David Secher is an independent consultant in the areas of research commercialisation, intellectual property and technology transfer – in the UK and internationally. Recent assignments include work in Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Lebanon, Jordan, Mexico and Europe. He is based in the University of Cambridge and is a Life Fellow of Gonville & Caius College. In 2002, together with Lita Nelsen of MIT, he founded Praxis (now PraxisAuril), the leading UK technology transfer training organisation. He served as chairman or as a director of that company until 2014 and is now Patron. For his contributions to “creating environments that favour enterprise, specialising in the practical aspects of commercialising the results of academic research”, he received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2007.
Previous roles include: Senior Bursar, Gonville & Caius College; Chief Executive of the N8 Research Partnership (a collaboration of the eight most research--intensive universities in the North of England); Director of Research Services, University of Cambridge; Director of Drug Development, Cancer Research Campaign (now Cancer Research UK); Director of Monoclonal Therapeutics, Celltech Ltd.; and Tenured Group Leader, Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology. As a consultant, he has advised universities, governments and individuals on commercialisation of intellectual property, as well as acting as a non-executive director of technology and investment companies. He is a non-executive director of Crossword Cybersecurity plc and an angel investor.
Secher graduated from the University of Cambridge (Churchill College) with first class honours in biochemistry. His PhD work at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology was with César Milstein (Nobel Prize--winner for discovery of monoclonal antibodies). Together with Derek Burke, Secher made and patented the first monoclonal antibody to human interferon.
Lita Nelsen recently retired from her position as Director of the Technology Licensing Office at MIT, where she had been since 1986. She now works as a consultant in technology transfer and entrepreneurship in the U.S., Europe and Asia. She and her office became national leaders in university technology transfer, brokering many licensing deals between MIT and companies, and spinning out startups to commercialize the university’s research in life sciences and other areas. Prior to joining the MIT TLO, she spent 20 years in industry, primarily in the fields of membrane separations, medical devices, and biotechnology.