St. Jude Inventor to Head U’s Device Innovation Pgm.

Saurav Paul, who has worked at St. Jude Medical for the past nine years, will become the director of a University of Minnesota program that develops and tests ideas for new medical devices.

A St. Jude inventor will become the new director of the University of Minnesota's Medical Devices Center Innovation Fellows Program.

The U said Tuesday that Saurav Paul-who's been with Little Canada-based St. Jude for nine years and has more than 100 patent publications-will replace Founding Director Marie Johnson, who left the position in the spring to pursue other opportunities. He'll begin his new role on August 15.

The Innovation Fellows Program is a year-long, full-immersion educational and intellectual property development program. A cross-disciplinary team of people in the fields of engineering, medicine, and biosciences work with faculty, medical professionals, and industry partners to develop and test ideas for new medical devices. The program's goal is to improve health care worldwide.

Paul joined St. Jude in 2002. According to the U of M, he was instrumental in driving innovation and creating minimally invasive, catheter-based technology platforms for the diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Since the Innovation Fellows Program launched in fall 2008, its fellows have filed invention disclosures on more than 30 new medical device concepts. Two start-up companies have been launched based on their inventions-Minneapolis-based Labyrinth Medical, LLC, and St. Paul-based Aria CV, Inc.-and one technology was licensed. Labyrinth is based on a device for the treatment of chronic sinus infections, and Aria is based on a device for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension. The program's third class of fellows will complete its work at the end of August and add to those figures.

The Innovation Fellows Program works closely with the U of M's Office of Technology Commercialization-which protects and licenses university-developed technologies and nurtures university technologies with start-up potential.

Within the last couple of years, the U implemented a new commercialization structure and staff to help boost technology transfer-the practice of commercializing new devices, preventions, medications, and treatments.