Research Foundation News

January 12, 2021

6 Purdue innovators advance their technologies through Trask funding

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Six Purdue University researchers have received a total of $208,628 from the Trask Innovation Fund to help their labs commercialize their innovations.

The fund is a development program established to support projects that advance the commercial value of Purdue intellectual property. The fund makes awards twice a year to aid faculty and staff with their patented innovations that are being commercialized through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.

There are three Trask Innovation Fund tracks: Innovation Sparks for Life Science (life science), Innovation Sparks for Physical Sciences (physical science) and Commercialization Partner Spark (commercialization).

The Purdue researchers receiving funding this round are:

  • Jean Chmielewski, cell penetrating antibacterial peptides for treatment of serious lung infections (track: life science)
  • Arun Bhunia, authentication of listeria adhesion protein (LAP)-mediated drug delivery across the epithelial barrier (track: life science)
  • Na Lu, prototyping piezoelectric sensing device for real-time concrete strength monitoring (track: commercialization)
  • Pedro Irazoqui, a wearable alerting device for monitoring impending SUDEP risk through multiple biomarkers (track: commercialization)
  • Paul Robinson, handheld device for real-time detection of pathogens, toxins and contaminating chemicals for biodefense and food analysis (track: physical sciences)
  • Jeffrey Youngblood, processing of near-minimum viable product prototype for biodegradable packaging from cellulose nanofibrils (track: physical sciences)

“Even during a global pandemic, researchers created many technologies worthy of OTC’s investment to develop solutions through the Purdue commercialization ecosystem and Purdue’s growing Discovery Park District,” said Abhijit Karve, director of business development for OTC.

Purdue inventors who are prepared to move their innovations to market have until Feb. 19 to apply for funding through the Trask Innovation Fund.

All Purdue faculty, staff and researchers who have submitted a disclosure to OTC are eligible to submit proposals.

To learn more about these and other Purdue technologies, contact OTC at or visit the OTC Inventions page at

About Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities through commercializing, licensing and protecting Purdue intellectual property. The office is housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Discovery Park District, adjacent to the Purdue campus. In fiscal year 2020, the office reported 148 deals finalized with 225 technologies signed, 408 disclosures received and 180 issued U.S. patents. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Contact for more information.      

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at

Writer: Chris Adam, 

Abhijit Karve,

Research Foundation News

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