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UM News
July 12, 2013

MISSOULA – The Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology recently was awarded a $149,000 grant to support the collaborative biomedical research and commercial development between the University of Montana and private Montana companies.

The project, “Enhancement of Applied/Translational Research in Biomedicine,” involves four UM departments and leverages federal grant support for basic neuroscience research at UM’s Center of Structural and Functional Neuroscience.

The grant will support seed projects to develop, refine and commercialize intellectual property in the private sector; the development of incubator space for small business innovation research projects; the maintenance of high-tech, high-cost shared instrumentation as a statewide resource; student training; and the continued promotion of collaborative projects between CSFN researchers and the biotech/biomedical companies in Montana.

Scientists participating in the project include those affiliated with CSFN, emerging biotech companies in Montana and other private-sector research entities, such as the Montana Neuroscience Institute at St. Patrick Hospital.

The UM Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and CSFN collaborated on the grant with the UM Office of Technology Transfer and the School of Business Administration. A strong emphasis of the project is the development of novel diagnostics, devices or therapeutic agents related to the treatment of brain injury or disease. These efforts have led to numerous patents and biotech spin-off companies in Montana.

Over the past 13 years, four new Montana-based companies have started as a result of supporting this work at UM, according to Dave Desch, executive director of the MBRCT.

“We think this is a great example of how the MBTC program is supposed to work,” Desch said.

The UM leaders on the grant are Richard Bridges, professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Michael Kavanaugh, director of the CSFN; Joe Fanguy, director of technology transfer; and Klaus Uhlenbruck, professor and chair of the Department of Management and Marketing.

For more information call Fanguy at 406-243-2148 or email joe.fanguy@umontana.edu.

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Contact: Joe Fanguy, director, UM Office of Technology Transfer, 406-243-2148, joe.fanguy@umontana.edu.