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ILSE announces winners of Translational Research Competition

October 26, 2023

Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship Announces Winners of the $50,000 Translational Research Competition

UNION, N.J. — The Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship (ILSE) at Kean University awarded prizes totaling $50,000 to three research groups investigating new approaches to breast milk preservation, inhibiting Salmonella carriage in poultry, and treatments for immune deficiencies. Ten finalists vied for the top prizes in ILSE’s inaugural Translational Research Competition, held Tuesday, October 17, at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. The winners will receive a cash award and a customized package of services and support to move their technologies through the development process.

The award winners are:

  • First place – Justin Silpe, Ph.D., Princeton University/PumpKin Baby, developing technologies for preserving human breast milk
  • Second place – Craig Altier, DVM, Ph.D., Cornell University/QuorAgra, developing novel approaches addressing salmonella infections in poultry
  • Third place – Shruti Kaul from Lactiga, developing technologies to combat immune deficiency

Through this competitive event, these research programs were chosen as promising technologies for translation and commercialization,” said Keith Bostian, Ph.D., ILSE CEO and associate provost for science and technology at Kean University. “The ILSE research team and our professional service firms will be working with the winners to develop robust plans to advance these technologies further.

The winners will each receive direct and in-kind services such as assay development; proof-of-concept experiments that enable funding; technical, scientific, and business advising; startup assistance; access to instrumentation and core facilities; and product and commercialization support for grant writing. Other services include intellectual property strategy and review, accounting, banking, and corporate finance.

The investments ILSE is making in these technologies and in these researchers are significant,” said Thomas Richardson, Ph.D., ILSE
president. “Researchers, startups and entrepreneurs often need more than simple funding. This program was designed to match promising technologies with development and commercialization experts at ILSE; intellectual property leaders at Fox Rothschild and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; startup banking at Fulton Bank; and numerous other partners. We are especially grateful to the Foundation for Health Advancement and the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology for their support and sponsorship.

The competition featured the following panel of experts as judges:
– Stephen Chambers, Ph.D., General Partner, SOSV and Managing Director, IndieBio
– Peter Butch, Partner, Fox Rothschild
– Sue Porterfield, Ed.D., Vice President of Research, Kean University
– Kelly Jeng, Venture Associate, Foundation Venture Capital Group
– Mahako Etta, Program Manager, New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology
– Pamela Demain, Senior Vice President of Business Development, NImmune Biopharma

About Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship
The Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship (ILSE) at Kean University is a non-profit organization located in Union, N.J., USA. Located in Kean’s STEM building, ILSE provides incubator space and accelerator services to life science companies and is also a science-driven and translational research institute working in partnership with major academic, non-profit, and corporate organizations, and with entrepreneurs and regional institutions. ILSE is also an accelerator in the CARB-X Global Accelerator Network and provides knowhow, diagnostics expertise, business strategy and other support to CARB-X’s growing portfolio of innovative antibacterial development projects. Visit

About Kean University
Founded in 1855, Kean University is one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving more than 16,000 students. The University’s six undergraduate colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers six doctoral degree programs and more than 70 options for graduate study leading to master’s degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union, Toms River, Jefferson and Manahawkin, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable and accessible world-class education.

Thomas Richardson, Ph.D.
President, ILSE
[email protected]

September 23, 2023

ILSE announces Translational Research Competition leading to financial awards and accelerator services

ILSE Translational Research Competition The Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship is holding the inaugural Translational Research Competition on October 17, 2023. Join us as academic and industry scientists […]