Third round of Coulter Program-funded biomedical research projects announced
Six grants totaling approximately $600,000 were awarded Sept. 30 to interdisciplinary teams comprised of an engineering faculty member and clinicians. The funding comes from the University of Missouri’s Coulter Translational Partnership Program. This is the third round of awards from the $5 million partnership between MU and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation to help launch biomedical research projects from laboratory study to health care innovations.
“The partnership between the University of Missouri and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation is based on our common goal of transforming research discoveries into health care innovations that improve patients’ lives,” MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said.
The six interdisciplinary research teams that received awards have paired up on projects that demonstrate great scientific potential and meet a well-defined health care need. Prior to receiving awards, the projects were reviewed by a committee that includes entrepreneurs, accomplished researchers and venture capital investors.
MU is one of only 15 academic institutions in the country and the only university in Missouri offering a Coulter Translational Partnership Program.
“Thanks to our partnership with the Coulter Foundation, the scientists we are recognizing here today have the recipe for success to create partnerships, develop technologies and deliver improved medical care to patients,” said Bob Schwartz, interim dean of the College of Engineering.
The six research teams and their projects are:
Randy Curry, the Logan Distinguished Professor in electrical and computer engineering and Renee Sullivan, assistant professor of medicine at the MU School of Medicine have teamed up on “Wireless Communication from Outside to Inside of the Body.” The pair is creating implantable antennas for biomedical telemetry.
Shubhra Gangopadhyay, C.W. LaPierre Endowed Chair in electrical and computer engineering, and Carole McArthur, professor of dentistry at the UMKC Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences and adjunct professor at the MU School of Medicine, are working on a project titled, “Identifying Tuberculosis.” They have developed an inexpensive soft lithographic process ideally suited for detection of tuberculosis infection.
Raghu Kannan, associate professor with joint appointments in bioengineering and radiology, and Amolak Singh, professor and interim chair of radiology at the MU School of Medicine, have partnered on an “Early Breast Cancer Detection” project. The pair is working on a novel molecular probe for early detection of recurrent and metastatic breast cancer.
Clark Hung, professor in the Columbia University Department of Biomedical Engineering and James Cook, the William and Kathryn Allen Distinguished Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery and director the MU Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory, are collaborating on an “Engineered Knee Cartilage” project to develop an osteochondral allograft for knee cartilage.
Ferris Pfeiffer, assistant professor of bioengineering and orthopaedic surgery, and James Stannard, the J. Vernon Luck Sr. Distinguished Professor in orthopaedic surgery and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the MU School of Medicine, are working on a project titled, “Improved Success Rates of Cartilage Transplants.” The investigators believe they can increase the amount of living tissue that survives the surgical procedure by modifying the shape of the transplanted portion of cartilage.
Kannan and Gerard Arthur, assistant professor of research in pathology and anatomical sciences at the MU School of Medicine, are collaborating on “Gold Nanoparticles for Cancer Detection.” The team is working on a system that uses gold nanoparticles to detect cancers that are susceptible to particular types of chemotherapy.
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