Prof Wilbur Lam Named Emory University’s First Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship
Emory University
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The first vice provost for entrepreneurship at Emory University is Wilbur Lam, a professor and holder of the W. Paul Bowers Research Chair in the departments of pediatrics and biomedical engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. Provost and executive vice president for academic affairs Ravi V. Bellamkonda made the announcement of the appointment, which took effect this month.

In this new, part-time position, Lam will support Emory students in creating a thriving startup culture by expanding programming and providing mentorship for students who are eager to turn their ideas into viable goods and services through The Hatchery and other units.

Being a seasoned businessman, Lam will collaborate with Emory administrators, departments, and schools to establish more clearly defined, cohesive pathways for staff and student entrepreneurship. Furthermore, he will broaden the scope of Emory Innovations Inc.’s operations, which is a holding company for a chosen portfolio of businesses and initiatives meant to help academics advance their carefully screened discoveries and innovations to a point where they are ready for the market.

“Supporting innovation and entrepreneurship is a priority for President Gregory L. Fenves and Emory’s leadership team across the enterprise,” says Bellamkonda. “As vice provost for entrepreneurship, Wilbur will help elevate Emory as a leader in this arena, working with our deans and other leaders to nurture an environment where transformative ideas thrive and entrepreneurial pursuits flourish.

“By building synergies across the university to create a more intentional pipeline for delivering innovations to society, I am confident that we will empower many more students and faculty to effectively pursue their entrepreneurial ideas.”

Bellamkonda pointed out that Emory’s objective of producing and implementing knowledge in the service of mankind is closely linked to entrepreneurship, and the new position builds on the university’s solid reputation as a breeding ground for ideas and technologies that have the potential to change the world.
For instance, Emory researchers developed the ground-breaking antiviral medication molnupiravir for COVID-19, and via Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), one of the accelerator programs that makes up Emory Innovations Inc., the drug was progressed for use in patients. In terms of public-sector research institutes, the Journal of Technology Transfer recently placed Emory third in the world for the creation of FDA-approved medications and vaccines. Additionally, Emory researchers annually produce new discoveries in a variety of sectors.

Working closely with Bellamkonda, Ravi Thadhani, and Christopher Augostini, the executive vice presidents for business and administration and health affairs, and the executive vice president for health affairs, EII governing board members, Lam’s priorities will include broadening the organization’s focus beyond drug development to become a unique source of translational support for promising Emory inventions.

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