Fighting obesity Revisiting schoolyard games

Awards support clinical and research innovations to improve and save lives

September 27, 2010

Boston, Mass. - Children's Hospital Boston's Technology and Innovation Development Office (TIDO) today named the recipients for this year's Technology Development Fund (TDF), which supports the advancement of promising clinical and research innovations. More than $1.3 million will be used to cultivate 11 technologies that range from pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical devices to drug delivery and software.

The projects seek to advance innovation in various medical fields and produce new technologies, including: a prolonged-duration anesthetic; a novel therapeutic for metastatic cancer; software for assessment of early autism; and a medical device for the diagnosis of dehydration.

"As funding to advance early-stage discoveries and innovations continues to lag, the Technology Development Fund seeks to fill that gap for our most promising technologies," says Erik Halvorsen, PhD, director of TIDO. "This mechanism, which brings capital and industry experts to bear on Children's innovations, is critical for translating our research into new diagnostics, devices and therapeutics that can benefit our young patients."

"The Technology Development Fund has allowed us the freedom to innovate and form collaborations that are essential to further the development of early stage technology," said John Kheir, MD, department of cardiology and award recipient. "Without the unique resources and expertise from this fund, we might never see our concepts come to fruition."

Below is the list of funded projects and investigators:

  • Site 1 sodium channel blocker as a prolonged duration local anesthetic (Charles Berde, MD, PhD, Anesthesiology);
  • Optical device to monitor capillary refill (Vassilios Bezzerides, MD, PhD, Cardiology);
  • Early Autism diagnosis and risk assessment using complex systems analysis of EEG signals (William Bosl, PhD, Medicine/Informatics Program);
  • A GDNF receptor agonist for topical treatment of peripheral neuropathies (Gabriel Corfas, PhD, Neurology and Otolaryngology);
  • Novel transillumination (PICC) line catheter (Farhad Imam, MD, PhD, Newborn Medicine/Surgery);
  • I.V. Oxygen using injectable microbubbles (John Kheir, MD, Anesthesiology);
  • Unsaturated glycoceramide as platform for vaccine and drug delivery (Wayne Lencer, MD, Medicine);
  • Novel PET myocardial PR F-18 Rhodamine B (Alan Packard PhD, and S. Ted Treves, MD, Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging);
  • Development of Saposin A derivatives as a cancer therapeutic (Randolph Watnick, PhD, Surgery, Vascular Biology Program);
  • Ion channel blockers to manage neurogenic inflammation (Clifford Woolf, MD, BCh, PhD, Neurobiology);
  • Novel therapeutic approach for metastatic prostate cancer (Bruce Zetter, PhD, Surgery).

Investigators will be paired with members of the TDF advisory board who will work with Halvorsen and Monique Yoakim-Turk, PhD, technology development manager of TIDO, to guide each project. Additionally, TIDO selects, negotiates and executes the appropriate agreements with Contract Research Organizations (CROs) before the initiation of each project.

The TDF has significantly advanced stages of development in more than ten Children's innovations from last year's first-time award winners. All have resulted in new commercial partnerships, follow-on funding and generated data that is being prepared for publication.

Erin McColgan

Children's Hospital Boston is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, 12 members of the Institute of Medicine and 13 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is a 392-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about the hospital and its research visit: