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Science Commercialization: Roles for Postdocs and Graduate Students

myCHOICE is partnering with the Polsky Center on a session for post-docs and graduate students interested in science commercialization. This event will feature Matt Martin, Shyama Majumdar, Kevin Lei, and Cristianne Frazier from the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

  • Matt Martin is the Microbiome Lead for the Technology Commercialization team. In this role, he works with researchers and leads commercial development of discoveries from microbiome research at the University of Chicago and the Marine Biological Laboratory. Matt provides access to the broad set of Polsky Center resources including intellectual property development, venture creation and support, team building, and fund raising. He also identifies and develops partnerships with existing companies to take the next step in commercializing the breakthrough microbiome research here at UChicago. Matt was trained as a physicist with postdoctoral research experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He earned a PhD in physics from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA degree from Goshen College studying math and physics. Matt earned his MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business’ 18.
  • Shyama Majumdar is the Oncology Ventures Associate at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and her role is create new life sciences ventures in oncology. Prior to joining the Polsky Center, Shyama was a Research Assistant Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago where she conducted Prostate cancer research. While at UIC she also worked as program coordinator at IllinoisVENTURES where she oversaw the running of the proof-of-concept fund that funds early stage technologies developed at the university. Prior to this Shyama worked as a consulting program manager at EnterpriseWorks where she helped develop and manage their accelerator program. She earned a PhD and an MBA from the University of Delaware.
  • Kevin Lei is a Technology Venture Fellow (TVF) at the Polsky Center for Entrpreneurship and Innovation and is a co-founder of a start-up, Covira Surgical along with Dr. John Alverdy at U of Chicago. The company is developing an oral probiotic to prevent surgical infections. Kevin recently graduated from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in Immunology studying the microbiome and organ transplant rejection. Prior to graduate school, He worked in a startup company and later joined a pharmaceutical company to explore research at the industry.
  • Cristi Frazier works directly with researchers to identify, evaluate, market, and license technologies arising from research at the University of Chicago. She manages a broad invention portfolio from diverse scientific disciplines including neuroscience, biochemistry, molecular biology, and oncology. Cristi also launched and curates the UChicago Tech Transfer Newsletter. Before joining the Technology Commercialization team, Cristi served as a scientific editor for the journal Cell Metabolism. In addition to her scientific pursuits, Cristi was promotions director for WHPK 88.5 FM, a local community radio station. Cristi holds a BS in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in neurobiology from the University of Chicago.
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