By Justin Morse
The Bench to Bedside Initiative and over 300 members of the Tri-I community welcomed Dr. George Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, to campus this past month to mark the beginning of BBI’s annual course.
Dr. Yancopoulos, Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, delivered the keynote address at the first lecture of the semester where he promoted basic scientific research and its role in driving new products to the marketplace. Drawing on his near thirty-year tenure in the biotech industry, Dr. Yancopoulos also stressed the fundamental importance of finding and working with skilled colleagues.
The address was followed by remarks from BBI alumni; Frank Borchetta, Chief Executive Officer and president of Repairogen; Kate Rochlin, cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer of Immunovent and; Du Cheng, founder of iDu Optics.
Dr. Yancopoulos’ address no doubt served as inspiration to current members of the BBI course, who since early September have been working in teams to develop business plans based on unlicensed intellectual property held by the Tri-I or inventions of their own design.
“The keynote address by Dr. Yancopoulos provided great insight to the BBI community on how team composition is critical for long-term success,” said Tom Galassi, President of BBI. “At each BBI Pitch Day competition we see that the most successful teams are made up of hard-working, insightful professionals that have a passion for delivering biomedical innovations to the greater New York City community.”
This year’s kick-off event comes amid an exciting time for the entrepreneurial-minded within the Tri-I community. In addition to sponsoring the BBI course and pitch day competition, Weill Cornell has secured working space dedicated for the Weill Cornell Medicine Dean’s Entrepreneurship Lab. The new working space will complement already ongoing tutorials in 3D-printing, workshops for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, and the Dean’s Entrepreneurship Lab $100K Biomedical Business Plan Challenge.
“The kick-off was the first of many exciting events planned this academic year to foster innovation within the community,” continued President Galassi. “BBI would like to thank Dr. Yancopoulos and everyone involved for making it such a huge success”.