Von Liebig Center helps professors at UCSD market their discoveries
By Terri Somers / February 2, 2007

When UCSD engineering professor Yu-Hwa Lo discovered he could make a flat zoom lens by changing fluidic pressure in the lens, he knew it might have commercial applications.

Through word of mouth at the University of California San Diego, Lo had heard that professors could get help commercializing their discoveries through the William J. von Liebig Center, a grant-making nonprofit affiliated with the university’s Jacobs School of Engineering.

So he submitted an application for funding from the center to help him further develop the lens for use in eyeglasses.

His application was rejected.

The center’s panel of scientists and business executives didn’t think that Lo’s discovery would be marketable or profitable to the eyeglasses industry. The panel members suggested that Lo think about other applications for his lens.

Then they kept on him for months, through e-mails, phone calls and casual conversations when they saw him around campus.

Three months later, Lo applied for funding to develop the lens further so it could be used in camera phones.

“It was a hit, everyone liked it and I got $50,0000,” Lo said.

The center also gave Lo an adviser, Tim Rueth, who has a background in the development of integrated circuit design and wireless systems. Rueth worked his way up to vice president of strategic technology for Qualcomm and has been involved in business development and angel investing.

With the advice of Rueth and other von Liebig Center advisers, Lo turned his technology into Rhevision, a San Diego-based company that is further developing the lens for cell phones and other markets. The CIA’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel, is a major investor.

Lo is one of many professors the von Liebig Center has helped make commercial use of their discoveries.

Fifteen von Liebig-supported projects have been converted into startup companies. In the past two years alone, start-up companies that received von Liebig support have raised more than $10 million in capital.

And even more discoveries have been licensed to telecommunications, biotechnology and other industry companies that are using the UCSD science to make new products or make their existing products better.

The center, started with a $10 million grant, has awarded a total of $2.4 million to 56 projects. An additional 25 projects have benefited from the center’s advisers.

The return on investment has climbed steadily.

The revenue UCSD received from the commercialization of discoveries out of the Jacobs School of Engineering has grown from $57,563 in 1999 to $602,713 in 2004, the most recent year for which figures were available.

The center is the brainchild of Bob Coon, former Jacobs School dean. Coon thought the engineering school was not seeing enough of its science find life in the commercial world, said Paul Kedrosky, the center’s executive director.

“As a public university, you kind of have the obligation to get stuff out for commercialization,” Kedrosky said.

And engineering is a natural for commercialization, he said, because it tries to solve real problems. But the engineering school faculty are teachers and scientists, which is a much different skill set than entrepreneurs. In all their years of schooling, many never learn how to commercialize their work.

In 1999, the engineering department started discussing how they could bridge that education gap.

There was a decision to keep the project focused on the Jacobs school, to avoid bureaucracy and fiefdoms. The way to success, the center’s organizers thought, was through a grass-roots effort: get the faculty to endorse it, build strong word of mouth and show usefulness.

By 2001, there was a plan but no money.

The university started canvassing the country for a special kind of philanthropist. Someone who wasn’t interested in starting a scholarship fund or paying for a building that would be named after him or her.

Finally, the university team learned about the William J. von Liebig Foundation in Orlando, Fla. The foundation was created by its namesake after he made hundreds of millions of dollars by selling his medical device company to Boston Scientific.

The $10 million the foundation decided to give UCSD allowed the engineering school to create the nation’s first commercialization center.

In grants of no more than $75,000, the von Liebig Center aims to foster a business incubator on campus. The scientists – only UCSD faculty are eligible – don’t receive the entire grant at once. They must meet milestones set by the advisers, to become eligible for the next grant installment.

When that funding runs out, they can apply for another grant from the center.

The money is helpful, said Lo and other faculty members who have worked with the center. It’s often hard to get a government grant to fund commercialization.

But even more useful, faculty members said, is the advice they receive from the volunteer adviser who is assigned to each project. The advisers, who hail from life sciences, software and defense industries, spend several days a month working with the center.

One of them is Steve Flaim, a Ph.D in cardiovascular physiology who worked on the first calcium channel blocker for Johnson & Johnson, before spending many years in San Diego’s biotech industry.
Flaim retired several years ago and quickly found it boring. He began consulting for biotechs. He also became involved in Tech Coast Angels, a group of individuals that help fund start-up companies.

“I like the idea of seeing new technologies emerge,” Flaim said. “I also like helping bright young innovators avoid the problems that we’ve all made that consume lots of energy, money and time.”

Flaim is now trying to help UCSD’s dean of engineering get the medical school more involved with the engineering department and the von Liebig Center.

The service of the advisers, Kedrosky said, is priceless: “You can get money from a lot of places, but good advice is hard to find.”

Lo’s adviser, Rueth, talked to his friends in telecommunications and crunched numbers to validate the professor’s idea to target the cell phone market.

Connections made by Rueth and the von Liebig Center also helped Lo find the Center for the Commercialization of Advanced Technology, a federally funded program that also helps develop innovative technology. CCAT gave Lo two more $75,000 grants to work out the kinks needed to commercialize his technology.

In 2004, Lo founded Rhevision around the technology. He asked Rueth to lead it.

Rueth has since used his contacts, including those he made as a member of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels, to recruit investors. Rueth won’t talk about how much investment the company has acquired. Rhevision just leased a building in Sorrento Valley where five employees are working to improve the lens technology. Rueth expects to have 20 employees by year’s end.

Lo is now an adviser to the company.

Not all discoveries are turned into companies.

Kenneth Vecchio, a professor of materials science and engineering, has received von Liebig Center grants to develop his inventions to a point where companies would be interested in buying the rights to it.

One of Vecchio’s discoveries was an iron-based amorphous steel that has a high level of dent resistance and elasticity, making it a good product for sporting goods and personal electronic equipment. A $50,000 grant enabled Vecchio to demonstrate the material could be made at a price that undercut another product on the market.

At that point of development, the von Liebig projects are often handed over to the university’s Tech Tips Office, which makes sure the technology has patent protection and looks for companies that might be interested in licensing it.

The von Liebig Center can also play a role in shopping around for licensees.

For instance, it hosted an event that allowed Vecchio to present his steel project to industry. Someone from the audience immediately approached him about possibly licensing the technology.

“The von Liebig Center’s ties to the industrial community are priceless, because the advisers here have conversations on a daily basis with all different types of potential partners,” Vecchio said.

He is currently in talks with companies interested in another technology he has developed, using the chemical properties of shells to create a bone filler.

“The university has helped me learn more about industry. . . . It’s really affected how I view what I do and has me keeping an eye toward whether or not what I’m doing has commercial appeal,” he said.

The opportunity created by the center has not been lost on other universities. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Southern California now have similar programs.

“Industry starts with innovation, not entrepreneurs. And that’s exactly what the center is helping the business community access,” said Duane Roth, who heads Connect, a nonprofit that helps San Diego start-ups with professional guidance and channels to funding.

With relatively little bits of funding and a very low profile, the center fuels new projects, new jobs and helps keep San Diego’s industries on the cutting edge, said Joseph Panetta, who heads Biocom, a regional biotech industry group.

“Places like Florida say that they want to create a life sciences community like San Diego’s and think all that they have to do is attract some venture capital and create a couple of companies and it will happen,” Panetta said. “But they really don’t have a clue to the depth of what we have going on behind the scenes here, with programs like the von Liebig Center, where industry veterans help other people avoid making mistakes, and create the networks and connections needed to succeed.”

Paul Kedrosky
Exec Director
Phone: (858) 822-6777
Fax: (858) 822-5959
Building/Room: Bio-Engineering Bldg 006

dr. paul kedrosky – venture partner

Paul joined Ventures West in 2005 and brings technology and market experience in such areas as open-source software, consumer technologies, broadband communications, semiconductors, and medical devices. He has more than 15 years of experience with early-stage companies in various roles, including founder, investor, analyst, and director. He has served on a half-dozen private company boards, and he currently serves on the boards of directors of Marqui Communications and Dabble DB, in the latter of which he led the first investment round.

Paul has been involved in the formation and/or success of many technology companies, including ActiveState (sold to Sophos), StockPickr (sold to, NetSift (sold to Cisco), and others. He has been the Executive Director of a pre-seed fund in San Diego out of which has come 19 companies, many of which have attracted subsequent venture investment, and all of which are based on world-class intellectual property in diverse areas, ranging from life sciences to materials and software.

In addition, Paul was President and founder of GrokSoup, the first hosted blogging company. Paul founded that company in 1999, and grew it to be the largest in the market by early 2001.

Before starting GrokSoup, Paul created and led the technology equity research practice at HSBC James Capel, a multinational brokerage firm. Transactions with he was involved created more than a billion dollars in public-market value.

Paul is an often-cited authority on technology, finance and markets. He has written and lectured extensively on these subjects, with columns and quotations in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times,, and many other publications. He is a sought-after commentator who appears regularly on CNBC, as well other media outlets. Paul wrote the widely-cited “Feeding Time” for Harvard Business Review, an article which presaged the current era of realtime technologies, syndication, and distributed content.

Paul earned a B. Engineering from Carleton University, an M.B.A. (Finance) from Queen’s University, and a Ph.D. in Information Technology and Economics from the University of Western Ontario. He divides his time between La Jolla, California, and Vancouver, British Columbia.



Rapid and Accurate Screening of Cancerous Cells in Biopsy Samples by a Protein-based Biosensor with TAT-HA2 Method.
PI: Shu Chien
Chien plans to establish the technology needed to develop an efficient screening test based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy to detect cancerous cells in clinical biopsy samples.
Chien’s group has previously developed a FRET biosensor that enables the visualization of specific tyrosine kinase activity, called Src, in live cells with high temporal and spatial resolution. The activity of Src is closely correlated with early carcinogenesis. Proof-of-principle studies have demonstrated that the Src biosensor can accurately identify cancer cells mixed with normal cells, and recent studies have also revealed that HIV-1 TAT protein and a peptide derived from the influenza virus hemagglutinin protein (HA2) can facilitate priming of biopsy samples for FRET analysis. The grant will enable Chien to increase the efficiency, speed, and accuracy of the promising cancer-detection tool.

Development of a Filter System for Removal of Humoral Cell Activators in Severe Cardiovascular Diseases
PI: Geert W. Schmid-Schoenbein
Professor Schmid-Schoenbein and his team have completed the examination of several filter devices to remove inflammatory mediators from plasma. The rate of clearance was found to be optimal during use of a glass-fiber filter. Subsequent tests in a rat hemorrhagic shock model showed no improvement in survival, but analysis indicated that (a) there may be complement and prothrombotic enzyme activation in the plasma on the glass filter, and/or that (b) the rate of filtration by collection of individual blood samples from the femoral vein needs to be accelerated and replaced by a continuous plasma filtration process. With the von Liebig Center funding, the researchers will conduct studies they hope will help establish the feasibility of a filtration technology to remove inflammatory mediators from plasma. Schmid-Schonbein’s team will filter the plasma in the presence of a protease inhibitor to block complement and thrombotic cascade activation and minimize complement activation during the filtration process. The team will test whether the glass filter still eliminates the inflammatory mediators in the presence of protease inhibitors under in-vitro conditions, and whether filtration with the modified glass filter with protease inhibitor serves to reduce the level of inflammatory mediators in a rodent model of shock, improve blood pressure and survival.

Handheld Self-Contained Alveolar Gas Analyzer for Investigating Lung Disease”
PI: John West
Measuring oxygen and carbon dioxide in the depths of the lung – so-called alveolar gas – typically requires cumbersome equipment that is not portable. Professor West — who is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Physiology in the UCSD School of Medicine — has already constructed a crude proof-of-concept device with only an oxygen analyzer, and it successfully tracked the changes in alveolar oxygen when a subject traveled to the UC White Mountain Research Station, altitude 3800 meters. The purpose of this new project is to build a full prototype with both O2 and CO2 analyzers and the appropriate electronic circuitry. West believes the handheld, self-contained alveolar gas meter has potential commercial value because it would permit non-invasive testing, notably in the hospital emergency room to assist in the diagnosis of various respiratory diseases, and also in a paramedical setting at a road accident where injury of the chest wall is suspected.

In Vivo Efficacy of Stratified Cartilage Tissue
PI: Robert Sah
In his second project award from the von Liebig Center to date, Professor Sah and his team will test a new way to engineer cartilage tissue for joint repair and replacement, after developing in 2001 a method of creating cartilaginous tissue constructs through fabrication of a tissue with stratification, localizing specialized cells at the tissue surface. These cells express the functional marker molecule thought to be critical for lubrication. In the past year, Sah’s group has developed methods for testing the efficacy of these implants, and the von Liebig Center funding will allow them to carry out the tests in vivo in adult mini-pigs, to determine whether such stratified constructs are better than the established microfracture type of repair. Positive results could stimulate further industrial interest, and pave the way for immediate applications in animals (e.g., dogs, horses) as well as human clinical trials.

Expansion of UCSD Pattern Recognition Methodology for Prediction of Biological Interactions
PI: David Gough
Dr. Gough and his colleague, Dr. Joel Bock, have applied for a patent on a new pattern recognition methodology that would speed up the process of detecting possible interactions among millions of proteins and inferring their biological functions. The methodology is for predicting protein-protein interactions, and employs an algorithm that can be trained to recognize interactions in a limited set of known interaction pairs. The algorithm can then be applied to a larger set of proteins of unknown interactions to predict interactions with quantifiable accuracy. This method has been applied successfully to proteins of several different organisms based on training information available on the web. The method has major advantages in predictive capability and computational economy over other approaches, and is a disruptive technology. The von Liebig grant will allow the team to (1) expand the application of this technology to protein-protein interactions in a broader range of organisms, and (2) explore its application to predict interactions between other types of biomolecules. These studies will solidify the foundation of the UCSD intellectual property and may lead to other inventions.

Electric Field Induced Fluctuation of Quantum Dot and Fluorescent Quencher Probes for High Sensitivity Genotyping, Gene Expression and Infectious Agent Detection
PI: Michael Heller
Efforts to detect infectious agents and other bioterrorism threats are stymied by the ongoing difficulty of doing rapid genetic identification and eliminating the need for the time-consuming (and expensive) step common to all current methods: amplification of the DNA/RNA target through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Professor Heller is proposing a novel electric field mechanism by which a combination of a fluorescent nanoparticle (quantum dot) and quencher fluorophore can used to detect very low levels of target DNA/RNA sequences in complex samples. The proposal involves the development of pairs of fluorescent nanoparticles (i.e., quantum dots) and fluorescent quencher probes which can selectively hybridize to a target DNA sequence. As part of a new process, Dr. Heller’s team will apply an oscillating electric field (DC or AC) to the sample which causes the fluorescent nanoparticle and quencher probe combination that is hybridized to the target DNA sequence to produce an oscillating fluorescent response. This oscillating fluorescent system can now be easily detected even among thousands of non-specifically bound fluorescent particles. The endpoints of this research will be to optimize the performance of selected donor/quencher pairs prior to commercialization, and Heller says it is likely, given that the experimental design has been finalized, that this technology will be ready for market in less than one year.

Efficacy of Stratified Cartilage Tissue for Treating Articular Defects
PI: Robert Sah
The goal of Professor Sah’s project is to engineer cartilaginous tissue in novel and effective ways for joint repair and replacement. Current therapies are limited by lack of donor tissue and a lack of prosthesis durability for active patients, and the current generation of engineered cartilage. Sah has already invented Methods to Engineer Stratified Cartilage Tissue (disclosed in 2001 and with a patent application in progress), which demonstrated the ability to tailor cartilage to have cells at a surface producing SZP (Superficial Zone Protein), a molecule critical for lubrication. In this project, Sah and his team will conduct high-risk in vivo experiments in an attempt to establish key scientific concepts and experimental models, relating the presence of SZP to maintenance of cartilage health, and conversely, the loss of SZP to joint deterioration. If successful in showing the association between loss of SZP and the failure for repair, the value of the earlier invention will increase greatly, because it will be established that having SZP-producing cells at a surface will most resemble normal cartilage. Also, an in vivo model would be established for future studies that will directly test the therapeutic efficacy of SZP-based therapies and pave the way for future clinical trials.

In-Silico Modeling for Bioengineering and Medicine
PI: Andrew McCulloch
In systems biology, sufficient structural and cellular data are becoming available to develop predictive computational engineering models of the physiological function of the heart and other organs. The PI already has a copyrighted software package called Continuity, used by academic researchers for in-silico modeling. The proposed project is to convert that package to a form suitable for licensing to a third party as a platform for the development of commercial software tools for in-silico modeling in biomedical applications. The project will generate example data sets that demonstrate the application of the software to medical device design, surgical procedures, diagnostic imaging and drug discovery. Because of the high costs, regulatory requirements and social pressures of in-vivo testing, in-silico modeling is an attractive element of the medical device and drug development pipelines that could decrease costs, reduce development times and improve success rates in the development of FDA-approved therapeutic products. Continuity is a scientific and engineering research tool with proven commercial applications, but it is not yet in a general-purpose format. This project will enhance the prospects of licensing it for commercialization and sale in the medical device, surgical planning, diagnostic imaging and drug discovery industries.

Development of Filter System for Humoral Cell Activators in Severe Cardiovascular Diseases
PI: Geert Schmid-Schoenbein
The project aims to develop a system to filter blood in shock patients, to eliminate humoral inflammatory mediators (toxic protein fragments). In the absence of a pharmacological response to shock, the only current alternative for blood filtration in shock patients is plasmaphoresis, which removes all components of the blood, regardless of cell toxicity. The filter system will be designed with specific characteristics that are optimized for binding of protein fragments. It will be tested in two steps; initially under in-vitro conditions with toxic protein fragments generated in the laboratory from homogenized tissue and in a secondary sequence of experiments it will be tested in rodents subjected to an experimental form of shock. The design objective is to achieve a greater than 90% reduction in the toxic protein fragment level in a living animal under conditions of hemorrhagic shock.

Development and Application of Biosensors to Monitor Kinase Activity with High Temporal and Spatial Resolution in Live Cells
PI(s): Shu Chien and Yingxiao Wang
Chien and Wang aim to establish the technology to monitor the activity in live cells of specific kinases, and to apply it to different physiological and pathological conditions, especially for the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer. Kinases play a crucial role in a variety of cellular processes, including cell division, angiogenesis, motility, and adhesion. Chien and Wang have developed a biosensor capable of detecting kinase activity in live cells based on an optical technology which allows the real-time measurement of kinase activity with high temporal and spatial resolutions in live cells. Preliminary experiments have demonstrated that this biosensor reports kinase activity with high degrees of specificity and sensitivity. With the von Liebig grant, they will conduct proof-of-concept research on this biosensor and its potential as a powerful tool to efficiently and conveniently diagnose the different developmental stages of cancers, e.g. in a biopsy or a pap smear sample.

Computer Science and Engineering

ActiveCity – Location-based, Advertising-supported Services via Mobile Phones
PI: William Griswold
Griswold is developing a mobile phone application called ActiveCity. Based on the location, time, day, and the personal profile of a phone user, ActiveCity will keep the user apprised of nearby relevant opportunities. The application would provide reminders and suggestions for shopping opportunities, coupled with online coupons and multimedia advertising. Additionally, the application could advise of friends and family members who are nearby. Griswold’s group has developed technologies for PDAs and mobile phones for performing low-cost location-based computing that has the potential to be highly portable and robust.

The group also has developed market models with von Liebig Center students, and Griswold is developing an operational demonstration of an ActiveCity mobile phone application based on the market analysis developed by the students.

HAP: A Software Tool for Identifying the Genetic Basis for Human Disease
PI: Eleazar Eskin
With the explosion of genomic sequence data and the completion of the human genome project, much of the progress in understanding the genetic basis of disease relies on computational analysis of the genomic data, including data on the variation in genes associated with a disease for a population of individuals. Understanding the genetic basis of disease involves two steps: determining the functional variants in each gene locus that is linked to the disease and the effect of functional variants on the regulation and gene products of the gene; and understanding how these intermediate phenotypes affect disease outcomes. Using this information, researchers can identify subtypes of the disease which are candidates for different drug response. Eskin’s group has developed a powerful piece of software for performing this analysis – inputting genotypes and outputting haplotypes for each individual. The two-year-old HAP Webserver ( ) has already processed over 4,000 datasets from researchers around the world. In early 2005, a new version will be released, and articles in several high-profile publications will highlight the project. Eskin sees strong commercial potential among pharmaceutical and biotech companies on top of the public-domain availability of the HAP Webserver for non-commercial and research purposes. The von Liebig Center funding will allow the group to work on potential commercial uses of the software.

Overcoming Information Overload by Measuring Message Quality Automatically
PI: Charles Elkan
Professor Elkan is developing software to measure the quality of messages and documents automatically, and other software to enable a web server to give faster responses to high-priority users. The first software can assess documents in milliseconds, and developers say the technology “scales easily to millions of documents and millions of users.” The von Liebig funding will help Elkan commercialize the first application based on the technology – to financial message boards. Elkan, an expert in data mining, expects that the software will benefit major service providers, such as MSN, AOL, and Yahoo. He also sees great potential for the technology benefiting many other companies in a wide variety of market segments.

High-level Synthesis Using Aggressive Parallelization of System C Code
PI: Rajesh K. Gupta
There have been numerous attempts in the past at creating an effective high-level synthesis tool for designing integrated circuits directly from a behavioral language. While each of them has its own merits, Gupta and his team (in collaboration with Alex Nicolau and Nikil Dutt at UC Irvine) have taken a novel approach to this challenge by using aggressive code parallelization and motion techniques to discover circuit optimizations beyond what is possible with traditional approaches. They have developed a number of speculative code motion techniques and dynamic compiler transformations that optimize the circuit quality in terms of cycle time, circuit size, and interconnect costs. This grant will enable his team to productize the tool by enabling it to interface to common industry formats, linking it to simulation tools, and filing for appropriate intellectual property rights.

NetControl: Setting the Internet on AutoPilot
PI: George Varghese
As the Internet expands, it is taking more and more time to oversee the networking technology that links it all together. Now, Varghese believes that he has settled on new software systems that could effectively remove human beings from the loop in certain key networking functions such as controlling Internet attacks and spam. He is proposing to develop two new software products that, according to one von Liebig reviewer, “represent technology that could solve a real pain.”

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Increasing Solar Cell Efficiency Via Incorporation of Engineered Metallic Structures
PI: Edward Yu
Yu’s laboratory has developed a novel technique to enhance the near-surface absorption of photons by semiconductors using plasmon resonances in engineered metallic nanoparticles placed on the surface of the semiconductor. A UCSD invention disclosure and provisional patent application covering this concept and its application to solar cells and other semiconductor-based photo detector devices have been submitted.
Yu is applying the technology to thin-film photovoltaic solar cells in the development of a prototype in collaboration with researchers at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He has developed a process for fabricating individual photovoltaic devices incorporating transparent indium tin oxide contacts. He has integrated that process with the incorporation of colloidal gold nanoparticles in a process to fabricate an improved photovoltaic device. Yu plans to optimize the energy conversion efficiency of his technology.

Yellow-Amber-Red Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) Fabricated from a New Material System and Technique
PI: Charles Tu
Solid-state lighting recently has become one of the most exciting subjects of research in the semiconductor technology area. Visible color LEDs are useful for outdoor full-color displays, signaling, traffic lights, automobile lights. White light from LEDs would offer many advantages for general lighting: reduced electrical energy consumption, reduced carbon-related pollution, increased lifetime, and so on. There are numerous research approaches to the problem, especially the best materials and devices. Professor Tu has filed a provisional patent on a new material system and fabrication technique based on gallium nitride phosphide (GaNP) that would replace more traditional yellow-amber LEDs thanks to GaNP’s higher luminescent efficiency. Some of its advantages derive from the fact that the material is grown through one-step epitaxy that is much simpler than conventional methods of substrate removal and wafer bonding. With von Liebig Center funding, Tu aims to acquire specialized test and measurement setups for LEDs, and proceed to fabricating prototypes and comparing them to existing commercial high-brightness LEDs.

InP Nanowire-Based Large-Scale Photo Sensing Array with Ultra-High Sensitivity, Super Low Power Consumption, Wide Bandwidth and High Frequency
PI: Deli Wang
Semiconductor nanowires are attractive building blocks for the ‘bottom-up’ assembly of nanoelectronic systems. The ability to control the electronic properties of nanowires in a predictable manner during synthesis has enabled reproducible fabrication of a number of nanodevices based on single nanowires, such as field effect transistors (FETs). Professor Wang and his colleagues have grown high-quality, indium phosphide (InP) nanowires using metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. They have also fabricated devices such as a photodetector based on nanowires. Wang’s research shows these nanowire-based photodetectors exhibit ultrahigh sensitivity and extremely large gain. He foresees great potential for commercialization of high-sensitivity, high-speed, and cost-effective photodetectors enabled by nanotechnology, and Wang’s new funding will allow him to further the commercialization and fabrication technology of novel, nanowire-based photodetectors.

Integrated Adaptive Optics for Cameras in Cell Phones, PDAs, Notebook Computers, and Micro Surveillance Systems
PI: Yu-Hwa Lo
A growing percentage of the 535 million cell phones sold each year contain cameras, and the improvements in picture quality have mostly come from electronics through expansion of the number of pixels and image processing capability. Further improvement will require changes in the front-end optics that have become the bottleneck for performance, functionality and the cost of all miniature cameras. With support from DARPA and the U.S. Air Force, Professor Lo’s group has fabricated a prototype integrated optical-front-end-on-a-chip, using microfluidic and optical MEMS technologies. This comes at a time of growing industry interest in fluidic lenses for high-performance, multi-functional, and cost-effective miniature imaging systems. Having overcome the major technical hurdles, the focus of Lo’s effort under the von Liebig Center grant will be on product development, notably hiring of a product engineer to generate samples for alpha-testing in 7 to 9 months after the program starts, and beta samples in 12-15 months.

Video Instant Messaging System
PI: Truong Nguyen
This is the von Liebig Center’s third award to Professor Nguyen, and will build on work he did as part of a 2003 grant to develop a “Video Walkie-Talkie.” Nguyen’s group is now developing a video instant-messaging system that would work over wireless 802.11 (Wi-Fi) or cellular networks. Users with PDAs could easily videoconference with anyone on their “video buddy list” – with the video streams delivered automatically at the best level of quality available for the specific device. Nguyen sees a pressing need for video instant messaging in the homeland security arena, where emergency first responders and law enforcement would benefit from situational awareness to observe activity at other parts of a disaster scene. Video could also be “pushed” to phones to provide alerts and instructional video information such as news reports.

Nanostructure-based Enhancement of Semiconductor Optical Absorption for Photodetectors and Photovoltaic Devices
PI: Edward Yu
Professor Yu and his team have developed a novel technique to enhance the near-surface absorption of photons by semiconductors using engineered nanostructures placed on the surface of the semiconductor. The approach leads to a substantial increase in optical absorption, even in silicon-based semiconductors. Now, Yu plans to adapt this technology to thin-film photovoltaic solar cells and other semiconductor photodetectors. The commercial potential is huge: Even a moderate increase in efficiency of thin-film solar cells could have a major impact on the economic viability of solar power generation via photovoltaics, which as of 2001 was a $2 billion industry and is projected to grow to roughly $15 billion by 2020. Yu will collaborate with investigators at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, to test the technology in realistic solar-cell devices to gauge their efficiency.

Video Walkie-Talkie Appliance
PI: Truong Nguyen
The combination of new mobile communication standards (3G) and advances in wireless, PDA and networking technologies is creating opportunities for wireless multimedia access. But current multimedia standards such as MPEG-4, H.264 and H.324 are not designed for mobile devices, and the current default codec for image transmission – JPEG – is not ideal for wireless because it does not take advantage of temporal redundancy using motion estimation and prediction. The result: the decoded image is degraded significantly. As part of this project, Professor Nguyen will develop the prototype of an efficient video codec for wireless multimedia that uses the latest models of mobile phones and PDA with built-in cameras, color screens, etc. This Walkie-Talkie appliance will incorporate Dr. Nguyen’s latest research on real-time video coding algorithms as well as decoding enhancement algorithms. He expects that the prototype will attract sponsors including service providers, consumer electronics companies, chip manufacturers, mobile phone and PDA manufacturers.

Electro-optic Waveguide Modulation using Inner Step Barrier Quantum Wells and Peripheral Coupled Waveguide
PI: Paul Yu
As new generations of optical networks take shape thanks to advances in fiber-optics technology, engineers must also develop new devices that will keep pace with those advances. To facilitate the modulation, switching and detection of optical signals at high speed, Professor Yu favors device concepts that allow massive integration of semiconductor waveguide components on the same substrate. Under this project, Dr. Yu’s team will develop two technologies — multifunction waveguide modulators and photodetectors — using inner stepbarrier quantum well (IQW) and peripheral coupled waveguide (PCW) technologies. The goal will be to bring them to manufacturable stage, with the vision of developing efficient electro-optic modulation components based upon semiconductor materials and processing technology using the new approaches. Yu anticipates a broad application of these technologies in the next generation of optical networks.

Low-Cost De-Interlacing Technique for Progressive-Scan Video Player
PI: Truong Nguyen
Professor Nguyen’s research team has invented a very efficient, low-cost algorithm for motion estimation that produces much improved video quality in today’s interlaced television reception—especially on large screens, where the artifacts due to interlacing are more pronounced. This invention would be a clear improvement on the very simple de-interlacing techniques now built into all commercial DVD players which do not produce high-quality video on big-screen TV sets. The choice of the present interlaced television system arose from numerous compromises between the visual quality of the displayed image, the bandwidth required for the transmission, the technical feasibility of the fundamental components, the cost price of the receiving set and other economic considerations. Unfortunately, interlacing produces some disturbing visual artifacts like interline flicker, line crawling and pairing. In the recent few years with the advent of big screen televisions and DVD technology, the dream to realize the movie viewing experience at home has become a reality. The artifacts due to interlacing are more pronounced when viewed on large screens. The development of the line doublers and finally the progressive scan DVD player is a direct consequence of this quest for much improved quality video. Nguyen’s project will further optimize the technique to minimize the computational cost and implement the algorithm on Texas Instruments and VHDL chipsets to accurately measure its computational cost and the chip size needed for hardware implementation. This technique could eventually improve all DVD players, a market of 25 million sold in the United States alone in 2002—and growing at 50% a year.

Personal Digital Tele-viewer for Handheld Devices
PI: Mohan Trivedi
Traditional pan-tilt-zoom video monitoring systems permit only one remote viewer to have a customized view at a time. A digital tele-viewer (DTV) is a software tool that taps into an omni-directional video feed, and unwarps the video into a customized view. Many users can customize their views simultaneously from the video stream of one 360° camera. Adapting this technology to PDAs and other mobile devices would provide clear benefits for crisis management, traffic monitoring, surveillance, virtual reality, and other purposes.

Real-time Volumetric Imaging of Neural Activity
PI: Albert Kellner (with Erik Viirre)
Evaluating neural activity in the brain today typically requires fluorescent dyes and large, expensive equipment for MRIs, PET scanning and computerized tomography. But advances in optical physics and signal processing enable the development of new instruments to assess neural activity. This project aims to develop a simple instrument that measures neural activity using non-invasive in-vivo brain imaging of human subjects through the intact skull. The imagers under development track the essential barometer of neural activity by measuring the optical scattering of infrared light with neurons.
Non-invasive, volumetric measurements of neural activities are of extreme interest for many clinical medical areas, ranging from clinical diagnostics to stroke management and repetitive stress disorder. In addition, many research areas will benefit from real-time volumetric measurements, including fundamental neuroscience and cognitive science.

Enabling Affordable, Predictable, Reliable Wireless Data Services through Adaptive Content Shaping
PI: Sujit Dey
Next-generation wireless data networks are starting to offer new data services. Additionally, wireless data devices (wirelessly-connected laptops, PDAs and cell phones) are becoming more popular and affordable. But delivery of wireless data to, as well as general Internet surfing on, these devices is hampered due to limited bandwidth, unpredictable error levels, and handheld constraints. Dey and his team have developed techniques for shaping data dynamically as a function of network and device conditions and constraints, resulting in a rich wireless surfing experience. Wireless network operators as well as content providers and aggregators already have expressed interest in this technology. This grant will enable Dey and his team to make this software more commercial-ready and add several advanced features.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Bio Implant and Accelerated Cell Growth Devices
PI: Sungho Jin
Titanium metals and alloys are widely used in orthopaedic and dental implants. Jin’s project aims to develop and optimize the nanoscale surface structure of titanium for improved bone growth, and to study the effect of processing parameters, microstructural specifics, and surface conditions on biological interactions. Jin will investigate the possibility of significantly accelerated bone growth on a template of biocompatible material consisting of geometrically controlled and nanostructured surface coating that is strongly adhered to titanium metal. Titanium implants that have been modified with the surface coating may offer an improvement over existing titanium implant devices used in orthopaedic and dental reconstruction surgeries for accelerated healing and therapeutic functions.

Synthetic Bone by Hydrothermal Conversion of Shells and Marine Skeletal Structures
PI: Ken Vecchio
Vecchio is developing a new method for creating synthetic bone for biomedical applications. The basis of his technology is the hydrothermal conversion of aragonite, or calcite crystals forming mollusk shells and marine bones, to hydroxyapatite, the mineral component of bones and hard tissues in mammals. The major hurdle to synthesis of synthetic bone from aragonite/calcite is the difficulty of making sufficiently dense forms of hydroxyapatite with strong mechanical properties. On the other hand, the dense aragonite crystals in shells and marine bones have excellent mechanical properties. Vecchio has demonstrated the complete conversion of specimens (25 mm by 25 mm by 4 mm) of various aragonite shells to hydroxyapatite. In addition to the conversion to hydroxyapatite, certain marine structures can be converted to a tricalcium phosphate phase, which is believed to be both biocompatible and bio-resorbable, meaning the implants can over time be replaced by natural bone growth. The continuation of the project will include preliminary in-vivo experiments of the synthetic bone samples to determine biocompatibility, and to fabricate prototype samples of the synthetic bone material in the shape and size needed for actual bone replacements.

Development of Cost-Effective Amorphous Steels
PI: Ken Vecchio
The aim of this project is to develop a recent invention of an iron (Fe) rich, low-cost alloy possessing an amorphous structure, requiring only a modest cooling rate to make amorphous, thereby constituting what is referred to as a ‘bulk metallic glass’ material (also known as amorphous steels, when they contain 60 to 70 atomic percent iron). Using an iron composition of 50 to 70 atomic percent, low-cost bulk processed amorphous steels have been created in Professor Vecchio’s lab. These materials exhibit tremendous properties as compared to conventional steel, while maintaining a price point and manufacturing process that should model conventional steel. Amorphous steels of the present design will find broad commercial application, potentially enabling civilian and military vehicles of significantly reduced weight (and therefore higher fuel efficiency and/or transportability) without sacrificing structural durability. Likewise, bridge and infrastructure projects will benefit from the greater strength and corrosion resistance provided by amorphous steels, and seagoing vessels could benefit from shallower drafts and non-ferromagnetic hulls to avoid magnetic triggering of mines. Currently, the only commercial bulk metallic glass material is a class of alloys based on zirconium produced by a company called LiquidMetal. It is mainly used in sporting goods (such as tennis rackets, baseball bats, and golf club heads) and in consumer electronics (e.g., cell phone cases and antennas). The material under development by Vecchio at UCSD has substantial potential for these any many other applications, including biomedical implants, transformer cores, and so on. In addition, it is much cheaper than LiquidMetal, because it is iron-based rather than zirconium-based.

Ultra-fast Combustion Stability and Performance Sensor
PI: Steven Buckley
Emissions requirements for stationary and mobile power sources have led to combustion-control problems, notably oscillatory behavior that diminishes performance and can damage equipment (such as turbine blades). Professor Buckley and his team have developed gas-absorption sensors that can be multiplexed in a single fiber optic, based on tunable diode lasers that are used in the telecommunications industry. Buckley’s sensors can measure emissions and performance oscillations at rates needed for rapid feedback control of these devices (e.g., 500 Hz and above), and because the sending and receiving electronics can be mounted at some distance from the high temperature process, only a small optical access is needed for the fiber-optical input and exit. The von Liebig Center grant will pay for proof-of-concept and prototyping work, including integration and testing of the requisite combination of gas sensors.

Development of Improved Radiological Predictions of the Risk of Rupture of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
PI: Juan Lasheras
Professor Lasheras hopes to improve the current capabilities of biomedical imaging techniques to better monitor the disease progression in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA). Quantifying the spatial and temporal distribution of mechanical stresses acting on the vessel walls, the project could lead to a quantitative assessment of the risk of rupture in AAA – and potentially provide improved guidelines for intervention. Lasheras will work with other engineers, computer scientists as well as physicians specializing in radiology and vascular medicine. The proposed method consists of using high resolution computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to reconstruct a three-dimensional model of the abdominal aorta, including AAA. A finite-element computer code incorporating non-linear elastic effects and all physiological and mechanical information of the arterial wall will be developed to compute the distribution of stresses along the aneurysm’s wall to provide information on the possible location of rupturing and a quantification of the risk of rupture.

Active Noise Control of Cooling Fans: Applications to Air Ventilation, Data Projectors and Computer Systems
PI: Raymond de Callafon
Forced airflow cooling is required in many industrial and electronic systems, including computers, data projectors and air ventilation systems, creating an audible noise. For low frequencies in particular, reducing the noise emission may require a large amount of ‘passive’ sound absorption material. Professor de Callafon believes that a good solution to deal with the noise problem is active noise control (ANC) – canceling sound by either a controlled emission of a secondary opposite (out-of-phase) sound signal, or controlling the absorption and boundary conditions of insulation material. ANC hardware and algorithms for a fan by itself would be commercially not realistic, as this would increase the cost of the fan. However, integration of the ANC in a system as a whole is not only cost effective but also significantly better for the control of sound. The implementation of ANC is complex due to the (unknown) dynamic and spatial relationships between noise source and noise cancellation objectives. However, with the growing availability of efficient transducers (microphones), data processing algorithms can be used to estimate and characterize the dynamic sound propagation to optimize the development of noise cancellation algorithms. The primary goal of this project is to show proof of concept for ANC in various commercial systems and to address the complexities in ANC by developing new data based modeling and control strategies for active sound cancellation. This project will demonstrate proof of concept for various systems and the technology for ANC in these systems will provides new technical developments and material for patents.

Improved Method of Semiconductor Wafer Fusion
PI: Vitali Nesterenko
The main goal of Professor Nesterenko’s project is the development of a process based on hot isostatic pressing with uniform bonding over the size of wafers – with diameter about 50 mm on first stage and with 6 inch diameter on the last stage, with minimal wrapping of wafers and without intermediate layers. This will determine the lowest level of temperature exposure and optimize P-T-time bonding window. The participants in this project successfully demonstrated feasibility of the process on small-scale wafers and filed UCSD disclosure. Significant efforts are needed to advance this approach toward large-scale bonding. Efforts to model residual stresses in bonded wafers with a goal to reduce their level, to test bonding quality based on resonance ultrasound spectroscopy, and to use a variety of prebonding techniques are also planned.

Development of a Solid-State Lamp
PI: Joanna McKittrick
Solid-state lighting will eventually replace conventional lighting, such as incandescence and fluorescence. The devices are flat and do not require a vacuum (incandescent) or a pressurized gas (fluorescent) to operate. They are more energy efficient, and have low maintenance and longer lifetimes than conventional bulbs. Professor McKittrick (in collaboration with Cree, Inc. and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory), will build a compact solid-state white-light source that can be used for solid-state lighting and other general illumination applications. The device to be demonstrated will lead to a high-performance, white-emitting light emitting diode (LED). The device will use several phosphors to simultaneously generate different colors that combined (based on the additive principle of color theory) will produce white light and/or simply using the single-phase composition approach. McKittrick and her team at UCSD have recently developed mixtures of three compositions (of red, green and blue phosphors), as well as single-phase white-emitting phosphors. The blends and compositions can be activated efficiently with gallium-nitride (GaN) radiation.

Testing of Supported Zeolite Membranes Produced by Electrophoretic Deposition
PI: Jan Talbot
Supported zeolite membranes are used in gas separation and pervaporation. Existing processes are not reproducible and zeolite films are prone to cracking or formation of macropores which short-circuit permeation through the zeolite pores. Professor Talbot and her team have developed an easy and reproducible procedure by electrophoretic deposition (EPD) to produce uniform and homogeneous zeolite films on porous metallic supports. These supports are for potential use in membrane separation processes. This project will test the supported membranes produced by EPD for gas separations by collaboration with a company or university that have gas separation membrane testing equipment. Typically, supported zeolite membranes have been used to separate hydrogen from nitrogen, oxygen from nitrogen, and carbon dioxide from nitrogen. Existing test equipment will be modified to test these membranes for gas separation, and the testing will allow Talbot to assess the viability of the EPD process as a means to produce supported zeolite membranes for gas separation.

Advanced Medical Training Simulator Based on Operating Room Data
PI(s): Nathan Delson and Mike Bailey
School of Medicine Collaborators: Randolph Hastings, Matthew Weinger
The goal of this project is harness virtual reality, augmented reality, and computer-controlled mannequins to train personnel in medical procedures—thus eliminating the current training method of practicing those skills on real patients. One of the key challenges of developing accurate simulations is the current lack of accurate physical data required to model the procedure. The approach of this study is to instrument medical tools used in the operating room, in order to measure the medical skill and patient properties necessary for a realistic simulator. The medical procedure to be addressed with von Liebig equipment grant is airway intubation via laryngoscopy. The simulator will be programmable to mimic patient anatomy observed during our study, and cues from expert motions will be accessible to the trainee to assist and evaluate the trainee. The physical properties of the simulator will be based on the stiffness properties acquired from the force and motion data from the instrumented laryngoscope. This prototype will illustrate a new method for medical simulator development, with potential applications in other medical procedures.

Extending Ion Thruster Engine Lifetime
PI: Russell Doerner (with Dennis Whyte)
“Each satellite typically has several ion thruster engines on board for positioning control while in orbit. Increasing the lifetime of a satellite requires doing the same for the engines, whose lifetime is determined by the erosion rate of the molybdenum (Mo) accelerating grids within the engines. The goal of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of increasing the resistance of the grids to erosion and extending their mean time to failure by as much as 500%. While there are only a handful of companies that manufacture ion thruster engines for satellites, the monetary size of this market and the impact of increasing the lifetime of a satellite are large. The project will conduct proof-of-principle experiments to enhance the value of this technology for worldwide licensing, and fund a patent application.”

Torque Pulsation Compensation Schemes for DC Motors + Robotic Arm for Stroke Patient Rehabilitation
PI: Alan Schneider (with Alex Seguritan)
This project has two phases. The first involves developing software and hardware that can be applied to commercial electric motors to mitigate the adverse effects of torque pulsation disturbances that are deleterious in many applications that involve high precision positioning. The applications for this technology are limitless, covering anything where high precision motion control is required. Potential uses range from military and automotive applications, to the medical industry, including robotic surgical instruments controlled by surgeons performing highly accurate surgery, rehabilitation devices for trauma and stroke patients, auxiliary motion control suits which could help quadriplegic patients walk, and replacement artificial limbs.
The specific application to be developed in the course of this project would benefit stroke victims. Stroke is the leading cause of acquired adult hemiplegia in the United States . Over 2 million Americans suffer from permanent neurological deficits of stroke. Limb spasticity remains one of the major rehabilitation challenges. The system under development consists of a direct-drive brushless DC motor which powers the adjustable mechanical arm into which the patient’s arm comfortably fits. The motor drives the robot arm under closed-loop feedback control using a digital computer as a programmable controller. The “robot arm” is a tool to make quantitative measurements of spasticity, thereby facilitating the assessment of spasticity-reducing therapies, including drugs, and the study of neuromuscular causes of spasticity. The initial commercial market would be in pharmaceutical companies and other research institutions, followed by full-scale production and sale to major rehabilitation clinics. A later development would be a smaller, lighter, cheaper version for home use by stroke patients.

Novel SiGe Processes and Devices for Nano-Photonics Applications
PI: Prabhakar Bandaru
Experts in the photonics industry see potential in the integration of Germanium-based optical components with conventional CMOS-based electronics, allowing for the development of opto-electronic integrated circuits with superior performance and functionality (compared to optical or electronic circuits alone). With this grant, Bandaru hopes to collaborate with an industry leader on further development and commercialization of his technology to make a Germanium-on-Silicon integrated photodetector capable of detecting 2.5 Gigabits per second.

New Method to Create Synthetic Bone
PI: Kenneth S. Vecchio
The aim of this project is to refine a new method for creating synthetic bone for biomedical applications such as dental implants and biocompatible prosthetic interfaces. Vecchio recently developed a new method to convert marine skeletal structures into new materials with a composition similar to the structural basis of bone. These new materials have microstructural architectures similar to the marine skeletons imparting excellent mechanical properties, but possess bio-compatible constituents. This project will focus on optimizing the conversion process to develop this new material while maintaining the architecture structure required for high-performance bone substitutes.

Structural Engineering

A Fiber Optic-Based Sensor System for Real-Time Shape Reconstruction of Deformable Objects
PI: Michael Todd
During major seismic events, horizontal ground motion can lead to soil liquefaction, and subsequent lateral spreading of the liquefied ground material is the largest cause of structural damage, including cracking, fracture, and even catastrophic failure. In partnership with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Professor Todd demonstrated a prototype for a novel sensor concept based on fiber optics and a thin flexible beam transducer mounted on a laminar box experiment at UCSD. The simple beam geometry allows for easy conversion of local displacement at each point into an integrated bending displacement profile for the beam. This approach has the advantages of minimal intrusivity, high sensitivity, insensitivity to electromagnetic interference, and easy sensor multiplexing for greater spatial profile resolution. Todd now wants to go several steps further. The Center funds will allow him to investigate design improvements for field ruggedness; to initiate an integrated hardware/software design and a user-friendly interface; and to demonstrate a redesigned prototype in a larger-scale series of tests to establish performance parameters. Ultimately, Todd hopes to present a design to the ground-motion sensor industry.

Improved Materials for Heat Exchanger Tubes for Power Plants
PI: Bimal Kad
Mechanically alloyed oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) Fe-Cr-Al alloy thin walled tubes and sheets, produced via powder processing and consolidation methodologies, are viable component materials for eventual use at temperatures up to 1200oC in the power generation industry. That is far above the temperature capabilities of conventional alloys. Target end-uses range from furnace components, heat shields in re-usable space vehicles, gas turbine (jet engine) combustor liners, nacelles to high aspect ratio (L/D) heat exchanger tubes in power plants. Recent studies in cross-rolled ODS-alloy sheets indicate that transverse creep is significantly enhanced via controlled transverse grain fibering, and similar improvements are expected for cross-rolled tubes. This project will systematically examine and validate post-extrusion forming methods to create hoop strengthened tubes, which will be evaluated at ‘in-service’ loads at service temperatures and environments. Kad and his colleagues aim for eventual commercial adoption in the power-generation market.

Apparatus for the Inspection of Pipes and Tubes
PI: Francesco Lanza di Scalea
The safe operation of oil, power generation, and chemical processing plants requires screening of their pipes to ensure that there are no unacceptable levels of corrosion. Since a significant portion of industrial pipes are insulated, this means that even external corrosion cannot be detected by visual inspection without the removal of the insulation, which can be prohibitively expensive. A quick and reliable method for the detection of corrosion, which does not require the removal of the insulation, is therefore required. Professor Lanza di Scalea is developing an apparatus for the inspection of long lengths (hundreds of feet) of pipes and tubes — only requiring access to one end and without requiring insulation removal. The system will operate by long-range ultrasonic guided waves that will be reflected by corroded areas providing a means for the detection and classification of the corrosion.


Dr. Paul S. Kedrosky

Short Version:

Dr. Kedrosky is a venture capitalist, media personality, and entrepreneur. He is a sought-after speaker; an analyst for CNBC television; a columnist for TheStreet/RealMoney; the editor of Infectious Greed, one of the best known business blogs on the Internet; and he is frequently quoted in major publications around the world.

To obtain more information about having Dr. Kedrosky speak at your event please contact the National Speakers Bureau at 800.661.4110.

Long Version:

Dr. Kedrosky is a venture capitalist, media personality, and entrepreneur. He is a sought-after speaker; an analyst for CNBC television; a columnist for TheStreet/RealMoney; the editor of Infectious Greed, one of the best known business blogs on the Internet; and he is frequently quoted in major publications around the world.

Most recently he has been the Executive Director of the William J. von Liebig Center in San Diego, California. Using an innovative seed capital program, the Center catalyzes the commercialization of technologies from the internationally-ranked University of California, San Diego.

He is a venture partner with Ventures West, Canada’s largest institutional venture capital firm. In that capacity his interests include consumer technologies, media, semiconductors, and life sciences. He is currently on the board of Marqui Corporation, a marketing automation software firm, as well as Dabbledb, a hosted data management company.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Kedrosky founded the technology equity research practice at HSBC James Capel. As a highly-ranked technology equity analyst, transactions with which he was involved created in excess of a billion dollars in public market value. Dr. Kedrosky was one of the first analysts to cover Internet companies, as well as making early and timely calls in networking and communications.

Dr. Kedrosky has also been a successful entrepreneur. In 1999 he financed and launched one of the first hosted blogging services, GrokSoup. The service grew to more than a thousand subscribers. Relatedly, he wrote for Harvard Business Review what is widely regarded as the seminal article on dark matter and syndication technologies.

Dr. Kedrosky is a sought after media personality. He has hosted a television program, “Profiles on Innovation”, that is available on cable in the U.S., as well as on the web (at He has written influential columns for Business 2.0 magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Harvard Business Review, and others. He has also appeared on many media outlets, including CNN, PBS Newshour, ABC Nightline, and the New York Times, and he can be seen frequently on CNBC’s “On the Money”. He maintains one of the best known technology, venture capital, & finance blogs at

Dr. Kedrosky currently divides his time between La Jolla, California, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Paul Kedrosky Named Executive Director of The von Liebig Center

San Diego, CA, August 16, 2005 — Jacobs School of Engineering dean Frieder Seible and External Relations executive director MaryAnn F. Stewart announced today that Paul Kedrosky has been appointed Executive Director of The von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement. Kedrosky has extensive experience in entrepreneurship, finance, venture capital, and academia.

Kedrosky advises venture capital firms in the U.S. and Canada, and has been a venture partner with Ventures West, a $500-million venture firm, as well as having been a board-member of various technology companies. He founded the technology equity research practice at HSBC James Capel (Canada), a subsidiary of one of the largest brokerage firms in the world.

Technology transactions with which he was involved created in excess of $3 billion in public market value. Kedrosky continues to be on the board of advisors of companies in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to having founded three companies of his own. He has also been a faculty member at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Kedrosky has published more than 300 articles in academic and non-academic publications on venture capital, entrepreneurship, and innovation. He has appeared on many media outlets, including CNN, CNBC, PBS Newshour, and ABC Nightline, as well as having been interviewed by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. He has also written for The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Brookings Institute Review, Forbes, Harvard Business Review and the National Post.

In his new position, Kedrosky will concentrate on long-range strategic planning and external relations for the von Liebig Center, as well as expansion of existing von Liebig seed investment and education programs. Managing Director Steve Halpern will continue to be responsible for day-to-day operations of the Center.

Kedrosky succeeds Joe Bear, who will continue to assist the Jacobs School in development of resources to sustain business development programs and solicitation of industry participation in new Architecture-Based Enterprise Systems Engineering (AESE) programs.