VIC Launches New Fellows Program


The VIC Fellows Program was created as a mechanism through which individuals with specific expertise can learn about and be involved in the process of identifying and evaluating promising life science innovation from universities, institutes and national labs around the world, as well as the myriad steps involved in forming and supporting new companies created to develop these assets.

We are pleased to announce the inaugural VIC Fellows class of 2020:

Natalie GassmanNatalie Gassman, PhD received a BA in chemistry from Michigan State University, where she was also a member of the Women’s Crew team. She earned a PhD from the University of California Los Angeles in chemistry in 2008. She held post-doctorate positions at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Her postdoctoral training focused on the role of DNA repair in response to environmental exposures and how modulated DNA repair mechanism contribute to cancer development. As an assistant professor of physiology and cell biology at the USA College of Medicine and a cancer researcher at MCI, Natalie focuses her work on characterizing the influence that environmental exposures has on DNA repair and characterizing how DNA repair proteins are altered or modified in the context of cancer. She has also developed a versatile detection method that helps identify deficiencies in repair mechanisms that give cancer cells a survival edge and hopes that these results can be applied in a clinical setting to tailor therapies for cancer patients. “Our team is trying to find the magic formula – how much DNA damage you have and how you will respond to treatment,” she said. “It’s personalized medicine for your genome."


Kirt GillKirt Gill, MD is currently a Radiology resident at the University of Texas Southwestern as part of the Clinical Scientist research track, where his primary topic of study is the application of Focused Ultrasound in opening the blood brain barrier. In 2019, he began working with Solenic Medical, Inc. (a VIC portfolio company) to explore his interest in medical device innovation, using his clinical training and background to serve as a key advisor to the leadership team. In addition to serving as a VIC Fellow in 2020, he will also be joining TMC in Houston as a BioDesign Fellow in the Fall. Dr. Gill has a Bachelor's degree in Molecular/Cell Biology and Classical Civilizations from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his medical training at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in 2018.


Monika MagonMonika Magon, PhD is a 2019 LifeArc-AUTM Technology Transfer Fellow, currently starting her career in science entrepreneurship. She recently moved to the Greater Chicago area after completing her postdoctoral research appointment at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She earned a PhD in Physical Biology at the University College London and received a BSc degree in Biochemistry with Study in Industry from the University of Bristol. Monika has broad expertise in life sciences from cell biology, nanotechnology, imaging, drug and gene delivery, through to biomedical science and rare neuromuscular diseases. She is also passionate about data-driven storytelling, science writing, and communication.


Travis NemkovTravis Nemkov, PhD is focused on developing innovative technologies and working with start-up companies for their commercialization. Immediately following graduation from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Travis continued work on his undergraduate thesis as part of a new spin-out company, AmideBio. As the company’s first employee, he helped establish operations and developed foundational technologies for the production of therapeutic peptides with high purity and yield at low cost. He then moved to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus for his Doctorate in Structural Biology and Biochemistry, where he developed high-throughput omics tools to study systems-wide metabolism. In addition to his own research as a Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Anschutz, Travis co-founded Omix Technologies with other faculty members to provide these tools for companies in multiple areas, including the regenerative medicine, transfusion medicine, biofuel, and pharmaceutical industries. He is an author on over 80 publications and 2 patents.

If you are interested in applying for the VIC Fellows Program you a can learn more on our website.