Stony Brook University (SBU) School of Medicine Professor Maurizio Del Poeta and SBU alumnus Brian McCarthy were selected to feature their startup company, MicroRid Technologies, Inc. at the University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase in Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 10.
Hosted by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Association of American Universities (AAU), the event spotlighted 20 startup companies from across the nation that have created products and services using federally funded, university-based research. During the event, the companies were recognized nationally for their exemplary work at the intersection of science, technology, and business.
MicroRid Technologies, Inc. is a biomedical company and partnership between industry and Stony Brook University that is researching the development of small-molecule anti-fungal drugs. More than 1.3 million deaths are estimated each year to be caused by invasive fungal infections. Over 300 million patients suffer from serious fungal infections each year globally and 25 million of these patients are at risk of dying or losing vision. With the direct support of crucial federal Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding and a collaboration involving NIH Research Project Grant Program (R01) funding, MicroRid is in the process of developing a new class of anti-fungal agents to combat this persisting global health problem of invasive fungal infections.
“MicroRid Technology. Inc. is a prime example of the success that results from marrying industry experience with university research to address the most critical science and technology challenges of our time,” said McCarthy. “The return on investment from federal support for scientific research is invaluable to our health, security, and economy.”
The showcase provided an opportunity for the startup owners to speak with Congressional staffers and policymakers about the importance of robust federal investments in programming that support university and industry collaboration.
“Not every problem can be solved inside a lab. Industry feedback is crucial to advance an invention or product from conception to market,” said Del Poeta. “Likewise, industry does not invest the time and resources into the high-risk, high-reward research taking place on university campuses across our nation. Federally funded programs that incentivize partnership between university research and private industry is the most effective way to answer today’s most pressing challenges and create technology to improve lives.”
Speakers at the showcase included US Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu; National Institute of Standards and Technology Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services Phillip Singerman; House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas; APLU President Peter McPherson; and AAU President Mary Sue Coleman. Additionally, representatives of Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Lee Zeldin and Congressman Thomas Suozzi met with Del Poeta and McCarthy during their DC visit.
Stony Brook’s Office of Government Relations continues to work closely with members of Congress and agency staff to increase funding for STTR programs along with all of Stony Brook’s federal priorities.