New McGill Centre for Biomedical Innovation and inaugural Director Dr. Phil Barker
McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine recently announced the establishment of the McGill Centre for Biomedical Innovation (MCBI), to be headed by Dr. Phil Barker as its inaugural Director. The goal of the Centre is to build on the Faculty’s initiatives to take basic research along development routes that will have the most impact on health care.
The MCBI will offer the Faculty’s research community both a centralized infrastructure and a consolidated knowledge base to help move discoveries from the lab into the clinic or marketplace with increased efficiency. The Centre, which is an outcome of the Faculty’s Strategic Planning Research Design Group recommendations, has been made possible through proceeds from new international joint ventures signed in 2010.
Specifically, Dr. Barker will lead activities to:
• Promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Faculty through workshops, courses, events, online resources, social networks and other tools;
• Help implement an infrastructure to propel private sector partnerships forward, ensuring alignment with Quebec and Canadian initiatives;
• Identify best practices and streamline commercialization and innovation strategies to facilitate development;
• Ensure the Faculty is taking full advantage of all available resources, from donor-funded opportunities to venture capital pools;
• Foster strong relationships with venture capital investors in Quebec, Canada and abroad;
• Nurture strong relationships with Quebec and Canada government officials through networking and policy material promoting McGill’s position;
• Develop institutional and inter-institutional business relationships.
Dr. Barker is a renowned molecular biologist and biochemist at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and a Professor in the Departments of Neurology & Neurosurgery and Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill. He is also Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives at the MNI and Chair of its Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research. Dr. Barker, who came to McGill in 1994, completed postdoctoral work at Stanford University, his PhD at the University of Alberta and his BSc at Simon Fraser University.
In addition to conducting leading research, Dr. Barker is a founder of Aegera Therapeutics Inc. He has developed several technologies, licensing them to major pharmaceutical firms, and is a consultant to the biotechnology industry.
Dr. Barker brings a wealth of experience to the MCBI’S mandate, which directly supports the Faculty’s mission to bring the benefits of its research to society swiftly and efficiently. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Barker to this new position and the Centre.