Experienced biotech CEO and investor is Tulane Medicine’s first Executive in Residence

Breakthroughs in medical research need specialized expertise to move from the bench to the marketplace, and that’s exactly what Elaine Hamm, PhD has done throughout her career. Hamm is now bringing her expertise to Tulane University School of Medicine, where she’ll serve as an Executive in Residence to elevate the connectivity between Tulane researchers and the corporate and investor communities.

“It’s vital to have someone who’s boots on the ground and knows about starting and growing companies and interacting with industry partners, someone who knows what’s required to get a drug or device into the hands of patients,” said Hamm. “I can take my experiences and help others learn how to move forward with their work in a meaningful way, whether it’s introducing them to investors, suggesting resources I’ve used, or whatever else I can do to help the Business Development team connect academic work with the corporate realm. That’s my role.”

Prior to joining Tulane and Ascend BioVentures, Hamm was the COO of Accele BioPharma and served as management for a portfolio of early-stage pharmaceutical companies ranging from diabetes to hearing loss to infectious disease. She has 14 years of professional leadership experience in the commercialization of early-stage pharmaceutical therapeutics and diagnostics with experience in technology transfer, market analysis, and commercialization of preclinical and clinical stage products. She has designed and served as director for several statewide start-up accelerator programs.

James Zanewicz, Chief Business Officer of Tulane School of Medicine, has collaborated with Hamm on numerous projects at the intersection of the academy and industry for professional organizations such as AUTM and BIO. He stated, “I’m thrilled we have been able to convince Dr. Hamm to become our first Executive in Residence, so she can share her advice, experiences and network with our faculty. This will be a crucial piece of the puzzle as we continue to evolve the ways in which medical schools engage with the worlds of companies and investors.”

Hamm also has experience in equity and nonequity funding of early-stage companies and has been directly involved in closing well-over $30M in equity investment deals.  She has focused on the biotech and pharma industry, and very recently closed a $100M+ deal with Boehringer Ingelheim. In addition to her commercialization experience, Hamm has also worked a senior protein chemist in discovery and pre-clinical development of new chemical entities. She received her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Oklahoma and holds several licensed US and International patents.

“There are so many ways that industry can work with academia and academia can help industry beyond a simple transactional relationship,” said Hamm. “I like the School of Medicine’s focus on more holistic  ‘connectivity’, and I’m looking forward to being an ongoing resource for the Office of Research Business Development and the new Tulane Innovation Institute. I’ve already started learning about the incredible science at Tulane, and I’m excited to help!”