The June 29th event was an innovation-focused competition featuring teams’ five-minute pitches for new medical technologies. The event was designed to match surgeons with engineers based on their mutual interests in solving real-world medical problems. The top five winning teams were determined by popular vote and earned monetary support for their ideas. The first place team, and winner of $15,000, included BME professor Dr. Zhen Gu, as well as Dr. Bruce Cairns (director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center) and Dr. John Stackhouse (Distinguished Professor of Surgery at the UNC School of Medicine). The first place team pitched the concept of a bandage that would release pain medication when stimulated by movement. This idea combines Dr. Cairns’ experience with burn patients needing pain medication when they are moving (i.e. when these patients are laying still they aren’t always in pain) and Dr. Gu’s experience developing a new, painless smart insulin patch. For this inaugural speed-dating pitch competition, UNC Lineberger contributed $40,000 thanks to the support of the University Cancer Research Fund. BME and the UNC School of Medicine Department of Surgery also contributed funding. BME congratulates the winners and looks forward to hearing about the fruits of these exciting collaborations!
For more information see UNC Lineberger’s news release. The event was also featured in Triangle Business Journal.