The University of Utah hosted its first Innovation Awards on Monday where we celebrated U researchers who are going above and beyond to translate their research into solutions to today’s problems.

The highlight of the program was recognizing the recipients of the eight Innovation Awards, but we also recognized those contributing to the U’s innovation culture in fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) by patenting technologies, receiving commercialization specific grants (the Ascender Grant and SBIR/STTR), learning how to form companies in the I-Corps program and forming a National Academy of Inventors chapter.

Learn more about this year’s Innovation Awards recipients

Patents issued in FY23

U research community members were issued 40 patents in the fiscal year. The patents represent numerous collaborations between departments on campus and institutions around the world. In addition to U professors, students and staff, researchers from as far as China and Italy were named on patents issued to the University of Utah Research Foundation, which represents the university’s global reach and impact.

Each person named on a patent received a U patent mug that was personalized with the patent they were issued, and first-time patent recipients took home a special travel mug to celebrate their landmark first patent.

View all 40 patents

Ascender Grant recipients

One of our favorite resources at PIVOT Center is the Ascender Grant. The grant helps U researchers bridge the gap between the academic lab and potential commercialization. On Monday, we recognized 7 PI’s who completed their Ascender Grant milestones in the fiscal year:

Massood Tabib-Azar
Jay Kim
Marc Porter
Ling Zang
Himanshu Sant
Matthew Rondina
Jesse Rowley

I-Corps teams

The University of Utah is proud to be part of I-Corps Hub West and support our teams of faculty and students as they progress through the program and learn more about entrepreneurship. The following teams successfully completed the first and second phases of the I-Corps program and are working toward Nationals.

Electronic Grip Gauge (EGG)

Marta Iversen
Jacob George
Michael Adkins
Monika Buczak
Brenda Mann

Unimer Technology

Dmitri Kapitonov


Tarek Moustafa
Tom Zangle
Phil Bernard

Vinberg Labs

Frans Vinberg
Jordan Allen


Kuby Balagurunathan
Ishan Capila

Learn more about I-Corps

SBIR/STTR recipients

The SBIR and STTR—Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer, respectively—awards are distributed by departments in the federal government to support the translation of academic research to small businesses. These grants are perfect next steps for I-Corps participants.

The following PIs received SBIR/STTR funding in FY23:

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

Himanshu Sant
Fluorescence-Solid Phase Extraction (F-SPE) Platform for Rapid, On-site Detection of PFAS – NIH, Phase 1

Eric Eddings
Direct Production of Coal Tar Pitch – DOD, Phase 1

Car Henrik Axel Odeen
Selectivity and Efficacy of CD90-targeted Phase Shift Microbubbles for HIFU-mediated Non-Thermal Ablation of Brain Tumors – NIH, Phase 1

Masood Parvania
IoT-Enabled Intelligent Data Replication for Secure Redundant Monitoring – NSF, Phase 1

Jeffrey Yap
Dual-Tracer PET Tumor Imaging – NIH, Phase 2

William Daniel Jackson
A novel, low-cost, noninvasive device to detect and characterize the presence or absence of a bolus in the upper esophagus – NSF, Phase 2

Shinduk Lee
Olera-Online Platform to Increase Access to Personalized Educational and Professional Assistance for AD/ADRD Caregivers – NIH, Phase 2

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

Abigail Pulsipher
Development of a Diagnostic Test for Eosinophilic Chronic Rhinosinusitis – NIH, Phase 1

Seungbeom (Moses) Noh
Development of a computation model for unmanned and real-time localization of weed/herbivore stressors in biofuel sorghum fields by minimizing the number of distributed near-zero-power sensors – DOE, Phase 1

Contact the U's SBIR/STTR Grant Development Associate Won Yong Lee

National Academy of Inventors chapter founders

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) recognizes and celebrates academic inventors across the U.S. As a member institution, the U formed its first NAI chapter this year. The chapter’s founders were recognized this Monday:

Zhigang Fang
Thomas Parks
Anne Blaschke-Bonkowsky
Richard Brown
Lisa Cannon-Albright
Cynthia Furse
David Hillyard
Jindrich Kopecek
Jan Miller
David Pershing
Peter Stang
Anil Virkar
Carl Wittwer
Ling Zang
Bruce Gale
Gerald Stringfellow
Florian Solzbacher
Wade Fallin
BK Kishore
Ashutosh Tiwari

Look out for more information on the NAI chapter in coming months!


We support you and your innovation.

Regardless of what you are looking for, or what stage you are in the innovation journey, the Technology Licensing Office is your go-to source to connect you with the U’s innovation ecosystem.

Call 801.581.7792 or send us a message

 Technology Licensing Office
Mailing: P.O. Box 856, Tooele, UT 84074
Packages: 65 N Main St #856, Tooele, UT  84074