2 U Medical School Faculty Named Finalists for Utah Innovation Awards

2 U Medical School Faculty Named Finalists for Utah Innovation Awards

May 13, 2004 6:00 PM

Two University of Utah School of Medicine researchers have been named finalists for this year's Stoel Rives Utah Innovation Awards. The awards will be presented at the Edison Conference on the U of U campus May 19-20.

The two University finalists are Dana Carroll, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry; and Carl T. Wittwer, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology and a physician at ARUP (Associated Regional and University Pathologists) Laboratories.

Carroll was nominated for developing, in collaboration with former faculty member Marina Bibikova, a technique called Targeted Gene Manipulation, which allows alteration of genes in many different organisms. Hybrid proteins called zinc finger nucleases stimulate the replacement of a chromosomal gene with a version of that gene modified in the laboratory.

Wittwer developed an improved way to diagnose diseases based on the molecular separation and identification of human genes and infectious organisms. The diagnostic tool can be used by hospitals, clinics, and blood banks, as well as for testing the environment and biological agents.

The Utah Innovation Awards were developed by Stoel Rives, a business law firm, and Wasatch Digital iQ magazine, in conjunction with the Utah Engineering Experiment Station, with support from MountainWest Venture Group, Utah Information Technology Association, and Utah Life Science Association. A committee of 35 experts from private industry, government and higher education selected three finalists in each of six categories. The Edison Conference provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs, inventors, and high-tech startups to learn about how to commercialize their technologies. The featured speaker at this year's conference will be Ed Catmull, a U of U graduate who is president of Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar created the computer graphics for films such as "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo."

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