Rutgers is one of five new hubs selected by The National Institutes of Health to speed up and smooth out the transition of experimental medical science into commercially useful devices and methods.

The effort is part of the Rutgers Optimizes Innovation program, and will call on the university's strengths in biomedical engineering, and the expertise of its Research Commercialization team within the Office of Research and Economic Development, according to the school.

Dr. Reynold Panettieri, director of the Rutgers Center for Translational Medicine and Science, said it's a consortium to move medical devices and techniques from the research bench to practical patient application: "We were picked as one of the five best in the country to really spearhead this for the next four years ."

"This is a game-changer for the state of New Jersey," Panettieri said. "Far too many of our discoveries at the bench don't get translated because academic physicians and scientists don't have the (means) to understand business models or to carry that discovery to the marketplace. This grant bridges the chasm that exists between what we identify at the bench to something that's really going to have impact for a patient with a specific disease."

Rutgers will receive a $4 million NIH grant over the next four years. The Rutgers hub will work with four other research hubs in the effort as well.