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Chang Receives 1st Source Commercialization Award

Nina Welding • DATE: April 19, 2013

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Hsueh-Chia Chang, Bayer Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has been named recipient of the 1st Source Commercialization Award celebrating research that has made it to the marketplace.

Chang, who also is an investigator with the University’s Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative (AD&T), is a leading researcher in micro/nanofluidics, particularly in the area of nano-electrokenetics.

He was honored for his research that explores and applies electrokenetic phenomena to develop new diagnostic and micro/nanofluidic devices that are portable, sensitive and fast. Devices and techniques under development include DNA/RNA sensing, on-chip pH actuation, Carbon Nanotube /Nanocolloid molecular sensors, nanofluidic diodes, and plasmonic sensors.

Three of Chang’s technologies have been licensed to F Cubed LLC, housed in the University’s Hillcrest Hall, and are being integrated into diagnostic devices for environmental, medical and food safety applications.

The award, which carries a $20,000 cash prize, was presented April 15 during a dinner at Club Naimoli of the Purcell Pavilion, with the theme “It Takes a Village to Commercialize an Idea.” In addition to Chang, numerous other individuals and organizations were honored for their innovative work in 2012, including:

•    92 inventors who submitted 54 disclosures (17 of whom had multiple disclosures);

•    Nineteen inventors who were awarded U.S. Patents, including three Notre Dame faculty members who received their first — David Cavalieri, Timothy Ovaert and Peter Bauer;

•    Eight inventors who were involved in the licensing of 10 new technologies to five different firms;

•    The ESTEEM program, the Gigot Center and its McCloskey Business Competition, the Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic, the Master of Science in Patent Law, and the Proof of Technology Demonstration Center, which were recognized as evidence of Notre Dame’s investment in building internal support programs for the commercialization of its intellectual property;

•    The regional Small Business Development Center, Irish Entrepreneurs Network, the Irish Angels, and the local MAGNET Investment Group, all recognized as active, essential “off-campus” partners; and

•    Michael Vogel, an adjunct instructor and entrepreneur in residence in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, for his outstanding personal commitment to providing sound counseling and advice to dozens of students and start-up organizations.

Established in 2010 with a $1 million gift from 1st Source Bank, the award is presented each year to faculty from Notre Dame or the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend who have successfully transitioned their technology from the lab to the marketplace.

The keynote speaker at this year’s event was Pamela Contag, who is chief executive officer of Cygnet Biofuels and a member of the Merrick & Co. Consultancy. She founded three venture-backed start-up companies: Xenogen Corp., Cobalt Technologies and Cygnet Biofuels, which is developing microbial systems for biofuel production.

In addition to the commercialization award, the 1st Source gift funds an annual lecture or symposium on technology commercialization, bringing to campus experienced entrepreneurs and investors, legal experts on company formation and other university technology transfer professionals.