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Sept. 19, 2013 Volume 35, No. 5

University officials announce Coulter Foundation grant recipients

MU officials hosted an awards ceremony Wednesday to announce recipients of six grants to fund translational research projects by faculty within the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine. 

Project funding comes from a $5.2 million partnership between MU and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. The funding, which is administered through the Translational Research Partnership, helps fill a financial gap between lab research and commercial investment. The partnership is now in its second year. Speakers at the event included Chancellor Brady J. Deaton and Rob Duncan, vice chancellor for research. 

This year’s recipients are:

• A. Sherif El-Gizawy of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Raja Golpaldas of cardiothoracic surgery. Project is an embolic protection device to aid in transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

• Ferris Pfeiffer of the bioengineering department/orthopaedic surgery and Matthew Smith of orthopaedic surgery. Project is a bone-tendon allograft system for human rotator cuff repair.

• Ferris Pfeiffer of the bioengineering department/orthopaedic surgery and James Stannard of orthopaedic surgery. Project is a system that improves osteochondral allografts.

• Shramik Sengupta of biological engineering and John Pardalos of the Department of Child Health–Neonatology. Project is an electrical system that detects bacteria in blood.

• Raghuraman Kannan of the bioengineering department  and Gerald Arthur of the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences. Project develops a way to detect biomarkers in tumor tissues.

• Sheila Grant of the bioengineering department and Richard White of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Project is to improve ACL grafts.

In 2011, Coulter agreed to provide $200,000 in startup funds as well as $666,667 each year for five years, while MU kicks in $333,333 per year over the same period, totaling $5.2 million. Each group this year will receive about $100,000.

Steve O’Connor, CEO of ImpeDx Diagnostics in Kansas City, works with MU researchers to help bring health care technolgy to market. He said he’s always impressed by the can-do attitude among MU scientists.

“People here really want to help” others, O’Connor said.

MU is among 15 academic institutions in the country and the only university in Missouri selected to establish a Coulter program.