Bharath Wootla, Ph.D., is broadly focused on the translation of novel technologies from research endeavors into clinical practice through bidirectional interactions between strategic academic and industry collaborators and Mayo Clinic researchers.
Dr. Wootla's past research at Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France, focused at the crossroads of immunology, biochemistry, inflammation and coagulation. His area of specialization was in the study of abzymes: a unique antibody subtype that expresses catalytic activity. Abzymes can be both helpful and harmful. A single abzyme molecule can catalyze the destruction of thousands of target molecules. Abzymes may also chemically alter an antigen, thus giving the antigen entirely new functional properties.
As a researcher at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Wootla has been involved in studying repair of central nervous system injury through naturally occurring immunoglobulin M (IgM) molecules. The overall scope of Dr. Wootla's research in the Department of Neurology involved the study of mechanisms of action of remyelination-promoting and neuron-protecting human monoclonal IgM antibodies in animal models of neurologic disease.
More recently, in his new role as technology development manager of Mayo's Center for Clinical and Translational Science Office of Translation to Practice, Dr. Wootla strives to offer resources and modes of operation to identify and enable research with the potential to be translated into practice through team science — the product of translational research. When products have the potential for commercialization, Dr. Wootla and colleagues collaborate with Mayo Clinic Ventures to create development and commercialization plans.
- Strategic collaborations. Providing necessary services to advance Mayo Clinic products.
- Product-specific project management. Deciding on project paths, timelines and milestones.
- Novel pathways. Facilitating translation to clinical practice through early involvement of specialty councils and Mayo Clinic centers (for example, Center for Connected Care, Center for Individualized Medicine, Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics) in product development.
- Connecting researchers and collaborators. Identifying, creating, nurturing and supporting close relationships and promoting team science with both intramural and extramural collaborations through preexisting global confidential disclosure agreements that allow free exchange of ideas and pre-negotiated intellectual property agreements.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Wootla aspires to help in the creation of products that will be adopted by Mayo Clinic's clinical practice. The products may align with any technology that directly impacts patient care, including drugs and drug candidates, monitoring devices, prosthetics, implantable medical devices, or information technology.
- Recipient, Guy Deniélou Thesis Prize, Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France, 2008