Today Lisa has the pleasure of speaking with Nichole Mercier, the Assistant Vice-Chancellor and Managing Director for Technology Transfer at Washington University in St. Louis. In her role at WashU, Nichole is responsible for all office operations and strategy, including licensing, business development, finance, and administrative operations.
Prior to her time at WashU, Nichole was a Senior Contract Manager at Monsanto and a Licensing Associate at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Nichole received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biology at Clark University and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Listen as she shares her journey to Tech Transfer and how her office is structured. She speaks about WashU’s Tech Transfer Trainee Program, the history behind it, and how many people have gone through the program to date. Nichole also talks about how many invention disclosures, patent filings, and revenue-generating agreements her office has had in the last few years.
Nichole discusses the role corporate partners and philanthropic organizations play in Tech Transfer at WashU, some big success stories WashU has had in terms of technology and startups, and the challenges they face. Listen as Nichole discusses her work as a leader in analyzing the disparity between male and female innovators and the the Women In Technology (WIT) program she started to help to close the gap.
Nichole also speaks about the Equalize program and what it is geared for. She shares some challenges and barriers women face when participating in Tech Transfer and commercialization and her work with AUTM on having trustworthy mentors for women. Nichole finishes up with three wishes she would have for her office if she had a genie in a bottle and some advice for any Tech Transfer office that would like to do more to close the gender gap in invention disclosures and commercialization.