Prowess in the synthesis and delivery of therapeutics and diagnostics is a hallmark of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP) that reflects its origins in the discovery of Lyrica® by Dr. Richard Silverman. CLP is committed to harnessing the power of transdisciplinary research among fields such as life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and medicine to translate research into the marketplace where it can exert a profound beneficial impact on human health. CLP transdisciplinary scientists understand that interactions with the business world are critical if a new discovery is going to make it out of the lab and into the world where it can help people.


William Sargent, PhD, provides mentoring in the drug development process, from initiation to FDA marketing approval, to interested researchers across campus looking to explore commercialization.

Sargent is available on both the Chicago and Evanston campuses to consult with faculty, students and staff interested in developing potential therapies emerging from their translational research.

Consultation appointments made be made via email at .

Central to this process will be his assistance in the creation of a Target Product Profile (TPP) for compounds under development. The Profile will enable the entrepreneur to start therapeutic development process with the end in mind.  “The TPP is most helpful early on in development, as it sets the road map for achieving the IND and provides a long-term view of what data will be needed to validate claims in the final package insert,” said Sargent.  “It’s also a great tool to form the basis of a value proposition and for later interaction with the FDA.”

Dr. Sargent has over 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry, preceded by 10 years as an independent researcher in academia. Sargent is well-versed in the therapeutic development emerging from local universities, having served as member of the Chicago Innovation Mentors (CIM) program since 2013. Previously, he held senior positions at Pfizer, Hoechst-Roussell Pharmaceuticals, Lorex Pharmaceuticals, Searle, and Pharmacia.  As President and General Manager of Lorex, he oversaw FDA approval for direct to consumer advertising for the lead product Ambien. He led the International launch of Sutent® for renal cell carcinoma and gastrointestinal stromal cancer while Senior Medical Director and Team Leader for the anti-angiogenic portfolio at Pfizer. Dr. Sargent received a PhD in physiology from the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences where he remained as faculty in Physiology and Biophysics for approximately 10 years.

Faculty Entrepreneurship: Moving Discoveries Into Society

CLP founding director Thomas V. O’Halloran (chemistry and molecular biosciences) studies the assembly and characterization of molecules that alter the regulatory biology of transition metal receptors involved in signaling and trafficking pathways.

His discoveries have been commercialized to treat triple negative breast cancer, Wilson disease, infectious diseases, and fungal infections.

He has co-founded multiple biotech start-up companies including Tactic Pharma, Valence Therapeutics, and Viamet Pharmaceuticals.

Companies Founded by CLP Faculty

Founder: Andrew Mazar
Co-Founders: Francis Giles, Andrey Ugolkov

Founder: William Klein
Co-Founder: Grant Krafft

Founder: Vadim Backman
Co-Founders: Andrew Cittadine, Michael Goldberg, Hemant K. Roy

Founder: Lonnie Shea
Co-Founder: Stephen Miller

Founder: Colby Thaxton
Co-Founder: Chad Mirkin

Founder: Neil Kelleher
Co-Founder: Phil Compton

Founder: Richard Silverman
Co-Founder: Pfizer

Founder: Neil Kelleher
Co-Founder: Regan Thomson

Founder: Andrew Mazar
Co-Founders: Thomas O’Halloran, Andrey Ugolkov

Founder: Vadim Backman
Co-Founders: Hemant K. Roy, Hariharan Subramanian

Founder: Phillip Messersmith
Founder: Thomas Meade
Founders: Cheng Sun, Hao Zheng

Founder: Olga Volpert
Co-Founder: Jack Henkin

Founder: Thomas Meade
Founder: Vadim Backman

Founder: Thomas O’Halloran
Co-Founder: Chandler Robinson

Founder: Karl Scheidt
Co-Founder: Raymond Bergan

Founder: Richard Silverman
Co-Founders: Dmitri Krainc

Founder: Jack Henkin
Co-Founders: Andrew Mazar, Olga Volpert

Founder: Guillermo Ameer
Co-Founders: Melina R. Kibbe, Antonio Webb

Founder: Thomas O’Halloran
Co-Founder: Robert Schotzinger

Northwestern Partners in Entrepreneurship

Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO)

INVO catalyzes the translation of Northwestern innovations to benefit the public and promote economic growth. In order to maximize that outcome, Northwestern follows important principles when licensing university technology.

NewCures Fund

NewCures is a Northwestern initiative that focuses on accelerating biomedical research from early discovery stages to more advanced clinical stages for the benefit of the patients. The NewCures Fund aligns with existing resources to propel promising therapies towards commercialization.

Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) advise and assist faculty and students who are launching startups and commercializing IP. They are a resource for developing business concepts, making contacts with the market, connecting to investors, and forming organizational frameworks.

Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC)

The CBC stimulates collaboration among researchers at Northwestern University, The University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and others to accelerate discovery that transforms biomedical research and improves the health of humankind.

Basic Science Discoveries Translated into Healthcare

The Protein Whisperer

The Protein Whisperer

As research laboratories on campuses across the US slowed down in March in response to stay-at-home orders, Northwestern’s Recombinant Protein Production Core (rPPC), a Chemistry of Life Processes Institute-affiliated core facility, was running at full speed. In...