NSF Grant to Support Professor's, Graduate Student's Interdisciplinary Research

Steve Tung
University Relations

Steve Tung

College of Engineering professor Steve Tung and microelectronics-photonics graduate student Bo Ma have received a National Science Foundation I-Corps grant to explore the commercialization of the pair's nanofluidic system for DNA sequencing. Paul Mlakar, an instructor for the Sam M. Walton College of Business, is the business mentor for the grant.

"This project is based on a patented technology developed with the support of a prior NSF grant," Tung said. "We're glad NSF sees the value and importance of the technology to the society and agrees to sponsor the first step of the commercialization process."

Tung and Ma's project is aimed at developing and commercializing a fast and low-cost DNA sequencing technique that contributes to the advancement of fundamental medical research in biomarker discovery and oncology studies. The project is also intended to contribute to the future development of personalized medicine, which relies on treating individual patients, based on their unique genomic composition. The pair's nanofluidic-based DNA sequencer is a direct sequencing technique that can be significantly more cost effective than existing commercial methods.

Tung and Ma anticipate completing the work associated with the $50,000 grant in June 2018.


Amanda Cantu, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education
479-575-5809, amandcan@uark.edu


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