New OMRF vice president focuses on bringing discoveries to the world

Manu Nair wants to build something.

As the new vice president of Technology Ventures, Nair returns to OMRF after 5 years as a licensing manager at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

In his native India, he began as a family and divorce attorney. Business was steady, but watching the constant dissolution of families began to wear on him, he said. So he moved to the U.S., pursued a business degree and followed that with an advanced degree in intellectual property law, where he audited a technology commercialization course.

“I thought, ‘This is where I want to be,’” he said. “I want to help develop an idea, a discovery, a new technology and help bring it to the people who need it.”

When he first joined OMRF in 2004, he had little scientific background, but came with an insatiable appetite for learning. As head of Technology Ventures, he plans to match researchers with industry partners to turn OMRF discoveries into new tests and therapies to treat human disease.

“The quality of research here is extremely high,” he said. “Our scientists are consistently making breakthroughs in understanding autoimmune diseases, cancer, heart disease and other vital areas. I want to help bring those discoveries to the world and find new funding sources to make sure our researchers have the resources they need to continue their important work.”

Currently, a compound discovered at OMRF is in Phase 1 clinical trials to treat a deadly type of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme.