RCMB Innovation and Entrepreneurial Working Group

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RCMB Innovation and Entrepreneurial Working Group


Louise Hecker, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Arizona, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Fibronox

Naftali Kaminski, MD, Boehringer-Ingelheim Endowed Professor of Internal Medicine 
Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine 

Erica Park, PharmD, Senior Director, Clinical Development, and Monica Sandberg, PhD, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Pliant Therapeutics, San Francisco, CA


Tim Watkins, MD MSc, Executive Director, Clinical Research, Respiratory Disease Area Lead Inflammation Therapeutics, Gilead Sciences Inc

Toby Maher, MD/PhD, Professor of Medicine and Director of Interstitial Lung Disease, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

Colin Reisner, MD, Head, Respiratory Global Medicine, AstraZeneca; CEO, Pearl Therapeutics, Inc

David Morris, MD, Operating Partner, Novartis Venture Fund and Chief Medical Officer of Enterprise Therapeutics

Alan H Cohen, MD, Vice President of Global Medical Affairs, Eidos Therapeutics, San Francisco, CA


Milica Vukmirovic, PhD, Michael DeGroote Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship Fellow, McMaster University; Innovation and Commercialization Consultant, St. Joseph’s Research Institute



Milica Vukmirovic, PhD
Chair: Milica Vukmirovic, PhD 

 Louise Hecker, PhD
Co-Chair: Louise Hecker, PhD



Our Working Group Mission:

To enable and support entrepreneurship in academic pulmonary medicine and research.

Our Approach:

  • To identify learning gaps in development of new drugs, devices and technologies; and educate the investigators.
  • To mentor clinicians and researchers in preparation of business-related grant proposals and pitch slide decks for investors.

Our Interactions:

  • To organize education sessions in entrepreneurship at ATS and other lung research-focused international conferences
  • To work with other ATS assemblies and Drug Device Discovery and Development Committee
  • To assist with programing of ATS Respiratory Innovation Summit
  • To work with foundations, philanthropy and investors to develop funding opportunities for innovative lung research

Join us:

  • If you are interested in commercializing your academic inventions
  • If you are at university and thinking of starting a company
  • If you have already started a company in lung field
  • If you want to work for a start up
  • If you want to learn to navigate commercial process at University