- Gateway Biome // Our prototype IBD management tool is based on functional biomarkers which have been selected by machine learning algorithms and further refined to represent specific microbiome functional subsystems where imbalances that are either indicative of impending changes in the patient condition and/or contributing to the development and chronicity of disease can be pinpointed. The underlying technology is based on selected microbiota-derived metabolites that directly reflect microbial community functions that can monitor and predict the clinical course of IBD. The approach has many advantages of 16S rRNA and meta genomic profiling which are at best surrogate markers of function, highly variable among individuals, or simply not useful as clinical tools. Team members include: Eugene Chang, MD, PI and co-founder, Martin Boyer Professor of Medicine; Joseph Pierre, PhD, co-founder, Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin; Ashley Sidebottom, PhD, director of the DFI’s Host Microbe Metabolomics Facility; Jason Koval, Senior Laboratory Technician.
- Innoface // Our newly patented technology allows us a degree of control over face images that has never been seen before. We leverage critical insights from social and cognitive psychology, massive amounts of human judgment data, and bleeding edge developments in AI to generate, manipulate, and even infer the impressions the general public will have of face images along 34 different attributes. A prototype of this system has been developed as a high-level API. Team members include: Alexander Todorov, PhD, PI and co-founder; Stefan Uddenberg, Principal Research, Chicago Booth; and Laksh Kalra, Chicago Booth.
- Riptide Therapeutics // We are developing a new, first-in-class, targeted covalent inhibitor (TCI) of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT). Our technology is differentiated from both prior telomerase inhibitor development as well as DNA damage repair inhibitors currently on the market and under development. Our TERT inhibitor is focused on its DNA damage repair activity in addition to its canonical function and other pro-cancer noncanonical functions. We will have a competitive advantage that TERT is not expressed appreciably in healthy somatic tissue and this should permit us to develop a DNA damage repair TERT inhibitor as a therapy sensitizer with less potential toxicity issues. Team members include: Stephen Kron, MD, PhD, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology; Grant Frost, Postdoctoral Fellow; and Yue Liu, Kron Lab.
- Sparsity // By combining next-generation sequencing, multiplexed culturomics, and statistical learning, we have developed a generalizable and protectable platform for ecosystem-scale synthetic biology with extensive applications to pharma, biotech, and environmental remediation. At its core, our platform rapidly combines individual bacterial strains from the proprietary strain-bank of 1600 human gut commensals and 500 soil microbes to create synthetic communities of varying but precisely defined diversity and complexity. While traditional compound screens rely on random selection of component parts, we have developed a novel search strategy that leverages evolutionary design principles to dramatically enrich for microbial communities that are functional. Team members include: Arjun Raman, MD, PhD, PI and co-founder, Assistant Professor of Pathology; Robert Chen, MDPhD candidate, Washington University; and Seppe Kuehn, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolution.
- SQOpE // We are exploring methods to achieve high efficiency in microwave-optical quantum transduction and high-fidelity in quantum states transfers. The technology is based on the coupling of superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) cavities with electro-optic crystals. These hybrid devices would serve as repeaters in a quantum internet, transferring states and entangling photons beyond a single cryostat. In quantum communication, this would enable securing communication channels, e.g. through key distribution cryptography protocols. Team members include: Silvia Zorzetti, PI and founder, Deputy Head of Quantum Computing CoDesign Department, Fermilab.
- SynthBits // Our technology is based on our patent-pending organometallic optically addressable spin quantum bits. In essence, we engineer the electronic structure of a transition metal center (e.g. Chromium) using synthetic chemistry through ligand design to have a spin (magnetization) which is coupled to an optical signal. The designed molecules are ~1 nanometer in size and could be functionalized to attach to the aforementioned biomolecules. Slight chemical modification alter the optical and magnetic colors, enabling many distinct channels for detection. Team members include: David Awschalom, PI and Founder, Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering and Vice Dean for Research and Infrastructure; Berk Diler Kovos, Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Alumnus; Quantum Machines; Leah Weiss, Postdoctoral Scholar; Daniel Laorenza, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
- Alnair Therapeutics //A novel lactate-inducible drug release platform to deliver drug specifically to tumor sites for cancer treatment. Team members include: Xiaoyang Wu, PI and founder, Associate Professor of Ben May Department of Cancer Research Committee on Development, Regeneration, and Stem Cell Biology
- Flow Medical // All-in-one device specifically engineered to enable diagnostic-quality pulmonary angiography, catheter-directed thrombolysis of PE, and real-time pressure monitoring throughout the duration of thrombolytic infusion. Team members include: Jonathan Paul, MD, PI and co-founder, Associate Professor of Medicine Director, Pulmonary Embolism Response Team, and Osman Ahmed, MD, cofounder, associate director of Radiology at the University of Chicago Medicine.
- INOFFA // Rejuvenation of the ovary using human bone marrow Mesenchymal stem cells. Team members include: Ayman Al Hendy, MD, PI and founder, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mohammad Ghasroldasht, Postdoctoral scholar, Farzana Liakath, Postdoctoral Scholar, and Hiba Alkelani, MD.
- OrisDx //A molecular biomarker next-generation sequencing-based-low-cost, rapid, and accurate test aimed at detecting DNA mutations in the saliva for testing and screening of oral cancer. Team members include: Nishant Agarwal, MD, PI and founder, Professor of Surgery, Co-Director, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology Chief, Section of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery; Jake Stangl, Chicago Booth alumnus; Evgeny Izumchenko, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine; Rifat Hasina, DDS, PhD; and Chetan Bettegowda, MD, Jennison and Novak Families Professor of Neurosurgery, Professor of Neurosurgery – Johns Hopkins University.
- Lismikro // In Partnership with Fermilab to control and readout electronics for scaling toward million-qubit computing systems. Team members include: Shaouri Li, PI and Founder, Principal Engineer, FermiLab; Hongzhi Sun, ASIC Design Engineer, Fermilab; and Benjamin Parpillon, Senior ASIC Engineer, Fermilab.
- TRACER // In Partnership with Argonne National Lab to measure groundwater “ages”, i.e., residence times, by measuring the radiokrypton present in a water sample that can reveal the dynamics within the aquifer and of intruding waters to determine sustainability and resource management practices. Team members include: Jake Zappala, PhD, Argonne National Laboratory.
- 4SR Biosciences // 4SR Biosciences works to transfer RNA (tRNA) which makes up ~80% of all cellular RNA molecules. tRNA is universally conserved, essential for gene expression, and well known to be misregulated in many cancers. While studies on other RNA types have exploded over the last decade, tRNA studies have lagged behind because of technical challenges specific to tRNA. 4SR Biosciences has developed technology to use next-gen sequencing to study tRNA at higher throughput and greater resolution than ever before. The overall goals of 4SR are to utilize the tRNA-seq technology developed in the Pan lab for biomarker discovery. The data generated from our (provisionally} patented tRNA-sequencing method are very rich compared to traditional mRNA data. While mRNA analysis is often limited to simply counting expression of genes, tRNA data grants access to many biologically relevant properties of these RNA molecules. In addition to counting tRNA expression, our technology can simultaneously measure charging (amino acylation), post-transcriptional modifications, fragmentation, and coexpression with other small RNAs. All of these are potential sources of biomarkers. Additionally our technology is compatible with complex microbiome samples where we can compare biological properties among hundreds of microbes with thousands of unique tRNA genes. Our uniquely inexpensive technology coupled with our own sophisticated computational analysis makes 4SR a world-leading company in tRNA-specific biomarker discovery and microbiome characterization. We believe that access to the untapped world of tRNA biology will fuel discoveries in cancer diagnostics, neurodegenerative mechanism, host-microbiome interaction, and infectious disease. Team members included: Tao Pan, PI and cofounder, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chicago; and Chris Katanski, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Chicago.
- AIccelerate // Companies want to deploy more complicated and accurate Machine Learning (ML) algorithms in all sorts of intelligent devices, but the current hardware they use to run these models is quickly becoming a bottleneck. For time-sensitive applications, like the ones used in the Autonomous Vehicles (AV) or Internet-of-Things (loT) verticals, the usage of more accurate algorithms is practically impossible since the additional model complexity makes the processing too slow. More complex algorithms are also more power-hungry, which can be prohibitive for battery-powered devices. We want to tackle both these problems, enabling customers to use more accurate models with less power consumption, thus improving both the device performance and battery life. Team members included: Matteo Cremonesi, PI and founder, associate researcher, Fermilab; and Lindsey Gray, Scientist, Fermilab.
- Concilio // Concilo has developed a nanoparticle platform that effectively delivers therapeutic nucleotides to cells of interest to more effectively treat cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Team members: Yun Fang, associate professor, University of Chicago BSD; Jeffrey Hubbell, Eugene Bell Professor in Tissue Engineering and Vice Dean and Executive Officer, University of Chicago PME; Matthew Tirrell, Dean of the University of Chicago PME, the Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor; Patricia Tsao, unaffiliated.
- memQ // Recent breakthroughs (by IBM, Google, Honeywell and lonQ) have highlighted the capabilities of quantum entangled enabled technologies. Besides computing, entanglement can also be used to establish 100% unhackable information transfer between parties. This could be through direct transfer of quantum states or through quantum enabled encryption. In the first case the use is limited to ~100km due to transmission loss and existing solutions for longer distance transfer need “trusted nodes” – which are themselves hackable. For the second case, quantum key distribution (QKD) is extremely susceptible to a denial-ofservice attacks. Team members included: Supratik Guha, PI and cofounder, Professor and Senior Advisor to Argonne Physical Sciences, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering; Manish Kumar Singh, cofounder, Doctoral candidate, University of Chicago; and Sean Sullivan, Postdoctoral appointee, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago.
- HeioThera is a therapeutic platform to treat auto-immune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Team members included: Jeff Hubbell (Faculty), Co-Founder, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering; Jun Ishihara (Post-doc), Co-Founder, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering; Carlo Passeri (Student), Business Development Fellow, Chicago Booth
- Skin graft for Cocaine addiction is a CRISPR based therapeutic using skin cells for cocaine addiction patients. Team members included: Ming Xu (Faculty), Co-Founder, Biological Sciences Division; Xiaoyang Wu (Faculty), Co-Founder, Biological Sciences Division; Ryan Myers (Student), Business Development Fellow, Chicago Booth
- Electro-Corrosion Toolkit is a technology that measures corrosion of metals in a variety of substrates. Applications span medical implants as well as oil&gas and automotive industries. Team members included: Vineeth Gattu (Staff), Co-Founder, Argonne National Laboratory; Khushboo Sharma (Student), Business Development Fellow, Chicago Booth; Charlie Mageira (Student), Business Development Fellow, Chicago Booth
- Phlaxis is a pediatric vaccine to treat peanut allergy. Team members included: Chitavi Maulloo (Student), Co-Founder, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering; Shijie Cao (Post-doc), Co-Founder, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering; Jeff Hubbell (Faculty), Co-Founder, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering; Hikaru Ihara (Student), Business Development Fellow, Chicago Booth
- NetMicroscope is developing an edge analytics platform which enables ISPs to infer real-time Quality of Experience metrics, while retaining the security that user’s value. The platform leverages machine learning techniques to identify where in the network stack issues have arisen, driving actionable insights. Team members included: Nick Feamster, PI and cofounder, Neubauer Professor of Computer Science and director of the Center for Data and Computing (CDAC) and Guilherme Martins, cofounder, senior programming specialist, CDAC
- ReAx Biotechnologies is developing chemical proteomic platform technologies for the discovery of small molecule therapeutics targeting intractable protein families. The ReAx platform uses protein family-wide small molecule probes and a barcoded, amplifiable detection strategy to quantify the activity state of proteins, as well as their interaction with therapeutics, directly in biofluids, cells, and tissues. Team members included: Ray Moellering, PI and cofounder, associate professor, Physical Sciences Division, Jeff Montgomery, cofounder, PhD candidate, Physical Sciences Division, and Eric Chapman, business lead, student, Chicago Booth and computer science. ReAx Biotechnologies went on to participate in the 2020 George Shultz Innovation Fund and received $150,000 to further commercialize its work.
- Zero Burden Labs aims to bring to market blood-work free diagnostic screening technology for complex diseases ranging from early screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder to Gestational Diabetes. Their technology is made possible by sophisticated IP-protected machine learning algorithms that learn deep temporal patterns from sparse, dirty, un-curated past diagnostic histories utilizing electronic medical records; making possible precision personalized healthcare improving patient outcomes and ease the burden on healthcare providers and payers. Team members included: Ishanu Chattopadhyay, PI and cofounder, assistant professor, Biological Sciences Division, Dmytro Onishchenko, cofounder, post-doctoral researcher, Biological Sciences Division, and Jim Van Horne, business lead and cofounder, student, Chicago Booth