Medicine by Design is pleased to announce their first early-stage entrepreneur-in-residence, Andrew Haller, who will work to bridge the gap between foundational research funded by Medicine by Design and the creation of products or ventures that will shape the future of human health.
“The research Medicine by Design funds is cutting-edge,” says Haller. “My focus is on how we can turn this ground-breaking research into real-world impact. My goal as entrepreneur-in-residence is to help researchers launch companies and inspire the next generation of scientist entrepreneurs.”
As the early-stage entrepreneur-in-residence, Haller will provide Medicine by Design research teams at the University of Toronto (U of T) and its affiliated hospitals with critical business planning, entrepreneurial advice, product development expertise and connection to the venture community to enable product or venture creation. He will especially focus on teams funded through the Pivotal Experiment Fund, which is Medicine by Design’s funding program intended to advance translation of Medicine by Design’s team projects portfolio.
Haller joins Medicine by Design with recent experience at TOHealth! and Clinical Trials Ontario. Both positions allowed him to build an extensive network in the start-up and clinical research worlds. Haller says he plans to use this experience to help accelerate Medicine by Design’s discoveries to new therapies, products and scalable companies. He will also work with the University of Toronto’s Innovations & Partnerships Office, as well as the commercialization and partnership offices at U of T’s affiliated hospitals.
Haller currently consults for biotechnology, regenerative medicine and digital health companies, focusing on business development strategy. He is the first of a cadre of entrepreneurs-in-residence that Medicine by Design, in partnership with other groups like CCRM, will build over the coming two years.
Haller has a PhD in molecular pharmacology from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, which he followed with a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center at the University Health Network studying cancer stem cells, oxygen in tissues and metabolism.
“It was during my post-doc that I first became involved in entrepreneurship and company creation. The process of starting up my ventures provided the connection to land my first role outside of academia,” says Haller. “I’ve continued to walk the entrepreneurial path, as well. I’m working on an oncology drug development start-up inspired by my post-doc research.”
Haller’s combined experience in the industry, clinical and scientific worlds will be an invaluable resource for Medicine by Design researchers.
“The early-stage Entrepreneur-in-Residence program was created to assist Medicine by Design researchers as they work to translate their transformative science to patient impact, which is a key strategic goal for Medicine by Design,” says Michael Sefton, executive director of Medicine by Design and a University Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at U of T. “We are excited about Dr. Haller’s mix of skills and experience, his enthusiasm and his impressive network of individuals and companies in the health innovation sector.”
Haller also has an appointment in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, U of T. He guest lectures on topics like bioinnovation and entrepreneurship, and mentors companies through the Health Innovation Hub, an on-campus incubator.
About Medicine by Design
Funded by a $114-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, Medicine by Design brings together more than 150 principal investigators at the University of Toronto and its affiliated hospitals to advance regenerative medicine discoveries and accelerate them toward impact. It builds on decades of made-in-Canada excellence in regenerative medicine dating back to the discovery of stem cells in the early 1960s by Toronto researchers James Till and Dr. Ernest McCulloch.