The "Why" and "How" of SBIRs as a Tool to grow research support
Presented by Jim Heitner, CEO of Ripple Management
The Joy and Terror of Becoming an Entrepreneur
Presented by Richard Houghten, CEO of Torrey Pines
March 5, 2013
College of Medicine, room 1005, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Richard Houghten Richard Houghten is the Founder, President and CEO of the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies. The Institute was founded in 1988, and began its operations in 1989 with eight employees. Today, it has become internationally recognized for its scientific contributions in a wide range of fields, including chemistry, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, immunology, infectious disease, heart disease, cancer vaccines and pain management. In 2007, the Institute expanded its operation to the State of Florida. Dr. Houghten received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from California State University, Fresno, and his Masters of Science and doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1975 ("Synthesis of cyclic peptide alkaloids and bicyclic guanidino ketones"). Following positions at the University of California, San Francisco, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine where he was an Assistant Professor of Medicine, he joined The Scripps Research Institute in 1981. In addition to Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, he founded three commercial businesses, including one which became a publicly-traded biotechnology company. Dr. Houghten's scientific contributions include the "tea bag" approach, which was originally utilized to facilitate the synthesis of peptides in 1985. The tea bag method, in which solvent permeable packets are used during the synthesis process, has resulted in not only the synthesis of millions of peptides, but also the synthesis of millions of low molecular weight compounds. In collaboration with his long-time associates and colleagues at Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, he developed approaches in combinatorial chemistry which are invaluable for the rapid identification of individual compounds from millions to billions of others (positional scanning), the use of existing combinatorial libraries to generate entirely new diversities of compounds (libraries from libraries), the cross-referencing of library screening results with gene data bases in order to fine-tune the direction towards which further testing moves for a given disease target (biometrical analysis), and novel volatilizable solid supports. Many of these technologies have resulted in "leads", which are today undergoing further testing and analysis in pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Houghten is a board member of BioFlorida, and the Past-President of The American Peptide Society.
Jim Heitner has a more than a 10-year track record of success in technology commercialization and venture development. He has held technology licensing and intellectual property management positions with Emory University, Cornell University, Paradigm Genetics and the University of Georgia and was formerly a Principal with Georgia Venture Partners. Throughout his career, Jim has evaluated, funded or commercialized breakthroughs in biopharmaceuticals, research tools, instrumentation, medical devices (including ophthalmics, cardio, neurological, orthopedic and critical care technologies), nanotechnology, bioenergy, veterinary medicine, agricultural biotechnology, food science and nutraceuticals. Throughout his career, Jim has assessed more than 500 new technologies, advised more than 100 startup companies, effected 28 debt and equity investments in more than a dozen companies and negotiated more than 70 IP licenses valued over $1M apiece. He's personally formed or participated in nearly a dozen companies in the life science field including [general description(s)]. This multi-faceted background, combined with his extensive network of life science domain experts has made Jim a sought-after author, speaker and mentor to life science innovators. Jim earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The University of Georgia and an M.B.A. from Emory University. He was recently awarded as the 2011 Emerging Leader of the Year by GeorgiaBio, which recognized Jim for his contributions to growing the life science industry in Georgia.