The Research & Development Council of New Jersey has honored inventors in New Jersey of the most noteworthy, made-in-New Jersey, research by bestowing Thomas Alva Edison Awards for the last 28 years. This year’s winning patents span various categories including industrial processes, homeland security, enabling technologies, information technology, emerging technology, pharmaceutical, agriculture, telecommunications, and technology transfer from a university. Representatives from six companies and three institutions of higher learning will receive their awards at a black-tie dinner held at DOLCE in Basking Ridge on November 6, 2008. Several of the winners are based in central New Jersey.

In the homeland security category, Princeton University won an award for its “Miniature Multinuclide Detection System and Methods.” The Miniature Integrated Nuclear Detection System (MINDS), developed by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton University, uses commercial, off-the-shelf components and is able to rapidly detect, differentiate, and identify dozens of different nuclear sources, allowing it to be used in crane-mounted and drive-by situations, as well as in hand-held units. It can identify which nuclear material it detects, so it can tell the difference between a person with medical isotopes implanted for medical treatment, from an actual threat to human safety.

Rutgers won an award in the agriculture category for cranberry variety named “NJS98-23.” NJS98-23 provides high vine vigor for improved cranberry bed establishment, enabling growers to recoup the cost of renovating their bogs sooner. The improved yields of fruit from this variety increase farm efficiency and profitability. The variety’s early ripening and high anthocyanin content enable an earlier harvest than those of current cranberry varieties. The novelty of the contribution is a cranberry variety that has a unique combination of agronomically critical traits in one variety that provide the cranberry grower with significantly enhanced farm productivity.

In the pharmaceutical category, Bristol-Myers Squibb will be honored with a patent award for “Cyclic Protein Kinase Inhibitors.” Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) is a slowly progressing cancer that makes the body produce too many cancerous myeloid white blood cells. This is a life-threatening disorder that accounts for 20 percent of all adult leukemias. More than 9 percent of patients have a genetic mutation that results in increased activity of an enzyme called bcr-abl. Bristol-Myers Squibb’s SPRYCELr is active against most of the Gleevec (a product from Novartis) -resistant mutant bcr-abl enzymes and has been effectively used in patients where Gleevec no longer works. SPRYCEL has saved the lives of countless patients in the U.S. and around the world who otherwise may not have survived this deadly cancer.

The Research & Development Council of New Jersey is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating an environment that supports the advancement of research and development throughout New Jersey. The council is comprised of senior representatives from industry, academia and government.

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