by Helena Witzke
Professor of biological sciences Cindy Linn is hoping to finalize development of a compound that decreases the loss of retinal neurons associated with glaucoma. If untreated, damage to retinal neurons and their axons (or nerve fibers) result in the loss of visual field and optic nerve volume—leading eventually to blindness.
Linn’s research looks promising. “The results from these studies could lead to a preventative treatment of glaucoma,” she writes.
The Office of the Vice President for Research has selected Linn for a Technology Development Fund award of $17,700. The grant will be used to help develop a recently filed patent through Western Michigan University.
Commercial-ready technologies often require a working prototype, or a more developed prototype that has been validated for a greater number of conditions or different endpoints than earlier versions. The funds from this award will help Linn bridge the gap that exists between research-stage technologies and technologies that are ready to be licensed by a corporation, or which may be ready for private investment as part of a new enterprise.
Linn is a neurophysiologist whose interests center around the cellular mechanisms involved in visual processing in the vertebrate retina.
The Technology Development Fund is part of the University’s efforts to support faculty research, inventions, and commercialization. These awards are usually granted to projects further along in the research and development process, which require polishing up a sturdy prototype for commercial inspection.