ATI Names Bioscience Director

The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) announced today that Cindy R. WalkerPeach, Ph.D has taken on the role of director for the bioscience segment of the organization. Bioscience is one of four stated focus areas for the ATI, the other three being IT, wireless, and clean energy. Dr. WalkerPeach comes from Asuragen and Ambion, two companies founded by Dr. Matt Winkler, who is himself an incredibly accomplished biosciences entrepreneur.

I’m a fan of tech diversity, and it’s important that we support a thriving life sciences industry in Austin. Ambion was a huge home run, and we hope that Cindy and the ATI team can support and grow the next crop of outstanding companies.

The text of the release is below.

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

With extensive experience in startup and early stage clinical and biotechnology businesses, Dr. WalkerPeach will be responsible for developing and expanding ATI’s commercialization efforts, specifically within the life science, diagnostic and therapeutic sectors. “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.”

Dr. WalkerPeach was most recently director of corporate business development for Asuragen, Inc., a fully integrated molecular diagnostics firm focused on oncology and infectious disease applications, 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 up 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.

Dr. WalkerPeach was awarded the Ph.D in Chemistry and Molecular Biology from New Mexico State University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Monsanto Company, both focusing 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 Bryan Menell

Bryan is the Managing Editor for AustinStartup and the CEO of Mahana. He is a co-founder of Capital Factory, an investor and advisor, and runs the popular Austin Tech Happy Hour with his wife.

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