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Commercialization to be focus of new WSU faculty expert

SPOKANE, Wash.—Bringing more life-saving innovations and transformative research from Washington State University to the marketplace is the primary goal of the new Chancellor’s Distinguished Visiting Professor at WSU, Glenn D. Prestwich.


An expert in commercialization of university scholarship and technology, Prestwich will work with WSU faculty, students and administrators on the Pullman and Spokane campuses to develop entrepreneurial projects and economically viable products and services.

“Technology transfer is an important outcome of much of the research occurring at WSU, especially our work in the biomedical arena,” said WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown. “The timing is excellent to make Dr. Prestwich’s knowledge and skills available to our faculty and innovative research teams,” she said.

“His broad experience and leadership as an outstanding faculty researcher and a successful inventor and entrepreneur will strengthen and expand the impact of WSU’s commitment to economic development throughout Washington and the United States,” said Daryll DeWald, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at WSU.

Prestwich will have offices on both the WSU Spokane and Pullman campuses, and one of his first official job duties will be to attend a portion of the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association meeting in Seattle June 19-20.

Prestwich is the presidential professor of medicinal chemistry and the director of the Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars Program at the University of Utah. He has launched more than nine life sciences companies in the past 20 years and his laboratory has been awarded patents on more than 19 inventions that are being used in commercial products.

He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

“I am excited about the vast potential I see at WSU,” Prestwich said. “The number and quality of research faculty and graduate students at the university suggest great potential to generate ideas for commercial products and to see them delivered into the public good.”

Prestwich will work to build new partnerships inside and outside the university and to strengthen existing university collaborations with business and industry. He will provide advice and consulting for WSU faculty, students and staff to advance external applications of their research.

A resident of Orcas Island, Wash., for the past six years, Prestwich feels “privileged to have an opportunity to help my home state grow its own culture of impact based in the WSU system,” he said.

Prestwich’s startups include Echelon Biosciences for lipid signaling reagents in cell biology, Sentrx Animal Care for hydrogels for cutaneous and ocular wound repair in large and small animals, Glycosan for human clinical cell therapy matrices, and GlycoMira for inflammation modulating therapies for periodontal disease and bladder inflammation. He also is a scientific advisor to BioTime, Organonovo, Modern Meadow, University Medical Pharmaceutics, AshaVision, Jade Therapeutics, and American MedChem

He is a 2006 recipient of the Utah Governor’s Medal for Sciences and Technology, and received awards in 2008 and 1998 from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in recognition of his research and biotechnology contributions.

In 2010, Prestwich received the University of Utah’s Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award, and in 2014 he received the university’s Distinguished Innovation and Impact Award. During his 37 years as a faculty member he has published more than 650 technical papers, patents and book chapters and has trained more than 125 postgraduate scientists.

Prestwich holds a doctorate in organic chemistry from Stanford University. He completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University and at the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya. He was a visiting professor in the chemistry department at Harvard University in 1991 and 1992.

Patents from his university research include inventions in the following areas:

  • new compounds for lipid signaling in cell biology and cancer treatment
  • biomaterials for wound repair, cartilage repair, tissue engineering, scar-free healing, and toxicology and xenograft models
  • inflammation modulators for clinical use.


Media contact:

Terren Roloff, WSU Spokane director of communications and public affairs,, 509-358-7527

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