Grad students, post-docs invited to drug commercialization info session

Ever wonder how a drug, diagnostic test, or medical device discovered in a university is commercialized so that it can be used in patients? Have you ever wanted to own a company and be an entrepreneur?

Then the Innovation Honors Program (IHP) may be for you. Learn more at an information session Thursday, Dec. 6, at 3:30 p.m. in 1358 Scott Hall. The session will cover the registration process, overview of the program curriculum and objectives, and Honors Distinction requirements.

The Wayne State University Office of Technology Commercialization and the School of Medicine developed the Innovation Honors Program to prepare the next generation of CSOs and entrepreneurial scientists for high-tech industry. The program seeks intelligent and motivated graduate students, medical students, and postdocs interested in applied research, translational science, high-tech business and entrepreneurship.

The IHP is a unique WSU educational program that uses classroom lectures and small group discussions to teach the translational processes of moving a university invention or innovation from the research bench to the creation of a commercial product that treats humans. Upon successful completion of the Innovation Honors Program, the student will be recognized with an IHP Award.

Who should pursue an IHP Award?

IHP trainees are nontraditional learners who are interested in how products are created to solve problems (e.g. human disease) and do not want to be limited to a research or service career. Upon completion of the IHP, a student will know how product and company development processes work hand-in-hand to create new therapeutic agents and devices. In addition to providing insight into nonacademic employment opportunities, after stimulating interactions with business professionals, completion of the IHP Program proves that a trainee is committed to advanced education and distinguishes this individual on all subsequent

Program Overview

The fellows will be required to take two courses offered during the winter semester: 

  • Introduction to Biotechnology (BMS 7100/IBS7110)
  • Special Topics in Biotechnology Commercialization Seminar (BMS 7115/ISB7115)

During these courses a case study approach will be taken, wherein each fellow will actualize a full R&D and commercialization effort surrounding their research project. Working with industry mentors to investigate the technological and commercial potential of their research, fellows will identify development milestones, commercialization pathways, and explore business opportunities directly related to biomedical technologies.

Fellows will be required to develop:

  • A research and commercialization plan
  • PowerPoint presentation detailing the commercial opportunity
  • Pitch of the venture funding slide deck

For further information, contact Dr. Leon Carlock, Ph.D., at or Bramdon Dogwill, Innovation Fellows Program Coordinator, at

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