Auburn Showcases a Variety of Technologies Developed by the University at the BIO Alabama Conference


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Auburn University recently participated in the BIO Alabama conference at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook, showcasing five of its biotechnology research developments.

BIO Alabama is the state bioscience industry professional organization. This year’s event – the first meeting after a six-year hiatus due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic – brought together approximately 200 scientists and their research developments on April 25-26.

Melinda Richter, global head of innovation at Johnson & Johnson, was the keynote speaker under this year’s theme, “Building Alabama’s Biohorizons,” focusing on the future of industry participation in the economy. Alabama innovation.

Auburn’s presentations included:

  • Vivosphere Cell Encapsulation Technology Platform for Drug Development and Discovery (Elizabeth Lipke; presented by co-inventor Yuan Tian) – It is a 3D cell encapsulation method and device for more accurate and cost-effective screening for drugs, bio-inks and regenerative medicine.

  • Anticancer immunotherapy targeting CD47 (James Gillespie, joint project with VCOM) – Development of an anticancer treatment that could replace immunomodulatory therapies targeting CD47.

  • Computational Tool to Accelerate the Discovery of Beneficial Natural Compounds (Angela Calderon and Cheryl Seals; presented by Kabre Heck and Muhammad Gulfam) – A collaborative project on an automated method for analyzing mass spectrometry data to identify potential bioactive compounds in complex mixtures.

  • Bacteria engineered to produce biofuels and other compounds (Yi Wang) – Engineering bacteria to express record levels of butanol for biofuels or other industrial applications or to express record levels of butyl acetate for use in food, consumer goods or industrial processes.

  • Computer-designed compounds to treat Alzheimer’s disease (Raj Amin; presented by Ian Steinke and Fajar Wibowo) – A therapeutic compound tailored to treat Alzheimer’s disease without the side effects seen with other drugs in this class .

  • Gene therapy vectors for the therapeutic treatment of neurological diseases (Doug Martin) – Modified AAV vectors for the treatment of neurological diseases such as rabies.

  • Medical Device to Improve the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Neuropathy in Diabetic Patients (Michael Zabala and Thomas Burch; presented by co-inventor Kenny Brock, VCOM) – A medical device to accurately monitor and measure loss of sensation in diabetic patients. (Jon Commander is also a co-inventor and works with VCOM.)

BIO Alabama is Alabama’s leading bioeconomy advocate. The organization represents the state nationally and internationally, promoting intellectual and innovative capital to make Alabama a prime location to invest in, start up, and grow in biosciences.

Alabama’s bioscience industry has a $7.3 billion impact on the state’s economy, according to data from BIO Alabama. Auburn has participated in Bio Alabama events for several years.

“As the presenting sponsor of this year’s BIO Alabama conference, Auburn University had an important opportunity to showcase some of our latest technologies in a reverse industry pitch session,” said Bill. Dean, executive director of the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation.

“Auburn’s participation in events such as the BIO Alabama conference speaks to our role in growing the region’s bioeconomy and demonstrates our commitment to the bio-sector in the form of industry collaboration and partnerships that will make advance research and impact quality of life across the state.”

(Written by Mitch Emmons)

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