News | November 29, 2007

Director Named for Purdue's $100 million Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development

November 30, 2007 - A former president and CEO of an international producer of medical devices will serve as the executive director of the Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development at Purdue University.

Today Purdue and Purdue Research Foundation officials named John C. Hertig, the former president and CEO of Enpath Medical Inc., will be the institute's inaugural executive director. The Purdue engineering alumnus begins his duties on Monday, Dec. 3.

The institute was established last spring through a $100 million endowment from the California-based Alfred Mann Foundation for Biomedical Engineering. The university-based institute - the third in the world created so far through the Mann Foundation - is designed to enable the commercialization of innovative biomedical technologies that improve human health. The first institute became operational in 2001 at the University of Southern California, the second was established in October 2006 at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and the third at Purdue in March 2007.

“We like to partner with research institutions that have successful entrepreneurial initiatives in place and outstanding intellectual property pipelines, and certainly these three universities have proven track records in these regards,” said Stephen Dahms, Alfred Mann Foundation president and CEO. “The selection of an executive director for the Alfred Mann Institute for Biomedical Development is the next crucial step in this important partnership with Purdue University and the Purdue Research Foundation.”

Dahms said the Mann Foundation expects to establish a minimum of 12 such institutes at universities by 2012 and that two more have been awarded, but these will not be made public until mid-2008.

As executive director, Hertig will oversee the institute’s development and subsequent transfer of selected Purdue technologies in the biomedical field. Hertig also will be responsible for managing the institute and fostering relationships with potential commercial partners, as well as with the other current and future Alfred Mann Institutes.

"John brings a wealth of experience to this position, especially in the medical field and in technology transfer, which is an important component to the institute’s goals,” said Joseph B. Hornett, senior vice president, treasurer and COO of the Purdue Research Foundation. “The Purdue Research Foundation also will maintain Purdue’s other technology-transfer routes through the Office of Technology Commercialization and the creation of startup companies at the Purdue Research Park. Another positive step is that our agreement with the Mann Foundation provides preferential consideration for Indiana companies wishing to license the university's technologies.”

Purdue’s medical device partners within Indiana include: Cook Group Inc. in West Lafayette and Bloomington; Hill-Rom Co. in Batesville; DePuy Orthapaedics Inc. in Warsaw; Bioanalytical Systems Inc. in West Lafayette; SonarMed Inc. in Indianapolis; Zimmer Inc. in Warsaw; Biomet Inc. in Warsaw; and Fort Wayne Metals Inc. in Fort Wayne.

Biomedical engineering is defined as using engineering principles and techniques to provide new applications to improve health care and the quality of life. Examples of Purdue’s prototypes of biomedical engineering devices include monitors to record the vital signs of premature babies, longer-lasting artificial joints and novel minimally invasive orthopedic devices, and computer models that simulate the mechanical properties and function of hard and soft tissues to understand the early onset of maladies like stress fractures.

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