Jeffrey T La Belle
Arizona State University, USA
Jeff La Belle completed his PhD and Masters in Biomedical engineering from Arizona State University and Masters and Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Western New England University. He is faculty in biomedical and mechanical engineering as well as at the College of Medicine at Mayo Clinic. The lab is home to ~60 students, staff and faculty ranging from physics, nursing, biology, chemistry, biochemistry and biomedical, chemical, computer science, electrical, mechanical and materials engineering. The La Belle Lab Group works on advanced manufacturing of assistive technologies; point of care technologies and wearable health care technologies; and workforce development and engineering education.
Traditional models of research on American campuses have included federal and state and sometimes local funding. Others have found funding through key foundations, some as large as the Gates Foundation, others, very specific or much smaller in support. Lately, a push for a more hybrid model of support has been envisioned at ASU, more entrepreneurial, but that has a broad definition, from faculty start-ups to translational efforts. Ideas that begin with needs, translated to bench tests, the lead to collaborations and initial seed funding, that then sought out non-traditional support are becoming more and more common in academia as federal and state support dwindle. One example will be given where research in tear glucose sensing as an alternative for finger pricking blood glucose levels in diabetes was stymied. Innovative problem solving approaches were developed and performed, with initial support coming from a unique University-Clinical partnership. Further funding for the initial pre-clinical (animal) study came from Angel Firm start up support that led to the patent and then a successful tech transfer occurred and changed the emphasis of the project due to federal regulations and business development methods and models. Tailoring the research and academic content to fit the business and intellectual property models is discussed.