Willey walks, Whiteley takes on CSHL tech transfer

Transfer of title: Andrew Whiteley has been named Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's new vice president of business development and technology transfer.

A seasoned veteran of scientific- and medical-research commercialization has taken over Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s technology-transfer operations.

The laboratory announced Tuesday that life sciences business leader Andrew Whiteley has succeeded Teri Willey as vice president of business development and technology transfer. Willey, who took the reins of CSHL’s Business Development & Technology Transfer Office in late 2013, stepped down March 12 to oversee a new philanthropic venture fund based in Indiana.

Whiteley, who became CSHL’s first-ever Executive in Residence in 2015, will now assume control of a dedicated team focused on supporting commercialization activities stemming from laboratory research, including licensing protocols, corporate startups, professional partnerships and academic-industry collaborations.

The new VP said he was “proud” to take the baton from Willey and praised a Business Development & Technology Transfer Office that is “well-equipped in licensing and optioning, sponsored research, [and] intellectual property management.”

A former chief operating officer and business-development VP for New York City-based conglomerate Enzo Biochem, Whiteley brings more than three decades of life-sciences experience to his new role.

Teri Willey: Who’s Hoosier.

The new tech-transfer leader, who first became associated with CSHL in 2008 as a member of the lab’s Corporate Advisory Board, earned chemistry and biochemistry degree from the UK’s University of Nottingham before working as a biochemist and in sales, marketing and strategic business-management positions at Illinois-based Amersham International, now part of GE Healthcare.

Whiteley eventually rose to become vice president for bioinformatics and sequencing at Amersham Life Sciences, part of a résumé that also includes stints as director of scientific and medical programs for the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research and CEO of three early-stage biotech companies.

Willey, who was the first person to serve as CSHL’s vice president of business development and technology transfer and is credited with helping several CSHL spinoffs find their commercial footing, now heads the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, a new innovation-focused business-development fund managed by the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.

It’s hardly Willey’s first venture-capital rodeo: The commercialization expert is the cofounder and former managing director of the Chicago-based seed fund ARCH Development Partners and also served as CEO and executive director of Cambridge Enterprises Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Cambridge responsible for venture investments, intellectual property licensing and faculty business consulting.

According to Indiana University, the new IU Philanthropic Venture Fund is initially capitalized at $15 million but has the potential to reach $50 million or more – a worthy pursuit for the veteran Willey, which in turn creates an ideal chance for Whiteley, who sees commercialization opportunities aplenty stemming from the Cold Spring Harbor research mecca.

“As a global pioneer in biological research, CSHL is focused on bringing its discoveries to society through partners that provide expertise and resources to commercialize across industries ranging from biotech, pharmaceuticals, energy, agriculture and healthcare,” Whiteley said Tuesday.

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