May 2016 Notes from the Georgia Research Alliance
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Georgia State recruits 
top Ebola researcher

Georgia’s newest GRA Eminent Scholar is a leading expert on Ebola and other emerging viruses. Chris Basler, who joins Georgia State University from New York’s Icahn School of Medicine, is program director on two NIH grants and principal investigator on a third — all totaling $20 million through 2019. Basler was on a research team that in 2014  revealed how Ebola thwarts the body’s immune response, showing that one of its proteins disrupts a molecule that plays a crucial role in battling infections. At Georgia State, Basler will be the founding director of Center for Microbial Pathogenesis. Meet the Scholar >

Glimpse of the future: Promising start-ups showcase technologies at investor event

New leadership and new updates from companies highlighted the second annual showcase of GRA Venture Fund, LLC, a private investment fund that backs promising startups emerging from Georgia’s universities. Held in Atlanta in May, the showcase featured presentations from leaders of three of the Fund's portfolio companies — Celtaxsys, Urjanet and Axion BioSystems. Representatives from six GRA Ventures companies also addressed the gathering of investors: Accuitis, Carbice Nanotechnologies, Cognosos, Micron Biomedical, Que Oncology and ViaMune. The Fund’s new leadership, David Ratcliffe (Chair) and Michelle Jarrard (Managing Director), presided over the event. See who was there >

GRA Venture Fund, LLC leads round for Axion

The rapid growth of Axion BioSystems helped ignite a $6 million round of equity financing led by GRA Venture Fund, LLC. Axion’s technology allows researchers to test and evaluate drugs with greater productivity, sensitivity and accuracy. Its Maestro micro electrode array (MEA) platform (shown above) can analyze as many as 96 cell samples at once — compared to one cell sample from a standard MEA. More about the investment > 

Mercer invention featured in media

Global Atlanta this month offers an excellent feature on a Mercer University outreach program — and an invention that’s helping people who have lost a leg to land mines. Mercer’s Dr. Ha Vo developed a low-cost prosthesis with an adjustable socket, making it wearable for a wide variety of people. The article, which profiles the university’s Mercer On Mission program, reports that volunteer students and faculty this summer will fit the 5,000th patient with the prosthesis. More than 2,000 people worldwide lose a limb every year from land mines. Read the article >Watch a video on the prosthesis invention >

Article: What will it take to conquer AIDS?

GRA Eminent Scholars Eric Hunter and Guido Silvestri are among leading Emory University scientists sharing their perspective on the provocative topic of what it will take to end the world’s AIDS epidemic. In “Getting to Zero,” an article in the Rollins School of Public Health, the scientists offer insights into how best to conquer new challenges and obstacles in prevention, diagnosis and treatment. More than 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, but nearly 1 in 8 don’t know they are infected. Read what the scientists have to say > 
Suniva named 'Manufacturer of the Year'

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal honored Norcross-based Suniva late last month for being “Manufacturer of the Year,” as selected by the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Technical College System of Georgia. Suniva, a solar products manufacturer launched out of Georgia Tech, was tops among nearly 100 nominees in the medium-size business category. GRA Eminent Scholar Ajeet Rohatgi invented the high-efficiency and cost-competitive solar cells manufactured by Sunva. More on the award > 
What would you like to see?

Last month, the Georgia Research Alliance introduced Notes, a new format for keeping you updated on university-based research and entrepreneurship in Georgia that GRA has influenced. We welcome your thoughts on the content and format — send us a quick email, and we'll respond. 
Copyright © 2016 Georgia Research Alliance, All rights reserved.

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