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Myers Takes Leadership Role at the Duke Translational Research Institute

Fri, 05/07/2010 - 6:22am
Duke University

DURHAM, NC – Biomedical engineering Professor Barry Myers has been named director of emerging programs at Duke’s Translational Research Institute (DTRI).

The goal of the DTRI is to rapidly and effectively invent, develop, and test new drugs, diagnostics, and devices for human use. Myers’ role at DTRI is to provide strategic leadership to the pilot program that funds promising biomedical research with an eye toward translating that research to clinical practice. Working with a team of industry trained project leaders, he is also responsible for creation of new programs and strategies to help move promising technologies into the marketplace.

“With experience in academic research, medicine, and the venture capital industry, Barry brings a unique and important perspective to translational research at Duke,” said Bruce Sullenger, director of DTRI. “I have every confidence that he'll continue to strengthen Duke's position as a national leader in translational research.”

“This is a very natural fit for Barry and an important linkage between Duke’s engineering and clinical medical faculty,” said Tom Katsouleas, dean of the Pratt School of Engineering. “He has extensive experience in shepherding technology ideas from prototype to a clinically marketable products and services.”

Along with Professor George Truskey of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Myers was a principal architect of Duke’s Coulter Foundation Translational Partnership Program, awarded in 2005. The partnership fosters collaborations between biomedical engineers and clinical medical researchers that have a high probability of moving biomedical ideas into clinical practice.

“The $5.2 MM we've committed in Coulter and DTRI have resulted in more than $90 million in follow on funding via venture capital, angel, and new grants to Duke and to Duke start-up companies,” said Myers. “We have licensed or optioned IP to seven new or existing Duke spinout companies.”

Myers is now stepping down as senior associate dean for industrial partnerships and research commercialization at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, a position he has held since 2006. In that role he led the school’s efforts to increase industry involvement in engineering education, research, technology commercialization and entrepreneurship.

Myers will continue his leadership role as director of the Duke Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization (CERC). CERC is a highly collaborative effort to develop a network of expertise across Duke and the community to support commercialization of faculty research and to create applied, interdisciplinary experiences for Duke students interested in entrepreneurship and socially minded enterprises. CERC includes representatives from Duke’s Office of Licensing and Ventures, Fuqua School of Business, the Medical School, Arts and Sciences, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

As part of his efforts to nurture entrepreneurship across campus and at all levels, from undergraduate to faculty, Myers co-founded the DUHatch undergraduate student business incubator facility in the Teer engineering building with Professor Jeff Glass and Pratt Executive-in-Residence Lawrence Boyd. He has been instrumental in developing entrepreneurial coursework and extracurricular programming through venues such as joint course offerings with Fuqua’s Health Sector Management, the Duke Student Ventures club with student affairs and the annual Duke Start-Up Challenge. He has also been an active leader in creating internships and job placement for students.

He led the project to design and build The Home Depot Smart Home. The LEED platinum student research dorm opened in 2007, has drawn significant media interest, and remains a centerpiece for cross-disciplinary student engagement at Duke.

A member of the Duke faculty since 1991, Myers earned his M.D.-Ph.D. from Duke in 1991 and an M.B.A. from Duke in 2005. He is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and holds joint appointments in surgery, biological anthropology and anatomy, and business administration.

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