Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan

A message from Panch

Learn about recent awards, our success in patent rankings and newly appointed National Academy of Inventors Senior Members. 

Welcome back!

Welcome back!

As we begin a new semester, I’d like to share some useful resources, upcoming events and news with you.

First of all, congratulations are in order. Drs. Jennifer Barrila, Yuji Zhao and Sefaattin Tongay were awarded the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in July. These awards are the highest honor the U.S. government grants to young scientists and engineers at the outset of their individual research careers. In addition, Drs. Terry Alford, Devens Gust and Andreas Spanias were recently named Senior Members by the National Academy of Inventors. They are among the 54 academic inventors named to the Spring 2019 class of NAI Senior Members, recognized for their efforts to cultivate an innovative mindset and mentor the next generation of inventors.

If you didn’t hear the news earlier this summer, ASU moved into the top 10 for universities worldwide for U.S. patents awarded in 2018. We’re now ranked No. 10 — a jump from No. 17 — by the U.S. National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. This accomplishment is a testament to the culture of innovative entrepreneurship and problem-solving driven by our faculty, students and researchers.

In award news, the Biodesign Institute was awarded a major grant by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The project aims to build a field-deployable point-of-care device to rapidly determine if a person has been exposed to weapons of mass destruction or their precursors. The project will be led by Biodesign Executive Director Joshua LaBaer and co-principal investigator Vel Murugan, and is a reflection of ASU’s ability to forge partnerships capable of solving grand challenges on a global scale.


Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan
Executive Vice President, ASU Knowledge Enterprise
Chief Research and Innovation Officer

Skysong Innovations launches competition to support faculty entrepreneurship

In 2018, Skysong Innovations, formerly AzTE, launched a new accelerator and competition for ASU startups. The winners of the inaugural competition were announced in December.

Dr. Hanqing Jiang, creator of Vantronics, won the grand prize of $50,000. Vantronics develops vanishing electronics for biological monitoring and treatment. The other finalists, Dr. Ashfaque Shafique and Dr. Josh LaBaer, each received $25,000. Dr. Shafique's company, GreyDyne, develops systems for seizure detection and prediction. Dr. LaBaer's company, Ordinatrix, provides customers with screening of the complete human proteome (comprised of 15,000 unique proteins), or selected target proteins of their choosing. The judging panel comprised four Skysong Innovations board members.

All founders who went through the program continue to receive ongoing support through ASU Entrepreneurship and Innovation's Venture Devils and the ASU Startup Mill, a collection of experienced entrepreneurs and executives who provide mentoring and go-to-market, executive-level leadership.

The 2019 contest is open now!

Every ASU startup with a completed license agreement before June 30, 2019 (also the application deadline) is eligible to apply. Up to six winners may be selected for seed investments from a total prize pool of up to $150,000.

This is an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurial faculty and postdocs. ASU’s track record of successful startups now extends more than a decade. These startups, and their sublicensees, have attracted more than $720 million in venture capital and other funding.

Apply to the faculty startup competition

For more information, please contact Charlie Lewis at

Tools and training
I-Corps boot camps and invitational

I-Corps Boot Camps focus on assumption/hypothesis testing and customer-focused discovery process to gather important insights needed to maximize the impact of researcher innovations. Training takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on two consecutive Fridays. The first session will be on Jan. 25, and Feb. 1, 2019 and the next on March 1 and 8, 2019.

After training, selected teams will advance to a Three-Week Next Stage Invitational with the chance to win a $2,000 I-Corps Site Grant. High-performing teams may be accepted into the National I-Corps Program, which provides $50,000 grants for continued customer discovery efforts. The Invitational takes place from 9 to 11 a.m. for three consecutive Fridays. The first Invitational will be held April 12, 19 and 26, 2019.

Tools and training
XSEDE HPC monthly workshop: Open MP

ASU Research Computing is hosting another free, hands-on XSEDE Open MP workshop for faculty, staff and students working in high-performance computing.


Date: Wednesday, Jan.16

Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Centerpoint 310-10

Tools and training
January 2019 TECTalks

ASU Core Research Facilities continues TECTalks, a series of lectures and workshops hosted by ASU faculty and guests surrounding science and technology topics. 

CHREM Winter School

The Winter School introduces the theory and practice of high-resolution electron microscopy to scientists currently using transmission electron microscopes for materials science studies.

Date: Monday, Jan. 7 to Friday Jan. 11
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Tempe campus

4D Materials Science

Learn about time-resolved X-ray microtomography and focused ion beam characterization techniques.

Date: Monday, Jan. 21
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Location: ISTB4 240

Tools and training
Register for the 2019 Faculty Workshop

As we continue to exceed research expectations and goals, the annual faculty workshop allows faculty across all disciplines to share experiences, coordinate resources and learn how KED can serve your work. Whether you're looking to network with leaders of university institutes and initiatives, work with academic deans from across all units on transdisciplinary research or learn from colleagues with successful research careers, this event — open to all faculty — has something for everyone.

Direct any questions to Dorinda Wilson, events manager, at 480-727-5596.

Date: Friday, Feb. 1, 2019
Time: 1-5 p.m.
Location: Old Main, Carson Ballroom

Tools and training