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The artificial heart valve. Magnetic resonance imaging. The hepatitis B vaccine. Moderna’s COVID vaccine. The home dialysis machine. The geneediting tool CRISPR-Cas9.

FM Radio. The lithium-ion battery. E-books. The Global Positioning System. Google. Gatorade.


You may not know it, but these are just a few of the innovations born from university technology transfer offices.

So, when you look at the cover of our 2022 Annual Report and see the phrase, “Where research gets real,” please know this isn’t just some catchy tagline – it should be taken quite literally.

I have been leading technology commercialization offices at major research universities for more than 15 years, and this year it has been an honor and thrill to have joined one of the premier organizations in the University of Virginia’s Licensing & Ventures Group.

Building on a strong foundation, our focus is to continue to accelerate the translation of innovations from the lab to companies that develop products creating economic and societal impact from the research done at UVA.

As we reflect upon 2022 in our Annual Report, I am humbled by the dedication, perseverance, and service to the common good here on Grounds. We will build upon the “Great and Good” 2030 Strategic Plan set forth by President Jim Ryan. UVA researchers look for answers to fundamental questions that lay the groundwork for solutions to problems decades in the future. From this engine of creativity, UVA LVG derives the substrate for innovations, partnerships and economic opportunity.

This year, LVG completed 85 transactions with companies, the second-highest total ever next to the record number in 2021. Licenses included companies in the Commonwealth, the U.S. and seven different countries, highlighted by the biotech, electronics and medical device fields. LVG launched five new ventures to advance innovations in treatment for blood clotting, quantum computing, immunotherapy for some cancers and molecular switches with potential applications in oncology, immunology and neuroscience.

Last fall, we were honored to celebrate Dr. Amy Mathers as our 2021 Innovator of the Year for her extraordinary efforts and lifesaving innovations throughout the pandemic. I invite you to read about her extraordinary work developing in-house testing, and early-stage detection in wastewater from University buildings to detect early signs of COVID-19 that prevented larger outbreaks.

As part of a world-class university, LVG provides educational opportunities for our students to learn about research translation, commercialization, intellectual property, new venture creation and venture capital investing. Please follow the stories inside featuring our interns and our programs.

The entire LVG team derives its energy and enthusiasm from working with UVA faculty, students, entrepreneurs and investors. None of this is possible without the passionate support and guidance from our Board of Directors. On behalf of the entire LVG team, we want to express our thanks for your dedication, time and talent to support our mission.

It’s a mission we all care deeply about.

One of my most memorable moments from my time in tech transfer occurred several years ago while on a business trip. In casual conversation with a hotel bartender, I just happened to mention that our team had helped commercialize cisplatin and carboplatin.

The bartender stopped in his tracks, looked me squarely in the eyes and told me that my money would be no good at the bar for as long as he worked there. It turned out that the cancer drugs I mentioned had saved his 13-year-old daughter’s life many years before. She was now a young woman, married with two children.

This is the type of societal impact that we all strive to achieve here at UVA LVG. Just like that phrase on the cover, we also take the words in our mission statement – “Improving lives on Grounds and around the world” – quite literally.

Thank you for taking time to view our 2022 report. I hope you enjoy reading the stories as much as we love sharing them.


Board of Directors

Peter M. Grant II (COL ’78, DARDEN ’86) Chair Founding Partner, Anchormarck Holdings LLC

John G. MacFarlane III (DARDEN ‘79) Board of Visitors Representative Managing Partner, Arrochar Management LLC

Erik L. Hewlett, M.D. Professor Emeritus, Medicine, Infectious Disease and International Health UVA School of Medicine

John S. Lazo, Ph.D. Associate Director for Basic Science UVA Cancer Center

Michael J. Lenox, Ph.D. (ENGR ’93) Senior Associate Dean and Chief Strategy Officer, Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business Administration UVA Darden School of Business

The Honorable Paul R. Michel, J.D. (LAW ’66) Former Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Ron Newbold, Ph.D. Chief Business Officer, Spinogenix, Inc.

Melur K. (Ram) Ramasubramanian, Ph.D. UVA Vice President for Research

Kwame Ulmer Principal, Ulmer Ventures

Jennifer L. West Dean, Nancy and Neal Wade Professor of Engineering and Applied Science UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science

Renowned Researcher, Entrepreneur and Engineering Dean Joins LVG Board

University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Jennifer L. West is the newest member of the Licensing & Ventures Group’s Board of Directors.

In her more than 25-year career as a professor, inventor and entrepreneur, West has focused her research on the use of biomaterials, nanotechnology and tissue engineering, applying engineering approaches to studying biological problems and solving unmet medical needs, particularly in the fight against cancer.

West is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors, with 19 patents that have been licensed to eight different companies. One company, Nanospectra Biosciences Inc., co-founded by West, is running human clinical trials of a cancer therapy she invented.

“I am thrilled to be part of the University of Virginia community, where ideas are transformed into real benefits for society through the entrepreneurial spirit and expertise of UVA’s faculty, students and alumni,” West said. “The Licensing & Ventures Group’s commitment to increasing opportunities for UVA entrepreneurship will ensure that more promising products and services become reality.”

West came to UVA in 2021 from Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, where she was the Fitzpatrick Family University Professor in Engineering and Associate Dean for Doctoral Education, with appointments in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering and materials science.


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