The University of Texas at Austin’s Technology Incubator Names Director to Lead Commercialization in Biosciences Unit

June 28, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), a not-for-profit business-building unit of The University of Texas at Austin, has appointed Dr. Cindy R. WalkerPeach director of the ATI-Bioscience Incubator.

WalkerPeach will be responsible for developing and expanding ATI's commercialization efforts in the life science, diagnostic and therapeutic sectors. She has extensive experience in startup and early stage clinical and biotechnology businesses.

"We are thrilled to have Dr. WalkerPeach join our team," ATI Director Isaac Barchas said. "She complements technical depth with founding-team experience and will provide great support to our companies."

WalkerPeach was most recently director of corporate business development for Asuragen Inc., a molecular diagnostics firm focused on oncology and infectious disease applications. It was formed from the spinoff of the sale of Ambion Inc. to Applied Biosystems Inc. (now Life Technologies).

Her responsibilities included corporate planning and strategic partnering, drug and companion diagnostic assay co-development, non-profit and commercial collaborations, technology licensing and nucleic-acid-based technologies.

She joined Ambion Inc., a life-sciences tools company focused on RNA applications, to start Ambion Diagnostics, a new strategic business unit to focus on clinical applications. Her responsibilities included medical device product development and commercialization for DNA and RNA molecular diagnostics and RNA-based pharmaceutical components, cGMP manufacturing operations and business development.

Before joining Ambion, she headed new assay development as part of the founding team of Cenetron Diagnostics Ltd., a commercial diagnostic reference laboratory specializing in infectious-disease molecular diagnostic testing and clinical trials.

WalkerPeach earned a doctor's degree in chemistry and molecular biology from New Mexico State University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Monsanto Co. Her studies focused on understanding disease pathways, disease progression and disease management strategies. She is an inventor on multiple issued and pending patents on clinical assay development and author of numerous scientific publications.

About the Austin Technology Incubator

The Austin Technology Incubator is a nonprofit unit of The University of Texas at Austin that harnesses business, government and academic resources to provide strategic counsel, operational guidance and infrastructure support to its member companies to help them transition from early stage ventures to successful technology businesses. Since its founding in 1989, ATI has worked with more than 200 companies, helping them raise close to $750 million in investor capital. ATI is a key program of the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. For more information, visit www.ati.utexas.edu.

For more information, contact: Tim Green, Office of the Vice President for Research; Melissa Rabeaux, The Austin Technology Incubator, 512-305-0024.