UNeMed's annual Research Innovation Awards Ceremony is the culmination of a week of activities that celebrate research and innovation at UNMC. In addition to recognizing researchers who secured intellectual property rights, UNeMed has presented Emerging Inventor and Lifetime Achievement awards on a biennial schedule. In 2013, UNeMed presented for the first time ever, an “Innovator of the Year” Award. UNeMed also presents a “Most Promising New Invention” as an annual award.
The 2016 Innovation Awards Ceremony and Reception was held Thursday, Oct. 6 in the Durham Research Center auditorium. Dr. Zucker, UNMC’s 2007 Scientist Laureate, won the Innovator of the Year Award on the back of a new treatment strategy he and his team developed for cardiovascular disease. and the “Innovator of the Year.” Collaborators Joyce Solheim, Ph.D., and Tatiana Bronich, Ph.D., also earned special recognition as the inventors of the “Most Promising New Invention” of 2016. UNeMed, which celebrated its 25th anniversary during Innovation Week, raffled away a free 3D printer to Erik Rask, a graduate student in UNMC’s cardiovascular and biomechanics laboratory.
Download the 2016 Innovation Awards Program.
2016 Innovator of the Year
Irving Zucker, Ph.D., landed top honors at UNeMed’s annual Research Innovation Awards Ceremony and Reception, taking home the 2016 “Innovator of the Year” award for a new treatment strategy he and his team developed for cardiovascular disease.
“This was really an unexpected honor,” Dr. Zucker said during his brief acceptance speech. “Really, the credit goes not to me—I provided the laboratory and maybe some of the funding to get it started—but I’ve been very fortunate to have some really talented people who work in our laboratory.”
His laboratory is focused on reducing the excessive sympathetic nerve activity found in chronic heart failure and in patients with high blood pressure. A biopharmaceutical company recently licensed one of Dr. Zucker’s innovations in a collaborative agreement that could lead to an FDA-approved treatment for chronic heart failure and high blood pressure.
Most Promising New Invention
Collaborators Joyce Solheim, Ph.D., and Tatiana Bronich, Ph.D., also earned special recognition as the inventors of the “Most Promising New Invention” of 2016. Together, Drs. Solheim and Bronich developed a nanoparticle formulation of a protein called CCL21. The nanoformulated CCL21 has shown great potential for the treatment of cancer.
The nanoparticle developed by Drs. Solheim and Bronich is based on a protein messenger, or chemokine, that has the ability to attract immune cells to a tumor. But the chemokine, CCL21, degrades too quickly inside the body to do much good. By encapsulating the chemokine in a nanoparticle, Drs. Solheim and Bronich found a way to prolong the effects of CCL21.
Previously, Dr. Solheim was named a 2006 Distinguished Scientist. Dr. Bronich was a 2007 New Investigator Award winner, then a 2011 Distinguished Scientist. In 2014 Dr. Bronich was named Scientist Laureate, UNMC’s highest honor bestowed on researchers.
|2016||Irving Zucker, Ph.D.||Innovator of the Year|
|2015||Tammy Kielian, Ph.D.||Innovator of the Year|
|2014||Marius Florescu, M.D.||Emerging Inventor|
|2013||Howard Gendelman, M.D.||Innovator of the Year|
|2012||Tammy Kielian, Ph.D.||Emerging Inventor|
|2011||Jonathan Vennerstrom, Ph.D.||Lifetime Achievement|
|2010||Amarnath Natarajan, Ph.D.||Emerging Inventor|
|2009||Rodney Markin, M.D., Ph.D.||Lifetime Achievement|
|2008||Dong Wang, Ph.D.||Emerging Inventor|
|2007||Robert LeVeen, M.D.||Lifetime Achievement|
Most Promising New Invention
|2016||Joyce Solheim, Ph.D. and Tatiana Bronich, Ph.D.||Compositions for Modulated Release of Proteins and Methods of Use Thereof|
|2015||Michael Wadman, M.D., F.A.S.E.P. &
Thang Nguyen, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-C
|Emergency Medicine Care Portfolio:
Wound Irrigation System & Oral
|2014||Jason MacTaggart, M.D.||Orthagonal AquaBlade|
|2013||Keshore Bidasee, Ph.D.||Targeted Glyoxalase-1 Gene Transfer
to Prevent Cardiovascular and End-
Organ Complications in Diabetes
|2012||Gregory Oakley, Ph.D||Small Molecule in Vivo Inhibitors of
the N-Terminal Protein Interacting
Domain of RPA1
|2011||Babu Padanilam, Ph.D||Novel Target for the Treatment of
|2010||Stephen Bonasera, M.D., Ph.D.||Noninvasive Monitoring of Functional
Behaviors in Ambulatory Human
|2009||Paul Dunman, Ph.D.||Novel Antibiotic Compounds|
|2008||Guangshun (Gus) Wang, Ph.D.||Anti-HIV Peptides and Methods of
|2008||Janina Baranowska-Kortylewicz, Ph.D.||Sex Hormone Binding Globulin: New
Target for Cancer Therapy