Four Pitt innovation teams—including one headed by McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Steven Little, PhD, a Distinguished Professor, the Chairman of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and the William Kepler Whiteford Endowed Professor in the Departments of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Bioengineering, Immunology, Ophthalmology, and Pharmaceutical Sciences—have been selected to receive commercialization grants from the Chancellor’s Gap Fund in order to accelerate their path from the lab to the market.

Details of Dr. Little’s funded project follow:


  • Project Description: Personalized probiotics for weight management.
  • Principal Investigator: Steven Little, PhD, Swanson School of Engineering.
  • Co-Investigators: Matt Borrelli, Swanson School of Engineering; Abhinav Acharya, PhD, Arizona State University; Jonathan Krakoff, MD, National Institutes of Health.

The Chancellor’s Gap Fund was reauthorized in 2021 to provide critical bridge funding for research projects that have demonstrated strong commercialization potential but require key proof of concept experiments or other data or prototypes in order to attract interest from potential investors or industry partners.

The fund provides grants ranging from $25,000 to $75,000, based on what is needed to advance the project through a significant milestone.  A total of $263,000 was awarded in this cycle.

“The standard of applications remains consistently high, and we look forward to helping these teams not only reach their program goals, but also move along the path to creating significant social and financial impact as a result,” said Peter Allen, PhD, Executive Director, Innovation and Strategy, Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Read more…

Innovation Institute News Release

University Times

University Times