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UWM, partners share a new home for innovation

A home to both academic researchers and business partners.

UWM, partners share a new home for innovation by Laura L. Otto

When the Innovation Accelerator at UWM’s Innovation Campus opens in the spring, its occupants will include both academic researchers and corporate partners. In addition to a cohort of graduate students from Mahsa Ranji’s lab (see “Using light, not surgery, for biopsies”), the Accelerator will house labs of four additional UWM engineering faculty members. See the range of work in the following descriptions.

UWM researchers:

Junhong Chen uses nanotechnology to create ultra-sensitive, low-cost sensors with medical, water and gas applications. He has founded NanoAffix Sciences LLC to commercialize his work. The company has received two Small Business Innovative Research grants.

Naira Campbell-Kyureghyan applies her expertise in biomechanics of the spine and hand to developing ergonomic tools that can reduce job-related injuries. Snap-on Incorporated recently licensed a wrench designed by her lab members and plans to bring it to market. She also created the Consortium for Advanced Research in Gas Industries (CARGI) to improve safety in the gas industry through ergonomics.

Na Jin Seo is working to improve rehabilitation of stroke victims, including helping them regain motor function in their hands using techniques that include video gaming. She and her students created the Thera-Bracelet, which uses vibration technology to help restore hand movement, and have recently launched a start-up company to bring this technology to market.

Ramin Pashaie brings expertise in optics and photonics, which he applies to neuroscience. He has created devices that can be used to optically stimulate nerves in the brain, which may someday lead to improved treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

Corporate and academic partners:

Concordia University Wisconsin will locate drug-discovery facilities, including a GMP (good manufacturing practice) pilot plant and a laboratory for analytical, formation and process chemists. These facilities will be used by start-up companies and support new educational programs.

Serial entrepreneur Frank Langley is bringing Pel-Freez Biologicals to Milwaukee. The company produces blood and tissue products for diagnostic, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical-device companies, and research institutions.

Brooks Stevens, a full-service product development company, will re-establish a Milwaukee presence with a satellite office.

Mobile App Development Lab offers UWM students real-world experience in applying mobile technologies to health care.