Convergence of IP, Tech Transfer, and Translation, for Medical Robotics Research

April 3, 2019 : 8:30 AM - Noon

Venue: Room 1118, Marcus Nanotechnology Building, 345 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

The workshop on "Convergence of IP, Tech Transfer, and Translation, for Medical Robotics Research", is a half-day workshop at the International Symposium on Medical Robotics (2019 ISMR). It will be held in Room 1118, Marcus Nanotechnology Building from 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM.

The objective of this workshop is to explore models used by labs researching medical robotics and other fields of biomedical engineering, in bringing their research to market. The workshop will explore patenting, commercialization procedures and hurdles faced, particularly in making biomedical devices and medical robotics accessible to hospitals across the world.

List of Presentations (Slides for selected speakers attached):

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Matt Harrow and Akhavannik, Hussein, Medical Robotics Patent Landscape and Patenting Strategies. (Slides)

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM: Jim Markwith, Embedded Software in Robots: Mitigating Legal Risks During Development and Commercialization (Slides)

(For more information please see, or email Jim at

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Mark S. Coburn, Overview of Technology Licensing at Georgia Tech: Focus on Medical Robotics. (Slides)

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Break and Networking

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM: Claire Hartigan, Journey of the Indego Exoskeleton From Clinical trials to FDA Approval. (Slides) (Link about GTRC Startup)

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Dr. Scott Hollister, Translating Devices Direct from Academics to Patient

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Dr. Cierra Crowder, Aligning Resources for Translational & Commercial success

List of Speakers (In Alphabetical Order):

Hussein Akhavannik

Co-leader - Life Sciences, BakerHostetler

Hussein Akhavannik, co-leader of BakerHostetler’s Life Sciences team, merges his engineering background with insight as a technologist to strengthen his patent prosecution and portfolio management practice. He prosecutes patent application in technologies related to the electrical, computer, medical and mechanical arts are wide-ranging. From robots and video surveillance, to anti-coagulants and vascular placement devices, Hussein’s diverse work reflects his broad knowledge. It also facilitates a comprehensive approach with clients. His services include optimizing patent portfolios for sale, identifying patents in various high-tech sectors, performing freedom-to-operate studies and serving as an international portfolio manager.

Dr. Cierra Crowder

DPT, MBA, Associate Director, Coulter Translational Program

Cierra Crowder, DPT MBA, holds a Master’s of Business Administration and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Emory University. She is currently the Associate Director for the Emory/Georgia Tech Coulter Translational Fund, a resource which provides funding, business and operational expertise to faculty members looking to commercialize their medical technologies. In her current role, Cierra leads both the diligence process that influences funding decisions and the active project management of technologies that are selected for funding. During her 2-year tenure with the Coulter Fund, Cierra has demonstrated expertise in strategy and product development for early stage medical technologies resulting in the evaluation of 78 technologies, the creation of 4 start-ups, and the establishment of a co-development partnership with industry for a medical device. She has extensive experience in technology evaluation, market analysis, and developing business plans.
On a national level, Cierra provides coaching to R01 and SBIR recipients though the NIH C3i Commercialization program. She has personally mentored 8+ R01 and SBIR recipients in business and product development strategies for their medical technologies. Cierra’s personal mission is to assist in getting innovative technologies into the hands of the patients and clinicians who need them and enjoys working with project teams to help fulfill this goal.

Mark S. Coburn

Senior Associate Director, Technology Licensing,

Office of Industry Engagement, Georgia Tech Research Corporation

Mark Coburn is the senior associate director of Technology Licensing at the Office of Industry Engagement at the Georgia Tech Research Corporation, with expertise in licensing, research administration, startups, and business development. He manages a large portfolio of inventions and acts as a mentor for intellectual property evaluation, patenting, and licensing. He has a multitude of experiences in technology transfer at four public and private R1-level research institutions during his career before joining Georgia Tech in 2018.
Mark has a degree in zoology from Miami University and an M.S. in technology management from Pepperdine University.

Matt Harrow

Manager, Intellectual Property - Robotics, Stryker

Matt Harrow is an Intellectual Property Manager for Stryker responsible for managing the patent portfolio and product evaluations of the Robotics business. Starting as a research engineer, he has over 25 years of medical research, design, and development experience before transitioning into intellectual property. Education includes a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Clare Hartigan, PT, MPT

Eula C. and Andrew C. Carlos MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Program

Shepherd Center, Atlanta GA

Clare Hartigan has thirty years of clinical experience with emphasis on locomotor training for persons with neurological injury and/or disease. Since 1991, she has been employed at Shepherd Center and served multiple roles as clinician, program manager and research scientist. In 2010, Clare assumed a part time role in Shepherd Center Virginia C. Crawford Research Institute. Beginning in 2012 and through September 2018, she was Program Manager for Research and Clinical Integration for Lower Extremity Robotics.
Clare has co-authored several publications on Indego® research and presented at multiple national and international conferences on the topics of lower extremity exoskeletons and locomotor training. In October 2018, she returned to the clinic as a full- time physical therapist in Shepherd Center’s Carlos Multiple Sclerosis and Wellness Program.

Dr. Scott Hollister

Professor and Patsy and Alan Dorris Chair in Pediatric Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Hollister is the Patsy and Alan Dorris Chair in Pediatric Technology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He directs the Center for 3D Medical Fabrication as well as the Tissue Engineering and Mechanics Laboratory at Georgia Tech. Dr. Hollister’s research focuses on the computational design, 3D printing fabrication and characterization of biomaterial devices and scaffolds for tissue reconstruction.
He was co-inventor of an airway splint in both resorbable and permanent versions that to date has been implanted and saved the lives of 20 children with Tracheobronchomalacia. This work has been featured in a number of mainstream media outlets including The Today Show, NPR, CNN, the New Yorker, the Doctors Show, CBS Morning News and USA Today. He was awarded the 2013 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Innovation award for the airway splint together with Dr. Glenn.

Jim Markwith, Esq.

Founder and Managing Partner, Markwith Law PS

Jim Markwith is the Founder and Managing Partner of Markwith Law, a technology law firm with offices in Seattle and Washington, DC. His clients range from start-ups to some of the largest technology leaders. His practice focuses on Healthcare IT, technology, data, and intellectual property agreements, Open Source software use and compliance, and M&A due diligence.
Prior to private practice Jim served as Senior Vice President and Chief IP Counsel for Allscripts Healthcare, Senior Counsel for Microsoft and GE Healthcare IT, and Corporate Counsel, World-wide Products and Marketing for Adobe Systems. Jim began his legal career as a technology attorney and litigator in Silicon Valley.
Prior to his legal career Jim was a U.S. Navy Pilot, and was appointed an Instructor of Economics at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis MD. Jim is a member of the California, Washington, DC, and Washington State Bar Associations. Jim holds a JD from the Santa Clara University School of Law, a M.B.A. from the Sorrell School of Business, and a B.S. in Finance from the California State University at Long Beach.
For more information please see, or email Jim at

Scan this code to register for the workshop!