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Grant of $425,000 supports Penn State medical faculty's business ideas

Labs at the Penn State College of Medicine are teeming with cutting-edge research, and now the doctors behind these breakthroughs will have more resources dedicated to turning them into companies.

This month the college announced it would receive $425,000 as part of a state grant program. The money will go toward an initiative that supports college faculty who have ideas for businesses based on their research. Keith Marmer, associate dean for research innovation at the College of Medicine, says the program connects these faculty to a team that can study a scientist's idea and its potential to turn into a full-fledged business, help develop a business plan and launch the actual company. It also assists these entrepreneurs in finding potential investors.

"What we want our faculty to know is that the support is there for them," Marmer says. "What we want to allow our faculty to do is continue to do what they do best, which is care for patients and do research."

The program officially started last summer. Marmer notes that it's already launched a startup called Melanovus, begun by a College of Medicine doctor who studies potential treatments for malignant melanoma.

Part of the grant will also go toward a supporting faculty participation in a program that gives existing companies support as they seek to expand. Marmer says the grant money is supposed to last for three years and he hopes the program will be able to survive on its own after that.

Source: Keith Marmer, Penn State College of Medicine
Writer: Rebecca VanderMeulen
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