Benchtop to Bedside (B2B)


A course for scientists, physicians, and graduate students who want move laboratory discoveries to the marketplace.

Course Summary

“Benchtop to Bedside,” known as B2B, is designed to give faculty, clinicians, and graduate students information about academic entrepreneurship and technology commercialization.

The course consists of a series of seminars to identify the steps necessary to move a scientific or clinical discovery from the laboratory to the market.

Topics Covered

  • Business basics
  • Intellectual property
  • Regulatory and reimbursement
  • Pitching
  • Legal
  • Funding
  • Building a team
  • Financial modeling
  • Managing conflict of interest
  • The role of the scientist/inventor
  • Syllabus

Course Logistics

The course runs on Tuesday from 5-7:30 p.m. from January 23 to April 17, 2018 in Benedum 102.  The course can be taken for credit or non-credit.  Advance registration is required.  For credit please sign up through your academic department.  For non-credit please register here.


“I learned so much and was inspired all along the way.”

“…a wonderfully informative course.”

“It was an awesome class – you taught this bench scientist a lot about ‘business’!”

“[B2B] should be a required course!”

“[Babs is] very interactive, nice energy, has lots of experience… She is GREAT for this course.”

“[The best thing about this course was] hearing from the people who have actually gone through this process and share real-world experience”

“Great lectures and insight…”

”There has never been a class out there like this.”


Guest speakers

The course has hosted many seasoned speakers and experts. Past speakers include:

Barbara Barnes, MD; Associate Vice Chancellor, Continuing Education and Industry Relationships for the University of Pittsburgh and Vice President, Sponsored Programs, Research Support, and CME for UPMC

Eric Beckman, PhD, George Bevier Professor of Engineering, co-Director of the Mascaro Sustainability Initiative, co-founder and Senior Scientist at Cohera Medical

Dottie Clower, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer at Cohera Medical

Chad Coberly, JD, MBA; Vice President of Clinical, Regulatory and Legal Affairs at Cohera Medical

Marc S. Malandro, PhD, CLP, RTTP, Founding Director, Innovation Institute

Bob Marshall, Director of Growth for Regulatory & Quality Solutions

Larry Miller, MBA, Executive-in-Residence at Innovation Works

David Smith, JD, lawyer with Pepper Hamilton

Idea to Impact (I2I)

idea to impact class

Course Summary

This practical, 4-week course guides academic researchers step by step through the experience of developing an entrepreneurial idea. It is designed for early-career scientists (e.g., MDs, PhDs, fellows, medical students, faculty, post docs) who are new to entrepreneurship and commercialization, but interested in translating research into practical applications. Each week, participants will focus on one discrete stage of the translational process as they identify a problem, analyze stakeholders, define a solution, describe its benefits, research the competition, articulate differentiators, and create an action plan. The course will be taught in a hybrid format, with self-paced, online modules to provide participants with key concepts and information, and class meetings where they present specific deliverables, receive feedback from colleagues, and engage in focused discussion. On the last day of class, participants will present their fully formed idea to an invited audience. The expected effort is twelve hours per week: four hours of video and reading material, four hours of prep for class presentations, and four hours of class time.

Credits: 1

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the steps of the translational process for academic inventors.
  • Clearly identify a problem that lends itself to translation, and explain its significance. 
  • Identify all the relevant stakeholders and their relationship to the identified problem.
  • Clearly articulate the proposed solution and how it addresses the problem.
  • Describe the specific benefits of the solution to all relevant stakeholders.
  • Research the competition, direct and indirect, and describe what each competitor offers.
  • Explain the differentiation of the solution in relation to the competition.
  • Outline an action plan to take the solution forward.