James Zanewicz, chief business officer for Tulane University School of Medicine, has been selected as the academic co-chair of the Technology Transfer Committee for BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization), the world’s largest advocacy association representing biotech companies, state biotechnology groups, academic and research institutions, and related organizations across the United States more than 30 countries.
Zanewicz will work with industry co-chair Sharon Semones of Eli Lilly and Company and BIO staff to advance best practices and programing in transferring scientific findings for the purpose of furthering development and commercialization, as well as enhancing the full spectrum of potential academic-corporate interactions.
“Strong technology transfer policies, combined with robust patent protection, enable biotechnology companies to engage in partnering and ultimately secure the enormous financial resources needed to translate basic scientific discoveries into real-world solutions for disease, pollution and hunger,” said Peter M. Pellerito, BIO federal/state economic development and technology transfer lead. “James has an extensive academic research technology development background not only at Tulane but also with the Howard Hughes Research Institute, and his continuing interactions with the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). He is a nationally known speaker and has been on BIO convention panels several times over the years.”
Zanewicz has more than 20 years of experience in the private and academic sectors. Before joining Tulane in 2015, he was head of technology transfer for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia.
At Tulane, Zanewicz leads the School of Medicine’s Office of Research Business Development, bridging the gap between private industry technology development needs and Tulane University’s network, research and commercialization expertise. The office functions as a single point of connectivity and identifies potential opportunities for engaging with the private sector by providing access to key opinion leaders and talent pipelines, initiating research contracts, and creating ventures and alliances that provide scientific expertise, research management and access to specialized equipment and facilities.
“The opportunity to partner with BIO once again to help engage thought leaders at the intersection of the academic and corporate roles is a tremendous opportunity that most people are fortunate to get once in their career, much less twice,” Zanewicz said. “As excited as I was to take on this role with BIO once before, I feel we have even more potential my second time around – as this time I will be paired with the amazing Sharon Semones of Eli Lilly & Co as my co-chair, and we also have the newly launching Tulane University Innovation Institute as a perfect complement to our efforts in removing any obstacles between the academy and industry.”
Zanewicz was also recently appointed to serve on the Executive Committee for the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (AAIH), a nonprofit advocacy and educational organization dedicated to promoting the development and implementation of AI in healthcare.
Launched in January 2019, AAIH has grown from 22 founding members to more than 50 companies representing the entire healthcare and life science spectrum, from drug discovery and clinical development to medical devices and AI-enabled diagnostics.
Zanewicz has just concluded a three year term as the chair of the board of the global Alliance for Technology Transfer Professionals (ATTP); and has also previously served on the board of directors for AUTM (formerly known as the Association of University Technology Managers) as well as on several leadership committees within the organization over the past two decades.