October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

University of Illinois-UC announces Fall 2012 gap fund award winners

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

The Office of Technology Management (OTM) is very pleased to announce the granting of the second Proof of Concept (POC) Gap Funding Awards.

A total of 44 projects from across the UIC Campus were submitted to the OTM for review. Eight finalists were then chosen to submit full proposals and “pitch” their product ideas to a panel of local venture capitalists and business leaders.

The eight proposals were judged based on the following criteria:

  • Project impact and commercialization focus
  • IP assessment
  • Market assessment and competitive advantages
  • Discretionary points- partnerships leveraged to achieve outcomes, overall strength of the Proposal and qualifications of the Investigator

We take great pleasure in announcing that six of the eight proposals were chosen to receive funding totaling over $250,000. This funding will go a long way in our efforts to support another round of truly innovative projects from UIC Faculty inventors.  Below is the list of award recipients.


Sohail Murad, PhD and Alan Zdunek, PhD
College of Engineering — Department of Chemical Engineering
Project Title: Water Desalination by Electric Field Enhanced Ion-Exchanged Process

Mahnaz Shahidi, PhD
College of Medicine — Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Project Title: EyeFlow: A Device to Detect Impaired Cerebral Blood Flow

Farhad Ansari, PhD
College of Engineering — Department of Civil and Materials Engineering
Project Title: Crack Sensor

Ramaswamy Kalyanasundaram, DVM, PhD
College of Medicine — Department of Biomedical Sciences (Rockford)
Project Title: Improving the Current [Lymphatic Filariasis] Vaccine Technology

Seungpyo Hong, PhD
College of Pharmacy — Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences
Project Title: Development of a Biomimetic Device Prototype for Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells

Gregory Thatcher, PhD and Debra Tonetti, PhD
College of Pharmacy — Department Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy and Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences
Project Title: Therapies Associated With Modulation and Mimicry of Hormone Actions


The OTM would sincerely like to thank everyone who submitted project proposals for this round of gap funding as well as for taking the time to engage with our Office throughout the process. We would also like to acknowledge and thank our POC Review Committee Members: Ellen Carnahan (Machrie Enterprises), David Cruikshank (ARCH Venture Partners), Kathryn Hyer (Illinois Ventures), and Dan Watkins (DFJ Mercury).

The 2012 Fall Proof of Concept Gap Funding Initiative would not have been possible without the support and funding from the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR), and the Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, and Pharmacy.

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