A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Bridging the Gap


Accelerator fund supports biomedical technologies with commercial and therapeutic potential.

Ranging from technology that analyzes the cries of infants for signs of opioid withdrawal to gene therapy treatment for post-traumatic osteoarthritis, five projects led by Brown University research teams have each been awarded $100,000 to help translate their scientific discoveries into commercial products that benefit patients.

In its second annual cycle of awards, Brown Biomedical Innovations to Impact (BBII) also supported projects that aim to develop a malaria vaccine, reduce dangerous fungal infections, and improve the safety of new drugs by testing them for possible toxicity to the heart.

Karen Bulock, PhD, managing director of BBII, says the goal of the commercial development program launched in 2018 “is to support biomedical technologies that need additional work to become products that have commercialization potential,” explaining there is often a gap between the time when federal research funding ends and private investors are ready to invest.

BBII, an accelerator fund that supports academic biomedical technologies that have potential for making a substantial impact in health care, is run by the Division of Biology and Medicine in collaboration with Brown Technology Innovations, part of the Office of the Vice President for Research.

“We have been focused on supporting and building capacity for translational science,” says Jack A. Elias, MD, senior vice president for health affairs and dean of medicine and biological sciences. “The BBII awards have been a great tool to help researchers move their discoveries along that pathway toward commercialization.”

Read an overview of the selected projects here.


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