Inventor of the Year Award
The Inventor’s Award is for a unique and innovative discovery that has made an impact on the community.
Biao He, Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Investigator and holder of the Fred C. Davison Distinguished University Chair in Veterinary Medicine, focuses on defining viral pathogenesis at the molecular level and investigates how viral proteins can overcome host defense.
He has filed eight invention disclosures, ranging from a parainfluenza virus (PIV5) vaccine platform system to a novel mumps vaccine to a method of inducing innate immunity, leading to one issued U.S. patent, four pending U.S. patents and more than a dozen pending foreign patent applications.
He collaborates with researchers across UGA on a variety of projects including examining the efficacy of the PIV5 platform as a vaccine vector against a spectrum of viral and other disease agents including HIV, influenza, tuberculosis and malaria, and as a novel anti-cancer therapy. The PIV5 vaccine platform system has been licensed or optioned to several major pharmaceutical companies for product development.
He also is exploring commercial development of his inventions through two startup companies: CyanVac, a GRA Venture-funded company, and Wuhan Saitekang.
Entrepreneur of the Year Award
The Academic Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes a faculty member who has started a company based on UGA research.
Richard Meagher is a Distinguished Research Professor of Genetics whose wide-ranging molecular research includes plant molecular genetics, RNA and purine metabolism, chromatin remodeling, obesity, and most recently, cell-type specific epigenetic reprogramming in blood, brain and adipose tissues.
He has co-founded several biotech companies including Applied Phytogenetics and Abeome, a UGA Innovation Gateway Incubator resident company focused on the high-throughput selection, analysis and synthesis of monoclonal antibodies for the therapeutic market. Meagher and Abeome were recognized with the 2016 Innovation of the Year Award by Georgia Bio for the development and commercialization of the AbeoMouseTM, a transgenic mouse capable of producing B-cells that surface display secreted antibodies.
Meagher’s most recent entrepreneurial efforts are focused on exploring the commercial potential of an immunoliposome approach to inhibit adipogenesis as a means of combating obesity. These products could potentially reduce obese patients’ risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancer.