A Medical Device Daily

Three partnerships between university labs and private companies will get $100,000 boosts from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina).

Collaborative Funding Grants (CFGs) enable public-private teams to hire a postdoctoral researcher or technician to work at a North Carolina university under the supervision of an academic scientist on a topic of defined commercial interest.

The CFG recipients for 2009 include:

Wayne Cascio, MD, vice-chair of the department of cardiovascular sciences in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (Greenville, North Carolina). Cascio is collaborating with the RTP-based startup Entegrion to study the ability of freeze-dried platelets to help stop excessive bleeding during open-heart surgery or in patients taking anti-clotting drugs.

Scott Randell, PhD, an associate professor in the department of cell and molecular physiology at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), will receive support for his collaborative effort with Parion Sciences (Durham) to grow epithelial cells from the cornea and conjunctiva in culture. These cultured cells will help the company screen new drugs for the treatment of dry eye, one of the most common ocular diseases.

Christian Melander, PhD, an assistant professor in North Carolina State's department of chemistry, won an award to further his joint project with Agile Sciences (both, Raleigh). The company makes compounds that disperse biofilms, and Melander's research will help create a novel agricultural treatment to help control bacterial spot disease on peaches.