UTRF 2018 Innovation Awards Celebrate UT Researchers

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The University of Tennessee Research Foundation hosted its Innovation Awards for the UTHSC campus on December 4, 2018. (Photo by Allen Gillespie/UTHSC)

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) celebrated the researchers whose achievements made 2018 a record-breaking year at the annual Innovation Awards ceremonies, held December 4 at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and December 5 at The Foundry on the Fair Site in Knoxville.

Researchers at UTHSC received patent plaques, startup awards, and license certificates recognizing them for their discoveries and commercialization efforts made within the last year. In addition, four of the seven 2019 UTRF Maturation Grants, totaling $60,000, were awarded to UTHSC researchers. A Phase II grant valued at $30,000 was also presented:

The 2019 UTRF Maturation Grant recipients from UTHSC at this year’s Innovation Awards included:

  • Adebowale Adebiyi, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Physiology, and Hiteshkumar Soni, PhD, instructor in the Department of Physiology, who received a $15,000 maturation grant.
  • Michio Kurosu, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, who received a $15,000 maturation grant.
  • Monica Jablonski, PhD, professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, and Mohamed Moustafa, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology, who received a $15,000 maturation grant along with a Phase II grant of $30,000.
  • Tayebeh Pourmotabbed, PhD, professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry, and Anton Reiner, PhD, professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, who received a $15,000 maturation grant.

The 2019 UTRF Maturation Grant helps to further develop technologies with the potential for commercial success. The grant is open for researchers, faculty, staff and students across the UT System. Submitted projects are related to UT invention disclosures and judged based on criteria that include a demonstration of path for commercial development and market potential.

The Innovation Awards recognize the researchers from all over UT who partner with UTRF to bring their innovations to market. “Innovations can truly come from anywhere,” said UTRF president Dr. Stacey Patterson. “UTRF proudly celebrates UT researchers whose technologies advance innovations from their labs to the marketplace and also benefit the public and regional economy.” As a part of the technology transfer process, UTRF vets invention disclosures, aids inventors through the patent application commercialization processes, executes license agreements, and supports investment efforts.

Honorees from this year’s Innovation Awards included 42 inventors who patented 27 technologies, 37 researchers who secured 24 licenses, and founders of three startup companies.

For a complete list of UTHSC honorees visit: https://utrf.tennessee.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018-HSC-Innovation-Awards-program-WEB.pdf