Microfluidics Platform for Zika Research
University client retained SMI to identify federal funding opportunities for its academic researchers.
Within the university, the Principal Investigator (PI) developed a modular, microfluidics-based device that mimics human organ and tissue interfaces, such as the lung-air interface, the blood brain barrier, or the placenta barrier. SMI worked with the PI to identify life science applications for the technology.
Because of the looming Zika epidemic and the additional federal funding available for Zika virus research, SMI advised the PI to focus his technology development efforts on understanding Zika virus pathogenesis. SMI introduced the investigator to a leading Zika researcher to bolster the team with subject matter expertise. SMI then worked with the PI and other members of the research team to develop a research project for studying how Zika virus crosses human tissue interfaces, and arranged for the PI to present the research project to relevant program officers at the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. This case study demonstrates SMI’s knowledge of current science, research priorities, in-depth familiarity with the research community and connections with funders in the federal government.