Tech Transfer Central
Industry-Sponsored Research Management

Conflict of Interest in University Research: Strengthen Your Process and Policies

Format: MP3, CD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: July 16, 2009

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As the business of technology transfer continues to evolve, increased attention is being focused on managing conflicts of interest that can arise within university research programs and tech transfer offices. Without effective policies, processes, and faculty education, your institution risks loss of funding, federal investigations, multi-million dollar settlements, and a hit to your reputation that could cost you dearly for years to come.

The stakes are getting higher — and the issues becoming more complex — as large corporate sponsorships become more common and faculty start-ups continue to gain favor with many TTOs.

To help you guard against this threat, Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division has lined up an expert attorney and a veteran TTO exec — Bernadette M. Broccolo of McDermott Will & Emery, LLP, and Anne C. Di Sante, Director of Technology Transfer at Wayne State University — to bring you detailed legal advice as well as practical, how-to guidance on tackling the thicket of thorny COI issues you must address.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this nuts-and-bolts session:

  • Best practices in COI policies and procedures
  • Strategies for faculty COI orientation and ongoing education
  • Critical red flags that should spur a COI review
  • Defining individual, institutional, and imputed institutional interests
  • Regulatory compliance tips
  • Drawing lines between sponsored research and licensing
  • Keeping tabs on faculty consulting agreements
  • Conducting reviews and enforcing policies without alienating researchers
  • Internal review practices that stand up to external scrutiny
  • COI case studies — the good, the bad, and the really ugly
  • Blueprint for effectively handling violations
  • Clarifying common “gray areas”
  • and much more!

Your Expert Presenters

Anne C. Di Sante, MBA is the Director of Technology Transfer at Wayne State University. Prior to joining WSU in 1998, she held various positions within the Technology Management Office (now Office of Technology Transfer) at the University of Michigan, ranging from student intern to Acting Director. She is experienced in managing inventions from all scientific disciplines, but specializes in medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology inventions. She has managed several key biomedical innovations, including the cystic fibrosis gene, several gene therapy technologies, anti-viral compounds, anti-cancer compounds, methods for antibiotic development, a nasal vaccine for the prevention of influenza and several immunotherapy technologies. She was a founding member of the Intellectual Property Commercialization Committee, the governing body for the Michigan Universities Commercialization Initiative, a $9.0 million State of Michigan-funded project. Ms. Di Sante is also an active member of the Association of University Technology Managers, and is a frequent speaker at AUTM conferences. She has also served on AUTM’s Board of Trustees as Vice President for the Central Region and as an Executive Committee participant, as well as editor of the AUTM Newsletter.

Bernadette M. Broccolo is a partner in the Health Law Department of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, based in its Chicago office. She currently serves as chair of the firm’s Life Sciences Division and as co-chair of the Personalized Medicine Team. Bernadette advises clients on leading edge health industry relationship formation and realignments — joint ventures, governance restructurings, and relationships between institutional providers and physicians; conflict of interest compliance; comprehensive programs for human subject, animal and bench research; and overall corporate compliance programs. She focuses on the full scope of legal and regulatory compliance in the areas of federal taxation of exempt organizations, not-for-profit corporate governance, privacy, human subject protection, and technology contracting. Bernadette has been selected by her peers to be included in the 2009 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for her expertise in health care law, a listing she has made for the past 18 years. She was named a 2008 Illinois Super Lawyer based upon a survey of 47,000 attorneys statewide; only 5 percent of Illinois attorneys received this distinction. In 2009, Bernadette was named to the Leading Lawyers Network “Top Ten Women Business Lawyers in Illinois.”

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CLP and CLE Credits Available
Please review your State Bar’s policy on distance learning credits prior to submitting the non-refundable application fee. We submit CLE applications (excluding NY, NJ, IL, LA & PA) for an additional $50 (unless otherwise specified upon checkout). Approval times vary per state and cover all attorneys in attendance. Application is not a guarantee of approval and attendance forms must be submitted following the program.

CLP Credits are also available.


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