This afternoon, students and other ASM attendees were invited to a career options symposium, where three presenters offered information on three different microbiology career paths:
- technology transfer,
- clinical microbiology and
- microbiology in the military.
Meryle J. Melnicoff, PhD, director of business development, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, began the session by explaining the world of technology transfer. This profession "incorporates multiple disciplines working at the interface of science, business and law," Dr. Melnicoff ntoed.
Technology transfer professionals promote the commercialization of inventions discovered at universities, non-profit research institutes and government institutions like the NIH.
As an example of what she does, Dr. Melnicoff referred to the Maurice Hilleman Awards Lecture (read more here), and explained how the technology transfer office at the Wistar helped to facilitate the partnership between Wistar and Merck to manufacture Dr. Hilleman's vaccines.
Technology transfer professionals work to identify new proprietary technologies, protect those technologies with patents and other documents, market those technologies and find partners to work with, and negotiate agreements for commercial development.
To get into the technology transfer field, look into AUTM (www.autm.net), visit your university's technology transfer office, or check out the NIH's training courses, Dr. Melnicoff advised.