Dr. Wei Ouyang: From Research Fellow to Manny Genn Prize Winner
Dr. Wei Ouyang, senior contracts and licensing associate for the offices of biotechnology and of business development (OBBD), had been looking forward to attending this year’s annual meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). The four-day conference would allow him to meet representatives from every major research university in the United States, as well as other institutions around the world, including from the federal government and private industry.
As this year’s winner of the annual Manny Genn Prize, he was all set to head to San Diego where he had made plans to meet fellow professionals in his field. Three days before his departure, though, COVID-19 struck and the AUTM conference was cancelled.
So, Wei has had to put his plans on hold until another opportunity comes along.
Following a Plan
Wei came to Einstein as a postdoctoral fellow. While working in the lab he took part in OBBD’s Technology Transfer Intern Program, also known as the T2IP, which offered an opportunity to senior graduate students and postdocs who wished to explore an alternative career path where their scientific training remains relevant and useful. This internship experience proved mutually beneficial to both Wei and OBBD, so much so that OBBD recruited Wei for a second term as a senior intern and Wei sought to work in the office full time after completing his internship.
At the time, however, there were no openings at OBBD, so he took a job 1,500 miles away, in South Dakota. “I went to South Dakota for exactly six months,” he said, laughing. “I came back to Einstein the minute I heard there was an opening.”
Now, instead of working at the bench, he works behind the scenes in OBBD to help Einstein researchers thrive in their labs, and to protect the fruits of their efforts. He is Einstein’s research negotiator, drafting and negotiating research and licensing agreements with budgets ranging from thousands to millions of dollars with organizations that wish to partner with the College of Medicine.
Wei had applied for the Manny Genn Prize to support his professional growth through special training and conference attendance. The Genn Prize was going to support his attendance at both the AUTM conference and a full-day professional training course that together would allow him to earn 10 credits toward a Registered Technology Transfer Professional credential, a well-respected professional credential in the field of technology transfer.
Advancing His Knowledge and His Network
“A big part of my job is making connections,” said Wei. “Personal connections always help, and attending a conference like the AUTM is a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with organizations that Einstein may partner with in the future. I was excited to expand my network of contacts.”
Being able to attend a professional conference like the AUTM conference or taking courses that expand one’s career prospects is exactly what Emanuel “Manny” Genn had in mind when he set the grant up.
The associate dean emeritus for administration and finance, who retired in 2008 after 36 years at Einstein, teamed with his wife Myra to establish the award. Its aim is to support professional development, and it is presented annually to a member of the Einstein administrative staff.
“Manny and his wife are very generous and we’re grateful for their establishment of the prize,” said Yvonne Ramirez, vice president of human resources. “I think the idea that this grant supports someone’s development, and does so in a way that improves the College of Medicine as well, makes it a gift that keeps on giving. It’s important to the growth of our professionals and enhances our ability to recognize the great work that our staff does.”
Applications for the 2020 Manny Genn Prize are now open. Submissions must be made no later than Thursday, October 15, 2020. To apply, simply complete this form!
Posted on: Thursday, September 17, 2020