Innovators, meet Funds.

Latest Awardees: Buffalo Innovation Accelerator Fund

The Buffalo Innovation Accelerator Fund is a technology commercialization accelerator fund administered by
the University at Buffalo and supported by Empire State Development. UB and it's partners are proud to announce the following award winners. 


Therapeutic Efficacy of A Drug that Blocks Immune Suppression & Enhances Anti-Tumor Response

Immunotherapeutic drugs have been found to be effective in treating several types of cancer, however, durable responses have been seen in less than 30% of patients.

This award will help advance the development of a novel compound that, when used in combination, has been shown to enhance the efficacy of existing immunotherapy treatments. 

Meet the Innovator

Dr. Richard Bankert

University at Buffalo

Self-Assembling Pores for Biopreservation

The preservation of cells, tissues and organs is commonly required in the fields of biological research and clinical medicine. Cryoprotectant agents (CPAs) are generally used to improve the post-thaw viability of cryopreserved biological samples. Current CPAs are commonly applied at high extracellular concentration in order to assure a reasonable deliver into cells. At high concentrations, these CPAs are often toxic and always require careful removal during post-thaw processing.

This award will help advance a novel pore-forming molecule which temporarily alters cell permeability, allowing low-cost, non-toxic, low concentration CPAs to be effectively delivered across cell membranes.

Meet the Innovator

Dr. Bing Gong

University at Buffalo

Swift Stitch

Internal suturing is a necessary procedure during many surgeries. Sutures must be placed quickly and consistently to manage costs and avoid patient risks. Some surgeons choose to utilize staplers, saving time, but introducing additional complications.

This award will help advance an intracorporeal auto-suturing device which promises to increase surgical efficiency and safety while reducing the suturing learning curve for young surgeons.

Meet the Innovator

Dr. Khurshid Guru

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Active Morphing Wind Turbine Blade to achieve Higher Efficiency, Production, and Reliability

Wind energy technology needs improved energy production and higher reliability to maintain/grow market share and to reduce the cost of its production.  Driving the cost down can be accomplished through design innovation that improves the wind turbine performance (energy production), system reliability, required infrastructure and maintenance. The blades, as the main tools converting the wind energy into mechanical motion, affect all these factors.  Current blade design prevents the wind turbine from being used to full potential, wherein morphing blades could increase production by 11% for a 1.5 MW wind turbine.

This award will help advance the design of a new wind turbine blade with active morphing twist capability to increase wind turbine performance and reliability.

Meet the Innovator

Dr. John Hall

University at Buffalo

Iron-based Organic Polyhedra as MRI Contrast Agents for Glioma Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an important tool used extensively in clinical medicine. Approximately 40 million MRI scans are performed annually in the US, 40% requiring the use of a contrast agent to enhance imaging. All FDA approved contrast agents currently use gadolinium (Gd), a rare earth element once considered safe, but now linked to Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis. The FDA and EMA have become increasingly concerned about Gd deposits in brain tissue, bone and skin of patients with multiple exposures and have placed restrictions on the use of Gd contrast agents.

This award will help advance the development of a new MRI contrast agent which replaces Gd with iron-derived compounds.

Meet the Innovator

Dr. Janet Morrow

University at Buffalo

Development of Acid-Switch ADCs to Treat HER2 Expressing Solid Tumors

Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) are a class of molecules which promise to selectively deliver chemotherapeutic drugs precisely to cancer cells, avoiding toxic side effects typically associated with chemotherapy. Despite significant recent advancements, ADCs, similarly have suffered from off-target toxicity.

This award will help advance a new approach which, through antibody engineering, promises to improve cellular delivery and retention of ADCs, thereby mitigating their toxic effects.

Meet the Innovator

Dr. Dhaval Shah

University at Buffalo


Check out the Innovations and meet the Innovators awarded in Round I of the Buffalo Innovation Accelerator Fund

Partner Institutions

Empire State Development is supporting UB, Roswell Park, Hauptman-Woodward, Kaleida Health and Jacob's Institute to help commercialize technologies generated through research.

University at Buffalo logo.
roswell park comprehensive cancer center logo.
hauptman woodward medical research institute logo.
Kaleida Health.
Jacobs insitute.