Global Innovation Week

Worldly Drexel Welcomes Its International Partners to the City of Brotherly Love

PHILADELPHIA (October 30th, 2012) –

Representatives from the international biomedical innovation community will descend on Drexel University from Oct. 29-31 as the university's School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems and the Office of International Programs hosts the Global Innovation Partnership Forum.

"This Forum demonstrates the exciting possibilities for innovation and growth in Philadelphia when we think of it, with its impressive educational and cultural resources, as a center for Global partnerships," said Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Dr. Julie Mostov.

On the agenda for the event is a series of discussions and presentations about the burgeoning technological innovation neighborhood in Philadelphia, successful international partnerships in the area and opportunities for future growth. Drexel President John A. Fry, Provost Mark Greenberg, Biomed Dean Banu Onaral, Senior Vice President for Research Deb Crawford and Mostov, will be among the presenters during the week.

Throughout the forum, Drexel's partners from Israel, Turkey, China and Australia will present some of the projects on which they've collaborated with the university. Representatives from Drexel- Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI) Center, Enterprise Europe Network, Teknopark Istanbul, Bio Istanbul, Aegean Free Zone, BioJerusalem, Planet Medical, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Sabancı University, Boğazici University, Hebrew University and the University of Sydney, among other international institutions, as well as guests from industry, investment and economic development, will be in attendance at the forum.

Among the successful partnerships that Drexel has established with institutes of research and higher learning abroad is the translational research partnership with The Institute for Drug Research of Hebrew University in Jerusalem to develop and test new methods of drug delivery. Several research projects have been funded by the bi-national partnership, with the goal of creating a better way of delivering within the body medicine for multiple sclerosis, skin cancer, epilepsy and asthma.

Drexel and the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SARI) have established a Joint Center on the SARI campus in Pudong to promote research and educational collaboration. There are two projects now underway. One of the first projects underway at the Drexel- SARI Center is a study by Dr. Wei Sun, a researcher with dual appointments in the College of Medicine and the School of Biomedical Engineering, that applies 3D cell assembly technology to generate cellular cancer models for drug screening testing. Another project, led by Dr. Yury Gogotsi of the College of Engineering, is developing a drug delivery system using nanodiamonds.

Drexel's School of Biomedical Engineering has been at the heart of many of these partnerships due to its interdisciplinary model for promoting translational research. Driven by a $20 million partnership with the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, the School of Biomedical Engineering has helped institutionalize the Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership Program across all academic units of the university level while also reaching out to a number of research institutions abroad in hopes of leveraging their areas of expertise and complementary facilities and resources to address unmet needs in healthcare.

"Converting scientific knowledge into social good and economic value creates wellbeing, prosperity and peace transcending cultural, disciplinary or national boundaries," Onaral said. "Forging innovation alliances that defy space and time and overcome political separation is a sure path to this end. At its heart, this forum is about creating these alliances and taking the first steps on this path."

A highlight of the forum on Monday afternoon is a presentation from President John A. Fry about Drexel positioning itself as an 'Innovation Nexus' for research, technology transfer and economic development in the city, as noted in his master plan for the university. The forum will be capped by Wednesday's Innovation Technology & Talent Showcase. The Showcase is an open house-style poster display and networking session where researchers, clinicians and investors can get a look at the Coulter-Drexel funded projects that are on their way to commercialization.