Chris Cornelison Named Director of Intellectual Property Development

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jul 24, 2020) — Chris Cornelison, assistant professor of microbiology in the College of Science and Mathematics, was named director of the newly created Office of Intellectual Property Development at Kennesaw State University in early spring.

“I hope to provide leadership and structure to the management of the IP portfolio and increase the transfer of discoveries out of KSU and into markets,” he said.

Cornelison’s duties include reviewing invention disclosures and working with patent attorneys to determine how to best pursue protections.  In an advisory capacity, he helps the inventors determine the best path for marketing and provides training to them on establishing potential startup companies surrounding their inventions. 

He also networks with industry to identify potential licensees and advises the Kennesaw State University Research and Service Foundation Chris Cornelison(KSURSF), which is the entity that protects and manages intellectual property on behalf of KSU.  As a unit within the Office of Research, Cornelison advises Phaedra Corso, vice president for research, on IP-related matters.

“Dr. Cornelison brings to his new position a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding the innovation and tech transfer processes, which includes being a past participant of the NSF I-Corps program,” said Bill Diong, associate vice president for research.  “Having worked closely with him during the past half year on numerous IP matters, I am also tremendously impressed by his excellent interpersonal skills and great willingness to help KSU’s faculty, staff and students nurture their innovations.”

Cornelison, who has been working at KSU since 2016, said the university has provided many opportunities for professional growth and he received tremendous support from the Office of Research.  He served as associate director of undergraduate research for two years and was the co-chair of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research that was held at KSU in the spring of 2019.

With research interests in applied and environmental microbiology, he started the BioInnovation Laboratory.  The laboratory staff, including undergraduate and graduate students, pursues projects focused on understanding complex problems involving microorganisms and finding new ways of solving those problems through applied research.

Cornelison recently earned two research grants totaling more than $300,000 over the next two years - one from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and another from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation - to address how to mitigate the spread of white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease causing the rapid decline of tri-colored bats. 

Cornelison and his lab colleague Kyle Gabriel also were awarded a Georgia Research Alliance grant to study the potential commercialization of growing mushrooms on regional agricultural waste substrates.

Cornelison earned his B.S. degree in Microbiology from the University of Georgia and his master’s and doctoral degrees in microbiology from Georgia State University.  He then served as a post-doctoral research associate with the U.S. Forest Service for three years until he joined KSU.

—Landon Mion

Research with Relevance - Innovation and Entrepreneurship at KSU