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Introducing CBC-HITES

The CBC Hub for Innovative Technology and Entrepreneurship in the Sciences (CBC-HITES) provides Chicagoland academic innovators with everything they need to develop scientific discoveries into biomedical applications.

CBC-HITES is a new proof-of-concept biopharma center funded by the NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization (REAC) Hub program. REAC hubs are designed to provide academic innovators with product development education, industry connections, project management, and seed funding necessary to develop biomedical applications.

CBC-HITES is a funding and analytics resource for academic researchers from nine Chicagoland institutions built on the processes and infrastructure created by the Chicago Biomedical Consortium and is housed in Northwestern Medicine’s Comprehensive Transplant Center Funding opportunities include “early” awards (up to $75K) for projects that need an enabling experiment and “late” awards (up to $250K) for more progressed projects (see RFA). CBC-HITES also provides support in the analysis and help in moving inventions into the commercial sphere.

Why Should I Apply? | Who is Eligible? | What Technologies are Accepted? | How Does the Process Work? | Apply Here | People | Resources

Why Should I Apply for CBC-HITES Consultation and Awards?

While funding is certainly one of the goals of your application, our tailored and strategic approach to assisting you in navigating the commercialization process will be as impactful as the funding. CBC-HITES staff and our Entrepreneurial Fellows will work closely with each institution’s technology transfer function to help Chicagoland academic scientists navigate and accelerate the translation of their innovative discoveries into impactful healthcare solutions

We demystify the commercialization process by providing support at every stage: 

Pre-Funding Guidance

  • Evaluate ideas with industry-grade tools and analysis
  • Identify appropriate scientific pathways to meet business needs
  • Develop business requirements necessary for project translation (e.g., logistics, regulations, in-depth market analysis)
  • Solicit and share feedback from venture capitalists and industry experts, as well as federal-level feedback and guidance on regulatory issues 

Post-Funding Support

  • Integrate insights from relevant clinical trial results
  • Develop milestone-driven timeline for value creation 
  • Manage project progress and troubleshoot
  • Network with industry experts and consultants
  • Guide to additional funding sources

Beyond Funding

  • Access cumulative knowledge of expert advisory boards from the private sector 
  • Support across development and commercial lifecycle

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Why Should I Apply? | Who is Eligible? | What Technologies are Accepted? | How Does the Process Work? | Apply Here | People | Resources

Who is Eligible for our Funding and Services?

Applications for CBC-HITES awards are available to faculty and trainees associated with any of our nine partnering institutions. While CBC-HITES requires applications to be submitted by a faculty member, we welcome projects driven by trainees as well. More details on applications can be found in the RFA.  

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Why Should I Apply? | Who is Eligible? | What Technologies are Accepted? | How Does the Process Work? | Apply Here | People | Resources

What Technologies are Accepted?

Successful CBC-HITES projects are those that have exhausted fundamental science funding mechanisms but are not yet ready for venture investmentThe CBC-HITES staff is here to speak to you about whether your project is a good fit. CBC-HITES can accept projects focused on developing:




Medical devices
(including some types of Health Care IT) 

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Why Should I Apply? | Who is Eligible? | What Technologies are Accepted? | How does the Process Work? | Apply Here | People | Resources

How Does the Process Work?

CBC-HITES award evaluations are a collaborative process between CBC-HITES team and the applying team. Funding will either be (1) an “early” award (up to $75K) for projects that need an enabling experiment or (2) a “late” award (up to $250K) for projects that are more progressed, for eligibility, see RFA. 

Shown below are the basic steps of the process. For a detailed description of the process, please see RFA. 

Step/Action Description Who is Involved Timing
1 – Pre-submission discussion with CBC-HITES  Interested PIs can reach out to CBC-HITES for an introductory conversation and guidance on crafting a compelling Letter of Intent (LOI)  Potential grant recipient and CBC-HITES team Anytime
2 – PI submits a Letter of Intent (LOI) PI submits a twopage overview of the translational research project  Potential grant recipient and  PI with team  Accepted on a rolling basis 
3 – Triage analysis   LOI is analyzed by the dedicated CBC-HITES team who review and analyze commercial, clinical, and technical potential in consultation with PI CBC-HITES in consultation with PI/ applying team  Up to 3 months after submission 
4 CBC-HITES presents triage analysis to Scientific Review Board (SRB) for decision Triage analysis is discussed and SRB recommends whether to proceed for diligence or return the application with explanations of gaps that need to be addressed

Applications selected by the SRB to move forward will complete the REACH Common Application. The CBC-HITES team will leverage the triage analysis and assist with the Common Application.

Applications that are determined not to proceed are returned to the applicant with information about weaknesses that can be addressed prior to applying again in the future.

The CBC-HITES team presents to a Scientific Review Board made up of faculty and industry experts who are selected based on specific expertise. 

CBC-HITES team helps applying teams complete the Common Application 

Feedback given rapidly following SRB discussion 
5 CBC-HITES  conducts diligence and develops materials used in next steps  Applications that move forward undergo extensive diligence and business case development including interviews with external experts in preparation for review by industry experts (described below)

The CBC-HITES team develops an extensive slide deck that documents the diligence and recommendations.

Led by CBC-HITES staff, consulting industry and scientific experts  Up to 4 months after SRB 
6 NIH REACH TGC provides feedback on qualified applications   Applicable late” award LOIs may be reviewed by NIH TGC  composed of federal experts assembled by NIH from FDA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. TGC provides feedback and guidance on relevant scientific, intellectual property, regulatory, and reimbursement issues. Feedback is provided to applicants to support their learning journey and technology development. Recommendations from this review will be used for the Venture Board presentation  CBC-HITES  TBD 
7 – CBC-HITES & PI present to Venture Board for funding recommendation  Diligence analysis and TGC feedback presented to and discussed with Venture Board who then recommends whether to proceed to funding or return application with explanations of the gaps that need to be addressed  CBC-HITES Team and applying team

Funding is based on feedback from Venture Board

Feedback provided shortly following Venture Board discussion 

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Why Should I Apply? | Who is Eligible? | What Technologies are Accepted? | How Does the Process Work? | Apply Here | People | Resources

How Do I Apply?

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 

The CBC-HITES team is happy to speak to you about your potential or current application. Please feel free to contact Nancy Tyrrell (nancy.tyrrell@northwestern.edu). 

Your institution’s representative and Technology Transfer Office are also available to assist.  

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Why Should I Apply? | Who is Eligible? | What Technologies are Accepted? | How Does the Process Work? | Apply Here | People | Resources

People of CBC-HITES

Leadership & Staff
If you have questions regarding the application process or general questions about the CBC-HITES program, get in touch with a member of our Leadership team listed below. 

Principal Investigator

Satish Nadig, MD, PhD
Director of The Comprehensive Transplant Center
Northwestern University

Executive Director

Michelle Hoffmann, PhD
Chicago Biomedical Consortium
michelle.hoffmann [at] northwestern.edu

Senior Program Manager

Jessica Irons, PhD
jessica.irons [at] northwestern.edu

Entrepreneur in Residence

Eric Schiffhauer, PhD
eric.schiffhauer [at] northwestern.edu

Senior Director, New Program
Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Elizabeth McMath, PhD
Chicago Biomedical Consortium
elizabeth.mcmath [at] northwestern.edu

Commercialization Points of Contact
CBC-HITES works in close collaboration with your institution’s commercialization and technology transfer office. For initial points of contact, please see below.

Northwestern University

Sonia Kim, PhD
Senior Director of New Ventures at INVO

The University of Chicago

Eric Ginsburg, PhD
Senior Director, Intellectual Property and Technology Development

The University of Illinois Chicago

Melissa Maderia, PhD, MBA
Assistant Director and Scientific Collaboration Director of West Loop Innovations at Office Technology Management

Rosalind Franklin University

Dora Espinosa, MBA
Associate Vice President for Research Administration and Technology Transfer; Director of the Office of Sponsored Research; Director of the Office of Technology Transfer

Loyola University

Michael Bloom, PhD
Founding Director of The Center for Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Rush University

Josh Jacobs, MD
Chairperson of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Associate Provost for Research

Northern Illinois University

Karinne Bredberg
Director of Innovation Partnerships and Technology Transfer

Illinois Institute of Technology

Maryam Saleh, PhD
Executive Director of the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship

Discovery Partners Institute

Bob Okabe
Director of New Business Ventures

CBC-HITES staff can connect applicants to these guides who have expertise across the many stages of the commercialization process and can provide guidance on resources.

Discovery Guide

Paul Carlier, PhD
Hans W. Vahlteich Chair in Medicinal Chemistry
UICentre for Drug Discovery
University of Illinois Chicago

IND Enablement Guide

Julian Solway, MD
Dean for Translational Medicine and founding Director of the Institute for Translational Medicine
University of Chicago

Clinical Trial Translation Guide

Priya Kumthekar, MD
Program at the Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
Northwestern University

Why Should I Apply? | Who is Eligible? | What Technologies are Accepted? | How Does the Process Work? | Apply Here | People | Resources

Valuable Resources for Academic Innovators

Northwestern University

INVO – Innovation and New Ventures

Startup Resources – NU Commercialization Resources

Ryan Research Funding Opportunity

NUCATS – Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute

Translational Bridge Program Lurie Cancer Center

Shirley Ryan Ability Lab

High Throughput Analysis Laboratory

N.XT Fund

The University of Chicago

Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

  • Samir Mayekar, MBA
    Associate Vice President and Managing Director of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Bill Payne, PhD
    Executive Director, Science and Technology
  • Han Sun, PhD
    Senior Manager, Business Development, The Duckworth Family Cancer Fellow

Polsky Startup Resources

UChicago Core Facilities

Institute for Translation Medicine

Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility

The University of Illinois Chicago

OTM – Office of Technology Management

Innovation Toolkit – Entrepreneur Tools & Information

CCTS – Center for Clinical and Translational Science

UICentre for Drug Discovery

Technology Innovation Lab

Great Lakes I-Corps

RRC Cores Research Resources Center Organization

  • See individual cores for contact person
Discovery Partners Institute
Illinois Institute of Technology
Loyola University
Northern Illinois University
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

OTT-Office of Technology Transfer

  • Dora Espinosa, MBA
    Associate Vice President for Research Administration and Technology Transfer; and Director of Office of Sponsored Research 

Innovation and Research Park

Helix 51 Bioscience Incubator

  • Michael Rosen, MBA
    Managing Director of Innovation and Research Park & Helix 51 Incubator 
Rush University

ITT – Innovation and Technology Transfer

Core Laboratory Services

Resources for Researchers

ORA – Office of Research Affairs

Institute for Translational Medicine

Chicagoland Ecosystem


IBIO – Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization 

iBIO – Connect 

World Business Chicago

  • Lisa Dziekan
    Senior Vice President Business Development and FDI

Medical Homes Network

Cures Within Reach

2Flo Ventures



Portal Innovations

Illinois Medical District

JP Morgan Bank

Millennial Beacon

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Why Should I Apply? | Who is Eligible? | What Technologies are Accepted? | How Does the Process Work? | Apply Here | People | Resources


November 7, 2023
CBC-HITES: New Chicago biopharma hub will accelerate timeline from medical discovery to patient delivery
CBC-HITES, in partnership with 27 industry, venture capital and community organizations, is one of 13 hubs that are now part of the NIH’s Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REAC Hub) program. The new hub will be funded by a $10.4 million investment, including $6 million in support from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, a $4 million grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health, and $400,000 by the Walder Foundation.
▸ Read more

October 25, 2023
The Chicago Biomedical Consortium Announces Funding Renewal for Ambitious Phase 3 Plans to Support the Growing Life Science Industry in Chicagoland
With an additional $13.5 million of funding from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) is entering its 3rd Phase of operations. Phase 3 will centralize resources to provide academic researchers with the advice, expert networks, and funding needed to turn their science into translations.
▸ Read more

June 20, 2023
The Chicago Biomedical Consortium Announces the next Class of CBC Entrepreneurial Fellows
The program continues to inspire and coach local biomedical talent
▸ Read more

▸ View all news

Why Should I Apply? | Who is Eligible? | What Technologies are Accepted? | How Does the Process Work? | Apply Here | People | Resources

About CBC-HITES Sponsors

About the Chicago Biomedical Consortium

The mission of the Chicago Biomedical Consortium (CBC) is to stimulate collaboration among scientists at Northwestern University, The University of Chicago, the University of Illinois Chicago and other Chicagoland institutions to accelerate discovery and expand the Chicago based life sciences ecosystem in order to transform life science research into biomedical applications, create inclusive Chicagoland opportunities, and improve the health of humankind.

The CBC was launched in 2006 with a generous annual grant award from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust. To date, more than $81 million has been invested into CBC initiatives to promote Chicago’s biomedical community resulting in more than 374 awards granted, over 2,715 research papers published, six national research centers established, CBC-HITES, a NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) launched in 2024, and over $944 million dedicated to research funding.


About Walder Foundation

The Walder Foundation was established by Joseph and Elizabeth Walder to address critical issues impacting our world. The Foundation’s five areas of focus—science innovation, environmental sustainability, the performing arts, migration and immigrant communities, and Jewish life—are an extension of the Walders’ lifelong passions, interests, and their personal and professional experiences. Learn more about the Walder Foundation at https://www.walderfoundation.org/.


About REAC Hubs

REAC Hubs – Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) support academic innovators to convert promising scientific discoveries into medical products while training a diverse biomedical workforce that is globally competitive in technology development and entrepreneurship.
Early consideration of the healthcare impact and commercial viability of scientific discoveries, combined with milestone-driven product development plans, results in de-risked projects primed for startup company formation or licensing.