Skip to main content

Business and Medicine (BAM) Program

  • Do you have an idea for the development of a new pharmaceutical, diagnostic assay or biomedical device?
  • How big is the potential market for your idea?
  • What forms of financial support might be available for development of your idea?
  • Are companies in this area of research which could potentially partner with you in development?

These questions and more can be answered through the Business & Medicine (BaM) program. The BaM program pairs CMI students with students in the Master of Microbial Biotechnology (MMB) program (CALS). MMB students receive dual training in the science and business of biotechnology and are comfortable evaluating market potential, intellectual property, and the competitive landscape for biotechnology products and companies.  BaM partnerships begin when, during the summer, CMI researchers submit a one-paragraph description of their ideas and types of questions that they would like to pursue. The appropriate student teams are established and then in the fall, the MMB students spend five weeks focused on the problem. A detailed final report is delivered to each Principal Investigator (PI) and the groups present highlights in a combined meeting of all the researchers and student teams.

Past BaM Projects:

  1. From Gene Editing to Diagnostics: Using CRISPR to Detect Viruses–Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rodophe Barrangou. MMB Team Members: Ramya Vijapurapu*, Rachel Brunjes, Sophie Lindem, Logan Miller, Emory New & Miguel Sanchez
  2. Antivirals: Action Against Pandemic–Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joshua Pierce. MMB Team Members: Billy Marx, Natalie Faulkner, Madison Hellner, Diego Rendon & Emily Sugg
  3. Swine Surveillance: An Analysis of Porcine Pandemic Prevention Technologies–Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gustavo Machaco. MMB Team Members: Daniel Watson, Shreeja Chhaya, Caycie Etris, Kathryn Landry & Danyal Wasti.
  4. COVID-19 Vaccines: Current Story and Developments–Faculty Mentor: Dr. Susan Tonkonogy. MMB Team Members: Ben Jones, Erin Cavanaugh, Pauline Lee, Daniel Onuoha, Connor Steenbock. & Cassandra Suedbeck.
  5. Problem-Solving with PROTAC: Can Protein Degraders Be Used Against Viruses?–Faculty Mentor: Dr. Frank Scholle. MMB Team Members: Dilan Riera, Michaela Coates, Jamie Levi, Mila Parker, Gordon Sylvester & Tom Williams.

Each participating student was extremely pleased with the results and was highly complementary regarding the impact and value of the BaM Program to their research objectives. The wealth of knowledge gather from this program vast. Student PIs gained information about regulatory environments in different countries and how to plan effectively for product release. Some learned about disease applications for their products and the costs associated with starting a new business. Others learned about companies already working in their area, and actually gained potential partners for their research projects. The participating researchers found BaM reports particularly helpful for grant submissions to the Chancellors Innovation Fund and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

Many thanks to Paul Hamilton, MMB Program Director, for making this happen!

To Participate

To take advantage of this amazing resource, beginning in July 2023 submit a 1-paragraph proposal describing your idea or invention and the type information you hope to gain from this consultation opportunity to Thomas Theis, CMI’s Director of Entrepreneurship. You will then be contacted by a member of the MMB program staff to put your team into action.

Send proposals to Thomas Theis at (