In her words: E-Team grantee Karen McDonald describes her team's speedy ascension

Great news for one of our recent E-Teams! Inserogen, a 2010 E-Team from University of California, Davis, is a grantee of the NSF's new I-Corp program. Inserogen's lead faculty, Karen McDonald, Professor of Chemical Engineering and  Materials Science, told us about her team's progress.

"Our team, Inserogen, was delighted to be selected as one of the 21 university-based teams participating in the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) program.  I-Corps is a new NSF program that is aimed at providing training and opportunities for university-based teams to assess the commercial viability of their previously funded basic research. Our team's technology is a platform that uses tobacco and other plant materials for rapid and cost-effective production of recombinant proteins, such as vaccines or therapeutic proteins.

"Earlier this year, we were fortunate to receive NCIIA funding through the Advanced E-Team program which will allow us to perform a proof-of-concept demonstration for a veterinary vaccine as a potential product target. In August, Lucas and I attended the NCIIA VentureLab workshop in Cambridge, which was taught by James Barlow. VentureLab was a great experience that accelerated our learning by providing tools that helped us better articulate our business concept, as well as to test and refine our business model. Our goal for the I-Corps program is to identify potential markets for our platform technology, assess commercial readiness, talk to potential customers and partners, and further refine our business model."

Pictured, Lucas Arzola and Karen McDonald in the UC Davis greenhouse.