i6 Investigators

Frank L. Douglas, PhD, MD

The principal investigator of the ISIX project is Dr. Frank L. Douglas, PhD, MD, President and CEO of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. As principal investigator, Dr. Douglas is responsible for the overall completion of the ISIX project, and interacts on a weekly basis with ISIX team members and clinicians from partnering institutions in need of innovative solutions for a range of medical devices.

An award-winning industry veteran with more than 24 years of experience as a leader in healthcare, pharmaceutical research and entrepreneurship, Douglas serves as day-to-day chief strategist for the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, a biomaterials institute built on a unique collaboration of five leading medical and educational institutions.

He is University Professor in the Department of Polymer Science at The University of Akron, Professor of Integrated Medical Sciences at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), senior fellow of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and senior partner emeritus of PureTech Ventures. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Douglas was the Professor of the Practice in the MIT Sloan School of Management and also held similar appointments in the departments of biology, biological engineering, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and was the founder and first executive director of the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation.

George R. Newkome, PhD

Professor George R. Newkome received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Kent State University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University before joining Louisiana State University where he became a full professor in 1978, and the LSU Distinguished Research Master in 1982. In 1986, Dr. Newkome joined the University of South Florida in Tampa as the Vice President for Research with an appointment on the chemistry faculty as well. He was later named a Distinguished Research Professor in 1992.

In 2001, Dr. Newkome returned to Akron where he accepted the position of Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at The University of Akron. Soon after his arrival, he became the Oelschlager Professorship of Science and Technology and is a full professor in the departments of Polymer Science and Chemistry. Dr. Newkome is the President and CEO of the University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) and recently became President of the Akron Innovation Campus.

Brian Davis, PhD

The co-investigator for the ISIX project is Dr. Brian Davis, PhD, Vice President of the Medical Device Development Center (MDDC) at ABIA. As co-investigator, Dr. Davis oversees the initial stages of innovation, particularly the “Structured Innovation” and “Pilot Project” initiatives.

Dr. Davis holds both a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a master’s degree in Medicine (Biomedical Engineering) from the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and a PhD from Penn State University. He held a staff-level appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1992 to 2010, prior to joining ABIA.