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NovoThelium Selected as Finalist for MassChallenge Texas

February 21, 2018

We are proud to announce that NovoThelium was selected to participate in MassChallenge Texas's 2018 accelerator program in Austin! We will join 84 of other businesses for four months of programming that includes access to MassChallenge's global network, world-class mentoring from industry experts, tailored programming, free co-working space at WeWork, and unrivalled access to corporate partners. Learn more about our announcement and about MassChallenge at

NovoThelium profiled in documentary "Entrepreneurs Create Jobs"

October 27, 2017

Entrepreneurs Create Jobs was founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Joe Ricketts. They are a non-profit, non-partisan policy organization that promotes entrepreneurism and the new businesses and jobs entrepreneurs create. They believe future opportunity depends on entrepreneurs starting new businesses. They want to amplify the voices of entrepreneurs so policymakers can better understand how to promote entrepreneurism in the United States.

For mastectomy survivors, San Antonio scientists have a promising technique

October 13, 2017

"Imagine staring at your body in the mirror every morning and feeling like something was missing. Or that it was abnormal — deformed, even.

Two women who co-founded an award-winning company called NovoThelium, which would provide nipple regeneration technology for women who have had mastectomies, have heard about that reaction. 

“What we hear most often from these women is they want to feel complete. That word is universally used,” said Lauren Cornell, 30, a doctoral student in a translational science joint program at UT Health, the University of Texas at San Antonio and other institutions.

“The women that decide to go through it have almost unanimously told us, when they looked in the mirror, it reminded them of what they’d been through. But they wanted to move on with their life,” said Bianca Cerqueira, 31, who recently received her PhD in biomedical engineering."...

NovoThelium Opens Nasdaq!

August 09, 2017

NovoThelium won first place in the 2017 Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition (TVLIC), hosted by by Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Prizes included a cash award of $10,000 and the opportunity join TVL in New York City to ring the opening Nasdaq bell on August 9th, 2017.

Biotech Startup Takes on the Challenge of Nipple Reconstruction

July 25, 2017

Surgeons have several options when it comes to rebuilding breasts after surgery related to breast cancer. But for replacing nipples, women have fewer choices. A startup biotechnology company in San Antonio is working to develop a better way to rebuild nipples after cancer surgery. Two young scientists saw a niche and decided to try and fill it.

Melissa Ramirez, 40, of San Antonio had breast reconstruction with implants after a double mastectomy four years ago. But no nipples. "You feel like you’re a little bit incomplete," Ramirez explained, "like something is missing."

KLRN SciTech Now: Regeneration Program at UTSA

July 07, 2017

Two graduate students from the University of Texas at San Antonio have collaborated to form a new medical start-up company called NovoThelium, which is conducting research to use bioengineered scaffolds to allow women to regenerate nipples after a mastectomy.
On the next SciTech Now, we go into the lab to learn how NovoThelium takes donor nipple tissue and processes it to remove cells and DNA, rendering it capable of regenerating nipples on patients.
This revolutionary technology could be the next breakthrough for cosmetic reconstruction after mastectomies.

Catch the full episode of SciTech Now airing Friday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. on KLRN.

UTSA student start-up helps breast cancer survivors regenerate nipples

June 28, 2017

UTSA graduate students, Bianca Cerqueira and Lauren Cornell ’12, are winning pitch competitions left and right with their new start-up, NovoThelium, which uses bioengineered scaffolds to allow women to regenerate a nipple after a mastectomy.

Rivard Report: Local Startup Racks Up Awards for Developing Biotech Process

June 19, 2017

Two local doctoral students are capitalizing on recent victories in pitch competitions to build a bioscience startup that could pave the way for better patient outcomes after breast surgery.

Bianca Cerqueira and Lauren Cornell used the cash prizes they won on 11 different occasions to co-found San Antonio-based NovoThelium to develop a biotechnology process that aids in breast reconstruction surgeries...

The entrepreneurs say they started their company to create a product that gives women an alternative to extensive breast reconstruction...

Xconomy: Nipple Replacement Startup NovoThelium Sweeps Pitch Competitions

May 08, 2017

"A preclinical San Antonio life sciences startup founded by two Ph.D. students, NovoThelium, is developing another method that they hope will result in a better nipple. The co-founders use nipple tissue from cadavers that, after having old DNA and cells removed, can be used in patients who are having a breast reconstructed. NovoThelium says its decellularization process allows the nipple to act like a collagen scaffold, retaining certain proteins and structures that, as a part of the healing process, lets the nipple be repopulated with a patient’s own cells, developing into a more natural nipple and areola...

The startup founders are also trying to help women in another way: by offering an internship program to students considering a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. NovoThelium’s first intern worked with the company for a year—initially having only signed on for a month—after discovering she liked lab work, Cornell says. The former intern now plans to pursue a four-year degree in science and NovoThelium gave her a $500 scholarship from its grant funding to do so, Cornell says."

NovoThelium selected among the best of the best startups in the nation

February 28, 2017

NovoThelium has been selected among the best of the best startups in the world as contenders for the final pitch competition at the Rice Business Plan Competition 2017 in Houston.

The Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition. It is hosted and organized by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which is Rice University's flagship initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. This is the 16th year for the competition. In that time, it has grown from nine teams competing for $10,000 in prize money in 2001, to 42 teams from around the world competing for more than $1.5 million in cash and prizes.

Student Biotech Startup NovoThelium Has Winning Formula

February 23, 2017

NovoThelium was profiled by the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business: "Combining business acumen with an innovative biomedical solution has been a winning combination for NovoThelium, a student-led startup biotechnology company."

Building SA’s Ecosystem One STEM Entrepreneur at a Time

February 16, 2017

NovoThelium was featured in an article by the Rivard Report about building San Antonio's STEM Ecosystem and the services UTSA Institute for Economic Development can provide.

Kayce Noonan Awarded Excellence in Research Scholarship

January 06, 2017

Kayce Noonan was awarded NovoThelium's inaugural Excellence in Research Scholarship for outstanding research achievement.  Ms. Noonan has served as our undergraduate research intern during the 2016-2017 academic year.

"I am so thankful to be the recipient of this elite award and scholarship and for this incredible opportunity.  My experience with NovoThelium has greatly influenced my decision to pursue a career in STEM.  My time with these amazing women and this company has been so positive and uplifting for me as a future scientist and so empowering as a woman in STEM.  This scholarship will greatly aid me in my future educational and scientific pursuits. 

My mother, being a part of a family of migrant workers, was pulled out of middle school to work in the fields with her brothers and sisters.  I remember being in High School working on getting my diploma while she took night classes and studied hard to get her GED.  Needless to say, the day she attained her GED was one of happy tears and great empowerment.  Though my mother worked all day (and sometimes nights) and through holidays to provide for me and my siblings, the struggle that I now know she felt, never affected us as children.  I had a wonderful childhood because of the gumption and tenacity of my loving mother.  Since before I could even read, I remember her stressing the importance of getting a good education.  She made it impossible not to be a first generation college student. 

About two years ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It was a scary and trying time, but she approached surgery and chemotherapy with the same perseverance she had for life.  Two years later, she is in remission and I decided to quit my job as a Tower Inspector and continue my education in the sciences and pursue this incredible internship. 

With a history of breast cancer on both sides of my family and the impending disease in my future, the goals of NovoThelium are very close to my heart.  It has been a privilege to work with women that emulate the strong, empowering spirit of my mother on a project that will uplift and enrich the lives of so many breast cancer survivors."

Tina Mims: Women innovate to help cancer survivors

October 19, 2016

Texas Woman's University's Hub Executive Director Tina Mims shares her personal breast cancer story and recognizes innovators helping fighters and survivors in today's Denton Record-Chronicle.

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