Welcome to the biweekly electronic newsletter from the Bio-X Program at Stanford University for members of the Bio-X Corporate Forum. Please contact us if you would like to be added or removed from this distribution list, or if you have any questions about Bio-X or Stanford.

Seed Grant Program

SEED GRANTS FOR SUCCESS - Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program (IIP)

The Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program represents a key Stanford Initiative to address challenges in human health. The IIP awards approximately $3 million every other year in the form of two-year grants averaging about $150,000 each. From its inception in 2000 through the fifth round in 2010, the program has provided critical early-stage funding to 113 different interdisciplinary projects, involving collaborations from over 300 faculty members, and creating over 450 teams from five different Stanford schools. From just the first 4 rounds, the IIP awards have resulted in a tenfold-plus return on investment, as well as hundreds of publications, dozens of patents filed, and most importantly, the acceleration of scientific discovery and innovation.

In the spring of 2012, we will have a call for proposals for the 6th round of seed grants from our faculty. Competition is intense, and the criteria for the proposals include innovation, high-reward, and interdisciplinary collaboration. To view the different projects that have been funded, please click here.

Every year, two symposia are held at the Clark Center to showcase the seed grant projects. Talks that are presented at the symposia are recorded, and can be viewed here. THE NEXT IIP SYMPOSIUM WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE CLARK CENTER ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2012.

We are cultivating and are highly successful in building meaningful collaborations with numerous corporate colleagues. New collaborations through our seed grant projects are highly encouraged. To learn about how to get involved, please contact Dr. Hanwei Li or Dr. Heideh Fattaey.



PET Imaging of Integrin Positive Tumors Using (18)F Labeled Knottin Peptides
Publication in Theranostics Vol 1 by Bio-X affiliated faculty Zhen Cheng and Jennifer Cochran
Purpose: Cystine knot (knottin) peptides, engineered to bind with high affinity to integrin receptors, have shown promise as molecular imaging agents in living subjects. The aim of the current study was to evaluate tumor uptake and in vivo biodistribution of (18)F-labeled knottins in a U87MG glioblastoma model.Procedures: Engineered knottin mutants 2.5D and 2.5F were synthesized using solid phase peptide synthesis and were folded in vitro, followed by radiolabeling with 4-nitrophenyl 2-(18)F-fluoropropionate ((18)F-NFP). The resulting probes, (18)F-FP-2.5D and (18)F-FP-2.5F, were evaluated in nude mice bearing U87MG tumor xenografts using microPET and biodistribution studies.Results: MicroPET imaging studies with (18)F-FP-2.5D and (18)F-FP-2.5F demonstrated high tumor uptake in U87MG xenograft mouse models. The probes exhibited rapid clearance from the blood and kidneys, thus leading to excellent tumor-to-normal tissue contrast. Specificity studies confirmed that (18)F-FP-2.5D and (18)F-FP-2.5F had reduced tumor uptake when co-injected with a large excess of the peptidomimetic c(RGDyK) as a blocking agent.Conclusions: (18)F-FP-2.5D and (18)F-FP-2.5F showed reduced gallbladder uptake compared with previously published (18)F-FB-2.5D. (18)F-FP-2.5D and (18)F-FP-2.5F enabled integrin-specific PET imaging of U87MG tumors with good imaging contrasts. (18)F-FP-2.5D demonstrated more desirable pharmacokinetics compared to (18)F-FP-2.5F, and thus has greater potential for clinical translation.

Defining human ERAD networks through an integrative mapping strategy
Publication in Nat Cell Biol Vol 14 No 1 Bio-X affiliated faculty Ron Kopito
Proteins that fail to correctly fold or assemble into oligomeric complexes in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are degraded by a ubiquitin- and proteasome-dependent process known as ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Although many individual components of the ERAD system have been identified, how these proteins are organized into a functional network that coordinates recognition, ubiquitylation and dislocation of substrates across the ER membrane is not well understood. We have investigated the functional organization of the mammalian ERAD system using a systems-level strategy that integrates proteomics, functional genomics and the transcriptional response to ER stress. This analysis supports an adaptive organization for the mammalian ERAD machinery and reveals a number of metazoan-specific genes not previously linked to ERAD.

A Cell-Compatible Conductive Film from a Carbon Nanotube Network Adsorbed on Poly-L-lysine
Publication in ACS Nano Vol 5 No 12 by Chemical Engineering faculty Zhenan Bao and Bio-X affiliated faculty Cliff Wang
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have shown promise for use in organic electronic applications including thin film transistors, conducting electrodes, and biosensors. Additionally, previous studies found applications for SWNTs in bioelectronic devices, including drug delivery carriers and scaffolds for tissue engineering. There is a current need to rapidly process SWNTs from solution phase to substrates in order to produce device structures that are also biocompatible. Studies have shown the use of surfaces covalently functionalized with primary amines to selectively adsorb semiconducting SWNTs. Here we report the potential of substrates modified with physisorbed polymers as a rapid biomaterials-based approach for the formation of SWNT networks. We hypothesized that rapid surface modification could be accomplished by adsorption of poly-l-lysine (PLL), which is also frequently used in biological applications. We detail a rapid and facile method for depositing SWNTs onto various substrate materials using the amine-rich PLL. Dispersions of SWNTs of different chiralities suspended in N-methylpyrrolidinone (NMP) were spin coated onto various PLL-treated substrates. SWNT adsorption and alignment were characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM) while electrical properties of the network were characterized by 2-terminal resistance measurements. Additionally, we investigated the relative chirality of the SWNT networks by micro-Raman spectroscopy. The SWNT surface density was strongly dependent upon the adsorbed concentration of PLL on the surface. SWNT adsorbed on PLL-treated substrates exhibited enhanced biocompatibility compared to SWNT networks fabricated using alternative methods such as drop casting. These results suggest that PLL films can promote formation of biocompatible SWNT networks for potential biomedical applications.



January 12, 2012, 11 am - 12 pm
Clark Auditorium, Stanford, CA
"Frontiers in Quantitative Biology Seminar"
Speaker: Bill Bialek, PhD, Professor of Princeton University
Nanobiotechnology Seminar Series
January 12, 2012, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Munzer Auditorium, Stanford, CA
"Nanobiopolymers Designing for Primary and Metastatic Cancer Treatment"
Speaker: Julia Ljubimova, MD, PhD, Professor and Director at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
January 17, 2012, 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Li Ka Shing Center 130, Stanford, CA
"Alloimmunity following Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: The Human Experiment"
Speaker: David Miklos, MD, PhD, Professor at Stanford University
Bio-X Frontiers in Interdisciplinary Biosciences Seminar
January 26, 2012, 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
Clark Center Auditorium, Stanford, CA
"Bioengineering and Clinical Applications of Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) Chip"
Speaker: Mehmet Toner, PhD, Professor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School



Stanford University
Bio-X at Stanford University
Bio-X Seed Grants
The Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program (IIP) provides seed funding for high-risk, high-reward, collaborative projects across the university, and have been highly successful in fostering transformative research.
Office of Technology and Licensing "Techfinder"
Search the OTL Technology Portal to find technologies available for licensing from Stanford.
Stanford Center for Professional Development
- Take advantage of your FREE membership!
- Take online graduate courses in engineering, leadership and management, bioscience, and more.
- Register for free webinars and seminars, and gets discounts on courses.
Stanford Biodesign Video Tutorials on how FDA approves medical devices
A series of video briefs recently produced by the Stanford Biodesign Program teaches innovators how to get a medical device approved for use in the United States. This free, online library of 60 videos provides detailed information on the Food and Drug Administration regulatory process, short case studies and advice on interacting with the FDA.

To learn more about Bio-X or Stanford University, please contact Dr. Hanwei Li, the Corporate Forum Liaison of Bio-X, at 650-725-1523 or lhanwei1@stanford.edu, or Dr. Heideh Fattaey, the Executive Director of Bio-X Operations and Programs, at 650-799-1608 or hfattaey@stanford.edu.

Release Date: 
January 06, 2012