QED Program

Funding and business advice to help academic researchers commercialize promising technologies



QED stands for quod erat demonstrandum, or “proven as demonstrated.”


Sometimes an idea alone is not enough. That’s where QED’s mentors and coaches come in.


The QED proof-of-concept program gives academic researchers mentoring, business advice, and in some cases, funding to commercialize their early-stage life science and healthcare technologies.


The projects selected to participate in the program receive:

  • Customized coaching from industry experts
  • Exposure to the investment community
  • Support to develop a commercialization funding roadmap


At the completion of the program, project leaders will possess the knowledge and tools to seek follow-on funding that will help their projects advance along the commercialization pathway. The Science Center kick starts this process by funding up to four projects from each round.


Since its launch in 2009 as the nation’s first multi-institutional proof-of-concept program for the life sciences, QED has screened close to 600 submissions from researchers at 21 partner institutions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware assisting development of 100+ Proof-of-Concept Plans. The outcome to date? Nine licensed technologies including six startup companies that have the potential to positively disrupt the healthcare landscape.  

"The QED Program has allowed me to meet experienced business advisors who have helped me understand what investors and industry partners care about. The program has given my technology a great deal of exposure to the broader community."

- Sunday Shoyele, researcher at Thomas Jefferson University and QED Awardee

Elements of the Program


Customized Business Mentorship

The QED Program taps into a network of volunteer Business Advisors with industry experience translating technologies from idea to clinic. Principal Investigators are matched with Business Advisors with relevant domain expertise, and they  work together as a team over a period of 8-10 weeks to develop proof-of-concept plans. . 


The Technology Transfer Office of the partner research organization supports the Investigator/Advisor teams in developing the proof-of-concept plans.


Development of Funding Plan

Each uniquely designed milestone-driven proof-of-concept plan answers key questions that will serve as a guide to seek follow on funding from public or private sources as the technology advances the commercialization pipeline.


Market Exposure

To position projects for a stronger exit into the market, all participants present their Proof-of-Concept Plans to pharma executives and investors. These industry representatives make up the Selection Team and could potentially be interested in supporting the technologies in the future. The feedback that the participants receive from the Selection Team enables them to better address their market and have a competitive edge moving forward.   


Bridge Funding

Funding from the  Science Center kickstarts up to four projects in each round. Up  to $200,000 grants enable the project team to complete the work proposed in the researchers’ Proof-of-Concept Plans over a 12-month period.


Members of the Science Center management team conduct periodic review of projects during implementation, and work with Technology Transfer Offices to facilitate the successful exit of technologies into the private sector. 


The QED Program has received support from U.S. Economic Development Administration, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Health, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, William Penn Foundation, and Wexford Science and Technology.

How to Apply


The QED Program provides key resources to all participating projects- including business mentorship, support to develop a proof-of-concept funding plan, and access to industry and investor representatives. Up to four projects are competitively selected from the participating project pool to receive bridge funding. We’re seeking technologies that have clear product potential in life science and healthcare markets.


The QED Program is administered through the Technology Transfer Office of each partner research organization (listed below). Interested applicants should contact their appropriate representative to discuss their interest in the QED program.


  • Affiliation with a QED partner institution
  • Support from home institution’s Technology Transfer Office
  • Life sciences focused technology/idea
  • A strong desire and willingness to learn and receive guidance from industry experts


In each annual cycle, proposals are solicited via an RFP mechanism calling for submission of brief White Paper applications.



  • White Papers are evaluated by the QED Program’s Selection Team comprised of  industry experts and investors. 10-15 applications are selected as program participants.

  • Each participant is invited to prepare a comprehensive Proof-of-Concept Plan in collaboration with an assigned QED Program Business Advisor, and to present  a detailed proposal to the Selection Team.
  • Up to four projects  in each QED cycle receive up to $200,000 each for technical proof-of-concept validation over a period of 12 months.


Funding for each project is contributed equally by the Science Center and the PI’s home institution. Ownership of all intellectual property is retained by the research institution and transitioned into either licensing opportunities or new ventures according to institutional policies and commercial interest.


Each QED partner institution has agreed to revenue sharing conditions in the event that a funded project is licensed. Applicants should consult their Technology Transfer Office to discuss details.


Participating projects are evaluated for funding based on the following criteria:

  • Market opportunity and competitiveness
  • Significant improvement over current standard of care or current solution in market
  • Scientific merit
  • IP position
  • Probability of attracting follow-on funding
  • Feasibility of proposed Proof-of-Concept plan in terms of strategy and resources

Opening date for White Papers

Early submission of White Papers for feedback

Final submission of White Papers

Participants' invitation for proof-of-concept

BA roundtable strategy session

Team orientation

Specialist clinic 

Proof-of-concept plans due

Revised proof-of-concept plans due


Presentations to the Selection Committee



May 1

June 2

June 29

July 21

August 2-3

August 9

September 6-7

October 11

November 6

November 14

December 13-14


QED participants


Round 10

Treena Arinzeh, Ph.D. (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

Bioactive Composite Matrix for Bone Repair


Leslie Dutton, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania)

Artificial Blood for Trauma Care


Jean-Pierre Issa, M.D. (Temple University)

A New Cyclin Dependent Kinase Inhibitor Selective for CDK9 and CDK4


Peter Lelkes, Ph.D. (Temple University)

Portable Spinner of Aqueous Soy Solutions for Wound Healing Applications


Patricia McLaughlin, M.S., D.Ed (Penn State College of Medicine)

Novel Treatment for Diabetic Wound Healing


Prabhas Moghe, Ph.D. (Rutgers University)

Optical Surveillance for Disease Tracking: "Ink and Scan" Infrared Nanotechnology


Maureen Murphy, Ph.D. (The Wistar Inistitute)

Mitochondrial-Targeted HSP70 Inhibitors


Elias Rizk, M.D. (Penn State College of Medicine)

Development of a Subarachnoid to Sagittal Sinus CSF Drainage System


Charles Roth, Ph.D. (Rutgers University)

Graplon "Smart" Polyelectrolyle Nanomedicines for Cystic Fibrosis


Eon Soo Lee, Ph.D. (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

Innovative Point of Care Micro Biochip for Early Stage Disease Diagnostics


Paul Stauffer, MSEE, CCE (Thomas Jefferson University)

Tumor Bed Implant for Dual-Modality Heat and Radiation Treatment of At-Risk Tissue Surrounding a Resection Cavity





Michel Bilello, M.D., Ph.D. (Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania)

Computer-Aided Detection for the Assessment of Multiple Sclerosis on Brain MRI

Monte Mills, M.D. (Childrens’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

Vifant OKN Vision Acuity Test App  

Yicheng Lu, Ph.D. (Rutgers University)

Magnesium zinc oxide based thin film transistor biosensor (MZO-bioTFT) for biochemical diagnostics with high sensitivity and selectivity

Yanming Wang, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)

Targeting PAD4 for cancers and autoimmune disorders

Marina D’Angelo, Ph.D. (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine)

Extracellular Matrix Protection Factor 2 is a novel therapeutic for treatment of several common oral health problems: Developing periodontal and restorative dentistry applications

Patricia McLaughlin, D.Ed. (Pennsylvania State University)

Novel Therapy for Dry Eye

David Cormode, Ph.D. (Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania)

Polymer radiolabeling to enable clinical translation of an anti-cancer therapeutic

Alexei Tulin, M.S, Ph.D. (Fox Chase Cancer Center)

Targeting Histone-dependent PARP-1 Activation: a Novel Therapeutic Strategy for Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer

Charles Palmer, M.D. (Pennsylvania State University)

Noninvasive negative pressure chest wall ventilation in the neonate

Guodong Liu, M.S., Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)

A medical profile based framework of assessing children on the risks of Autism Spectrum Disorder during early childhood

Mohammad Abedinnasab, M.S., Ph.D. (Rowan University)

Robossis: Femur Fracture Robot



Carol M. Artlett, Ph.D. (Drexel University- College of Medicine)

Optimization of Small Soluble Molecule inhibitors of the IL-1 Receptor and their use in scleroderma fibrosis

Gabriela Marcu, Ph.D. (Drexel University)

Lilypad: Empowering data management and decision making in special education

Paul Diefenbach, M.S., Ph.D. (Drexel University)

enAble Games: Active video games to promote health and function in the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities

Jitendra D. Belani, Ph.D. (Thomas Jefferson University)

In-vivo Studies of a SirT1 Activator for Androgen Independent Prostate Cancer

Eric Wickstrom, B.S., Ph.D. (Thomas Jefferson University)

Triple negative breast cancer therapy by specific blocking of microRNA 17

Mehmet Hakan Ozdener, M.D., Ph.D. (Monell Center)

The Use of Human Taste Cell Cultures for Screening Novel Taste Compounds

Melik C. Demirel, M.S., Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)

Thermoplastic Biodegradable Protein Swabs for DNA Capture and Release

Judith Deutsch, P.T., Ph.D., FAPTA (Rutgers University)

VSTEP: A stepping game to promote balance mobility and fitness

KiBum Lee, M.S., Ph.D. (Rutgers University)

NanoScript: A Nanoparticle‐Based Transcription Factor for Gene Regulation and Stem Cell Differentiation

Gediminas  Mainelis, Ph.D. (Rutgers University)

Passive Bioaerosol Area and Personal Samplers using Oppositely Polarized Ferroelectric Film Surfaces

Rodrigo B. Andrade, Ph.D. (Temple University)

Discovery of Novel Antibiotics:  Employing Bacteria to Assemble Their Own Inhibitors

Peter I. Lelkes, M.S., Ph.D. (Temple University)

Bioactive protein in water-soluble soy protein isolate (WSsoy) for regenerative tissue engineering

Amy Cowperthwait, B.S. (University of Delaware)

SimUCare: removing the barriers between standardized patients and technology



Carol M. Artlett, Ph.D. (Drexel University- College of Medicine)

Pre-clinical optimization of KA494 and KA862, novel therapeutics for Scleroderma

Alessandro Fatatis, M.D, Ph.D. (Drexel University- College of Medicine)

Highly Specific and Sensitive Urine-based Prostate Cancer Detection

Linda Fleisher, Ph.D., MPH (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

Actualizing the promise of the Digital Health Revolution through a cloud-based evaluation platform

Joseph M. Fox, Ph.D. (University of Delaware)

Rapid assembly of F18-Probes for PET imaging

Joseph Freeman, Ph.D. (Rutgers University)

Nanoparticle-based Therapy for Ligament Repair

Joachim Kohn , Ph.D. (Rutgers University)

Drug delivery system to provide local chemotherapy as adjunct to systemic therapy for breast cancer    

Steven W. Levison, Ph.D. (Rutgers University)

Tethered Growth Factors on Biocompatible Scaffolds for Stem Cell Propagation

Stephen  J. Piazza, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)

Smart Devices for Physical Rehabilitation

Jeffrey Henderer, M.D. (Temple University)

Owl Eyes Incentivizing Early Ophthalmic Screening for Better Health Outcomes

Sunday A. Shoyele, Ph.D. (Thomas Jefferson University)

Novel Hybrid Nanoparticle for stable and Efficient siRNA Delivery to Cancer

Gordon Thomas, Ph.D. (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

NJIT’s Personal Tonometer (for measuring intraocular eye pressure)

William Wuest, Ph.D. (Temple University)

Development of Amphiphilic Antibiofilm/Antibacterial Agents

Chao Zhou, Ph.D. (Lehigh University)

Ultrahigh Speed Ophthalmic Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)


Mohammad Abedin-Nasab, Ph.D. (Rowan University) is improving patient outcomes with Robossis™, a robotic surgery device designed to assist surgeons with pre-operative planning and alignment of long bone fractures, leading to faster surgeries.  


David Cormode, D.Phil., M.Chem. (University of Pennsylvania) is revolutionizing cancer treatment options with a biodegradable gold nanoparticle-based technology that increases radiation absorption in tumors, creating improved therapeutic efficacy in cancer.


Charles Palmer, MB, ChB, FCP, FAAP (Penn State College of Medicine) is transforming neonatal care though a noninvasive assisted breathing device for pre-term infants with respiratory distress that uses negative pressure to prevent chest wall collapse. 




Amy Cowperthwait, RN, MSN, ACNS-BC, and Amy Bucha, MS (University of Delaware)

A team of nurses and engineers at the University of Delaware is revolutionizing training of healthcare workers, starting with techniques for emergency airway management, by developing new mannequin simulation tools. 


Judith Deutsch, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)

A team of physical therapists and engineers at Rutgers University is creating a rehabilitation technology that will aid in mobility, coordination and fitness training for older adults as well as persons with neurologic and musculoskeletal conditions. 


Melik Demirel, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)

A team at Pennsylvania State University is using proteins to coat the surfaces of biomedical swabs, allowing them to capture DNA for analysis from even tiny amounts of blood or other biological samples. 


KiBum Lee, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

A team at Rutgers University is developing a technology for programming stem cells for use in therapies in people with incurable and debilitating diseases and disorders.




Steven Levison, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

A new product for culturing nervous system stem cells that simplifies and improves the ability of researchers to grow these cells for experimental and therapeutic use.


Sunday Shoyele, Ph.D. (Thomas Jefferson University) 

A product for delivering a highly-degradable gene that prevents the expression of cancer and other cells using antibody-based nanoparticles.


William Wuest, Ph.D. (Temple University)

The next generation of disinfectants for a variety of commercial industries including healthcare, transportation, water and energy.


Chao Zhou, Ph.D. (Lehigh University)

A diagnostic instrument that will allow faster, more sensitive eye exams for macular degeneration and glaucoma, improving an approach known as optical coherence tomography (OCT).




Benjamin Blass, Ph.D. (Temple University)
A potential drug therapy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease as it’s popularly known.


Samuel Gunderson, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
A new therapeutic compound for pancreatic cancer, one of the most difficult to treat.


Joseph Picone, Ph.D. (Temple University)
A software tool that automatically analyzes electrical activity in the brain for epilepsy and brain injury patients.


Christof Daetwyler, M.D. (Drexel University)
An online system to improve the communication skills of healthcare professionals using practice, assessment, and feedback.




Robert Sikes, Ph.D. (University of Delaware)
A potential drug therapy for prostate cancer, developed from a novel class of compounds.


Joyce Tombran-Tink, Ph.D. (Penn State College of Medicine)
An eye drop therapy for diabetic retinopathy based on novel peptides. 


William Craelius, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
A smartphone app to support physical therapy for stroke patients.


Anant Madabhushi,  Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
A technology that enhances the identification of prostate cancer through computer-based image analysis of MRI scans.




Hwyda A. Arafat, M.D./Ph.D. (Thomas Jefferson University)
A candidate for the first clinically reliable test for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, the primary form of pancreatic cancer which currently has no reliable system for early detection.


Mayuresh V. Kothare, Ph.D. (Lehigh University)
A portable medical oxygen concentrator for ambulatory breathing support of critical patients or patients with lung disease.    


Alexander A. Messinger, R.A. (Philadelphia University)
Textiles activated chemically to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections.   




Marija Drndic, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania)
A lab-on-a-chip tool for measuring microRNA molecules in a biological sample by detecting individual molecules passing through nanopores in an ultrathin silicon film (a “molecular toll booth”).


George Tuszynski, Ph.D. (Temple University)
A protein-based therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The protein shows promise in reverting cultured leukemic cells to normal cells. 


Linda Couto, Ph.D. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
A novel treatment for people infected with hepatitis C virus, using a microRNA technology that interferes with the ability of the virus to express its own genes.





Joseph Gorman, M.D. (University of Pennsylvania)
A minimally-invasive heart valve replacement technology. 


Robert Levy, Ph.D. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
A magnetic drug delivery system for targeting therapies to stents implanted in patients with peripheral vascular disease. 


Samuel Gunderson, Ph.D. (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
A new technology, U1-Adaptors, that silences gene expression via a completely different mechanism to current techniques. 




Paul Ducheyne, Ph.D., (University of Pennsylvania)
Film-coated orthopedic pins for reducing bacterial infection during the stabilization of bone injuries. 


Elisabeth Papazoglou, Ph.D., (Drexel University)
A handheld monitor to assess healing of complex wounds, such as diabetic ulcers, helping to reduce costs and avoid dire sequels such as amputation. 


Wan Shih, Ph.D. (Drexel University)
A portable, radiation-free breast cancer screening device targeting  women with dense breasts or in countries where mammography is not readily available. 

Selection Team Members


An integral component of the QED Program is the involvement of industry licensing and investment professionals in the selection of projects for funding. Representatives of the following organizations have participated in the Selection process:  


Aceti Management Consulting

Adarza BioSystems, Inc.

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals



Ben Franklin Technology Partners


BiologicsMD, Inc.

Biomedical Institute of the Americas

Bracco Group

Canadian Consulate

DDR Partners

Domain Associates



FemmePharma, Advisory Team

Foundation Venture Capital Group (a New Jersey Health Foundation Affiliate)


George Washington University


HealthyCheats LLC

i4 Business Development, LLC



Integra Life Sciences

Ip Group plc


Iroko Pharmaceuticals, LLC

Johnson & Johnson

Lodestar Advisory Partners

MAG; Delaware Crossing

Medical Measurement Systems

MedTech Playbook



NewSpring Capital

OKM Capital

OraSure Technologies, Inc.

Osage University Partners

R&D Worldwide Business Development

Reha Technology

Robin Hood Ventures

Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.

SG3 Ventures

Shire Pharmceuticals

St. Luke's University Health Network


Tarnhelm Therapeutics

Teva Pharmaceuticals

The Biomedical Institute of the Americas

Trade Commissioner at Consulate of Canada

URL Pharma, Inc.

Vascular Medicine Center

Windtree Therapeutics

Zack Consulting Services



The Science Center’s community of 150+ industry professionals and serial entrepreneurs participate in the QED Program as Business Advisors. They work with investigators and Technology Transfer Offices to evaluate a go-to-market strategy and prepare  a commercialization funding plan for each technology. Below is a sampling of our network of Business Advisors. 

Prepared by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, this 2016 report quantifies the performance and impact of the QED program on the region's innovation ecosystem.   

Questions about the QED program?  

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