There is a reason why UC Berkeley consistently ranks as one of the top universities for entrepreneurship. The 2023 Spark Award recipients are a prime example of the power of breakthrough research combined with an entrepreneurial campus ecosystem.
This year, the Spark Award call expanded to include UC San Francisco faculty who are collaborating with UC Berkeley faculty, springing forth a robust group of health tech innovators who are ready to take on today’s challenges.
The Bakar Spark Award aims to further cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit among the recipients. With funding, resources, and mentorship, they will be equipped to transform their cutting-edge ideas into practical and marketable solutions. As they embark on their entrepreneurial journey, these talented individuals will not only lead their ventures to success but will also inspire a new generation of aspiring entrepreneurs on campus.
Get to know the new Spark Award recipients and their projects below:
Miles Conrad (UCSF) & Phil Messersmith (UCB), Self-associating polymers for tumor ablation by hydrodissection
Image-guided percutaneous thermal ablation is a minimally invasive alternative to surgical resection of malignant tumors. To address safety concerns associated with this procedure, they developed a hydrogel that is biocompatible, biodegradable, easily injectable due to shear-thinning, mechanically strong enough to displace tissues, and highly viscous and resistant to dissipation away from the deposition site.