Duke-Coulter Translational Partnership

Accelerating development of promising bioengineering research

Since 2006, Duke's translational partnership with the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation has supported collaborative research projects that address unmet clinical needs and lead to improvements in health care and to commercial products.


Wallace H. Coulter Foundation logo

The Duke-Coulter Partnership has awarded more than $12 million to more than 60 projects


Connecting Engineering and Medicine

At Duke, each partnership award supports collaborative translational research projects that involve co-investigators from:

  • Duke Biomedical Engineering, and
  • Clinical departments of Duke Health

Each year, we typically award three to five grants and have about $700,000 per year for awards. Award amounts vary based upon amount requested and budget evaluation of the Oversight Committee.

Since our founding in 2005, more than $11 million has been awarded to more than 60 projects.


Each year, we have a call for proposals.

Each Proposal Must Have

  • At least one individual whose primary or secondary faculty appointment is within Duke BME, and at least one clinical investigator
  • Research that directly relates to applications in health care
  • An objective that includes an outcome that will benefit patients

Each Proposal is Evaluated On

  • Scientific merit
  • Potential health care impact and significance
  • The experience of the investigators
  • Potential for commercialization or translation to patient care
  • Potential for successfully obtaining further support


Call for Proposals
  • March 2, 11:59 pm ET: Proposals due
  • March/April: Review of proposals and selection for oral presentations
  • May/June: Oral presentations and selection of grant recipients
  • June: Announce winners
  • September 1: Launch projects 
  • December 1: First quarterly report due
  • February: Project update presentation to the Oversight Committee
  • March 1: Second quarterly report due

About Duke-Coulter

Wallace H. Coulter

Wallace H. Coulter (1913–1998) is recognized as one of the most influential inventors of the 20th century.

He was an electrical engineer and businessman whose invention of the Coulter Counter made possible the complete blood count, one of medicine's most-requested and informative diagnostic tests.

In 2005, Duke BME was one of nine biomedical engineering programs to receive partnership awards from the Wallace H. Coulter FoundationThe partnership grants about $700,000 per year for awards.

Duke-Coulter By the Numbers

Since 2006


$12.5 million



60 Projects



$709.8 million
in follow-on funding



17 Companies



18 Licenses
to Industry





Figures as of August 1, 2021.