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Commercialization Fellowship Program

ITHS & WRF Commercialization Fellowship Program

The Institute of Translational Health Sciences and Washington Research Foundation (WRF) Summer Commercialization Fellowship Program offers graduate students with an entrepreneurial background an opportunity to build a commercialization plan for a promising technology.

Fellows are first paired with an early-stage technology from University of Washington’s CoMotion, Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s, or Benaroya Research Institute. They then work with the inventors, as well as mentors from ITHS, WRF, the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, and CoMotion, to evaluate if the technology presents a start-up or licensing opportunity.

The 10-week fellowship is divided into three phases: technology discovery and evaluation, market opportunity assessment, and product assessment. The fellowship concludes with a final presentation.

The fellowship awards five students with $10,000 stipends each and is managed by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, with support from ITHS, WRF, and CoMotion.

All UW Foster MBAs, Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate students (who have taken the core ENTRE classes), and graduate students with core entrepreneurial coursework in marketing, strategy, and finance in their backgrounds are eligible to apply.

Past fellows have included students from bioengineering, business, engineering, health sciences, pharmacology, information science, international relations, and law.

Additional information and application instructions. Questions? Email

Investigators who think they could benefit from working with a commercialization fellow should contact Jessica Roberto to learn more.

Past MBA Fellows & Projects

Past MBA Fellows & Projects


PolySTAT Injectable Polymer

Fellow: Brian Conley
Principal Investigator: Suzie Pun (Bioengineering) and Nathan White (Emergency Medicine)


Fellow: Nneka Ezeabogu
Project Lead: Bob Boiko, UW Senior Lecturer

RainCity HeartLab

Fellow: Kevin Biealwski
Principal Investigator: Jay Heinecke, UW Medicine

Smart Lenses

Fellow: Heather Lewis
Project Lead at Smart Lenses: Dr. Nerea Alayo
Founding Team: Prof. Karl F. Bohringer, Prof. Tueng T. Shen, Dr. Nerea Alayo and Dr. Mike T. Khbeis

Improved Angle Prosthetic

Fellow: Megan Seeb
Principal Investigator: Murray Maitland, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine


Fellow: Karin Li
Principal Investigator: Don Stephanian, Development & Design Manager, Seattle Children’s Hospital

Bright Start from Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Fellow: Michelle Huynh
Principal Investigator: Dimitri Christakis

Arzeda: Synthetic Biology for a Sustainable Future

Fellow: Thomas DeMaria
Project Lead at Arzeda: Alexandre Zanghellini
Founding Team: Eric Althoff, David Baker, Daniela Grabs, Alexandre Zanghellini

Pharmaceutical Clinical Research Organizations: New Markets & UW Drug Interaction Knowledge Base

Fellow: Quynh-Anh Nguyen
Principal Investigator:  Isabelle Ragueneau-Majlessi MD, Director

CSATS: Crowd Sourced Assessment of Technical Skill to Non-Experts

Fellow: Jim Howes
Principal Investigator:  Thomas Lendvay

Zovenza Bio: Novel Computationally-Designed Proteins as Antiviral Diagnostic And Therapeutic Products

Fellow: Renuka Ramanathan
Company Founders: David Baker, PhD, Deb Fuller, PhD, Patricia Beckmann, PhD

PreCyte, Indicator Cell Assay (ICA): A Broadly Applicable Platform For Blood-Based Diagnostics

Fellow: Shon Schmidt
Principal Investigators: Jennifer Smith and John Aitchison, Institute for Systems Biology, PreCyte Inc.

Protein E – Improved Protein a Mimetic for Antibody Purification

Fellow: Chenying Yang
Principal Investigators: David Baker and Eva-Maria Strauch

TH2A Cells in Allergy Diagnosis

Fellow: Luke Goodrich
Principal Investigator: Erik Wambre

mPOWEr – mobile Post-Operative Wound Evaluator

Fellow: Julie Mass
Principal Investigators: Heather Evans, Bill Lober, Patrick Sanger, Andrea Hartzler

PhoTec t – Rapid Blood Typing Device

Fellow: Joel Duck
Principal Investigators: Dan Ratner and Jill Johnsen

KumaMax– Therapeutic Enzyme for Celiac Disease

Fellow: Will Canestaro
Principal Investigators: David Baker and Ingrid Pultz
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