Two faculty members from the Department of Biomedical Engineering have been selected to receive funding from the 2020 spring cycle of the Leadership and Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program (LEAP).

Dan Moran, professor of biomedical engineering, and Eric Leuthardt, MD, professor of neurological surgery and of biomedical engineering, formed one of six teams to receive assistance to prepare their project for commercialization. Their project, Sympel, is a neuromodulation electrode system that can be placed near the spine to address complicated diseases.

"[LEAP] provides critical funding for an extremely innovative and platform technology that will revolutionize how we think about treating chronic disease," Leuthardt said. "These types of high-risk/high reward projects are not possible without the initial investment from LEAP, which is critical in paving the path towards the future."

LEAP funding is provided by the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship and aims to support technology commercialization, illuminate investment risk and accelerate development of validated projects within the Washington University in St. Louis community. These projects also are supported by Washington University in St. Louis' Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, Siteman Cancer Center, Center for Drug Discovery and Office of Technology Management.


The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 140 full-time faculty, 1,387 undergraduate students, 1,448 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.

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