Academic Entrepreneur of the Year 2011
Ralph Tripp, professor and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, founded Argent Diagnostics, a company that develops diagnostic products and services based on Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), a proprietary nanotechnology platform. The platform facilitates the direct, rapid detection of pathogens and other agents present at levels several orders of magnitude lower than can be detected with current diagnostic methods. Company cofounders include UGA professors Rich Dluhy (chemistry), and Yiping Zhao (physics). Tripp also provided critical research services and served in a vital role to the management team of Aerovectrx, a GRA VentureLab company that uses a proprietary aerosol drug delivery technology to prevent or treat respiratory diseases.
More recently, he helped recruit a San Francisco-based biotechnology company, Trellis BioScience, to Georgia, where it will develop novel therapies for influenza and rabies. Cellspot, Trellis’s proven technology for screening human monoclonal antibodies, is complemented by Tripp’s expertise in infectious respiratory diseases. This venture has already contributed significantly to UGA’s research enterprise through new collaborations in various departments. Other Trellis scientists are collaborating with researchers at Emory University, Georgia Tech, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trellis of Georgia will open a new lab and offices in the Georgia BioBusiness Center later this year.