What does a year look like?

For the Georgia Research Alliance, it’s a picture of progress … one that reveals how past investments help bring new answers, resources, developments and capital to Georgia.

To mark the 2023 year, we’ve compiled 23 pieces of this picture. Each is an achievement in its own right, with GRA factoring prominently into making it happen. But together, they tell a larger story:

Georgia’s investment in GRA brings tremendous dividends – in economic return, research competitiveness and, ultimately, solutions to problems.

Research Highlights

Newly published data showed that grants and contracts to Georgia universities drove more than $3 billion in R&D spending – a new milestone. Georgia held its no. 8 national ranking in research. Nearly $900 million of the R&D expenditures came from GRA Academy scientists.

GRA Eminent Scholar Anumantha Kanthasamy (UGA) expanded the work of the Isakson Center for Neurological Disease Research by adding two endowed professorships, thanks to a $1.4 million gift from the Isakson Initiative.


Melissa Davis started work as a GRA Distinguished Investigator at Morehouse School of Medicine. Her research explores the biology behind disparities in disease, especially cancer.

In computer simulations, GRA Eminent Scholar Lynn Kamerlin (Georgia Tech) discovered that changing the structure of an enzyme could break down common plastics faster.

GRA Eminent Scholar Vince Calhoun (Georgia State / Emory / Georgia Tech) found that brain patterns could predict schizophrenia. Calhoun fuses massive amounts of data from different kinds of medical imaging into a single picture.

GRA Eminent Scholar Qin Wang (Augusta University) identified a potential new treatment for PTSD.

GRA Eminent Scholar Karen Norris (UGA) advanced a vaccine to thwart drug-resistant fungal infections, a growing threat to humankind.

A process developed by GRA Eminent Scholar Bill Koros (Georgia Tech) was found to be effective in removing harmful elements (like solvents) from water.

The Max Cooper Prize was created to honor GRA Eminent Scholar Max Cooper (Emory), a pioneer in immunology. The $100,000 international prize will be awarded to researchers advancing the field.

Entrepreneurship Highlights

Startup HyperCell took the $1M top prize in a national competition, and MycoLogic netted a $250K award at the same competition. Both have received early investment and guidance from GRA.

Absolics broke ground on a manufacturing plant in Covington, Ga., bringing $600M in investment and creating 400+ jobs. The plant will make glass substrates for microchips, an invention that traces back to a Georgia Tech research center established by a GRA Eminent Scholar.

Startup Cognosos expanded product development after receiving a $25 million investment. The company also landed a spot on the Inc. 5000 (and GRA-backed Codoxo made the Inc. 500).

AnemoCheck became the first at-home hemoglobin test kit to receive clearance by the FDA. Marketed by GRA-backed startup Sanguina, the test requires a simple finger prick.


GRA Eminent Scholar Eric Sorscher (Emory) designed clinical trials to move a drug he developed for chronic sinusitis closer to the marketplace. GRA venture investment helped attract more than $3 million in outside investment.


Focused Cryo (cryoablation tech) and Kodikaz (gene therapies) joined the portfolio of the GRA Venture Fund.

Investors added $7 million to help GRA-backed Lucid Scientific expand marketing and sales of its Resipher system. The technology analyzes what’s happening in cultured cells in real time, speeding the development of new drugs.

New & Noteworthy in 2023

NEW FACES: Tim Denning took the helm as GRA’s new president and CEO following the retirement of Susan Shows, who was named a GRA Senior Advisor. Andrew Short joined the GRA team as associate director of venture development.

AGTECH INNOVATION: Several university inventions to benefit Georgia farmers were showcased at the Convergence Summit, an event GRA and partners staged.

NEW EMPOWERMENT: GRA-backed startup Kinemo partnered with Shepherd Center to evaluate the company’s mobile-assistance technology, which expands independence for people with tetraplegia and quadriplegia.

WORKFORCE PREP: GRA expanded its Student Scholars program into a Workforce Development Initiative, which adds postdoc researchers and professional development opportunities.

OUT & ABOUT: GRA hosted state legislators and business leaders at an event on the Mercer University campus… sponsored students at the American Society of Vaccinology Symposium in Athens and the Keystone Vaccinology Symposium in Atlanta … and staged the 2023 GRA Academy of Scientists.


• Download the PDF version of our 2023 Highlights >