Consequences for real people

MBA student is an essential part of physician-engineer team.

Jan. 29, 2019

Will Galvin was a wet-behind-the-ears MBA student with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Mizzou. Looking to marry his love of science with business, Galvin enrolled in the management course Commercializing Innovations in the Life Sciences. Little did Galvin know that he would embark on a life-changing journey with soon-to-be mentors and partners Mark Hunter, chief of gynecologic oncology at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, and Gary Yao, professor and director of graduate studies in bioengineering.

Hunter and Yao participated in MU’s Coulter Translational Partnership Program, which aims to accelerate the translation of biomedical innovations into products that improve patient care. Galvin’s instructors randomly assigned him to work with Hunter and Yao to assess business opportunities for their new imaging technology that improves the accuracy of cervical cancer screenings.

Picture of Mark Hunter, Will Galvin and Gary Yao.

Mark Hunter, left, and Gary Yao, right, worked with MBA student Will Galvin in an effort to improve patient care.

“We developed a business and research plan, pitched to the Coulter Oversight Committee and were awarded a $25,000 Coulter grant to advance our research,” Galvin said. “This experience truly launched my MBA experience to a level I never thought possible.”

The team quickly realized they shared a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation while bringing diverse, complementary strengths to the table. This motivated them to found a company, Hunter Surgical, to assess and develop the commercial viability of more potential products.

Galvin, who also had the chance to work with staff in MU’s Technology Advancement Office and the Missouri Innovation Center, graduated in December with a solid understanding of what it takes to move inventions to market.

“Experiences like these where you can participate in live projects that have consequences for real people are where students learn the most,” Galvin said.

In January, Galvin started a new chapter as a quantitative strategist for the Mortgage Research Center, a new venture backed by Veterans United in Columbia, Missouri. The position includes everything from new product testing to enterprise decision making. Although Galvin will no longer be working in the biomedical space, his #MizzouMade leadership, problem solving and risk assessment skills should serve him well.

“Will is brilliant, motivated and has an exceptional work ethic. I look forward to following his career and hope to remain lifelong friends and colleagues,” Hunter said.

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