Kevin Boatright
Office of Research

Cory Berkland receives Baxendale Commercialization Award at KU Innovation Fair

Mon, 05/05/2014

LAWRENCE – The inventive research of University of Kansas faculty and students was recognized and celebrated May 1 at the second annual KU Innovation Fair. The program was hosted by KU Innovation and Collaboration, the university’s technology commercialization office.

Cory Berkland, professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, received the Jim Baxendale Commercialization Award.  It recognizes a KU faculty member whose research has resulted in significant advances and commercial opportunities for the university.

Berkland is the co-founder of three companies since coming to KU in 2004: Orbis Biosciences, Savara Pharmaceuticals and Orion BioScience. These companies are focused on therapies for asthma, pain management, autoimmune diseases and other conditions. He also helped initiate and co-directs a unique collaborative innovation program with ConocoPhillips and Schlumberger related to oil and gas recovery.  At KU, Berkland is the recipient of a 2012 University Scholarly Achievement Award and a 2010 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence.

At the two-hour event in the Kansas Union Ballroom, 20 undergraduate and graduate students presented their discoveries on posters. A 10-member panel of judges awarded $4,500 in prizes to the top-six student projects.  Prize recipients, with department and project title, were:

Undergraduate Division

  • First place ($1,000): James Borner, mechanical engineering, industrial design, “FSAE Brake System Research and Design”
  • Second place ($750): Kelly Rodriquez, Ned Howard, Brittany Limones, Kenneth McChesney, electrical engineering and computer science, “Dual-Channel Sense-and-Avoid Radar for Small UAV’s”
  • Third place ($500): Henry Clever, mechanical engineering, “Ultramouse: A Communicative Device Which Allows Those with Disabilities to Operate a Computer Using Head Movement”

Graduate Division

  • First place ($1,000): Christopher Kuehl, pharmaceutical chemistry, “NanoClusters and the Future of Asthma Treatment”
  • Second place ($750): Lei Shi, electrical engineering and computer science, and Robert Knight, aerospace engineering, “Airborne Collision Avoidance Radars”
  • Third place ($500): Connor Dennis, chemical and petroleum engineering, bioengineering, “Enhancing Endochondral Ossification for Bone Defect Regeneration: Converging Native ECM Biomaterials and Self-Assembling Colloidal Gels”

Other students who made presentations at the KU Innovation Fair:

Undergraduate Division

  • Joseph Barforoush, chemical and petroleum engineering, Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, “Glucaric Acid, Levulinic Acid, and Succinic Acid as Bio-Derived Precursors to Commodity Chemicals”

Graduate Division

  • Eric Bonet, civil, environmental and architectural engineering, “Bridge Repair Utilizing Plastics and Stitches”
  • Dupeng Liu, chemical and petroleum engineering, “Making the Conventional Chemical Process Cheaper and Greener – Hydroformylation of Olefin in Gas-Expanded Liquids”
  • Adam Mellott, bioengineering program, “Non-Viral Reprogramming of Human Wharton’s Jelly Cells Reveals Differences Between Atoh1 Homologues”
  • Qiannan Cui, physics and astronomy, “Transient Absorption Microscopy of Monolayer WSE2”
  • Emily Carlson, pharmacology and toxicology, “Novel Amyloid-ß-Binding Alcohol Dehydrogenase Inhibitor Decreases Cancer Cell Growth Rate”
  • Daniel Jasion, chemistry, “Iron Pyrite-Based Photocapacitors: A Novel Integrated Energy Solution”
  • Omar Ismael, civil, environmental and architectural engineering, “Model Test of Laterally Loaded Piles Under a Scoured Condition”
  • BanuPriya Sridharan, bioengineering program, “Degradation Study of Raw Material Encapsulated Microsphere-Based Scaffolds for Osteochondral Tissue Engineering”
  • Sonia Rawal, physical therapy, KU Medical Center, “Reaggregated 3D Islets for Drug Testing.”

Judges for the KU Innovation Fair competition, in addition to Berkland, were Claudia Bode, Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis; Mark Fisher, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, KU Medical Center; Joe Heppert, Office of Research; Rebecca Peterson and Bob Rummer, KU Innovation and Collaboration; Karthik Ramachandran, Likarda LLC; Joshua Sestak, Orion BioScience; Mike Smithyman, Bioscience & Technology Business Center at KU; and Charlotte Tritch, School of Business.

KU in the news
The Daily MailSat, 04/25/2015
CNNMon, 04/13/2015
Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner. See it here:
Rock Chalk! Junior Ashlie Koehn named KU's 18th Truman Scholar
Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening.

.@NYTimes columnist @WCRhoden will speak at a symposium about race and sports April 23.
Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner From KU News Service: Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening. To her surprise, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was on the other end of the call letting Koehn know she had been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Koehn is the 18th KU student to be named a Truman Scholar and the only 2015 recipient from the state of Kansas. Earlier this month, she was also named a 2015 Udall Scholar. And in spite of a distance of more than 10,800 kilometers and 11 time zones, Koehn’s thrill from hearing the news from the chancellor came through loud and clear. “Ashlie’s experience at KU epitomizes a quality undergraduate experience. She challenged herself in her coursework, exposed herself to different research opportunities, studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan, and participated in both student government and community service projects,” Gray-Little said. “This is quite a year for Ashlie. Her hard work is a wonderful reflection on her and also a great reflection on the university, and we all congratulate her.” Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Koehn, a member of KU’s nationally recognized University Honors Program, is majoring in environmental studies, economics and international studies. Her goal after earning her KU degree is to pursue a master’s degree in economics at either the London School of Economics or the University of Reading, with a focus on the economics of climate change. In 2014, she received KU’s Newman Civic Engagement Award for her work establishing the Coalition against Slavery and Trafficking. Her involvement with the issue was sparked by Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, who hosted national conference on contemporary slavery at KU three years ago. “Ashlie and I met several times to think about what KU students could contribute to the issue of slavery and human trafficking, and the result was her founding of KU CAST,” Britton said. “After a year as president, Ashlie successfully handed the organization over to the next student leader. She demonstrated her strong leadership qualities by setting a unique goal and then pursuing it with her sense of passion, engagement and dedication. No matter the country or context, her leadership strength is evident in her coursework, her public service and her work experiences.” The University Honors Program works with a campus committee to select KU’s nominees for the Truman Scholarship and supports them during the application process. Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships, noted it was an amazing ruse to pull off the surprise. Originally, the call was set up to be between Wallen and Koehn. “I was totally not prepared to be greeted by Chancellor Gray-Little, but it was an amazing surprise for sure,” Koehn said. “As a first-generation student, it took time to learn the collegiate system, but my parents taught me to be resourceful and independent from a young age and KU and the Kansas Air National Guard have provided me with the opportunities to drive me into the future, both at graduate school and in my career. I plan to use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a career as an environmental economist helping to shape future trade agreements and leverage action on important international environmental issues, particularly concerning climate change.” Koehn also had a surprise of her own for the chancellor — the meal she was helping to prepare was not exactly typical Kansas dinner fare. On the menu with her host family in Kyrgyzstan on Monday was a traditional Kyrgyz meal called Beshbarmak, or “five fingers,” because you eat it with your hands. The dish is made of horse and sheep and was being prepared as a birthday celebration for Koehn’s host mom. Chancellor Gray-Little, as she signed off from Skype, made sure to encourage Koehn to enjoy her Beshbarmak. Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Moundridge. She is an active member of the Kansas Air National Guard and currently on leave while studying abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the KU Global Scholars Program and a past member of the Student Senate. In addition to being named a 2015 Truman and Udall scholar, she was named a 2014 Boren Scholar and Gilman Scholar and in 2013 was named the Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times