Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Pitt’s Center for Medical Innovation awards five novel biomedical projects with $105,000 in Round-1 2018 Pilot Funding

PITTSBURGH (June 27, 2018) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) awarded grants totaling $105,000 to five research groups through its 2018 Round-1 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development. The latest funding proposals include a new vascular access device for use with stent grafts, an artificial tricuspid valve for treatment of right-heart disease, a shoe insert for treatment of foot pain, a biological treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, and a biofeedback system for mobility rehabilitation training.

CMI, a University Center housed in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE), supports applied technology projects in the early stages of development with “kickstart” funding toward the goal of transitioning the research to clinical adoption. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, technical and clinical relevance, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, and potential in obtaining further financial investment to translate the particular solution to healthcare.

This is our seventh year of pilot funding, and our leadership team could not be more excited with the breadth and depth of this round’s awardees,” said Alan D. Hirschman, PhD, CMI Executive Director. “This early-stage interdisciplinary research helps to develop highly specific biomedical technologies through a proven strategy of linking UPMC’s clinicians and surgeons with the Swanson School’s engineering faculty.

AWARD 1: “E-mag system for Rapid Cannulation of Fenestrated Stent Grafts to Reduce Radiation Exposure” 
For the development of a vascular stent graft system that will magnetically guide cannulation of endograft branches. 

Bryan W. Tillman, MD, PhD
Division of Vascular Surgery Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 

Youngjae Chun, PhD
Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering 

AWARD 2: “Valved stent conduit for the treatment of severe advanced tricuspid regurgitation” 
For the development of an artificial tricuspid valve that will treat decreased right ventricular performance due to cardiac disease.

Catalin Toma, MD
Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Heart and Vascular Institute

Youngjae Chun, PhD
Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering 

AWARD 3: “PopSoleTM Foot Off-Loading Device” 
For the development of a shoe insert that will reduce foot pain due to fat pad atrophy in the feet.

Jeffrey Gusenoff, MD
Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Beth Gusenoff, DPM
Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Kurt Beschorner, PhD
Associate Professor, Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering

Seyed Reza Moghaddam, PhD
Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering

Steven Donahoe, MS
Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering

AWARD 4: “Local Induction of Tolerogenic T cells to Ameliorate Inflammation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease”
For the development of a potent IBD therapy with fewer side effects than current medical therapy.

R. Warren Sands MD, PhD
T32 Clinical and Research Fellow, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School

Steven R. Little PhD
William Kepler Whiteford Endowed Professor and Chair, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering

David G. Binion MD, AGAF, FACG
Professor of Medicine, Clinical and Translational Science Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh Medical School

AWARD 5: “MOVISU-FIT: Mobile Wearable System for Real Time Visual Feedback and Gait Training”
For the development of a system to provide real-time visual feedback to patients working on gait corrections during mobility rehabilitation training.

Goeran Fiedler PhD
Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Science and Technology, UPMC

William Clark, PhD
Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Swanson School of Engineering

David Brienza, PhD
Professor, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Krista Kutina, DPT
Researcher, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Alicia Koontz, PhD
Associate Professor, Veterans Administration Hospital

April Chambers, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering 

###

About the University of Pittsburgh Center for Medical Innovation
The Center for Medical Innovation is a collaboration among the Swanson School of Engineering, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Innovation Institute, and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership II (CTRP). CMI was established in 2011 to promote the application and development of innovative biomedical technologies to clinical problems; to educate the next generation of innovators in cooperation with the schools of Engineering, Health Sciences, Business, and Law; and to facilitate the translation of innovative biomedical technologies into marketable products and services. Over 60 early-stage projects have been supported by CMI with a total investment of over $1 million since inception.

Akhil Aniff, CMI Fellow, 6/27/2018

Contact: Leah Russell