February 25, 2000
Volume XXXIII, No. 8
Applying the rigor of science to transform great ideas into valuable products for the public--that's the essence of "technology transfer." It is an activity in which more and more inventors are engaged at the Health Science Center.
A winter issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education listed the Health Science Center among the top 42 universities nationwide in terms of licensing revenues and patent activity for Fiscal Year 1998. The Health Science Center reported licensing income of $2.15 million during that year, according to a survey provided to the Chronicle by the Association of University Technology Managers. FY '98 at the Health Science Center began Sept. 1, 1997, and ended Aug. 31, 1998.
The Association of University Technology Managers survey is self-reported by each institution for its own fiscal year, said Dr. Christopher R. Kirby, director of the Health Science Center's Office of Intellectual Property Administration. "Different institutions have different calendars, and the survey accommodated each one, which is why we're seeing the 1998 data come out only now," Dr. Kirby said.
The Health Science Center spent $78.1 million on research during FY '98 and received income from 23 licenses, the survey showed. The center's faculty received eight U.S. patents and filed 26 U.S. patent applications in FY '98.
Overall, colleges and universities across the country received more than $576 million in royalties from inventions licensed to industry during that year.
"The numbers in the Chronicle actually underestimate the technology transfer activity on this campus," said Dr. Barbara D. Boyan, director of the Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) at the Health Science Center and professor of orthopaedics and biochemistry. "The university is very active in regional economic development. Mr. Ruben Lopez, manager of technology development and marketing, has been working closely with Technology Advocates of San Antonio to create the 'Heart of Innovation' poster showcasing bioscience and high-tech companies in the area."
In addition, the IUCRC is working with local investors to establish a pre-seed venture fund, which will capitalize new start-up ventures based on technology developed at the university, Dr. Boyan said. This year, the IUCRC, which is a charter member of BIO, the international trade association of biotechnology companies, has spearheaded the San Antonio effort to exhibit at the 2000 BIO meeting in Boston. "The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, the Texas Research Park, the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research and the city of San Antonio Economic Development Department are partners in this endeavor to make the booth a success for the emerging bioscience industry in our region," she said.
The eight patents issued to Health Science Center inventors during the reporting period included a new system for evaluating articular cartilage, the material that cushions bones in joints, and a bone prosthesis that includes a system to enhance bone growth into the prosthesis after surgery. Another patent protected findings associated with Trichomonas Vaginalis, a protozoan parasite that causes the sexually transmitted disease trichomoniasis.
Technology transfer begins with research hypotheses, experiments and findings. In time, an inventor may be ready to apply for a patent on a new technology, treatment or application. The Health Science Center assists inventors with patenting their ideas and with licensing the new advances to companies for product development. All licensing agreements go through the university's Office of Intellectual Property Administration, which serves the medical, dental, graduate, nursing and allied health schools.
The bulk of the Health Science Center's licensing income comes from the Palmaz Stent, an invention patented by Dr. Julio C. Palmaz of the Department of Radiology. Commercialized by Johnson & Johnson Medical Co., Palmaz Stents are implanted into the arteries of patients who have undergone surgeries to relieve vascular disease. The Palmaz Stent was patented in 1988.
The Health Science Center's license agreement for the Palmaz Stent returned $1,538,606 in FY '97, accounting for 71 percent of the university's royalties in that fiscal year. A license with Stiefel Laboratories Inc. on Brevoxyl, a topical acne medication, yielded $335,581 the same year, representing 16 percent of royalties. Dr. Richard L. DeVillez, a longtime member of the medical faculty, invented this treatment.
The oximeter and co-oximeter, licensed by A-VOX Systems Inc. of San Antonio, yielded $85,047 in FY '98, accounting for 4 percent of royalties. Developed by Drs. A.P. Shepherd, Jr. and John Steinke of the Department of Physiology, these portable instruments are used in hospitals and clinics to measure the oxygen content of human blood. They recently were patented in several European countries.
"We are honored to be on a list that includes a number of the country's oldest and most respected technology transfer programs, centers such as Stanford, MIT, Harvard and The University of California System," said Dr. Kirby, who was appointed director of the intellectual property office in 1997. "Our presence is a tribute to the hard work and creativity of the Health Science Center's faculty, staff and students."
In a rapidly changing regulatory environment, the Health Science Center is faced with challenges to assure operations are in compliance with various regulatory requirements. In response to these changes, the institution established an Institutional Compliance Office in June 1999.
The office, headed by Gayle Knight, assistant vice president for compliance, is tasked with identifying high-risk compliance areas on campus, developing monitoring plans and providing training sessions to minimize the risk of non-compliance. To aid in these endeavors, the university also established the Institutional Compliance Committee that includes faculty and staff members from the various schools and departments. The committee works with the office to promote and monitor compliance to applicable regulatory requirements for the university.
Compliance offices have been developed for all University of Texas System components because of the current regulatory environment. The Health Science Center's Institutional Compliance Officer, who oversees the compliance office and committee, is Anthony Ferrara, vice president for administration and business affairs.
The Institutional Compliance Office also is responsible for investigating and resolving matters received from ComplianceLine, the institution's hotline. Calls are received by an external agency and are forwarded to the compliance office for review and resolution. Faculty and staff may call the office directly with concerns at ext. 7-2014.
As part of its directive, the Institutional Compliance Office will hold mandatory General Compliance Awareness Training (GCAT) for all employees between March 1 and May 31.
The training session, mandated by the U. T. System, is designed to introduce employees to compliance issues, including the code of conduct, information security, and employee roles and accountability. During the training, employees will receive a brochure on the Health Science Center's Standards of Conduct and information on compliance issues and regulations.
All faculty and staff are required to attend this training. Sessions will be provided to new employees thereafter on a monthly basis.
Each department will arrange dates and times for the training sessions. Department representatives will notify employees as to which session they will be required to attend.
Additional mandatory specialized training courses are in development and will be offered in the future. Specialized course topics may include sponsored research, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and other areas identified by the Institutional Compliance Committee.
The Komen Foundation has provided grant funding to a number of programs in San Antonio that focus on bridging the gaps in services for breast cancer patients in the community.
Candy bar sales support the March of Dimes
Health Science Center employees can enjoy chocolate and help support the March of Dimes at the same time when they purchase the World's Finest candy bars from participating departments. The cost ranges from $1 to $2 per item. The proceeds benefit the March of Dimes. For more information, contact Anna Uriegas at ext. 7-3769 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Making the Rounds
Inventory packets to be distributed Feb. 29
Inventory packets for the Fiscal Year 2000 annual inventory will be distributed at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 29, in the general services conference room, 122E. For more information, contact the Property Control Office at ext. 7-5977.
Tex-MUG meeting set for March 1
The Health Science Center Macintosh Users Group (Tex-MUG) will hold its next meeting at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 1, in room 2C in the Briscoe Library.
Apple systems engineer Scott Meyer will demonstrate the iMovie and will explain the below-the-keyboard technology advances for the Power Mac and PowerBook. Tex-MUG meetings are open to the public.
Southwest Texas State offers graduate program
A representative from Southwest Texas State University (SWT) will be on campus for a brown bag lunch meeting from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. Thursday, March 2, in room 2.424T in the Dental School.
Dr. Wayne Sorensen, chair of the Department of Health Administration at SWT, will discuss bringing classes from the Master of Health Care Administration program to our campus beginning in the fall semester (classes begin in late August). The program is identical to the accredited master's program taught on the SWT campus in San Marcos.
Evening and weekend classes here will be taught by SWT faculty. For more information, contact the Employee Development and Training Office at ext. 7-2320. For additional information about the San Marcos program, visit the Web site at http://www.health.swt.edu.
Aging series features Alzheimer's disease lecture
Dr. David Espino, community geriatrician in the Department of Family Practice, will present "Successful Aging: The Ups and Downs of Alzheimer's Disease" at noon Thursday, March 2, in the University Hospital Lecture Hall. For more information or to register, call University Hospital's Learning Resources Department at 358-2355.
Injury Prevention Center opening celebration set for March 6
Health Science Center faculty and staff are invited to attend a reception to celebrate the opening of the South Texas Injury Prevention & Research Center (STIPRC) at 4 p.m. Monday, March 6, in the auditorium.
In addition to the reception, an exhibit will highlight STIPRC injury prevention programs. The STIPRC coordinates a number of programs designed to reduce injury-related death and disability in South Texas through a combination of education, research and intervention.
7:00 a.m. Orthopaedic Teaching Conf. "Prophylaxis & Deep Vein Thrombosis After Joint Replacement," Dr. James Muntz (MED: 309L)
7:30 a.m. Neurosurgery Grand Rounds "Molecular Control of Intracellular Ca2+ Signalling by Ca2+ Binding Proteins, Ca2+-ATPases and Mitochondria," Dr. James Lechleiter (MED: 444B)
8:00 a.m. Rehab Medicine Lecture Series "Clinical Evaluation of Muscle Weakness," Drs. Maurice Sholas & Mark Fredrickson (UH: Reeves Rehab Center 3rd-floor classroom)
6:30 a.m. Podiatry Grand Rounds "Fixation & Techniques," Dr. Bryan Prukop (MED: 209L)
1:15 p.m. Psychiatry Grand Rounds "Changing HIV-Risk Behaviors: One Small Step at a Time," Dr. Martin Iguchi, Drug Policy Research Center (MED: 409L)
4:00 p.m. Molecular Medicine Seminar Series "Targets for Cancer Prevention," Dr. Raymond DuBois Jr., Vanderbilt University Medical Center (IBT: 3.002)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1
7:00 a.m. Vascular Surgery Grand Rounds, Dr. Mellick Sykes (MED: 209L)
8:00 a.m. Medical Grand Rounds "Insulin Resistance: What Does it Mean? Why is it Important? How Does it Cause CAD?" Dr. Gerald Reaven, Stanford Medical School (MED: 409L)
9:00 a.m. Surgery Trauma M&M Conf., Dr. Ronald Stewart (MED: 309L)
11:00 a.m. TNT "Microbiology: Enhancing Clinical Usefulness of Microbiology Data," Dr. Joan Barenfanger, Memorial Medical Center & Laboratory, Springfield, Ill. (call ext. 7-2700 for information)
Noon. Pharmacology Seminar Series "Activation of the Erk MAPK Pathway by 5-HT: Mechanisms & Physiological Impact," Dr. Stephanie Watts, Michigan State University (MED: 444B)
Noon. Cellular & Structural Biology Seminar Series "Fanconi Anemia: A Window into Mammalian DNA Crosslink Repair," Dr. Markus Grompe, Oregon Health Sciences University (MED: 209L)
THURSDAY, MARCH 2
7:30 a.m. Thoracic Surgery Resident Teaching Conf. (VA: 4th-floor CT Library A404)
7:30 a.m. Obstetrics & Gynecology Grand Rounds "Antiphospholipid Antibodies," Dr. John Olson (MED: 309L)
Noon. Pulmonary, Thoracic & Oncology Conf. (MED: 309L)
Noon. Microbiology Department Seminar Series "The Extracytoplasmic Stress Response in E. coli," Dr. Carol Gross, University of California at San Francisco (MED: 444B)
Noon. TNT "Primary Care Forum: New Developments in the Treatment of ADHD," Dr. Stephen Pliszka (call ext. 7-2700 for information)
3:00 p.m. Surgery Tumor Conference, Dr. Anatolio Cruz (MED: 209L)
FRIDAY, MARCH 3
No items submitted.
SATURDAY, MARCH 4
7:15 a.m. Surgical Physiology Conf., Dr. Kenneth Sirinek (MED: 209L)
9:00 a.m. General Surgery Grand Rounds, Dr. Wayne Schwesinger (MED: 209L)
THE NEWS is published Fridays by the Office of Public Affairs for faculty and staff of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
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