April 24, 2014

research

UM Touts Research with Commercial Potential

University of Miami faculty regularly produce research with commercial potential: New algorithms that could improve the way e-commerce websites work, for example; new ways of making satellite images of oceans; stem cell transplantation research that may be useful in treating heart disease.

Theodore Lampidis
Theodore Lampidis, a professor of cell biology and anatomy, presents at the UM Innovation showcase last December.
But until two years ago, the university hadn’t organized a way to connect the research with businesses that commercialize such discoveries. In response, Bart Chernow, recruited to UM as vice provost for technology advancement, founded UM Innovation, an umbrella entity that coordinates the activities of an office of technology transfer, a Center for Translational Research, a corporate advisory council, patent and copyright assistance, and other resources to help move discoveries into the corporate world. The university plans to start construction this summer on a life science park that will be part of UM Innovation.

» “In order to realize its full potential, we have to expose the technology discovered by university faculty to commercial entities.”
— Bart Chernow
Bart Chernow

One of the fruits of Chernow’s work is Generation One, a company formed in mid-2008 around technology that compares elderly patients’ voices from one period to the present to identify ailments and potential health risks. Generation One is a partnership between a UM biomedical engineer and a UM geriatrician.

In December, UM Innovation hosted a showcase that highlighted innovations from all of the university’s schools. More than 300 attendees heard presentations on research ranging from cancer vaccines to treatment for age-related macular degeneration. Chernow says attendees initiated deals to commercialize several discoveries that were highlighted at the event.

The university also has inaugurated the UM Innovation Corporate Advisory Council, whose members will counsel the university and researchers about how best to transfer new discoveries to the corporate sector. Non-UM faculty on the council include executives from GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson and private equity firm HIG Ventures.

Tags: Miami-Dade, Education

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