Posted: July 27, 2010

Postdoctoral research awards will recognize entrepreneurship excellence

(Nanowerk News) The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the National Postdoctoral Association have announced the call for nominations for the 2011 Kauffman Foundation Outstanding Postdoctoral Entrepreneur and Emerging Postdoctoral Entrepreneur awards, which recognize exceptional postdocs who are working to commercialize research.
"Postdoctoral research has the potential to change society and individual lives," said Sandra Miller, Kauffman Foundation director of Advancing Innovation. "The Postdoctoral awards foster entrepreneurship in the scientific community by recognizing scholars who are taking steps to bring their innovations to market. That's important because commercialization is the key to ensuring that research realizes the good it is meant to achieve."
The awards will be presented at the NPA's 9th Annual Meeting, slated for March 25-27, 2011, in Bethesda, Md. The Outstanding Postdoctoral Entrepreneur recipient will receive a $10,000 honorarium. The Emerging Postdoctoral Entrepreneur Award, given to a promising postdoctoral entrepreneur, provides a $2,500 honorarium.
"Entrepreneurial postdoctoral scholars benefit society and the economy when they bring their intellectual property to the world," said NPA Executive Director Cathee Johnson-Phillips. "We're very pleased to partner with the Kauffman Foundation in this award program, which builds entrepreneurial awareness by providing researchers with role models who are experiencing success."
To qualify for the Outstanding Postdoctoral Entrepreneur award, in addition to other criteria, an individual must hold a doctorate degree, have completed postdoctoral training in the United States, and be the founder or co-founder of a U.S. company that is commercializing or has commercialized the nominee's intellectual property. A nominee for the Emerging Postdoctoral Entrepreneur award must hold a postdoctoral position or have completed postdoctoral training and be seeking to commercialize intellectual property, among other criteria.
About the 2010 Award Recipients
Dr. Stephen Turner, founder of Pacific Biosciences, was named the 2010 Outstanding Postdoctoral Entrepreneur. In March 2010, The Wall Street Journal listed Pacific Biosciences as the United States' top venture-funded company. Dr. Turner earned a PhD in physics from Cornell University, where he studied the behavior of biomolecules in nano-fabricated structures. His work contributed to the establishment of the Nanobiotechnology Center at Cornell. He was a member of the Cornell project team that developed the technology now employed by Pacific Biosciences, and was coauthor of the cover story in Science magazine (January 31, 2003) that introduced the technology to the scientific community. He is listed as the inventor on nine U.S. patents and more than 20 published patent applications.
Dr. Antonio Webb, a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University and co-founder of VesselTek Biomedical, an Evanston, Ill.-based vascular products company, was named the 2010 Emerging Postdoctoral Entrepreneur. He earned his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Colorado School of Mines, and his master's and PhD in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University. Dr. Webb has served as principal investigator on National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health small business innovation research grants and is currently working to develop controlled drug eluting vascular grafts and perivascular wraps to prevent neointimal hyperplasia and thrombosis associated with vascular injury.
About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. It also works to prepare students to be innovators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers in the 21st century economy through initiatives designed to improve learning in math, engineering, science and technology. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit , and follow the Foundation on and .
About the National Postdoctoral Association
Founded in 2003, the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit national organization of postdoctoral scientists, postdoctoral administrators, research universities, professional societies and other supporters dedicated toward improving the postdoctoral experience. The NPA is a member-driven organization, with the work largely done through standing committees. Since its founding, the NPA has assumed a leadership role in addressing issues confronting the postdoctoral community that are national in scope, requiring action beyond the local level. Key alliances are being forged at all levels, and new standards and policies proposed by NPA are being considered and adopted by federal agencies and research institutions through the United States. For more information on the NPA, visit .
Source: National Postdoctoral Association