Robert Gibson, former global sales strategist and scientist at Novozymes, joined the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC as its associate director of business development for LINK: Center for Advancing Industry Partnerships.

Gibson brings more than 20 years of experience in science and business to the research institute and LINK. He is responsible for developing and nurturing partnerships between Virginia Tech scientists and companies seeking to introduce cutting-edge health science discoveries from the lab to the marketplace.

Gibson’s work is also expected to stimulate growth in Roanoke’s biomedical start-up ecosystem, helping researchers form spin-out companies and commercialize intellectual property.

He will report to Michael Friedlander, Virginia Tech’s vice president for health sciences and technology and executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, and Brandy Salmon, associate vice president for innovation and partnerships at Virginia Tech and executive director for LINK.

“Drawing on his background as a scientist, lab manager, and commercialization expert, Robert is a great fit for the job,” said Friedlander. “With his experience and vision, our scientists, trainees, and students will have an even clearer path forward to advance their laboratory-based discoveries - not only in peer reviewed publications, but also through the development of new preventions, diagnostics, therapeutics, devices, and treatment protocols.”

Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Gibson held global leadership roles in sales and product portfolio management at Novozymes, where he helped oversee strategic sales planning both regionally and abroad in Asia. Starting with the company in 2013 as a research scientist focused on commercializing probiotic products, Gibson was promoted to manage a 50-person laboratory and later transitioned into commercial and strategic alliance management roles.

"Forging strategic partnerships with industry is critical to delivering on the mission of Virginia Tech and enabling high impact, use-inspired research and innovation," said Salmon. "By appointing Rob Gibson, we are bringing a wonderful addition to the LINK, LICENSE, LAUNCH team to support the great work underway at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Roanoke and to build on what is a unique platform for collaboration and growth."

He completed a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s in business administration degree.

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