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The Innovating for Health Institute launched at the University of Texas at Austin last week.

The institute shifts the focus of the former Drug Dynamics Institute within the College of Pharmacy. Its focus is on solving health problems and collaborating with innovators.

The program is being called i4Health and is led by Janet C. Walkow, clinical professor of molecular pharmaceutics and drug delivery, and Nishi Viswanathan, adjunct assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy.

“Translational health science innovations are products and ideas but can also be ways to innovate within an organization.” Walkow said in a news release. “i4Health courses, workshops, and programming help learners think in new ways and understand how to innovate so that we can begin to create more novel health technology or rewrite how things are done within an organization. There are no limits here, only possibilities.”

In April, the University of Texas College of Pharmacy’s Innovating for Health team held its seventh annual pitch competition, showcasing student team projects. It also launched the website.

The startups that pitched included: “CystiRNA using mRNA to reverse the genetic mutation in the lungs with the overall goal of inhibiting the progression of cystic fibrosis (CF); PulmaVanc, an inhaled combination of vancomycin and DNase I, is a targeted pulmonary therapy that avoids the hassle and reduces the toxicity associated with systemic administration of IV products; and Omaira is a novel, 3D-bio printed oral contraceptive pill designed for extended-release that lasts for a full week,” according to a news release.


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The Innovating for Health (i4Health) Institute brings together teams with educational, geographic, experiential, and demographic diversity – a critical element for developing dynamic thinking skills that fuel creative solutions to health issues and promote health equity. Learn more and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram @innovating4health, LinkedIn and X (formerly known as Twitter) @i4hequity.