Coulter Briefs

Briefer items of interest to the Coulter Center community

    Springbok Analytics Raises $3 Million in Seed Round

    April 26, 2023

    A UVA-founded company that uses artificial intelligence to convert 2D MRI scans into a 3D digital twin for muscle analysis won major financial backing. The original motivation for Springbok Analytics began in 2009 from research in biomedical engineering professor Silvia Blemker’s lab to explore ways to help surgeons treat patients with cerebral palsy. Read the story by Joe Lemire in Sports Business Journal. MORE >

    Funding from UVA's Coulter Center for Translational Research was instrumental in the company's development, said Blemker. "If it weren’t for Coulter, we for sure wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near this point," she said. Find our more about the Coulter Center. More >

    Tom Barker Invited to Science2Startup Showcase of Therapeutics Research

    March 06, 2023

    Thomas H. Barker, co-founder and CSO of Vasarya Therapeutics and a professor in the department of biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia, has been invited to participate in Science2Startups (S2S), an invitation-only symposium featuring the most innovative therapeutics startup ideas from the world’s top research institutions. The event is presented by venture capital firms Atlas Venture, F-Prime Capital, Osage University Partners, RA Capital Management and 5AM Ventures in partnership with Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. 

    From a field of 125 applications, Barker was one of ten scientists selected to showcase their discoveries as well as their path toward clinical proof-of-concept. The symposium is May 3, 2023, and between now and then, each finalist will receive one-on-one mentorship from S2S advisory group members and other industry participants, as well as feedback on their scientific translation and drug development plans.  Attendees at the event will include senior biopharma executives, life science-focused investors and biotech entrepreneurs.

    For more about Vasarya Therapeutics and its approach to targeted treatments for fibrotic disorders, see For a list of S2S’s 2023 advisors, see Read the press release with a list of the ten finalists on Business Wire.

    Back home at UVA, Barker's technology development is supported by seed grants from the UVA Coulter Center for Translational Research and the Ivy Biomedical Innovation Fund. Congratulations, Dr. Barker!  

    Look HOO's an NBA Launchpad Company!

    March 06, 2023

    Springbok Analytics, a technology spinoff company led by University of Virginia professors Silvia Salinas Blemker and Craig H. Meyer, already works with multiple National Basketball Association teams, employing the company's AI-based technology to transform MRI data into an athlete's 3D digital twin. Their advanced imaging technology quantifies an individual's musculature and provides scientists, physical therapists, athletic trainers and physicians with data to evaluate muscle function as it relates to performance and injury management.

    Now Springbok will broaden their relationship with the NBA through competitive selection as an NBA Launchpad company. They will pilot and evaluate a six-month R&D project to analyze lower extremity MRIs to evaluate the benefits of adding quantitative 3D muscle volume data to soft-tissue injury prevention models and better inform return to play decisions. In July they will present their findings at the NBA's Summer League in Las Vegas. Read the NBA press release HERE.

    Blemker and Meyer are both faculty members in the department of biomedical engineering at UVA. From 2009-2012, UVA's Coulter Center for Translational Research provided seed funding for the the team's technology, which Blemker said was essential in moving the company forward to where it is today. Congratulations to the Springbok team!

    Springbok Analytics' New Round of Funding

    April 09, 2021

    Exciting funding news from Springbok Analytics, the company founded to advance the imaging research of professors of biomedical engineering Silvia Blemker and Craig Meyer and professor of education Joe Hart. The team has linked up with TitletownTech on a round of funding to enable Springbok to grow the world’s most extensive muscle database for large-scale analytics to address a wide variety of significant muscle conditions and impairments. Read the press release HERE.

    Telehealth is the Theme of the 2021 Boston Scientific Connected Patient Challenge

    March 30, 2021

    The Boston Scientific 6th Annual Connected Patient Challenge launched on March 1, 2021. This year’s theme is “Telehealth: Improving Patient Care & Connectivity while Closing the Gap in Healthcare Disparities.” Boston Scientifi says this challenge is a regularly occurring, community building initiative designed to encourage early-stage clinician, scientist, and engineer entrepreneurs. Because of the focus, there is no cash prize, but a prize purse of $25,000 worth of in-kind services to support the winners and expert coaching for finalists and semifinalists.

    Improving Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: New Coulter Award

    October 12, 2020

    Hossack Lab has been awarded $97K from the UVA-Coulter Partnership for "Super resolution molecular imaging for improved prostate cancer diagnostic performance."  Our proposal addresses new methods of ultrasound parameter setting and signal processing to yield approximately five fold improvement in resolution for ultrasound imaging combined with imaging of molecular signature of cancer.


    Co-Inventor of One of the Most Prescribed HIV Drugs Joins HemoShear

    October 23, 2019

    HemoShear Therapeutics Appoints Brian A. Johns, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

    HemoShear Therapeutics, LLC, a privately held biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing drugs for metabolic disorders, has appointed Brian A. Johns, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Johns joins the company following a prolific 20-year career with GSK, where he co-invented Tivicay® (dolutegravir), one of the most widely prescribed antivirals for HIV in the world. Dr. Johns also discovered an investigational drug called cabotegravir, the first long-acting HIV treatment, which is under FDA review.

    Coulter Director is Committed to Training the Next Generation of Inventors

    August 08, 2019

    Bio-Med TechGirls is the brainchild of UVA Coulter Program Director David Chen and K-12 STEM educator Kim Wilkens. Now in its sixth year, the program brings teen girls to UVA Engineering and the School of Medicine for a week of behind-the-scenes lab tours, guest speakers, hands-on computer science learning and a design challenge to create technology to assist disabled children.

    Teen girls challenged with creating technology for disabled children (CBS 19 News Story)


    FDA grants de novo for the HemoSonics’ Quantra® QPlus® System

    April 24, 2019

    This Revolutionary Diagnostic Provides Unique Information for Assessing Coagulation at the Point of Care; Now Commercially Available in US