesses find each other and establish partnerships to commercialize technology developed at Johns Hopkins.

The new Office of Licensing and Technology Development will consolidate in one department the commercial licensing of technology developed in all eight of the university's schools. Previously, two separate offices had handled that work, one at the School of Medicine and one based at Homewood. The other new department, the Enterprise Development Office, will establish new forms of relationships with businesses.

William P. Tew, an assistant dean at the university's School of Medicine, has been appointed associate provost for licensing and technology development to direct the OLTD. Nora Zietz, formerly director of the Abell Venture Fund of the Abell Foundation, has been appointed assistant provost and head of the EDO.

"Taken together, the creation of these offices and the appointments of these two very able leaders signify a concerted effort by Johns Hopkins to improve our interactions with the business community, and to strengthen the university's technology commercialization activities," said Steven Knapp, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

The Enterprise Development Office is the university's response to the widely recognized need for more effective interaction with the business community, said Theodore O. Poehler, vice provost for research.

"Johns Hopkins exists both to advance knowledge and to put knowledge to work for the good of humanity," Poehler said. "The EDO's job is to find new ways to accomplish that second goal, to find new relationships with business--well beyond conventional means of technology transfer--that will bring the benefits of Johns Hopkins expertise, research and technology to the public."

"Our goal," Zietz said, "will be to seek opportunities for Johns Hopkins to play a more extensive and sophisticated business role through participation in alliances, partnerships, consulting agreements, start-up companies and joint ventures in key business areas."

Zietz will team with Darren Lacey, executive director of the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute, in seeking to establish added presence for Johns Hopkins in the corporate arena, and to communicate effectively with businesses about opportunities for interaction with the university.

Zietz since 1998 has been director of the Abell Venture Fund, a $30 million effort of Baltimore's Abell Foundation to stimulate development of technology-related businesses in Baltimore and Maryland. She specialized in information technology investments.

Before joining the Abell Fund, Zietz spent 11 years as partner and director of research at New Enterprise Associates of Baltimore, the country's largest early-stage venture fund. Earlier, she was a securities analyst at Eppler, Guerin & Turner in Dallas, and a systems analyst at RepublicBank in Dallas, where she co-founded the high-tech lending group. Zietz graduated in 1971 from Columbia University, and earned a master of library sciences degree from North Texas University in 1978 and an MBA from Southern Methodist University in 1985.

The new Office of Licensing and Technology Development, headed by Tew, will provide a clearly defined, single point of contact for intellectual property management, technology transfer and licensing for discoveries and inventions from the university's eight schools. It consolidates the Office of Technology Transfer at the Homewood campus and the Office of Technology Licensing at the School of Medicine. In addition to heading the new office, Tew will retain his position as assistant dean of the School of Medicine, where he has directed technology licensing activities since 2000. Tew received his doctorate in bio-inorganic chemistry from the University of Idaho in 1976 and came to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine that year as a postdoctoral fellow in physiological chemistry. After completing his fellowship, he joined the school's faculty. In 1980, he founded Chesapeake Biological Laboratories Inc., one of Maryland's first biotech firms, where he was CEO and chairman for two decades.

The Office of Licensing and Technology Development will provide intellectual property management and licensing services for the School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Nursing, Whiting School of Engineering, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Peabody Institute and School of Professional Studies in Business and Education. The Applied Physics Laboratory will maintain its separate licensing office.

"OLTD will encourage and support appropriate faculty entrepreneurial activities, provide consistent licensing policies and assure compliance with federal obligations for invention disclosure and reporting," Tew said.

Joining Tew in the leadership of the new office are Deb Barbara as senior director of technology development and R. Keith Baker as senior director of licensing. They are responsible for marketing the university's intellectual property and supervising the licensing program, respectively.