This is part of a program called REACH, which
stands for Research Evaluation And Commercialization Hub. So it’s actually a center and the goal
is to take the discoveries that we make in the lab or in the clinic and develop those
into products that will help health for humans. We’re interested in all types of technology,
so it could be a therapeutic, it could be a way to prevent a disease, it could be a
device to treat a disease, or it could be a biomarker to detect or diagnose a disease.
And this is intended to bridge the gap between what we do and bringing the products to market.
So take the idea and turn it into a product. Often times that could be proof of principle;
you’ve had a good idea and need to make a prototype for a device, for example, you may
have discovered a candidate drug compound and need to test it in animals, things like
that. It will fund those kinds of studies that will take the scientist to the next level.
This was a huge honor, you can imagine that almost every big university in the country
applied for these grants and only three were given out in the entire country, so we’re
very honored to get this award. It’s a big deal for us, and I think there were a number
of things that made Louisville attractive to the reviewers and to the National Institutes
of Health. The other thing, I think, was the very supportive culture at the University
of Louisville, so we have recruited a lot of faculty that have some very innovative
ideas, and who are very interested in translating their research. They’re interested in understanding
the basic science of a disease, but also in translating that to say “how is what I’ve
learned about this disease going to help patients?”