BERKELEY, CA (August 16, 2023) --
Today, the University of California, Berkeley tech transfer office was honored in the Bayh-Dole Coalition’s inaugural “Faces of American Innovation” report, which recognizes five exceptional individuals who helped turn early-stage scientific research into products that benefit millions around the globe.
The Bayh-Dole Coalition is a diverse group of innovation-oriented organizations and individuals committed to celebrating and protecting the Bayh-Dole Act, as well as informing policymakers and the public of its many benefits.
On Wednesday, September 13, Dr. Carol Mimura, UC Berkeley Assistant Vice Chancellor for Intellectual Property & Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA), will receive the inaugural Bayh-Dole Coalition American Innovator Award in Washington, D.C. alongside the other leading researchers and entrepreneurs highlighted in the report, including Dr. Katalin Karikó -- the pioneer behind mRNA vaccine technology.
Carol credits her dedicated and creative team for this recognition, saying “technology transfer is a team sport, nothing happens without the contributions of every member of the office, and the dedication of inventors at Berkeley.”
Dr. Mimura played a pivotal role in patenting and commercializing the Berkeley research that led to the development of Yervoy, a groundbreaking immunotherapy drug used to treat numerous late-stage cancers. In 2018, Dr. James P. Allison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this research, which was conducted at Berkeley’s Cancer Research Laboratory.
“University tech transfer officials like Carol Mimura are quite literally the reason many life-saving medicines make it from laboratory shelves to patients in need,” said Joseph P. Allen, executive director of the Bayh-Dole Coalition. “Dr. Mimura’s inspiring story is a testament to the power of America’s world-leading tech transfer system -- and the urgent need to protect it.”
In 2011, the patent license for the immunotherapy drug Yervoy earned the Berkeley campus $87.5 million from Bristol-Myers Squibb. Approximately $24 million was paid directly to the inventors. The remainder was invested in Berkeley's research enterprise to support students and faculty, including renovated biology teaching laboratories and vivarium equipment. It also funded core facilities in the Cancer Research Laboratory, helped to complete neuroscience labs in the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, and funded the recruitment and retention of faculty.
UC Berkeley’s research enterprise has produced many impactful contributions across many fields, from e-Legs that enabled a paralyzed student to walk across the stage to receive his diploma, to software that was the progenitor to Google Earth, to the CRISPR gene editing revolution, to electricity generated from wave power.
About UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley is the world’s premier public university with a mission to excel in teaching, research, and public service. This mission has led to the university’s distinguished record of world-class scholarship, innovation, concern for the betterment of our world, and top rankings for its schools and departments. UC Berkeley is the flagship of the 10-campus University of California system, originally chartered in 1868. Enrolling more than 42,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the campus has more than 1,500 full-time and 500 part-time faculty members in more than 130 academic departments that offer more than 350 degree programs. Twenty-six Nobel Prizes have been awarded to faculty, and 32 Nobels to alumni.
UC Berkeley currently has 812 active U.S. patents and 1,030 active foreign patents. Companies under IP licenses from UC Berkeley have commercialized more than 770 products -- from biofuels to treatments for malaria to DNA sequencing technologies. Over the last three decades, over 280 start-up companies have been founded to commercialize IP rights under license from UC Berkeley.