Coulter Foundation Translational Partnership

For the past eight years, the mission of the Coulter Translational Partnership (CTP) program has been to promote, develop, and support translational research collaborations between engineers and clinicians in order to accelerate the successful translation of appropriate innovations to improve patient care. For the past 3 years the Coulter Foundation commitment provides $500,000 per year with an equivalent cost share provided by the university.

For 2013-2014 funding was provided to a myriad of projects, which includes renewal and funding of:

  • Point-of-care diagnostic chip for rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing using reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the clinical setting (A. Khalil, M. Klempner, and J. Collins)
  • PharmaCheck: A robust, high-throughput microfluidic platform to detect counterfeit and substandard pharmaceuticals (M. Zaman and C. Gill)
  • Diagnostic Biomarker Localized in the Nose for Non-invasive Lung Cancer Diagnosis and as Enabling Technology for Deciding CT Scan (A. Spira and M. Lenburg)
  • Optical spectroscopy guidance in thyroid surgery: identifying parathyroid and neighboring tissues during thyroid surgery (I. Bigio, J. Rosen, S. Lee, A. Sauer-budge, et al.)
  • PiezoImplant: A non-cylindrical dental implant system for narrow jawbone (A. Sauer-Budge, R. Gyurko, and S. Dibart)
  • Reversible, hydrogel-based aerosolized sealant dressing for burn treatment (M. Grinstaff and F. Brolsch)
  • Biopsy device for calcified breast biopsy harvesting that will streamline workflow and reduce need for capital equipment (J. Brooks and J. McDaniel)

For the 2014-2015 funding year, a total of 27 pre-proposals were received, 12 projects were invited to submit full proposals to the Coulter Oversight Committee and 8 projects were invited to make an oral presentation. The new projects selected for funding include Interpenetrating Phase Ceramic Matrix Composite for Dental Implant Structures by R. Giordano and X. Lin, as well as, Novel Sternal Approximation Device by J. Rosen and K. Karlson.

The renewed applications include a dissolvable, hydrogel-based aerosolized sealant dressing for the treatment of superficial to deep-second degree burns by M. Grinstaff, E. Rodriguez, and A. Nazarian.  Also renewed is a Specialized Breast Biopsy Introducer – Pilot Clinical Study by J. Brooks and J. McDaniel.

Additionally one project was conditionally funded, pending the outcome of a professional marketing study, Development of a Novel LED Device for Producing Vitamin D conducted by M. Holick and T. Moustakas.

Significant translational successes of the Coulter program to date include Boston University’s bihormonal bionic pancreas system has undergone tremendous progress since its support from the Coulter program in 2009-2010. The group has raised a total of $11.9M and the research group has started another clinical trial this summer and plans to follow with a bridge study before they move on to their pivotal study in 2015, and submit for FDA approval in 2016. The group estimates a commercial launch in 2017.  Constant Therapy, a start-up based on an IT project funded by Coulter in 2012-2013 has been given a $150K BUOTD Launch award, and has raised an additional $590K of angel funding.  The anti-tumor technology based on AhR inhibitors for triple negative breast cancer, funded by the Coulter program in 2012-2013, was licensed to the Drug Discovery Factory.

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