Skip to Page Content

University Relations

Volume 53, Issue 1

January 23, 2009

CU Announces Annual Technology Transfer Awards

DENVER (Jan. 9, 2009) – The University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office will host its annual awards ceremony next week to honor 10 faculty-researchers, two companies founded on university research, and a Boulder business that has helped usher CU innovations to market.

The CU Technology Transfer Office will recognize this year’s 13 honorees during a special banquet on Monday, Jan. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at the historic Tivoli Turnhalle. The awards will follow a panel discussion among several leaders from Colorado’s entrepreneurial community.

Over the past 15 years, CU researchers have developed technologies, applications and health care treatments that have led to the creation of 83 new companies. Of these, 67 have operations in Colorado, five are publicly traded companies, and 10 have been acquired by public companies.

“The success of these companies illustrates how innovations that started at CU benefit the people of Colorado,” said David Allen, associate vice president for technology transfer. “It is with a great sense of pride and gratitude that we honor the faculty-researchers whose work has produced positive returns for the state of Colorado and the rest of humanity.”

Faculty who will be recognized this year represent all three CU campuses, and are working on the development of cancer treatments, liquid crystal membranes for nanofiltration and fuel cell applications and advanced medical imaging for heart patients, among other research efforts. This year’s award winners include:

Distinguished Interdepartmental Inventors Award, CU-Boulder and UC Denver
Theodore W. Randolph, professor of chemical and biological engineering at CU-Boulder, and John F. Carpenter, professor of pharmaceutical biotechnology at UC Denver, co-direct the Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at (location). Their research has generated improved methods for stabilizing vaccines during freeze drying and storage, techniques of significance in developing nations lacking proper medical storage facilities.

Inventor of the Year, CU-Boulder
Richard D. Noble, professor of chemical and biological engineering, uses ionic liquids and zeolite membranes for gas separations, and has developed liquid crystal membranes for nanofiltration and fuel cell applications.

Inventors of the Year, UC Denver
John D. Carroll, professor of medicine in cardiology, and Shiuh-Yung (James) Chen, assistant professor of medicine in cardiology, seek to improve diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in cardiac catheterization labs through advanced vascular imaging techniques.

New Inventors of the Year, UC Denver
Heide L. Ford, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and Rui Zhao, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, are examining how healthy genes may be “hijacked” in tumor formation, which has led to novel methods to detect and treat tumors.

New Inventor of the Year, CU-Boulder
Hang (Hubert) Yin, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and his research group developed cutting-edge techniques to identify drugs that could prevent and treat opoid drug dependence, and some cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

New Inventor of the Year, UCCS
Sara Honn Qualls, professor and chair of psychology, has conducted research that focuses on family development in later life and clinical interventions, and the development of neurological wellness and assessment tools for elderly care management.

Business Adviser of the Year
Tim Bour, executive director of the Boulder Innovation Center, will receive an award recognizing the center’s knowledge, experience and cooperation in launching CU technology into successful businesses.

Lifetime Inductee, the Pinnacles of Inventorship, UC Denver
V. Michael Holers, Smyth professor of medicine, head of rheumatology at the UC Denver School of Medicine and co-founder and chief scientific officer for Taligen Therapeutics Inc., is a leading complement biology expert. His research focuses on the roles of complement receptors and membrane regulatory proteins in the immune response. His studies are based on human and mouse models and focus on rheumatoid arthritis.

Physical Sciences Company of the Year
KM Labs Inc., a leading manufacturer of ultrashort pulse lasers for the research market, was founded by CU-Boulder physics professors and renowned laser experts Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn. The Kapteyn/Murnane lab is based at JILA, one of the nation’s leading scientific institutes supporting research focused on the design of precision optics and atom lasers.

Bioscience Company of the Year
Taligen Therapeutics Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., has research operations in Aurora, Colo. The company focuses on the discovery and development of novel protein therapeutics that modulate the alternative pathway of the complement system to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions and diseases. The company’s lead therapeutic candidates are monoclonal antibodies and recombinant fusion proteins that target key factors in the alternative pathway, which Taligen’s founders, including UC Denver Professor V. Michael Holers, MD, have validated as an important amplification loop in the inflammation process.


Contact: Lindsay Polak, CU Technology Transfer Office, 303-735-5518,

The CU Technology Transfer Office pursues, protects, packages, and licenses to business the intellectual property generated from research at CU. The TTO provides assistance to faculty, staff, and students, as well as to businesses looking to license or invest in CU technology. For more information about technology transfer at CU, visit

The University of Colorado is a three-campus system with four locations: the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the University of Colorado Denver’s Downtown Campus and Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Nearly 54,000 undergraduate and graduate students are pursuing academic opportunities on CU campuses. CU is a premier teaching and research university, and is ranked sixth among public institutions in federal research expenditures by the National Science Foundation. Academic prestige is marked by the university’s four Nobel laureates, seven MacArthur “genius” Fellows, 18 alumni astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars. For more information, go to

Communique is the online newsletter for UCCS faculty and staff. It is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters, monthly during the summer semester. Communique is sent to faculty and staff e-mail lists and, by request, to other e-mail addresses. Previous issues are available in the Communique Archives at, and the current issue is always at Suggestions and comments are welcome. Send ideas to or call Tom Hutton, 262-3439.

View Current Communique