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UTHSC Receives Funds from UT Research Foundation


The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) has selected six UTHSC researchers or research teams to receive technology development grants for 2008.

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) has selected six UT Health Science Center (UTHSC) researchers or research teams to receive technology development grants for 2008. Grant funds will allow researchers to further develop or “mature” their technologies so that they are better positioned for licensing and commercialization.

Researchers were invited to propose further work on inventions and discoveries that either had been previously disclosed to UT and assigned to UTRF or to propose new disclosures with a development plan. Forty-four proposals were received from the four campuses and three institutes that make up the University of Tennessee. A total of 11 proposals were funded, and six of those were from the UTHSC.

The six awards for UTHSC totaled $105,000 and included a $15,000 matching grant from Nashville-based Cumberland Emerging Technologies for one of the proposals.

“This program is another initiative that supports the commitment of the University of Tennessee to become one of the premier research institutions in the country, as well as its commitment to drive technology-based economic development for the state of Tennessee,” said Fred Tompkins, president of UTRF. “Our mission at UTRF is to support the research enterprise, then find ways to take research results and turn them into economic benefit for the university and our society.”

UTRF used a panel of subject matter and technology commercialization experts from across the state to evaluate both the technology and the development plan proposed by each researcher. UTRF also solicited advice from Technology 2020 and Memphis Bioworks Foundation, economic development organizations engaged by UTRF to assist with technology commercialization.

The following UTHSC proposals were selected for funding:

Antonin Bukovsky and Michael Caudle, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Graduate School of Medicine at UT Medical Center in Knoxville, for work on improved fertility technology
Edward Chaum, UTHSC Hamilton Eye Institute, for work on a new retinal surgical device
Julian Hurdle and Richard Lee, Pharmaceutical Science, for work on a topical antibiotic for drug-resistant bacteria
Dhukee Betty Lew, Pediatrics, for work on asthma treatment and prevention
Linda Myers, Arnold Postlethwaite and Andrew Kang, Pediatrics and Rheumatology, for work on a rheumatoid arthritis treatment
Yunzhi Yang, Biomedical Engineering, for work on bone healing/regeneration technology

“These awards attest to the value of the research that continues to emerge from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center,” said Leonard “Rusty” Johnson, PhD, vice chancellor for Research at UTHSC. “Supporting research is critical for the eventual commercialization of the technology that will ultimately benefit Memphis and the surrounding region.”

Upon completion of the development work, UTRF will receive a report from the researchers describing the new knowledge gained and improvements made in the subject technology. These results are expected to allow UTRF to better position the technologies for licensing to either an existing company or a new start-up entity.