Tech Transfer Giant Lita Nelson Joins MUSC Foundation for Research Development Board of Directors
May 7, 2018
CHARLESTON, SC – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Foundation for Research Development (FRD) has elected Lita Nelsen to its board of directors. An international expert in university technology transfer, Nelsen was elected as an at-large member and began her three-year term April 2018.
“I am honored and excited to be part of the MUSC FRD board as it is embarking on an enhanced effort to bring the results of MUSC research to patients through licensing of patents and new software, collaborative research with industry, and formation of new startup companies based on MUSC research results,” she said. “The benefits will extend far beyond MUSC itself, to patients, to companies, and to economic development of the region.”
Having served as director of the Technology Licensing Office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for nearly 30 years, Nelsen brings a wealth of unprecedented technology transfer experience to MUSC. Currently she works as a consultant in licensing, university technology transfer and entrepreneurship in the US, Europe, and Asia.
FRD board chairwoman Arlene Morris said, “It is a pleasure to welcome Lita to the MUSC FRD Board. Her vast experience with innovation, licensing, and consulting will bring a dimension to MUSC that will be helpful as we transition our science to help patients and Health care providers improve therapies.”
Amy Salzhauer, managing partner of Charleston-based Good Growth Capital adds, “I had the good fortune of working with Lita when I was starting companies out of MIT; her leadership was an essential part of the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at MIT for several decades. She is a legend in her field. I am so excited she is bringing her unparalleled expertise and experience to MUSC and to South Carolina.”
Nelsen completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from MIT, as well as earning a master’s degree in management from MIT as a Sloan fellow. Before her position at MIT, she spent 20 years in industry, primarily in the fields of membrane separations, medical devices, and biotechnology.
She is widely published, has lectured in and advised universities in at least 20 countries, and has served on many boards including as president of the Association of University Technology. She was also on the board of Mass Ventures (MTDC) for 20 years, and is currently on the scientific advisory boards of Partners’ Investment Fund and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. The United Kingdom’s government awarded her the honor of “Member of the Order of the British Empire” (MBE) for her work with technology transfer institutions throughout the UK.
“Over the past several years we have recruited some of the best technology transfer, industry, and venture capital talent to the FRD Board. We are grateful to have Ms. Nelsen join us and it exemplifies MUSC’s commitment to the commercialization our technologies, “said Michael Rusnak, MUSC FRD executive director.
About the MUSC Foundation for Research Development
MUSC Foundation for Research Development (FRD) has served as MUSC's technology transfer office since 1998. During that period, FRD has filed patent applications on more than 400 technologies, resulting in over 150 U.S. issued patents. Additionally, FRD has executed more than 150 licenses and spun out more than 50 startup companies. MUSC startups have had products approved by the FDA and acquired by publicly traded corporations while attracting substantial investment dollars into South Carolina. Innovations from MUSC, including medical devices, therapies, and software, are positively impacting health care worldwide. Please visit us online at MUSC FRD.
Founded in 1824, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) continues the tradition of excellence in education, research and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges and has more than 17,000 employees. As the state’s only integrated academic health sciences center and largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $3.2 billion, with an annual economic impact of nearly $4 billion and annual research funding in excess of $284 million.
As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina.