Pitt Innovation Challenge  
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PInCh 2016:
What is your bold solution to a vital health problem?

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute is sponsoring the 4th Pitt Innovation Challenge. This year’s challenge is focused on bold solutions in health. CTSI aims to move health-related research projects along the translational spectrum, not just to commercialization. Ideas and solutions do not need to be a products ready for commercialization - basic science projects are encouraged to apply! In addition, the program encourages new connections within the academic community, and among universities and community organizations, to foster an ecosystem of innovation.

The following teams won $100,000 in awards


Team Information:

Maliha Zahid, Timothy Feinstein, Yijen Wu, and Cecilia Lo

Description: A novel peptide for delivering radioisotopes, therapeutic small molecules or proteins specifically to heart muscle.


Team Information:

Juan Diego Naranjo, Lindsey Saldin, and Stephen Badylak

Description: Minimally invasive treatment for Barrett´s Esophagus causing disease regression and mitigation of cancer risk.


Team Information:

Bryan Brown

Description: For those seeking better ways to treat and recover from nerve injuries, NeuroGel is an injectable solution that provides a simple and effective method for enhancing nerve reconstruction.

The following teams won $25,000 in awards

Aeronics Inc

Team Information:

Alec Kaija, Blake Dube, Christopher Wilmer, and Mark Spitz

Description: This portable oxygen device uses porous materials to store medical oxygen at low pressure in a standard 12oz aluminum can—making oxygen therapy more portable than ever before!

Emotion Prosthetics

Team Information:

David Rabin, Shan Gao, Erik Loraas, Kathryn Fantauzzi, Raghav Sharma, Greg Siegle, and Lorenzo Soletti

Description: Purrr is a convenient, wearable, and intuitive tool that detects stress on the rise and empowers you to effortlessly control it before it controls you.


Team Information:

Jes Klarlund, Robert Shanks, Nicholas Stella, and Kimberly Brothers

Description: A new generation of eye drops that allow current advanced biological drugs to act on the surface of the eye


Team Information:

Amit Sethi, Chip Hanlon, and Ervin Sejdic

Description: I-HITS is an individualized hand improvement and tracking system, which allows patients with stroke to monitor their hand movement and enables therapists to deliver treatment outside therapy.


Team Information:

Jingyao Wu and Prashant Kumta

Description: VasoMag is a novel engineered biodegradable metallic vascular stent technology that provides superior mechanical support to open the narrowed vessels and maintain the needed patency while safely degrading in 6-12 months.

Ventriculo-Amniotic Shunt for Fetal Aqueductal Stenosis (VASFAS)

Team Information:

Stephanie Greene, Stephen Emery, Youngjae Chun, and Puneeth Shridhar

Description: A ventriculo-amniotic shunt to treat fetal hydrocephalus will prevent the progressive brain injury that occurs in utero until conventional treatment can be instituted following birth.


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