D2P was proud to offer its second annual Undergraduate Commercialization Awards. John Biondi, Director of Discovery to Product (D2P), presented Michael Kozuch and Rachel Zenker with Undergraduate Commercialization Awards at the 2017 Undergraduate Symposium held at Union South on Friday, April 14. The Undergraduate Commercialization Awards recognize undergraduate research projects with the greatest commercial potential to deliver value to society or the marketplace. The recipients received a cash prize of $500.


Michael Kozuch with the Medical Entomology Laboratory investigated insecticidal compounds produced by soil bacteria that specifically target the pre-adult stages of mosquitoes. His research suggests that a variety of novel larvicides may be derived from the bacteria. Continued research characterizing these natural compounds will add to the array of alternative, environmentally-friendly mosquito control agents.


Rachel Zenker’s project explored the workload among informal caregivers that perform multiple complex tasks often without the necessary information, resources, or training. Rachel’s group conducted in-depth interviews with informal caregivers of people with dementia to discover the overarching themes that personally effect the caregiver in the longer-term delivery of this type care. These themes are key insights to being able to structure this type of care and help relieve the stress of the caregiver over time.


A special thanks to all our applicants this year. Our review committee enjoyed seeing all the proposals and ideas!