Recipients of Quest Commercialization Funding


Dear VCU and VCU Health Community:

VCU President Michael Rao recently announced the recipients of research funding through the Quest Commercialization Fund.  This funding is dedicated to advancing VCU inventions to a more mature stage and improving their chances of commercialization and benefiting the public. The Commercialization Fund is administered through VCU Innovation Gateway.   The next round of applications to apply for funding will be in the fall.

Please join me in congratulating the successful applicants. Their names and research projects are listed below:

A new method for medication reconciliation in trauma and emergency medicine settings
Sudha Jayaraman, MD,  Assistant Professor, Pathology, Surgery
Dayanjan Wijesinghe, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Pharmacotherapy 
Daniel Contaifer & Urszula Osinska Warncke
Description: This project aims to develop a novel blood test that can rapidly and accurately identify critical medications used by an incapacitated patient. This procedure will allow clinicians to make rapid prognostic decisions for patient care and will change the paradigm of medication safety. Practitioners will be able to mitigate the risks of adverse events from the omission of critical medications or interactions between new medications administered and those currently being taken by the patient.

A pilot study of the role of type IV pili in Clostridium difficile colonization
Michael Donnenberg, MD, Professor, Internal Medicine and Senior Associate Dean, Medicine
Anton Chestukhin, Ph.D. & Pradip Kumar Singh, Ph.D.
Description: This proposal is focused on developing a vaccine for C. difficile by using purified pilin proteins to stimulate an immune response and protect people against C. difficile infection. Type IV pili (T4Ps) are thin appendages composed of pilins that are used by many bacteria to adhere to cells and surfaces.

A new method to treat and prevent bacterial vaginosis
Kimberley Jefferson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Quamrun N Masuda, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Pharmaceutics
Description: This project aims to investigate a therapeutic to reduce the rate of bacterial vaginosis through multiple routes of delivery. This study will determine the methodology which will be less likely to develop bacterial vaginosis or to experience recurrent bacterial vaginosis with the end-goal to develop a new formulation of an approved drug and a new mode of administration.

No Guidewire Left Behind 
Bennett Ward, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of Project Outreach, Engineering
Paul Murphy MD, Assistant  Professor of Anesthesiology
Hilton Bennett, daVinci Center
Description: This novel technology solves the problem of Retained Guidewires after central venous
Catheter placement or other catheterization procedures. Retained Guidewires have been repeatedly cited as a major safety issue. This device aims to serve as a physical deterrent in preventing total wire insertion, and provide  visual and auditory feedback on the safe execution of the procedure.

Advanced Microsurgical Trainer 
Santosh Kale, MD, Assistant Professor, Surgery
Peter Pidcoe, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Physical Therapy 
Morgan Yacoe, Adjunct Professor, VCUarts 
Description: This technology is a reusable surgical model that allows trainees to master interventions while accurately simulating the 3D constraints of human anatomy. This sophisticated training model will provide a realistic experience to safely teach and perfect the microsurgical techniques required to successfully perform procedures on different parts of the body.

Applications for the next round of funding will be coming in the fall
Visit for additional information about the Commercialization Fund.


Francis L. Macrina, Ph.D.
Edward Myers Professor of Dentistry and 
Vice President for Research and Innovation
Virginia Commonwealth University 

Ivelina S. Metcheva, Ph.D., MBA, CLP
Senior Executive Director
Innovation Gateway