Academic-corporate research partnerships focus of Nov. 12 talk

By Kimber Williams | Emory Report | Nov. 11, 2013

"Academic-Corporate Partnerships in Research: Opportunities and Land Mines," will be the focus of a lecture and panel discussion exploring innovative research strategies, presented as the opening program in this semester's Senate Lecture Series.  

Carol J. Simon, senior vice president of United Health Group and Optum Labs, will keynote the presentation, scheduled Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. in the Jones Room of the Woodruff Library.  

Drawing upon her experiences as both an academic researcher and the leader of a corporate research group, Simon will discuss research collaborations currently under way at UnitedHealth Group and Optum, addressing the challenges, opportunities and pitfalls of forging partnerships between academia and corporations.  

Her talk will be followed by a panel discussion targeting other areas of research funding — including private donors, foundations and industry — and the impact of those different funding streams on the University.  

"Too often, great ideas for academic-corporate collaborations die slow and painful deaths," Simon explains. "But corporations need innovative, independent research. And universities can benefit from the data, funding and real world 'laboratories' that corporate partners can provide."  

Simon's talk will be followed by a panel discussion from 4 to 5 p.m., featuring:  

  • Dennis Liotta, chemistry professor and director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development

  • Mike Mandl, Emory executive vice president for business and administration

  • Jack Tillman, assistant vice president of research and real estate and senior advisor of St. Joseph's Translational Research Institute.

"Shaping Emory's Future: Challenges and Opportunities" — the theme of the lecture series — is part of an ongoing series of talks hosted by the University Senate about critical issues affecting private liberal arts research universities. The presentations are free and open to the public.