Sklar Named STC.UNM Innovation Fellow for 2011

April 28, 2011 - Department of Pathology

Larry SklarLarry A. Sklar, Regents’ Pro­fes­sor and Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Pathol­ogy at UNM’s School of Med­i­cine, is the 2011 STC.UNM Inno­va­tion Fellow. He was hon­ored at the 8th Annual Cre­ative Awards Recep­tion on April 21. 

The recep­tion rec­og­nizes UNM inven­tors who have received patents and copy­rights for the year.  In addi­tion to being hon­ored as an Inno­va­tion Fel­low, he also received three issued patents this year.  The Inno­va­tion Fel­low is a spe­cial award given to a top UNM inno­va­tor whose body of tech­nolo­gies has made a sig­nif­i­cant social and eco­nomic impact on soci­ety and the marketplace.

The keynote speaker at the Cre­ative Awards, Eugene R. Quinn, Jr. is a U.S. patent attor­ney and the founder of IPWatchdog.com where he wrote about his visit to the Uni­ver­sity of New Mexico.

Sklar has dis­closed 50 tech­nolo­gies and has received 19 patents and copy­rights for inven­tions in the areas of sig­nal trans­duc­tion, cell adhe­sion, leuko­cyte biol­ogy and high through­put tech­nolo­gies for mol­e­c­u­lar assem­bly and drug dis­cov­ery. These inter­ests have led to a total of more than 300 pub­li­ca­tions. His inter­est in flow cytom­e­try as a tool for drug dis­cov­ery led to the devel­op­ment of high-throughput flow cytom­e­try tech­nolo­gies and their appli­ca­tions to drug dis­cov­ery for a num­ber of diseases.

The tech­nolo­gies formed the basis of STC start-up Intel­l­i­cyt Cor­po­ra­tion, a com­pany that has devel­oped the Sklar’s and co-inventor Bruce Edwards’s Hyper­Cyt® Sys­tem sam­ple han­dling tech­nol­ogy that allows flow cytome­ters to screen sam­ples faster and with greater accu­racy and cost effi­ciency than con­ven­tional approaches. 

Using this pro­pri­etary autosam­pler and data-analysis soft­ware with stan­dard cytome­ters, researchers can per­form larger exper­i­ments with more sam­ples (96– or 384-well microplates) and more repli­cates; screen com­pound libraries against cells in sus­pen­sion, and quickly visu­al­ize pat­terns and make deci­sions on microplate data as it is being ana­lyzed.  The com­pany is sell­ing its prod­ucts to phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies biotech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies and research insti­tutes around the world.

At the Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico Cen­ter for Mol­e­c­u­lar Dis­cov­ery these tech­nolo­gies are used in sup­port of dis­cov­ery by inves­ti­ga­tors in con­junc­tion with the NIH Mol­e­c­u­lar Libraries Ini­tia­tive, the Can­cer Cen­ter, and the Clin­i­cal and Trans­la­tional Sci­ence Cen­ter. As PI and Direc­tor of the UNM Cen­ter for Mol­e­c­u­lar Dis­cov­ery for the NIH Roadmap Mol­e­c­u­lar Libraries Ini­tia­tive, Sklar has made an effort to cre­ate an envi­ron­ment that sup­ports col­lab­o­ra­tion and inno­va­tion by includ­ing fac­ulty, staff, and stu­dent col­leagues in the devel­op­ment and appli­ca­tion of tech­nol­ogy for small mol­e­cule discovery.

Since 1998, this team of researchers has gen­er­ated more than $40 mil­lion in fund­ing in sup­port of tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment in New Mex­ico and small mol­e­cule dis­cov­ery col­lab­o­ra­tions world-wide. The fund­ing will also sup­port build­ing ren­o­va­tion at UNM to allow colo­cal­iza­tion of small mol­e­cule dis­cov­ery tech­nolo­gies in 13,000 square feet of con­tigu­ous space. These activ­i­ties have been recently rec­og­nized by the New Mex­ico Tech­nol­ogy Coun­cil Award for Tech­nol­ogy Excel­lence in 2009 and Sklar’s elec­tion as Fel­low of the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Med­ical and Bio­log­i­cal Engi­neers in 2011.

This story was written By Karen Wentworth and originally appeared in UNM Today.