E. Jonathan Soderstrom, Ph.D., has been named managing director of Yale’s Office of Cooperative Research, succeeding Gregory E. Gardiner, Ph.D., who stepped down at the end of August to pursue other interests. At the same time, Robert K. Bickerton, who was the first director of the OCR when it was established in 1982, has retired from his position as special assistant to the provost. All three have played an integral role in bringing the OCR to its present position.
The OCR evaluates the commercial potential of research and helps researchers apply for patents, negotiate licensing agreements, and secure support from business. The office has negotiated about 250 invention license agreements and Yale technology has helped establish about 40 new companies. Its School of Medicine office, located at I-210 in the Sterling Hall of Medicine, was established in 1997 and is staffed by director Alfred Brown, Ph.D., and associate directors R. Bennett Muskin, John Swartley, Ph.D., and Margi McLoughlin, Ph.D.
As the new director, Soderstrom intends to develop the OCR along the lines established by his predecessors. “We are nowhere near what our potential is,” said Soderstrom, who formerly was director of program development for Lockheed Martin Energy Systems. “We have put in place a foundation on which we can do nothing but build. Yale will continue to excel in those areas you would expect, particularly the life sciences, where we have a global reputation for excellence.”