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Office of Strategic Industry Initiatives

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OSII participated in the large partnering conference BIO, in early June.  Follow-up includes pitching collaboration ideas to many companies interested in academic collaborations, including J&J/Janssen, Boerhinger Ingelheim, Daiichi Sankyo, AbbVie, and Pfizer.  Please visit the Industry Interests page to see if your research aligns with theirs.  If so, please contact me to organize information for a pitch to the company.



Summer Happy Hour (Part 2) at Landmark Cafe at TMC, August 2, 5:30pm

July 15: TMC Funding Program in Collaborative Health Policy
July 19: Springboard 2018 Digital Health for Women Entrepreneurs
July 30: Ignite Fire Pitch Competition
August 17: JLABS IBD Stress Test QuickFire Challenge
September 30: FDA Innovation Challenge: Devices to Prevent and Treat Opioid Use Disorder

Infectious Disease: IDWeek IDea Incubator:
Deadline, June 29

2018 Texas Advanced Computing Center Symposium for Texas Researchers
September 20-21, 2018


Sanofi-IAwardsOSII serves as a megaphone to amplify access and response to industry-funded research opportunities, including the Sanofi iAward program. Thus far, three faculty members have been awarded iAwards for their projects: Dr. Joseph McCormick, School of Public Health Brownsville; Dr. Xiaodong Cheng, Texas Therapeutics Institute and Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology; Dr. Priyatansh Gurha, Center for Cardiovascular Genetics at the Institute for Molecular Medicine.  In each case, OSII assisted in the application process as well as the post-award phase, in coordination with Sponsored Projects Administration, Technology Management, and the Committee for Protection of Human Subjects (as applicable). For more, see the Funding Opportunities page.

Zirc logo

Dr. Gargi Mukherji and Dr. Ralph Cooley, both School of Dentistry faculty members, envisioned a new dental product that would prevent objects used during procedures from falling down the esophagus or trachea when accidentally dropped.  OSII assisted Drs. Mukherji and Cooley to conceive and implement a strategy to seek a commercial partner, which lead to a collaborative relationship with Zirc Dental Products.  Together with Zirc, the idea was formalized for production, which led to a new patent application, and the new product is currently in clinical testing at the School of Dentistry. Upon successful testing, Zirc will manufacture and commercialize the product as part of their dental portfolio with royalties leading back to Dr. Mukherji, Dr. Cooley and UTHealth.


Dr. John Hagan, Assistant Professor in Neurosurgery, discovered a novel target for cancer treatment with unique potential for small molecule-based development.  He proposed a project to GlaxoSmithKline’s Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc), and with OSII assistance, Dr. Hagan became one of the select few to participate in the program as well as receive some additional funding for research in his lab to support the project. The project is on-going and has led to further interactions between the DPAc team and other UTHealth faculty, as well as a strong relationship with the DPAc group enabling mentoring opportunities with GSBS students and further relationships within GSK.

SinglePacketOnWhite-updatedKiss Industries, LLC reached out to UTHealth with an opportunity to test the efficacy of their new product: new type of gum with the potential to prevent plaque formation and gingivitis called Confadent.  After some research, OSII connected Kiss with Dr. Nikola Angelov and Dr. Flavia Lakschevitz at the School of Dentistry, who have extensive experience in periodontal disease and treatment, to design and conduct the trial.  Because Kiss is a start-up company with limited funding for a trial but the research presented a unique scientific opportunity, OSII, together with Technology Management, established a new funding paradigm to bridge the funding gap. Ultimately, this opportunity provides mutual benefits to both parties, and may lead to additional collaborative research projects between Kiss and UTHealth.

Handshake ImageUTHealth recognizes the increasingly significant role of industrial relationships in enabling academic research “to advance the quality of human life by enhancing the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease and injury…”

New in FY2016, the Office of Strategic Industry Initiatives was jointly established between the Office of Technology Management and the Office of Academic and Research Affairs.

The primary purpose of OSII is to:
   - Foster stronger strategic relationships between UTHealth faculty and industry
   - Manage and coordinate corporate collaborations and seed funding opportunities for the commercial advancement of UTHealth technologies

For more information, see the menu for further information "For Researchers" or "For Industry". See below for current funding opportunities and upcoming events.

To received emails to learn about new opportunities and events, email Melissa Thompson.