Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research Receives $16.8 M Investment from the National Institute of Standards and Technology

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The Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) announces a newly funded five-year cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) headed by the Co-Directors of IBBR, Dr. David J. Weber (PI) and Dr. John Marino (NIST). This award provides more than $3.3 million each year to support groundbreaking research, including technology and standards development that will impact vaccine and therapeutic discovery and development, and to improve access to life-saving treatments for addressing other crucial health challenges.

This University Startup Found Strong Support and Space Without Leaving Town

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Biomedical innovations can take a decade or more of ongoing research and development before they are ready to be used to treat patients. Even with funding and expert scientists, the most promising technologies can fail to go to market if entrepreneurs don’t have the experience or support to navigate the long and tedious drug development process.
A local resource is helping university-founded startups find success.
From a small lab space within the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Distinguished University Professor Vincent C.O. Njar, Ph.D., made an incredible discovery. Through his research, he developed novel small molecules with the potential to inhibit the growth of and treat breast cancer, with possible applications in dermatology and other types of cancer. Dr. Njar’s discovery could offer better outcomes for a range of patients.
To help clear the path to market, University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) New Ventures team worked with Dr. Njar to establish his startup, Isoprene Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The New Ventures program, run by a team with

5 Questions With Julie Lenzer, Chief Innovation Officer, University of Maryland

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A serial entrepreneur and ecosystem builder, Julie Lenzer is currently the Chief Innovation Officer at the University of Maryland and Founding Director for the newly-launched Quantum Startup Foundry. In these roles, she is charged with fostering and deploying innovation to drive economic and social impact from both university-affiliated and community-based innovators and oversees the university’s tech transfer office, the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC), the Mixed/Augmented/Virtual Reality Innovation Center (MAVRIC), as well as university engagement with the Discovery District (UMD’s 150-acre research park). An active angel investor, she is also on the investment committee of the $10M Maryland Momentum Fund and UMD’s newly-launched Discovery Fund.

Maryland Commerce Supports Research Professorships at Eight Higher Education Institutions

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The Maryland Department of Commerce joined eight local colleges and universities in endowing a total of $21.2 million to fund a dozen new research professorships. The endowments were made through the Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative (MEI), a state program created to spur basic and applied research in scientific and technical fields at the colleges and universities. The schools raised a total of more than $10.6 million in private funding for each chair and Maryland Commerce approved matching grants of $10.6 million to support the endowments.

5 Questions with Leah Sera, PharmD, MA, BCPS, Program Director, MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics (MCST), Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

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Leah Sera, PharmD, MA, BCPS, is the Program Director, MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics (MCST), and an Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science. Her clinical specialties are pain management and palliative care.

5 Questions with Nivedita Hegdekar, Scientific Writer, and Communications Co-Chair for the Women in Bio Capital Region Chapter

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Nivedita ‘Niv’ Hegdekar is a graduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore pursuing a dual degree in biomedical sciences and patent law. Prior to joining her PhD program, she obtained her degree in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences from the prestigious Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India.

5 Questions with Natalie McKinney, Industry Programs Director, Biologics, US Pharmacopeia

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Natalie McKinney is a marketing strategy leader with 15+ years of experience in life sciences and technology organizations. She uses data-driven, customer-centric approaches to gain a deep understanding of dynamic customer needs and drivers. She enjoys leveraging internal and external relationships to build a holistic customer view and gains alignment on high-impact, right-sized product and marketing investments that are timed appropriately for the market.

‘Best Kept Secret’ MDC Provides Path for Medical Device Innovations

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In the heart of pharmaceutical and medical innovation lies an undiscovered treasure that provides a pathway for med-tech innovation, the Maryland Development Council (MDC). The council is a MedTech Startup Studio that works with inventors to develop their ideas into working prototypes and marketable products.

5 Questions with Brian Darmody, CEO, Association of University Research Parks

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Brian Darmody is CEO of AURP, a global nonprofit representing research parks and innovation districts sponsored by universities, federal labs, communities, hospitals, and other institutions in the US and 12 other countries.