spark_logoDr. Jeff Seemann, UConn/UConn Health Vice President for Research, and Dr. Bruce Liang, Dean of the UConn School of Medicine and Director of the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 UConn SPARK Technology Commercialization Fund Program. These awards aim to help investigators from UConn-Storrs and UConn Health (UCH) move ideas into the earliest stages of commercialization and development. A program originally established at UConn Health, this is the first year that SPARK has been extended to faculty at both UCH and Storrs.

“There is a wealth of technologies coming out of UConn labs that could be commercialized if given critical, early-stage funding to prove out the concept,” said Dr. Jeff Seemann. “The UConn SPARK Technology Commercialization Fund provides that invaluable initial support to move technologies along the innovation continuum so they can more quickly and successfully reach the market, benefit society, and impact economic growth in Connecticut.”

The selection committee included UConn/UConn Health faculty and staff leaders, entrepreneurs and senior executives from top pharmaceutical, biotech and venture capital firms. Through this valuable proof-of-concept funding program, participating researchers not only advance promising technologies toward the market, they also connect with and learn from the committee members representing various industries. As was the case last year, the committee members were truly impressed by the science and innovation conveyed in all 19 presentations.

The committee selected the following eight awardees from a highly competitive pool of finalists:

  • Dr. Tulio Valdez, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center/UConn Health, Department of Surgery
    Short Wave Infrared Otoscope for Objective Assessment for Otitis Media with Effusion
  • Dr. Doug Adamson, UConn, Institute of Materials Science
    Graphene Nano Composites for Capacitive Deionization: an Inexpensive and Energy-Efficient Approach to Large Scale Desalinization
  • Dr. Michael Lynes, UConn, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
    Anti-metallothionein antibody: a safe and effective anti-inflammatory therapy
  • Dr. Robert Kelly, UConn Health, Department of Reconstructive Sciences
    Artificial salivary gland
  • Dr. Puxian Gao, UConn, Department of Materials Science and Engineering & Institute of Materials Science, Nano-Array Based High-Performance Catalyzed Diesel Particulate Filter
  • Dr. Rajesh Lalla, UConn Health, Department of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences
    Development of a novel, long-acting, topical anesthetic product for the treatment of oral mucositis
  • Dr. Kamal Khanna, UConn Health, Department of Immunology and Department of Pediatrics
    VLV-Based Vaccine for the Prevention of C. difficile Infection
  • Dr. Leila Ladani, UConn, Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Multi-Scale Manufacturing of High Conductivity Composite Materials

“The SPARK Technology Commercialization Fund continues to showcase the exceptional work being done at UConn Health, and now also includes the world-class researchers from Storrs as well,” said Dean Liang. “I would like to commend all of the applicants on the superior quality and cutting-edge innovations represented in their SPARK proposals, and to thank the OVPR for their skillful managing of this important program.”

Congratulations, SPARK Technology Commercialization Fund Recipients!