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Start-Up Initiative Tackles State’s Opioid Crisis

January 23, 2023

Written by: Meg Ostrom The Eshelman Institute for Innovation, within the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, launched the First in Venture Studio (FVS) to partner with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in exploring how digital health innovation can improve health care. With a mission to create new digital solutions through research, ideation and commercialization, the FVS is now poised to launch its first start-up focused on solving addiction care and recovery issues at the heart of the state’s opioid crisis. Building a broad coalition of Asheville-based health systems, providers, pharmacists, emergency management, criminal justice, non-profits and civic … Continued

Eshelman Institute for Innovation announces 2022 Rankin Innovator Acceleration Award recipients

June 22, 2022

The Eshelman Institute Rankin Innovator Acceleration Award, supported by Lawson and Gisele Rankin, is given annually to provide students and Post Docs with funding to pursue entrepreneurial training opportunities. Brianna Vickerman, Ph.D. (left) and David Lee (right) The 2022 recipients of this award are Brianna Vickerman, Ph.D., and David Lee. Dr. Brianna Vickerman received her doctoral degree in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry at UNC. Currently, she works as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry. David Lee is a Pharmacology Ph.D. candidate at the UNC School of Medicine. … Continued

Does digital health demand a new kind of startup studio?

June 15, 2022

Does digital health demand a new kind of startup studio? Carolina leaders from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, UNC Health, UNC Research and Innovate Carolina pilot a partnership with High Alpha Innovation – aiming to create digital health startups better positioned for success. By Shellie Edge, Innovate Carolina Photography by Sarah Daniels, Innovate Carolina With 563 active startups launched by its faculty, staff and students currently creating social good and economic impact, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill exemplifies the national trend: universities are becoming increasingly adept at spinning out startup companies. In turn, a growing number of … Continued

UNC-Chapel Hill receives $65M from NIH for antiviral drug development center

May 20, 2022

The new center will develop antivirals that could combat future pandemic-level viruses The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health awarded the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health a $65 million grant establishing an Antiviral Drug Discovery Center to develop oral antivirals that can combat pandemic-level viruses like COVID-19. The center builds upon and is tightly affiliated with UNC’s Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative. The READDI-AViDD Center, one of nine established by the NIH, is an integrated public-private partnership with a renowned, interdisciplinary research … Continued

Ronit Freeman, Jim Hagood awarded grant by Eshelman Institute for Innovation to pursue research in lung fibrosis

November 10, 2021

The Eshelman Institute for Innovation recently awarded Ronit Freeman, Ph.D., and Jim Hagood, MD, a $350,000 opportunistic grant to pursue research in lung fibrosis. The award will fund the development of a new peptide-based approach to reverse lung fibrosis and will identify and validate a chemical lead to test for clinical use. Current treatments slow the progression of fibrosis, but do not restore damaged lung tissue. “This award will accelerate the development of our peptide drug technology. This is exciting, as peptide therapeutics occupy a well-defined space in the pharmaceutical landscape, in which they can outperform small molecules and larger … Continued

Search for antivirals, COVID-19 treatments boosted by SAS partnership with READDI

October 1, 2021

SAS, a leader in analytics and software services, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are teaming up to transform the drug development process to prevent infectious disease threats from turning into a pandemic like COVID-19. The partnership is focused on the work of the University’s Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative (READDI) — founded by the Gillings School of Global Public Health, Eshelman School of Pharmacy and UNC School of Medicine — which is developing broad spectrum antiviral drugs to have on the shelf to prevent future pandemics To advance their work, SAS research and development teams are applying advanced machine learning techniques to integrate multiple biological … Continued

UNC-Chapel Hill Launches State-of-the-Art CRISPR Screening Facility

September 29, 2021

The new facility, set to come online October 2021, is part of a cross-campus collaboration In 2012, a revolutionary new way to edit genes was unveiled to the world – CRISPR. Since then, the technology has been named as a “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science and has expanded to be applied to targeted epigenome editing. Now, this exciting technology is coming to UNC-Chapel Hill to enable rapid whole genome screening for new drug targets in the CRISPR Screening Facility. The state-of-the-art facility positions UNC to become a leader in academic CRISPR screening. The facility will be opening its doors … Continued

Eshelman Institute for Innovation announces recipients of 2021 grant cycle, will expand grant opportunities to all UNC faculty, staff

September 17, 2021

The Eshelman Institute for Innovation is pleased to announce the recipients of their 2021 grant cycle! A total of $2.1 million has been granted to the below seven projects. Since 2015, the Eshelman Institute has brought value to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by supporting impactful work in the health sciences. In this time, the Institute has awarded more than $28 million in funding to 148 projects, assisted with 28 patent applications, 26 licensed technologies, and helped spin out 13 startup companies. (View the Institute’s 2020 Impact Report.) This year, the Institute is thrilled to announce they … Continued

Eshelman Institute for Innovation announces new Steering Board members

August 7, 2020

The Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII) is pleased to announce the addition of four new Steering Board members. These individuals represent a broad array of experience in biopharmaceutical/therapeutic innovation, which will build on the talent of the existing Board Members. New members include: H Stewart Parker is Principal of Parker BioConsulting. She has extensive experience in the BioPharma industry including the founding of Targeted Genetics Corporation (Nasdaq: TGEN). While in Washington state she also served as CEO of the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (WBBA). Much of her early career was spent at Immunex Corporation. Stewart now lives in Chapel … Continued

Eshelman Institute for Innovation announces Rankin Innovator Acceleration Award Recipients

July 22, 2020

As part of the annual Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII) student and postdoctoral grant process, the EII Rankin Innovator Acceleration Award is given annually to the student(s) with the highest rated, commercially focused proposal. This year’s recipients include Ph.D. students Sabrina Iskandar and Jasmine King. Each student will receive $10,000 to support their proposal, and participation in entrepreneurism and business training opportunities. The award is funded by The Lawson and Gisele Rankin Endowment, and is currently matched with an annual gift. “The Rankin family understand the importance of translation of scientific innovation into real products and services that have an impact … Continued