Cornew Innovation Fund

The Cornew Innovation Fund is a pilot project program intended to support potentially high value, high risk research at the juncture of multiple disciplines. 

The Cornew Fund has not only led to more than $14M new federal funding but has led to the development of a new class of therapeutics for treating Alzheimer’s disease, new surgical glues, and surprising new insights into the earliest stages of fertilization and embryonic development.

The expectation is that these monies will be spent within one year of receipt and that the awardees will submit a brief report on the work performed for inclusion in the Annual Report of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute.  Awards are made possible through the philanthropy of the CLP Executive Advisory Board, typically on an annual basis with applications solicited in advance of the annual fall board meeting. 

CLP Investigators Awarded
The Design and Synthesis of Prodrug-Procontrast Theragnostic Probes (2008)
Thomas J. Meade, PhD, Chemistry
Song Y, Zong H, Trivedi ER, Vesper BJ, Waters EA, Barrett AGM,Radosevich JA, Hoffman BM, Meade TJ,.  Synthesis and Characterization of New Porphyrazine-Gd(III) Conjugates as Multimodal MR Contrast Agents.  Bioconjugate Chemistry(2010), 21(12), 2267-2275.
Lee, S, Song Y, Hong BJ, MacRenaris KW, Mastarone DJ, O'Halloran TV, Meade TJ, Nguyen ST. Modular Polymer-Caged Nanobins as a Theranostic Platform with Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Relaxivity and pH-Responsive Drug Release. AngeChemie, Int (2010),  49(51),  9960-9964
Strauch RC, Mastarone D J, Sukerkar PA, Song Y,; Ipsaro JJ,Meade TJ, Reporter Protein-Targeted Probes for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.   J Am Chem Soc (2011), 133(41), Society (2011), 133(41), 16346-16349.l
Manus LM, Strauch RC, Hung AH, Eckermann AL, Meade TJ, Analytical Methods for Characterizing Magnetic Resonance Probes. Anal Chemi (2012), 84(15), 6278-6287.
Schultz-Sikma EA, Meade TJ, Supramolecular chemistry in biological imaging in vivo, Edited by Gale PA, Steed JW, Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules toNanomaterials (2012), 4, 1851-1876.
Matosziuk LM, Harney AS, MacRenaris KW, Meade TJ, Synthesis, Characterization, and in vitro Testing of a Bacteria-Targeted MR Contrast Agent. Eur J Inorg Chem  2012 (12), 2099-2107.
Grant Awards:
USAMRMC  W81XWH-10-1-282 5/1/10-4/30/13 Novel Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agents Targeted to Proteins Implicated in Breast Cancer
New Therapeutics for the
Treatment of Parkinson's Disease (2008)
Richard B. Silverman, PhD, Chemistry
Chang CC, Cao S, Kang S, Kai L, Tian X, Pandey P, Dunne SF, Luan CH, Surmeier DJ, Silverman RB. Antagonism of 4-substituted 1,4-dihydropyridine-3,5-dicarboxylates toward voltage-dependent L-type Ca2+ channels Ca V 1.3 and Ca V 1.2. Bioorg Med Chem. 2010 May 1;18(9):3147-58.
Kang S, Cooper G, Dunne SF, Dusel B, Luan CH, Surmeier DJ, Silverman RB. Ca(V)1.3-selective L-type calcium channel antagonists as potential new therapeutics for Parkinson's disease. Nat Commun. 2012 Oct 23;3:1146.
Kang S, Cooper G, Dunne SF, Luan CH, Surmeier DJ, Silverman RB. Structure-activity relationship of N,N'-disubstituted pyrimidinetriones as Ca(V)1.3 calcium channel-selective antagonists for Parkinson's disease. J Med Chem. 2013 Jun 13;56(11):4786-97. 
Kang S, Cooper G, Dunne SF, Luan CH, James Surmeier D, Silverman RB. Antagonism of L-type Ca2+ channels CaV1.3 and CaV1.2 by 1,4-dihydropyrimidines and 4H-pyrans as dihydropyridine mimics. Bioorg Med Chem. 2013 Jul 15;21(14):4365-73.
Grant Awards:
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke  U01NS080409       9/1/12 - 8/31/17  A Novel Calcium Channel Antagonist for Neuroprotection in Parkinson's Disease (Co-Investigator)
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research Agreement 11/14/08; 11/01/08 - 5/31/11  Identification of Novel Calcium Channel Antagonist for Neuroprotection in PD (Role: Co-I; PI: Surmeier)
RJG  Foundation 11/1/09 - 10/31/10   Identification of a Novel L-Type Calcium Channel Antagonist for Neuroprotection in PD (PI: Surmeier)  Co-Investigator
US Serial Number 13/490,591: Assigned to NU; Identifies Cav1.3 as a target for Parkinson’s disease treatment
US Serial Number 13/504,893: Assigned to NU and Cambria; Covers composition of matter
US Serial Number 13/354,156: Assigned to NU; Use of this class of compounds for selective inhibition of Cav1.3
Lung Cancer Screening via
Analysis of Nanoarchitecture of Buccal Mucosa (2008)
Vadim Backman,
PhD, Biomedical Engineering
Roy HK, Hensing T, Backman V. Nanocytology for field carcinogenesis detection: novel paradigm for lung cancer risk stratification. Future Oncol. 2011 Jan;7(1):1-3.
Roy HK, Subramanian H, Damania D, Hensing TA, Rom WN, Pass HI, Ray D, Rogers JD, Bogojevic A, Shah M, Kuzniar T, Pradhan P, Backman V. Optical detection of buccal epithelialnanoarchitectural alterations in patients harboring lung cancer: implications for screening. Cancer Res. 2010 Oct 15;70(20):7748-54.
Grant Awards:
National Cancer Institute  1R01CA155284-02     9/26/11 - 7/31/15 Optical Nanoscale Analysis of Buccal Cells: Transforming Lung Cancer Screening
National Science Foundation   CBET-0939778   8/1/09 - 7/31/11 EAGER: BISH: Biophotonics Technique for Detection of Lung Cancer
National Cancer Institute  U54CA143869  9/15/10-7/31/14 Project 3 (PL: Marko) Coding, Decoding, Transfer and Translation of Information in Cancer.
Commercial Activity:
NanoCytomics, LLC
NSF SBIR Phase I: Partial Wave Spectroscopic (PWS) Microscopy: An Early Screening for Lung Cancer  $150K
Cadmium Interference with
Signaling Pathways in the Mammalian Oocyte (2009)
Thomas V. O’Halloran,
PhD, Chemistry
Teresa K. Woodruff,
PhD, Obstetrics-Gynecology
Kong BY, Bernhardt ML, Kim AM, O'Halloran TV, Woodruff TK. Zinc maintains prophase I arrest in mouse oocytes through regulation of the MOS-MAPK pathway. Biol Reprod. 2012 Jul 1;87(1):11, 1-12.
Bernhardt ML, Kong BY, Kim AM, O'Halloran TV, Woodruff TK. A zinc-dependent mechanism regulates meiotic progression in mammalian oocytes. Biol Reprod. 2012 Apr 19;86(4):114.
Kim AM, Bernhardt ML, Kong BY, Ahn RW, Vogt S, Woodruff TK, O'Halloran TV. Zinc sparks are triggered by fertilization and facilitate cell cycle resumption in mammalian eggs. ACS Chem Biol. 2011 Jul 15;6(7):716-23.
Bernhardt ML, Kim AM, O'Halloran TV, Woodruff TK. Zinc requirement during meiosis I-meiosis II transition in mouse oocytes is independent of the MOS-MAPK pathway. Biol Reprod. 2011 Mar;84(3):526-36.
Kim AM, Vogt S, O'Halloran TV, Woodruff TK. Zinc availability regulates exit from meiosis in maturing mammalian oocytes. NatChem Biol. 2010 Sep;6(9):674-81.
Grant awards:
W. M. Keck Foundation  7/1/08 - 6/30/13  The inorganic signature of life: Signaling pathways in the mammalian oocyte
NIH/NICHD  P01HD021921  9/30/09-8/31/14  Hormonal signals that regulate ovarian differentiation
CBC C2006-00997  6/1/09-5/31/12  Spark Award: Support for an innovative Cryo-STEM for element-specific imaging of cells and tissues
Molecular Basis of Self-Healing in Tissues Containing Histidine-Rich Proteins (2009)
Phillip B. Messersmith,
PhD, Biomedical Engineering
Fullenkamp DE, He L, Barrett DG, Burghardt WR, Messersmith PB. Mussel-inspired histidine-based transient network metal coordination hydrogels. Macromolecules. 2013 Feb 12;46(3): 1167-1174.
He L, Fullenkamp DE, Rivera JG, Messersmith PB. pH responsive self-healing hydrogels formed by boronate-catecholcomplexation. Chem Commun (Camb). 2011 Jul  14;47(26): 7497-9.
Holten-Andersen N, Harrington MJ, Birkedal H, Lee BP,Messersmith PB, Lee KY,  Waite JH. pH-induced metal-ligand cross-links inspired by mussel yield self-healing polymer networks with near-covalent elastic moduli. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 15;108(7):2651-5
Brubaker CE, Kissler H, Wang LJ, Kaufman DB, Messersmith PB. Biological performance of  ussel-inspired adhesive in extrahepaticislet transplantation. Biomaterials. 2010 Jan;31(3): 420-7.
Grant Awards:
NIH/NIDCR           R37DE014193   7/1/11-6/30/16 Biologically Inspired Polymer Adhesives 
NIH/NICHD    RC1DE02702  9/17/09-5/31/12 Self-healing composites via novel biomolecular design and processing
Use of Novel Optics
Technology to Establish
Susceptibility, Resistance and
Recovery Indicators of Stony
Corals to Bleaching (2009)
Vadim Backman,
PhD, Biomedical Engineering,
Luisa Marcelino, PhD, Civil Engineering
Marcelino LA, Westneat MW, Stoyneva V, Henss J, Rogers JD,Radosevich A, Turzhitsky V, Siple M, Fang A, Swain TD, Fung J,Backman V. Modulation of light-enhancement to symbiotic algae by light-scattering in corals and evolutionary trends in bleaching.PLoS One. 2013 Apr 22;8(4):e61492. 
Genome-Scale Identification of Protein Kinase Docking
Interactions (2011)
Eric L. Weiss, PhD, Molecular Biosciences
Weiss EL. Hippo unleashed! Proteome-scale analysis reveals new views of Hippo  pathway biology. Sci Signal.2013 Nov 19;6(302):pe36.
Hsu J, Weiss EL. Cell Cycle Regulated Interaction of a Yeast Hippo Kinase and Its Activator MO25/Hym1. PLoSOne. 2013 Oct 21;8(10):e78334. PMCID:PMC3804511.
Strickland D, Lin Y, Wagner E, Hope CM, Zayner J, Antoniou C, Sosnick TR, Weiss EL, Glotzer M. TULIPs: tunable, light-controlled interacting protein tags for cell biology. Nat Methods. 2012 Mar 4;9(4):379-84.
Nguyen Ba AN, Yeh BJ, van Dyk D, Davidson AR, Andrews BJ, Weiss EL, Moses AM.  Proteome-wide discovery of evolutionary conserved sequences in disordered regions.Sci Signal. 2012 Mar 13;5(215):rs1.
Grant Awards:
Chicago Biomedical Consortium C-035  8/1/12-7/31/14  Genome scale identification of protein docking interactions
Conferring Thromboresistance
to Decellularized Vascular Grafts (2011)
Guillermo Ameer, PhD,
Biomedical Engineering,
Jason Wertheim, MD, PhD
Hoshi RA, Van Lith R, Jen MC, Allen JB, Lapidos KA, Ameer G.The blood and vascular cell compatibility of heparin-modifiedePTFE vascular grafts. Biomaterials. 2013 Jan;34(1):30-41.
Grant Awards:
Wertheim, JA:  2014 NMF Dixon Translational Research  Grant "Development of a Small Caliber Vascular Graft Using a Tissue Engineering Strategy
Using Perturbations of Heavy
Metal Homeostasis to Treat
Nematode-Borne Neglected
Tropical Diseases (2013)
Erik Andersen, PhD, 
Molecular Biosciences
Thomas V. O’Halloran, PhD, 
Iron-Based Molecular MRI
Thermometers for Monitoring
Tumor Ablation Therapy (2013)
T. David Harris, PhD,
Andrew C. Larson, PhD
Jeon I-R, Park JG, Haney CR,Harris TD, Spin crossover iron (ii) complexes as PARACREST MRI thermometers.  Chem. Sci. 2014; 5(6):2461-2465.
Park, JG, Jeon I-R,Harris TD,Electronic effects of ligand substitution on spin crossover in a series of diiminoquinonoid-bridged Feii2complexes.Inorg. Chem. 2015; 54(1)359-369
Development of Alstonine-Based Treatments
for Schizophrenia (2013) 
Karl A. Scheidt,PhD,
Herbert Y. Meltzer, MD, 
Lee A, Younai A, Price CK, Izquierdo J, Mishra RK, Scheidt KA, Enantioselective annulations for dihydroyquinolones by in situ generation of azolium enolates.J. Am. Chem. Soc.2014; 136(30):10589-10592
Identifying Network-Level
Signatures of Tumor-Induced
Macrophage Functional
Heterogeneity (2014)
Neda Bagheri, PhD,
Biomedical Engineering
Joshua Leonard, PhD,
Chemical Engineering
Understanding Targeting and 
Binding of Therapeutic
Nanoparticles to Plasma
Membranes (2014)
Teri Odom, PhD, Chemistry
Igal Szleifer, PhD, Biomedical Engineering
Targeting the Ubiquitin System: Nedd4-1 Ubiquitin Ligase as a Promising Drug Target (2014)
Alexander Statsyuk, PhD, 
Photochemical interrogation of synaptogenesis (2015)
Yevgenia Kozovoristkiy, PhD,
Thomas Meade, PhD,
Exploiting nature’s
pharmacopeia: mellpaladines
as new serotonin antagonists (2015)
Karl Scheidt, PhD, Chemistry
Geoff Swanson, PhD


Towards Elucidating RNA Cotranscriptional Folding Pathways from RNA Polymerase II
Julius Lucks, PhD Chemical and Biological Engineering
Yuan He, PhD Molecular Biosciences


Immunotheranostic Nanostructures for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease
Evan Scott, PhD Biomedical Engineering
Thomas Meade, PhD Chemistry
Vinayak Dravid, PhD Materials Science Engineering