Center for Research Innovation Announces New Commercialization Specialists 

Nov 30, 2023 | CRI, Entrepreneurship, Innovation

The Center for Research Innovation (CRI) at Northeastern University proudly heralds the appointment of five new Commercialization Specialists, a move that significantly elevates its pioneering research programs. This strategic augmentation reflects the CRI’s resolute aim to meld academic research with its actionable, commercial potential. 

Central to the CRI’s ethos, the role of the Commercialization Specialist is indispensable. Entrusted with the essential task of transforming Northeastern’s leading-edge research into palpable, societal contributions, these experts are key to ensuring the transition of scholarly innovation from the theoretical to the utilitarian, molding university discoveries into enhancements that touch upon our daily existence, professional spheres, and the ecological landscape. 

Mark Saulich, Associate Director – Commercialization at the CRI, emphasizes the vital role of these specialists. “Commercialization Specialists play a critical role in the CRI’s efforts to commercialize Northeastern research. Leveraging their domain expertise, they provide a deeper level of technical understanding to help identify, assess, and advance promising technologies forward from the lab to market,” says Saulich. He adds, “We are thrilled to continue to grow this program and benefit from their positive impact. We are equally excited to provide our Specialists with a unique opportunity to gain experience and grow their knowledge and skill sets across the areas of intellectual property and commercialization.” 

Among the new appointees, Jane Lee, a Ph.D. candidate in Bioengineering, brings her expertise in molecular, chemical, protein, cell, and tissue analysis to the forefront, focusing on metabolic disease, neurological disease, and metastatic cancer.

In the realm of physical sciences, Wesley Roberts, a Ph.D. candidate in Physics, delves into the stability properties of quantum materials and energy transport in magnetic materials, contributing his knowledge in condensed matter theory to the team. This is complemented by the computer science expertise of John Wilkins, a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science, and Owen Howell, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who focuses on machine learning, autonomy, and computer vision. 

This initiative provides doctoral candidates with an unparalleled avenue to extend their scholarly prowess into versatile, market-oriented environments. Jared Auclair, the Associate Dean of Professional Programs and Graduate Affairs at the College of Science, extols “the initiative’s critical role in endowing these scholars with the acumen for managing intellectual property, a skill set invaluable across a spectrum of professional endeavors.” 

The induction of these specialists reaffirms Northeastern’s allegiance to the confluence of scholarly ingenuity and its tangible application. Each new member of the team brings a rich array of knowledge and a distinctive outlook, thereby enriching the program’s diversity and augmenting its overall efficacy. Their engagement is expected to catalyze the advancement of novel technologies and methodologies, reinforcing Northeastern’s reputation as a hub of groundbreaking research and technological progression. 

As the CRI ventures further into the frontiers of knowledge transfer and innovation, these Commercialization Specialists are at the vanguard, encapsulating the inventive and anticipatory spirit that is emblematic of Northeastern University. They are set to forge significant pathways in the commercialization of research. 

To learn more about our Commercialization Specialist program visit