The five-year Coulter Translational Partnership Award has the ultimate goal of focusing on outcomes to save, extend and improve patients’ lives. With the university’s $1.67 million contribution bringing the total amount to $5 million, UofL’s program will have a $1 million operating budget for each of the five years.
The Coulter Foundation invited UofL to apply for the funding, said UofL President James Ramsey in announcing the award.
“Today is reaffirmation that we are a premier research university,” he said, reminding people in attendance that research pre-eminence has been the university’s state mandate since 1997.
The Coulter Foundation will form a working partnership with UofL’s bioengineering department to promote translational research. The key UofL partners will be J.B. Speed School of Engineering, through Robert Keynton, the lead researcher and bioengineering department chair; the School of Medicine, through Mark Slaughter, chief of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery; and the Office of Technology Transfer, through Holly Clark and Melea East, interim co-directors. There also will be an oversight committee of industry representatives, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and clinical doctors that will help determine which projects to fund.
“This is an opportunity,” Slaughter said. “It coalesces these emergent centers of excellence within the University of Louisville,” and will allow them “to take these new ideas and decide relatively quickly what is clinically important and make it applicable to improve patient care, quality of life and outcomes. And that’s the ultimate goal.”
The award will fund five to six projects per year that are created by engineers and clinicians working side by side, Keynton said. Proposed projects will go through a rigorous, multistep review process before they are accepted for funding.
UofL is one of about 15 institutions to participate in this Coulter program.