Douglas to leave Washington University; will continue technology development work

Michael Douglas, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for research, is leaving Washington University to focus greater energy on family owned businesses outside of St. Louis. Additionally, Douglas announced that he plans to remain a resident of St. Louis and work independently on technology development, intellectual property licensing, startup companies and venture capital investment to spur biotechnology advancement in the region.

“I believe the community and regional biotechnology organizations and interests outside our universities might be aided by having a person familiar with university research activities and the mindset of university faculty members regarding the transfer of their intellectual work product into new technologies and economic development. That is a perspective I can offer, given my familiarity with both academic and corporate arenas,” Douglas said.

Douglas became Washington University associate vice chancellor for research and director of the Office of Technology Management in 2002. He works with faculty members university-wide to evaluate discoveries, develop inventions and license technology. Douglas is active on various civic and corporate boards in the United States and Australia.

Prior to his arrival at Washington University, Douglas served as the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Sigma Diagnostics, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer of Novactyl Biopharmaceuticals, and executive vice president and chief of scientific operations for Fleming Pharmaceuticals.

As a university-based investigator, Douglas was professor and chairman of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill. He has authored articles, reviews and books in cell and molecular biology and is an active reviewer for a variety of journals and on federal and private research grants.

“The greater St. Louis region and the universities whose faculty conduct research here need more community-based entrepreneurs with the precise background Mike has,” said Ted Cicero, Ph.D., Washington University vice chancellor for research. “Working as a broker of ideas and in a position to represent both sides of the technology transfer partnership, we are hopeful that Mike’s work will lead to new commercialization of our faculty members’ inventions, and will accelerate St. Louis’ growth as a center for employment and financial vigor related to new technologies.”