Dear friends and partners of the MSU Innovation Center,
Welcome to our Annual Report for the 2023 fiscal year. In preparing this letter, I was struck by the diversity of innovations you will find in its pages. This of course, reflects the diversity of research at Michigan State University (MSU) that covers every major area of inquiry in the 21st century, from the subatomic to the astrophysical, and from the study of the human condition in social sciences and liberal arts to the STEM sciences of medicine, biological & physical sciences, and engineering. At the Innovation Center, we engage with faculty from across this staggering array of research disciplines to help them translate their innovations into practice in a way that directly impacts the world; it is both a pleasure and a challenge.
In this annual report you will find stories ranging from corporate-engaged research into novel interventions in Parkinson’s Disease, to middle school mathematics curriculum, to Brand and Experience design, to a company developing cures for Tuberculosis and other mycobacterial infections. At our 2023 Innovation Celebration, we honored faculty working in computer- aided biometrics for identity security; dairy nutrition and sustainable agriculture; advanced imaging to visualize living systems at near-atomic resolutions; and water treatment systems to remove PFAS from the environment. We also recognized startup companies coming from MSU at very different scales; a student startup developing an app that helps you hire help around your home; and a biomedical company that has raised over $50MM in funding and in the process of filing for its first-in-human trial.
We are particularly happy to share the news of national recognition for MSU faculty whose work was supported by the MSU Innovation Center.
Professor Andre S. Bachmann, MSU Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development, Dr. Caleb P. Bupp, and Dr. Surender Rajasekaran, MSU Clinical Professors and practicing physicians at Corewell Health, were recognized with the Inventor of the Year Award by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA), recognizing them “for their methods and compositions to prevent and treat disorders associated with mutations in the ODC1 gene. U.S. Patent No. 11,273,137 B2”. The award was certainly well-deserved, since the work behind this award included the definition of the molecular basis of a neurodevelopmental disorder, now referred to as Bachmann-Bupp Syndrome, and the first FDA-approved single-patient Investigational New Drug (IND) to treat the disorder in a pediatric patient, reporting a remarkable therapeutic response.
Muhammad Rabnawaz, Associate Professor in the School of Packaging, was inducted as a Senior Member in the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). From the NAI: “The NAI was founded to recognize and encourage inventors with U.S. patents, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and to create wider public understanding of how its members’ inventions benefit society.” Muhammad joins an elite club of 11 MSU faculty members who have been honored by the NAI as either Fellows or Senior Members. This honor was well-earned, with a long track record of innovation, patenting, engagement with corporations to translate his innovations to practice, and as a founder in a startup company (SCOPS Coating Technologies).
Lastly—just a moment to recognize and thank the more than 40 people who work across the Innovation Center ecosystem to make this all happen. It takes an energetic and flexible team of people to address the innovation needs of our wildly diverse MSU faculty. The Innovation Center team is outstanding, and up to the task. Thank you to both the team and the faculty we serve. Together we’re improving the Michigan economy and having a global impact with our research and innovations in the marketplace.
Charles A. Hasemann, PhD
Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development