Seven Innovative Faculty Research Projects Receive Funding through IP Support Initiative

Monday, December 16, 2019

UNCW’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization has awarded seven faculty members with project funding through their Intellectual Property Support Funding initiative.

The initiative, graciously supported by Chancellor Sartarelli and MARBIONC Development Group LLC, helps fund researchers actively working on world-changing, translational projects with high likelihood of commercial or social impact, and provides early-stage projects with necessary funding to facilitate research that is essential for grant submissions. Advancing research and scholarly activities is a key priority of the university’s Strategic Plan.

“The initiative provides research faculty with a completely unique and expedited means to accelerate their impactful research and, hopefully, facilitates federal grant funding,” said Steven Fontana, interim director of the OIC. “We are incredibly grateful to offer such an initiative, and for the support from Chancellor Sartarelli and MDG.”

The ideal outcome of this funding initiative is to support innovative technologies at a critical point in the journey toward commercialization. This year, the OIC received a record number of applicants spanning various disciplines from across the university. Faculty projects chosen for funding were:

  • Troy Alphin, research associate in Biology and Marine Biology
    Reformulation of a Manufactured Crab Bait to Enhance Water Stability to Maintain and Enhance the Blue Crab Fishery in NC
  • Larry Cahoon, professor in Biology and Marine Biology
    Identifying a Defined Culture Medium for Spirilloxanthin-Producing Purple Phototrophic Bacteria
  • Ana Ferrell, assistant professor in the School of Nursing
    Replication of the Culturally Tailored Smoking Cessation Toll for Arab Americans
  • Chris Halkides, professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry
    Vinylsulfone Inhibitors of ASADH
  • Sridhar Varadarajan, professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry
    Development of Site-Specific DNA Damaging Agents Targeting Cancer Calls
  • Ying Wang, assistant professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry
    A Novel Platform for Discovery of Excipients to Control Viscosity of High Concentration Biologic Solutions 
  • Thomas Williamson, Yousry and Linda Sayed Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Chemistry and Biochemistry
    Leveraging a Unique Ecological Relationship for the Discovery of an Immunomodulatory Drug Lead

“With our recent designation as an R2 institution, we share a common goal of increasing the scope and significance of research at this university,” said Scott Davis, OIC coordinator. “Whether it is regenerative gene therapy research, aquaculture fish and crustacean feedstock development, or provision of tools to increase likelihood of smoking cessation, it is worth supporting and ensuring the success of our researchers.”

- Christina Schechtman