CU research groups receive tech commercialization grants from state

By Staff

Colorado’s Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program (BDEG-Co) recently selected 10 CU research projects to receive grants.

The state of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade began the BDEG program in 2007, providing proof-of-concept grants to move promising CU biotechnologies closer to market readiness, as well as early stage matching “seed” grants to enable the development and commercial validation of technologies that are licensed from Colorado research institutions by Colorado based start-up companies (learn about 2011-12 grants to CU licensees under this program).

CU research projects that have received (or will soon receive) funding in the 2011-12 round:

Christopher Bowman, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, CU-Boulder, for inexpensive, highly efficient synthetic nucleic acids for use in nanoassembly, biodetection and other biofunctional applications.

Heide Ford, Department of Pathology and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Andrew Thorburn, Department of Pharmacology, CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for a novel biomarker to predict treatment response in solid tumors.

Robert Garcea, BioFrontiers Institute, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, CU-Boulder, for a next-generation vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV).

Richard Johnson, Department of Medicine (Renal Diseases and Hypertension), CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for a novel treatment to prevent acute kidney injury following surgery or use of radiocontrast agents.

Malik Kahook, Department of Ophthalmology, CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for an implanted device to reduce intraocular pressure and treat glaucoma.

Uday Kompella, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for a new drug to treat “wet” age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Leslie Leinwand, BioFrontiers Institute, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, CU-Boulder, for novel drugs to protect from cardiac disease.

David Wagner, Department of Medicine (Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine), CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for a drug to prevent/reverse high blood sugar in type-1 diabetes.

Xiao-Jing Wang, Department of Pathology, CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for a drug to treat oral mucositis, a common side effect of radiation therapy.

Hang (Hubert) Yin, BioFrontiers Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CU-Boulder, for more sensitive biomarkers for metastatic cancers and other diseases in body fluids.

“The BDEG award winners this year show an incredible breadth and depth of bioscience research and innovation,” said Tom Cech, director of CU’s BioFrontiers Institute, an interdisciplinary center designed to explore critical frontiers of unknown biology and translate new knowledge to practical applications. “The BDEG program provides a powerful catalyst to get these ideas out of their academic institutions and into the marketplace.” The institute provided the required matching funds for the grants to Boulder-based researchers Christopher Bowman, Robert Garcea, Leslie Leinwand and Hang (Hubert) Yin.