Pathfinder Therapeutics co-founder takes on LaunchTN role

Former VU researcher specializing in neurosurgery to direct commercialization efforts

The state’s Launch Tennessee program has hired one of the founders of Pathfinder Therapeutics to oversee its work turning research and intellectual property into viable businesses.

Jim Stefansic's title at the public-private partnership is commercialization director. He takes over from James Stover, who has been consulting with LaunchTN since stepping down from his full-time role in September 2011 to help launch Diagnovus.

“We are pleased to welcome Jim Stefansic to the LaunchTN team and look forward to all the great work that will come from his appointment,” said President and CEO Charlie Brock. “Jim brings significant entrepreneurial experience in commercializing technologies and raising venture capital that will offer great perspective for the future of LaunchTN.”

Stefansic helped launch Pathfinder in 2005. That image-guided surgery company grew out of his Vanderbilt University research into functional neuroimaging and image-guided neurosurgery. Pathfinder has in recent years snagged investments from TNInvestco funds as well as the state’s INCITE’s co-investment vehicle.

“I am excited to join the LaunchTN team and help increase the momentum of innovation within the state of Tennessee,” said Stefansic. “I look forward to working with Tennessee’s research institutions, constituents and other statewide partners to strengthen the state’s technology commercialization efforts.”