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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Innovation Day held

Optical sciences graduate student Jared Moore created an imager that could revolutionize the way CT scans are conducted. Arizona Cancer Center member Evan Unger sat on the boards of major companies while still conducting research on drugs brought to prostate tumors via an oxygen delivery system.

The UA’s eighth annual Innovation Day highlights the research achievements of students, staff and faculty such as Unger and Moore who stood above the rest to become Innovators of the Year.

“”It’s a great honor and it’s been a great environment to work on the project,”” Moore said. Moore came to the UA for its nationally recognized optical sciences program. Once he earns his doctorate in May, he will go to a company in Washington, D.C., to develop similar technology.

The day began with Leading Edge researchers demonstrating an evolution in technology and innovation through their work. The Innovation Day showcase then highlighted student entrepreneurial efforts utilizing research within the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program and Arizona Center for Innovation.

“”This is a big deal. This is the only Tucson-wide celebration of innovation,”” said Leslie Tolbert, vice president of research. “”The point is to remind that this work is getting done right here in your own backyard.””

Five out of the last eight faculty recipients have been from the Arizona Cancer Center, which utilizes interdisciplinary research work since it’s not staffed with its own faculty, said Sara Hammond, public affairs director of the center.

Hammond said it’s indicative of an interdisciplinary and collegiate approach; something Unger said helped him tremendously with research. Unger said an undergraduate degree in economics helps him straddle the business and research worlds.

He noted that clinical trials represent an important part of his research.

“”I like the clinical translation. I like the thing to be used and be successful,”” he said.

Unger’s 50 percent success rate is impressive, according to Bruce Wright, associate vice president for university research parks. He said the award winners weren’t in a beauty contest but rather the “”enormously complex process”” of researching and then commercializing that process.

 

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