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June 15, 2017

FraudScope Secures $1.5 Million to Fight Healthcare Fraud

By Fraudscope
FraudScope, an enterprise SaaS platform aimed at reducing healthcare billing claims fraud, waste, and abuse, announced that it has raised $1.5 million in seed round funding from Spider Capital, GRA Venture Fund, TechSquare Labs, Mosley Ventures and others. Spider Capital and GRA Venture Fund were co-leads of the round. The company will use the funds to scale customer acquisition and expand product development.

Healthcare fraud in the US is estimated to be $270 billion every year. Healthcare scams are constantly evolving, and current detection techniques and whistleblowers only uncover a small fraction of this. This increases the country’s healthcare costs to hospitals, insurance companies and the government. This burden then translates to higher costs for US taxpayers and increased consumer insurance premiums. 

To counter this, FraudScope’s machine learning based technology detects and stops fraud trends in a timely manner. Investigators can also use the platform to conduct a full investigation. FraudScope’s comprehensive claims investigation platform empowers fraud analysts by automatically identifying constantly evolving fraud, waste and abuse trends before claims are paid. 

"Healthcare fraud has become a major problem that harms individuals and health plans," said Dr. Musheer Ahmed, FraudScope’s co-founder and CEO. "We are thrilled to have these investors back us as we lead the fight against healthcare fraud, waste and abuse." 
FraudScope was cofounded by Dr. Mustaque Ahamad, professor at Georgia Tech and cofounder of Pindrop. FraudScope’s patent-pending technology is based on research done at the Georgia Institute of Technology. FraudScope was the winner of the 2016 Atlanta Startup Battle
“Healthcare is one of the most critical challenges facing the world and Fraudscope can play a part in making it more efficient by reducing waste and fraud,” said Michael Neril, Managing Partner at Spider Capital. “We’re excited about Fraudscope’s opportunity to solve a big problem while positively impacting the country’s healthcare system.” 

"We are proud to see research discovered in Georgia is poised to solve a significant need in the healthcare industry,” Michelle Jarrard, Managing Director of the GRA Venture Fund adds. “This financing round is a terrific example of how investors, local and non-local, are working in collaboration to support Atlanta's aspiring entrepreneurs."

Allen Nance, Partner at TechSquare Labs, will join FraudScope’s board of directors. Other investors in the round include Service Provider Capital Fund and Vijay Balasubramaniyan, Pindrop's co-founder and CEO.

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June 2, 2017

Georgia: New Peanut Genetics Expert Joins UGA

By Faith Peppers, The University of Georgia
David Bertioli, a world-class expert in the genetics and genomics of peanut species, will join the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as a professor and the university’s first Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) Distinguished Investigator.

”We are so pleased to have David join us as a Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Investigator,” said Sam Pardue, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “His research will be an important element in continuing UGA’s tradition of excellence in plant breeding and genomics.”

Bertioli will join the UGA Institute for Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, which is home to some of the most respected plant genetics experts in the world. He will lead research important to Georgia’s $600 million peanut industry.

“We are fortunate in Georgia to have strong support from the Georgia Research Alliance, the Georgia Seed Development Commission, the Peanut Foundation, the American Peanut Shellers, and the Georgia Peanut Commission to help recruit Dr. Bertioli to our faculty,” Pardue said. “This valuable partnership shows the commitment to and importance of UGA’s agricultural research programs.”

The genetics and genomics of wild peanut relatives are a primary focus of Bertioli’s work. His goal is to use valuable genetic traits found in wild species to improve cultivated peanuts so they require fewer inputs and are more sustainable and profitable for producers in Georgia and around the world. He will focus on increasing the resistance of the peanut to pests and diseases.

“David’s work on the use of traits from the wild relatives will have a major economic impact on Georgia growers, and we look forward to his contribution to the training of the next generation of scientists at UGA,” said Scott Jackson, a GRA Eminent Scholar in plant functional genomics and director of the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Bertioli came to UGA in 2013 as a visiting professor on leave from the University of Brasilia in Brazil. His cutting-edge, practical work consistently receives financial support from commodity groups, nonprofits, for-profit companies and federal agencies. He works closely with Jackson at UGA’s campuses in Athens and Tifton, Georgia.

Bertioli received his formal training in England, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in botany from Durham University and a doctorate from Oxford University. He has served as a professor at the University of Brasilia since 2009. From 2009 to 2012, he was a Fellow of the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development. In 2003, he was a visiting scientist at the Sainsbury Laboratory at the John Innes Center in Norwich, England.

“We are proud to welcome David to Georgia,” said Susan Shows, GRA senior vice president. “His expertise will be a unique asset to the UGA team and we are excited to see how they can expand their research portfolio.”

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May 22, 2017

New chair named for Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

By Walter Rich, Emory University
Susan Margulies, PhD, has been named the Wallace H. Coulter Chair of the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Georgia Tech and Emory University, and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Injury Biomechanics. Her appointments are effective August 1.

Margulies is currently professor of bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
"Dr. Margulies will be an outstanding addition and leader for our joint Department of Biomedical Engineering," says David S. Stephens, MD, interim dean, Emory University School of Medicine and vice president for research, Woodruff Health Sciences Center. "Throughout her career, she has distinguished herself as an educator, scientist, mentor, and a national and international leader in the biomedical sciences, and I look forward to working with her in our many shared initiatives."

As the new chair, Margulies will oversee a department that is consistently ranked as one of the nation's most prominent programs of its kind in both graduate and undergraduate education. Currently, U.S. News & World Report ranks the joint Georgia Tech/Emory biomedical engineering graduate program #3 in the United States and the undergraduate program #1. It is the largest BME department in the country, with 72 faculty at Georgia Tech and Emory and more than 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

"Without a doubt, Susan is the very best person to lead the joint biomedical engineering department into the future," says Gary S. May, dean of the Georgia Tech College of Engineering. "She is an active researcher and highly regarded educator. Susan has the vision, scholarship and experience in fields critical to the department that make her ideally suited and prepared to lead."

The Coulter Department, which was launched in 1997, is a visionary partnership between a leading public engineering school and a highly respected private medical school. The department uses the latest engineering technologies, clinical insights and biological approaches to address unmet clinical challenges in pediatric bioengineering, immunoengineering, regenerative medicine, cardiovascular and neural engineering, imaging and biomedical computing.

"I speak for all Wallace H. Coulter Department members in stating how delighted we are to welcome Susan Margulies as our incoming chair," says Ross Ethier, interim chair, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and a GRA Eminent Scholar. "Susan has a remarkable track record as a scholar, teacher, academic leader and role model. She brings a deep understanding of both engineering and medicine, and how they can work synergistically in the field of biomedical engineering for the benefit of patients and society. She will further strengthen the Emory-Georgia Tech relationship, and will sustain the strong tradition of excellence and innovation that have characterized the Coulter Department since its establishment."


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