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BME Postdoctoral Fellow receives two NIH SHIFT Awards to commercialize research

October 8, 2012

JHU BME postdoctoral fellow and recent PhD alumni Kelvin Liu has won two Phase I SHIFT awards from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to commercialize technologies originally developed during his PhD and postdoctoral research under Prof. Tza-Huei Wang. The two awards, totaling $800k in funding over 2 years, will be used to commercialize a multiplex microRNA profiling technology called Ligo-miR and a single molecule analysis platform called PicoSep. These technologies will be developed into a series of products for the research and clinical management of cancer and other human diseases.

The SHIFT initiative is part of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program and aims to transform academic scientific discoveries into commercial products and services. Investigators must be primarily employed by a US research institution at the time of application and be primarily employed by the small business concern (SBC) at the time of award.
These awards will be received by Dr. Liu as he transitions to his biotechnology startup company, Circulomics Inc. In addition to these SBIR grants, Circulomics has recently received an award from the Maryland Technology Transfer and Commercialization Fund (MTTCF) run by Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). TEDCO was established by the State of Maryland to facilitate early stage companies in the commercial translation of technology from MD universities and research institutes. Circulomics was selected as one of 16 companies receiving a total of $1,170,885 in funding.

These funds will be leveraged to establish independent R&D capabilities at a JHU incubator, hire engineers and scientists, and obtain future equity and non-equity funding.

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