A commitment by the University of Nevada, Reno to foster science, technology and entrepreneurship has garnered international attention and an increasingly beneficial partnership with Israel-based HIL Applied Medical.
In 2016, HIL acquired NanoLabz, a high-tech company born at UNR, and hired its cofounder Dr. Jesse Adams, a former UNR professor, to be in charge of HIL North America. Currently, the company is setting up its North American base of operations in Sparks.
Most recently, UNR and HIL entered into an agreement to upgrade and repair the laser at UNR’s Nevada Terawatt Facility (NTF) in Stead, where a chunk of NanoLabz research took place.
In 2009, researchers at NTF recorded the highest energy proton generation from a laser, Adams told the NNBW in a phone interview. That’s what originally caught the attention of HIL.
NanoLabz and HIL had been working in similar avenues of research, developing high-performance, compact systems that use proton technology for research and cancer therapy.
“Proton therapy industry is really booming,” Adams said.
The technology can advance cancer treatment and other therapies by targeting cancer cells with minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. But their expensive — $40 million to $100 million each — limits availability for treatments.
“We use high power to focus a laser to intelligently launch a proton off,” Adams explained.
However, in recent years, the NTF laser has been idle.
“The laser was not being used at Stead,” said Ellen Purpus, assistant vice president for enterprise & innovation at UNR, who also helped negotiate the agreements with HIL. “NTF didn’t have the budget for an upgrade to keep current on technology.”
Read the rest of the story at nnbw.com.