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Download the Eshelman Institute for Innovation 2021 Annual Impact Report

The Eshelman Institute for Innovation was established in 2014 with a $100 million commitment from Dr. Fred Eshelman. The Institute provides grant funding to UNC faculty who are collaborating with scientists, health care providers and educators both inside and outside UNC-Chapel Hill, including academia, industry and foundations.

Since our creation in 2014, the Institute has provided over $32M in funding to over 160 faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellow, and student projects. As a result of these grants, our funded projects have raised $96.4M in follow-on grants or startup funds, with an additional $150M expected to come in 2022. These and other funds have generated a return of $89.6M to the University.

The Institute was created with the frame of launching innovation moonshots, and in 2021, the Institute made significant progress with READDI and the Digital Health Venture Studio.

  • READDI (Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative) is our most significant therapeutic moonshot to date. This new global non-profit has been funded and launched by the Institute in support of the three virology founders. To date, READDI has received over $20M in funding, with a path for another $125-180M in funding in 2022.
  • In the fall of 2021, we completed our first Digital Health Venture Studio pilot with our partner UNC Health. The first fundable startup out of the pilot, Epulate Inc., will allow transplant centers to match donors to recipients better. This pilot success has resulted in the University wanting to fund a full Venture Studio. We continue down a path to bring that to reality.

The above is just a small glimpse into what we accomplished in 2021, and we encourage you to review our full report that details the tremendous success we had last year.

Download the Report