Office of Research STAIR/DIAL Grant: Additional Funding Available for Successful Awardees - Office of Research

STAIR/DIAL Grant: Additional Funding Available for Successful Awardees

Venture Catalyst has arranged with several partners to increase potential funding available through the STAIR and DIAL Grant programs. These partners include:

  • Technology Acceleration Partners (TechAccel, LLC)—TechAccel is a venture and technology development organization focused on agriculture and animal health that identifies and invests in new technologies, and also funds science advancement initiatives with leading research universities to drive the innovations to market. TechAccel will join its efforts with those of the current fiscal year’s STAIR Grant program by making up to $50,000 available per proposal for successful STAIR Grant recipients in TechAccel’s focus areas. See complete list of TechAccel’s areas of interest at the end of this announcement.
  • Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV)—BEV is a billion-dollar investment fund focused on breakthroughs in energy technology. Five areas that the team will look to invest in are energy storage, liquid fuels, off-grid microgrids, low-carbon building materials, and geothermal power. Projects pertaining to these topics that are successful in the STAIR/DIAL grants review process may receive further funding from BEV.
  • Medimmune—MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, has entered into an MOU with UC Davis to be involved with the STAIR/DIAL Grant program. Projects that are successful in the STAIR/DIAL Grants review process that pertain to MedImmune’s focus areas may receive further funding from MedImmune. See complete list of MedImmune’s areas of interest at the end of this announcement.
  • UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health (IIFH)—IIFH will join its efforts with those of the current fiscal year’s STAIR Grant program by making up to $25,000 in salary support available for graduate student, post-doctoral scholar or staff support (including applicable fees and benefits), for one or two STAIR grant projects that are aligned with the IIFH vision of enabling safe, sustainable, and secure nutrition for all.  More information can be found here.
  • UC Davis College of Biological Sciences (CBS)—CBS will be supplementing successful STAIR Grant awards to CBS PIs with 50% of the award budget. Supplements will be 50% of the awarded STAIR budget and can be used for graduate student, post-doctoral scholar or staff (including applicable fees and benefits) support or other expenses.

Back to STAIR Grant Program Materials page

STAIR Grant home page

DIAL Grant home page


TechAccel Technology Areas of Interest

Plant Agriculture

  • Crop Improvement & associated technologies
    • We have thus far focused more on fruits, vegetables, and tree-crops, and minor row crops including wheat, than the major row crops including wheat, corn, soy, etc
    • We are likely not interested in genetically modified (GM) traits. Though, if you have a GM plant as a proof-of-concept, and there might be a strategy to recapitulate that trait via gene editing to produce a non-GM variety, this is an area that we are interested in exploring with you
    • Plant gene editing targets and strategies are of high interest, particularly to generate plants with improved agronomic qualities (yield, disease or stress resistance), or improved nutrition, flavor, or other consumer-oriented trait
      • We are particularly interested using gene editing to improve high-value niche crops including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and the more minor row crops
    • Novel non-GM breeding and trait technologies. For instance, TechAccel has invested in the start-up company Epicrop (a spin-out of University of Nebraska) that is focused on manipulating a crop plant’s epigenetic state to develop improved performance lines
    • Novel niche crops that are high value
  • Plant production technologies
    • Microbes to improve plant performance, nutrient uptake, and soil health
    • Microbes and/or microbial extracts to improve plant growth, or control disease or insects
    • Other biologicals to control plant disease or insect pressure including peptides, RNA strategies, or bacteriophages
    • Novel technologies to deliver and/or stabilize in the field microbes, bacteriophages, or biologicals to a fruit, vegetable, row, or tree crop
    • Novel sensors, imaging, and other engineering technologies that might deliver clear actionable information to a farmer in a cost effective way
    • Novel analytic/diagnostic technologies that can cost-effectively deliver actionable information to a farmer. Ideally technology that is rapid and can be used in the field
  • Post-harvest/post farm-gate technologies
    • Technologies to manage and monitor ripeness
    • Technologies to reduce crop spoilage, improve storage life, and maintain sensory and nutrition quality
    • Novel grain or crop processing technologies, and/or byproducts
    • Technologies to reduce/eliminate/or rapidly screen for disease organisms on harvested crops

Animal Health & Nutrition

  • Vaccine technologies
    • Effective and novel vaccine designs for production animal major diseases, ideally subunit and/or DNA vaccines vs. live/attenuated or inactivated/killed or inactivated toxin
    • Novel delivery platforms, especially oral, that can potentially be used for a variety of vaccines
    • Aquaculture vaccines, particularly orally available
    • We might have interest in a companion animal vaccine if it addresses a large market that currently has unmet need
  • Animal health biologics /technologies to avoid antibiotic use
    • Immune stimulants
    • Novel biologics such as peptides, antibodies, or RNAs that address major diseases
    • Novel production or delivery methods for biologics. For instance, production of active antibodies in a plant or microorganism that drives down cost, and makes the biologic compound feasible for a farmer to use
    • Bacteriophages targeting animal disease pathogens for prophylactic use, or treatment of clinical cases
  • Animal Nutrition
    • Novel animal health promoting feed additives
    • Effective fish-meal replacements for aquaculture
    • Effective probiotics, microbes, microbial extracts to improve animal health. Productivity, and wellbeing

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MedImmune Technology Areas of Interest


  • Cancer Stem Cell Biology
    • New CSC targets
    • Techniques and markers for identifying, isolating, and tracking CSCs
  • Oncolytic Viruses
    • New oncolytic virus approaches and biology
    • New transgenes and combinations
  • Cancer Vaccines
    • Promising cancer vaccines
    • New vaccine technologies
  • Neoantigens
    • Novel shared neoAg targets
    • Predictive algorithms and validation methods
    • Small-scale manufacturing
  • Antibody-Drug Conjugates
    • New targets
    • New ADC technologies
    • Imaging technologies to determine target (or antigen) expression in clinical trials
  • Adoptive Cell Therapy (ACT)
    • New targets, including tumor-associated antigens and neoantigens
    • New TIL, CAR-T and TCR-engineered T cell technology
  • Immuno-Oncology Therapies
    • Overcoming immune suppression, e.g., T cell checkpoints
    • Activating or agonizing immune cell-mediated tumor killing
    • Innate immune response
    • Biomarker data to understand tumor immune microenvironment

Metabolic Disease

  • Novel approaches to treat insulin resistance
    • Understanding molecular mechanisms of hypertrophic obesity
    • Mechanistic insight for diabetes resolution following gastrointestinal surgery
    • Mechanisms promoting ‘beigeing’ of the adipose tissue
    • Novel mechanisms for control of adipocyte differentiation
    • Novel pathways regulating appetite and/or metabolic homeostasis

Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Understanding causes for endothelial dysfunction post myocardial infarction
    • Novel mechanisms of cardiomyocyte repair, post-injury
    • In vivo imaging techniques and/or novel biomarkers to monitor cardiovascular dysfunction and the effect of therapy
    • Imaging markers that define increased risk of events and high responders to novel therapies
    • Non-invasive imaging of atherosclerosis regression and myocardial fibrosis
    • Understanding the structure and function of high density lipoprotein (HDL)
    • Understanding the interplay of inflammation, lipid biology, and the development of atherosclerosis

Digital Health / Bioinformatics

  • Innovative digital data capturing technology that could replace current electronic data capturing (EDC) system/tool used for clinical trials
    • Meaningful real-world evidence data sources such as EMR records for clinical trial research, patient population analysis and selection
    • Analytical capabilities at the cutting edge to mine genomics and other “–omics” data
    • EMRs linked to clinical samples
  • Wearables that could be used for easy and real-time data capturing during clinical trials

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