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University, Foundation Establish Translational Awards



University of Missouri in Columbia and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation have established a a $5 million grant agreement for projects between biomedical engineers and clinicians to take research discoveries to the marketplace. The foundation has set up similar programs with some 15 universities nationwide.

The agreement calls for the Coulter Foundation to fund two-thirds of the $1 million grant each year, with the university chipping in one-third of the amount, for five years. The funds will support university faculty in biomedical engineering who are seeking to commercialize their research discoveries in partnership with clinicians.

Biomedical engineering faculty at University of Missouri have already received individual Coulter Foundation awards. John Viator, a professor of biological engineering, was one recent Coulter awardee who developed a laser-based sensor that identifies cancer cells in the bloodstream. Viator says the foundation helped his team  further develop the equipment for market, conduct intellectual property analysis, and write a business plan.

The university has an ongoing Biodesign and Innovation Program that will likely be a source of projects seeking financial support from this fund. The program involves research collaboration between the university’s medical and engineering faculties, as well as joint educational opportunities for students. So far, says the university, the program has resulted in eight patents for new devices.

Read more: Foundations, Duke University Start Biomed Engineering Fund

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