Valentino Stella, a Kansas University distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, on Thursday received the KU Technology Transfer Leadership Award in an event at the Dole Institute of Politics.
Stella, the first recipient of the new award, was honored during the 25th anniversary celebration of the federal Bayh-Dole Act, which shifted ownership and control of patents stemming from federally funded research to the institution that performed the research. Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole co-sponsored the legislation.
Stella studied under the celebrated KU scientist Takeru Higuchi. Stella has invented or co-invented drugs for the treatment of epilepsy and AIDS. He also developed Captisol, a new agent used to dissolve drugs for injection.
During his tenure as director of KU's Center for Drug Delivery Research from 1989 to 1999, Stella spun off three companies, CyDex, CritiTech and ProQuest. He obtained seven patents and developed a series of modified cyclodextrins that are the basis of several pharmaceutical products.