Hamill Foundation funds innovation program at Rice

HOUSTON, July 21, 2005 Rice University's Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) today announced the first grants awarded under its new Hamill Innovation Grant program. The program, which provides seed funding for collaborative, multidisciplinary research projects, is funded by a generous gift from the longtime IBB sponsor The Hamill Foundation.

"This new program is designed to provide start-up funding for research programs that have enormous potential but which traditional funding agencies too-often reject as risky," said IBB Director Jennifer West, the Isabel C. Cameron Professor of Bioengineering and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. "We are extremely grateful to the Hamill Foundation for its support of this innovative program."

The high-risk, high-impact research supported by the program honors the adventurous spirit of the late Claud B. Hamill, a successful oil wildcatter. The Hamill Foundation, which was founded by Mr. Hamill and his late wife Marie G. Hamill, is a loyal supporter of IBB, having been the first foundation to support the institute upon its inception in 1987.

The Hamill Innovation Grant program is designed to foster collaborative research among IBB researchers from varied disciplines. The program provides one-year, $15,000 grants that cover direct, start-up costs. Proposals were judged on their originality, scientific rigor, potential impact and integration of the collaborative team.

The inaugural grants will fund research by:

  • Rebekah Drezek, the Stanley C. Moore Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Jane Tao, assistant professor of biochemistry and cell biology, to develop a nanoparticle-based point-of-care test for respiratory viruses. The team is aiming for a test that's faster, cheaper and more sensitive than existing tests, which will allow doctors to quickly determine the type of flu or respiratory vi

  • Contact: Jade Boyd
    Rice University

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