March 2015  E-News Wrap-up from the Georgia Research Alliance

Top scientist in 'molecular med' is newest GRA Eminent Scholar

An internationally acclaimed scientist who has broken new ground in cardiovascular research is coming to Georgia State University as the newest GRA Eminent Scholar. Ming-Hui Zou, whose discoveries include how an oxidant in the body (peroxynitrite) can harm people with diabetes, hypertension and other ailments, will head GSU’s new Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine. • More >

Varian's Georgia connection runs deep, gets stronger 

This month brought the announcement that cancer treatment system manufacturer Varian Medical Systems will make Georgia its East Coast hub — and the news is further testament to the company’s strong relationship with the state’s R&D ecosystem.
Varian is making Georgia its East Coast hubLast year, Varian expanded its longtime local presence by acquiring Atlanta-based Velocity Medical, a developer of a sophisticated technology platform for managing medical imaging information. Launched out of Emory University, Velocity received pivotal early-stage funding from GRA Ventures, the commercialization arm of GRA.
But the Varian connection to GRA traces back nearly 20 years, when the company made it possible for the Alliance to invest in a state-of-the-art NMR spectrometer at the University of Georgia.
The purchase of the 900 MHz spectrometer gave Georgia one of the most powerful instruments of its kind in the world. Varian also helped create the permanent endowment that allowed UGA to recruit GRA Eminent Scholar Jim Prestegard from Yale.
“Our expansion in Georgia makes good strategic sense,” says Varian’s Oncology Systems business President Kolleen Kennedy. “The state has made extraordinary strides in university research over the past two decades, and the number and caliber of startups being launched out of university labs is impressive.”d
Varian’s expansion is expected to create up to 100 high-value jobs over the next five years.

Read the announcement from Governor Deal >

Research in Georgia highlighted in Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia's thriving research ecosystem is a front-page focal point in the March 27 edition of the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The cover story reports on basic and clinical research taking place throughout the state and credits GRA for leveraging $600 million in state funding into $2.6 billion in federal and private investment. Profiled are 20 major research projects and clinical trials in health and medicine at Georgia's public and private universities. "Georgia now ranks 12th as a state in research funding, and Atlanta ranks 5th as a city," reports Business Chronicle writer Ellie Hensley. Total R&D expenditures for life sciences alone topped $842 million in 2013. • More >

MedShape is the March feature in Tech's 'Faces of Manufacturing'

GRA Ventures company MedShape is the featured enterprise in this month’s “Faces of Manufacturing” series by the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Company principals Ken Gall and Kurt Jacobus trace the evolution of MedShape, including GRA’s role in the company's formative stages. MedShape is an orthopedic device company that uses proprietary shape memory technology in a range of foot and leg surgeries. Produced by Georgia Tech, "Faces of Manufacturing" celebrates unsung heroes in the manufacturing sector.  • Watch GRA’s “2-Minute Breakthrough” video on MedShape >

Lancope No. 7 on Cybersecurity's list of innovators

Alpharetta-based Lancope, founded by GRA's first Eminent Scholar, John Copeland, is ranked seventh in the Cybersecurity 500, a list of the most innovative security providers in the marketplace. Lancope earned a top spot for its "unique approach of defending enterprise networks form the inside out." The list of 500 companies was selected out of thousands of potential inclusions, based on 14 criteria. By collecting and analyzing several types of flow data, Lancope’s StealthWatch® System helps organizations quickly detect a wide range of attacks. The Cybersecurity 500 list is issued by research and market intelligence firm Cybersecurity Ventures. • More >
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