Honors Gallery

Jonathan Sampson

Award: Rookie of the Year

Year: 2016

Award Type:

Region: Mid-Atlantic

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center "DEVCOM"

Jonathan Sampson joined the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) technology transfer (T2) team in February 2014, initially as a 120-day developmental assignment.

The assignment came during a critical transition time for the T2 team as it had just lost one full-time senior T2 professional to promotion, another part-time senior T2 professional to a professional development opportunity, and ECBC's T2 chief would be retiring in approximately 6 months. From the very start of his technology transfer assignment, Sampson was willing to take on responsibility and tackle challenging projects. Given the results demonstrated in those first 120 days, and ECBC's critical need to fill a professional gap in its T2 staff, he was offered an extension of his developmental assignment for an additional 6 months. During this time, Sampson continued to excel, taking on responsibilities that were highly unusual for a first-year T2 professional.

During the initial assignment, Sampson took the lead in no less than seven T2 initiatives. His exceptional performance resulted in one signed Patent License Agreement (PLA); one pending PLA; 14 Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs); a key invention disclosure, a first-of-its-kind tour of ECBC for Maryland biotech companies; and enhanced workforce engagement in T2--all of which would not have happened but for his innovation, creativity, and dedication. This exceptional performance led to ECBC offering him a permanent T2 position.

From the very start of his technology transfer assignment, Sampson was willing to take on responsibility and tackle challenging projects.

As an example of his outstanding effort, Sampson personally performed more than a dozen in-reach meetings with different elements of ECBC's workforce to brief them on technology transfer mechanisms, benefits, and processes. This culminated in a highly visible presence at ECBC's Research & Technology Directorate Town Hall meeting, where he briefed an audience of approximately 40 scientists, including the director, his associate directors, and branch chiefs. The fact that Sampson was trusted to make this presentation in his first year--which he executed as if he were a seasoned T2 professional--is another concrete demonstration of exceptional performance from a "T2 rookie."

Another key initiative that Sampson spearheaded for ECBC in his first year was a tour and technical exchange with BioHealth Innovations, a Maryland-based health and medical innovation intermediary. He personally coordinated and participated in this first-of-its-type exchange between the two organizations, in which representatives of BioHealth Innovations' member organizations (a range of biotech startups and established companies) interacted with ECBC researchers, engineers, and program managers. The meeting provided a forum for these companies to brief ECBC on their respective business efforts and look for areas of scientific collaboration and technical input from ECBC scientists. This was recognized by partnership intermediary Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), laboratory leaders and others as a highly positive and productive technical exchange between parties that had not previously engaged.