KIYATEC names Board Chairman

KIYATEC Inc. has appointed Bob Silverman as Board Chairman of the company.  Mr. Silverman has been a member of the company’s Board of Directors since 2012.  Click here to read the full press release.

Clemson Call Me MISTER Program Receives Funding

Clemson University’s Call Me MISTER program has received $1.3 million from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) of Battle Creek, Michigan, to collaborate with Jackson State University (JSU) to increase the number of African-American male teachers in Mississippi K-8 classrooms.  Read more here.

Clemson team a finalist in worldwide Breast Cancer Start-up Challenge

A Clemson University team made up of bioengineering and business administration students were named finalists in a challenge to accelerate commercialization and spur entrepreneurship.  The team created a business plan for an invention that provides a new approach to tissue regeneration following breast cancer surgery that may one day change the way doctors treat the disease.  Read the full story here.

Clemson honors its top inventors and patent recipients

CLEMSON — Inventors, entrepreneurs and industry representatives gathered Tuesday at the Madren Conference Center for a university and industry networking reception honoring Clemson University’s top inventors and 2012 patent recipients.

Hosted by the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF) and the Clemson Inventor’s Club, the event recognized researchers whose contributions in biomedical devices, biotechnology (sustainable environment), semiconductors and health generated 15 U.S. patents in calendar year 2012. They added to the current Clemson patent catalog of 168 active U.S. and foreign patents available for licensing and commercialization.

In addition to the patent recognition, the event featured a presentation by Anthony Boccanfuso, executive director of the National Academies’ University-Industry Demonstration Partnership, titled “A perspective on the University/Industry Collaborative Research Model.”

Formed in November 2012, the Clemson Inventor’s Club recognizes Clemson’s most active inventors and faculty entrepreneurs across colleges and disciplines and provides opportunities for them to connect and share ideas with each other and others in the intellectual property and commercialization sectors and introduce Clemson discoveries to the marketplace.

Discussion topics included entrepreneurship, invention and intellectual property, sponsored research, small business research funding opportunities and pure and simple networking to continue to foster the culture of innovation that already exists at Clemson.

“Feedback from past club events indicate that the faculty are as interested in meeting each other and learning about the innovative research going on in their own backyard as they are in meeting others from the business community,” said Casey Porto, executive director of  the Research Foundation.  “The club structure is really meant to be organic – just bring the innovators together with community business mentors and investors, step back and see what happens.”


New Clemson facility to advance nanotechnology

Published: October 30, 2013

CLEMSON — Clemson University completed construction of a world-class nanomaterials facility specifically designed to support research projects that are funded by the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Department of Energy.

The new Clemson Nanomaterials Center (CNC) allows leading scientists and engineers to better conduct interdisciplinary nanotechnology research, including the development of high-energy storage and generation devices, superconducting wires and composites and gaining new insights into the nano-bio interface.

“The research work has already begun with most of the equipment already under extensive use,” said Apparao Rao, director of the Nanomaterials Center and R.A. Bowen Professor of Physics in Clemson’s physics and astronomy department.

Rao’s work focuses on broadening the frontiers of nanoscience and translating nanotechnology research to energy generation and storage, thermal management and the nanomedicine industry.

The National Science Foundation recently awarded Rao and his collaborators $1.2 million to find ways to scale up production on some of their nanomaterials to make them practical for manufacturing. The goal: energy-storage devices that could pump up the power of batteries and capacitors in hybrid and electric vehicles, power tools and various other products.

“And today’s industries, especially those working with renewable energy, could use a good jolt,” said Rao.

Clemson partnered with the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) to plan and design the new facilities. In six months, the 5,000-square-foot lab was built and outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, including chemical vapor deposition systems, an electric arc system and advanced spectroscopes and microscopes.

“We are proud to work with Clemson University to advance South Carolina’s knowledge economy and to promote the state’s growing prominence in the field of nanomaterials,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney.

The Clemson Nanomaterials Center is strategically located near the Clemson’s Advanced Materials Research Laboratory which includes the Electron Microscopy Laboratory and the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies, which offers researchers the opportunity to capitalize on synergy, share ideas and strengthen Clemson’s efforts in carrying out cutting-edge materials research.

New CURF Intern Analysts

New this year, CURF has created a talented Tech Analyst team by tapping into Clemson Graduate students and the engineering co-op program. The analysts have proven technical skills combined with interest in helping CURF identify and protect promising technologies and move them to commercial sector. Click here to read more.

KIYATEC Awarded National Cancer Institute Contract to Establish Predictive 3D Breast Cancer Model

Contract awarded under the Small Business Innovative Research (“SBIR”) Program to establish patient-derived, 3D micro‐tumors designed to be used to screen  anticancer drugs during development and to test patient‐derived samples in real time to assist clinical decision making

GREENVILLE, South Carolina, Oct 24, 2013 ‐‐ KIYATEC Inc. ( today announced that the National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awarded the company an approximately $295,000 Phase I SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contract to establish 3D breast cancer models using living cells obtained directly from breast cancer patients. Accurate modeling of the response of a patient’s cancer to a drug will help them in two ways – to reduce failures of anticancer drugs during clinical trials because of earlier, more relevant information on drug effectiveness, and to test patient‐derived samples in real time for clinical decision making specific to that individual. 

Read more here or visit to learn more about KIYATEC Inc.

Added Support for Clemson Researchers

Published: July 31, 2013

Joanna Floyd has assumed the role of Director of the Office of Industrial Contracts.

Recognizing the importance of creating and maintaining strategic relationships between the private sector and Clemson’s world-class researchers, in conjunction with the reorganization of the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), the Research Division has created the Office of Industrial Contracts (OIC) to better support faculty, staff and students in their pursuit of research funding from private sponsors.

The OIC will manage and negotiate research and testing contracts between Clemson and private industry and work closely with the  Clemson University Research Foundation to help researchers and industry identify project opportunities.  The OIC will coordinate with college-based OSP support centers to ensure uniformity in the institutional proposal development process and is available to answer any questions from researchers or private sponsors.

Clemson professor one of Ten Tech Innovators

Published: May 3, 2013

Juan Gilbert

CLEMSON — Juan Gilbert, Presidential Endowed Professor and chairman of the Human-Centered Computing Division at Clemson University, has been named one of Ten Tech Innovators in 2013 by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Gilbert developed Applications Quest, a software application that provides a solution to institutions needing to achieve diversity in a manner that is effective and in conformity with the law.

Applications Quest employs a user-friendly set of mathematical algorithms to allow schools and employers to make decisions based on their own objectives, missions and goals. It uses a model that is objective, reproducible and free of human bias.

The software gives organizations the opportunity to look at each application fairly during their review cycle, which normally requires an extraordinary amount of time for human review.

Gilbert defines his work by saying, “I believe technology is at its finest when it has a social conscience. The measure I use for tackling a project is that the end result would solve a nagging problem. It would address a broad societal issue through everyday application.”

Gilbert earned his doctoral degree at the University of Cincinnati. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring; is recognized as a role model for Minority Access Inc. and is a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

At Clemson, he chairs the Human-Centered Computing Division that is home to 10 percent of the country’s total African-American faculty and graduate students in that field.

Organovo Pushes to the Sci-Fi Frontier: Printing Human Organs

INC., April 18, 2013
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 MADE TO ORDER  The Novogen mmX Bioprinter builds tissue with real human cells.

Kidneys, livers, whatever, made to order in a lab. With Organovo’s 3-D printing technology, it’s possible.

Right now in the United States, nearly 120,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant. Among them, 95,000 are waiting for a kidney, 15,000 need a liver, and 3,000 must get a heart. Depending on age, blood type, and ethnicity, these patients will wait anywhere from a few months to a few years for an organ–and some won’t get it in time.

Keith Murphy, CEO of the biomedical engineering start-up Organovo, thinks there’s a better answer: 3-D bioprinting. Doctors could create an organ in a lab precisely when it’s needed.

“Surgeons are very limited by what they have available today,” Murphy says. “If you can give them tissue to order, you can multiply, exponentially, the types of surgery that we can even envision doing. And if you could do it with a patient’s own cells, surgeons could go places they haven’t gone before.”

They’re printing what?

Professor Gabor Forgacs and his team at the University of Missouri, Columbia, developed Organovo’s technology and founded the company in 2007. Since then, Organovo has made startling progress in the tissue engineering field. Unlike other tissue engineering methods, which make use of polymers–biomaterials that create structure and bond to cells–Organovo’s NovoGen MMX Bioprinter uses human cells and shapes them into real tissue.

It may sound like science fiction, but it’s all possible through a carefully controlled engineering feat.

As with any 3-D printer, lasers guide the production of each tissue. But instead of ink or plastic molding, the printer ejects a liquid filled with thousands of human cells. The process repeats, creating multiple “stacks” of cell layers, and a noninvasive gel holds the stacks together.

Then, cell biology kicks in: The cells assemble themselves as they would in a developing human body and mature, finally, into actual tissue.

Race to market

To be sure, Organovo isn’t the only team working on 3-D bioprinting and tissue engineering. Academic institutions around the country, including Columbia, Cornell, and Wake Forest, have scores of researchers devoted to this very concept. But experts in the field point to Organovo’s progress.

“These kinds of surgical tools have been lacking for a long time,” says Dr. G. Sitta Sittampalam, a senior adviser and project manager at the National Institutes of Health and an expert in cell pharmacology and 3-D tissues. “This is very important.”

To date, Organovo has used the technology to conduct research on liver cells and collaborated with both private enterprises and academic institutions (Pfizer and Harvard Medical School, for instance) to test tissue samples. In 2012, the company received multiple patents.

The biggest challenge in tissue engineering is thickness: Ultimately, Murphy says, going from tissues that are 1 millimeter thick to 5 millimeters thick will be harder than going from 5-millimeter tissue to building an organ. “We’re still a couple years off,” Murphy says, “but we’re moving forward.”

Kiyatec, University of Southern California Receive $30K Research Grant

GSA Business, March 27, 2013
Staff Report
Published March 26, 2013

Greenville-based Kiyatec and the University of Southern California are collaborating on research of cellular responses through a $30,000 grant.

The U.S. National Academy of Engineering recently awarded Matthew Gevaert of Kiyatec and Andrea Armani of the University of Southern California a Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grant.

“This grant is the first step in this exciting collaboration,” Gevaert, Kiyatec’s CEO and co-founder, said in an email. “We’re hoping that the data we’ll produce will lead to further funding to support this line of research, which lines up with our quest to create ever smarter, ever better cell culture systems useful for (among other things) more accurate prediction of a drug’s effect on people.”

Kiyatec, which is located in the Greenville Health System’s Institute for Translational Oncology Research, or ITOR, uses innovative three-dimensional cell culture technology. The 3D technology mimics the body’s natural cell activity, thus creating improved patient specific outcomes and cancer breakthroughs.

The grant will support the team’s work to integrate Kiyatec’s 3D cell culture platform with a label-free optical sensor technology, recently developed at the University of Southern California.

This integration will enable more accurate investigations of cellular responses, expediting the discovery and verification of pharmaceutical agents and the understanding of fundamental biological processes, according to a news release.

In addition to the Kiyatec team’s grant, the Grainger Foundation awarded a grant to the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University to explore genetic therapy methods to treat diseases.

“The grants allow for collaboration and the execution of innovative projects aimed at improving our quality of life,” said National Academy of Engineering President Dr. Charles Vest, in a news release.

Founded in 1964, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering is a nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership nationwide. The academy’s program, Frontiers of Engineering, brings together engineers from industry, universities and government to discuss technical work and research.

Clemson University’s Juan Gilbert to receive 2013 Tapia Achievement Award

Published: February 7, 2013

Juan Gilbert
Juan Gilbert image by: Clemson University

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Juan Gilbert, chairman of the Human-Centered Computing Division in the School of Computing at Clemson University, has been named the recipient of the 2013 Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing.

The award is being presented to Gilbert at the 2013 Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference Thursday through Sunday in Washington.

The Tapia award recognizes an individual with outstanding achievements in scientific scholarship, a strong civic presence within the scientific community and a dedication to the attainment of true ethnic diversity in computing and related disciplines. The ideal recipient is devoted to the principle of equity in both theory and practice, and has demonstrated leadership in applying creative solutions to the difficult social, cultural, technical and political problems of diversifying computing.

“Juan Gilbert epitomizes the ideals behind the Tapia award, from his inspired interactions with his students to his exemplary research publication record to his work in the real-world arena of accessible electronic voting,” said Richard Tapia, a mathematician and professor in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University in Houston.

“As a leader in efforts to develop more-diverse and well-qualified future generations of computer scientists, Juan’s voice is one that resonates and is respected by the community,” he said.

Gilbert joined Clemson University in 2009 and holds the Presidential Endowed Chair in Computing. Gilbert has research projects in spoken language systems, advanced learning technologies, usability and accessibility, ethnocomputing (culturally relevant computing) and databases/data mining.

His research in electronic voting has resulted in the most accessible voting system interface ever created. Gilbert’s data mining and user interface research has created Applications Quest, a data mining and software analysis tool that allows admissions officers to address diversity in admissions while adhering to all judicial decisions on this matter.

Gilbert has published more than 130 articles and given more than 200 invited talks and keynote presentations. He was named one of the nation’s top African-American Scholars by Diverse Issues in Higher Education in 2002 and a national role model by Minority Access Inc. He is a National Associate of the National Research Council of the National Academies, an ACM Distinguished Speaker and a Senior Member of the IEEE Computer Society. He earned his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Cincinnati, and his Bachelor of Sciece degree in Systems Analysis from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Gilbert is chairman of the Coalition to Diversify Computing, an organization that seeks to address the shortfall in computing professionals through the development of a diverse community that can effectively meet the computing demands of an evolving society.

Clemson I-Corps Teams march to the head of the pack

Clemson University College of Engineering and Science I-Corps teams took the top two spots in a presentation competition in Atlanta. The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program fosters entrepreneurship that could lead to the commercialization of technology that has been supported by NSF-funded research.  Read the entire release here:

Clemson Recognized for 3D Printing Technology

3D printing is an expanding technology in the biomedical industry, and Clemson researchers have played a role in its advancement.  This technology enables scientists to utilize an inkjet printer to print tissues such as blood vessels, knee cartilage, and bone implants, to name a few.  Read the whole story here.

Clemson University Spinoff Company to Commercialize Medical Simulator Technology

MedUSim Solutions, led by Jiro Nagatomi and Delphine Dean of Clemson University, is developing cost-effective, accurate medical skill-training simulators that are designed with teaching effectiveness in mind. Their leading product, a next-generation center venous catheterization trainer, CLiVE (Central Line Vascular Emulator), is designed to provide a low-cost, comprehensive training platform with realistic replacement parts.  Read the entire news release here.

Clemson University Spinoff Company to Commercialize Advanced Genetic Technology

Tiger Bioanalytics, led by Guigen Zhang of Clemson University, is developing a cost-effective way to more accurately conduct gene sequencing. The goal is to sequence a whole genome using DNA from a single cell in a short period of time with high accuracy at a low cost.  Read more here or visit

Clemson “Antimicrobial Drug Delivery Devices” named Semi-Finalist in SEBIO Annual BIO/Plan Competition

One Clemson submission joins other regional institutions as being one of the top 10 semi-finalists from a field of approximately 40 applicants for the 2012 SE BIO/Plan competition.  This technology offers an antimicrobial multi-component device that demonstrates prolonged drug delivery, biocompatibility, and mechanical integrity.  The multi-disciplinary SE BIO/Plan team consists of Dr. Cody Reynolds (MS&E), Dr. Phil Brown (Professor, MS&E), Dr. Doug Hirt (Department Chair, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), Dr. Chris Cox (Professor, Mathematical Sciences), and Dr. Scott Sullivan, a researching professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MUSC.  Visit here to see the complete listing of the 10 semi-finalists and to learn more about the SEBIO BIO/Plan Competition.

Taking the Bite Out of Weight Loss

Clemson professors Eric Muth and Adam Hoover created a device that may help people re-think their food choices, and how much of it they’re willing to consume.