Alumnus Paul and Diane Manning invest $3M for program that brings science and business together

Published: 15.02.2022 14:20:39

Modified: 15.02.2022 14:18:44

AMHERST – Treatment to suppress inflammatory bowel disease and technology to deliver probiotics in the form of a sticky mass are some of the intellectual property developed in the laboratories of the University of Massachusetts that promote human health and well-being through startups.

The Manning Innovation Program, launched in 2019 with an investment of $ 1 million from 1977 graduate Paul Manning and his wife Diana Manning, recently received an additional $ 3 million from the couple. The money will support another three years of combining science and business through the commercialization of UMass research projects.

Paul Manning said in a statement that the goal of the program was to fund brilliant minds at the College of Natural Sciences that solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

“But the success of the program has exceeded our expectations, so we are investing in its expansion,” said Manning, an entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in healthcare who founded PBM Capital Group in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2010. We look forward to seeing many more innovative solutions that are sure to have a global impact. ”

The program, founded at the Institute of Applied Life Sciences, provides grants to promote applied research and development, both through the creation of start-up research and engineering companies and the licensing of intellectual property.

Thanks to grants, teachers can use their research to try to find solutions to problems such as cancer treatment, wastewater treatment, veterinary science and reproductive health.

“The resources and funding that come with these awards have allowed our entrepreneurial faculty to pursue research areas that have real implications and then direct potentially change-making solutions to an accelerated production pipeline while teaching students to be the future. leaders in their fields, ”said Trisia Serio, dean of the College of Natural Sciences.

So far, 14 faculty have received awards for innovation, including chemistry research professor S. “Tai” Taumanavan, who used the grant to focus on treating life-saving liver disease. This initiative was Cyta Therapeutics, an early life life science company that develops products to regenerate and restore liver function in a variety of liver diseases.

The money supported the laboratory development of Thayumanavan nanogel aimed at the liver, with the IntelliGels brand, and the demonstration of drug release and mitigation of disease progression, as well as the determination of appropriate doses based on models using mice.

The Manning program also contributed to strengthening the culture of entrepreneurship at the College of Science and greater collaboration between advisers from the Isenberg School of Management, researchers in science and technology, and industry experts.

You can contact Scott Merzbach at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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