Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Center for Innovative Entrepreneurship - Summer Fellowships

Since entrepreneurship is finding out that practice can look very different from theory, CIE is pleased to announce 5 technology commercialization fellowships for Summer 2008! If you're a grad student interested in digging into a technology, getting out of the lab or classroom, and delving into the messy world of tech commercialization, one of these fellowships may be for you! These fellowships provide the real-world opportunity to work with the inventors, tech managers, and others in a respective field to examine the selected technology, perform market research, and write a feasibility report. The required final presentation and milestone deliverables along the way will give you real insight and experience into the ways in which a "cool technology" can become a "cool company."

As part of CIE's work across campus and in the community, these fellowships are made possible in conjunction with WRF Capital, UW TechTransfer, Institute of Translational Health Sciences, and the Coulter Foundation.

The fellowship positions will be 30 hours a week, from June 16 through August 22. CIE will pay $8,000 total per student for the summer. Please email your resume and a cover letter describing what you could bring--in terms of background experience and interest--to the projects you're most interested in. As these fellowships are highly competitive and require diverse skill sets, all University of Washington MBAs, TECs, graduate students and post-docs with entrepreneurial interests are eligible to apply.

Email all application materials to Lauren Witt,, by April 15.

WRF Capital-CIE Fellowship
The Daily Briefing
Bill Comegys, School of Medicine
Technology Manager: Fred Holt,
The Daily Briefing is a suite of software that helps system administrators detect and quarantine network intrusions (viruses, trojan horses, worms, etc.) before these threats have been identified. This is among the first proactive defenses, and it works against mutating fingerprints and other sophisticated attacks.

Lab on Chip
Joe Peach, Electrical Engineering
Technology Manager: Fred Holt,
New lab-on-chip designs that offer a 100x speed up, for example in DNA separation. This invention coordinates the design of the microfluidic channel with the design of an electrode array, in very specific ways, to achieve much higher performance with lower overhead. This technology could support desk-top separation equipment for cells, DNA, etc., or the chips could be made compatible with existing lab equipment.

Lab on Chip Design Analysis (LoCDA) Software
Vikram Jandhyala, Electrical Engineering
Technology Manager: Fred Holt,
LoCDA is a powerful simulation tool that can handle complex designs of multiphysics devices like labs-on-chip. LoCDA is orders of magnitude faster and more accurate than other simulation software.

Bacterial Strains for Hydrogen Production
Caroline Harwood, Microbiology
Technology Manager: Kelly Fitzgerald,
UW researchers have developed a strategy to identify microbe strains, either naturally occurring or mutant forms, which have uncoupled hydrogen production from nitrogen fixation. This makes hydrogen production metabolically advantageous to the growth and survival of the organisms, and provides a means to develop commercially efficient biocatalyst for hydrogen production. Companies (particularly paper mills) seeking to improve their sustainability could use this technology to harvest energy from their waste streams.

ITHS-Coulter Translational Research Fellowships
Early Diagnosis and Prevention of Esophageal Cancer
Xingde Li, Bioengineering and Joo Ha Hwang, Gastroenterology
Technology Manager: Jim Roberts,
NOTE: Open to MBA students only! The MBA student will be teamed with a bioengineering PhD student or postdoctoral scientist to create a viable and complete business plan as the capstone of the fellowship.*

Esophageal cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S., and life without an esophagus is miserable at best and considerably shortened. The inventors have just begun a third year of Coulter funding and have created a novel imaging instrument based on Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which uses light to penetrate the inner tissue of the esophagus and produce a high-resolution, 3D image. The system has been confirmed to detect lesions in excised human esophagus from patients with esophageal erosion-a major predictor for the cancer. The OCT imaging device is staged for start-up creation through UW TechTransfer's Launch Pad program and has generated interest of VCs. A complete business plan is the next step for this technology.

Pressurized Olfactory Drug Delivery System for CNS delivery
Rodney J. Ho; Professor, School of Pharmacy
Technology Manager: Bolong Cao,
Many neurological, analgesic, and cancer drugs do not reach the central nervous system (CNS) at safe and effective concentrations. After oral or intravenous dosing, highly lipid soluble drugs designed to penetrate the blood-brain-barrier strongly bind to the liver and other elimination organs, where they elicit dose-limiting toxicities. Nasal cells located at the upper nasal cavity provide drugs direct access to the brain and the CNS. These nasal epithelial cells have much less resistance than those of the blood-brain-barrier, and this novel pressurized olfactory drug delivery (PODD) system provides a unique opportunity for direct nose-to-brain delivery of CNS drugs.

Method to prioritize patients for enrollment into clinical trials based on in vivo efficacy screening
James M. Olson, MD, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute
Technology Manager: Ulrich Mueller,
The cost of developing a new anti-cancer drug is approximately $1 billion, but more than 90% of anti-cancer drugs in development fail to proceed through human clinical trials. The problem in the current system is that patients are enrolled in clinical trials for experimental therapies without any idea of whether their cancer cells are inherently resistant to the drug being evaluated. The inventors have developed a device and a method for selecting patients whose cancer cells are known to respond to the ant-cancer agent. This would prevent patients from being exposed to drugs that will cause toxicity without the potential for benefit and will reduce the cost of human clinical trials by hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

*The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation (WHCF) Translational Partnership program would like to team an MBA student with a bioengineering PhD student to create a viable and complete business plan. The team will have mentorship from the ITHS Therapeutic Drug and Device Development Advisory Committee, The Coulter Project Office, the Washington Research Foundation, and UW TechTransfer-all led by a team of PIs comprised of a UW bioengineering faculty member and a clinician researcher. Information on the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the Translational Partnership can be found at and the UW ITHS.

Email all application materials to Lauren Witt,, by April 15.