Becker Awarded $2M by State of Ohio for Opioid Research


DSC_3264-CropDr. Matthew Becker, W. Gerald Austen Professor of Polymer Science & Polymer Engineering, has been awarded $2,000,000 by the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier Commission. Competitive grants totaling $10M were awarded to support scientific breakthroughs to solve the national opioid crisis. The awards are part of Ohio's two-pronged strategy to drive innovative research and development in opioid and addiction science.

Dr. Becker’s latest, groundbreaking research involves the development of a degradable, implantable polymer mesh that contains a local non-opiate pain reliever. The polymer can be surgically inserted and localized at the site of an injury, releasing the pain reliever over time and then degrading into the body to non-toxic benign species. This allows the patient to receive the benefits of immediate pain relief with the expectation that it will reduce the need for pain medication after surgeries which could then lead to addiction.

Ohio is spending $1 billion annually attacking the opioid problem from every direction including prevention, education, treatment and recovery, and law enforcement. Recently, Ohio Governor John R. Kasich called for Ohio Third Frontier funding to accelerate scientific and technological breakthroughs that could help combat the U.S. opioid problem. The Ohio Third Frontier is a state initiative that identifies and advances promising technology.

Read more about the Ohio Third Frontier awards in Crain’s Cleveland Business

(Sources: Ohio Development Services Agency, ABC News, Crain’s Cleveland Business)