These are some of the questions that can be answered fall by the Business and Medicine (BaM) Program.  This program that debuted in 2017, pairs CMI researchers with teams of students in the Master of Microbial Biotechnology (MMB) Program.  MMB students receive dual training in the science and business of biotechnology and are comfortable evaluating market potential, intellectual property, and the competitive landscape for biotechnology products and companies.  BaM partnerships begin when, during the summer, CMI researchers submit a one paragraph description of their ideas and types of questions that they would like to pursue. The appropriate student teams are established and then in the fall, the MMB students spend five weeks focused on the problem.  A detailed final report is delivered to each Principal Investigator (PI) and the groups present highlights in a combined meeting of all the researchers and student teams.

2019 BaM Projects, PIs, and MMB Student Teams

  1. Minimizing the Pain Points: Revolutionizing Point of Care Diagnostics; Michael Daniele (PI), MMB Team Members: Emily Vernon (Team Lead), Karly Dugan, Jamal Koledoye, Leslie Shannon, and Maggie Thraen
  2. Catching Cancer Before it Starts: Assay Development for the Detection of USF; Michael Sikes (PI), MMB Team Members: Anarita Lynch (Team Lead), Monica Driscoll, Olivia Helvey, Hannah Kennel, and Kristine Newman
  3. Stem Cell Pig Models and Potential Application; Jorge Piedrahita (PI), MMB Team Members: Drew Dispennette (Team Lead), Hank Beggs, Jordan Bischoff, Madison Frye, Mitchell Killar, and April Nettesheim
  4. Delivering a Solution to Medication Non-Adherence: Transdermal Microneedle Drug Delivery Device; Stefan C. Weiss (PI), CMI Team Members: Kathryn Meurs and Roger Narayan, MMB Team Members: Alex Burd (Team Lead), Allison Eble, Shannon Harris, Jennifer Massengill, and Cat Sweeney
  5. Novel RNA-Origami and Aptamer Technology Disrupting the Anticoagulant Market; Thom LaBean (PI), CMI Team Member: Dr. Abhichart Krissanaprasi, MMB Team Members: Caleb Ocampo (Team Lead), Grace Carrell, Travis Kernodle, Lara Queck, Alex Rojas, and Michelle Verastegui-Sanchez

2018 BaM Projects, PIs, and MMB Student Team Leaders

  1. Vaccines against the major swine virus-PRRSV; PI – Tobias Kaeser (Team led by Carly Elkins)
  2. Probiotic product for kittens; PI – Jody Gookin (Team led by Rivers Baker)
  3. Alkylamides for the treatment of pain; PI – Scott Laster (Team led by Anne-Claire DenHartog)
  4. Antigens in canine meningoencephalitis; PI – Emma Stafford (Team led by Andrew Harmon)
  5. Fibrin nanoparticles for wound healing; PI – Frances Ligler (Team led by Mark Buckles)
  6. Development of a mAb diagnostic; PI – Robert Voyksner (Team led by Abi Nails)

2017 BaM Projects, PIs, and MMB Student Teams

  1. Development of businesses for gene edited swine, Jorge Piedrahita (PI), Katie Sandlin (Team Lead), Hannah Webb, Sterling Riggs, Megan Mackowiak, Jacob Hyman, and Andrew Harmon.
  2. Natural compounds against flaviviruses, Frank Scholle (PI) and Scott Laster (PI), Zach Jernigan (Team Lead), Ryan Overcash, Swetha Srinivasan, Esteban Niaves, Carly Elkins, and Chris Carlin.
  3. Alkylamides for treatment of allergy, Scott Laster (PI), Melody Paye (Team Lead), David, Majeski, Caty Metcalf, Briggs Hagler, Sarah Grigg, and Ryan Larsen.
  4. Development of a gluten assay with clinical application A, Robert Voyksner (PI), Hannah Seddon (Team Lead), Mackenzie Nelson, Jake Trimble, and Mark Buckles.
  5. Development of a gluten assay with clinical application B, Robert Voyksner (PI), Vincent Green (Team Lead), Brook Peery, James Rebenski, Rivers Baker, Anne Claire DenHartog, and Abi Nails.

*-Team lead

Each participating PI in 2017 was extremely pleased with the results and was highly complementary regarding the impact and value of the BaM Program to their research objectives. The wealth of knowledge gather from this program vast.  PIs gained information about regulatory environments in different countries and how to plan effectively for product release.  Some learned about disease applications for their products and the costs associated with starting a new business. Other PIs learned about companies already working in their area, and actually gained potential partners for their research projects.  The participating researchers found BaM reports particularly helpful for grant submissions to the Chancellors Innovation Fund and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

Many thanks to Paul Hamilton, MMB Program Director, for making this happen!

To Participate

To take advantage of this amazing resource beginning in July 2018 submit a 1 paragraph proposal describing your idea or invention and the type information you hope to gain from this consultation opportunity to Scott Laster, one of the Associate Directors of TPP. The staff of the MMB program will then respond and put your team into action.

Send proposals to