First FDA-approved Breathalyzer Test for COVID

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently provided emergency use authorization for the first breath-based test for COVID-19, which is possible because of UNT-sourced intellectual property. Chemistry professor Guido Verbeck's research efforts have long focused on detecting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) on human breath to quantify use of drugs, such as opioids and cannabis. When COVID hit the U.S., Verbeck worked with his partners from Frisco-based InspectIR to create a non-invasive test for COVID-19. This is the first UNT-sourced intellectual property to receive FDA approval, marking a significant milestone for UNT as a Tier One research university. This news was shared nationwide, appearing in outlets like Time, NBC News, CNN, The New York Times and Forbes.

Collaboration Spotlight
Partnering for the Future

With an impressive set of new equipment installed during an expansion of the facilities at UNT's Center for Agile and Adaptive Additive Manufacturing (CAAAM) last year, the center is now focused on establishing more collaborations with industry partners and organizations like the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to grow the center's impact. Leaders from ASTM recently visited CAAAM to explore partnership opportunities for developing voluntary consensus standards for broadening participation in additive manufacturing and related workforce training programs.

Research News
Celebrating Faculty Achievements

UNT faculty pour into their students, inspiring a passion for research, service and lifelong learning. UNT recently celebrated this dedication and achievement at the university's annual Salute to Faculty Excellence Awards Celebration. Numerous faculty were recognized for their contributions to student learning, research, scholarship, university service and more. The most distinguished honorees were the five winners of the UNT Foundation Awards. James H. Kennedy, Regents Professor of biological sciences and director of the Elm Fork Education Center and Natural Heritage Museum (pictured right), received the Eminent Faculty Award. Watch this video to learn more about Kennedy's career accomplishments and impact on students. Also celebrated were Christy Crutsinger, merchandising and digital retailing, Faculty Leadership; Leslie R. Roberts, J.D., public administration, Outstanding Lecturer; and Camilo J. Ruggero and Jennifer L. Callahan, psychology, Community Engagement.

Advancing Air Mobility

Drone deliveries of foods and medications are being piloted across the country, including in North Texas. Packages of all types will be dropped at local residences soon. Researchers with UNT's Center for Integrated Intelligent Mobility Systems (CIIMS) are working with NASA to address some of the challenges to widespread adoption of these innovations. As a way to address the need for a high-volume manufacturing and supply chain ecosystem in aerospace, NASA recently awarded grants to UNT and three other universities through the Minority University Research and Education Project to help develop new and diverse ecosystem networks. As a minority-serving institution, UNT engineering and logistics researchers will receive a three-year $746,000 award for a proposal to assist U.S. aerospace and defense entities' manufacturing supply chains, particularly focusing on electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles and unmanned aerial systems manufacturing. In addition, the project aims to increase diversity and inclusion through workforce development and increase interest in related entrepreneurial opportunities.

Biomedical Engineering Student Project

UNT students achieve success by innovating to make our world a better place. Biomedical engineering seniors created a device that helps provide upper-body support to a 6-year-old boy who has an extremely rare neurodegenerative disease. By combining different areas of expertise and interest in mechanical engineering, biomechanics, orthopedics, materials science and 3D printing, they created an orthosis intended to help the child lift and move his arms when they become too weak.

Great Grads

UNT's Great Grads exemplify the creativity, innovation and integrity the university strives to instill within its students. Students like Tetyana Kucher (pictured) are making an impact before they even graduate. Kucher, an international student from Ukraine, despite navigating the stress of the Russian invasion and impacts on her family, will be earning her Ph.D. in learning technologies. Her dissertation explored using virtual reality to teach foreign languages and she won first place in UNT's Three Minute Thesis competition. Hands-on research experience alongside faculty mentors give undergraduates like McNair Scholar Madison "Sonny" Card a head start. Card, who earned a master's degree in psychology, combined her passion for dance and love of neuroscience by studying the mind-body relationship in formally trained dancers in UNT's Neurocognitive Laboratory. She also won a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which will allow her to pursue a Ph.D. at Northeastern University, where she will be affiliated with their Center for Cognitive and Brain Health.

Research on Tap

The Division of Research and Innovation is partnering with Denton-based Dan's Silverleaf to host If These Walls Could Talk, the third of a series of discussions on Research on Tap. Grab a beverage from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, and hear Mark McLellan, vice president of research and innovation, talk about Tier One research universities' impact. Or watch on Facebook Live, where you can also see a video of March's talk — Liz Skellam, assistant professor of chemistry, present Fantastic Fungi and Magic Mushrooms. Follow to learn more about upcoming events.

Office of Research and Innovation

University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle #311070
Denton 76203-5017

© 2022 UNT Research and Innovation is a publication of the University of North Texas Division of Research and Innovation and the Division of University Brand Strategy and Communications. Email us at untresearch@unt.edu.