Department Seminar

Translational Research & Technology Commercialization: UW Bioengineering Tradition

Speaker Details:

Yongmin Kim
Professor and Past President
POSTECH - Pohang University of Science and Technology

Lecture Details:

February 16, 2017
12:30 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Foege N130A, Wallace H. Coulter Seminar Room


A challenging mission that many research-oriented universities face in addition to education and research is creating new value and contributing to humanity through our research endeavors.  In addition to producing future leaders and well-trained workforce in our students, universities are expected to develop novel innovations, remarkable discoveries and breakthrough technologies by working on high-risk high-return research and making what people believe impossible possible.  Although many pioneering discoveries are being made and new exciting technologies are being developed in biomedicine, even the most promising technologies face numerous obstacles in technology commercialization.  They typically languish and die in the valley of death, frustrating the researchers, universities, governments, and investors alike.

Translational research in biomedicine from lab bench to the marketplace where products and services are provided and consumed is far more complicated, difficult and time-consuming than many people estimate or are willing to tolerate.  For the benefit of humanity and a better future, on the other hand, our mission points us to incessantly engineering biomedical innovations and trying to go all the way into the marketplace with creativity, collaboration and perseverance.  To make the (seemingly) impossible possible takes courage, confidence and competence with partnership, patience and determination.  Also, we have to get out from our comfortable silo, overcome fear and break down the walls between researchers, laboratories, departments/disciplines, institutions, countries, and academia/industry. In this presentation, I will share my experiences and opinions on the obstacles and formula of successes and failures in translational research and commercialization in academia.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Yongmin Kim received BS degree in electronics engineering from Seoul National University in 1975, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from University of Wisconsin in 1979 and 1982, respectively.

For 29 years from 1982 to 2011, he was Professor of Bioengineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Adjunct Professor of Radiology and Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle.  From 1999 to 2007, he was Professor and Chair of Bioengineering.  From 2004 to 2007, he was Hunter and Dorothy Simpson Endowed Chair in Bioengineering.  From September 2011 to August 2015, he was President of Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in Korea.  Currently, he is Past President and Professor of the Department of Creative IT Engineering at POSTECH.  From September 2015 to February 2016, he was Advisor to Washington Research Foundation in Seattle, Washington.