KU News Release

April 17, 2012
Contact: Joe Monaco, KU News Service, 785-864-7100

Three KU research projects to be featured at entrepreneurship symposium

LAWRENCE – University of Kansas researchers have earned three of 31 presentation slots at one of the nation’s most exclusive venture capital events.

Three KU research projects will be featured at the University Research & Entrepreneurship Symposium, a showcase of the most promising new university-based technologies for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, April 18 at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center in Cambridge, Mass. The one-day symposium is designed to develop financial partnerships to help transfer university discoveries into the marketplace.

The URES is highly selective and this year invited only 120 applications nationwide, of which only 31 were chosen for presentations. KU is one of only four institutions to earn multiple presentation slots in the life science tracks, joining Harvard, New York University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

“For University of Kansas researchers to have been selected for three of the 31 available slots at the URES speaks volumes about the type of work being done at KU,” said Julie Goonewardene, associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship at KU. “This is another example of how KU researchers are making discoveries that can be translated into new cures, new solutions and new products that change the world and improve our quality of life.”

URES is presented by three leading venture capital firms – Flybridge Capital Partners, Atlas Venture and General Catalyst Partners – along with sponsor Goodwin Procter and partner organizations NCET2 and Microsoft New England Research and Development Center. This is the fifth year for the symposium. Last year’s symposium drew 220 attendees.

The three KU research projects to be presented are:

• “Curing Tracheal Stenosis”
Michael Detamore, School of Engineering
Each year, thousands of newborns develop tracheal stenosis, a narrowing of the trachea that can make it difficult for them to breathe. While surgeons can fix this condition, the procedure requires reshaping the trachea and patching it with a piece of rib cartilage taken from the patient’s torso, which adds a level of complexity to the process. But Michael Detamore is developing a synthetic patch that could replace rib cartilage in this procedure, resulting in easier, safer surgeries. Read more here.

• “Translational Application of Novel Withanolides for the Treatment of Advanced and Drug-Resistant Cancers”
Barbara Timmermann, School of Pharmacy; Kelly Kindscher, Kansas Biological Survey; and Mark Cohen, KUMC
To the casual observer, the wild tomatillo is just your everyday, run-of-the-mill weed. But to University of Kansas scientists Barbara Timmermann, Kelly Kindscher and Mark Cohen, this common North American plant might be the key to a new line of cancer-fighting treatments based on molecules present in nature. The three KU researchers have discovered 14 new compounds in the wild tomatillo that are showing significant anti-cancer properties in preclinical testing. The new compounds, known as withanolides, are already showing promise in combating a number of different cancers and tumors – without any noticeable side effects or toxicity. Read more here.

• “Building a Greener Internet: A New Architecture for Internet Data Routing and Transmission”
Ron Hui, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Ron Hui and his team are working on Digital Subcarrier Cross-Connects (DSXC) that could fundamentally change the architecture of the Internet transport network by providing for a new class of transmitters, receivers and cross-connects/switches. Read more here.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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