Roy Zwahlen, J.D., has joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as assistant dean for innovation and strategy.
Zwahlen’s first responsibility is to assist the dean in formulating, interpreting and implementing policy at the School.
“Because the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s mission is to transform pharmacy practice, education and science to drive discovery, improve health and power economic growth, our bold ideas often create interesting and difficult policy and legal questions that may have never been addressed on this campus,” Zwahlen said. “Dean Blouin has asked me to ensure that we successfully navigate these unique issues and strategically plan, review, and implement faculty-focused policies and procedures that will help us live up to our mission.”
Zwahlen also plays a role in the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, “The institute has a broad vision of accelerating the creation and development of ideas by faculty, students and staff to transform education, research and health care.,” he said. “My role is to advise on commercialization initiatives within the institute and across the School working alongside other staff members that foster the external partnerships necessary to ensure our research improves patient lives.”
Prior to coming to UNC, Zwahlen spent almost six years at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization as associate counsel focusing on legal and policy issues surrounding intellectual property, technology transfer, public health and economic development. He also served as the director of technology transfer, during which time he developed and implemented a university/industry collaboration strategy at BIO, which produced a range of high-level policy discussions and partnerships.
“Roy’s diverse background and experiences will be a nice complement to the leadership team,” said Rick Wernoski, executive vice dean and chief operating officer of the School. “His expertise in fostering industry-university relationships, along with policy governance and practice, will enable him to make a significant contribution to the success of the Eshelman Institute for Innovation and the School.”
During his time at BIO, Zwahlen said he developed a passion for helping make connections between university and industry to take ideas from scientists’ minds all the way to patients in hopes of improving their lives. It’s the ability to connect great science with the right partners, he said, that he hopes to bring to the School.
“I hope to add value by finding those value propositions within the School, that great science, whatever it might be, and then bringing in all the necessary players and resources to move that project forward to ultimately change patient lives,” he said.
Zwahlen received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Brigham Young University and his law degree from George Mason School of Law. He served as a Virginia magistrate before working at BIO.