Khine Appointed Faculty Innovation Director
Aug.31, 2015 -- As any university researcher knows, innovation is a crucial component of success in the laboratory. Until recently, however, it’s been difficult to move innovative ideas from academia into the public domain, where they can help humanity and enhance the economy.
Last year, UC Irvine opened the Institute for Innovation, an interdisciplinary center focused on integrating research, entrepreneurship and technology to create real-world applications that will do just that.
Last week, biomedical engineering professor Michelle Khine was appointed the Samueli School’s inaugural director of faculty innovation, where she will serve as a liaison and ambassador between the school and the innovation institute, helping to transfer innovative engineering research into the marketplace.
Khine will work closely with Samueli School faculty to help them fast-track intellectual property, raise funds, connect with investors and seize commercialization opportunities. She will also serve in a corollary role as the director of BioENGINE (Bioengineering, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship) at the Innovation Institute.
Khine is no stranger to commercialization. She is the founder of four companies, the first of which, Fluxion Biosciences, she started as a graduate student. She has received the MIT TR35 Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which names the world’s top 35 innovators under the age of 35. She is also a Fast Company magazine “100 Most Creative People in Business” winner, a Marie-Claire magazine “Women on Top: Top Scientist,” and a Diverse Issues in Higher Education “Trailblazer.” Additionally, she is a recipient of the NIH New Innovator Award and was recently elected to the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows, an elite group of scientists considered outstanding in academia, industry and government.
Her newest project is a novel “co-op” she formed with her students to promote STEM outreach. The company, A Hundred Tiny Hands, manufactures fun and educational science kits for children; Khine got it up and running by orchestrating UCI’s first successful Kickstarter campaign.
Samueli School Dean Gregory Washington appointed Khine to the new position. “As research and technology are critical to the Innovation Institute, we need to create and build strong ties and collaborations between the Samueli School and the Institute. I am thrilled Michelle has accepted the important role of facilitating this,” he said.
-- Anna Lynn Spitzer