Miami CTSI

CTSI and U Innovation Host i2i Day to Foster UM’s Culture of Health Sciences Innovation


On November 8, 2017, the Miami CTSI partnered with U Innovation to host Introduction to Innovation (i2i) Day featuring international and local guest speakers with expertise in translational research, industry-academic collaborations, commercialization of research and business law.

More than 70 people attended the day’s sessions of lectures and interactive discussions, which was capped with a Concept to Commercialization (C2C) Seminar and networking reception at the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education Auditorium on the University’s Medical Campus.

Co-chaired by the directors of CTSI’s Novel Clinical and Translational Methods, Technologies, and Resources Program Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D., and Alessia Fornoni M.D., Ph.D., i2i came together as a way to engage the broader University research community in growing the culture of health sciences innovation at UM. The event was spearheaded by nine UM faculty members and two Miller School M.D.-Ph.D. students who are graduates of the Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine course and Apollo Society Utrecht Summer School — programs that have partnered with the CTSI since 2015 with the goal of training the next generation of translational medicine scientists.

During the panel discussion, several in the audience pointed to the challenges facing researchers who want to commercialize their ideas. These challenges ranged from a lack of business acumen to the limited network of investors and a need for more mentoring.

Dr. Kenyon, who served as moderator of the discussion and is Vice Provost for Innovation and Chief Innovation Officer of the Miller School, added the ways the Institution is trying to expand the local innovation ecosystem through more education, better processes and partnering with groups like the Eureka Institute and Venture Café Miami, which connects innovators and entrepreneurs.

The full i2i program included the following speakers and presentations:

Building Bridges Within and Across Ecosystems: The Eureka Institute Experience
Salvatore Albani, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-founder and President, Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine
Director, SingHealth Translational Immunology and Inflammation Centre
Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore

Challenges and Opportunities in the Commercialization of Academic Science
Juan Carlos López, Ph.D.
Founder, Haystack Science

Beyond NIH: Public & Private Funding to Power Life Sciences Innovation
Alison Tanner
Sr. Licensing Associate, University of Miami Office of Technology Transfer

C2C: Concept to Commercialization
The Secret to Entrepreneurial Success
Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan, Esq.
Executive Director, Venture Café Miami

University of Miami faculty interested in applying for a CTSI scholarship to attend the 2018 Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine Course in Siracusa, Italy should visit the CTSI website for more details at


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