USC OORI Names Four Awardees under the SBIR/STTR Planning Award Program

The University of Southern California (USC) Office of Research and Innovation (OORI) has announced four new awardees under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Planning Award.

The SBIR/STTR Planning Award, managed by OORI sub-unit Research Initiatives and Infrastructure (RII) intends to establish and bolster USC’s ongoing technology transfer and commercialization efforts. This innovative award program supports faculty partnered with a small business to plan and prepare for submission of a competitive SBIR/STTR application to a federal funding agency. Federally funded SBIR/STTR programs are one of the largest sources of early-stage capital for technology commercialization in the United States. These programs enable US-owned and operated small businesses to conduct research and development that has a strong potential for commercialization. Pursuit of SBIR/STTR awards externally is critical to advancing USC’s stature as a leader in innovation and commercialization, and OORI and RII are thrilled to see the increased interest and engagement amongst faculty members in receiving internal support in preparation for external SBIR/STTR submissions.

Of the new awarded faculty members, several have received support and leveraged OORIs available resources and internal funding in the past. Dr. Bodour Sahlia, one of four new awardees, has worked closely with OORI’s sub-division Research Strategy and Development for proposal submissions. Dr. Peter Wang has similarly worked with OORI and has received funding internally from RII in the past.

The 2024 SBIR/STTR Planning Award recipients are as follows:

  1. Vsevolod Katritch, PhD, Professor of Quantitative and Computational Biology and Chemistry – USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience
    1. Proposal Title: Novel Angiotensin AT2 receptor antagonists for neuropathic pain treatment
  • Eun Ji Chung, PhD, The Dr. Karl Jacob Jr. and Karl Jacob III Early Career Chair and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Surgery, and Medicine – USC Viterbi School of Engineering, USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience
    • Proposal Title: Storage formulation of miR-145 nanotherapeutics for atherosclerosis
  • Bodour Sahlia, PhD, Associate Professor of Translational Genomics, Interim Chair of the Department of Translational Genomics – Keck School of Medicine of USC, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • Proposal Title: The development of OvaPrint, a cell-free DNA methylation test for the early detection of epithelial ovarian cancer
  • Peter Yingxiao Wang, PhD, Dwight C. and Hildagarde E. Baum Chair in Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering – USC Viterbi School of Engineering, Keck School of Medicine of USC, USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • Proposal Title: Engineering Ultrasound Controllable CAR T cells targeting Intracellular KRAS mutants in Solid Tumor