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Foundations, Duke University Start Biomed Engineering Fund

Endoscope microcamera (Awaiba GmbH)Duke University in Durham, North Carolina has created a $20 million endowment to encourage research collaborations between bioengineers and clinicians that aims to develop new technologies to improve patient care. Duke’s medical and engineering schools are taking part in the endowment.

The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation in Miami, Florida is funding half of the Duke Coulter Translational Partnership.  Additional investments from Duke and the Fitzpatrick Foundation bring the endowment to $20 million for the Pratt School of Engineering.

In 2005, the Coulter Foundation chose Duke as one of nine universities to accelerate the movement of university biomedical engineering projects into commercial products and clinical practices. A key requirement is that each project must be led by a biomedical engineering faculty member and a clinical or medical school researcher.

Since 2005, 19 Duke projects have been funded, including projects on detecting prostate cancer and esophageal pre-cancerous lesions, treating hemophilia and controlling urinary function for paraplegics. The projects at Duke have resulted in three start up companies, several licensing agreements, more than $35 million in venture capital and investments, and another $47 million in federal, state or foundation grants.

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