Linking Ideas to Impact

The Office of Licensing & Ventures (OLV) is the licensing and new venture creation arm of Duke University and the Duke University Medical Center. It's where Duke innovations meet industrial, entrepreneurial, legal and investment markets to create the partnerships necessary to create value and benefit society.

Featured Technology:

Medical Imaging Simulation using Computational Phantoms

Using state-of-the-art computational modeling techniques, Paul Segars, PhD, developed a series of computerized phantoms that realistically model the human anatomy and cardiac and respiratory motions for medical imaging research. These phantoms, which include both genders, and varying ages, heights, and weights from infancy to adulthood, can serve as a population with which to perform virtual clinical trials in medical imaging. The phantoms are used in our research and by researchers around the world to quantitatively evaluate and improve imaging devices and techniques, optimizing them to produce diagnostic quality images at the lowest possible dose to the patient.
Learn more.

Featured Technology:

Genome Engineering in Skeletal Muscle

The Gersbach lab develops new methods to manipulate the genome for a wide variety of applications. Recent breakthroughs published in Molecular Therapy, PNAS, and Nature Methods that have been highlighted in news outlets from Science to The New York Times underscore the importance of Gersbach's accomplishments in advancing the potential for gene therapy to treat disease. Using methods including viral delivery, gene repair, and gene regulation, the Gersbach lab has successfully advanced innovative technologies like TALE- and CRISPR/Cas9-based nucleases and transcription factors to reprogram the human genome at will. The results bring the possibility of clinically useful therapies for disabling and fatal diseases like Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy, and enable other areas such as ag/bio applications. Learn more.

Featured Technology:

Radiation Dosage Measurement System using Nano Scintillators

Dr. Therien synthesizes compounds, nanoscale structures, and materials with unusual ground- and excited- state characteristics. A subset of these compositions form the basis of nanoscale detectors with a wide variety of applications including in radiation detection, in vivo imaging, and high sensitivity in vitro diagnostics. His most recent invention involving nanoscale structures for radiation detection has applications in clinical, commercial, and military dosimetry and is currently funded to perform first-in-human studies with a grant from the Coulter Translational Research Partnership and project leadership from the Duke Translational Research Institute. Dr. Therien's technology is available for licensing and is currently raising capital. Learn more.

Featured Technology:

Ophthalmic Drug Delivery Device and Methods of Use

Dr. Molly Walsh and Duke Ophthalmology's device advances to first-in-human pilot study to deliver drugs to the front of the eye. By temporarily occluding venous outflow, the device allows retrograde injection through the episcleral veins. Dr. Walsh, an ophthalmologist has developed a novel low-cost disposable device that allows physicians to easily deliver medications to the front of the eye. The device has the potential to depot drugs in the front of the eye for long-term reduction of intraocular pressure. This innovation, funded by Duke's Coulter Translational Research Partnership grant, has the potential to dramatically improve patient compliance and outcome with existing and novel therapeutics in glaucoma. Learn more.

Featured Technology:

Complement Factor H as a Diagnostic and Therapeutic Target in Cancer

The Patz lab is focused on studying the native immune response to defend against cancer. In elucidating the host response features in patients diagnosed with early stage cancer who have exhibited excellent outcomes, the lab has discovered and is currently developing a human antibody against specific complement regulatory protein (CRP) into a cancer therapeutic. CRPs are essential to protect solid tumors of many types from attack by the complement system and overexpression is associated with decreased survival. The lead candidate antibody binds to a tumor associated epitope within a very specific and crucial functional domain and these antibodies have no known off-target side effects in patients. This represents a unique approach to developing a human antibody to kill solid tumors.Learn more.

Featured Technology:

Pharmacological inhibition of neurotrophin receptor, TrkB

Dr. McNamara's laboratory is developing new compounds aimed at understanding and preventing epilepsy. Work in this lab is focused on understanding the mechanisms of epileptogenesis- the process by which a normal brain becomes epileptic- in molecular terms in order to design novel targets for pharmacologic interventions for prevention of epilepsy. They hypothesize that excessive activation of the neurotrophin receptor, TrkB, in the mature brain is required for epileptogenesis. Understanding where, when, and how elimination of TrkB prevents epileptogenesis is guiding efforts aimed at exploiting TrkB as a molecular target for anti-epileptogenic therapies.Learn more.

Featured Technology:

Poliovirus for Oncolytic Immunotherapy of Cancer

Our world class researchers and clinicians in the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, in concert with the NCI, are on the verge of a major breakthrough in tumor immunology and vaccine development for solid tumors of many types. A recombinant, modified, safe vaccine platform, based on poliovirology is presently being tested in Phase I studies in glioblastoma with promising patient results. A new company, ISTARI Oncology, Inc., has been formed to advance this technology through clinical development and FDA registration and is currently seeking investors and pharma partners. learn more


How to Find Us

Duke Start-Ups

Internship Opportunities

Are you interested in how new inventions become products and new companies? Get real-world experience as an Intern at Duke's Office of Licensing & Ventures. The position includes performing computer and journal searches to determine how Duke inventions compare to work at other schools/companies, writing reports based on your findings, and working with OLV staff to find potential licensing partners. There may also be some administrative copy/file tasks as needed. The position requires a minimum of 10 hours per week and a maximum of 19 hours per week. We are looking for candidates with excellent writing and computer search skills. Science/chemistry background is a plus. Only enrolled undergrad or graduate students may apply.

If you are interested in applying, please contact Kathy Beckett at 919-681-7578 or email your resume to

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