M. Cynthia Goh is a professor, entrepreneur, researcher and educator dedicated to transforming science to society. She received her PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles, and carried out postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, prior to taking a faculty position at the University of Toronto. Her academic interests focus on biomaterials, nanotechnology and understanding the interactions and dynamics of surfaces. Currently, she is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Material Science and Engineering, the Institute of Medical Science and the Munk School of Global Affairs.
In the year’s since coming to U of T, Cynthia has been bitten by the commercialization bug. She believes that students are the best vectors to translate academic discoveries into new products and services, and is dedicated to educating, mentoring and supporting the next-generation of scientist-entrepreneurs. In addition to being the founding director of the Impact Centre, Cynthia also serves as the academic director of the University of Toronto’s Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BBCIE). In collaboration with her students she has founded 7 companies, including biosensor company Axela, agri-tech company Vive Crop Protection and the charity Pueblo Science, which is dedicated to improving science literacy in low-resource settings. In 2004 she founded the Entrepreneurship 101 training program, which was eventually run by MaRS and has trained thousands of people in the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. In 2010, she introduced the Impact Centre’s Techno program, an intensive hands-on training workshop specifically geared for university scientists intending to build a tech-based company. Each year Techno produces about 15 start-ups based on the results of scientific research, many of which now have sales and follow-on funding.