Rama S. Madhurapantula, research assistant professor in the Department of Biology, was recently elected president of CHIentist, a grassroots, non-profit organization aimed at creating platforms to enable collaborations between healthcare and life scientists from the industry and academia in the Chicago area. Madhurapantula was voted into the board of directors of CHIentist in October 2017. He led the efforts for a panel discussion titled “Idea – Patent – Product” and moderated a discussion on how tech transfer offices at universities are important for commercialization of inventions that come out of academic research labs. The event was co-sponsored by the Office of Technology Development at Illinois Tech and hosted at Tech Park Atrium in May 2018. He also co-chaired fundraising between then and September 2018, and was elected president for the 2018-19 session.
CHIentist hosts a variety of events in Chicago. With the mission of creating platforms for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and early-career and tenure-track academics to interact and form collaborations with industry scientists, recruiters and professionals, CHIentist yearns to improve the process and experience of career development for academic researchers. Some events include panel discussions, networking socials, and addresses from esteemed scientists and entrepreneurs in the fields of technology transfer, research, business development, and investment preparation. These events generally draw a pool of industry professionals (40%) and academic scientist (60%). Since 2014, CHIentist has hosted 15 events in Chicago, drawing in more than 600 attendees representing 115 companies and eight universities.
Madhurapantula will work with the board of directors at CHIentist over the next year to conduct more events that are of interest to graduate students, post docs, scientists, and up and coming and enthusiastic entrepreneurs. In the coming weeks, CHIentist will host its signature Connections Matter event at MATTER in the Merchandise Mart. This year, the event is themed around the latest developments and state-of-the-art advances in data-driven precision medicine. Learn more about this event and CHIentist.