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Seven research teams win Deshpande grants

The Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT has announced it is awarding $628,000 in grants to seven MIT research teams currently working on discoveries that could revolutionize medical diagnostics, X-ray technology, environmental cleanup, medical device technology, solar energy technology and electronics.

"Our goal is to assist in bringing MIT research projects out of the labs so they can have an even greater social, economic and academic impact," said Leon Sandler, executive director of the Deshpande Center. "This group of projects has great potential, and we look forward to working with the research teams to provide the resources they need to prove their commercial viability."

The spring 2007 grant recipients are:

Michael Cima, professor, materials science and engineering: Medicine delivery method for bladder disorders--a new device to provide medicine over a period of time that treats bladder disorders, from overactive bladder to interstitial cystitis to cancer (renewal from spring 2006 grant round).

Patrick Doyle, associate professor, chemical engineering: Rapid multiplexed analysis for molecular diagnostics--a new method to perform multitarget bioassays using microparticles that may enable clinical bedside diagnostics and easier, less-costly diagnosis of disease.

Klavs Jensen, Lammot Du Pont Professor, chemical engineering: High throughput cell microinjector--a new automated microinjector that promises high-throughput delivery of any molecule or nanoparticle into single cells to accelerate laboratory research.

Richard Lanz, senior research scientist, Nuclear Science and Engineering: Phase contrast X-ray imaging--a phase contrast approach to X-ray imaging that could impact a wide range of areas, from medical imaging to homeland security.

Tomás Palacios, assistant professor, electrical engineering and computer science: Gallium nitride high electron mobility transistors--a new approach to the fabrication technology of gallium nitride semiconductors to reduce the cost and improve the performance of electronic products.

Emanuel Sachs, professor, mechanical engineering: High efficiency multi-crystalline solar cells--a new approach to improve the efficiency of multi-crystalline solar cells that could lower the cost per watt of solar energy, allowing it to become more competitive with grid electricity.

Francesco Stellacci, assistant professor, materials science and engineering, and Jing Kong, assistant professor, electrical engineering and computer science: Superhydrophobic nanomaterials--a simple and rapid nanomaterial approach to controlling surface wetting that could impact how environmentally hazardous materials are cleaned.

Since 2002, the Deshpande Center has funded 61 MIT research projects with approximately $7.1 million in grants, acting as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship and increasing the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace.

MIT faculty interested in securing a Deshpande Center Ignition or Innovation Grant should submit a pre-proposal by May 7 for the fall 2007 funding round. For more information on how to submit a pre-proposal see:

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 14, 2007 (download PDF).

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