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Sarah Ward

Business Development and Licensing Associate - Cornell

Before joining PSE, I pursued my B.S. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University. While there, I worked in two research groups: with Dr. Jaime Grunlan, where I did research on layer-by-layer assemblies of polymer films for gas barriers, and with Dr. Karen Wooley, where I synthesized hybrid polymeric/magnetic nanoparticles for the environmental remediation of crude oil from water systems. Having gained an interest in polymers during this time, I applied to PSE for its focus on polymers, as well as its outstanding resources and faculty.

I was admitted to PSE in 2015, and I joined the Emrick research group. My research focused on synthesizing novel polymer zwitterions for treating glioblastoma. During this time, I received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Santos Go Memorial Award. In addition to my research, I had the opportunity to lead the 'Polymers All Around Us' student outreach program, and I also served on the organizational committee for the ASPIRE program. Through these programs, I was able to work with K-12 students across Western Massachusetts and guide them through hands-on demonstrations and laboratory experiments.

After defending my dissertation in August 2021, I moved to Ithaca, NY to work at the Center for Technology Licensing at Cornell University. I'm currently a Business Development and Licensing Associate on the Life Sciences team, where I support the Business Development and Licensing Officers in managing and marketing their technology portfolios (especially those related to polymers and biomedical applications). The skills I learned at PSE—technical knowledge of polymer science and engineering, how to write manuscripts and grant proposals, how to communicate science with laymen, and (most importantly) how to learn and understand new things even if only I have a beginner's grasp of the fundamentals— are invaluable to me as I shift from benchwork to technology transfer.