VCU Innovation in the News

Read what others are saying about VCU TechTransfer and Ventures. We’ll share links here as our inventions, faculty, and team make headlines.


Navigate through our stories below

Our Q1 newsletter, Launchpad: Accelerating the pace of VCU-created startups

For several years, VCU TechTransfer and Ventures has supported the creation and development of startup companies based on university IP. Now, we’ve added fuel to that work.


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From nasal casts to emergency intubation, newly honored VCU innovators explore fresh frontiers

Five projects get Commercialization Fund awards from TechTransfer and Ventures, which helps campus inventions reach the marketplace.

What Universities Wish Industry Knew About Collaborations: A Q&A with Brent Fagg from Virginia Commonwealth University

Our partners at Halo recently interviewed senior licensing manager Brent Fagg.

Here's his interview. 



Dr. Richard Marconi named senior member of the National Academy of Inventors

National Academy of Inventors names two VCU faculty as senior members for their research into treating diseases
Richard T. Marconi of the School of Medicine is developing new innovations for testing and preventing Lyme disease, and Martin K. Safo of the School of Pharmacy is targeting sickle cell disease.

An UNbelievable year that was all part of the plan

The results are in. They are phenomenal. And as importantly, they are intentional. 

At no other time in VCU’s history have our researchers and trainees been more widely recognized for their contributions to transformative innovation across the sciences, the arts and the humanities, healthcare, engineering and mathematics. 

And this was all part of our plan...



Turning a therapeutic for one disease into treatment for another

Could a drug used to treat high cholesterol be repurposed to treat eye disorders?

The connection between the two isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds, and Qingguo Xu, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutics at the School of Pharmacy, is on a path to making it work. His lab has formulated a pharmaceutical using fenofibrate, an FDA-approved oral drug used to treat high cholesterol, to hopefully someday treat certain eye diseases. See how.



A startup developing first-in-class immune modulators

A VCU research and graduate student currently in VCU’s M.D./Ph.D. program founded a startup with a goal to modify immune responses that underpin allergic reactions and other immunological disorders, leading to longer term reversal of disease. Meet Pleros.



A new way to power A.I. and antennas

Supriyo Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D. is breaking new ground in electronics design with tiny hardware and nanomagnet-based antennas. His works hold the promise to revolutionize the circuitry that underpins artificial intelligence, antennas and more. “Supriyo’s research centers on cutting-edge concepts in electronics design,” says Brent Fagg, senior licensing manager at VCU TechTransfer and Ventures. “He is not merely redesigning the way things have been done but completely changing the way electronics components are created and used.” Here’s more.



Diving deeper into new frontiers of forensic biology

Figuring out whose DNA is found at the scene of a crime is a routine task for crime labs.

But what kind of tissue is the source of that DNA? And how long has it been there? That’s more difficult to determine. And courts that have historically focused on the “who” increasingly care about the “what” and “how.”

Kate Philpott, a Virginia-based scientific and legal consultant and affiliate faculty in the Department of Forensic Science, and forensics professor Christopher Ehrhardt, Ph.D., are developing a technology to analyze “non-genetic attributes” of cells within forensic evidence. They’ve also created a startup to someday sell their technology to crime labs. Dive deeper into their world.



Eyeing a new way of nasal drug delivery

Laleh Golshahi, Ph.D., founder and director of the College of Engineering’s Respiratory Aerosol Research and Educational (RARE) laboratory, is studying how different nasal drug delivery products work in different people’s noses. She and her team have developed six nose models — three adult, three pediatric — that can be used by researchers and pharmaceutical companies to determine how aerosolized droplets land inside the nasal passages of millions of people of varying ages, genders and ethnicities. See the casts and meet Laleh.



Found by chance, created by collaboration

VCU’s 2023 Innovator of the Year led a team to create a worldwide scale used in ICUs

Meet the newly retired Curtis N. Sessler, M.D., the Orhan Muren Distinguished Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine. He led the team that created the Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale, a tool used by intensive-care unit clinicians and researchers around the world. For his and his team’s work to create the scale, made available in 2002, Sessler was named the 2023 Billy R. Martin VCU Innovator of the Year.  See how RASS came to be.



VCU climbs to No. 47 among U.S public research universities

“Our new NSF ranking is a direct reflection of our researchers’, staff’s, trainees’ and students’ dedication to answering some of society’s most pressing and challenging questions,” said P. Srirama Rao, Ph.D., vice president for research and innovation at VCU. “As a hub of intellectual curiosity, the transformative and collaborative research conducted here serves as a catalyst for innovation and societal impact within our communities at a local, national and global level.”

Read more (click through for link to VCU news)



Inventor of ‘world standard’ for determining ICU patient comfort named VCU Innovator of the Year

Curtis Sessler, M.D., a professor in the School of Medicine, created the RASS scale that intensive-care unit clinicians and researchers around the world have used for more than two decades to describe a patient’s level of alertness and agitation.


Read more here

VCU named Innovation & Economic Prosperity award winner

Virginia Commonwealth University is the winner of the 11th annual Innovation & Economic Prosperity Talent award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The award recognizes exemplary initiatives in education and workforce development.

Announced during the association’s annual meeting today, VCU’s submission was lauded by the APLU for its “particularly innovative and exemplary” framework for regional economic development and engagement. The award highlights the university’s RTR teacher residency programda Vinci Center for Innovation and Richmond Health and Wellness Program.

Full story at VCU News

“The initiatives highlighted in this submission are perfect representations of our deep commitment to knowledge creation, innovation and conducting transformative research that tackles our greatest challenges, connects with our communities, reduces disparities and lifts lives. VCU’s TechTransfer and Ventures has been instrumental in advancing several of these university-led innovations to the marketplace, including through startups and overall furthering economic development.”

P. Srirama Rao, Ph.D., vice president for research and innovation

3D-printed hairs: Ph.D. candidate, professor developing tiny sensors to detect flow and environmental changes

Uses could include surgical robots that better detect minute changes in pressure or temperature, industrial machines that measure air or water flow, a robot that reads braille, or debris detection on a highly sensitive camera lens.


Read more here

VCU Engineering professor is shaping electronics design in inventive ways

From AI to implantable devices, Supriyo Bandyopadhyay pushes the limits at a small but powerful scale.


Read more here

Climate tech startup licenses VCU-created insulation for homes, commercial buildings

Aerogel innovation from physics professor Massimo Bertino could power an energy-efficient upgrade from fiberglass and other materials.


Read more here

VCU ranks in top 100 for patents

The National Academy of Inventors has placed VCU among the top 100 universities in the U.S. for utility patents granted, reflecting VCU’s excellence in innovation and research.


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VCU researchers developing affordable, noninvasive treatment for RDS in newborns

Worth Longest and his team received a $3 million grant to create an aerosolized surfactant - a substance that lowers liquid surface tension - and a device to deliver it.


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