Crain’s Headlines: Northwestern’s $10M Grant to Prevent Opioid Deaths

A Northwestern researcher known for developing wearable technology has received a $10 million federal grant to create a potentially life-saving implantable device for people with opioid use disorder. 

John Rogers won the money from the National Institutes of Health to develop the device, which can respond to a drop in oxygen level in the blood by contacting first responders and dispensing a dose of medication that can reverse in minutes the effects of a potentially fatal opioid overdose. Rogers says he aims to complete a prototype by early next year.

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The materials science specialist is known for engineering tiny wearable devices, like a fingernail patch that monitors UV exposure and a skin patch developed for Gatorade that captures sweat and tells users how much fluid and electrolytes they're losing.

In other Chicago business news:

Meanwhile, as the redeveloped Old Post Office prepares to welcome tenants after an $800 million-plus overhaul, the New York developer behind the project is making another big bet a block away.

601W is under contract to pay around $67 million for the six-story office building stretching a full city block at 801 S. Canal St.—just south of the Post Office. Northern Trust has been there since 1990 but is moving out late next year as the bank consolidates in a new Loop office.

That tees up another big turnaround for 601W, which set off a renaissance in the southwest corner of the Loop when it turned the Post Office into a modern office building. Big companies set to move into the mammoth property include Uber, Walgreens and Ferrara Candy.

And Gov. J.B. Pritzker has laid out a plan to make more state financial aid available to Illinois college-bound students than ever before.

Pritzker has proposed the state increase by 50% the amount it allots to its need-based assistance program over five years to about $600 million by fiscal 2023. It’s designed to help Illinois better compete to keep homegrown students here rather than losing them for higher education to Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana—states that have been luring more students away from Illinois in recent years.

Illinois has had a net outflow of students in the past few years, with nearly half who are headed to four-year colleges opting to leave the state.

Crain’s Headlines is a joint production between WTTW and Crain’s Chicago Business. It airs every Monday through Thursday on the WTTW News program “Chicago Tonight.” 

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