UMass awards research grants for faculty technology
Nanotechnology, germ detection, radiation reduction and a metals detecting 'electronic tongue' among cutting edge UMass faculty innovations cited by President Caret
"These are the discoveries that help change the world for the better, create new jobs and businesses and make us very proud of the groundbreaking work being done on the campuses of the University of Massachusetts," said President Caret in presenting the $25,000 awards.
Eight awards are being made to faculty members from the Amherst, Boston, Lowell and Worcester campuses. To date, the CVIP Technology Development Fund has backed 74 projects, with impressive results, including numerous commercial licenses and patents, the creation of four successful start-ups, and significant licensing income and equity. The University has a strong record of generating income from the commercialization of its academic research, having placed three years in a row in the top 15 of a national survey of income generated by technology transfer.
"CVIP recognizes and rewards cutting edge research projects that not only put our faculty and students at the forefront of their industries, they have the potential to create steady streams of revenue for our campuses," said William S. Rosenberg, CVIP Executive Director.
Gang Han, Ph.D.
Dr. Gang Han's lab has developed nanoparticle technology that, used with deep tissue imaging, could provide clinicians with a new tool to see and diagnose tumors more clearly from the outside. The technology connects novel bio-compatible up-conversion nanoparticles with unnatural optical behavior, which offers a single solution to all levels of needs of biological imaging. Funding will be utilized to develop methodologies for large-scale synthesis of these nanoparticles and for imaging instrumentation optimization.
Vincent Rotello, Ph.D.
Dr. Vincent Rotello and colleagues are developing paper test strips that provides a visual readout of water quality within 5 minutes - a tool that could help determine the safety of pool, lake or ocean water instantly. These strips use nanoparticles that generate a colored response when bacteria are present, providing an instant readout. The CVIP funding will help the team optimize particle and printing conditions for economical, large-scale manufacturing of these strips.
Robyn Hannigan, Ph.D.; Francesco Peri
Using lasers to generate fine particles (laser ablation) and to move them into an analytical detector is now a standard method of analysis of glass, steel, and mineral resource but adopting that technology for biomedical research has been hampered by the fact that lasers "cook" biological materials and alter their chemistry. Funds provided by the CVIP award will advance the development of a "cold" cell that maintains biological materials at low temperatures during the laser sampling process. CVIP funding will be used to refine the system, making it smaller and easier to use, and also will support certification of the system's safety for use in research and industry labs.
Jie Song, Ph.D.
This technology addresses the critical challenge of the inadequate bonding of degradable polymers with bone minerals that has inhibited the successful translation of synthetic composite tissue scaffolds for the repair of skeletal tissue. Dr. Song's polymers are far superior in their ability to bond with bone and have led to substantial improvements in the performance of synthetic degradable composites. This CVIP award will enable the development of a number of prototype tissue scaffolds based on this technology.
Stephen Miller, Ph.D.
The glow of the firefly is widely used by scientists to image biological processes that are otherwise invisible. The Miller lab has developed new technology that greatly improves this imaging method for visualizing gene expression and enzyme activity in living animals. Funding from CVIP will be used to establish the scope and application of this technology to problems in both basic research and drug discovery.
Paul Kaufman, Ph.D.; Daniel Schmidt, Ph.D.
Erno Sajo, Ph.D.; Piotr Zygmanski, Ph.D., DABR
The project will investigate a new x-ray detection method that can accomplish the previously mutually exclusive goals of reducing patient x ray exposure while increasing image quality. Funding will be used for prototyping the enabling technology.
Pradeep Kurup, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE.
Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) is responsible for the commercialization of discoveries made on the five campuses of the University of Massachusetts. The Executive Director, William Rosenberg, is based in the Office of the President and there are CVIP offices on each UMass campus.
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