Rutgers receives $4 M. for biomedical technology research

<p>Rutgers will receive a $4 million award over the span of four years to accelerate the development of biomedical technologies, it was announced yesterday, according to a University press release.&nbsp;</p>

Rutgers will receive a $4 million award over the span of four years to accelerate the development of biomedical technologies, it was announced yesterday, according to a University press release. 


Rutgers will receive a $4 million award over the span of four years to accelerate the development of biomedical technologies, it was announced yesterday, according to a University press release. 

Rutgers was selected as 1 of 5 new hubs under the National Institutes of Health’s Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) to receive this award, according to the release.

The purpose of this award is to help these hubs speed up the translation of biomedical discoveries into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics and tools to improve patient care, enhance health and train the next generation of innovators, according to the release. 

The Rutgers Optimizes Innovation (ROI) Program will combine the University’s strengths in the biomedical and bioengineering sciences with the expertise of its Research Commercialization team within the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED), according to the release. 

They will uncover, develop and guide innovators through the commercialization process with financial and regulatory, Internet Protocol (IP) protection, mentoring, management and educational resources.

“This award creates a platform to springboard discoveries made at Rutgers to initiate new products to improve health and cure disease,” said Reynold Panettieri, vice chancellor for Translational Medicine and Science and director of the Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science. 

He said that this was in alignment with Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D-N.J.) mission to be a state that promotes innovation, according to the release. 

The ROI Program brings the School of Engineering, the School of Arts and Sciences, the University’s medical schools, nursing programs, dental program, public health and research institutes and centers with industries, incubators, funders and policymakers, according to the release.

“Rutgers University has strong and robust science and clinical components,” said Steven Libutti, director of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and vice chancellor of Cancer Programs at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. “As such, it is imperative to provide a comprehensive, yet rapid, pathway to further advance biomedical innovations that contribute to the betterment of public health.”

The Rutgers REACH hub will collaborate with the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, RITMS and the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials (NJCBM) to identify innovative health-related technologies, according to the release. 

These innovative technologies will be evaluated on how they relate to certain needs, which can provide assets tailored to patients’ therapeutic responses that ultimately improve health, according to the release.

“Rutgers researchers are working on potentially transformative technologies,” said Renata Pasqualini, chief of the Division of Cancer Biology at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and professor of medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “We look forward to steering these important advances through the next stages of development and commercialization.”

The government’s support for translational activities is not only innovative but critically needed, said Joachim Kohn, director of the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials.

“Accelerating the translation of a host of Rutgers healthcare technologies with this support can considerably impact the nation’s healthcare system,” Kohn said. “Additionally, by enabling advances in precision training and diverse workforce enhancement, including training on prototyping facilities and scaling techniques to expand production capabilities, the REACH program also benefits the U.S. economy.”

The ROI Program has education programs embedded within it to give innovators at the University access to hands-on training in product development and helps experts understand how to build a business model, according to the release.

The ORED is establishing a new program through the ROI program, called HealthAdvance, to push health-related technologies developed by Rutgers forward, according to the release.

Leaders from ORED, Rutgers and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences have committed a combined $760,000 in annual matching funds for the next four years to support the goals of the ROI program, according to the release. 

“The REACH Hub will provide integrated streamlined services for Rutgers researchers and their collaborators so that the discoveries of today can quickly become tomorrow’s solutions,” Libutti said.


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