Carrie Haskell-Luevano loves being a researcher. As a professor and Philip S. Portoghese Endowed Chair in Chemical Neuroscience, she finds joy in teaching students and making discoveries alongside her laboratory staff. She doesn’t want to lose research momentum or productivity to sell her own inventions as a startup entrepreneur, but she does want them to get out into the world. So Haskell-Luevano partners with Tech Comm, who drives the patenting and licensing of her inventions and chemical creations.
Haskell-Luevano’s research, which focuses on drug discovery, bionanotechnology, and cellular delivery of therapeutic agents, has broad applications in healthcare. She recently received a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse to create a drug discovery paradigm for opioid receptors in partnership with Professor Phil Portoghese. She’s also working on chemical compounds that could increase appetite in patients with cancer or cachexia or decrease appetite in obsese patients. Whenever she has a new idea, she contacts Karen Ohlfest in Tech Comm to discuss whether it could potentially be patented and licensed to a company, who will continue to develop the innovation into a real-world product.
“If you reach out to Tech Comm right away, they can help guide future studies and tell you what companies are looking for in terms of purchasing rights to the intellectual property,” says Haskell-Luevano. “The sooner they know, the better, because they can make your product or idea more marketable and potentially profitable.”
She feels lucky that several of her inventions have been patented by the University and that Tech Comm has made it so easy for her to commercialize her work while still staying fully engaged in her research. They check in with her periodically to see if she needs any assistance or if any of her goals have changed, and she can count on them to send her friendly reminders so she doesn’t miss any patent filing deadlines while she’s busy in her lab. Above all, Tech Comm helps Haskell-Luevano do what she does best: innovate.
Visit University Inventors to learn more about working with the Tech Comm office and find commercialization resources to help you increase your research impact.