Category: Technology Transfer

Technology Transfer

R. Keith Baker Award: A Friend Remembered, Honoring Two…

R. Keith Baker Award: A Friend Remembered, Honoring Two More

Laura Mitchell, JHTV’s senior intellectual property manager, and Jeanine Pennington, director of JHTV’s therapeutics portfolio

A mentor, friend and so much more, R. Keith Baker passed away suddenly in 2013, but those at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures who knew him carry their beloved colleague’s memory and feel his inspiration every day.

In 2017, JHTV ensured that Baker’s legacy would endure through the R. Keith Baker Award, an honor bestowed upon current JHTV employees who embody the namesake’s admirable values and qualities: scientific curiosity, strong mentorship capability, altruism, calming influence, resolute perseverance and dedication to Johns Hopkins.

This year two members of JHTV were chosen to receive the annual award – Laura Mitchell, JHTV’s senior intellectual property manager, and Jeanine Pennington, director of JHTV’s therapeutics portfolio.

Laura, who has worked at JHTV for a decade, uses her experience with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and background in molecular and cell biology to understand the value and market probability for the complex technologies she encounters every day. Laura was described by colleagues as a positive force who is curious and supportive of faculty inventions, but also able to gently push faculty to continue developing and improving their ideas when necessary.

Jeanine has been with JHTV for 5 years and specializes in the commercialization of oncology and immuno-oncology technologies. Prior to Hopkins, she worked in licensing at Texas A&M University where she managed a large portfolio of life science and biomedical research innovation. Jeanine’s colleagues call her a major asset who understands the science and cares deeply about cures for patients.

Baker, who earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Wake Forest University and MBA from St. Joseph’s University, began working at Johns Hopkins in 2000 and eventually became the senior director of licensing for Johns Hopkins’ Office of Technology Transfer.

“Everyone looked up to Keith,” says Helen Montag, JHTV’s senior director of business development and corporate partnerships. “He was smart, quiet and dedicated leader.”

Visitors to JHTV’s headquarters in the 1812 Ashland building in East Baltimore are greeted by a remembrance of Baker, which includes a description of the award given in his honor and a list of R. Keith Baker Award recipients.

Awards

Hopkins faculty and startups receive translational funding from TEDCO

Hopkins faculty and startups receive translational funding from TEDCO

This summer, two Hopkins faculty members and two Hopkins startups will receive funding from the Maryland Innovation Initiative (“MII”) to commercialize promising technologies.

MII is a partnership between the state of Maryland and five of the state’s academic research institutions to promote the commercialization of research and is operated by TEDCO. The program fosters the transition of technologies having significant commercial potential from participating universities, including The Johns Hopkins University, to the commercial sector by funding technology validation, market assessment and the creation of start-up companies in Maryland.

Funding decisions are made every two months, and teams can apply for projects in the Technology Assessment phase or the Company Formation phase.

In this cycle, Dr. Peter Searson, Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering, and Dr. Harry Larman, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, have received Technology Assessment awards of $115,000 each. Searson is developing a high-efficiency sensor for cystic fibrosis monitoring that can diagnose electrolyte imbalance in real time.

Larman’s technology will address a critical unmet need for multiplexed 3 molecular analysis of the tumor microenvironment, which they expect will translate into improved implementation of precision immuno-oncology.

Sonoval LLC and Renalert LLC will both receive Company Formation awards of $150,000 each. Sonoval is developing a breakthrough anti-cancer biologic drug therapy for the treatment of a variety of T cell lymphomas and major solid tumors.

Renalert is developing the Renalert System to provide early detection of the onset of acute kidney injury through novel analysis of a patient’s urine output, blood pressure and oxygenation status.

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