IU names Kerbeshian as VP for technology commercialization
A zoologist and registered patent agent specializing in the protection and licensing of discoveries derived from faculty research has been named vice president for technology commercialization at the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation.
Marie Kerbeshian assumes the post after serving as interim executive director and chief executive officer of the University of Virginia Patent Foundation since February. Kerbeshian, a Wellesley College honors undergraduate with a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Texas-Austin, had been at the UV Patent Foundation since 1998, serving as its associate director since 2006.
In making the announcement, IURTC Chief Executive Officer Tony Armstrong said Kerbeshian brings an unprecedented level of experience in commercialization and technology transfer to the not-for-profit agency responsible for handling Indiana University's intellectual property and business development activities. Kerbeshian began her duties with IURTC on June 15, 2009.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome a uniquely qualified professional such as Marie to Indiana University at a time when collaboration and interaction between government, industry and the university with respect to research and creation of intellectual property has never been greater," Armstrong said. "Her background in taking faculty research discoveries from the lab to the marketplace is a perfect fit here, and her track record regarding negotiating, licensing and commercialization is truly impressive."
Armstrong pointed out that Kerbeshian comes to IU on the heels of a record-breaking year at the Research and Technology Corporation that saw a new high of 167 patent applications in 2008. IU also saw sponsored funding in support of research and service jump 21 percent in fiscal year 2007-08 over the previous year to more than $525 million.
As interim executive director and CEO at UV's Patent Foundation, Kerbeshian oversaw a staff of 16 employees responsible for evaluating, protecting and licensing that university's inventions. Prior to that, as associate director, she oversaw the integration of operations between the foundation's licensing, business and patent departments.
"I look forward to working with Indiana University's researchers to help bring their important work, their inventions, through a development to commercialization process that results in benefits to the public," she said. "And a priority along the way will be to protect the university's and the investor's rights with respect to that intellectual property."
IURTC, formerly known as ARTI (Advanced Research & Technology Institute), was founded by Indiana University in 1997. Over time, IU research has generated 1,861 inventions, 476 patents and 35 startup companies.
A recent report from the Battelle Memorial Institute identified Indiana as one of the nation's top four life sciences leaders in the U.S. based on the number and concentration of life sciences jobs. Between 1998 and 2005, IU's research funding from the two primary federal life sciences sources -- the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation Biology Doctorate -- increased 68 percent.
"Having someone of Marie's expertise, especially in the area of medical and bio-technologies, should have inestimable benefits as Indiana University proceeds to becoming a national and international leader in developing intellectual property surrounding the life sciences," Armstrong said.