Amazing innovation and entrepreneurship accomplishments of numerous Swanson School of Engineering, Bioengineering (BioE) Department, students (and their McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members) were highlighted and awarded during recent University of Pittsburgh competitions. The events and awardees include:
Big Idea Showcase
The 2014 Randall Family Big Idea Competition, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute, concluded with its Big Idea Showcase event on April 10, 2014. Awards were announced in four categories:
- General Technology/Information Technology
- Healthcare/Life Sciences
- Social Innovation
BioE was well represented at the Showcase Awards ceremony:
First Place Award ($20K) – Healthcare/Life Sciences Category: Katie Farraro (BioE graduate student, mentored by Savio Woo, PhD) and Danielle Martin (Katz MBA/BioE MS student) for their proposal “Magnesium Ring for ACL Healing.” The Mg Ring is a novel medical device to regenerate a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), as an alternative to the current gold standard of ACL reconstruction, and has stemmed from Pitt’s National Science Foundation-Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials and Ms. Farraro’s PhD research work.
Second Place Award ($4.5K) – Healthcare/Life Sciences Category: The Curostem Team, comprised of Don Taylor, PhD (2013 BioE PhD graduate, mentored by Alan Wells, PhD) and Austin Nuschke (Pathology graduate student) for their patented bioengineered polymer gel that incorporates mesenchymal stem cells to treat patients with chronic wounds. Dr. Wells (Pathology/BioE) and Cecelia Yates, PhD (Nursing), were the faculty advisors and Eric Beckman, PhD (ChemE/BioE), is a co-inventor on the issued patent.
First Place Award ($20K) – Social Innovation Category: The PathMeT team, comprised of Eric Sinagra (Rehab Science & Technology graduate student), Ian McIntyre (BioE undergraduate student), Tianyang Chen (Electrical Engineering undergraduate student), Jonathan Duvall (Rehab Science & Technology), Noelle Greenwald (Business Administration undergraduate student), and Dianna Stuckey (BioE undergraduate student). Jonathan Pearlman, PhD (Rehab Science & Technology), was the faculty advisor.
Pitt Health Innovation Case Competition
The first Pitt Health Innovation Case Competition (PHICC) was held April 11, 2014. This was entirely a student-driven effort, with Pitt Biomedical Engineering Society members taking a leadership role. The organizing committee consisted of:
- Saik-Kia Goh (Founder & Organizing Chair, BioE PhD student)
- Lisa Carey (Organizing Vice-Chair, BioE PhD student)
- Katie Farraro (Administration, BioE PhD student)
- Danielle Minteer (Communication & Logistics, BioE PhD student)
- Nicole Ostrowski (University Relations & Sponsorships, BioE PhD student)
- Danielle Martin (Judging, Katz MBA/BioE MS student)
- Andrew Glowacki (ChemE PhD student)
- William Raut (Entertainment, Katz MBA/BioE MS student)
- Collin Edington (Technology, BioE PhD student)
- Shalv Madhani (Design, BioE PhD student)
- Melissa Lash (ChemE PhD student)
The 13-member Judges’ Panel was comprised of experts in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization from McKinsey and Company, SDLC Partners, Akámas Consulting, CE City, Innovation Works, and University of Pittsburgh. Twelve teams worked on solving a business case in the healthcare arena and competed for two prizes. In addition, students had an opportunity to interact with the judges.
First Place Award ($2K): The Market Leaders – Team members: John Klune (Surgery Resident and Katz MBA student), Robert Allen (BioE PhD student, mentored by Yadong Wang, PhD), Samuel LoPresti (BioE PhD student, mentored by Bryan Brown, PhD), Shahab Shaffrey (Surgery Resident and MS in Clinical Research student), and Patrick Varley (Surgery Resident and MS in Clinical Research student).
Second Place Award ($1K): TBD – Team members: Andrew Brown (BioE PhD student, mentored by Bernard Costello, MD), Da-Tren Chou (BioE PhD student, mentored by Prashant Kumta, PhD), Amy Chaya (BioE PhD student, mentored by Charles Sfeir, DDS, PhD), and Emily Basara (2009 BS – Pitt BioE; Katz MBA/Industrial Engineering MS student).
Congratulations to all these students for participating in the experience-based learning opportunities and helping to promote the University’s innovation and entrepreneurship efforts. Their leadership role in conceiving and organizing some of these activities is also noteworthy.