School:Xavier University of Louisiana

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Xavier University of Louisiana is a private, Catholic historically black university founded in 1925 by the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Xavier has the College of Pharmacy and the College of Arts and Sciences which offers Masters Programs in some liberal arts fields. It was built in the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana with a goal to improve advancement of Native Americans and African Americans. President Dr. Norman C. Francis is noted for being the longest tenured running president in the nation. His efforts to not only promote the education of minorities but invest in the potential of research and science education have gained the university positive recognition among HBCUs. Xavier University remains a leader in producing the most African Americans to obtain degree in science and get admission into medical, pharmacy, and graduate schools.

Promoting Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Recently, Xavier has begun to implement more innovation and entrepreneurial organizations and activities on campus. With the help of Professor Mark L. Quinn, the Conrad N. Hilton Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Assistant professor in Entrepreneurship, the Business department has been able to form X-ncubator, Enactus, and the Entrepreneurship Institute. In the Fall semester, students prepare a business plan for a social enterprise and present it to corporate executives. In the Spring, students participate in the Opportunity Finance Company Venture Challenge, a business plan competition. Xavier is a part of the Google Community Leaders Program, in which students learn the Google products and train local businesses in how to expand their online presence. Students learn essentially how to consult to small businesses.


This is a small incubator on campus where students interested in entrepreneurship can gain real business experience. The department faculty assists the student business owners as they plan and execute their ideas for a business venture. The incubator is set up to simulate a legitimate work environment and allows the students to interact with different entrepreneurs, clients, and each other. The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) site is one of the ventures that is a part of this incubator. Professors supervise students as they schedule client appointments and develop interpersonal communication skills.


Xavier Enactus, formerly known as SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), is an entrepreneurship club on campus. It is part of the international Enactus non-profit organization that aims to help students become better business leaders and entrepreneurs. The students are involved with X-ncubator on campus and off campus programs that help them gain business and initiative experience. Some of those programs include First Klass, an economic empowerment group for women, Steps for Empowerment, an initiative that exports shoes to the less fortunate, and a Don’t Text and Drive Campaign. Enactus students participate in regional and national competitions where they present their projects and network with internship administrators. They are also involved in the Teen Academy where the students create ideas for creative design competitions in local high schools. High school students send in their applications and Enactus students judge their work and award a cash prize to the winner.

The Entrepreneurship Institute

The Entrepreneurship Institute was developed to promote entrepreneurial thinking across Xavier’s campus. A minor in Entrepreneurship has been created where students of any major can take 18 hours of Accounting, Marketing, Management, and Entrepreneurship courses. “Lunch with a TREP” is another endeavor by the Business department that involves weekly events with local entrepreneurs. These business men and women are invited on campus to speak to students about their business journey and answer any questions they might have.

The institute has also started the bi-annual "Xavier Cup Innovation Challenge." This challenge was created to get Xavier's campus thinking about the powere of creativity and an innovative mindset. Each team must develop the most creative invention only using a cup and one other item. The team with the most creative and profittable idea and the biggest social media market wins a cash prize! This program has been a major success!

Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Within the last 10 years, Xavier’s involvement in research has greatly increased. Many faculty members participate in research that varies in topic from astrophysics and freak waves to drug discovery and delivery for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Xavier ranks number 1 in receiving funds from the Health and Human Services on a per capita basis. It also ranks in the top 30 percent nationwide in funding from the National Science Foundation and third in Louisiana from the National Institutes of Health. Xavier is a member of the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC), allowing cancer research programs to progressively further their research. The LCRC awards faculty approximately $900,000 each fiscal year to those that have written approved budget and research plans. This sponsors travel expenses, start-up packages, materials, etc.

The Center of Undergraduate Research (CUR) sponsors undergraduate students to get involved in paid research opportunities with faculty members. They are funded by the Andrew F. Mellon grant which awards $2,500 to $10,000 to several professors involved in research. CUR is not restricted to STEM majors and sponsors students with a research interest in any discipline provided they are supervised by a professor.

In January 2014, Xavier University received a US patent for a novel formulation to treat pain and heroin addiction (Dr. Tarun Mandal, a professor in the College of Pharmacy). In last few years, several other applications have also been submitted for US patent. These include (1) Automated Control Release Multiple Layer Coating (Dr. Tarun Mandal), (2) Inhibiting Hepatitis C Viral Replication with siRNA Combinations (Dr. Tarun Mandal), (3) a novel peptide drug for the treatment of herpes (Dr. Partha Bhattacharjee, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology), (4) a novel daidzein analogs as treatment for cancer (Dr. Guangdi Wang, a professor in the Department of Chemistry), (5) Bisbenzamidines and bisbenzamidoximes for the treatment of Human African Trypanosomiasis (Dr. Tien Huang, a professor in the College of Pharmacy).

Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function

Xavier University has a very active Technology Transfer Unit within the Office of Resource Development. The Office of Resource Development assists faculty and staff in research grant-writing, intellectual property policies and procedures, and budget.

Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

Xavier University has active collaboration with pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Dr. Tarun Mandal (College of Pharmacy) and his research team have developed an inhalable formulation of a proprietary (Tulane University and Autoimmune Technology; Flufirvite-3®) peptide for the treatment of influenza. The project is a $3.2 M NIH/NIAID grant and Dr. Mandal is the PI of the formulation core. He has successfully transferred the technology to Cirrus Pharmaceuticals for further development. He has co-authored the CMC documents supporting the IND (#101759) application. The Phase I first-in-human clinical trial of the API has been completed (#NCT01313962) last year and the Phase I clinical trial of the newly developed powder formulation will initiate soon.

Engaging with Regional and Local Development Efforts

Xavier's business department hosts the Local Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) that partners with universities all over the southern Louisiana region. This center allows Xavier to play a role in advising and working with small business orders regarding issues such as marketing, finance, and management. LSBDC has raised millions of dollars for individuals to use as capital for their business and entrepreneurial ventures.

Landscape Canvas

Click to view Xavier's landscape canvas.

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