New York, NY (PRWEB) May 23, 2012
Scientific research is thriving at NYU. Not only does the university have an impressive track record of turning research grants from the federal government into patentable inventions, it also excels at nurturing relationships with New York’s entrepreneurial, venture capital and philanthropic communities. In the past several decades, more than 100 startups have been built on NYU discoveries and innovations.
One reason: the NYU Innovation Venture Fund. The seed-stage venture capital fund was created in 2010 to provide investment funds to incubate technologies and intellectual property at the largest private university in the United States.
In an effort led by the Innovation Venture Fund, NYU recently hosted more than one hundred life sciences investors and entrepreneurs for a “Day One Expo.” The research on display ranged from drug delivery systems to bioinformatics. And the Expo provided a showcase for NYU discoveries for the investment community and for biotechnology companies looking for promise and potential.
But angel investors and venture capitalists aren’t the only alternative sources of funding for labs at NYU – especially those focused on basic science or more esoteric scientific inquiry.
National Academy of Sciences member and University Professor at the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience at NYU Dr. Rodolfo Llinás is internationally known for his pioneering work in magnetoencephalography (MEG), a highly sensitive technology for measuring electrical activity within the brain. The non-invasive technique is used for mapping brain activity by recording magnetic fields produced by electrical currents within the brain.
Llinás’ neuroscientific research has also contributed significantly to the medical community’s understanding of how certain brain diseases arise from thalamocortical dysrhythmia, the disruption of connections between the thalamus and the cortex.
Dr. Llinás’ lab required the latest MEG device to support diagnostic and research initiatives. In this case, it was Dr. Llinás’ clinical relationship with New York philanthropist and financier Roys Poyiadjis that provided the solution.
Mr. Poyiadjis’ brother Alkis Poyiadjis had been referred to Dr. Llinás in 2000 for a pharmacologically unresponsive psychosis which had manifested suddenly in his 20s. With Llinás’ guidance and surgical treatment in Switzerland, Alkis was able to make a remarkable recovery and lead a self-supporting life, without psychotic episodes.
Motivated in part by the role Dr. Llinas played in the treatment of his brother, Roys Poyiadjis, became an active advocate, business advisor and financial supporter of neuroscientific research at NYU, providing $1 million in funding in 2006 for the purchase of an MEG device for Llinás’ lab and supporting several lines of neuroscience research at the institution at a multi-million dollar level.
Poyiadjis also initiated several companies created to help the lab monetize the products of its research in thalamocortical dysrhythmia suppression.
At NYU and research institutions across the nation, active engagement with the investor community and relationship-building with benefactors like Roys Poyiadjis are becoming vital activities for building a vibrant research environment.