In its fourth year of supporting early translational research, the Catalyst Awards program at UC San Francisco wrapped up its Fall 2013 cycle with nine finalists presenting their research ideas to an audience of nearly 50 reviewers made up of industry and academic experts in research, product development and commercialization. UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) funds and administers this major awards program.
Holly Martin, MD, presents her project "BREATHE: Baby Resuscitation Enhanced."
More than 100 people attended the closed-door event that included early translational research presentations on projects ranging from an app to improve and guide newborn resuscitation in low-resource settings to a revolutionary targeted drug delivery technology for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). For the presenting UCSF researchers, this event served as a pivotal opportunity to showcase their technology to a broad range of healthcare stakeholders – an integral group throughout the three-phase award process - and receive potential funding to advance their research. Projects fell within four tracks – diagnostics, devices, therapeutics and digital health.
“I’ve been involved with the Catalyst Awards program from the beginning. I think the program has a different emphasis now – it’s not purely for academic satisfaction. It allows people to think about application, especially for patient care,” said David Kim, MD, MBA, an advisor in both devices and digital health. “Also, as a physician I’d love to see some of these new technologies being applied whether it’s digital health product, or a diagnostic tool or a therapeutic. During my ten years in venture capital that’s what I was funding – results in patient care. We see it at an even earlier stage here.”
During the event, researchers were challenged with questions and requests for additional information to demonstrate a project’s value in the marketplace against potential competitors, scalability and benefit to patients, to name a few. Additionally, with the recently formed partnerships with Quest Diagnostics and MedImmune, the Catalyst Awards applicants will be able to benefit from additional funding and expertise provided by these industry partners.
Photos by Cindy Chew