IP/Team Assignment

Applications are now closed, check below for team assignments!

Thank you for your interest in the inaugural Memphis Scipreneur Challenge. If you missed the deadline but are still interested in being involved, send an email to memscichallenge@gmail.com to learn about any volunteer opportunities!


Nanoparticle Intraocular Drug Delivery System
Kimbra Turner, Anne Guetschow, Daniel Bastardo Blanco, Miranda Jarrett, Raji Rajesh Lenin
Scientific Mentor: Monica Jablonski, Ph.D.
Business Mentor: Kayla Rodriguez Graff, MBA

The researchers have developed nanoparticles for delivery of the sugar to the posterior segment of the eye via an intraocular injection composed of the nanoparticle and the glycan. The nanoparticles are generated from poly ortho ester (POE). The inventors are the first to use this polymer to generate nanoparticles for use as an intraocular delivery system. The researchers have designed the nanoparticles such that the nanoparticles can be used for both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs. The nanoparticles degrade at slow rate and exhibit slow, long-term drug release with little to no cytotoxic side effects. Preliminary in vivo studies show that the nanoparticles do not enter the retina but remain in the vitreous region of the eyes, where it can provide long term drug release. The studies conducted thus far have been with other model drugs, but the novel formulation of the nanoparticle and the glycan is expected to provide long-term release of the glycan to provide effective treatment of AMD. The nanoparticle delivery system was able to provide drug delivery for at least 14 weeks, with initial data indicating possible delivery up to 107 weeks. This is in vast contrast to some currently marketed ophthalmic drugs requiring weekly and monthly drug injections for treatment.

Mobility-Preserving Back Support
Peter Oladimeji, Eli Ostrow, Sharad Shrestha, Lynn Kizer, Bishwas Shrestha
Scientific Mentor: Denis J DiAngelo, Ph.D.
Business Mentor: Stewart Young

The technology is a patented back support brace that generates a lifting force on the wearer’s torso to unload the lower back while not impeding bending and twisting motions. This design provides for pain relief without reducing the range-of-motion, allowing the wearer to easily perform routine daily activities. The brace is a non-surgical treatment for lower back pain, a condition which affects up to 80% of adults in the US. Various back braces exist and are commercially available, but most fail to provide significant unloading of the spine, or are too rigid to allow the patient to comfortably continue daily activities.

Intelligent and Robust Multi-Factor Authentication Technology
Yatin Kothari, Raju Rayavarapu, Rhemrose Sabio, Shobhit Saxena, Misha McCleary
Scientific Mentor: Dipankar Dasgupta, Ph.D.
Business Mentor: Allan Daisley, MBA

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is the current trend to genuinely identify authorized users through the active authentication process using passwords, biometrics, cognitive behavior and others. As new authentication modalities are becoming available, they broaden the options for security researchers to devise more secure solutions to continuously authenticate to users of online systems. This invention focuses on describing a framework for continuous authentication where authentication factors are selected adaptively by sensing the users’ operating environment (the devices, communication media, and surrounding conditions). This adaptive multi-factor decision support technique is available for exclusive licensing from the University of Memphis. http://www.memphis.edu/fedex/ott/pdfs/2015-02dasguptamultifactorflyer051315.pdf

Dry Electrodes for Vital Sign Monitoring
Prakash Devaraju, Ping-Chung Chen, Sankedra Hudson, Farrah Phillips, Anisha Rathi
Scientific Mentor: Bashir Morshed, Ph.D.
Business Mentor: James Bell, MBA

Traditional electrodes for EEG, EKG and other medical monitoring applications have relied on liquid or gel to maintain the required electrical contact with skin. These are prone to drying over time, which results in a loss of effectiveness when extended monitoring is required. Dry electrodes have recently become available, but these have low surface connectivity with skin or low conductivity resulting in higher interfacial noise and susceptibility to micro-movements. Researchers in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Memphis have invented a dry electrode on a flexible substrate that will overcome these drawbacks. This novel platform technology will give healthcare providers a more robust tool that can be used for several applications and should find uses in in-patient and home-based settings. This novel technology is available for exclusive licensing. http://www.memphis.edu/fedex/ott/pdfs/dryelectrodeformedicalsenorapplications.pdf

Avian Influenza Vaccine
Cina Pourhashemi, Satish Kallappagoudar, Heba Mabrouk-Mostafa, Kevin Winder, Ajeeth Kumar Pingili
Scientific Mentor: Richard Webby, Ph.D.
Business Mentor: Chris Przybyszwski, MA

An animal vaccine composition and method effective in preventing or ameliorating avian influenza virus (“bird flu”) infection is provided. The vaccine contains at least two inactivated viral strains with a combined hemagglutinin total of at least 200 HA/dose. Granted Patents in the US (9,072,701), Hong Kong, Africa (ARIPO) and China; and patents pending in Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, and Africa (OAPI). https://www.stjude.org/research/shared-resources/technology-licensing/technologies/avian-influenza-vaccine-sj-06-0013.html

ProteinPaint: Web Application for Visualizing Genomic Data
Helene Tournu, Brittany Dong, Aaron Chakaborty, Evan Comeaux, Maria Purice
Scientific Mentor: Xin Zhou, Ph.D.
Business Mentor: Mike Hoffmeyer

Researchers at St. Jude have invented a better way to visualize mutations in the context of human genes and proteins. This web application assimilates complex genomic data and associated phenotypic information in a way that is far superior to currently available applications. A demo of this application, which can be manipulated by the user, is available at https://pecan.stjude.org/proteinpaint/TP53. https://www.stjude.org/research/shared-resources/technology-licensing/technologies/proteinpaint-web-application-for-visualizing-genomic-data-sj-15-0021.html