Three students from the College of Health Professions are winners in the Innovation Challenge ’16 held at NDSU. Prajakta Kulkarni, Matt Confeld, and Petra Reyna One Hawk received awards for their innovations in the competition.
Kulkarni, graduate student in pharmaceutical sciences and Matt Confeld, second year pharmacy student, won the Service category in Innovation Challenge ’16, and the People’s Choice award. They receive a combined $6,000 for their innovation called Opti-M3D. Their adviser is Dr. Sanku Mallik in pharmaceutical sciences. Kulkarni and Confeld designed a way to personalize cancer treatment without relying solely on clinical trials of individuals with similar cancers. They created a 3-D printed perfusion bioreactor. This cell culture kit with flowing fluid to mimic internal body conditions could help physicians make decisions on effective cancer treatments for their patients.
Petra Reyna One Hawk received a second place award in the Social category of the Innovation Challenge ’16. She receives a $1,000 award. A second-year master’s degree student in the Public Health program, Petra’s innovation is a meals-ready-to-eat concept using locally-sourced ingredients from native culture to create a highly-nutritious power food. Her goal is to develop a health program with an educational curriculum to help combat the high rates of diabetes and other health issues existing in native culture. “My project is most about using food as medicine and I'm looking forward to developing it further,” she said. Her adviser is Donna Grandbois, associate professor in the School of Nursing.
Students across the university compete in four tracks—agriculture, product, service and social—vying for $27,000 in prizes awarded for innovative ideas that can create a difference.
Additional students represented the College of Health Professions in this year’s competition, as well. Mason Magle, third year pharmacy student, with Eric Krall, Ph.D. Coatings and Polymers, participated with Lido-Socks, a step forward in nerve pain management. Magle was a semi-finalist in the competition. Lydia Lowe, a second-year pharmacy student, participated with her project called Smart Insurance, which uses smart chip technology to provide a quick, safe, user-friendly card that optimizes an individual’s experience at a pharmacy.
Students begin competing in Innovation Challenge in October, followed by months of “boot camp training” and brainstorming sessions with business professionals to learn how to refine and pitch their ideas for potential funding. Teams go through rounds of judging to make it to the finals. Then the finalists go through an additional round of judging that includes oral presentations about their projects.
The Innovation Challenge showcases and encourages student ingenuity in projects involving new, unique or re-imagined products and services. Innovation Challenge is presented by the NDSU Office of the Provost in partnership with the NDSU Research and Technology Park.
The NDSU Research and Technology Park and Technology Incubator are home to fast-paced, high-growth companies that promote technology-based economic development in North Dakota.
The core mission of the College of Health Professions is to prepare students to become competent, caring, ethical professionals and citizens committed to lifelong learning.
As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.