Department of Physiology

PSL4050H Collaboration and Commercialization in Physiology

Course Coordinator:  D. Belsham


This course will focus on the mechanisms currently utilized to bring discoveries to the marketplace. Specifically, the course will provide practical examples on how to expand a research program from an individual investigator working alone to setting up strategic collaborations. Potential collaborative partnerships include academics, biotech companies, and government agencies. Students will understand the importance of a cooperative work environment and how to nurture these partnerships. The course will provide examples of how to recognize the key characteristics of new basic science findings that are relevant to human health and outline how to engage in further development of these findings. It will take students through the basics of how to develop a business plan, utilizing the expertise of faculty who have been successful in taking their research to market. And it will require students to think “outside the box” and generate novel strategies to take their own ideas derived from new knowledge to propose a product that will fit a Canadian economic target.

The course will be composed of 12 two-hour classes.

Class 1 – Course introduction on collaborative research (D. Belsham)

Class 2 – Collaborative research opportunities with active learning component (D. Belsham)

Class 3 – Building a novel idea from the bench to disclose to the university (D. Lovejoy)

Class 4 – Designing a business plan (D. Lovejoy)

Class 5 – University partnerships and regulatory issues (J. Fraser)

Class 6 - The structure of the pharmaceutical industry (A. McGahan)

Class 7 - Finding a better way (A. McGahan)

Class 8 – Starting a business with class presentations (A. McGahan/D. Belsham)

Class 9 – Novel ideas to starting your company (S. Bolz)

Class 10 – Global outreach and collaborating with global partners (S. Bolz)

Class 11 – Diversifying your career paths (K. Deusch)

Class 12 – Roundtable discussion with successful entrepreneurs (4-5 CSOs)


Collaboration initiation (10%)
- the students will be asked to approach a professor about a potential collaboration, discussing terms and agreement for sharing of data and credit

Finding a better way class presentation (20%)
- the students will be asked to present their grand idea to the class and get feedback from their peers

Business plan (30%)
- the students will be required to write a business plan based on their grand idea ready to present to the university and/or outside clients

Business plan reviews (10%)
- the students will be asked to evaluate the business plan of their peers, providing helpful comments and feedback

Class participation (20%)
- students will be expected to participate fully in class discussions and ask questions about the subjects being discussed

Roundtable questions (10%)
- student groups will be asked to come up with a set of 3 questions for the panel of successful entrepreneurs that will be selected at the final roundtable discussion by a moderator

Last updated: 27-Mar-2018