Foundation Gift to Advance Testing of Life-Saving Drugs
he latest $1 million gift from the Deutsch Foundation is helping the A. James Clark School of Engineering's Maryland Biochip Collaborative streamline the drug-testing process to bring life-saving drugs to the market more quickly than ever.
The initial funding of $1 million, which established the program in 2006, paved the way for a cross-disciplinary team in biology and microelectronics to obtain a National Science Foundation Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation grant and a five-year contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.
"We have made an extremely wise investment in the Clark Schoola tremendous legacy for my father," says foundation President Jane Brown, daughter of Robert Deutsch (shown left), who founded RWD Technologies more than 20 years ago. "We have seen growth at every level of the school in a relatively short time, and we look forward to building this long-term relationship. The work is exciting on so many levels."
Bioengineering Professor Gregory Payne, part of the research team, called the funding absolutely "critical" to its work.
"They came in at a time...we were really struggling," he says. The researchers had been working since 2001 without major funding and weren't sure if they could continue, but the grant has allowed the team to lead the way in biofabrication advances over the last five years.
In affirmation of the foundation's commitment, the university Office of the Provost and various Clark School units will invest, as they did for the first grant, more than $200,000 in the program.