May 2013, Volume XII, Number 11
The Office of Research Administration (ORA) hosted a week of events at UMSL to highlight and recognize research, development, innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and in the region.
Events included a networking skills workshop for students; luncheon presentations by two successful entrepreneurs from the region; two movie viewings at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, including Silver Linings Playbook starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, both of which included Q&A sessions with experts from the Missouri Institute of Mental Health to discuss topics covered in the films such as bipolar disorder; and a grand finale reception to wrap up the week.
Howard Lerner, co-founder of Kaldi's Coffee, presented "How to Beat a Bully: Kaldi's vs Starbucks"; and Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square Inc., presented "Seeds of Change: Hacking St. Louis." Thompson Coburn LLP sponsored the Lerner presentation and Senniger Powers sponsored the McKelvey presentation. Thank you to both sponsors.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt welcomed the crowd at the showing of Sliver Linings Playbook via a pre-recorded video noting that now is a critical time to make mental health services more available and accessible to the 1.5 million people suffering from mental health disorders in the United States. He also thanked the Missouri Institute of Mental Health for their efforts in mental health first aid and other related services. Watch Video
Highlights of Research & Innovation Week at UMSL reception included:
- Induction of six new members to the UMSL chapter of the National Academy of Inventors. See NAI Membership for elegibility requirements, to apply for Inventor Membership or to nominate an individual for Honorary Membership.
- NEW INVENTOR MEMBER
Dr. Joseph O'Sullivan, Dean, UMSL/Washington University Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program. Dr. O'Sullivan is listed as an inventor of four issued U.S. patents.
- NEW HONORARY MEMBERS
From left: Mohit Patel; Matthew MacEwan; Dr. Nasser Arshadi, Vice Provost for Research, who helped induct the new NAI members; Jason Atkins; Joan Brennan; Dr. Steve Mestemacher
- Jason Atkins, Research Associate, Center for Nanoscience; Co-Founder, President & Chief Scientific Officer, GenetixFusion LLC
- Joan Brennan, UMSL Alumna; Founder, Brennan Innovators
- Matthew MacEwan, Founder & President, Retectix LLC; Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, OsteoVantage Inc.; Founder & CEO, Red Rock Laboratories LLC
- Dr. Steve Mestemacher, UMSL Alumni (BA 1969); Senior Technology Fellow, DuPont Engineering Polymers
- Mohit Patel, Research Associate, Center for Nanoscience; Co-Founder & Executive Vice President of Business Development, GenetixFusion LLC
- NEW INVENTOR MEMBER
- Presentation of four new awards designed to honor and recognize innovative research and inventorship -- Junior and Senior Investigators of the Year and Faculty and Student Inventors of the Year for 2013 (see sidebar on left for winners, also see UMSL Investigators and Inventors of the Year for more information).
- Announcement of the UMSL winners of the FastTrack II awards for proof-of-concept work on university inventions (see FastTrack story below)
Winners Announced for Two Internal Funding Competitions
The new University of Missouri System Interdisciplinary Intercampus Research Program was designed to increase research activity that could lead to the advancement of technologies and commercialization. Faculty submitted short proposals to investigate high-risk, high-reward research ideas that would eventually lead to extramural funding. Each proposal submission had to include a researcher from at least two of the UM campuses and at least two different disciplines.
The University of Missouri-St. Louis received IDIC funding for eight proposals.
Funding under the FastTrack program allows recipients to conduct development, testing, prototype construction, and/or specific market research work that may lead to industry collaboration, licensing, the formation of a new company, or the abandonment of the technology for commercial application.
Inventors from the University of Missouri-St. Louis submitted 15 proposals to FastTrack II, the second-most submitted of the four UM campuses. The proposals represented a wide range of technologies and inventions and departments including chemistry, biology, optometry, fine arts, gerontology, and more. More than 70 proposals submitted to the UM System from the four campuses; with $500,000 available (up to $50,000 per project), 13 proposals were funded including three from UMSL:
- PI: Dr. George W. Gokel, Distinguished Professor & Director of the Center for Nanoscience
- Collaborators: Jason Atkins, Research Associate, Center for Nanoscience; and Mohit Patel, Research Associate, Center for Nanoscience
- Award Amount: $50,000
- Project Title: “Novel, non-toxic and highly efficient chemical transformation and transfection reagents”
- Description: Development of a new, inexpensive and non-toxic method to help DNA cross the membrane barrier so that cells can be modified.
- PI: Dr. Edward S. Jarka, Clinical Assistant Professor and Chief of the Eye Health Management Service, College of Optometry
- Collaborator: Michael Howe, Senior Research Engineering Technician, College of Optometry
- Award Amount: $42,000
- Project Title: “A Hand-held Meibomian Gland Warmer and Expressor”
- Description: Treatment for Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a common, unpleasant chronic condition affecting nearly 40% of routine eye care patients and approximately half of all contact lens wearers.
- PI: Dr. Michael R. Nichols, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
- Collaborator: Dr. Alexei Demchenko, Professor, Department of Chemistry
- Award Amount: $39,900
- Project Title: “Development and Testing of an Endotoxin Antagonist Compound”
- Description: Investigation of a new compound as a potential therapeutic treatment for Sepsis, a potentially deadly medical condition, and the inflammatory component of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Science, Economic Development Focus of UMSL Symposium
The St. Louis Institute of Nanoscience & Nanomedicine hosted a symposium on May 4 on the UMSL campus with an overall theme of “Translating Science into Economic Development.” A joint venture sponsored by UMSL, Saint Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis, SLINN 2013 brought in more than 100 participants including academic and industry researchers and administrators, successful entrepreneurs, investors, attorneys, students and more. UMSL's Chancellor Tom George delivered a keynote address about the history and value of higher education.
During the event, 10 “elevator” pitches and 53 posters were presented.
Cash awards were given for the following elevator talks:
1. Tom Cohen: “Nanopore Diagnostics” [WU]
2. Mohit Patel and Jason Atkins: “GenetixFusion LLC” [UMSL CNS]
3. Eugene Pinkhassik: “Nanoreactors” [SLU]
Cash awards were also given for the following poster presentations:
1. Sergey Shmakov: “Liposome-templated biocompatible nanomaterials with nanometer-thin walls: synthetic approach and creation of functional devices [SLU]
2. Saeedeh Negin: Pyrogallolarenes as ion transporters [UMSL CNS]
3. Abeera Sharma: “Surface characterization and modification of nanoporous gold to detect biomolecular interactions and for application in glycosciences [UMSL CNS]
Monthly External Awards Report: March 2013
Lobbying Disclosure Requirements
To ensure that the university is compliant with the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 2007, it is important that faculty and staff adhere to policies outlined at www.umsystem.edu/ums/gr/disclosure.
UMSL employees must report expenses incurred in the process of lobbying to Tony Accurso (ext. 5859) either at the time of travel expense report submission or no later than the end of the quarter during which the expenses were incurred.
› See additional News, Events & Upcoming Deadlines on the ORA web site.
The Office of Research Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis publishes The UMSL Innovator once each month. The online and e-mail publication is designed to inform the campus community of grants received; highlight the research and commercialization accomplishments of UMSL faculty, graduate students and staff; and provide information on important deadlines and events. Also included is recent news about research and commercialization at the University and elsewhere. Recipients are UMSL faculty, students and staff. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, comments or suggestions on content.
The Office of Research Administration provides leadership and support in the development, execution and operation of programs in sponsored research, technology transfer and economic development throughout the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
© 2013 University of Missouri-St. Louis