The man who brings science to life

August 1st, 2014

ONAMI Entreprenuer-in-Residence Augie Sick helps breakthroughs in the lab solve problems and create jobs in the process. Sick was in charge of mergers and acquisitions for Invitrogen, a California biotech company, when the Eugene firm Molecular Probes, a California biotech company, when the Eugene firm Molecular Probes caught his eye as a potential acquisition.

He and his family moved to Eugene in July 2003, and later that year, Invitrogen bought Molecular Probes. For nearly six years, Sick headed the Eugene unit, which had more than tripled in size through its own growth, as well as acquisitions, by the time he left the company in January 2009. Invitrogen merged with Applied BioSystems, forming Life Technologies in 2008. Earlier this year, Thermo Fisher Scientific acquired Life Technologies.

Since 2009, Sick has founded a consulting firm; he cofounded Cascade Prodrug, a Eugene drug development company; and is a co-founder and investor in SupraSensor, a spinoff of UO research that is developing a wireless sensor to detect nitrate levels in the soil, potentially reducing the negative environmental impacts of overfertilization.

Sick also is an entrepreneur in residence at ONAMI, the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, one of the state’s three “signature research centers.” ONAMI’s focus is on research and manufacturing technology that involves tiny, or nano, particles. ONAMI tries to speed up that research, and its applications, in a range of fields, including solar power, medical microelectronics and semiconductors.

Read the full story as well as the interview with author Sherri Buri McDonald in the July 7, 2014, online issue of the Eugene Register Guard