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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

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UT System Faculty Receive Chancellor’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards

ARLINGTON – Three professors from The University of Texas System institutions have been honored with the 2010 Chancellor’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards.

The winners, among 22 nominees from 12 UT System institutions vying for this year’s awards, were recognized in Arlington during a special ceremony March 16.

UT System Regent James D. Dannenbaum and Keith McDowell, Vice Chancellor for Research and Technology Transfer, presented the awards to the professors in a special ceremony. The 2010 Chancellor’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award winners are:

  • Borje Andersson, UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Andersson is the lead inventor of the intravenous formulation of Busulfan, which has changed the standard of care for stem cell transplantation and greatly improved patient care. To date, Busulfan has received regulatory approval for use in chemotherapy preceding stem cell transplantation in a total of 45 countries, with the regulatory authorities in three more countries allowing controlled access to the drug. In 2008, worldwide sales of Busulfan were approximately $40 million with a royalty sharing benefit to UT M. D. Anderson that is used to fund continued research.
  • Tom Milner, UT Austin and Marc Feldman, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. The Milner – Feldman team developed a novel imaging approach applied to cardiovascular imaging to assist cardiologists in better treatment of patients suffering from coronary artery disease. The approach, called optical coherence tomography, or OCT, can identify diseased regions of coronary arteries that can be targeted for therapy using treatments such as stents. The team formed the spinoff company, CardioSpectra, and raised $5 million, including a $1 million Texas Emerging Technology Fund grant. CardioSpectra was remarkably successful and was acquired by Volcano Corporation in 2007, resulting in an immediate 500 percent return on the team’s investment. A return of 1,200 percent is expected with the completion of future milestones.

“These outstanding faculty members have earned the gratitude of thousands of patients who have benefitted from their innovative research and our admiration for the honor and recognition they bring to the UT System,” Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said. “We are very proud of their work and the remarkable improvements these advances have made to patient care.”

The recognition program was established to promote a culture of entrepreneurship throughout the UT System by recognizing researchers who exemplify ingenuity, creativity and innovation in translating research into useful products and services. Awards acknowledge commercialized research that has had a profound impact on the citizens of Texas and on all of society. The awards were distributed for technologies developed at a single institution and cross-institutional collaborative teams.

About The University of Texas System

Serving the educational and health care needs of Texans for more than 125 years, The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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