PHILADELPHIA--(January 20, 2015) – Researchers developing technologies for high-speed eye exams, cancer treatment, stem cell growth and healthcare sanitation will receive a total of $650,000 in funding through the seventh round of the University City Science Center’s QED Proof-of-Concept Program. The program, started in 2009, funds novel university technologies with market potential, bridging the gap between academic research and product commercialization. The awardees were selected from a pool of 68 applicants and nine universities in the Greater Philadelphia region.
The QED grants will support researchers at Lehigh University, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Temple University and Thomas Jefferson University. Half of the $650,000 awarded will be contributed by the Science Center and half by the researchers’ institutions. Each project will also receive guidance from the Science Center’s experienced team of business advisors. To date, 24 previously-funded QED projects have attracted $14.8 million in follow-on funding and led to six licensed technologies.
QED has received support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Health, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, William Penn Foundation, and Wexford Science and Technology, a BioMed Realty Company.
“QED continues to resonate with both the academic and funding community,” says Science Center President and CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “The number of submissions continues to increase round over round as academic researchers identify ways to commercialize their emerging technologies. At the same time, the support of our funders enables us to continue to facilitate the development of these exciting technologies and contribute to the robust life science ecosystem in the Greater Philadelphia Region.”
The Round 7 awardees include:
Dr. Chao Zhou of Lehigh University, who is developing 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).
Dr. Steven Levison of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, who is developing a new product for culturing neural stem cells that simplifies and improves the ability of researchers to grow these cells for experimental and therapeutic use.
Dr. William Wuest of Temple University, who is developing the next generation of disinfectants for a variety of commercial industries including healthcare, transportation, water, and energy.
Dr. Sunday Shoyele of Thomas Jefferson University, who is developing a product for delivering highly-degradable gene inhibitors to cancer and other cells using antibody-based nanoparticles.