CSU veterinary instructors honored with CSU Ventures' Innovative Excellence awards

By: steveporter Friday April 24, 2015 0 comments Tags: Fort Collins, CSU, CSU Ventures, Dr. Dean Hendrickson, Dr. Fausto Bellezzo, Steve Foster, Mitch Willett, SurgiReal


FORT COLLINS -- Two Colorado State University Veterinary Hospital instructors are recipients of the CSU Ventures Award for Innovative Excellence for their research that resulted in the creation of SurgiReal, a Fort Collins company that produces lifelike suture pads to train aspiring veterinarians and human health care providers.

Dr. Dean Hendrickson and Dr. Fausto Bellezzo were honored with the designation April 16 during Celebrate! Colorado State Day.Dean_Hendrickson_mugFIXED

The CSU Ventures Awards for Innovative Excellence are presented to a researcher or researchers who are not only an innovator, but also one whose innovations have been transferred to industry and are exhibiting strong potential for commercial success.

With the award, CSU Ventures said it seeks to recognize research excellence and acknowledge the impact that their innovation has outside of the university on the lives of people around the world.

“It’s a huge honor,” said Hendrickson, who co-founded SurgiReal in 2010 with Bellezzo. Both are still involved with teaching at the renowned CSU Veterinary Hospital.

“When you think about all of the neat things coming out of CSU and to receive this, it’s just an amazing feeling.”

Steve Foster, CSU Ventures licensing director, said he was on the committee that nominated Hendrickson and Bellezzo for the award.

“They’ve developed some new products, and they’ve continued to ramp up their sales and have been getting more exposure, with 80 to 85 clients that have purchased SurgiReal products,” Foster said.

Foster said SurgiReal’s suture-training products make the experience more lifelike with a “skin” that resembles real skin and that actually “bleed” a substance resembling real blood.Fausto_Bellezzo_mugFIXED

“It makes for better opportunities for training students and using less animal models, resulting in better outcomes for animals and humans,” he said.

Hendrickson said SurgiReal’s sales numbers have been steadily climbing, with about $280,000 in products sold last year.

“We had a very good year,” he said. “We’re very excited about that and we’re shooting to improve on that this year.”

Hendrickson joined the CSU faculty in 1994 and is now the associate dean for Professional Veterinary Medicine. Bellezzo, a native of Brazil, joined the CSU equine hospital staff in 2008.

SurgiReal’s third partner is Mitch Willett, who is in charge of the company’s business operations and marketing.

SurgiReal was profiled in March with a featured story in The Better World Project of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

To read an archived InnovatioNews story about SurgiReal, visit here.




About the Author: steveporter

Steve Porter, editor of InnovatioNews, has more than 20 years of newspaper experience in reporting, editing and managing news organizations. Steve brings a deep knowledge of the Colorado business landscape and award-winning writing and editing skills to the project.