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Welcome to the 2023 Gates Grubstake Awards

Applications for the 2023 Gates Grubstake Awards are closedGates Institute and CU Innovations annually make multiple awards of up to $350,000 to investigators performing research and development in the following categories:

  • Cell and gene therapies
  • Diagnostics and research tools (e.g., therapeutic targets and companion diagnostics for gene and cell therapies)
  • Devices and implants (e.g., drug delivery, biomaterials, implants, scaffolds, restoration)
  • Platform technologies (e.g., manufacturing and tissue-engineering processes, cell-expansion methods, production and persistence)

In addition to the $350,000 award, Grubstake awardees are eligible for exclusive follow-on funding through the Gates Institute contingent on the progress of their project.

Investigators are encouraged to apply if their programs fall within or even adjacent to these fields.

Interested investigators affiliated with the University of Colorado, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the UCHealth System are encouraged to submit an application.


  • Please fill out the application form online. New accounts can be made here
  • Please contact our Grubstake Planning Committee, grubstake.award@olucdenver.onmicrosoft.com with any questions
  • Applications are due by end of day, Thursday, August 31, 2023
  • Investigators whose applications are selected for presentation will be notified in late September 2023
  • Presentations to the Investment Committee are planned for November 2023
  • Awardees are expected to be notified in December 2023

Example Applications from Previous Awardees:

 Additional Applicant Resources

  • CU Innovations SPARK | REACH Colorado Bootcamp Sessions
    SPARK Colorado is modeled after the Stanford SPARK Program that was established in 2006 by Dr. Daria Mochly-Rosen as a cost-effective model to advance biomedical discoveries into treatments for patients. Similarly, the SPARK|REACH Program at CU Anschutz is focused on commercialization and the major emphasis is on product development and technology transfer activities.

    SPARK advances new technologies towards the clinic by providing education, access to industry expertise, a culture of innovation, and SPARK Awards, our flagship commercialization funding mechanism. SPARK Awards support CU Anschutz faculty and students developing therapeutics, medical devices, and diagnostics to address unmet medical needs. 

    SPARK|REACH sponsors bootcamp sessions offer guidance in preparation of fellowship/funding applications from the business and marketing perspective. Grubstake applicants are welcome to join! 

    More information here

Read more about the Grubstake Awards

Past Winners

Gates Grubstake Awards 2022

  • Ganna Bilousova, PhD and Igor Kogut, Ph.D.: "Somatic Cell Rejuvenation for Skin Transplantation and Wound Healing"
  • Mi-Hyun Nam, Ph.D: "Restoration of Vision in Glaucoma through Cell Therapy"
  • Mark (Eric) Kohler, MD, PhD: "Adjunctive LAT-Activating Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cells (ALA-CART)"
  • Daniel Sherbenou, MD, PhD: "Response Prediction for T-cell Engaging Bispecific Antibodies in Multiple Myeloma"

Gates Grubstake Awards 2021

  • Nicholas Jacobson: "Voxel Printed Microstructures with Cells for Patient Specific Coronary Stents"
  • Traci Lyons, Ph.D.: "A Novel Therapeutic for Breast Cancer"
  • Michael Verneris, M.D.: "Therapeutic Development of Innate Lymphoid Cells"
  • Chaitanya Puranik, B.D.S., M.S., M.Dent.Sci., Ph. D.: "Dental Filling for Regeneration of Dental Pulp"

Gates Grubstake Awards 2020

  • Eduardo Davila, PhD: “Manufacturing of Genetically Engineered Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte Therapy”
  • Ulli Bayer, PhD: “Pharmacological Restoration of Ischemic Spinal Cord Damage”
  • Michael Zuscik, PhD: “Abaloparatide as the First Chondroregenerative Therapy for Osteoarthritis.”

Gates Grubstake Awards 2019

  • ​Optimized manufacturing of CD19xCd22 CAR-expressing T cells for the clinic, Terry Fry, M.D.
  • Generation of functional, patient-specific thymi for cell therapy, Holger Russ, Ph.D.
  • Therapeutic peptide for neuroprotection in acute closed-angle glaucoma, Ram Nagaraj, Ph.D.
  • Production of efficacious recombinant hypoglycosylated FSH glycoform, T. Rajendra Kumar, Ph.D.

Gates Grubstake Awards 2018

  • ​Prevention and treatment of pulmonary fibrosis, Ken Liechty, M.D.
  • Heart regeneration by conversion of non-myocytes into functional cardiomyocytes, 
    Kunhua Song, Ph.D.
  • Generation of engraftable hematopoietic stem cells from induced pluripotent stem cells, 
    Mike Verneris, M.D.​

Gates Grubstake Awards 2017

  • Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Transplant to Treat Dry AMD, Maria Valeria Canto-Soler, Ph.D.
  • Clinical Development of Autologous CD117+ Progenitor Cell Therapy for Solid Organ Transplantation, Martin Zamora, M.D.
  • Bioresorbable 3-D Printed Personalized Implant for Cartilage Regeneration in Pediatric Growth Plate Injuries, Karin A. Payne, Ph.D. 

Gates Grubstake Awards 2016

  • Dr. David Wagner: A Novel Therapeutic to Impact Myelin Loss/Regeneration in Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Dr. Kenneth Liechty: Conjugated Nanoceria to Treat Oxidative Stress and Prevent Chronic Inflammation: First Use Treating Diabetic Ulcers
  • Dr. Jeffrey Olson: Intraocular Device to Potentiate Retinal Stem Cell Transplantation in Macular Degeneration 

Gates Grubstake Awards ​​​​2015

  • Ganna Bilousova, Ph.D., and Igor Kogut, Ph.D.: Induced pluripotent stem cell services as a platform for clinical research
  • Steven Dow, DVM, Ph.D., and Mary Ann DeGroote, M.D.: Antimicrobial stem cell therapy for infected diabetic foot ulcers
  • Karin Payne, Ph.D., and Vikas Patel, M.D.: Structural living bone allografts to enhance bone formation in orthopedic surgery

Gates Grubstake Awards 2014

  • Xiao-Jing Wang, M.D., Ph.D.: Human Smad7-based proteins combined with a cell-permeable peptide called Tat.  Tat-Smad7 and its derivatives can be used via topical application to treat at least four diseases: oral mucositis, psoriasis, chronic wounds, and fibrotic diseases.
  • Antonio Jimeno, M.D., Ph.D.: Proprietary humanized mouse model to assess cancer treatments