Nicole C. Robinson, Ph.D. is the Vice President of the Office of Industry Relations and Business Development at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Niki joined Fred Hutch in July of 2015, and previous to that had been the AVP of Commercialization at Cincinnati Children’s. Over the last decade at Cincinnati Children’s, Niki led a team that accelerated the organization’s approach to technology transfer, which has resulted in record growth in disclosures, patents, licenses and revenues, and the launching of several funding programs to accelerate the development of innovations from Cincinnati Children’s. Niki launched the Innovation Fund, a million dollar per year fund that awards funding to several innovative projects each year, has not only invested in significant development work at Cincinnati Children’s, but has also leveraged additional funding through gifts from foundations and industry. The Tomorrow Fund, which is a nearly $20MM dollar seed fund created through grants that Niki secured through Ohio’s Third Frontier, has supported the creation of 10 start-ups, over 300 regional jobs, and demonstrated a greater than 20x leveraged investment from other parties. The Pediatric Medical Device Collaborative with Ben Gurion University in Israel is a funding mechanism aimed at creating pediatric medical devices by connecting Cincinnati Children’s physicians who have identified unmet needs, with BGU research engineers to bring ideas to prototype and beyond.
Niki received her Ph.D. in Cell Physiology from the University of Chicago, where she studied the function of chloride channels in disease. Since receiving her doctorate, Niki has been actively engaged in academic technology transfer and economic development, and before coming to Cincinnati, she was a member of the University of Chicago technology transfer office.
Niki is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), the Licensing Executives Society (LES).