Summer 2015

NU Innovation Recognition in the Media  
The Today Show's Natalie Morales highlighted AMPYon air.  She jogged in place to charge the portable battery and then used the energy to charge two phones. 

CNBC named Narrative Science to the 2015 Disruptor 50 List out of a list of over 350 nominated companies.  The NU startup (Profs. Kris Hammond and Larry Birnbaum) developed an artificial intelligence-powered platform that creates data-driven narratives.  

Neurobiologist, Prof. Nina Kraus, has identified a test that can predict kids' literacy skills.  Her vision is to conduct this test as early as birth.  Her team uses brain wave analysis to capture how well sounds are being separated.  The ability to discriminate sound predicted language and reading skills and flagged learning disabilities.  
Upcoming Events 
INVO Commercialization Seminars 
Stay tuned for this year's seminars on topics, including Basics for Entity Formation, Applying for SBIR/STTR grants, Reimbursement Strategies, and Regulatory Strategies.  Seminars will take place on both Evanston and Chicago campuses.
INVO Staff  
Dimitra Geoganopoulou, PhD     
Dimitra Geoganopoulou joins  INVO with tremendous start-up experience in the MedTech Sector, focused on medical devices, diagnostics, Health IT and personalized medicine projects.  She currently manages innovation, product development, intellectual property and licensing activities for multiple projects. Outside of INVO, she is an active contributor to the local tech and life sciences community as well as numerous outreach programs.  Dimitra earned a Ph.D. in Bioelectrochemistry from University College London (UCL), an M.Sc. in Biosensors from King's College London, and a B.S. from University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Her post-doctoral work at UNC and her research at Northwestern focused on nanoparticle-based diagnostics.

Gwendolyn Humphreys, PhD 
As an Invention Associate, Gwendolyn manages portfolios in life and medical sciences.  Prior to joining INVO, Gwendolyn was a doctoral graduate student in the department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Her research focused on the neuroprotective effects of estrogen in the female brain. She also worked on a collaborative project with bioengineers to develop a proof-of-concept cancer diagnostic device. In addition, Gwendolyn was a commercialization analyst intern at the Office of Technology Management at UIUC.  Gwendolyn received her B.S. in Microbiology from Indiana University in Bloomington and her Ph.D. at UIUC.
Lester Greenman, JD 
Lester Greenman, JD, joined INVO in September as Senior Specialist.  Lester will initially focus on leading a re-evaluation of Northwestern's copyright policy regarding digital assets, particularly online education.  He will also be active in helping frame INVO's response to changes in university copyright policy relating to creation of software.  Lester previously h eld senior management positions at Sony Computer Entertainment of America and Marvel Entertainment.  He was also a partner in a venture capital firm that specialized in early stage investments in Israeli technology companies, leading the internet practice.   Lester has a B.A. from Brandeis University in Chemistry and English, a J.D. from NYU, and Master's degrees in World History and the Teaching of Science, also from NYU.
The Garage:
NU's New Collaborative Space
The Garage, Northwestern's new innovation hub, opened its doors on June 16.  Over the summer, students from the Summer Accelerator Program at the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship utilized this space.  Melissa Crounse started her new position as Executive Director of The Garage on September 1.  A second launch is being planned this fall once Northwestern students retuen to campus.  To reserve space, access mentors, or learn more about The Garage, visit:    
Faculty Startup Milestones
Naurex, an NU startup based on Prof. Joseph Moskal 's  CNS drug discovery platform, was acquired by Allergan for $560M. Rapastinel (GLYX-13) is a weekly intravenous molecule that exhibited rapid, robust and sustained efficacy in Phase 2 clinical studies in depression.  Congratulations to the Prof. Moskal and his entire Naurex team! 
4C Insights , a data science NU startup based on Prof. Alok Choudhary's (McC) technology, acquired Teletrax which provides the world's most advanced and accurate solution for real-time television analytics and cross-screen synchronized marketing campaigns.  The combined company possesses an incredibly comprehensive global platform for social and TV advertising.

TRACT Therapeutics , Feinberg surgeon Dr. Joseph Leventhal 's (Feinberg) startup, completed a first-in-human Phase I Trial to study the safety of the use of a patient's own immune system cells in kidney transplant recipients.  TRACT has developed a revolutionary therapy that utilizes a patient's own T regulatory cells to better control their immune system after an organ transplant. 

Cour Pharmaceuticals , NU Prof Steve Miller (Feinberg) and former NU Prof. Lonnie Shea's startup, announced preclinical animal data that shows a reversal of the effects of dietary gluten exposure for those with Celiac Disease.

Prof. Chad Mirkin's (Weinberg) startup, AuraSense Therapeutics, has changed its company name to Exicure.   Exicure develop a new class of immunomodulatory and gene silencing drugs against validated targets using their 3-dimensional, spherical nucleic acid (SNA™) architecture.  Prof. Mirkin was awarded the inaugural Sackler Prize in Convergence Research from the National Academy of Sciences for the development of SNAs. 
NU Startup Fundraising

Tanvas (Profs. Michael Peshkin and Ed Colgate(McC)), formerly Tangible Haptics, raised $5M in its Series A round.  Tanvas aims to provide a real sense of touch to users of touch screens.  For example, users would be able to feel the edge of a button on their tablet screen.
Resonance   ( Feinberg Prof. Claus Peter-Richter ) was selected as the winner of the HealthTechRising-Midwest Pitch competition.  R esonance has created a low-cost software solution to the problems that cochlear implant patients face, such as poor music appreciation and difficulty hearing in noisy environments. It's an exciting company that represents the powerful solutions that can happen when technology meets health care. Resonance Medical is currently undergoing multi-center human trials and has received $180,000 in funding to date.
SwipeSense raised $9.7M in a new round of financing, bringing their total to $12.2M to date.  NU graduates, Mert Iseri and Yuri Malina designed and manufacture clip-on hand sanitizers for medical professionals. The company states that they increase hand hygiene  by 64% in hospitals  

Opticent Health, a NU startup based on the work of Profs. Hao Zhang and Cheng Sun (McCormick) , won the NU Venture Challenge (NUVC) in June 2015.  Opticent Health is led by Kieren Patel, a current JD/MBA student and former INVO I2C Fellow. Opticent Health develops non-invasive medical imaging instruments to better diagnose and monitor ocular diseases.

MDAR Technologies , a NU startup based on the work of Prof. Oliver Cossairt (McCormick), won 3rd place in the overall NU Venture Challenge (NUVC) and first place in its Business Products track in June 2015.  MDAR Technologies is led by Jesse Chang, a current JD/MBA student and former INVO I2C Fellow.  MDAR is developing a next-generation 3D vision system to outperform all existing methods when real-time 3D data is needed in adverse conditions.
New INVO Agreements
INVO executed
 34 licensing & option agreements 
in the 2015 fiscal year 
More recent non-confidential licensees/optionees and the respective faculty inventors are listed below:

Jeffrey Barsuk (Feinberg)

Opticent Health:  Hao Zhang & Cheng Sun (McC)
Starsight:  Hooman Mohseni (McC)

MDAR Technologies:  Oliver Cossairt (McC) 
Other INVO News... 
Since January 2015, the INVO Practicum has trained 9 graduate students and post-docs in evaluating new invention disclosures.  INVO congratulates the interns on their tremendous work!
Graduate Students
  • Stephanie Villa (Feinberg, PhD)
  • Seoan Huh (Feinberg, PhD)
  • Dauren Biyashev (Law, MSL)
  • Matthew McKay (Law, MSL)
  • Andrew Eng (Feinberg, PhD)

Post-Doctoral Fellows
  • Linda Foit (Feinberg)
  • Ross Keenholtz (Weinberg)
  • Neha Malik (CLP)
  • Horrick Sharma (CLP)

The interns have learned how to perform a patentability assessment and market analysis and are gaining exposure to marketing efforts. Participants commit 10 hours per week over a 6 month period.  Applications for the January 2016 cohort are currently open and are available online at INVO's website or at this link.
The 2015 CD2 Innovation Fellows, are off to a terrific start in medical innovation and commercialization.  This year, the CD2 program will be closely integrated with the NUve ntion Medical program, offered through the Farley Center.  The new lead instructor, Peter McNerney, who is a long-time venture capitalist in medical devices, is also devoting much of his time in advising the CD2 fellows throughout the year.  Andrew Wu will be the course's TA, and the other fellows will become mentors for the upcoming teams.  In addition, the CD2 fellows are participants of the EDI (Engineering, Design and Innovation) bootcamp  at the Segal Design Center and McCormick School of Engineering where they will be exposed to the abundant design and engineering resources at Northwestern.   CD2 is leveraging the affiliation of Drs. Pandit and Miller to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital network so that the fellows are able to perform their clinical observations and needs finding as well as have exploratory conversations with physicians, nurses, and administrators.  CD2 Fellows also benefit from the relationship that Northwestern has with Insight PD, Cook Medical, Sprig Consulting,

(l to r) Jay Pandit MD, Andrew Wu MS, Sean Connell PhD & Kyle Miller MD,MBA

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About Us

The Innovation and New Ventures Office inspires and nurtures a culture of innovation, bridging Northwestern research with its practical use for public benefit.

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