November 30, 2007
Director named for Purdue's $100 million Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical DevelopmentWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Purdue and Purdue Research Foundation officials announced Friday (Nov. 30) that John C. Hertig, the former president and CEO of Enpath Medical Inc. in Minneapolis, will be the institute's inaugural executive director. The Purdue engineering alumnus begins his duties on Monday (Dec. 3).
The institute was established last spring through a $100 million endowment from the California-based Alfred Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering. The university-based institute - the third in the world created so far through the Mann Foundation - is designed to enable the commercialization of innovative biomedical technologies that improve human health. The first institute became operational in 2001 at the University of Southern California, the second was established in October 2006 at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and the third at Purdue in March 2007.
"We like to partner with research institutions that have successful entrepreneurial initiatives in place and outstanding intellectual property pipelines, and certainly these three universities have proven track records in these regards," said A. Stephen Dahms, Alfred Mann Foundation president and CEO. "The selection of an executive director for the Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development is the next crucial step in this important partnership with Purdue University and the Purdue Research Foundation."
Dahms said the Mann Foundation expects to establish a minimum of 12 such institutes at universities by 2012 and that two more have been awarded, but these will not be made public until mid-2008 at the earliest.
As executive director, Hertig will oversee the institute's development and subsequent transfer of selected Purdue technologies in the biomedical field. Hertig also will be responsible for managing the institute and fostering relationships with potential commercial partners, as well as with the other current and future Alfred Mann Institutes.
"John brings a wealth of experience to this position, especially in the medical field and in technology transfer, which is an important component to the institute's goals," said Joseph B. Hornett, senior vice president, treasurer and COO of the Purdue Research Foundation. "The Purdue Research Foundation also will maintain Purdue's other technology-transfer routes through the Office of Technology Commercialization and the creation of startup companies at the Purdue Research Park.
"Another positive step is that our agreement with the Mann Foundation provides preferential consideration for Indiana companies wishing to license the university's technologies. We hope to enhance our already successful partnerships with companies outside the university and establish additional startup companies."
Purdue's medical device partners within Indiana include: Cook Group Inc. in West Lafayette and Bloomington; Hill-Rom Co. in Batesville; DePuy Orthapaedics Inc. in Warsaw; Bioanalytical Systems Inc. in West Lafayette; SonarMed Inc. in Indianapolis; Zimmer Inc. in Warsaw; Biomet Inc. in Warsaw; and Fort Wayne Metals Inc. in Fort Wayne.
Prior to leading Enpath Medical, Hertig served as CEO of Medsource Technologies Inc. in Minnetonka, Minn.; vice president and general manager of medical devices for Ohmeda Inc. in Livery Corner, N.J.; and president of Central Admixture Pharmacy Services for McGaw Inc. in Irvine, Calif. He studied for his master's degree in business administration at the University of Delaware and Pepperdine University.
"It is amazing to me that Purdue has expanded and grown so much in the past several decades, particularly in the areas of biomedical engineering and in technology transfer," Hertig said. "Although formally educated as a mechanical engineer at Purdue, these areas have been the focus of my career, and I am excited about returning to my alma mater and using my expertise to help Purdue and lead the institute."
Biomedical engineering is defined as using engineering principles and techniques to provide new applications to improve health care and the quality of life. Examples of Purdue's prototypes of biomedical engineering devices include:
* Monitors to record the vital signs of premature babies. The ringlike monitor slips over one finger and uses optical sensors to measure vital signs, including blood pressure and heart and respiratory rates.
* Longer-lasting artificial joints and novel minimally invasive orthopedic devices.
* Computer models that simulate the mechanical properties and function of hard and soft tissues to understand the early onset of maladies like stress fractures.
Hertig will report to an institute board of 10 directors composed equally of Purdue and Mann Foundation representatives.
"The Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development at Purdue will have an international impact on many levels, broadly in the medical field, and personally in the lives of those helped through the discoveries that will be commercialized through the institute," said George Wodicka, professor and head of the Purdue Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and a member of the institute's board of directors. "The institute will grow our capacity to partner with medical device companies and health-care professionals in order to have a larger impact on patient care."
About the Alfred Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering
The Alfred Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering is a philanthropic organization that establishes and supports university-based biomedical product development institutes that expedite and commercialize compelling technology for the benefit of mankind. The foundation is located Valencia, Calif., which is north of Los Angeles. Mann, who is a successful serial medical device entrepreneur and prominent philanthropist, has established a new model of technology transfer through his foundation, which builds a bridge between academia and industry to move health-related products to doctors and their patients in an accelerated and industry-inspired and industry-focused process. In November, Mann was named the 12th most generous philanthropist out of 50 individuals ranked in the United States in a study conducted by Business Week magazine. Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates received the top placements, respectively.
About Purdue Research Foundation
The nonprofit Purdue Research Foundation was established in 1930. On behalf of Purdue, the foundation manages gifts, bequests and endowments; makes funding available to faculty, staff and students to aid in scientific investigation, research or educational studies; acquires, constructs and improves Purdue's facilities, grounds and equipment; and manages intellectual property developed at Purdue. The foundation owns and manages the Purdue Research Park (http://www.purdueresearchpark.com) and technology incubators in Merrillville, Ind., New Albany, Ind. and Indianapolis.
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