Robin Rasor has been selected as new director of the Office of Licensing and Ventures, which facilitates the process of patenting and licensing inventions by faculty and students.
Rasor, who will begin July 1, currently holds a similar position at the University of Michigan, where she is the managing director of licensing in its Office of Technology Transfer. She will succeed Rose Ritts, who was director of Duke’s OLV for nine years but left the position in August 2015 to become executive vice president of innovation at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Barry Myers, professor of biomedical engineering and former managing direct of OLV, has served as interim executive director.
“The goal is to put Duke’s licensing efforts on par with its excellence in research and so many other areas,” Rasor said in a Duke Today release. “When people think about startups and licensing and efficient technology transfer, I want Duke to also be on the tip of their tongues.”
Under Rasor’s leadership, the University of Michigan’s licensing office reached 164 licensing agreements and was awarded 159 patents in the 2015 fiscal year.
“Robin will be a great partner for Duke’s entrepreneurial community,” Provost Sally Kornbluth said in the release. “She has an infectious enthusiasm for interacting with faculty and students, helping to foster the development and commercialization of new technologies, and guiding inventors through the complex process of bringing their discoveries to the public.”
Rasor previously served as director of licensing at Ohio State University and worked with Battelle Columbus Laboratories, a contract research firm, before that.
“Her tremendous experience and success at Michigan bodes well for the future of tech transfer and translation here at Duke,” said Eric Toone, vice provost and director of the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, in the release. “All of us in I&E look forward to working with Robin and to building a strong, seamless, effective relationship with Robin and her team.”
The OLV experienced a period of rapid growth under Ritt’s tenure as director from 2006 until 2015. Duke moved from the bottom 25 percent of technology transfer offices in the U.S. in 2006 to the top 10 percent, according to an annual survey by the Association of University Technology Managers. Ritts noted in a previous article in The Chronicle that in 2006, the OLV generated a revenue of about $3 million per year, and by 2015, the figure had increased to more than $37 million.
As the director of the OLV, Rasor will oversee licensing of both the University and the Duke University Medical Center.
“I am confident Robin will provide outstanding counsel and invaluable guidance to a new generation of Duke entrepreneurs,” said Dr. A. Eugene Washington, chancellor for health affairs and president and CEO of the health system, in the release.
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