College of Medicine Faculty Among Accelerator Award Winners
Three College of Medicine faculty are among the recipients of awards by the University of Cincinnati Technology Accelerator for Commercialization (UCTAC). These competitive proof-of-concept grants, given out three times a year, fund translational research on UC technologies with the goal of turning new innovation into local startup companies.
Xiaoting Zhang, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at the UC College of Medicine was selected for his project, "Overcoming Therapeutic Resistance of Human Breast Cancer by Multifunctional RNA Nanoparticles. This research looks at developing their recently established RNA nanoparticles that target HER2-positive breast cancer and stop production of the protein MED1 to slow tumor growth, stop cancer from spreading and sensitize the cancer cells to treatment with tamoxifen, a known therapy for estrogen-driven cancer.
MED1 is a protein often produced at abnormally high levels in breast cancer cells that when eliminated is found to stop cancer cell growth. HER2-positive breast cancer involves amplification of a gene encoding, or programming, the protein known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, which also promotes the growth of cancer cells. MED1 co-produces (co-expresses) and co-amplifies with HER2 in most cases, and Zhangs previous studies have shown their interaction plays key roles in anti-estrogen treatment resistance.
Justin Benoit, MD, assistant professor and Jason McMullan, MD, associate professor, both in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UC College of Medicine were selected for their project, "Breathing for the Patient: The Forgotten Half of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. With the help of Ephraim Gutmark, PhD, professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, this project will construct a prototype device that attaches in-line to a bag-valve mask to provide real-time feedback and after-action reports on rescue breaths delivered to a patient in cardiac arrest.
This device will enable paramedics and hospital personnel to better follow American Heart Association guidelines for cardiac arrest and facilitate future research on how oxygenation, ventilation and airway management affects patient outcomes.
Zhang, Benoit and McMullan and the other winning teams will receive immediate training on the outlines of the accelerator process and what their obligations are under the award. They will be assigned an entrepreneur-in-residence to advise them over the next six to twelve months and will conduct both proof-of-concept research and market discovery and customer validation.
Electrical engineering student works on diagnostic device for...
October 26, 2021
Leilei Shi, a University of Cincinnati electrical engineering doctoral student, has focused his research on how to isolate and characterize exosomes — biomarkers of cancer and other diseases — using a low electric current. The tool offers the potential for noninvasive, point-of-care screening and early diagnosis with a small amount of saliva or blood. Leyla Esfandiari, associate professor of biomedical and electrical engineering, has advised Shi in the Integrative Biosensing Lab. Shi was named Graduate Student Engineer of the Month by UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.
MSN: Ohio legislation aims to cover dense breast screening
October 26, 2021
The University of Cincinnati's Dr. Annie Brown was featured in an MSN article detailing the push for the passage of Ohio House Bill 371, which would require insurance companies to cover dense breast tissue screenings.
12 tips for better cybersecurity
October 26, 2021
While cyber attacks are a growing threat, the Ohio Cyber Range Institute headquartered at the University of Cincinnati wants individuals and organizations to know they can protect themselves.