WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Michael A. Batalia, Ph.D., who has been acting director of the Office of Technology Asset Management at Wake Forest University Health Sciences, will become the director, effective Dec. 1, Douglas L. Edgeton, senior vice president and chief operating officer, announced Thursday.
Edgeton said the decision came after a national search coordinated by the Charlotte search firm of Sockwell and Associates, and the recommendation of the search committee.
“It is indeed comforting to announce that after an extensive national search we are fortunate to have someone of the caliber of Michael Batalia come from within our organization as the new director of the Office of Technology Asset Management,” said Edgeton. “Throughout the search process, it was abundantly clear that Michael's background in science combined with his business expertise and his knowledge of our organization made him stand out from the other candidates.”
Batalia, who had been associate director since January 2003, became acting director in July after former director Spencer Lemons departed for a similar post at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
The office has grown in importance since the 1990s. Licensing revenues increased by 77 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, reaching $34.3 million and making Wake Forest one of the strongest technology licensing programs in the country. Ten years ago, licensing revenues totaled $374,410.
The 2004 fiscal year report also showed that 30 inventions were disclosed, nine patents were issued, seven new applications were filed for patents, and use of seven patents were either licensed or optioned.
With Lemons, Batalia was one of the creators of Seed Stage Associates, which secured a contract with the University of North Carolina’s Office of the President to consult with seven UNC universities that have been underrepresented in technology transfer activities. That contract has been renewed for a second year.
Before coming to Wake Forest, Batalia was at the Office of Technology Transfer at North Carolina State University (NCSU) from January 1999-December 2002, where his last post was interim associate vice chancellor and interim director. Before moving to NCSU, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In professional activities, Batalia is currently vice president for the eastern region of the Association of University Technology Managers, and was co-chair of the organization’s eastern regional meeting.
Batalia graduated from the University of Chicago in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and received a doctorate in biochemistry in 1996 from the University of Texas at Austin.
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About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,298 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.