As Ohio State seeks to expand its role in the commercialization of research, it is important that we create an environment that facilitates and rewards research creativity and entrepreneurship. To support and stimulate entrepreneurial activity among our researchers, and to reward our most successful faculty and staff entrepreneurs, two new university-wide awards have been established to honor Ohio State’s Innovator of the Year and Early Career Innovator of the Year. The establishment of these awards underscores the value placed by the university on these activities.
Each award recognizes an Ohio State researcher who is working actively to promote commercialization of university intellectual property, through invention disclosures filed, patents applied for and/or received, technologies licensed, or spinoff companies formed. These activities support economic development in the central Ohio region, and serve to attract companies that create a base of operations within the state.
The 2010 recipient of the Innovator of the Year award is Dr. Ching-Shih Chen, professor in medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy in the College of Pharmacy. He also holds the Lucius A. Wing Chair of Cancer Research and Therapy. Dr. Chen exemplifies the “bench to bedside” goal of translational science in his approach to cancer biology research and anti-cancer drug discovery, particularly in the development of a new class of cancer therapeutic agents. The success of his drug discovery program is exemplified by the licensing of two new anti-cancer drugs to Arno Therapeutics Inc., the subsequent Investigational New Drug (IND) approval by the Food and Drug Administration for both agents, and the initiation of clinical trials at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richar J. Solove Research Institute.
In addition to the two compounds that are currently licensed, this innovator has been granted 11 U.S. patents and has 17 U.S. patents pending. He is currently supported by over $2 million in annual extra-and intra-mural funding. He also has over 170 publications.
His outstanding research program recognizes multidisciplinary approaches to drug discovery in cancer research and integrates well with research programs of collaborators in the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and College of Medicine.
This year’s Early Career Innovator of the Year award was presented to Dr. Subha Raman, associate professor of internal medicine and medical director of the CMR/CT. Dr. Raman has leveraged her background in electrical engineering and her expertise in cardiac imaging to build an extraordinarily exciting and impactful commercialization portfolio. She has focused her commercialization efforts in two areas: First, the detection of vulnerable plaque through noninvasive, noncontrast magnetic resonance for which there is a patent pending, and second, more accurate diagnosis of cardiovascular disease through innovations in stress testing, for which there is also a patent pending. She and her co-investigators have formed a university technology start-up company (EXCMR Ltd.) to commercialize the treadmill CMR technology.
Her track record of engineering-based innovation directed at improving cardiovascular health has also garnered considerable extramural investment in Ohio State, starting with her efforts that led to OSU securing its first Third Frontier award in 2003, The Cardiovascular Bionengineering Enterprise, with one of the highest returns on investment to the the state of Ohio through her most recent activities that involve the design and implementation of a state-wide multicenter clinical trial of treadmill cardiac stress magnetic resonance imaging. Through the Cardiovascular Diagnostics subspeciality training program that she started at Ohio State in 2006, she seeks to transmit excellence in research creativity to future generations of cardiovascular clinician-scientists.