8 projects awarded KYNETIC commercialization grants

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 23, 2024) — The Kentucky Network for Innovation and Commercialization (KYNETIC) has selected eight teams from universities across the Commonwealth for Cycle 8 project funding.

KYNETIC is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) and part of the national NIH Proof-of-Concept Network.

The program offers entrepreneurial education and proof-of-concept/product development grants to accelerate the translation of academic innovations into biomedical products by investigators throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The goal is to advance the most promising biomedical research innovations — including pharmaceuticals, devices and apps — from the states eight public universities and the 16 community and technical colleges in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS).

In this cycle, KYNETIC awarded grants of $56,250 to each of the following research teams:

University of Kentucky Awards 

  • New Award: Mark Lovell, Ph.D., Thomas Prisinzano, Ph.D., “A Novel TAK1 Kinase Inhibitor for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease”
  • New Award: Vince Venditto, Ph.D., “Triazine Lipids as an Immunomodulatory mRNA Vaccine Platform”
  • Renewal Award: Jill Kolesar, Pharm.D., Chris Richards, Ph.D., “Engineered Human Monocyte Vesicles for Personalized Cancer Therapy”

University of Louisville Awards 

  • New Award: Henry Nabeta, M.D., Ph.D., Kenneth Palmer, Ph.D., “An Intranasal Spray as Prophylaxis against Mucormycosis (Black Fungus)”
  • Renewal Award: Melissa Smith, Ph.D., Corey Watson, Ph.D., “IGenotyper: A Scalable Pipeline for Precision Antibody Genomics”
  • Renewal Award: Stuart Williams, Ph.D., Michael Voor, Ph.D., Maxwell Boakye, M.D., “Vertify Probe: Intraoperative Device for Measurement of Bone Quality” 

Regional Awards 

  • New Award: Kentucky State University, Jamaal Jackson, Ed.D., “Cross the Finish Line: Strategies for Increasing the Retention, Persistence, and Graduation Rates of Black, Male Student-Athletes”
  • Renewal Award: Eastern Kentucky University, Jamie Fredericks, Ph.D., “Forensic/Clinical DNA Sample Collection Tool”

​The KYNETIC program is led by the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Kentucky Commercialization Ventures, an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.

Learn more about KYNETIC online here.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.