Fretzen to lead the Institute’s business development and technology translation efforts
(BOSTON) — Today, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University announced its appointment of Angelika Fretzen, Ph.D., M.B.A., to the newly created position of Technology Translation Director. Dr. Fretzen will fill a key position in the Wyss’ leadership team in the Institute’s pursuit of using biological design principles to develop new engineering innovations that will have near-term impact through intellectual property creation, industrial licensing, and the formation of new startups.
Dr. Fretzen brings to the Wyss Institute a strong background from both academia and industry as a chemist, and product development and project management leader. She will apply her technology and entrepreneurial business development experience to steer the Institute’s technology translation engine in its diverse areas of research and technology development. In addition to integrating the Institute’s business development and technology commercialization efforts, she will be a key member of the Wyss Institute’s executive team, joining Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., and Administrative Director Ayis Antoniou, Ph.D., M.B.A.
“The Wyss Institute‘s unique commitment to collaboration, disruptive innovation, and focus on research and technology translation present immense opportunities. I am very excited to be joining this organization and look forward to using my entrepreneurial experience in product and business development to advance the Institute’s mission” said Dr. Fretzen.
Dr. Fretzen earned her Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and gained postdoctoral experience in the laboratory of Professor Gregory Verdine at Harvard University. Following her academic training, Dr. Fretzen pursued her M.B.A. at Suffolk University, Boston, and subsequently held leadership positions at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, and most recently at Catabasis Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA, where she was Senior Vice President of Product Development. Her industry experience enabled her to gain a deep understanding of the processes involved in developing and de-risking therapeutic products from pre-clinical stages to the clinical market, including the regulatory approval process. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Bridgewell, a health and human services non-profit organization serving a wide range of constituents in day programs, residential housing and clinical services.
“We are very excited to have Angelika Fretzen join our community. Her deep experience as a scientific leader, team builder, and entrepreneur, combined with her scientific insight and first-hand experience in leading the successful translation of therapeutics from the lab to the clinic will bring enormous value to our community,” said Dr. Ingber, who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
The Wyss Institute was founded in 2009 based on the belief that breakthrough discoveries cannot change the world if they never leave the laboratory. The Institute’s mission is to discover the biological principles that Nature uses to build living things, and to harness these insights to create biologically inspired engineering innovations to improve human health and create a more sustainable world. Since its launch, the Institute has developed a new model for innovation, collaboration, and technology translation within academia, which has led to the development of new engineering solutions for medicine and healthcare, as well as nonmedical areas, such as energy, architecture, robotics, and manufacturing. These technologies are translated into commercial products and therapies through collaborations with clinical investigators, corporate alliances, and the formation of new start-ups that are driven by a unique internal business development team including entrepreneurs-in-residence with domain-specific expertise.