Published: June 7, 2012 By
Hubert Yin is one of three BioFrontiers scientists who received state grants to enable commercialization.

BioFrontiers faculty receive commercialization grants from the State of Colorado

Ten CU research projects were recently selected to receive grants through Colorado’s Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program (BDEG-Co). The State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade began the BDEG program in 2007, providing proof-of-concept grants to move promising CU biotechnologies closer to market readiness, as well as early-stage matching “seed” grants to enable the development and commercial validation of technologies that are licensed from Colorado research institutions by Colorado based start-up companies. Three BioFrontiers faculty members received these awards in the 2011-12 funding cycle:

  • Christopher Bowman, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, CU-Boulder, for inexpensive, highly-efficient synthetic nucleic acids for use in nanoassembly, biodetection and other biofunctional applications.
  • Heide Ford, Department of Pathology and Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Andrew Thorburn, Department of Pharmacology, CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for a novel biomarker to predict treatment response in solid tumors.
  • Robert Garcea, BioFrontiers Institute, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, CU-Boulder, for a next-generation vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Richard Johnson, Department of Medicine (Renal Diseases & Hypertension), CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for a novel treatment to prevent acute kidney injury following surgery or use of radiocontrast agents.
  • Malik Kahook, Department of Ophthalmology, CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for an implanted device to reduce intraocular pressure and treat glaucoma.
  • Uday Kompella, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for a new drug to treat “wet” age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  • Leslie Leinwand, BioFrontiers Institute, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, CU-Boulder, for novel drugs to protect from cardiac disease.
  • David Wagner, Department of Medicine (Pulmonary Sciences & Critical Care Medicine), CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for a drug to prevent/reverse high blood sugar in type-1 diabetes.
  • Xiao-Jing Wang, Department of Pathology, CU Anschutz Medical Campus, for a drug to treat oral mucositis, a common side effect of radiation therapy.
  • Hang (Hubert) Yin, BioFrontiers Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CU-Boulder, for more sensitive biomarkers for metastatic cancers and other diseases in body fluids.


“The BDEG award winners this year show an incredible breadth and depth of bioscience research and innovation,” said Tom Cech, Director of CU’s BioFrontiers Institute, an interdisciplinary center designed to explore critical frontiers of unknown biology and translate new knowledge to practical applications. “The BDEG program provides a powerful catalyst to get these ideas out of their academic institutions and into the marketplace.”


The BioFrontiers Institute provided the required matching funds for the grants to Boulder-based researchers Christopher Bowman, Robert Garcea, Leslie Leinwand and Hubert Yin.
About the Technology Transfer Office and the University of Colorado:
The CU Technology Transfer Office (TTO) pursues, protects, packages, and licenses to business the intellectual property generated from research at CU. The TTO provides assistance to faculty, staff, and students, as well as to businesses looking to license or invest in CU technology. Since 2002, 80 companies have been formed based on CU intellectual property; of these, 65 are operational as either stand alone or subsidiary/merged companies. 
The University of Colorado is a premier public research university with four campuses: the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Some 60,000 students are pursuing academic degrees at CU. The National Science Foundation ranks CU seventh among public institutions in federal research expenditures in engineering and science. Academic prestige is marked by the university’s four Nobel laureates, seven MacArthur “genius” Fellows, 18 alumni astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars.