Jumpstart Foundry announced today a new collaboration with Vanderbilt's Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization to boost Vanderbilt-based proposals into the Foundry's annual business accelerator.
Through the partnership, Jumpstart and CTTC will identify and evaluate select proposals from Vanderbilt faculty, staff and students, and CTTC will nominate select proposals for placement in Jumpstart's top 30 applicant pool. The accelerator will then rank the Vanderbilt group, and approximately the top dozen teams will be given an offer to participate in the business incubation program.
"This new engagement represents a dynamic extension of our growing relationship with Jumpstart Foundry that promises to create new and valuable opportunities for entrepreneurial-minded members of the Vanderbilt community," Alan Bentley, Vanderbilt's assistant vice chancellor of technology transfer and intellectual property protection, said in a release.
Vic Gatto, CEO of Jumpstart, said the accelerator is impressed with the potential at Vanderbilt. Last year the company selected Vanderbilt-based startup InvisionHeart, which was recently selected to pitch at Google Demo Day.
"The combination of Vanderbilt intellectual property and human talent with the Jumpstart Foundry curriculum and mentor network will create successful startups driving disrupting large industries and improving people's lives," Gatto said.
Vanderbilt University researchers have identified a potential new target and treatment for subtypes of lung cancer.
In a study published in the current issue of Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers found a receptor that promotes lung tumor growth. In collaboration with colleagues at Harvard Medical School, they also identified a molecule compound that blocked the receptor's activity, killed human lung cancer cells and reduced the size of lung tumors in a mouse model.
"We are very excited about the implications of these findings," Katherine Amato, VU graduate student and research leader, said in a release. "It is vitally important that we identify new targets that can be used in the treatment of lung cancer, which causes approximately 160,000 deaths in the United States each year."
More studies are needed before the compound can be tested in humans, but researchers expect that by discovering and targeting specific tumor vulnerabilities, doctors can provide more efficient and effective personalized treatment.
"The landscape of lung cancer treatment is rapidly evolving," Amato said. "We now know that lung cancer is not a single disease, but is represented by any unique genetic abnormalities capable of promoting growth and survival of cancer cells."
Vanderbilt University has announced that Joseph “Jody” Combs will serve as interim dean of libraries from Aug. 1 through June 30, 2015.
Combs, currently associate dean of libraries, will replace Connie Vinita Dowell, who is retiring July 31 after having served in the position since it was created in 2009.
During her nearly six years at Vanderbilt, Dowell oversaw an extensive $6 million renovation of the Central Library. She changed policy to allow food and drink in the library system and the opening of café Food for Thought.
In addition, under Dowell’s leadership, VU libraries began loaning iPad2s because of student demand and added an outdoor exhibit to promote various exhibits and other library happenings to the community.
Of note, the Central Library was awarded gold certification for its environmentally friendly renovation from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System. It was the first Vanderbilt campus renovation to achieve that honor.
“Connie has been a terrific colleague and friend and she has done amazing things to enhance our libraries,” Richard McCarty, VU provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said in a release. “She developed the plans to renovate the Central Library into a popular destination on campus for scholarship, studying and small group projects, tour group visits and events for the broader public.”
Dowell, who earned her master’s degree in library science from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, wrote in a message to library staff April 8 the following: “I owe my career to this institution and I am so honored to end my career here. This experience has produced memories that are even more treasured than those of my earlier time here as a student. They are the best possible gift anyone could take into retirement. I will not be leaving Vanderbilt, only my position as dean of libraries.”
Vanderbilt's Center for Integrative Health is now the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University, following a $5.5 million donation from philanthropist Bernard Osher.
The grant, given through the Bernard Osher Foundation, connects Vanderbilt with three existing Osher Centers for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, Harvard Medical School with a clinical program at Brigham and Women's Hospital and at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. (The integrative medicine program at Northwestern University also is becoming an Osher Center.)
"This generous gift will enable Vanderbilt to play an increasingly significant role in the field of integrative medicine," said Dr. Jeff Balser, vice chancellor for health affairs. "The gift also gives Vanderbilt the opportunity to collaborate with the Foundation's other centers for integrative medicine as we seek to increase knowledge, develop new clinical programs and train students in this emerging discipline."
Vanderbilt Vaccine Center will join the Global Virus Network's Chikungunya Task Force, a global collaboration to address a mosquito-spread virus that has reached the Caribbean and South America.
The Chikungunya virus, which causes severe fever and pain, has remained primarily in Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, but has spread to the Caribbean with the first known cases occurring in October 2013. It is estimated that there have been approximately 15,000 cases in the Caribbean since that time.
The task force is composed of 16 virologists representing nine countries. Dr. James Crowe, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, is representing the United States. The group's efforts will focus on issues related to rapid identification of infections, improved treatment options and development of an effective vaccine.
"By being part of this new global collaboration, we will have the opportunity to exchange information that will help in developing not only an effective response to Chikungunya virus but likely a better understanding of how to respond to other viruses that threaten the U.S.," Crowe said.