Ofra Weinberger, PhD, is the Director of Licensing at Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV), and Associate Vice President for Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at Columbia University. Ofra oversees the commercialization of technologies in a varied portfolio comprising both life sciences and physical sciences opportunities and has extensive experience commercializing discoveries that are developed in university labs; negotiating licenses and research collaboration agreements with industry, developing strategic alliances, and spinning out companies to commercialize university technologies. Ofra ‘s approach involves the creation of partnerships among the various stakeholders, including fostering collaborations with industry and negotiating partnerships with investors, facilitating collaborations among investigators, providing educational, technical, and entrepreneurial support to the community of university investigators individually and via research accelerator programs whose mission is the cultivation of promising research projects that have translational and commercial potential. Leading the licensing and startup formation team for Columbia Technology Ventures, she oversees the management of over 400 inventions, 200 patents, approximately 100 licenses to industry, and the formation of approximately 25 new startups per year.
CTV, the technology transfer office of Columbia University, has been operational since 1982 and has returned over $2B in revenue to Columbia, making it one of the most successful university tech transfer programs in the world. CTV’s core objective is to facilitate the transfer of inventions arising out of academic research to outside organizations to assure their development for the benefit of society.
Ofra Weinberger received a PhD in the field of immunology from Harvard University, where she was a National Science Foundation Scholar in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Baruj Benacerraf and subsequently continued her postdoctoral training at Harvard in the Department of Genetics. Prior to joining CTV, Ofra was a member of the faculty at Columbia University in the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics where her research focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying HIV pathogenesis.