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CTL eNewsletter: November 2011

Studying RNA Movement in Cells

Tracking the intracellular movement of RNAs is important in understanding cell functions and disease processes. Monitoring the movements of RNA sequences in cells, however, has long been a challenge to researchers since there is no RNA research tool available that is analogous to the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and its related “rainbow” multicolored protein system which has been available for the study of protein movement for almost two decades. As the various classes of RNA are increasingly used in many in vitro and in vivo applications, a comparably robust, multicolored fluorescent RNA tagging system would be very valuable.

Dr. Samie Jaffrey, of Weill Cornell Medical College, and his colleagues have developed a collection of fluorescent molecules that are the RNA mimics of the GFP and its related “rainbow” multicolored proteins. One of the fluorescent RNA monitoring molecules, named “Spinach”, a fluorescent tag that can be encoded in DNA to produce RNA sequences that will fluoresce in a “spinach green” color (hence the name of the molecule) when bound to a specific small molecule, has been successfully used to monitor the intracellular RNA movement in real time.

This new Cornell technology has the potential to shed new light on intracellular RNA trafficking, and its relations to various medical disorders. For more information on this technology, contact Liyan He at

Cornell Startup Improves Environmental Health & Safety Programs

SafetyStratus, Inc., a cloud computing startup based on licensed Cornell technology distributes software on a subscription basis to organizations that have the need to monitor their environmental health and safety.

Their application, LabcliQ, is an online program for workflow and inspections for environmental health and safety departments. Users can identify compliance issues, provide supporting resources, implement a corrective action program, and generate key information from real time inspection data. LabcliQ is hosted off-site and can be accessed over any web browser, there is no need for customized hardware or software.

The program offers environmental health and safety professionals significant time savings, a higher level of engagement with users in terms of responsiveness and thoroughness with users and stakeholders, and the ability to generate key information and statistics for analysis and records.

SafetyStratus’ software was developed by staff members of Cornell’s Environmental Health & Safety Department. The company was founded by Cornell MBA graduate, Aditya Avadhanula. For more information, visit the company's web site at

2011 Cornell Technology Venture Forum™ and Technology Innovations Gala Reception

CCTEC hosted its fifth annual Cornell Technology Venture Forum™ (CTVF) on October 20, 2011. Cornell inventors shared their emerging technologies with oral and poster presentations. Oral presentations included an online wizard for bird identification, an evanescent wave photonic bioreactor, a device for measuring water status in plants, software to detect deceptive online reviews, a self-calibrating viscosity sensor, how to identify mechanisms of drug action and resistance, biofuels green chemistry, and a new method for prevention and treatment of Type-2 Diabetes. Four Cornell startups, including NOHMs Technologies, Inc., SafetyStratus, Inc., Boa-Bag, LLC, and iCareDx, also pitched their businesses to investors, industry representatives, and Cornell community leaders. The East Hill Office Building Atrium was filled with posters on renewable energy, bioinformatics, cancer diagnostics, sensors, research tools, photonics, and plant varieties for the day-long event. Attendees made useful business contacts and met potential collaborators during the poster viewing sessions and a networking lunch.

Immediately following CTVF, the 2011 Technology Innovations Gala Reception was held to recognize Cornell faculty innovators whose research results have been licensed over the past two fiscal years to industry partners for commercial development. More than 100 guests including faculty innovators and their guests, industry representatives, university trustees, community leaders, a regional representative from Governor Cuomo’s office, investors, and university senior administrators gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the faculty innovators. Cornell Senior Vice Provost for Research and Vice President for Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Research Policy, Robert Buhrman, presented Professor Francis Barany, of Weill Cornell Medical College, the 2011 Ezra Technology Innovator Award for his outstanding innovations in molecular diagnostics, in recognition of the contributions made to the diagnosis of disease.

The next Technology Innovations Gala Reception will be held in October of 2013 to celebrate the success and dedication of Cornell innovators who are committed to making the results of their research useful to benefit the public.

Robert Buhrman, Senior Vice Provost for Research and Vice President for Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Research Policy, presents Professor Francis Barany, of Weill Cornell Medical College, the 2011 Ezra Technology Innovator Award.

Upcoming Events

IP & Pizza™

Date: November 29, 2011
Time: 11:30AM-1:00PM
Location: Physical Sciences Building, Room 401

Join CCTEC for a discussion on what intellectual property is and how, when, what, and why to disclose to CCTEC. Pizza and salad will be served. This event is sponsored by Kalow & Springut LLP.

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: November 30, 2011
Time: 5:45PM-7:15PM
Location: CCTEC Office Suite, 395 Pine Tree Rd, Suite 310

Join CCTEC and MBA candidates from the Johnson School to learn about an exciting Cornell technology over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Patrick Stover, Professor of Nutritional Science, will present "Blood Biomarkers for Diagnosis of Folate-Related Pathologies".

Recent Events

IP & Pizza™

Date: November 16, 2011

CCTEC hosted a discussion on what constitutes an invention and how/why should you disclose it to Weill Cornell Medical College. Pizza and salad was provided. This event was sponsored by the Clinical & Translational Science Center.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Inventions Roundtable™ - Life Science Research Tools

Date: November 18, 2011

This event featured presentations on emerging life science research tools. Invited guests provided feedback in the areas of marketability and applications.

The presentations included:

  • Method to Measure ATP Levels at Specific Localized Spots in Cells
    Tim Ryan, Professor, Biochemistry
  • Identification of Mechanisms of Drug Action and Resistance
    Olivier Elemento, Assistant Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
  • Efficient Identification of Ubiquitination Sites Using Monoclonal Antibody and Proteomic Analysis
    Guoqiang Xu, Postdoc, Pharmacology
  • Method to Design and Apply Short RNA Sequences to Detect Small Molecule Fluorophores in Cells
    Samie Jaffrey, Associate Professor, Pharmacology
  • Mouse with BDNF Val(66)Met Polymorphism
    Francis Lee, Professor, Psychiatry
  • Progranulin Knockout Mouse Models for Studying Frontotemporal Dementia
    Aihao Ding, Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
  • Conditional Knockout Mouse Models of Cereblon Function
    Joe Higgins, Professor, Pediatrics

Click here to view photos from the event.

NYC Emerging Technologies Summit

Date: October 28, 2011

NYC Emerging Technologies Summit showcased life sciences technologies developed at 10 New York City universities and research institutions. The event featured short presentations of more than 20 innovations from researchers at academic and clinical labs who are driving today's most promising, investor-ready innovations. The bioscience technologies ranged from therapeutics to medical devices and are available for commercialization through licensing agreements or creation of new companies. Key attendees included angel investors and venture capitalists as well as business development, licensing, and senior executives from biotech, pharmaceutical, and biomedical companies.

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: October 26, 2011

Angel Martinez, Civil and Environmental Engineering, presented his ocean wave harvesting device, which converts mechanical energy from ocean waves into electricity while attendees enjoyed drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Technology Innovations Gala Reception

Date: October 20, 2011

The 2011 Technology Innovations Gala Reception was held to recognize Cornell faculty innovators whose research results have been licensed to industry partners for commercial development in the last two years.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Cornell Technology Venture Forum™

Date: October 20, 2011

The 2011 Cornell Technology Venture Forum showcased emerging technologies and new Cornell businesses through the form of powerpoint presentations and posters.

To view posters and presentations from the event, click here.

IP & Pizza™, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Date: September 29, 2011

CCTEC and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology held a discussion on intellectual property essentials, including IP ownership, IP protection, and how to keep good lab notebooks. This event was sponsored by Valauskas Corder LLC.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: September 28, 2011

Johnson School MBAs from the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club joined CCTEC professionals to learn about an exciting new Cornell technology over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Jeffrey Lipton of Mechanical Engineering spoke about 3D printing and the Cornell-developed Fab@Home.

Click here to view photos from the event.

BayHelix Reception

Date: September 15, 2011

CCTEC and the BayHelix group (an organization of Chinese-American executives in the life sciences) held a networking reception at the Cornell Club in New York City. This reception was sponsored by Scully Scott Murphy & Presser.