|UC Merced Connect: UC Merced a partner in new iHub|
Published Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010
The governor's Office of Economic Development has announced the Central San Joaquin Valley Innovation Hub, or iHub, in which UC Merced is a partner, has received the state's new iHub designation.
In the iHub, UC Merced will partner with regional nonprofit and government agencies in a multifaceted project aimed at stimulating economic development and job creation through research and innovation.
The iHub designation is designed to encourage regional collaboration between research institutions, start-up technology companies, local governments, venture capitalists and economic development organizations. These organizations will leverage their various resources with the common goal of creating jobs and harnessing the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the state.
UC Merced's presence in the iHub partnership will be critical in a number of ways. The campus supports the creation of start-up companies founded on new technology, an important and viable path to product commercialization and local economic development and job creation. And the University of California will share with iHub management its expertise in intellectual property management and technology transfer to help grow the local economy.
"Our faculty and students continue to work tirelessly to combat some of the most significant challenges of our time," Kang said. "The iHub will help ensure they have the support they need as they make the transition from researchers and innovators into entrepreneurs and successful business owners."
The Central Valley Business Incubator and Merced County Department of Commerce, Aviation and Economic Development are the lead agencies in the Central San Joaquin Valley iHub -- one of 12 total projects to have now received the state's designation -- with UC Merced, California State University, Fresno, and the Small Business Development Center as partners.
UC Merced continues to produce students capable of competing with the best, as many who have earned their doctoral degrees here in quantitative and systems biology have continued their success by securing positions at some of the leading labs in the world.
Quantitative and systems biology, or QSB, is one of the top graduate programs at UC Merced. Of the 12 Ph.D degrees awarded during commencement in May, nine of them were to students in the QSB program. And some of UC Merced's QSB graduates are in New York, Boston, Memphis, San Francisco and Germany, pursuing their careers in science.
Michael DeSalvo, of Novato, is working in the Department of Anesthesia at UC San Francisco's School of Medicine. His long-term goal is to become a faculty member with a research program focused on using molecular and cellular techniques to study coral physiology.
"The program gave me a foundation in molecular, cell and genome biology," said DeSalvo, who earned his doctoral degree in May. "With this foundation, you can study many areas of biology, from coral reefs to fruit flies. While at UC Merced, I also learned the skills necessary to be an independent scientist capable of critical thinking and troubleshooting the many obstacles that arise during a life in science."
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