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Cardio Diagnostics Wins “Clinical Diagnostics Solution of the Year” Award From BioTech Breakthrough

Cardio Diagnostics, Inc., a University of Iowa start-up company focused on making cardiovascular disease prevention and early detection more accessible, has been selected as the winner of the “Clinical Diagnostics Solution of the Year” award in the inaugural Biotech Breakthrough Awards program conducted by BioTech Breakthrough.

Economic Development

UI Research Foundation launches new website

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The University of Iowa Research Foundation (URIF) has launched a new website offering a cleaner look and revamped content to help researchers and scholars more easily learn how to protect and commercialize their intellectual property.

The website may be found at https://uirf.research.uiowa.edu/.

The site was designed by Modei Akyea, web and design project manager in the Office of the Vice President for Research, with content development by UIRF Post-Doctoral Fellow Sarah Sapouckey, who met with stakeholders to determine what information would be most useful to them.

UIRF Executive Director Marie Kerbeshian said the redesign gives greater focus to the information researchers need to know about the process of commercializing innovations that arise from their work. She said the site also makes it easier for faculty, staff, post-docs, and students to connect with UIRF to ask questions and get assistance in reporting inventions.

“From the other side of the aisle, we’ve made it much easier for potentian industry partners to find technologies that UIRF has available for licensing,” Kerbeshian said.

The UI Research Foundation is part of the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research, which provides researchers and scholars with resources, guidance, and inspiration to secure funding, collaborate, innovate, and forge frontiers of discovery that benefit everyone. More at http://research.uiowa.edu, and on Twitter @DaretoDiscover


Stephen Pradarelli, Office of the Vice President for Research, 3193841282

Tags:  UI Research Foundation, tech transfer, web development, inventors, intellectual property

UI Stanley Museum of Art to be a space for teaching, research, inspiration

Thursday, August 26, 2021

When Lauren Lessing walked onto the site of the new University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art for the first time earlier this year, she screamed. Nearby construction workers thought the museum director had fallen.

She hadn’t.

Her scream, she says, was from pure excitement for what the museum will bring to the University of Iowa, the Iowa City community, and the state of Iowa.

When the 63,000-square-foot facility opens in fall 2022, it will bring to an end 14 years the campus has been without a permanent art museum. Under the leadership of third-year director Lessing, the museum will go above and beyond to define what an art museum means.

Lauren Lessing

“The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art is going to be a library of global visual culture and a laboratory for experiential learning. Our new building is really well designed to help us achieve that goal,” says Lessing.

Lessing was named director in 2018, shortly before the 10-year anniversary of the 2008 flood that closed the old museum. As director, she quickly began working to ensure that the new museum would benefit every student, college, and department on campus.

The original building was located on the west side of campus along the Iowa River near Hancher Auditorium. The new museum is centrally located next to the Main Library and Gibson Square Park, strategically placed to increase accessibility and visibility.

“I couldn’t have dreamed of a better location,” says Lessing.

The project, which broke ground in April 2019, remains on time and under budget. The completed exterior—a protruding black brick veneer—allows the sun to cast shadows throughout the day, and work has now moved on to the interior, where floors, walls, and amenities are being added, including a multipurpose lobby that will allow the museum to host a variety of events.

Lessing says she wants the lobby to be a welcoming place for students, faculty, and staff, modeled after the first-floor space created in the Main Library.

“I want students in the lobby all the time, on their laptops working on projects and being collaborative,”  says Lessing.

With long white walls and offset doorways, the second-floor galleries will house a majority of the museum’s publicly available works, including Jackson Pollock’s Mural. The third floor—the education floor—is where students, faculty, and staff will benefit most, and is where art and education will merge.

“The education floor is amazing,” says Lessing. “We have three state-of-the-art teaching spaces, a seminar room, and a visual classroom. They all work differently so we can tailor viewing experiences for what campus needs.”

Each space can support varied class sizes, and pieces of art can easily be swapped in and out as needed. Lessing says it will be up to the students to take the museum to the next level.

“There’s great research to be done in the museum, not only in social sciences but also hard sciences. Students should be involved in that work. I want us to be a laboratory and a library,” says Lessing.

Throughout its history, the UI has been a pioneer for education in the arts. Iowa was one of the first public universities to offer an MFA in studio arts and creative writing. In fact, former Graduate College Dean Carl Seashore and university President Walter Jessup first had the idea to merge art and education in the 1920s—calling it the “Iowa idea.”

But just as the thinking of art museums as extensions of academic curriculum gained momentum in the early 2000s, the museum was lost to the flood.

“I want to bring Iowa up to where other academic museums are,” says Lessing. “Then I want to restore us at our rightful place as a leader, because we always have been.”

To learn more or get involved with the Stanley Museum of Art, visit stanleymuseum.uiowa.edu. To watch a live video feed of construction, click here.

Subhead: The museum is on schedule to open in fall 2022, 14 years after it was destroyed in the flood of 2008 By Line:  By: Jack Rossi  |  2021.08.26  |  07:51 am Primary Media:  Primary Media Caption: Bright blooms surround the new UI Stanley Museum of Art building as construction continues.Contacts: Office of Strategic CommunicationRelated Items: UI to host ceremonial groundbreaking for Stanley Museum of ArtStanley Museum of Art creating space for new eraSharing: Photo Gallery: uima galleryNews From: Vice President for ResearchNews For: StudentsFacultyStaffAlumni & FriendsParents & FamiliesNews MediaNews About: ArtsCampusClassroom ExcellenceEconomic DevelopmentResearchKeywords: UI Stanley Museum of Artart museumcampus constructionWorkflow: Published

Boston Scientific acquires UI startup Farapulse

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Boston Scientific Corp. has exercised its option to acquire the remaining shares of University of Iowa startup Farapulse Inc., which has developed a method for precisely and safely treating abnormal heart rhythms.

Last September, Boston Scientific signed an investment agreement with an option to acquire Farapulse (originally Iowa Approach), a company founded by UI Assistant Professor of Internal and Cardiovascular Medicine Steven Mickelsen, M.D. If development of Farapulse’s technologies continued in a positive direction, Boston Scientific indicated it would buy the company.

That purchase gives one of the world’s leading medical device manufacturers full access to Farapulse’s Pulsed Field Ablation (PFA) System, a non-thermal ablation system for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) and other cardiac arrhythmias. 

Boston Scientific has been an investor in Farapulse since 2014 and holds an equity stake of approximately 27 percent, according to a news release issued by the company Friday. As a result, the transaction consists of an upfront payment of approximately $295 million for the 73 percent stake not yet owned, up to $92 million upon achievement of certain clinical and regulatory milestones, as well as additional revenue-based payments for the next three years.

"The emerging field of PFA has the potential to alter the future of ablation therapy and has shown the promise of improvements in both safety of cardiac ablations for patients and efficiency and ease-of-use of these procedures for physicians," Kenneth Stein, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, Rhythm Management and Global Health Policy, Boston Scientific, said. "The Farapulse PFA System is intended to enable physicians to precisely ablate cardiac tissue while minimizing procedural complications, and real-world and clinical evidence from trials throughout Europe have demonstrated encouraging, positive results."

Mickelsen, the primary investigator in his Laboratory of Integrated Cardio-Neuro-Electrophysiology and an assistant professor in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, started the company in 2012 to further develop novel approaches he invented to treat atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm caused by chaotic electrical signals sent by damaged or diseased tissue in the two upper chambers of the heart.

More than 200,000 people a year are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and undergo a procedure to treat their tachycardia. The most effective medical procedure for treating AF is catheter ablation of the heart muscle involved in the initiation of the arrhythmia. Electrocautery and cryoablation are the most common technologies used, but they have significant limitations in safety and procedural time. 

The reemergence of PFA in cardiac applications promises substantial improvements in safety and procedural efficiency compared to current techniques. Mickelsen invented a PFA system and adapted catheters to deliver pulsed field electricity to the tissue for treating AF.  Early preclinical results showed this non-thermal method minimizes damage to the surrounding—and healthy—heart tissue, decrease surgery time and radiation exposure to patients, and potentially reduced the cost of the procedure.

"I am humbled by extraordinary success of Farapulse (Iowa Approach) and recognize the efforts and time so many people dedicated in bringing my original vision to fruition,” Mickelsen said. “Right now cardiac electrophysiology is witnessing a paradigm shift in catheter ablation toward PFA."

UI Chief Innovation Officer Jon Darsee said the acquisition represents one of the largest deals in the space of cardiac ablation procedures. He congratulated Mickelsen, whom he described as “a physician and serial entrepreneur who consistently seeks ways to address unmet needs in the field of cardiac electrophysiology.”

“This is an example where the ingenuity, creativity, and perseverance of a faculty member determined to translate research and clinical insights into patient care now has the potential to improve outcomes of thousands of patients worldwide suffering from cardiac arrhythmia,” Darsee said.

The UI Research Foundation, part of the Office of the Vice President for Research, has played a significant role in bringing Farapulse’s invention to market. UIRF began working with Mickelsen in 2012, assisting with the disclosure of two inventions related to atrial fibrillation treatment, both adaptations to the catheter used for treatment delivery (the second nicknamed the “ring of fire”). Faculty are required to inform UIRF when they’ve developed research with potential commercial value.

UIRF also provided Mickelsen with “gap” funding to further develop his work, guidance when he decided to form his own company, and help with attracting venture capital.

“UIRF’s licensing relationship with Farapulse enabled Dr. Mickelsen to amplify the impact of his university research,” UIRF Executive Director Marie Kerbeshian said. “Farapulse developed his discoveries into a commercially-viable product, and now Boston Scientific will ensure that his work will reach patients worldwide.”


Stephen Pradarelli, Office of the Vice President for Research, 3193841282

Tags:  UI Research Foundation, Carver College of Medicine, startups, tech transfer, cardiovascular medicine


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