Waymaker Team

Phil Hockberger, Ph.D.

Higher education
Strategic Partnerships
Research infrastructure and facilities
Innovation district planning and development

Dr. Hockberger is an experienced scientist, teacher, speaker and administrator. He has held numerous leadership roles at Northwestern University since joining the faculty in 1987. He’s an internationally recognized scholar with expertise spanning several scientific disciplines including cellular neuroscience, membrane biophysics and signal transduction, cell adhesion and cell migration, photobiology and phototoxicity. He has been a visiting research scholar at the Max Planck Institute in Germany and at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. In the past decade he’s been recognized internationally for his leadership role in research (core) facilities and for creating a new career path for core scientists. For his contributions to this field, he was awarded the ABRF President’s Special Recognition Award in 2017. In 2019, he initiated a consulting service to help city leaders and local stakeholders build innovation-based economies.

Currently, Dr. Hockberger splits his time between academic activities and consulting services for Waymaker Group. His academic activities include a leadership role in Northwestern University’s Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) Institute, whose mission is to provide scientists with consultative resources and expertise to accelerate transformative scientific discoveries to increase the quality, safety, efficiency and speed of innovative clinical and translational research. Waymaker Group helps visionary leaders in middle-tier markets build inclusive, innovation-driven economic development strategies. Dr. Hockberger leads Waymaker’s higher education practice, and is actively involved in the Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood project in Kenosha WI, and in developing research facilities for life sciences and healthcare companies in Chicago.

Currently, Dr. Hockberger is co-chair of Euro-BioImaging, a consortium of European research facilities specializing in imaging-based technologies in the life sciences. He is also chair of the Chicago Biomedical Innovation Alliance, a consortium of Chicago non-profit organizations dedicated to accelerating transformative scientific discoveries to improve global healthcare. He’s a member of the City of Chicago’s Life Sciences and Healthcare Working Group, FASEB’s Task Force on Shared Research Resources, and NSF’s National Visiting Committee that provides oversight and advice regarding its Advanced Technology Education program serving community colleges.

Dr. Hockberger earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Western Illinois University, and his Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He did postdoctoral research at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ.

Dougan Sherwood

Innovation District Planning

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