MU research program takes biomedical products to the market

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COLUMBIA- MU research grants to take projects from the lab to the market will benefit the biomedical industry and help a variety of health professionals. The Coulter Awards, part of the Coutler Program at MU, are five grants totalling $500,000 and will be given to teams from the College of Engineering and MU Health. Jerry C. Parker, the associate dean of research for MU medicine, said the overall goal of the program is to translate research to reality. 

"The goal is to help our campus to translate our basic sciences discoveries into commercial products," Parker said. "One of the challenges for doing that is that often, basic science technology is funded by agencies that will take a technology so far, there is a gap between when a technology is ready for industry to actually invest and pick it up."

Some of this year's biomedical products include Panacea's Cloud, a device to help officials communicate with first responders in a disaster and a laser hand piece for dermatology treatments. Parker says Panacea's Cloud is especially applicable to Missouri. 

"It's a very innovative technology to help during mass disasters, such as tornadoes," Parker said. "During those types of disasters, there's often a tremendous problems for first responders to understand how to coordinate; they don't have cell phone services, they don't have Internet." 

The Coulter Program is a $5 million partnership with the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. MU is one of 16 institutions in the country and the only university in the state offering a Coulter Program. The program has created 10 startups since it began in 2011 and has generated more than $10 million for MU in government grants. Parker said the program is integral to research at MU. 

"We envision the Coulter Program being a key part of our research ecosystem on the campus," Parker said. "It helps us really advance our technology towards products and services that can help Missourians and beyond." 

The program awarded $500,000 this year among five teams. For more information on the projects, click here