Cornell University

Get the latest news on Cornell Technologies, CTL Events, and startups based on licensed Cornell technologies by following CTL on Twitter @Cornell_CTL.

CTL eNewsletter: August 2009

Synthetic Protein Production Cuts Costs

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY - Dan Luo, Cornell Professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering, and colleagues are developing synthetic 3-D DNA polymers in a wide variety of applications. The technology, published in several articles in Nature, has a core focus on protein producing gels (“P-gels”). P-gel could cut protein production costs by an estimated twenty times and rapidly produce proteins up to 300 times more efficiently than existing methods. Currently, proteins produced for pharmaceutical and industrial uses are made using genetically modified bacteria, yeast or mammalian cells. Cell based methods frequently fail, but so far Luo and team have achieved 100% success in producing 16 proteins, including several that are toxic or would otherwise be impossible to make in living cells.

To commercialize P-Gel, Alan Biloski, Ph.D. '82, a senior lecturer in Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, has joined Luo to establish DNANO Systems, LLC, based in Ithaca, NY. DNANO represents DNA + NANOtechnology. The company also seeks to use 3D DNA polymers to create nanostructures with unique properties for use in diagnostics, drug delivery and microelectronics.

One millimeter square pads of P-gel

For more information about P-gel or other technologies developed by Dr. Luo, contact Jeff Fearn at CCTEC at

Parkinson’s Disease Model Mice Help Researchers Evaluate Human Treatments

Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY - There are currently two standard types of treatment for Parkinson’s: medication and a surgical technique called deep brain stimulation. Neither approach, however, cures the disease or can stop its progression as it degrades motor skills, speech, and other functions. Dr. Chenjian Li of Weill Cornell Medical College and his colleagues developed a new mouse model of Parkinson’s disease that enables scientists to study disease pathogenic mechanisms and potential drug treatments.

About a third of all cases of Parkinson’s are caused by mutations in a gene called LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase2 ). Scientists have unsuccessfully tried to recapitulate in mice the symptoms of Parkinson’s by purposefully mutating the native LRRK2 mouse gene. Li’s team took a different approach. Instead of making small mutations in the mouse gene, Li, one of the world’s leading experts in a technology called “bacterial artificial chromosome,” used BAC to introduce a mutant form of the entire human LRRK2 gene into the mouse genome. The team observed that their mice displayed the same symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The transgenic mice developed movement deficit and like human patients, became able to move normally when treated with the drug levodopa. The mouse model will enable researchers to observe the disease in real time, track its progression at a cellular and molecular level, and test drug candidates that can work better and longer than drugs currently in use such as levadopa.

Their research, performed in collaboration with investigators at Columbia University Medical Center and funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, appears in the June 7 issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

The mice are available for licensing. Further information is available by clicking here.


Upcoming Events

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: September 16, 2009
Time: 5:30PM - 7:00PM
Location: East Hill Office Bldg, 395 Pine Tree Rd, Ithaca, NY

Come and learn about an exciting Cornell technology over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Jeevak Parpia, Professor, Department of Physics, will discuss Ubiquitous Micromechanics (MEMS).

Entrepreneurship Seminar Series - IP Horror Stories

Date: September 18, 2009
Time: 2:30PM - 4:30PM
Location: East Hill Office Bldg, 395 Pine Tree Rd, Ithaca, NY

Learn about the ins and outs, the ups and downs, and the ways and means of staying out of IP trouble. Speakers include David Rickerby, Choate Hall & Stewart, and Jonathan Schaffer, Johnson Graduate School of Management.

IP & Pizza™, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Date: September 29, 2009
Time: 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Location: 400 Riley Robb

Want to know the difference between Authorship vs. Inventorship? Come and find out over free pizza!

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: October 5, 2009
Time: 5:30PM - 7:00PM
Location: East Hill Office Bldg, 395 Pine Tree Rd, Ithaca, NY

Come and learn about an exciting Cornell technology over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Walker White, Research Associate in the Department of Computer Science, will present on the topic of Scaling Video Games for Better Playing Experiences. This technology can revolutionize the computer and video game industry.

Cornell Technology Venture Forum™

Date: October 22, 2009
Time: 9:00AM - 8:00PM
Location: East Hill Office Building, 395 Pine Tree Rd Ithaca

The Cornell Technology Venture Forum™ is a one day event that will feature emerging technologies and company presentations and posters. A cocktail reception will follow immediately after the event.

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: November 3, 2009
Time: 5:30PM - 7:00PM
Location: East Hill Office Bldg, 395 Pine Tree Rd, Ithaca, NY

Come and learn about an exciting Cornell technology over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Jonathan Butcher, Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering, will present his "Device for Mechanical Biopsy of Soft Tissue".

Recent Events

Cornell University Reunion

Date: June 4 & 5, 2009

CCTEC participated in the Cornell Reunion Event to share information about Cornell's technology transfer efforts.

Boot Camp

Date: June 4, 2009

Attendees learned about the many issues and challenges involved in starting a company. Panelists of experts discussed the process of starting a company.

Click here to read more.

Click here to view photos from the event.