New Technologies, Improved Lives

The Coulter Foundation funds Emory, Georgia Tech biomedical research
tyburski

Gary Meek

WHERE INNOVATION HAPPENS: Erika Tyburski, a research specialist in pediatric hematology at the School of Medicine, led the team that developed AnemoCheck along with Georgia Tech’s Wilbur Lam.

Nine Emory and Georgia Tech biomedical research projects have been chosen to receive funding from the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program. The $1.6 million in seed funding is intended to accelerate promising technologies developed in research laboratories with the goal of improving patients’ lives. This year’s projects include a rehabilitation device for children, a heart drug delivery catheter, and a disposable kit that checks for anemia.

The Coulter program, which partners with the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, provides annual awards to research teams that develop products with great commercial potential and meet a well-defined health care need. Each research team pairs scientists or engineers with physicians. This year’s funding also includes $100,000 contributed by the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute, an Emory-led Atlanta research partnership.

“We were very happy with the number of good projects we saw during this year’s funding round,” says Rachael Hagan, who serves as program director for the Coulter Translational Partnership Program. More than fifty applications were received this year.

Among the nine project awardees are AnemoCheck, a simple, disposable, handheld biochemical device that is inexpensive, accurate, and provides a quantitative evaluation of anemia in less than two minutes; Cardiovascular MR Imaging, a method of uploading, displaying, and automatically analyzing cardiovascular magnetic resonance function, viability, and perfusion studies; InvisiCool, a gel to alleviate heat-related pain while not otherwise affecting the effectiveness of laser treatments; and KIDS, a low-volume, low-error continuous renal replacement therapy device for pediatric patients.

These newly funded academic projects were chosen by a committee composed of Emory doctors, Georgia Tech biomedical engineers, and technology transfer representatives from each institution. The other half of the selection committee included industry experts, venture capital specialists, serial entrepreneurs, and angel investors.

“Since our inception, our collaborative biomedical engineering department has leveraged academic, industry, and donor support to create some of the best physician and engineering teams in the world,” says Ravi Bellamkonda, chair of the Coulter Department. “Our entrepreneurial spirit and culture, combined with the world-class facilities at Georgia Tech and Emory, result in a unique environment that fosters innovation. We are fortunate to be able to provide funding to accelerate the development of these promising biomedical technologies so they can reach patients faster and be successfully translated from the laboratory to clinical use.”

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