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Spirovant Presents Preclinical Data Showing SP-101 Restores CF Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Function

Spirovant Sciences, a gene therapy company developing treatments and cures for inherited respiratory diseases including cystic fibrosis (CF), today presented SP-101, an investigational novel recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy selected for its tropism to human airway epithelia, at the 2021 North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC 2021). Spirovant Sciences was previously known as Talee Bio, which was co-founded by University of Iowa faculty.

Milan Sonka named to National Academy of Inventors

Milan Sonka, the Lowell C. Battershell Chair in Biomedical Imaging and professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Iowa, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the third UI faculty member ever named an NAI Fellow.

Economic Development

UIRF and Ximbio will host webinar about research tool commercialization

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) is partnering with Ximbio, the world’s largest non-profit dedicated to life science research reagents, to offer a webinar for the UI community about commercializing research tools.

The free webinar will be held January 25, 4:00pm. Register via Zoom.

Research tools are valuable assets to the global scientific community. As a result, University of Iowa scientists are encouraged to disclose research tools developed in their labs to the UIRF, who will help facilitate the transfer of these materials to the research community.

Together, the UIRF and Ximbio can help researchers raise the profile of their work, reduce the administrative burden, fund future research, and safeguard reagents for the future. 

Ximbio representative Amy Mantz is also available to schedule one-on-one meetings with researchers. For questions about the program, or to schedule a meeting with Amy Mantz, please contact Sarah Sapouckey, UIRF licensing associate, at (319) 467-1897 or sarah-sapouckey@uiowa.edu.

Tags:  UIRF, commercialization

State Hygienic Lab seeks $9 million to expand, improve lab space

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Editor’s note: The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved the proposed expansion at its meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.

Since the start of the pandemic, Iowa’s State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) has managed to successfully adapt its space to accommodate new testing equipment and additional staff to meet the exponential growth in demand for COVID-19 testing.

As Test Iowa’s designated lab, SHL has processed about 1.6 million COVID tests since early 2020 and, with the emergence of new variants circling the globe, demand continues to skyrocket. This has required converting the building’s education conference center and training lab into a new testing area to house incoming equipment and train and house new staff.

While SHL has kept pace, the lab’s leadership knows it needs more space to increase its testing capacity, streamline workflow, keep employees safe, and be better prepared for future pandemics.

Working with the Iowa Department of Public Health, SHL has submitted a $9.2 million proposal to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a grant to relocate the Bio-Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory and make other space improvements.

The proposal must also be approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, which will consider it at a meeting Jan. 11—12.

SHL Associate Lab Director Wade Aldous, who wrote the CDC grant proposal, said the SHL’s creative use of space has thus far met the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s also resulted in a less-than-ideal configuration of workspace along the evaluation chain, from accessioning (where test kits are dropped off and catalogued) to test processing to reporting out results to clients.

“The addition of this new lab space not only will improve workflow efficiency for our employees but will better enable us to serve the needs of Iowans,” Aldous said.

One benefit of the project, Aldous said, is that it would enable SHL to consolidate its high-throughput COVID-19 testing into one location, including the testing of wastewater effluent to detect evidence of the virus in populations that share a building.

The intent of the CDC funding is to establish or expand capacity to quickly, accurately, and safely test for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and build infectious disease preparedness for future events involving other pathogens with potential for broad community spread. Beyond helping SHL manage the current pandemic, the additional space will position the lab to better respond to potential future public health threats.

“The construction will help redesign the space utilization so that the lab can be more efficient and be ready for high-volume testing in the future,” SHL Director Michael Pentella said. “The upgrade will also provide more office space so staff don’t have to share desks as much, helping reduce the risk of COVID and other respiratory virus spread within the lab itself. And it will allow for better air handling in test areas and provide more room for storage of materials used to assemble Test Iowa home kits and to analyze specimens.

“It’s a series of dominoes,” Pentella added. “But this lab will serve the state of Iowa for the long-term, not just for the current pandemic.”

Aldous said that once approved by the Board of Regents and CDC, the project is expected to take about two years.

By Line:  By: Steve Pradarelli  |  2022.01.04  |  01:03 pm Primary Media:  Primary Media Caption: Expansion of the State Hygienic Lab would allow for improved efficiency for employees and better reach for Iowans.Contacts: Stephen PradarelliSharing: News From: Vice President for ResearchNews For: StudentsFacultyStaffAlumni & FriendsParents & FamiliesNews MediaNews About: Economic DevelopmentFuture Success of StudentsHealth CareSafetyKeywords: Iowa Department of Public HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionWorkflow: PublishedNews Broken Links Message: 


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