Beckman Center Awards Seed Funding to Five Projects

By Naomi Love

The Beckman Center News / Fall 2021

The Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine recently awarded nearly $1.1 million in Technology Development Seed Grants to five teams of investigators.

“Competition for this year’s round of awards was especially keen. I’m delighted to say that this was one of the most extraordinary and innovative applicant pools we have seen in the history of our Technology Development Seed Grant program,” says Lucy Shapiro, Ph.D., director of the Beckman Center. 

The Beckman Center has conducted the highly competitive seed grant program since 2002; each year, pairs or groups of investigators representing different disciplines propose risky, but potentially high-pay-off experiments in technology innovation. Projects funded under the program represent a broad array of scientific areas.

To date, the Beckman Technology Development Seed Grant program has funded over 55 projects, resulting in promising outcomes that include published papers, grants and patents, and media coverage.

This year, each team of investigators will receive a total of $216,000 ($100,00 per year in direct costs for two years, as well as $16,000 in infrastructure charges). The grant-receiving projects and their investigators are:

A Systemic Light Source for Optogenetic Screening of Enteric Nervous System Functions

·  Guosong Hong, Ph.D., Department of Materials Science and Engineering

·  Julia Kaltschmidt, Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery

An Integrated Milli-Fluidic System for Automated Tissue Dissociation into Single Cells

·  James D. Brooks, M.D., Department of Urology - Divisions

·  Sindy Kam-Yan Tang, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering

Breaking the Barriers to Discovering Biologics Against Membrane Proteins

·  Le Cong, Ph.D., Departments of Pathology and Genetics

·  Liang Feng, Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology

Development of a Photo-Enzymatic 3D Bioprinter for Pediatric Tissue Engineered Vascular Grafts

·  Steven G. Boxer, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry

·  Michael Ma, M.D., Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery

·  Mark A. Skylar-Scott, Ph.D., Department of Bioengineering

Fluorescent Lifetime Imaging Microscopy of Mitochondria-Rich Extracellular Vesicles for Direct Augmentation of Myocardial Bioenergetics

·  Mark A. Kasevich, Ph.D., Departments of Physics and Applied Physics

·  Soichi Wakatsuki, Ph.D., Departments of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Structural Biology, and Energy Sciences

·  Phillip C. Yang, M.D., Department of Medicine - Med/Cardiovascular Medicine

For more information (media inquiries only), contact:
Naomi Love
(650) 723-8423