Posted October 25, 2009 Atlanta
Research News & Publications Office
Contact John Toon
Veteran biosciences entrepreneur Nina Sawczuk has joined Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) as assistant director for biosciences. In this role, she will support the commercialization of bioscience innovation throughout the state of Georgia.
For the past ten years, Sawczuk has served as CEO of Zygogen LLC, an Atlanta-based biotechnology company that advanced the use of zebra fish for drug screening. Prior to co-founding that company, she served in drug discovery, biotechnology consulting and business development roles for several organizations in the Boston, Research Triangle Park and Southern California areas.
Sawczuk also served ATDC as a consultant in 1999, assisting bioscience companies and participating in the formation of EmTech Bio, an incubator at Emory University.
At ATDC, she will help companies tap a comprehensive set of services designed to help commercialize innovations, support the launch and growth of technology companies, obtain early-stage commercialization grants and secure Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from federal agencies.
Among the key resources is the ATDC Biosciences Center, an incubator located in Georgia Tech's Biosciences Complex. Life sciences research now accounts for approximately 20 percent of Georgia Tech's $500 million-per-year research program.
"Through ATDC and the Georgia Research Alliance's VentureLab commercialization program, we can provide an integrated set of services designed to support the startup and growth of bioscience companies statewide," said Sawczuk. "This combination of resources gives Georgia entrepreneurs a strong advantage as they launch and build new companies in the biosciences."
Sawczuk's education and entrepreneurial experience give her an ideal background for leading ATDC's biosciences program, said Stephen Fleming, vice provost at Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute, ATDC's parent organization.
"We are pleased to have Nina return to ATDC and Georgia Tech to lead our initiatives aimed at expanding the state's community of bioscience companies," he said. "With its research universities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and established companies, Georgia's life sciences community has a strong economic impact on the state."
Sawczuk holds a master's degree in molecular and cellular biology from Harvard Medical School, an M.B.A. from Duke University's School of Business and a bachelor's degree in social and behavior sciences from Johns Hopkins University.
She has served in a variety of positions with Georgia BIO, and as a member of the external review committee for the Georgia Research Alliance VentureLab Program.
ATDC is a startup accelerator that helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies. Founded in 1980, ATDC has helped create millions of dollars in tax revenues by graduating more than 120 companies, which together have raised more than a billion dollars in outside financing.
Recently ATDC expanded its mission by merging with Georgia Tech's VentureLab and with the Georgia SBIR Assistance Program. The change will enable ATDC to greatly extend its reach to serve more technology companies along multiple growth paths and at all stages of development. ATDC has opened its membership to all technology entrepreneurs in Georgia, from those at the earliest conception stage to the well-established, venture-fundable companies.
ATDC is part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at Georgia Tech, which helps Georgia enterprises improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. ATDC currently has three facilities; two at Georgia Tech's main campus in Atlanta, and one at Georgia Tech's satellite campus in Savannah.
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