The Coulter Translational Program


Teams who are interested in commercializing their medical technology may consider applying to the Coulter Translational Program (CTP). The CTP identifies early state patient impacting technology to help advance healthcare through commercialization. “What we do is carry out the legacy of Wallace H. Coulter by really impacting patient care through commercialization.” Shawna Khouri, managing director of the CTP, said.

Once teams are accepted into the program, the CTP works closely with research teams at each step of the process. First, the program conducts extensive upfront research before deciding to put money into a project. Once a project has been established, the team acts as the interim business management on said program. This is where the translation between research to business occurs.

The aim is to take innovative technologies from university research labs and develop methods for commercialization and clinical practice. CTP funds are available for any technology where Tech or Emory owns a part of the intellectual property. The annual budget of $1.2 million for all projects.

The CTP does more than just funding and providing an operational roadmap. Recently, the CTP initiated a monthly series of seminars discussing a variety of entrepreneurial topics.

“One of the things I considered when coming up with the topics was to identify the gaps in the teams that were coming to us that were preventing them to succeed,”

Shawna Kouri

The seminars aim to better inform those who want their technology to reach the commercialization. Speakers are a mix of the CTP team members and experts in the topic.

The seminars are also chances to understand obstacles the teams may encounter in their process of commercialization. Example topics include how venture capitalists think when seeing a new pitch for a business, and learning the basics of intellectual property. Other seminar topics include figuring out whether a product would be better suited in a partnership with an existing company versus a stand alone startup and getting an idea about the functionalities of different components of a company.

The program is geared towards anyone who is thinking about commercializing their product or what their translational strategy might be. Khouri and her team’s goal is to help these technology innovators gain awareness of these types of opportunities in order to have a better chance of successfully commercialization.

Khouri offers advice for those students who are interested in developing medical technology. She highlights the importance of developing strong mentors.

“Find really fantastic mentors with established track records of raising funds and selling companies and having them really invested in your personal success,” Khouri said, “It is important to have investors, so having someone with experience is key for a successful product.”

Shawna Khouri

“We take pride and ownership into helping these tech fundable startup with professional management,” Kouri stated. Through the core principles that CTP holds along with its new monthly seminars, the process of translation of new technology to commercializing is streamlined for future innovators.