ATLANTA—Vincent La Terza, assistant vice president and senior licensing agent at Georgia State University since 2017, has been named associate vice president of research and director of technology transfer and commercialization at Georgia State.
He leads the university’s Office of Technology Licensing and Commercialization, which helps scientists bring their inventions and discoveries from the lab into the marketplace.
La Terza, an attorney, is an experienced biopharma entrepreneur and has worked in technology transfer for the University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, where he was the university’s first director of technology transfer.
“We are delighted to name Vince La Terza as head of the technology and commercialization office,” said James Weyhenmeyer, vice president of research and economic development at Georgia State. “Vince has deep experience in moving innovation to market through direct licensing and early-stage company development.”
In recent years Georgia State has become known as one of the nation’s fastest growing research institutions, home to world-class investigators working in biomedical science, diagnostic medicine, nanotechnology and other areas. But for a scientist, the path to commercialization can be challenging, La Terza said.
“Georgia State investigators are generating compelling innovations with great promise to address significant unmet needs,” he said. “Some, such as software, certain vaccines and research tools, are ready to move toward the market shortly after our office gets involved. Other innovations, especially those aimed at combatting diseases such as cancer, are unlikely to attract commercial interest until they are closer to the regulatory evaluation process, a process that can take years of expensive research and development. A key function of our office is to help scientists define a path forward and access resources to pursue that path.”
Nathanael McCurley also joins Georgia State as licensing associate. McCurley, who holds a doctorate in immunobiology from Yale University, spent 15 years in academic research before transitioning to a career in biotechnology. Most recently, he worked as a senior scientist at GeoVax Inc., a Georgia-based clinical-stage vaccine development company. He has expertise in academia and commercial development.
“Nathanael will have an immediate impact in his ability to delve into the research in a sophisticated way and work with faculty to develop critical milestones to advance technology toward the market,” La Terza said. “His experience working on new vaccines, immune hyperreactivity and molecular diagnostics are particularly pertinent to several research programs at Georgia State.”
La Terza and McCurley are working with university scientists who have invented breakthrough technologies, helping them obtain patents and form small companies that can qualify for special federal grants meant to pave the way for research commercialization. In 2017 La Terza worked with Jenny Yang, Regents professor and associate director of the Center for Diagnostics and Therapeutics, whose company, Inlighta Biosciences, was awarded $2 million from the National Institutes of Health to optimize a novel, protein-based contrast agent.
Learn more about Georgia State’s office of technology licensing and commercialization here.