Students: OTT a Hidden Gem

Like many of my fellow student writers, I essentially stumbled into my job with Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT). After spending the summer of 2015 working for Emory Medicine Magazine, I was eager to continue to improve my writing skills through a part time job with the University. Mary Loftus, my editor at Emory Medicine Magazine, suggested that I apply to work with OTT. I was subsequently luck enough to be hired by OTT, despite my lack of knowledge regarding the profession of technology transfer and the offices role at Emory. But, boy did I learn fast.

Emory OTT is a hidden gem in Emory’s crown. When people think of this University they have all heard of its prestige in the field of medicine, particularly its role in combatting infectious diseases like the Zika virus and HIV. However, what people are less aware of is that Emory OTT was and continues to be a primary driver in finding opportunities for early innovation that can lead to the therapies and medications that are responsible for treating millions of patients worldwide.

Writing for OTT has given me a front row seat to the process of evaluating, patenting, and commercializing the many inventions created by Emory Researchers. I have had the pleasure of interviewing internationally recognized scientists and doctors, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields. These individuals are so passionate about their work and pride themselves on pushing the boundaries of what is possible in medicine and in other scientific fields. They see the world for what it could be and not what it is.

Emory OTT has allowed me to not only expand my knowledge on a range of fascinating scientific fields, but also taught me more about the innovative process itself. When a product reaches the market, people are often unaware of the lengthy process that the product had to undergo to get there. It takes grit, determination, faith, hard work, and often luck for the inventors, the OTT family, and the licensee to see a finished product on the market. However, time and again I have watched them pursue this goal in hopes of bettering the world. The spirit of innovation is certainly alive at Emory University and I know that OTT will continue to foster, support, and galvanize this spirit for years to come.

–  Aspen Ono