Erik Lium, PhD, an expert in academic-industry partnerships and commercializing early-stage scientific discoveries, has joined the Mount Sinai Health System as Vice President and Executive Director of Mount Sinai Innovation Partners (MSIP). In this role, Dr. Lium leads MSIP’s efforts to foster collaborative partnerships with pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic, and information technology companies, and to commercialize Mount Sinai discoveries.
MSIP, a division of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is among the top five percent of commercialization offices nationwide, according to Scott L. Friedman, MD, Irene and Dr. Arthur M. Fishberg Professor of Medicine and Dean for Therapeutic Discovery at the Icahn School of Medicine. Dr. Friedman says Dr. Lium’s arrival reflects Mount Sinai’s continuing efforts to assemble a world-class team to support innovation.
“Erik will be a leader in this ecosystem we have created to stimulate new ideas and to help translate innovation into commercial reality,” says Dr. Friedman. “He comes with an exceptional skill set for what is required for an academic institution to commercialize its discoveries.”
Prior to Mount Sinai, Dr. Lium, a two-time National Science Foundation grant recipient, served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Technology and Alliances at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he led an office recognized globally for excellence in academic-industry partnerships and licensing.
“We have a tremendous opportunity at Mount Sinai to accelerate the commercialization of new discoveries into products and services that have a positive impact on health, and to leverage the entire Mount Sinai Health System in this endeavor,” Dr. Lium says.
Most recently, Mount Sinai licensed an influenza vaccine technology, a potential cancer therapeutic, and ketamine for treatment-resistant depression.
To bolster Mount Sinai’s success, Dr. Lium, in collaboration with other key members of the Mount Sinai community, is building a robust infrastructure to support faculty scientists, clinicians, fellows, and students through training, mentorship, and targeted funding focused at the intersection of technological innovation and commercialization. In addition, MSIP is examining new technologies to increase transparency by enabling researchers to easily track the status of their technology and contracts.
During his tenure at UCSF, Dr. Lium served as the UCSF principal investigator for the National Science Foundation Bay Area Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Node, and served as the executive sponsor for a groundbreaking educational course on commercializing life science and health care discoveries.