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UT Southwestern Names Frank Grassler As Vice President For Technology Development

DALLAS, Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- UT Southwestern Medical Center announced that Frank Grassler has been appointed as Vice President for Technology Development, and will lead the Office of Technology Development as well as BioCenter at Southwestern Medical District.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130131/DC51951)

The Office of Technology Development has been involved in creating six startup companies that have raised more than $500 million in venture capital. BioCenter is the university's commercial biomedical campus and encourages the development and commercialization of university-created technologies.

"Frank will be working with UT Southwestern faculty members as part of our commitment to promote the commercial development of their discoveries to the ultimate benefit of patients," said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. "He is widely respected for his integrity, judgment, expertise, and management skills."

Mr. Grassler comes to UT Southwestern after working as a consultant for Genentech Inc. From 2008 to 2011, he was Vice President for Intellectual Property at Gilead Sciences. Prior to that, he was Vice President of U.S. Intellectual Property for GlaxoSmithKline for 12 years. Earlier in his career, he was in private practice as an attorney and worked in patent law for Merck.

At GlaxoSmithKline, Mr. Grassler conceived the intellectual property structure of The SNP Consortium, originally comprising 10 pharmaceutical companies, a British philanthropic organization, and four academic research centers. Members of the consortium consented to share data and intellectual property rights for DNA sequence variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms, an agreement that lifted institutional and legal barriers and unleashed important work in drug discovery. He earned degrees in pharmacy and law from the University of Colorado, and did additional coursework in mechanical engineering, materials science, and immunology at the University of Colorado, Denver.

"Every day, UT Southwestern faculty members, researchers, and clinicians are working on groundbreaking discoveries and inventions," Mr. Grassler said. "We want to use the commercialization process to translate those discoveries into therapies that can benefit patients worldwide."

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