Funding Priority

Activate: Apply the Innovation Mindset and Skillset Across the Journey of an Idea

We support faculty, students and staff who want to put their ideas into practice and thrive in society and the modern innovation economy. Support focuses on three new opportunities: (1) Pathways to Impact Program, (2) Dreamers Who Do Program and (3) Carolina Innovation Passport.

Innovate Carolina

    Hunting down brain tumors

    First, Shawn Hingtgen, Ph.D., and his team figured out how to turn a person’s own skin cells into stem cells that hunt down and mop up the remnants of invasive brain tumors. The breakthrough promises a new and more effective treatment for glioblastoma, the most common form of primary brain cancer and also one of the deadliest.

    Now, Dr. Hingtgen, an assistant professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, has founded a start-up company called Falcon Therapeutics to ensure that this innovative and life-saving treatment reaches patients.

    With the standard treatment for glioblastoma, median survival is less than a year and a half, and the chance of surviving beyond two years is 30 percent. In mouse models, the cancer-hunting stem cells increased time of survival 160 percent to 220 percent, depending on the type of tumor.

    “We’ve gone almost 30 years without a significant improvement in care,” said Dr. Hingtgen, whose work was supported by the Eshelman Institute for Innovation. “Glioblastoma patients desperately need something better.”

    They may very well get it, thanks to him and his fellow Carolina innovators.

     

    Explore Stories

    Caleb King
    Innovation

    A Homecoming for a Convergent Scientist

    When it comes to convergent science, Caleb King is the man to lead the way.

    Health

    Precision Cancer Treatments

    "It's an exciting approach; we hit the tumor hard with little toxicity, leaving room for other therapy."

    Innovation

    Harnessing PRINT

    "I think at the end of the day, we learn the most from those we have the least in common with."

    Innovation

    Virtual Lung Project

    At UNC-Chapel Hill, a team of researchers, including Rich Superfine, see a path toward eliminating lung disease.

    Innovation

    Mapping Carolina: County To State

    Mapping how Carolina makes an impact through research, scholarship and innovation to serve North Carolinians, from the mountains to the coast.

    Health

    Going Where The Need Is Greatest

    “I know that I want to do family medicine, and I know that I want to do rural. Everything I need is up here.”