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WSU Economic Impact News

Treating muscle wasting that impacts millions

When researcher Dan Rodgers made a discovery that could slow or even reverse the muscle wasting that plagues many cancer patients, he knew he wanted to do more than publish a paper.

“I wanted to put the knowledge to good use, to see our science applied, and for cancer patients to receive an effective treatment,” said Rodgers, a muscle biology researcher at WSU. “Developing a company was the best way to move towards these goals.”

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Startup Spotlight: AVVogen

dan-rodgers

AVVogen
Researcher: Dan Rodgers, PhD
Launched: 2015

Problem: Over 70 million people suffer from muscle wasting disease, in one form or another, and this costs the health care industry over $500 billion annually, yet there are currently no viable treatments.

Solution: Actriiex, a drug that targets and blocks biochemical events initiated by myostatin and other growth inhibitory hormones that cause degeneration in muscle and the heart.

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Entrepreneurial students innovate to solve grand challenges

University faculty are not the only ones making an impact with their research – over the last few weeks WSU students have developed and been recognized for innovations that tackle grand challenges such as sustaining health around the world and developing sustainable resources. We wanted to take a moment to highlight these student teams, and demonstrate the impact that experiential education has not only on students’ development, but on their communities as well. » More …

Collaboration Spotlight: Washington Stormwater Center

This month we are highlighting the WSU researchers who helped launch and now lead the Washington Stormwater Center, a regional collaboration that provides the knowledge, resources and training needed to decrease the impacts of stormwater on the environment. The Washington State Legislature created the center in 2010 in response to the need to share new research, best practices and technological advances in stormwater management. The center is jointly managed by WSU and University of Washington, and provides exactly the kind of partnership, problem solving and applied research that is the basis of a land-grant like WSU.

Low Impact Demonstration at the Washington Stormwater Center

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Startup Spotlight: HEALTHSUM™

Healthsum logo

HEALTHSUM™
Researcher: John Wenz, DVM, MS
Launched: 2014

Problem: Veterinarians do not have a reliable way to track outcomes of the health management techniques used on dairy cows.

Solution: A health record database that imports and evaluates data from existing dairy management software to determine outcomes of health management. This gives the veterinarian more information about the effectiveness of treatments, and the impact of disease on cow productivity. » More …

Researcher’s love of molecules is good for society

Barbara Sorg studied functions of the brain for years before she saw the tiny nets in her microscope that made her heart skip a beat. She had been exploring different aspects of the brain to find connections between memory and addictive behaviors, and those nets were just too intriguing to leave alone. Since the 8th grade Dr. Sorg has lived for these kinds of moments – discovering something new that could increase our understanding of the world.

Barbara Sorg in her WSU Vancouver lab.
Barbara Sorg in her WSU Vancouver lab.

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Be like Owen: Take your tech skills to agriculture

General Electric recently released a series of commercials that repaints the 123-year-old industrial company as an innovative, fresh place to work for young computer scientists and programmers. GE’s wants to be viewed as the world’s premier digital industrial company, and Patrick Williams would like to do the same thing for agriculture. » More …

Murdock Commercialization Grant Boosts Innovation

For the second year, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust is supporting Pacific Northwest researchers in turning lab discoveries into products or services that will improve your life. The Trust’s  Commercialization Initiative Fund is dedicated to supporting projects that have reached the “valley of death,” a stretch of time between academic grants and private investment where very little funding exists. » More …