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Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR) Grant: FY 2016-17

Managed by Venture Catalyst and funded by the UC Davis Office of Research, the purpose of the Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR[1]) Grant program is to provide funding to UC Davis researchers to support translational science and innovative research, enabling demonstration of early proof-of-concept and commercial potential or feasibility for technologies being developed with the intent of commercial translation.  Key features provided by the STAIR program are 1) feedback to all applicants and 2) an active mentoring component for finalists and awardees.  All applicants receive summarized comments from written reviews and in-person review discussions.  Mentors from industry volunteer their time to advise finalists and award winners throughout the term of the award.  This advice has helped support finalists and awardees to meet milestones, adjust milestones if necessary, and increase competitiveness of future grant applications.

In its first three years, the STAIR Grant program awarded a total of over $625,000 to 13 awardees (see list of previous winners here).  Now in its fourth year, the program has gone through the proposal and review stage, and awardees have been selected.  Applicants were notified of the results on June 19, 2017.

The 2016-17 STAIR Grant award recipients are as follows:

  • Johnathon Anderson, Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine:  Novel Therapeutic Platform to Treat Inflammatory Diseases
  • Paul Henderson, Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine:  Improvement of Chemotherapy with Oomnicoxib
  • Lee Miller, Associate Professor, Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences:  Clinical Feasibility of Patent-Pending EEG Assessment in Hearing Impaired Listeners
  • David Olson, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, College of Letters & Science:  Dimethyltryptamine-Levoamphetamine Hybrids as Plasticity-Promoting Treatments for Neuropsychiatric Diseases
  • Lin Tian, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine:  Illuminating Conformation Dynamics of GPCRs:  A Novel GPCR Drug Discovery Paradigm
  • Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan, Professor and Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine:  Combined Retinoid and HDAC Inhibitors in Metabolic Disease Treatment

The 2016-17 STAIR Grant Program began accepting applications on January 27, 2017.  STAIR Grant proposals were due by March 14, 2017.  A total of 30 STAIR Grant applications were received, with 27 meeting eligibility requirements.  Following a rigorous review process involving external industry reviewers (investors, company professionals and entrepreneurs) and internal domain experts, 14 of the STAIR proposals were selected as finalists during the initial review process.  Of these 14, after further in-person reviewer deliberation, evaluation and ranking, 6 were selected for award based on their potential for future high impact discoveries and innovation, as judged by their technical merit, commercial potential, and alignment of budget and milestones with translational enablement.  A total of $272,240 was allocated by Office of Research to the STAIR program, with maximum allowable funding of $50,000 per successful STAIR grant recipient.

More information about this year’s STAIR program can be found in the 2016-17 STAIR/DIAL Program Executive Summary.  STAIR Grant Program materials for 2016-17, including the STAIR Grant RFP, Application Form, and information session materials, can be accessed at the Program Materials page.

Go to DIAL Grant Program

[1] STAIR is a trademark of The Regents of the University of California.