OTRADI fills the gap between research and commercialization by providing resources and expertise found nowhere else in Oregon. OTRADI operates Oregon’s only nonprofit collaborative bioscience discovery laboratory, as well as the state’s first and only bioscience-specific incubator.
The Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) was initiated in 2007 with a mission to translate scientific research developed in the state of Oregon’s research laboratories into commercial ventures. The word “translational” refers to this task: transforming research into industry.
One of OTRADI’s founding scientists, Executive Director Jennifer E. Fox (PhD), helped to define OTRADI’s scientific mission and establish its high-throughput screening laboratory.
Within a year of joining the organization as a scientist, Dr. Fox became OTRADI’s assistant director, giving her invaluable business and economic development experience. During her tenure as assistant director, Dr. Fox managed OTRADI’s scientific projects and finances and worked with researchers and companies to write grants and develop new projects geared toward commercialization.
As Executive Director (2012) Dr. Fox manages and oversees all OTRADI and OTRADI Bioscience Incubator (OBI) operations. She is instrumental in helping OTRADI secure and maintain funding and has spearheaded the effort to open the state’s first and only bioscience incubator (OBI). The OBI was filled with client companies within six weeks of opening.
In 2015 Dr. Fox was instrumental in obtaining funding and new client companies to expand the OBI to its current 16,800 square feet of space which houses 14 bioscience ventures.
Dr. Fox is trained in molecular and cellular biology and has more than 20 years of laboratory research experience at such universities as University of Oregon, Northwestern University, Tulane University, University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill and University of Georgia.
Dr. Fox gives lectures at national and international scientific meetings and is active on the following boards and committees: Oregon Bioscience Association Board of Directors; Government Affairs and Advocacy Committee; and Portland Community College’s Bioscience Tech Advisory Board.
Ms. Ellis joined the OBI in the Fall of 2017 and has excelled at implementing our entrepreneurial programs, including OBI’s monthly Lunch and Learn events, Accelerate Bio and Digital Health monthly happy hours, SBIR grant writing workshops, startup company outreach and promoting partner events across the State’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In her role as OBI Assistant Director, Heather spearheads OBI’s newest initiatives, develops entrepreneurial programs, grows OBI’s partnerships and collaborations, participates on the Portland Innovation Quadrant’s startup resources work group, acts as OBI’s digital and marketing presence, as well as develops programs, workshops and events designed to grow Oregon’s startup bioscience and digital health ecosystem.
Ms. Ellis graduated from Portland State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree with minors in Business and Communications.
Ms. Thompson is an administrator with years of experience providing associations and businesses with managerial support. Before joining OTRADI, Thompson was an executive assistant at a number of large organizations, including Newsweek magazine and the City Club of San Francisco.