On Aug. 1, 2018, Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine Engineering Solutions in Surgery Seed Grant Program announced its inaugural grant recipients. Three winning teams, composed of at least one faculty member from Rice’s School of Engineering and one faculty member from Baylor’s Department of Surgery, were awarded $20,000 to support their proposed collaborative research projects.

Todd K. Rosengart, M.D., chair of surgery at Baylor, and co-PIs Junghae Suh, Ph.D., associate chair of bioengineering at Rice and Jianchang Yang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of surgery at Baylor, received funding for their proposal, “Gene Delivery Reprogramming Factors to Injured Hearts to Improve Cardiac Function.”

Qizhi Cathy Yao, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery at Baylor, and co-PI Omid Veiseh, Ph.D., assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice, received funding for their proposal, “Sustained Local IL2 ‘Living Drug Therapy’ Enhances Virus-like Particles Vaccine Efficacy in Controlling Pancreatic Cancer in Preclinical Animal Models.”

Two Baylor faculty members, Ghanashyam S. Acharya, Ph.D., associate professor of surgery and ophthalmology, and Bradford G. Scott, M.D., professor of surgery and vice chair for education, and co-PI Pulickel M. Ajayan, Ph.D., professor of engineering at Rice, received funding for their proposal, “Multifunctional 3-D Printed Biomesh for Surgical Hernia Repair.”

The Engineering Solutions in Surgery Seed Grant Program is jointly sponsored by Baylor’s INSTINCT℠ (Interdisciplinary Surgical Technology and Innovation Center), made available by the Sue Nguyen Incubator Award, and Rice University’s George R. Brown School of Engineering. The program aims to promote new collaborative and interdisciplinary research programs among Rice engineers and Baylor surgeons.