The Third Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh) focused on ideas for how to enhance health by bridging factors that impact different life stages. At a recent live judging event, there were 6 winning projects announced, and 4 of them included teams of McGowan Institute faculty and students. 2015 McGowan Institute PInCh winning projects and teams include:
- OXI-Dent: A coating to solve the problem of dental implant inflammation. Project Team: Noah Snyder, Andrew Glowacki, James Eles, Kasey Catt, Zhanhong Du. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member mentors include Eric Beckman, PhD, Charles Sfeir, DDS, PhD, Tracy Cui, PhD, and Steven Little, PhD. Winner of $100,000. (OXI-Dent was also a winner in this year’s Randall Family Big Idea Competition.)
- Phoenix: A bio-inductive vascular graft combines the wide applicability of an off-the-shelf prosthetic graft with the in vivo performance of an arteriovenous fistula. Project Team: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Yadong Wang, PhD, Prabir Roy-Chaudhury, MD, PhD, Daniel Long, Eric Jeffries, PhD, Piyusha Gade, Chelsea Stowell. Winner of $100,000.
- FeetForLife: Use your own fat to cushion painful feet so you can walk for a lifetime with less pain and suffering. Project Team: Jeffrey Gusenoff, MD, Beth Gusenoff, DPM, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Kacey Marra, PhD. Winner of $25,000.
- PIVOT: Technology which quantifies the pivot shift test that evaluates knee ligamentous injuries. The pivot shift test is associated with future development of osteoarthritis in these patients. Project Team: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Richard Debski, PhD, Volker Musahl. Winner of $25,000.
PInCh is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Office of the Provost, and the Innovation Institute. During the first phase of the competition, which began in May 2015, 46 teams submitted a video entry to answer the question, “How can health be enhanced by bridging factors that impact life stages?” Sixteen teams were then asked to provide a written description of their projects, and finalists were chosen to present during the showcase. Six teams competed in the $100,000 category, and 7 teams competed in the $25,000 category.
“PInCh invites some of the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds in Pittsburgh to present their ideas for innovation,” said CTSI director Steven E. Reis, M.D., associate vice chancellor for clinical research, Health Sciences, and professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “This competition gives them the boost they need to implement their projects and make true advancements in health care.”
In addition to the award funding, the winners will get the assistance of a project manager to begin implementing their ideas.
Congratulations to all!
Illustration: University of Pittsburgh.