Researchers get grants to commercialize health discoveries

SEATTLE – Two Washington State University scientists this week received $250,000 grants to move their health research discoveries into practical use.

Amit Bandyopadhyay will test joint implant materials that may be safer and more durable than current products. Joseph Harding will study a new treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in a preclinical model.

The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) awarded five grants, totaling $1.1 million, to move health-related products from the laboratory into the commercial marketplace. The LSDF, a state agency established in May 2005, is funded from Washington’s allocation of payments under the 1998 multi-state litigation against tobacco product manufacturers.

Grant applications are still being accepted; $3 million has been allocated for award through August 2014. Jan. 3 is the next closing date for pre-proposal applications. For details, see, email or call 206-456-9577.

The other grants will advance:

* a system for diagnosing and managing human diseases, with an initial focus on HIV/AIDS

* a portable device for detecting water contamination by disease-causing microorganisms

* a way to screen stem cell therapies for tumor-forming potential in advance of human testing.

“Our latest awards are indicative of the high quality of applications we receive each cycle, and we believe that each grantee has strong potential to help make Washingtonians healthier and safer,” said John DesRosier, LSDF executive director.