A Different Kind of 'Techie': Matthew Grunseth, MBS '08
As a senior manager in the Office of Technology Licensing at City of Hope (COH), Matthew Grunseth's job is to protect intellectual property developed by researchers and clinicians at the world-renown research institute and cancer care center.
"That's the first part of my job," Grunseth explains. "The second is to then commercialize it via license agreements so it can benefit patients once it's a marketed product. I'm also the point of contact for most collaboration and sponsored research agreements between COH and industry."
Having gone through KGI's Master of Bioscience program, Matthew was already familiar with many aspects of the biotech industry and had no trouble stepping into a role which required him to work with entrepreneurs and industry leaders.
"I have used nearly every subject I learned at KGI at some point or another," he says. "The intellectual property course was probably the most important, but I also regularly rely on my knowledge of finance, regulatory affairs, project management, ethics, negotiations and the ability to work in a cross functional team on large complicated projects."
Out of those many complicated projects, Grunseth is perhaps most proud of his work with COH's Meditope technology. This game-changing technological innovation is capable of turning any monoclonal antibody (mAb) into a proprietary, site-specific "Lego-like" system that is able "to attach and detach drugs to antibodies without the need for chemical conjugation." The end result is a product that is significantly more effective and offers multiple manufacturing advantages compared to existing antibody-drug conjugate technologies.
"I took the initial invention disclosure, oversaw the filing of the IP and recently negotiated the license agreement," he says. "Working with entrepreneurs is extremely rewarding, and this is a great success story. I'm glad I was part of it."
In addition to working with some of the world's top researchers and biotech entrepreneurs, Grunseth has also been a mentor to several KGI students interning at City of Hope.
"They tend to be very driven and have a broad understanding of the major technical areas underpinning the life sciences industry, and they are always pushing to be better," he says. "We've worked with KGI students on numerous projects for my institution and my leadership has been happy with the results every time."
About the MBS:
KGI's two-year Master of Bioscience program educates highly versatile professionals and future leaders of the life science industries. MBS students develop skills that are vital in today's life science industries, including how to make a compelling presentation, manage a project, lead a team and, equally as important, to work effectively as part of one. They also develop a deep understanding of how the bioscience industry operates-considering the scientific, intellectual property and regulatory issues that dominate the industry.
KGI offers its students many opportunities throughout the program to work with companies in its extensive network of biotech and healthcare companies. These opportunities start in the first year with numerous on-campus networking events and course assignments in which teams of students prepare reports for outside companies. They continue during the summer with internships and culminate in the second year with the capstone Team Master's Project (TMP), in which teams of three to six students work with sponsoring companies in a year-long consulting assignment to solve real problems.
Students enrolled in the Master of Bioscience degree program can choose from among five majors:
- Bioprocessing: This use of living cells is essential to a wide range of industries and lifesaving technologies, from gene therapy vectors and vaccines to the production of renewable biofuels. DNA technology continues to improve, and this concentration prepares students to achieve their own advances.
- Business of Bioscience: Bioscience breakthroughs can only help society if they are successfully developed and marketed. This concentration emphasizes the business acumen and managerial skills necessary to achieve the successful entrepreneurship of technical innovation.
- Clinical & Regulatory Affairs: The marketplace for new medicines and medical devices is increasingly global, so manufacturers must not only meet FDA standards, but also those of government agencies around the world. This concentration illuminates all aspects of the regulatory process, including clinical and non-clinical trials.
- Medical Devices & Diagnostics: New technologies are generating treatments that were unimaginable just a few years ago, and the demand for new devices and diagnostic tools that are affordable and easy to access will only continue to grow. This interdisciplinary concentration prepares students to seize upon the next medical technological advance-or to create it themselves.
- Pharmaceutical Discovery & Development: The quest for the next wonder drug is a key driver of the industry and one of the biggest magnets for investors. This concentration examines the processes of drug discovery and clinical development from the scientific, business, regulatory and ethical points of view.