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04-17-2014

Clarkson University Researcher Awarded $50K NSF Grant

Artem Melman, associate professor of chemistry & biomolecular science at Clarkson University, has been awarded a $50,000 grant under a new program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will facilitate bringing his bio-tech research from the lab to commercialization.

Artem Melman and Nicolas LetourneauHis research builds on NSF-funded work he did in 2012 that is promising for medical research or treatment.

“To put it simply, we are seeing dramatic changes in medicines, with proteins increasingly used,” Melman says. “The proteins require a special selective modification to serve as drugs or to be used in the detection of diseases.

“This research for now is for analytical purposes and markers for diseases. The potential for medical treatment is far into the future. We're not going to solve problem, but are creating effective tools to make the process faster and easier.”

Here's where the grant comes in. The NSF Innovation Corps Teams Program (I-Corps) identifies fundamental research, such as Melman's, that will lead to the development of technologies, products and processes that benefit society. These researchers then will receive additional support -- in the form of mentoring and funding -- to accelerate their findings and thus attract third-party funding to bring the product or process to the market.

“This NSF grant is based on encouraging results of research that make it attractive for commercialization by bio-technologies. I-CORPS provides start-up funds so we can work on improving the technology, see how to customize it for possible researchers or companies, and license it,” says Melman.

The grant project includes Clarkson Ph.D. student Nicolas Letourneau, who will serve as entrepreneurial leader of the project.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science Artem Melman has been awarded a $50,000 NSF grant to bring his bio-tech research from the lab to commercialization. Above, Melman (left) with project entrepreneurial leader Ph.D. student Nicolas Letourneau.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/melman-letorneau.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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