The Language of Biotechnology: Translating Big Ideas Into Big Impact

For more than three decades, Stony Brook University’s Center for Biotechnology (CFB) has been translating science into opportunity, serving as an important catalyst for the development of new biomedical technologies and emerging companies in New York state.

Through groundbreaking initiatives, the center supports the commercialization of technology and the formation of new companies by bridging the gap between scientific discovery and commercial success. It does this while also training the next generation of biomedical leaders, such as Phuong Nguyen, PhD ’22.

“It’s incredibly inspiring to be in the trenches with the scientists here, developing new life sciences innovations and creating business opportunities around them,” she says.

The NY area is home to the largest and richest bioscience community in the world.

As the current Ben-Ami Post-Doctoral Scholar in Life Science Commercialization, established through a generous gift from Leora Ben-Ami, JD ’80 (a recently retired leading intellectual property lawyer), Nguyen will spend the next three years applying her scientific knowledge and expertise to advance commercial opportunities and technologies that can improve the health of patients everywhere.

Since its inception, CFB has contributed to the development of over a dozen FDA-approved products, including ReoPro®, Xiaflex®, Oracea®, Cavistat®, V3D®-Colon Virtual Colonoscopy and Exogen® Bone Healing System.

“We have brilliant scientists with incredible visions, but they don’t always know how to commercialize those ideas so they can be shared more broadly,” Nguyen says. “Now I have the opportunity to bring that science across the finish line and, eventually, to the clinic.”

For Phuong, a native of Vietnam, there are parallels between her work in the lab and her own experience as a bilingual scientist.

“Science and technology can often feel like two different languages at times, and this is an opportunity for me to play a central role in closing that gap,” she says. “I am fluent in science, and I am fluent in technology — and now, I can speak the language of business development.”

Phuong Nguyen, PhD ’22

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