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13 April 2018

Flavin heads back to private sector

John Flavin joined University of Chicago in 2013 to head its commercialisation arm and innovation hub Polsky Center, but will now become chief financial officer at Endotronix.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

John Flavin (pictured), associate vice-president of entrepreneurship and innovation at University of Chicago (UChicago), was appointed chief financial officer at medical technology company Endotronix yesterday.

Flavin joined UChicago in 2013, initially to found and serve as executive director of the institution’s startup incubator Chicago Innovation Exchange. The unit was rebranded in 2016 to Polsky Exchange.

The rebranding exercise was part of the university significantly restructuring its operations, merging the Polsky Exchange with tech transfer office, UChicago Tech, and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The centre was named after Michael Polsky, chief executive of energy company Invenergy and an alumnus of UChicago, who made a $35m donation in May 2016, bringing the total of his philanthropic giving to the university to $50m.

During his time with the Polsky Centre, Flavin helped raised more than $135m in philanthropic and corporate funding to support commercialisation activities, technology development and startups.

Flavin will maintain an advisory role on the construction of a new innovation complex to house translational researchers from UChicago as well as University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Argonne National Laboratory, Army Research Laboratory and Fermilab.

He is also a board member of the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition and sits on the Illinois Innovation Council, the ChicagoNEXT technology council and Chicago's Small Business Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining UChicago, Flavin had held president and chief financial officer positions with biopharmaceutical firm Advanced Life Sciences and biotech developer MediChem Life Sciences, being instrumental in both companies’ initial public offerings.

Bala Srinivasan, vice-president for global initiatives and strategy and senior associate provost at UChicago, will head the Polsky Center while the university identifies a suitable candidate to take over.

Flavin said: "I have spent much of my time at University of Chicago fostering innovations that combine data science and healthcare because I truly believe the combination will have the most direct impact on improving outcomes for complex health conditions.

"The Endotronix solution is an excellent example of this and I am thrilled to be joining the team as they enter a new phase."

– Image courtesy of University of Chicago

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