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Sources: Marcia Molina, 785-532-3919, mmolina@k-state.edu;
and Tresa Landis, 785-532-3917, tlandis@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.k-state.edu/tech.transfer/

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CELEBRATING SUCCESS: SPOTLIGHT ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LUNCHEON APRIL 15

MANHATTAN -- Patents, inventions and other innovations made possible by Kansas State University researchers in the last year will be recognized at the eighth annual Spotlight on Intellectual Property celebration, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 15, in the K-State Alumni Center Ballroom.

The event is sponsored by the Kansas State University Research Foundation, the Kansas State University Foundation, the K-State Alumni Association and the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the accomplishments of K-State inventors, patent holders and other creators of intellectual property.

Keynote speaker for the luncheon is Christopher M. Cashman, co-founder of Protez Pharmaceuticals based in Malvern, Pa. Cashman, who has served as director, president and CEO of the company, will present "The Disintegration of Pharmaceutical Research: Who Will Drive Drug Discovery and Innovation?"

Protez Pharmaceuticals was founded to engage in the discovery, development and commercialization of antibiotics for difficult-to-treat hospital-based infections. The company was acquired by Novartis in 2008.

Cashman was the recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the 2008 Mid Atlantic Capital Alliance Conference and was named the Life Sciences CEO of the Year by the Eastern Pennsylvania Technology Council. His career has spanned three decades in the pharmaceutical industry, including prior roles as president and CEO of Message Pharmaceuticals and as vice president of sales and marketing for both Pfizer and SmithKline Beecham. Cashman began his pharmaceutical career at SmithKline Corporation.

The cost of the luncheon is $20 or $15 for students. For luncheon reservations call 785-532-5720 or email tech.transfer@k-state.edu before the Monday, April 11, deadline.

K-State researchers and their patents being recognized include:

* Kenneth Klabunde, university distinguished professor of chemistry, and Ronaldo Maghirang, professor of biological and agricultural engineering, along with inventors from NanoScale Corporation, a patent on methods of removing smoke and toxic compounds produced from fires and for general fire suppression and flame retardance.

* Jiantao Wei, a former K-State faculty member, with Shufeng Han, Deere and Company, two patents for a vehicular guidance system used to collect color image data that enables crop image data to be distinguished from background data.

* Christopher Sorensen, university distinguished professor of physics; Amitabha Chakrabarti, professor of physics; and Rajan Dhaubhadel and Corey Gerving, both K-State graduates in physics, a patent for an improved process for the production of ultralow density, high specific surface area gel products. The process avoids the time-consuming and difficult solvent removal steps of earlier processes and can produce products with unprecedentedly low densities.

* Peter Pfromm, professor of chemical engineering, with Kerstin Wuerges, a visiting scientist, a patent for a way to use enzymes to efficiently catalyze chemical reactions to create things like scents for perfumes or to avoid the introduction of inactive ingredients in drugs. Since Pfromm’s method uses enzymes instead of chemical catalysts to catalyze the reactions needed, no potentially harmful residues will be present in the end product.

* Mark Weiss and Deryl Troyer, both professors of anatomy and physiology; Duane Davis, professor of animal sciences and industry; and Kathy Mitchell, a former K-State faculty member, a patent for the isolation and use of stem cells from amniote species -- potentially any animal with an umbilical cord, including humans. The cells are derived from a readily available source that is not controversial and have potential for a variety of end uses.

* John Tomich, professor of biochemistry; Susan Sun, professor of grain science and industry; Xinchun Shen, a former K-State postdoctoral student; and Takeo Iwamoto, adjunct associate professor of biochemistry, a patent for an adhesive made from peptides -- a compound containing two or more amino acids that link together and increases in strength as moisture is removed. Unlike most adhesives that become brittle as moisture levels decrease, this adhesive only becomes stronger. Because of this, it could be useful in low-moisture environments like outer space, where astronauts could use it to reattach tiles to a space shuttle.

* James Drouillard, professor of animal sciences and industry; Jared Henry, product development specialist and shop manager at the Advanced Manufacturing Institute; and David Sattler, a K-State graduate in mechanical and nuclear engineering, a patent for an automated animal watering device which provides automatic filling of a livestock watering tank as water is consumed, as well as predictable, complete water drainage as necessary to reduce bacteria and algae buildup in the water, with only a minimum of fresh water usage for tank cleaning purposes.

* Harold Trick, professor of plant pathology; Judith Roe, a former K-State faculty member; Timothy Todd, instructor of plant pathology; and Michael Herman, associate professor of biology, a patent for their work on the soybean cyst nematode, a destructive parasite that attacks the roots of soybean plants. Through genetic engineering, the team engineered soybean plants with specific traits, so that when nematodes feed on the roots they ingest these traits that turn off specific nematode genes, essentially killing the nematodes and providing the plant with protection.

* Mary Rezac, professor of chemical engineering, along with Stuart Nemser, CMS Technologies Holdings Inc., a patent for a method of increasing the rate of enzyme catalyzed equilibrium reactions by removing a byproduct from the reaction mass. More specifically, it removes water and/or methanol from the reaction mass during reaction by permeation of the reaction mass through a selectively permeable perfluorinated polymer or copolymer membrane.

* Douglas McGregor and Ken Shultis, both professors of mechanical and nuclear engineering; Blake Rice, Walter McNeil and Clell Solomon, all K-State graduates in mechanical and nuclear engineering; Eric Patterson, systems administrator in mechanical and nuclear engineering; and Steven Bellinger, a graduate student in mechanical and nuclear engineering, a patent for semiconductor radiation detectors and in particular, for detectors designed to detect neutrons of various energy ranges. The detectors can be assembled into imaging arrays, and can be used for neutron radiography, remote neutron sensing, cold neutron imaging and various other applications.

* Allan Fritz, professor of agronomy; Joe Martin, professor, Agricultural Research Center-Hays; Andrew Auld and Kimberly Suther, both assistant scientists of agronomy; Rebecca Miller, research assistant professor of grain science and industry; and William Bockus, professor of plant pathology, a U.S. plant variety protection certificate for a hard red winter wheat variety, Everest.