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UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers earn awards from UCLA Technology Development Group

Post Date:April 07, 2022 6:00 AM

Several members of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have received awards from the UCLA Technology Development Group’s UCLA Innovation Fund Biomedical Competition.

They are:

  • Peter Clark, PhD, assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology
  • Robert Damoiseaux, PhD, professor of molecular and medical pharmacology
  • Richard S. Finn, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology
  • Harvey R. Herschman, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor, molecular and medical pharmacology
  • Dinesh S. Rao, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and Director of Translational Research
  • R. Michael van Dam, PhD, professor and Vice Chair, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
  • John Varghese, PhD, professor of neurology and the principal investigator at the Drug Discovery Lab

Rao received funds for a small molecule approach targeting RNA binding proteins in cancer cells. Clark, Damoiseaux, Finn, Herschman and Varghese were recognized for their work developing a hexokinase 2 inhibitor to treat hepatocellular carcinoma. Van Dam and his team of Jason Jones and Ksenia Lisova developed a device which allows for on-demand manufacture of radiopharmaceuticals.

See the full list of recipients.

The awards, up to $150,000 per project, support early stage research that lead to commercialization activities, which usually aren’t supported by basic research grants. As a result, researchers can develop their technologies to a point where the chances of success are greatly increased. All awarded projects receive consultations from an outside industry and investor adviser panel, which provides technical and commercial feedback that is key to technology development.

The UCLA Innovation Fund was established in 2016 by the UCLA Technology Development Group, in conjunction with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, UCLA College’s divisions of physical sciences and life sciences, the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, the UCLA School of Dentistry and UCLA Health.

The applicants’ projects were evaluated on their novelty, significance and potential public benefit, as well as the status of the intellectual property and other factors relating to the projects’ technical feasibility and commercial potential.

The UCLA Innovation Fund is currently accepting 2022 applications. Click here for more information.

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