UNM Rainforest Innovations

Larry Sklar and Lisa Kuuttila

UNM Rainforest Innovations has presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to an outstanding University of New Mexico (UNM) inventor whose research has made an extraordinary impact. The award was presented to Larry A. Sklar, Ph.D., a distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Pathology at the UNM School of Medicine, at the 2024 Innovation Awards ceremony on April 30.

Dr. Sklar has invented new technologies in the areas of signal transduction, cell adhesion, leukocyte biology and high-throughput technologies for molecular assembly and drug discovery. For nearly 25 years, he has dedicated himself to advancing high-throughput flow cytometry technology and transforming flow cytometry technology into the benchmark for high throughput flow cytometry. In doing this, he has given a tool to researchers everywhere to discover more effective ways to understand and treat cancers, infectious diseases, and many other biological applications. Additionally, he served as the director of the Center for Molecular Discovery which has made New Mexico internationally known as a hub for flow cytometry research and technologies.

In 2006, company IntelliCyt Corporation, founded by entrepreneur Terry Dunlay, formed to commercialize his technologies in high-throughput flow cytometry. The company launched the HyperCyt sampler and high-throughput flow cytometry instruments, their flagship iQue Screener platform, the MultiCyt reagent suite, and their ForeCyt software. This effectively created a new category in cell analysis and led to a broader global adoption and then acquisition by international pharma company Sartorius AG for $90 million. This represented the largest acquisition to date of a local startup company spun out of UNM technology.

To date, Dr. Sklar has disclosed 75 inventions, has received 47 U.S. issued patents along with registered copyrights and trademarks, additionally his technologies have contributed to 15 startup companies being formed over the years which have optioned or licensed those innovations. He was also named a Rainforest Innovation Fellow in 2011 and was selected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2020.

Dr. Sklar joins just one other inventor from the University of New Mexico, Steven R.J. Brueck, that has received the UNM Rainforest Innovations’ Lifetime Achievement Innovation Award.

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