The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has issued two $100,000 awards to partnerships between university labs and private companies.


The awards are part of the Collaborative Funding Grant program, the center said in announcing the grants. Teams hire a postdoctoral researcher or technician to work at a North Carolina university under the supervision of an academic scientist. The projects are on topics of defined commercial interest.


Collaborative Funding Grant recipients are:


  • Jun Chen, Ph.D., associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Duke University School of Medicine, and Cytex Therapeutics. Jun and Cytex will partner for a study aimed at creating living cartilage to completely replace a damaged/arthritic joint surface.
  • Nicholas Oberlies, Ph.D., associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and Mycosynthetix. Their project is looking for new compounds for treating parasite infections.


“With each award, the Collaborative Funding Grant program generates great potential for a strong university-industry partnership that could lead to a promising life-science commercial development,” said Cynthia Sollod, director of the science and technology development program at the Biotechnology Center.


Since its inception 15 years ago, the Collaborative Funding Grant program has provided $5 million in 85 awards. The program has resulted in 27 patents, four new companies and 150 scientific publications.

The Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science at North Carolina State University co-sponsors the grant program.

The Biotechnology Center is a private, non-profit corporation supported by the N.C. General Assembly. Its mission is to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business, education and strategic policy statewide.