January 25, 2022
SLS SmartBrief South East Life Sciences
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Southeast Spotlight
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the Research Triangle Institute are among the institutions sharing a $170 million NIH grant to study how genetics, lifestyle and other factors can guide personalized nutrition recommendations. Researchers with the Nutrition for Precision Health consortium, which is part of the NIH's broader All of Us Research Program, will also develop algorithms to predict individual responses to food and diet.
Full Story: GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (1/20) 
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SteelSky Ventures, which funds innovative women's health startups, is moving from New York to Atlanta, attracted by the city's technology and health care markets. Founder and General Partner Maria Velissaris decided to make the move while visiting her brother in Atlanta and meeting local entrepreneurs and investors.
Full Story: The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Atlanta Inno (1/18) 
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Kevin Murach, leader of the Molecular Muscle Mass Regulation Laboratory at the University of Arkansas, is co-author on a study showing that exercise can minimize and possibly reverse the aging process in muscles. Northwest Arkansas is becoming a health education hub as construction begins on the Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Full Story: Axios (1/24) 
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Fulmer Instruments, a Birmingham, Ala., startup led by neurosurgeon Benjamin Fulmer, has raised more than $1 million in seed funding to support the development and approval of two medical device modifications. Fulmer says he wants to "be Alabama centric" as the company grows and "do as much of it as we can in the state, including possibly some contract manufacturing in Birmingham or Huntsville."
Full Story: The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Alabama Inno (1/20) 
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The National Center for Cannabis Research and Education at the University of Mississippi's School of Pharmacy will conduct scientific research and offer education on the health effects of medicinal cannabis. Goals include minimizing adverse effects and providing information to health professionals and patients, says NCCRE Interim Director Larry Walker.
Full Story: The Oxford Eagle (Miss.) (1/24) 
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North Carolina-based Thread has acquired InVibe and will incorporate the company's voice data collection platform into its decentralized clinical research platform. Clinical trials using Thread's platform will be able to capture patient and clinician voices for analysis.
Full Story: MobiHealthNews (1/19) 
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Modernizing Regulatory Affairs: Industry Benchmark Study Findings
Only 31% of medtech companies surveyed have a global RIM system in place, with manual processes still present in most areas. Access full report to see how you compare.
Finance and Economics
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is issuing a $15 million grant to fund infrastructure upgrades at the Port of Columbia and support Strategic Biofuels' Louisiana Green Fuels Project. The plant will produce up to 32 million gallons of biodiesel annually from forestry industry waste.
Full Story: The News-Star (Monroe, La.) (tiered subscription model) (1/25) 
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Research Developments
Fresh off the news that a heart from a genetically modified pig was successfully transplanted into a man, the American Journal of Transplantation published a study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham documenting the first successful transplant of kidneys from a genetically modified pig into a person on life support whose kidneys were donated. Researchers at UAB also developed and validated a xenotransplant compatibility test, and lead surgeon Jayme Locke, director of the UAB's Comprehensive Transplant Institute, says the experiment bridges critical knowledge gaps and provided "safety and feasibility data necessary to begin a clinical trial in living humans with end-stage kidney failure disease."
Full Story: Alabama NewsCenter (1/21),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (1/20) 
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A veterinary neurosurgery team led by Avril Arendse, clinical instructor of neurology and neurosurgery at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, created a lifelike 3D-printed model of a 2-year-old dachshund's spine, complete with fracture, to practice an intricate repair surgery. The dog is recovering well, and the grateful owners documented the dog's journey on TikTok.
Full Story: Virginia Tech (1/19) 
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Life Sciences Landscape
At last week's House Agriculture Committee hearing, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack discussed the intrinsic value of creating a circular economy that produces wealth for rural areas. "Biofuels is one example, but there are a multitude of ways in which we can convert agricultural waste products into a wide variety of things beyond renewable energy and fuel, to include chemicals, materials, fabrics, fibers -- again creating opportunities for farmers and additional income sources as well as rural jobs," Vilsack said.
Full Story: Biomass Magazine online (1/20) 
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News from Southeast Life Sciences
Join hundreds of industry leaders, government and higher education officials, biotechnology and pharma executives, medical device, medtech, health IT and life sciences supporters from across America on February 22-24, 2022 for SCBIO 2022 -- South Carolina Life Sciences' Annual Conference delivered in-person as well as virtually.
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Join us on May 25-27 in Atlanta for the 2022 AdvanSE Life Sciences Conference. Registration Opening Soon!
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