The Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) at UC San Diego has named a key new team leader to help guide the organization in its mission to create an all-campus “innovation ecosystem” and energize the creation of campus startups.
Rubén D. Flores, Ph.D., has been named Director of Commercialization, reporting to Paul Roben, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation.
Sandra Brown, Vice Chancellor for Research, who oversees the OIC as well as other organizations within the Office of Research Affairs, says that Flores exemplifies the high-achieving entrepreneurial spirit necessary for new discoveries and new solutions.
“Rubén has worked in industry and in academia, and thoroughly understands the challenges of managing our patents and licenses, and guiding the new generation of startups,” Brown said. “His guidance and counsel will be invaluable as UC San Diego dramatically boosts our efforts to encourage faculty and student entrepreneurial innovation.”
Flores earned his doctorate in chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA, and began his career in the San Diego biotechnology industry at BD Biosciences Pharmigen. He has held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility in R&D, marketing, business development and technology commercialization. His professional career also includes Biosite (now Inverness), where he helped design, initiate, negotiate and monitor clinical trials; and later joined Chemicon (now Millipore-Sigma), where he managed R&D, worldwide clinical-trial operations, and marketing activities for diagnostic products. While at Millipore-Sigma, Flores also created the world-wide Scientific Collaborations and Business Development group, tasked with working with academic partners across the globe for the development of early-stage academic research.
Most recently, Flores served as Vice President of Business Development and Technology Transfer for the Los Angeles BioMedical Research Institute at Harbor UCLA Medical Center, where he focused on fostering the entrepreneurial ecosystem for startups in Los Angeles.
As Director of Commercialization, Flores will work closely with OIC Director of Operations William Decker, Ph.D., a 15-year veteran of UC San Diego’s technology-transfer offices.
Both leaders, says OIC chief Roben, are key members of the team charged with transforming the pace and success of UC San Diego discoveries, inventions, and startups.
“Our job is to create a campus environment where smart people can innovate,” he says. “An important part of that is removing barriers and streamlining processes so ideas can flourish. Both Rubén and Bill understand how things can and should work for our faculty and student clients, and they’re also articulate advocates for our mission.”