Bear Cub Challenge awards $225,000 to five research teams

Investigators developing new drugs, technologies or diagnostic tests often have trouble finding funding to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of their research. Federal funding usually doesn’t cover such proof-of-concept projects. To fill that void, the university’s Bear Cub Challenge awards help researchers make the leap from bench scientists to budding entrepreneurs.

Researchers hope to use holograms of the heart to improve patient outcomes and reduce radiation exposure.

The Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Skandalaris), the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) and the Center for Drug Discovery (CDD) together have awarded Bear Cub grants totaling $225,000 to five Washington University in St. Louis teams.

The award recipients include:

Jennifer N. Silva, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine, and Jonathan R. Silva, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, are working together to integrate holograms of the heart into minimally invasive cardiac procedures. Currently, flat X-ray-like images are used to see surgical tools within the heart. By using holograms instead, the researchers hope to improve patient outcomes and reduce radiation exposure to patients and physicians.

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