UCSB Engineering

June 23, 2014

Materials Chemistry Graduate Researcher to Receive Inaugural UCSB Translational Medicine Award


(Santa Barbara, Calif.) – In the lab of renowned materials chemistry researcher Galen Stucky at UC Santa Barbara, PhD student Damien Kudela is helping to develop injectable nanoparticles that effectively stop traumatic hemorrhage at the scene of trauma. The nanoparticles target internal injuries by accelerating the body’s natural clotting process during the brief but critical window for emergency medical intervention after a serious trauma occurs.

In recognition of his research’s impact on human medicine, Kudela will receive the inaugural Carl and Jo Lindros Award for Translating Research to Medical Practice. The Lindros Award, which provides a $10,000 grant to support Kudela’s research, is presented by the UCSB Translational Medicine Research Laboratories (TMRL). 

“The research being conducted by Kudela is an extension of the expertise of the Stucky Lab in addressing the complex coagulopathic cascade and attenuating clot formation after injury,” explained Scott Hammond, Executive Director of TMRL. "The award will be used to purchase equipment and technology vital to real time analysis of blood for this original research and will significantly decrease the time from bench to bedside.”

He added, “The equipment will also benefit a diverse group of research labs working on high resolution detection of blood factors, modeling of the coagulopathic cascade, and interventional strategies intended to control this complex physiological process in order to save human lives." 

Kudela’s research in the Stucky lab has led to a patent and he is the founder of Cayuga Biotech, a startup that commercializes his work. Cayuga Biotech was recently named a runner-up in UCSB's New Venture Competition. 

“His motivation to understand, design, and create a therapeutic solution for hemostasis and wound healing was evident in the research project that he began as an undergraduate at Cornell with Professor Jeff Varner,” said Stucky. “His interest and research efforts encompass the fundamentals and clinical testing – and, more importantly, they ultimately translate to a point-of-care therapeutic procedure for trauma victims.”

Materials and Chemistry professor Galen Stucky is a member of the National Academy of Sciences who received the Department of Defense’s Advanced Technology Applications for Combat Casualty Care Award in 2008 for developing Combat Gauze, a material used to accelerate blood clotting after trauma.


VIDEO: Kudela presented his research at the 2014 UCSB Grad Slam competition. Watch on YouTube: "Smart Drugs to Stop Bleeding"

About the Translational Medicine Research Laboratories at UC Santa Barbara
The Translational Medicine Research Laboratories at UC Santa Barbara’s systems approach expedites the application of medical research for disease identification, prediction, prevention and treatment.  The TMRL launched a unique, "bench to bedside" initiative, a collaborative relationship between UCSB researchers, technology developers, and medical practitioners that has the combined resources equal to a major medical research and teaching hospital. http://tmrl.ucsb.edu/ 


Damien Kudela, UCSB

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