Beall Innovation Awards

 "Accelerating the transfer of technology is critical to helping the country remain competitive in a global marketplace." 
- Don Beall, Chairman Emeritus, Retired Chairman/CEO, Rockwell

Think big. That’s a short and sweet piece of advice from a recent winner of the Beall Innovation Award, which seeks to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit among UC Irvine researchers. Taking discoveries and inventions from the laboratory to the marketplace means imagining the ways in which new technologies could sprout from existing science, as well as keeping close track of research trends that might point the way to the future.

The annual Beall Innovation Awards are sponsored by the Beall Family Foundation. 



2017 Recipients:
Ilya Krivorotov & Zuzanna Siwy
Magnetic Field Effect Transistor for Drug Delivery and Nanofluidics. Application to remote drug release from microcapsules activated by hand-held permanent magnet. Another application is spatial and temporal reconfiguration of 3-D nanofluidic circuits by external magnetic field. Results show single-pore membranes with magnetoelectric nanoparticles attached covalently to the pore walls can have ionic conductance modulated by magnetic fields when pore diameters are around 30 nanometers. Experiments are proceeding to optimize and maximize magnetic field effect on ionic transport.

Peter Taborek
Adaptive Online Learning Platform for Introductory Physics. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to tailor individual learning based on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Initial target is assessing individual readiness for university physics courses and teaching towards areas needing strengthening for readiness for university physics curriculum. Adaptive path of instruction is tailored to each individual to bring people to common skill set needed for success in introductory university physics. Program is launched in collaboration among physics faculty, alumni, and the UCI Department of Physics & Astronomy. Supported also by University of California Office of the President funds.

2016 Recipients:
Shane Ardo
Ion-Exchange Membrane: Fuel cells, Electrolyzers, Solar Desalination. Development of polymer membrane electrolyte with near neutral pH and rapid ionic conductivity. See US Patent application US20180065095A1. Nissan Chemical Industries funding obtained. Moore Foundation Inventor Fellow awarded. Click here for more information about the fellowship.

Peter Taborek
Trace quantities explosives detector (quartz crystal microbalance). Thiol detection successful, sample discrimination testing ongoing. Department of Defense requested proposal for funding.

2015 Recipients:
Ken Shea 
Antivenom. Broad spectrum abiotic antivenom against venomous serpent bites. Obtained Phase 2 DARPA funding with commercial partner Luna, Inc. Live animal testing of the nanoparticles reported in October 2018 in journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 300 Cells startup. See Scientific American article and The New York Times “Tiny Nanoparticles to Treat a Huge Problem: Snakebites” by Donald McNeil on 12 October 2018.

Zuzanna Siwy 
Nanopore 3D membranes. Membranes with pores which may discriminate cellular or ionic flow in microfluidic channels. Applications conceived in cancer stem cell isolation and also water desalination. Collaboration with private company LLC and private funding focused on proof-of-product and technology transfer development.

David Van Vranken 
Anitfungal drug compounds. PCT Patent application WO 2016201440 A1. Testing spiroindolinone analogues to further minimize molecular weight and optimize potency against fungal pathogens. Marketing via UCI Applied Innovation.

2014 Recipients:
Rachel Martin 
NMR Probe Technology. Proof-of-product development stage from proof-of-principle working 4-channel magic angle spinning probe, in collaboration with Revolution NMR, LLC. See publication "Design and construction of a quadruple-resonance MAS NMR probe for investigation of extensively deuterated biomolecules" in Journal of Magnetic Resonance v.285, pages 8-17 (2017).

Reg Penner & Greg Weiss
Bioelectronic Devices. Use phage display to isolate receptors for recognition of new cancer biomarkers. PhageTech, LLC was launched and licenses university intellectual property via UCI Applied Innovation. National Cancer Institute funding, clinical trials, and commercial effort ongoing. Click here for more information about PhageTech.

Ken Shea
Coating or Polish Removable by an Aqueous Solution of Cysteine. Development of self-immolative polyurethane polymers containing cysteine-activated trigger. Goal to replace acetone soak for polish removal. Synthesized self-immolating polymer, evaluated physical properties, established conditions for depolymerization. Material Transfer Agreement drawn up for L’Oreal, S.A.

Zuzanna Siwy
Resistive-Pulse Sensing of Particles and Cells. Microfluidic device for electrical signal and high-speed camera to identify viable cancer cells under deformation. See US Patent 9,658,206B2, issued 23 May 2017.

2013 Recipients:
Suzanne Blum
Commercialization of New Building Blocks for Drug Discovery. Sigma-Aldrich Corporation licensed and sells the new organoboron building blocks. Janssen Pharmaceuticals collaborating also. US Patent 9,238,661 issued January 2016.

Zhibin Guan
Multiphase Self-Healing Polymers for Protective Coating Applications. See US Patent Application 2018/0171055 A1. Also see STTR NSF Award with associated startup company GK Materials, titled Corrosion Protection via Self-Healing Top-Coat for Aerospace Applications.

AJ Shaka
Nuclear Waste Recycling. Method to determine isotopic composition via delayed neutron spectroscopy with various foil surrounds.