PHT180 Healthcare Research

PHT180 Healthcare Research

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Featured Research
Emerging IP and Breakthroughs at PHT180

Degenerative Disc Disorder
Degenerative Disc Disease

Karin Wuertz-Kozak, Principal Investigator

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a major source of low back pain, which is not only the leading cause of activity limitation and work absence but also represents a tremendous financial burden to society. Dr. Wuertz-Kozak’s latest project, with incoming funding from NIH, aims to develop a novel, minimally-invasive approach for the treatment of DDD that relies on enhancing the regenerative and anti-inflammatory capacity of extracellular vesicles (EV) derived from mesenchymal stem cells using state-of-the-art gene editing technology. Successful completion of this study will guide future development of EV-based therapy not only for DDD, but for example also for osteoarthritis in the hands, neck, knees, and hips, which could benefit millions of people in the United States every year.

Additional information about Dr. Wuertz-Kozak’s research can be found at In addition, Dr. Wuertz-Kozak is active on Twitter – follow her at @Wuertz-Lab.

Image of DECE variational formulation output
Improving Biomechanics Imaging

Olalekan Babaniyi, Principal Investigator

When time is of the essence, such as immediately after a cancer diagnosis, diagnostic imaging speeds are critical to positive clinical outcomes. Dr. Olalekan Babaniyi's latest research uses a mathematical model known as the direct error in the constitutive equation (DECE) variational formulation, developed by Babaniyi and team, to improve the speed with which a diagnostic image stiffness or softness of tissue can be computed. This could have major implications at the point of care and beyond. Dr. Babaniyi continues to advance his research with a two-year $250,000 NSF LEAPS-MPS awarded in late 2022.

Additional information about Dr. Babaniyi's research can be found at https://people.rit.ed/obsma.

Novel Antibiotic Research image of rhizomes
Novel Antibiotic Research

André Hudson, Principal Investigator

Infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria infect 2.8M people globally and if no action is taken, drug resistant diseases could cause 10M deaths annually by the year 2050. Developing novel antibiotics to combat the drastic rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria is a high priority for the World Health Organization. Dr. Hudson’s recent NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) (R15) aims to identify and characterize biosynthetic gene clusters and products with the goal of extracting anabolic pathways that may actively kill multi-drug resistant pathogens. Specifically, Dr. Hudson is exploring two rhizosphere Isolates to determine their mode of action(s) and molecular target(s) for antibiotic compounds. With his training as a biochemist with specialization in biochemistry and microbiology, Dr. Hudson has secured grants and contracts from NIH, NSF, Bayer Corporation and more. He is widely published and has presented at dozens of conferences and invited talks. 

Additional information about Dr. Hudson’s research can be found at In addition, Dr. Hudson is active on Twitter – follow him @HudsonLabRIT.

PHT180 Affiliated Awards

​National Institutes of Health
  • Gill Tsouri, PI | KGCOE - Electrical & Microelectronic Engineering

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NIH logo

National Institute for Health Research and ​King's College London
National Science Foundation

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Colgate Palmolive

Colgate Palmolive logo

Foundation for Women's Wellness

Foundation for Women's Wellness lOGO

Biological Mimetics, Inc

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Enplas America, Inc.
  • Ke Du, PI | KGCOE - Mechanical Engineering

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Integrated Nano-​Technologies, LLC
  • Ke Du, PI | KGCOE - Mechanical Engineering
  • Michael Schrlau, CO-PI | KGCOE - Mechanical Engineering

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