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Postdoctoral Fellow Named Emerging Entrepreneur

Antonio Webb, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Guillermo Ameer in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, was recently named the 2010 Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Emerging Postdoctoral Entrepreneur, an honor that comes with a $2,500 honorarium.

The inaugural award, presented in March by the National Postdoctoral Association, is the first time the entrepreneurial performance of postdoctoral researchers in the scientific community has been celebrated.

"Postdoctoral scholars who take the entrepreneurial steps to get their research to market bring enormous potential to society and the economy," said Sandra Miller, director of advancing innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. "These awards aim to recognize and encourage entrepreneurial excellence in the scientific community."

The NPA received nearly 100 nominations for the two awards. The new award program was first announced at the NPA's 7th Annual Meeting last March in Houston, Tex. The award program is part of the Kauffman Foundation's ongoing effort to harness the entrepreneurial potential of postdoctoral researchers and scientists across the United States.

Webb is the co-founder with Melina Kibbe, associate professor of vascular surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine, and Guillermo Ameer, professor of biomedical engineering, of VesselTek Biomedical, a vascular products company. He received his BS in chemical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and his MS and PhD from Northwestern University. He has developed a novel family of biodegradable elastomers for soft tissue engineering and is currently working to develop controlled drug-eluting vascular grafts and perivascular wraps to prevent neointimal hyperplasia and thrombosis associated with vascular injury.