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Distinguished professor to share entrepreneurial tales

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

LAWRENCE — Experience has been called a great teacher. On April 6, a University of Kansas distinguished professor will share observations on what entrepreneurial experience has taught him.

Cory Berkland, the Solon E. Summerfield Distinguished Professor in the departments of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, will present his inaugural distinguished professor lecture at 5:30 p.m. in the Jayhawk Room of the Kansas Union. His topic is “A Few Early Lessons in Entrepreneurship.” The public is welcome to attend.

Berkland, who joined KU in 2004 and oversees the Therapeutic Particles & Biomaterials Technology Laboratory, co-founded a handful of startups based on his research. His KU lab develops precision engineering technologies at the macro- to molecular scale for novel or improved biomedical and drug delivery devices. He has been granted multiple patents that are licensed to companies he founded, including Orbis Biosciences, Savara Pharmaceuticals, Orion BioScience and Bond Biosciences. 

Orbis Biosciences utilizes a patented technology that Berkland invented to extend the release of drugs. He has worked with Orbis Biosciences as the chief scientific officer since founding the company in 2007. He also formerly held the title of chief technology officer at Savara Pharmaceuticals. Savara has advanced an inhaled aerosol antibiotic drug product, AeroVanc, through Phase 2 clinical trials. At Orion BioScience, Berkland is chairman of the board, and he has helped lead corporate strategy and product candidate selection utilizing technologies invented in his lab. His most recent company, Bond Biosciences, is developing a drug to bind dietary iron and prevent absorption for patients who suffer from a genetic disorder in iron regulation. Berkland has worked at a venture capital firm, Sofinnova Ventures, as an entrepreneur-in-residence and has served on multiple boards in the pharmaceutical industry. He is also a co-developer of several technologies with industrial partners such as ConocoPhillips.

Berkland has published about 150 peer-reviewed papers and has presented his research at many international conferences and to companies, including about 65 invited lectures. He serves on the editorial advisory board for a number of peer-reviewed journals and serves on academic advisory boards such as for KU Innovation & Collaboration and the National Institutes of Health Pharmaceutical Aspects of Biotechnology training grant program at KU.

He received a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Iowa State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

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