OVCI announces $230K in grants from the UIC Innovation Fund to support translational research

The UIC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation is pleased to announce the 2021 Chancellor’s Translational Research Initiative (CTRI) program awardees. Each recipient will receive up to $25,000 to prove the viability of their concept and advance their research towards commercialization.

The 2021 CTRI award recipients and their projects are:



                                              Project Title

Kamran Avanaki
Department of Bioengineering; Department of Dermatology
BGscope: a non-invasive, continuous blood gas measurement device
Deepak Shukla
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Repurposing PBA as a potent anti-herpes agent
Vinay Aakalu
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Peptide treatment of corneal wounds
Peter Gyarmati
Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology
Point-of-care detection of bloodstream infection
Luisa DiPietro
Department of Periodontics  
Novel NRF2 activators as wound healing therapeutics
Meenesh Singh
Department of Chemical Engineering
Sensor-integrated microfluidic device for automated screening of active pharmaceutical ingredients
X. Joe Zhou
Center for Magnetic Resonance Research; Department
of Neurological Surgery
Method for producing 3D magnetic resonance images with reduced field-of-view
Sangil Kim
Department of Chemical Engineering
Development and commercialization of a low-cost and high-performance blood separation device for diagnostics
Peggi White
Regional Nursing Program – Urbana
JP wound drain holder device
Xin Huang
Department of Pharmacology
Developing RT-LAMP assays for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva


The UIC Innovation Fund supports the commercialization of technologies developed by faculty, staff, and students at UIC. Through programs such as the Chancellor’s Translational Research Initiative (CTRI) and the Proof of Concept (POC) Awards, the fund helps university-based technologies reach important milestones critical to commercialization. To date, the UIC Innovation Fund has awarded over $5 million in funding to advance UIC innovations. The fund is managed by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation in partnership with the Office of Technology Management.

We would like to thank the many faculty who served on the review committee and evaluated the CTRI applications. We would also like to acknowledge the Office of Technology Management. This program is not possible without their continued support.

For more information on the CTRI program and the UIC Innovation Fund, please visit https://innovation.uic.edu/.


As seen in UIC Today.