This week's announcement by the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) that it is awarding nearly $700,000 in grants to local teams of investigators has put the spotlight on the promising work of UA researchers in the College of Engineering, College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, and the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences.
The ABIA awarded its first-ever Collaborative Research and Development grants to eight innovative projects being undertaken by its five operating partners – Akron Children's Hospital, Akron General Health System, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM), Summa Health System and The University of Akron. The patient-centered projects underscore the ABIA's goal to help build the region's economy through biomedical research and development.
“We're seeing the collaboration among the scientists and the clinicians across the institutions, which is what will be the strength of the ABIA,'' said Dr. Frank L. Douglas, president and chief executive of the ABIA, in a Feb. 16 Akron Beacon Journal article on the grant awards.
“It's a huge honor to have our faculty's excellent work recognized by the BioInnovation Institute in its very first round of grants,” noted Dr. George Newkome, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School.
Grants of $100,000 each were awarded to the following projects with UA researchers:
Development of a Polymer Platform for Drug Eluting Prosthetic Devices — Dr. Judit E. Puskas, professor of polymer science, is working with Dr. Steve Schmidt of Summa Health System.
Real-Time in situ Sensing of Ulnar Nerve Strain for Injury Prevention and Diagnosis — Dr. Zhenhai Xia, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; and Dr. Juay Seng Tan, assistant professor of biomedical engineering; are working with Dr. Nina M. Njus of Summa Health System, Summit Hand Center – Crystal Clinic Inc.
Development of Biomimetic Liquid Crystal Films for Sugar Sensing Contact Lens in Noninvasive Real-Time Diabetic Care — Dr. J. Jack Hu, associate professor of chemistry, has teamed with Dr. Deepak Edward of Summa-Health System.
Deep Wound Repair Utilizing Microtubular Scaffolds — Dr. Bi-min Zhang Newby, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is working on a team with Dr. Liya Yin and Dr. William M. Chilian, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM); and Dr. Robert Schweikert, Akron General Medical Center.
Development of Delivery Mechanisms for Liquid Crystalline Pharmaceuticals Using Electrospinning — Dr. Yang H. Yun, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, is teamed with Dr. James M. Jamison, NEOUCOM, Summa Health System and Kent State University; Dr. Vivian E. von Gruenigen, NEOUCOM and Case Western Reserve University; and Dr. Chun-che Tsai, Kent State University.
A grant of $40,000 was awarded to:
Mechanically Enhanced, Peptide Crosslinked Poly (ester urea) for Critical Bone Defect Repair
— Dr. Matthew L. Becker, an associate professor of polymer science, is working with Dr. Matthew Graham, Akron Polymer Systems, Inc.; Dr. John Elias, Akron General Medical Center and NEOUCOM; Dr. Kimberly Stakleff, Akron General Medical Center; and Dr. Scott Weiner, Summa Health System.
To learn more, please visit the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron.