In less than two years, rookie Technology Transfer Manager Dr. Sidra Ahsan is making a significant, positive impact on behalf of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Through a diligent effort to steadily increase her knowledge and application of technology transfer (T2), the volume and scope of projects that she has tackled in her short tenure have positioned NCI to meet its mission today and in the future. Since 2017, Dr. Ahsan has managed T2 projects for NCI’s extramural Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP), a complex division with multiple programs and initiatives that provides funding and administrative support to clinical and laboratory researchers, community and multidisciplinary teams, and collaborative scientific networks nationwide.
On behalf of DCP, she streamlined its T2 process to provide the most efficient solutions for its complex T2 needs: agreements to facilitate interactions with universities, hospitals, small and large private companies, and NCI’s contractors.
Dr. Ahsan personally conducted more than a dozen outreach meetings with different programs and elements of the DCP to brief them on T2 mechanisms, benefits, and processes.
She has closely worked with DCP investigators to draft a template for DCP PREVENT, an important DCP program that supports the development of the best ideas in cancer prevention using NCI contract resources. The template established a standard agreement for future PREVENT collaborations with NCI.
Dr. Ahsan also supports investigators from NCI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR), the largest division of the NCI intramural research program, which has the vision to be the “world’s leading catalyst for tomorrow’s cancer research and patient treatments.” In the last year, Dr. Ahsan negotiated several Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), Clinical Trial Agreements (CTAs), and amendments for CCR and DCP. These agreements made possible the initiation of four important clinical trials examining: therapies for breast cancer, a rare brain cancer, colon cancer prevention, and ovarian cancer development and progression.
Beyond the demands of her T2 manager responsibilities, Dr. Ahsan consistently strives to expand her T2 knowledge. She volunteered for special T2 working groups tasked with examining NCI’s invention evaluation process and its approach to patenting and licensing. She completed additional courses offered by the Licensing Executives Society, as well as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office exam, becoming a licensed patent agent in 2018. Her newly acquired expertise enables her to carve out patentable products from invention disclosures by NCI investigators, develop strategies for patent prosecution, and assist with interactions with law firms filing patent applications. Most T2 managers within TTC support NCI’s intramural laboratories. That Dr. Ahsan has proven up to the challenge of supporting both NCI extramural and intramural programs is notable. In her limited time as a T2 professional, her contributions to TT and NCI have been substantial.
Contact: Dr. Sidra Ahsan, (240) 276-5530, [email protected]