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Non-Dilutive Funding: What is it and Why it is so Important for a Start-up

April 26, 2022, 12 - 1 p.m.

Teesta Jain, PhD
Helix-51 & IRP at Rosalind Franklin University

Dr. Teesta Jain is the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Rosalind Franklin University. She manages a portfolio of grants to the incubator companies developing novel cancer therapeutics, neuroscience devices, digital health technologies, and therapeutic devices. Additionally, Teesta manages the development of new SBIR/STTR Development Center initiatives to assist small businesses in navigating the non-dilutive funding as well as regulatory pathways for their technologies. She initially joined the RFU in 2020 as an Entrepreneur in Residence with the Helix-51.

Prior to joining RFU, Teesta worked in technology transfer, scientist at a startup and consultant where she provided clients with research support for publishing, future experiments and working with the IRB. Teesta earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Louisiana State University and a has postdoc experience from Harvard Medical School and the University of California Davis.

Shelly Maves, PhD
Manager of the FAST Center at the U of I Research Park

Shelley Maves is the manager of the FAST Center at the University of Illinois Research Park. She coordinates outreach, training, and individual assistance to entrepreneurs throughout the state of Illinois looking to secure funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Shelley joins the EnterpriseWorks team with a background in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry serving as a technical consultant to both start-up health-care and large pharmaceutical companies. Prior to that, Shelley was an entrepreneur herself when she co-founded a startup company with technology spun out of Baxter Healthcare, where she had started her career in exploratory research. Under Shelley’s leadership as Director of Research, the startup was successfully awarded an SBIR grant from the NIH, which sparked her passion for assisting other entrepreneurs to become successful in obtaining this flavor of funding. Shelley received her bachelors and doctorate degrees from the University of Illinois in Biochemistry.

William N. Frost, PhD
Director, Stanson Toshok Center for Brain Function and Repair; Professor & Discipline Chair, Cell Biology and Anatomy

Dr. Frost received his BA in biology from Reed College in 1978, and his PhD in physiology from Columbia University in 1987. His postdoctoral research was at the University of Iowa. He was an assistant professor and then associate professor from 1989 to 1998 at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

He joined the faculty of Chicago Medical School in 1998.


How do neural networks process information, store memory and generate behavior?

My laboratory investigates these issues using an array of techniques, including behavioral studies, intracellular electrophysiology, optical recording of network activity with voltage sensitive dyes, and realistic computer simulations of the networks under study. Our experimental preparation is an invertebrate model system, the marine mollusk Tritonia diomedea (below, left). This animal’s large, individually identifiable neurons (below, right) make it possible to return to the same specific neurons and synapses from preparation to preparation, allowing us to dissect their roles in network function. By focusing on issues common to all animals, we seek general principles of how networks of neurons perform their functions. Issues under investigation include the neural basis of decision-making, learning and memory, network multifunctionality, and prepulse inhibition.