May 2014 External Awards Report

The total external awards received in May 2014 was $190,238.

View the List of Individual Awards; Awards by Sponsor Type; Awards by Purpose


→ Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)

The 2014 AUTM Central Region Meeting, "Spirit of Innovation," will be held in St. Louis, July 14-16, at the Hyatt at the Arch. This conference brings together industry representatives and academic tech transfer professionals from across the Midwest for educational sessions, networking and business development. UMSL's director of technology commercialization and economic development, Tamara Wilgers, is serving as Site Chair for this year's event. → More Info

→ WISE (Women in Science and Entrepreneurship)

This free program offers the scientific and entrepreneurial community a unique opportunity to learn, share and network.

→ November 14, 2014
→ Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
975 N. Warson Road
St. Louis, MO
Download Flyer (PDF)
























































































































UMSL Innovator

July 2014, Volume XIV, Number 1

› Three UMSL Projects Funded by FastTrack


The FastTrack program, adminstered by the UM Office of Research and Economic Development, provides up to $50,000 per proposal to support prospects from each of the UM campuses. This support allows recipients to focus on development, testing or prototype construction, and/or conduct specific market research to bring the technology closer to market.

In the 2014 FastTrack round, all three applicants from the University of Missouri-St. Louis received funding. Three projects from UMKC and two projects from MS&T were also funded. The UMSL projects are described below.

Carl Bassi George Gokel Haitao Li
Dr. Carl Bassi, associate professor, College of Optometry
Dr. George Gokel, distinguished professor of science, director - Center for Nanoscience
Dr. Haitao Li, assistant professor, College of Business Administration

→ The Q3D: A Novel Device to Help Kids See

Inventors: Dr. Carl Bassi, associate professor, College of Optometry; Michael Howe, senior research engineering technician, College of Optometry; and Wayne Garver, adjunct instructor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Award: $50,000

Amblyopia is the loss of vision in an eye when the brain “suppresses” information from that eye and is the most common reason for vision impairment in children, young and middle-aged adults. If not detected early, it can cause permanent vision loss.

The National Eye Institute (NEI) estimates that 2% to 3% of all children have amblyopia worldwide. While amblyopia can be prevented or reversed if detected early enough, current technology on the market can detect visual suppression only qualitatively and only when significant suppression is already present. This novel, extremely sensitive device that quantifies visual suppression changes that with early detection and treatment tracking capabilities.

"We are grateful for the University of Missouri System FastTrack Award for our project "Optimization of a Quantitative Screening Device for Identifying Visual Disorders in Children," said Dr. Carl Bassi, lead inventor and associate professor of optometry. "This award will allow us to produce market-ready prototypes of our device to measure visual suppression in patients and to assess the prototypes in a clinical population. This device provides clinicians with a fast, improved means to detect amblyopia early and prevent permanent visual loss in children. Our goal is to have the device licensed and in production by fall 2016."

→ Enhancing Antibiotic Potency and Counteracting Antimicrobial Drug Resistance

Inventors: Dr. George Gokel, distinguished professor of science, director - Center for Nanoscience; Mohit Patel, graduate student, Department of Biology; Dr. Saeedeh Negin, post-doc, Center for Nanoscience; and Michael Gokel, technician in the Center for Nanoscience

Award: $50,000

Dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria have now emerged in every part of the world and threaten to roll back a century of medical advances, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Infectious organisms have adapted to the antibiotics designed to kill them. There is now resistance to more than 50% of  known antimicrobials discovered.

This discovery, new methods to enhance the antimicrobial activity of an antibiotic, will help address this critical issue. The technology has numerous potential applications: anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer.

FastTrack funding will help optimize the finding and help position it for clinical trials and commercial partnerships.

“The hard work of bringing this technology to a viable "fast track" stage was done by Mohit Patel, Mike Gokel, and Dr. Saeedeh Negin," said lead inventor Dr. George Gokel, distinguished professor of science and director of the Center for Nanoscience. "They all worked hard to develop the science and to refine the proposal and presentation to the committee. We are delighted to have the University's support in our effort to bring a new antibiotic approach to market.”

→ Optimizing Resources to Significantly Improve Efficiencies in Construction and Other Industries

Inventors: Dr. Haitao Li, assistant professor - Logistics and Operations Management Area, College of Business Administration, UMSL; Dr. Ceki Halmen, associate professor of civil engineering, School of Computing and Engineering, UMKC; and Liu (Dorothy) Yang, graduate student in logistics & operations management, College of Business Administration, UMSL.

Award: $49,704 (50% UMSL, 50% UMKC)

This project focuses on developing a decision-support tool for optimizing the resource allocation and scheduling of construction projects, helping to solve real-world problems in resource management, supply chain design and logistics to keep costs low and projects on time. The tool will offer decision-support capability and functionality that is not available in the current commercial project management software.

While work will initially focus on the construction industry, the technology has application in many other fields including chemical/pharma, military, professional services, manufacturing, etc.

Prior work has been funded by Hewlett Packard and the Army Research Office, along with a University of Missouri Interdisciplinary Intercampus (IDIC) grant. FastTrack funds will focus on the commercial advancement of the construction-focused work completed under the IDIC award.

According to lead inventor, Dr. Haitao Li, assistant professor in the College of Business Administration at UMSL, "Winning the FastTrack award is a milestone for me — it advances my research in optimization and algorithm design toward technology transfer and commercialization. The interdisciplinary nature of this research is exciting; my collaborator Professor Ceki Halmen from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has brought his expertise and experience in construction projects to this project. With the FastTrack funding, we hope to bridge the gap between the vast availability of "big data" and the quality of decision-support in the construction industry."

› MIMH Names UMSL Professor Rob Paul Director

Rob Paul
Rob Paul, professor of psychology at UMSL, has been named the new director of the Missouri Institute of Mental Health. (Photo by August Jennewein)

(UMSL Daily, 07/01/2014, Myra Lopes) Rob Paul, professor of psychology at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, has been named the new director of the Missouri Institute of Mental Health, a research unit of the university.

Paul, who has been a clinical brain scientist for nearly 20 years, begins his appointment on July 1. He succeeds Felix Vincenz who served as interim director over the last six months.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity,” Paul said. “It’s a perfect fit for me because it’s a combination of both a business structure and a research/academic structure, and so I get to marry all of the things that I love to do. This is really an all in dedicated role.”

Read More (UMSL Daily)

› NSF and NIH Grant Training Seminars

Writing and Designing NSF Proposals Workshop
July 14, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
St. Louis, MO
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO

This one-day comprehensive seminar is for those who wish to submit winning research proposals to the National Science Foundation (NSF). It is taught by experienced faculty who received various NSF grants, and serve as evaluators on NSF review panels. REGISTER ONLINE or call toll free at (866)-704-7268 or (571) 257-8864.

How to Obtain Peer-Reviewed NIH Research Grants
July 15, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saint Louis University (SLU)
St. Louis, MO
Sponsored by: The Grant Training Center

This one-day seminar is geared for junior faculty, students, and administrators who are beginning the process of submitting grants to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is also relevant for seasoned researchers who wish to refresh their knowledge of the new NIH requirements and the peer review process. Ultimately, the focus is to assist all who wish to submit winning research proposals to the NIH. REGISTER ONLINE or call toll free at (866)-704-7268 or (571) 257-8864.

NOTE: Space is limited, first-come, first-serve basis. Workshop Fee: $375.00 (including tuition, materials, certificate of completion, and continental breakfast). A $155 discount is available if you register for both workshops (call for discount code).

Neither Saint Louis University nor UMSL is not endorsing or sponsoring the activities conducted by The Grant Training Center.

› Remember to Leverage PIVOT to Identify Funding Opps and Research Collaborators

The PIVOT Database is designed for faculty, staff researchers, and graduate students to quickly discover the right funding opportunities and effectively collaborate with their colleagues.

Pivot combines the most comprehensive, editorially maintained database of funding opportunities worth an estimated $33 billion with our unique database of 3 million pre-populated scholar profiles, drawing from Community of Scholars and Community of Science profiles. Its proprietary algorithm compiles pre-populated researcher profiles unique to your organization (and others) and matches them to current funding opportunities in the expansive COS database. This allows users to search for a funding opportunity and instantly view matching faculty from inside or outside their institution. Conversely, a search for a scholar will link to matching funding opportunities.

Pivot is a tool that:

› 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 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.

© 2014 University of Missouri-St. Louis

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Pivot Funding Opportunitites Database

Search the PIVOT Database for external funding opportunities and potential collaborators!
PIVOT Training Guides and Webinars


Title: NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03)

Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Investigator-Initiated Small Research Grant (R03) funding opportunity supports small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources. The R03 activity code supports different types of projects including pilot and feasibility studies; secondary analysis of existing data; small, self-contained research projects; development of research methodology; and development of new research technology.

Amount: $100,000
Direct costs are limited to $100,000 direct costs over the R03 two-year period, with no more than $50,000 in direct costs allowed in a single year. Cost sharing is not required.

Application Deadline:
> Sept. 7, 2014 (AIDS and AIDS-related applications are due)

> Oct. 16, 2014 (new applications due)