PInCH competition projects advance to next round

Six projects have advanced to the third round of the Pitt Innovation Challenge, along with eight poster projects, according to the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which sponsors the competition.

The PInCh competition is designed to generate innovative solutions to challenging health problems. Each of the winning teams will receive a $100,000 award for direct costs and project management support to help execute a 12-month project to take the team’s solution one step farther along the path of development.

Teams selected for round three must submit a response to reviewers, revisions to their written document, and give an elevator pitch to a panel of judges at the final event on Sept. 25.

The poster competition teams will be competing for $25,000 awards. Each poster team will submit revisions to the written document and prepare a poster presentation in lieu of the elevator pitch.

Advancing pitch projects, with their team leaders

42Days: Tamar Krishnamurti, assistant professor of medicine. A mobile health platform to identify maternal mortality risk at a time when women need it most, providing real-time intervention delivery and connection to care.

Aphasia Games for Health: William Evans, assistant professor, Department of Communication Science and Disorders, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Aphasia games for health to bring together translational researchers, industry partners, and patient stakeholders to improve language outcomes and fight social isolation in aphasia.

CyteSolutions Lens: Alexis Nolfi, grad student, and Bryan Brown, assistant professor, bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering. A silicone-hydrogel-based contact lens that has been coated with natural biopolymers containing an immune modifying drug for the treatment of dry eye disease.

HIV Detective: Michael Shurin, professor of pathology, School of Medicine. Rapid accurate HIV testing is lacking to achieve HIV eradication.  Collaboration between the departments of Chemistry and Pathology proposes to solve this problem.

OneValve: Garrett Coyan, grad student, and William Wagner, director of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Self-regenerating heart valve that uses the patient's natural healing process to replace diseased heart valves, decreasing the risk of blood clots and improving durability over current therapy.

Push-to-Spin: Jeffrey Gusenoff, professor of plastic surgery, School of Medicine. A novel device to make surgical fat grafting procedures more efficient.

Advancing poster projects, with team leaders

ABC Screening: AI-Assisted Blood Cancer Screening: Sara Monaghan, assistant professor of pathology, School of Medicine. Flow cytometry is an essential method to diagnose blood cancer, but manual data analysis is laborious. AI-assisted interpretation will permit rapid results & free-up resources otherwise better spent.

Better Bladder Cancer Staging to Tailor Treatment: Pradeep Tyagi, associate professor, Department of Urology, School of Medicine. Non-invasive staging method can reduce morbidity and cost of existing methods for tailoring aggressive treatment options to aggressive cancer and reduce overtreatment of non-invasive indolent cancer.

Good Vibrations: Grad students Brianna Perry and Kevin Quinn, and Goeran Fiedler, assistant professor, SHRS. A novel vibration therapy device for treating residual/phantom limb pain and muscle atrophy in amputees.

High Accuracy Fiber Tracking: Jessica Barrios-Martinez, postdoctoral, and Fang-Cheng Yeh, assistant professor of neurological surgery, School of Medicine. A technology that maps connections in the brain to help neurosurgeons for presurgical planning in brain tumor patients.

MobileDerm: Alaina James, assistant professor of dermatology, School of Medicine. Provide dermatologic care to rural and vulnerable communities by traveling to their areas and sustaining partnerships with eDermatology and Teledermatology.

NOSE: John Moore, staff, and Stella Lee, assistant professor, Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine. A non-magnetic olfactory stimulation device which can be applied in conjunction with magnetic neuroimaging modalities to be used as a diagnostic tool.

TeenBrainOnline: Caroline Oppenheimer, assistant professor of psychiatry, School of Medicine. A novel neuroimaging task to measure teen brain response to social media. This tool will address a need to study the impact of social media on rising teen depression and suicide rates.

TeleCopter: Leonard Weiss, assistant professor of emergency medicine, School of Medicine: A novel telemedicine system to transmit clinical data from critically ill patients at outlying hospitals and 911 scenes to a tertiary care center.