Biophysicist Adam Abate showed up seven months late to his new faculty position at UCSF with an unusual excuse: he was busy setting up the technology for a new company based on one of the 10 patents he had received as a postdoctoral scholar at Harvard University.
Five months later, the 31-year-old physicist-turned-bioengineer was ready to start a second company, applying the science of microfluidics a combination of engineering, physics and the chemistry of fluids on a sub-millimeter scale to creating low-cost cancer diagnostics. This time, though, he was on his own. He had no money to start it and no legal support, and as a faculty member, he couldn't even call himself a chief executive officer to apply for funding to hire a real one.
"In your training as a postdoc, you learn a lot about science, but you don't learn much about commercialization," Abate said, noting that he was lucky to have studied under a business-savvy professor, who had pushed him to patent unique inventions. "Now, I'm a professor I want to spend my time doing research and building my lab and teaching. Unless I was willing to spend 100 percent of my time on the company, I wouldn't even know what to do to start it."
Directly below him in his offices at UCSF's Mission Bay campus sat QB3 Director Regis Kelly, PhD, and Douglas Crawford, PhD, whose mission at the helm of the UCSF-based California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences is to make it the go-to place for helping startups "go from 0 to 30."
Since its inception in 2000 as one of four UC institutes that aim to harness technology developed on campus to promote the California economy, QB3 has launched more than 40 companies through the QB3 Garages at UCSF and UC Berkeley, as well as the QB3/Mission Bay Innovation Center across from the UCSF Mission Bay campus. Those companies and other entrepreneurs on campus have benefited from a range of services and connections through the institute, includin
|Contact: Kristen Bole|
University of California - San Francisco