Kinch appointed director of new Center for Research Innovation in Business

New center to improve how the university brings discoveries to market

Michael S. Kinch, PhD, joins Washington University in St. Louis as associate vice chancellor and director of the university’s new Center for Research Innovation in Business. H. Holden Thorp, PhD, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, made the announcement.


“Michael is an incredible resource for anyone looking to commercialize an idea,” Thorp said. “His personal experience bringing multiple drugs to the clinic, paired with his passion for advancing groundbreaking discoveries and ideas, will be key to taking the university’s innovation and entrepreneurship efforts to the next level.”

Kinch comes to the university from Yale University, where he served as managing director of the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery.

“Michael brings a wealth of experience to our university community and the innovation and entrepreneurship team,” said Dedric Carter, PhD, associate provost and associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship. “The Center for Research Innovation will enhance our efforts to increase access to discoveries from Washington University in St. Louis.”

The mission of the Center for Research Innovation in Business is to improve how Washington University promotes translation and commercialization of its discoveries and innovations.

The center will work to identify opportunities for bringing ideas developed at the university to the marketplace through partnerships and entrepreneurial ventures.

Kinch is reviewing how the university has approached commercialization to ensure the center becomes a key resource for faculty, staff and students. This is a particularly important time for promoting university-led innovation in light of rapid changes transforming many technology sectors, including pharmaceuticals, devices and software.

About Michael Kinch

Throughout his career, Kinch has successfully blended business and science innovation to accelerate translation into medical breakthroughs. He optimized the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery’s scientific and business infrastructure, dramatically increasing the center’s capabilities and efficiencies. He also created and led strategic partnerships with major biopharmaceutical companies and worked with a number of campus and external partners to stimulate and support startups.

Originally from the Midwest, Kinch was a professor at Purdue University, studying monoclonal antibody targeting of cancer. Shortly after receiving tenure, he was lured to the private sector, where he led oncology at MedImmune Inc., and was chief scientific officer at Functional Genetics Inc. prior to joining Yale in 2010.

Kinch also is a co-founder of the Institute for Life Sciences Collaboration, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the goal of encouraging and enhancing development of academia-led research into innovations to treat under-served medical needs.

Kinch’s scientific expertise includes pre-clinical drug development for cancer, immunological and infectious diseases with small molecules, monoclonal antibodies and other biologics.

He earned a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in molecular genetics from the Ohio State University.