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Wake Forest Innovations Announces Commercialization Pathway Awards for 2013

Projects Funded at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Winston-Salem, N.C. – May 10, 2013 –Wake Forest Innovations, the commercialization arm of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, today announced the funding of scientific projects with product potential through its Commercialization Pathway award program. This internal program supports milestone-driven translational research for commercialization of therapeutics, vaccines, medical devices, diagnostics and procedures developed by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist and Wake Forest University.

The projects include developing new treatments for lung, breast and other cancers; methods for enhancing the effectiveness of orthopaedic, heart and eye surgeries; new approaches to improving the quality of life for patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; creating a vaccine against obesity; and supporting a sustainable, non-animal-based source for omega-3 fatty acids.

“Through the Commercialization Pathway program, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is investing in supporting our researchers to translate their ideas and basic discoveries into innovative products and services,” said Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., chief innovation officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and president, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “Each of these projects has the potential to bring significant benefit to the health and wellness of people and, through their commercialization with prospective partners, to enhance the financial strength of the medical center to enable it to further support our researchers.”

The Commercialization Pathway program has two award categories. The Value Inflection Fund focuses on projects for which the achievement of defined milestones can lead directly to product and technology licensing, formation of a startup company, or comparable steps toward translation and commercialization. Awards generally range between $50,000 and $200,000. The Spark Awards focus on ideas with the potential to achieve early proof-of-concept, formulation or prototyping and typically range between $10,000 and $50,000.

In this current round of awards, Wake Forest Innovations made three Value Inflection Fund awards totaling $515,000 and a number of Spark Awards projects totaling almost $320,000. Awards will be given to recipients at the Faculty Research Awards Day, May 15, 2013, at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

2013 Value Inflection Awards

Sustainable Sources of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Production
Floyd H. Chilton, Ph.D., professor, Physiology & Pharmacology, Wake Forest School of Medicine

A Device to Treat Ventricular Dysrhythmia
Edward H. Kincaid, M.D., associate professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine; James E. Jordan, Ph.D., assistant professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Jeffery P. Sites, associate director, Preclinical Translational Services, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Development of a Vaccine Against Obesity
Steven B. Mizel, Ph.D., professor, Microbiology & Immunology, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Emmanuel Opara, Ph.D., professor, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine

2013 Spark Awards

Delivery of Novel Compounds to Treat Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Ulrich Bierbach, Ph.D., professor, Chemistry, Wake Forest University

Tracking Regulatory T Cells in Vivo
Purnima Dubey, Ph.D., assistant professor, Pathology, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Thaddeus J. Wadas, Ph.D., assistant professor, Cancer Biology, Wake Forest School of Medicine
 

A Targeted Prostate Cancer Treatment
William H. Gmeiner, Ph.D., M.B.A., professor, Cancer Biology, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Compounds to Treat Autoimmune Disease
Jason M. Grayson, Ph.D., associate professor, Microbiology & Immunology, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Ulrich Bierbach, Ph.D., professor, Chemistry, Wake Forest University

Prediction of Chemotherapy Response in Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Lance D. Miller, Ph.D., associate professor, Cancer Biology, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Edward A. Levine, M.D., professor, Surgical Sciences-Oncology, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Empowering ALS: A Wearable User Interface for Assistive Communication
V. Paul Pauca, Ph.D., associate professor, Computer Science, Wake Forest University; James Caress, M.D., associate professor, Neurology, and Director, ALS Center, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Deborah Best, Ph.D., Poteat Professor, Psychology, Wake Forest University

A Device for Rotator Cuff and Similar Repair Surgery
Christopher J. Tuohy, M.D., assistant professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Sandeep Mannava, M.D., Ph.D., Orthopaedic Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine

An Instrument for Cataract Treatment
Keith A. Walter, M.D., associate professor, Ophthalmology (Eye Center), Wake Forest School of Medicine

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Last Updated: 05-17-2013
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