Faculty Innovation

Duke Engineering faculty members lead by example, creating start-ups and filing patents for new inventions.

Faculty Start-Ups

Cameron Bass: Founder, MVTrak LLC. MVTrak is a company developing an in-ear device to monitor the severity of head impact to provide information that may be used to assess and prevent concussions.

David Brady: Cofounder, Centice. Centice builds field laboratories for chemical analysis. Centice instruments are used by first responders in drug enforcement and security.

David Brady: CEO, Aqueti. Aqueti builds high resolution cameras for broadcast and consumer markets and provides cloud services for high resolution media.

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David Brady: Applied Quantum Technologies. The company provides order-of-magnitude improvements in cost, size, performance or power consumption for optical sensing systems. AQT merged with Blue Angel Optics, which Dr. Brady founded, in 2008.

Ashutosh Chilkoti: Founder, PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals. PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals has licensed an intellectual property portfolio related to the use of elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) for protein purification, capture, and drug delivery from Duke University. To date, PhaseBio has raised ~ $65 million in venture capital funding. The company develops ELP fusions to improve the stability, bioavailability, activity and ease of administration of proteins and peptides, with the goal of achieving greater potency, fewer side effects and better patient compliance. PhaseBio has launched and completed multiple clinical trials of ELPs fused to peptide drugs for treatment of diabetes and heart disease.

Ashutosh Chilkoti: Cofounder, Sentilus. Sentilus focuses on the use of a “nonfouling” polymer brush technology developed in the Chilkoti Group for detection of protein analytes that radically departs from conventional technology. This polymer coating eliminates the largest source of assay noise—non-specific binding—and thereby maximizes signal-to-noise (S/N) in heterogeneous immunoassays. In an unusually streamlined tech-transfer deal, Sentilus was acquired after only two years by industry giant Immucor.

Ashutosh Chilkoti: Cofounder, BioStealth. BioStealth was born out of Sentilus technology. When Sentilus was acquired by Immucor, they returned all fields of use of the technology outside of human in vitro diagnostics. BioStealth will develop and comnmercialize the nonfouling coating technology in other current areas of interest, inlcuding reasearch diagnostics and tools, veterinary diagnostics, and biomaterials.

Larry Carin: Founder, Signal Innovations Group. SIG creates technology to interpret data and enhance the effectiveness of national defense, public safety, and commercial surveillance systems.

Leslie Collins: Cofounder, New Folder Consulting. The company developed and distributed statistical signal processing tools for decision-making and pattern recognition.

Chris Dwyer: Cofounder, Parabon Nanolabs. Parabon develops therapeutic and forensic products that leverage the power of DNA.

Richard Fair: Assisted in the founding of ALL, Advanced Liquid Logic. ALL was a spinoff from Ricahrd Fair's lab at Duke. The company developed and manufactured digital microfluidics-based research and diagnostic products. In 2013, ALL was acquired by Illumina, Inc., which develops life science tools and integrated systems for analyzing genes.

Warren Grill: Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Deep Brain Innovations (DBI). DBI’s Temporally Optimized Patterned Stimulation (TOPS) technology is being developed to deliver highly efficient and effective brain stimulation to treat neurological disorders.

Warren Grill: Cofounder, NDI Medical. NDI (Neuro Device Innovations) is a hybrid venture capital and commercialization firm focusing exclusively on innovative neurodevice technologies that are intended to restore lost neurological function, prevent damage and reduce the painful effects of disease and injury.

Joseph Izatt: Cofounder, Chairman and Chief Science Advisor, Bioptigen Inc. Bioptigen provides leading edge optical coherence tomography imaging technology for research and clinical diagnostic markets. In June 2015, microscopy and imaging systems company Leica Microsystems acquired Bioptigen, Inc.

Jungsang Kim: Cofounder, Applied Quantum Technologies, Inc. The company seeks applications of optical micro-electromechanical systems in various applications, as well as novel imaging and spectroscopy instrumentation in the visible and x-ray domains.

George Konidaris and Daniel Sorin: Realtime Robotics: Realtime Robotics is developing computer processors design specifically for robotic motion planning. In the proof of concept microchip, the company was able to create motion plans for a robotic arm up to 10,000 times faster than existing approaches while consuming a small fraction of the power. The technology is theoretically capable of motion planning in real-time, and could fundamentally change the way robots are programmed in manufacturing and other industrial applications.

Jeff Krolik: Strad Corporation. The company develops signal processing technology for surveillance and sensing applications.

David Needham: Bio Gyali. Developed proprietary microglassification technology that gently removes water from micro droplet solutions of biologicals, like antibodies, enzymes, and therapeutic proteins. The formed microglassified beads are now protected against degradation so stabilizing the biologicals for storage, transport, and inclusion in a variety of drug delivery formulations. The technology is now in the portfolio of companies at Southeast TechInventures, Inc. (STI) in RTP, a technology accelerator for rapid conversion of scientific breakthroughs into products, services and new technology companies.

Nimmi Ramanujam: Founder, Zenalux Biomedical. Zenalux’s goal is to make optical spectroscopy easy for medical practitioners who are interested in real-time, non-destructive biological tissue diagnostics. Dr. Ramanujam developed the Zenalux technology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and moved to Duke University to apply it in clinical settings.

David Smith: Co-Founder Evolv Technology. Evolv Technology develops security devices for public spaces and events. The stylish, easily relocatable scanning devices may look a bit like traditional x-ray scanners, but use millimeter waves to detect threats without the need for clothing removal and can be tailored to focus on specific threat levels.

David Smith: Co-Founder, Echodyne Corp. By creating the world’s lightest, smallest, and lowest cost high performance electronically scanning radar, Echodyne wants to reinvent the way the world uses radar, from security to drone navigation and autonomous cars.

David Smith: Advisory Board Member, Kymeta. The company leverages Metamaterials Surface Antenna Technology (MSA-T) to create satellite user terminal products.

Adam Wax: Founder and Chairman, Oncoscope. The company is commercializing early cancer detection technologies in the field of optical imaging pioneered by Dr. Wax.