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April 30, 2020

Engineering faculty trio lands grants to support spinout work

Three faculty members from the College of Engineering have received funding from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Discovery to Product office through the state of Wisconsin’s State Economic Engagement and Development (SEED) Program.

The program funds innovative research that helps commercialize technologies developed by UW-Madison faculty and staff and carried forward through spinout companies. The engineering faculty among this year’s six recipients are: David Beebe, John D. MacArthur Professor and Claude Bernard Professor of biomedical engineering, pathology and laboratory medicine; Robert Radwin, Duane H. and Dorothy M. Bluemke Professor of industrial and systems engineering; and Andreas Velten, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, biostatistics and medical informatics.

Beebe will work with Salus Discovery to develop a test that helps predict the potential efficacy of immunotherapy treatments targeting solid tumors in cancer patients. The test uses cells isolated from the patient’s tumor to provide patient-specific data to help clinicians decide which patients will benefit from costly immunotherapy treatments and which will not.

Radwin will work with Güd Medical to fabricate and test an ergonomic syringe adapter device that prevents repetitive motion injuries in pharmacy, hospital, clinic, and research settings. Commercialization of the adapter device will facilitate more ergonomic, accurate, precise, and sterile preparation of IV compounded medicines than current methods allow.

Velten will work with OnLume, Inc. to develop imaging technology that allows for better detection of tumor margins in a surgical setting. The technology utilizes specialized lighting and a measurement technique based on the rate and timing of light absorption and emission in tumor cells that produces optimal viewing.

“Spinout companies associated with campus discoveries often need to perform additional research on their technology to improve its market readiness and grow the company in Wisconsin,” says Discovery to Product Director Andy Richards. “SEED funding fills that gap and can also generate additional private and public sector support for the projects.”