ASU recognizes inventive faculty at AzTE event


February 14, 2011

Arizona State University recently honored some of its most inventive and entrepreneurial faculty at a ceremony hosted by http://azte.com/" target="_self">Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), the university’s exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization.

“AzTE supports the university’s economic development mission by helping to protect and translate laboratory innovations into the marketplace,” said Ken Polasko, AzTE’s deputy managing director. “This event is about thanking faculty for the time and energy they put into helping move technology into the marketplace, and recognizing them for the real-world impact of their cutting-edge research.” Download Full Image

In fiscal year 2010, ASU faculty members were issued 17 patents, signed nine new technology licensing agreements and launched four startups. Faculty also submitted a record 187 invention disclosures to AzTE. These inventions will provide the technology inventory for the next generation of new deals or startups.

R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr., ASU’s senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development, spoke about the ways ASU has evolved its technology transfer operations since the arrival of President Michael Crow.

“The biggest change we have made in the last few years is to treat the technology transfer operation as a service provider to faculty, not a pure revenue generator,” said Shangraw. “It is our job to facilitate the process of getting technology out of our labs and into industry – with the cycle completing when those relationship help us bring industry research funding back into their labs.”

Shangraw also discussed the importance of aligning the university's expectations with the unique needs of different industry sectors.

“One size does not fit all in the tech transfer business. Different sectors have very different requirements and we must respect these differences as we build our collaborations.”

Cody Friesen, an assistant professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, discussed his experience launching a startup focused on developing high-density energy storage technologies.

“As soon as you start pitching to [venture capital firms], your whole world changes,” said Friesen. “It’s really critical that you leverage the resources that ASU, AzTE and your entrepreneurial partners can provide.”

One of those ASU resources is http://asuventurecatalyst.org/" target="_blank">Venture Catalyst at ASU, the university’s entrepreneurial assistance initiative designed to help faculty, students and ASU-linked companies launch new startups or accelerate existing ventures.

“We launched Venture Catalyst last October to provide the critical business support services ASU faculty entrepreneurs need to help manage risk and reach success in the marketplace,” said Charlie Lewis, AzTE’s vice president for venture development. “Venture Catalyst offers a host of great resources, including connection to more than 80 outside mentors who have extensive experience as entrepreneurs or business executives.”

The full list of faculty honorees follows below.  Read more about http://www.azte.com/page/for_faculty" target="_blank">how AzTE works with ASU researchers to protect and commercialize their inventions.

Faculty Patent Recipients

Abbas Abbaspour-Tamijani
#7,724,110
Compact Switchable Filter for Software-Defined Radio

Lawrence Clark
#7,649,216
Total Ionizing Dose Radiation Hardening Using Reverse Body Bias Techniques #7,719,304
Radiation Hardened Master-Slave Flip-Flop

John Femiani
#7,729,541
Comparative and Analytic Apparatus and Method for Converting Two-Dimensional Bit Map Data Into Three-Dimensional Data

Ian Gould
#7,645,596
Method of Determining Nucleotide Sequence of Oligonucleotides and DNA Molecules

Mark Hayes
#7,645,596
Method of Determining Nucleotide Sequence of Oligonucleotides and DNA Molecules

Keith Holbert
#7,649,216
Total Ionizing Dose Radiation Hardening Using Reverse Body Bias Techniques

Joseph Hui
#7,734,859
Virtualization of a Host Computer’s Native I/O System Architecture Via the Internet and LANs

John Kouvetakis
#7,582,891
Materials and Optical Devices Based on Group IV Quantum Wells Grown on Si-Ge-Sn Buffered Silicon

#7,589,003
GeSn Alloys and Ordered Phases with Direct Tunable Bandgaps Grown Directly on Silicon

#7,598,513
SixSnyGe1-x-y and Related Alloy Heterostructures Based on Si, Ge and Sn

Michael Kozicki
#7,560,722
Optimized Solid Electrolyte for Programmable Metallization Cell Devices and Structures

Noeleen Melody
#7,709,643
Synthesis of Sodium Narcistatin and Related Compounds

Jose Menendez
#7,582,891
Materials and Optical Devices Based on Group IV Quantum Wells Grown on Si-Ge-Sn Buffered Silicon

#7,589,003
GeSn Alloys and Ordered Phases with Direct Tunable Bandgaps Grown Directly on Silicon

George Pettit
#7,557,096
Synthesis of Combretastatin A-4 Prodrugs and Trans-Isomers Thereof

#7,705,188
Structural Modification on Resveratrol: Sodium Reservastatin Phosphate

#7,709,643
Synthesis of Sodium Narcistatin and Related Compounds

Anshuman Razdan
#7,729,541
Comparative and Analytic Apparatus and Method for Converting Two-Dimensional Bit Map Data Into Three-Dimensional Data

Thomas Taylor
#7,645,596
Method of Determining Nucleotide Sequence of Oligonucleotides and DNA Molecules

Trevor Thornton
#7,557,096
MESFETS Integrated with MOSFETS on Common Substrate and Methods of Forming the Same

Bruce Towe
#7,702,395
Neurostimulator

Sarma Vrudhula
#7,630,852
Method of Evaluating Integrated Circuit System Performance Using Orthogonal Polynomials

Peter Williams
#7,645,596
Method of Determining Nucleotide Sequence of Oligonucleotides and DNA Molecules

Licensed Technologies

Nicole Herbots – SiO2 Associates, LLC
Joseph Hui – 4Blox, Inc.
John Kouvetakis – Translucent, Inc.
Doug Loy – Plextronics, Inc.
Jonathan Posner – Illumina, Inc.
Dong-Kyun Seo – NanoVoltaix, Inc.
Trevor Thornton – SJT Micropower, Inc.
Bruce Towe – EndoStim, Inc.
Sarma Vrudhula – Nayalogic, Inc.

Startups

Thomas Moore – Sun Catalytix
Trevor Thornton – SJT Micropower, Inc.
Bruce Towe – EndoStim, Inc.
Sarma Vrudhula – Nayalogic, Inc.

Professor wins award for outstanding accomplishments in mentoring


February 14, 2011

As far as scientific accomplishments go, receiving a tangible award is a measure of hard work and dedication, but impacting others along the way can sometimes be a far greater reward.

Janet Neisewander, a professor in the School of Life Sciences, was presented with the Bernice Grafstein Award by the Society for Neuroscience on Nov. 16, but it still resonates with her. Download Full Image

“The joys of winning and receiving the award have been some of the most memorable moments of my career,” Neisewander said.  “It meant that my students really valued their training. It was probably the biggest thank you I’ve gotten in my career. It’s a really good feeling to know that you’ve had a positive impact on your students.”

Named after the first woman president of the Society for Neuroscience, the Bernice Grafstein Award recognizes people who promote women’s advancement in neuroscience, specifically by mentoring women. Nominated by three of her former graduate students, Neisewander received the award for her outstanding accomplishments in mentoring.

Neisewander currently mentors three graduate students who are studying topics related to drug addiction.

Because Neisewander “was very fortunate to have excellent mentors,” she said, she also wants to help her students grow in every way possible.

“I see it not only as my job to teach students how to do research but also to make sure they’re doing everything they can to develop their career paths. Sometimes that involves helping them decide what their career path is going to be,” Neisewander said. “I view it as my challenge to figure out where their strengths are and what makes them the happiest. Then I try to guide them in the right direction and hopefully inspire them to do everything they can to succeed.”

Several undergraduate students and two post doctoral assistants also study in Neisewander’s lab. They are currently studying the neurobiology of substance abuse, a topic Neisewander has been working on for decades.

Neisewander’s research, which is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is in the field of behavioral neuroscience, particularly the mechanisms of drug seeking behavior and drug addiction. Her research primarily focuses on cocaine and nicotine.

Aside from mentoring graduate students, Neisewander also mentors undergraduate students and high school students. In addition to mentoring she speaks at high schools, grade schools and community events about the brain and substance abuse.

Neisewander said when it’s all said and done, she’ll have learned as much from her students as they have from her.

“I still keep in contact with former students. Even now they’ll contact me and ask me for advice, but sometimes I’ll ask them for advice too,” Neisewander said. “They’re my colleagues now.”