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ASU ranks among top 'best buy' public colleges


July 15, 2014

Arizona State University has been named a “best buy” among public colleges and universities for 2015, according to Fiske Guide to Colleges.

ASU is among 22 public colleges in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom selected for their demonstrated commitment to quality academics and affordability. 2015 Fiske Guide to Colleges Best Buy School logo Download Full Image

According to Fiske, ASU is a place “where massive innovation is the norm and where an interdisciplinary culture is seen as the best means of developing world-changing ideas.” The research enterprise is growing in size and impact and the university is retaining and graduating more of its students.

In addition to highlighting the university’s top-rated academic programs in engineering, journalism, business, education, sciences, social sciences, sustainability, nursing and health solutions, Fiske also offers an insight into the collaborative culture at ASU that is focused on student success.

According to an ASU kinesiology major quoted in the guide, “Despite the challenging nature of the classes, professors are always willing to go above and beyond to ensure that the student is successful.” Another student quoted in Fiske said, “The courses are difficult, but the group aspect of most project work makes the hard work much less overwhelming.”

Fiske cites as an example of ASU’s world-class facilities the nine-acre Barrett, the Honors College residential community that was designed by students, faculty and staff members working together with renowned architects. Other residence halls on campus are quoted as having larger than average rooms that are well furnished, and a diverse menu of food items.

School spirit receives high marks at ASU, thanks to highly ranked Division 1 athletics. The countless opportunities available to students to get involved in student organizations, research or internships, study abroad in more than 300 programs in nearly 60 countries, or interact with other students socially add to a Sun Devil’s college experience.

Representative of Arizona’s socioeconomic, racial and ethnic make up, 19 percent of ASU’s student population is Hispanic, five percent of all students are African-American, six percent are Asian-American and nearly two percent are Native American. ASU offers merit-based scholarships to qualified students and is also home to the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, which provides a number of academic and student support services to more than 2,300 veterans and their dependents who are enrolled as undergraduate and graduate students.

ASU has been consistently ranked among the top universities in the United States and the world. The Center for World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities, both rank ASU as one of the top 100 universities in the world. The U.S. News and World Report list ASU as second on the roster of schools that are making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty and student life. The Princeton Review has also named the university one of “The Best 378 Colleges” in a 2014 list. See a list of ASU rankings here.

Media projects manager, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development

Medical device modeling software sparks tech startup


July 16, 2014

ASU spinout promises global market impact

A business startup formed to commercialize technology developed by an Arizona State University engineer and his students has won an Arizona Innovation Challenge award from the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the state’s leading economic development agency. Frakes EndoVantage team Download Full Image

Recipients of the award “represent innovative Arizona entrepreneurs who are creating technological solutions with the potential for global impact,” the ACA said.

The award brings the company, EndoVantage, a grant of $250,000 to support development of its business operations. The venture is based on a novel software platform that simulates the effects of deploying small medical devices (stents, for example) into blood vessels, as well as simulating the resulting blood flow changes.

EndoVantage is one of six ventures to receive an Arizona Innovation Challenge award so far this year from among 135 applicants.

The startup was also recently selected to receive support from ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative – $20,000 in seed funding, along with office space and other resources at SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, and mentoring from business experts.

In addition, the venture was accepted into IBM’s Softlayer Incubator, which is providing mentoring in software engineering and business-related services.

In 2013, EndoVantage received a $100,000 grant from the Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic and the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development at Arizona State University. The competition, which included 20 ASU and Mayo Clinic teams, was intended to promote personalized health care, the next frontier in patient-specific medicine.

David Frakes and Haithem Babiker invented the EndoVantage technology platform in ASU’s Image Processing Applications Laboratory with help from Brian Chong, a physician at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix.

Frakes is the chief science office for EndoVantage. He is an associate professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, and in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, two of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Babiker is the chief technology officer. He is a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering.

Justin Ryan, a biomedical engineering doctoral student working in Frakes’ lab, is contributing to EndoVantage by providing 3-D virtual modeling of blood vessels.

With the EndoVantage platform, clinicians “now for the first time can design the optimal endovascular treatment strategy for each patient before surgery,” Frakes said. “This improves the quality of treatment and reduces costs.”

The technology will also enable medical device companies to perform virtual testing of medical devices in hundreds of different virtual patient anatomies. That capability will help improve product design and prevent product defects and other risks to patients, Frakes said.

“Ultimately, the EndoVantage technology will lead to better medical devices, and better use of those devices in the clinic to save patients’ lives,” he said.

The spinout of EndoVantage from ASU was facilitated by Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), ASU's technology transfer organization. AzTE has worked with Frakes’ team throughout the process from commercialization to startup and revenue generation.

Longtime Arizona health care entrepreneur Robert S. Green has joined the venture as president and chief executive officer. Green founded and operated six successful companies, and is past president of the Arizona BioIndustry Association.

“ASU is on the leading edge of universities supporting research commercialization efforts by faculty,” Green said. “The support we have received from AzTE and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group has been critical to our success to date.”

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

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