Polsky Welcomes 11 Teams into Winter 2020 I-Corps Program Cohort

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is pleased to announce the latest cohort of its Polsky I-Corps program, a 7-week highly-experiential program designed to empower UChicago scientists, researchers, and students to test the commercial potential of their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) research and ideas.

A total of 11 teams have been accepted into the program and will receive a $2,500 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant and NSF-project designation for their participation. The program is taught by Starr Marcello, deputy head and executive director of the Polsky Center and adjunct associate professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth; and Melissa Byrn, director of innovation programs at the Polsky Center.

Now in its sixth year, the Polsky I-Corps portfolio has risen to 160 teams – including notable alumni such as BallotReady, ExplORer Surgical, ClostraBio, and BiomeSense.

The Polsky I-Corps Winter 2020 cohort includes:

Advancing Practices of Teachers (APT) // APT uses machine learning to leverage what research and practice point to as most desirable type of conversations in learning spaces. Team members: Frank Greco and Orrin Murray.  

CDRpro // CDRpro is a machine learning-based software which determines the polyreactivity status of an antibody through only the input of a given amino acid sequence. The polyreactivity of an antibody has negative implications on the efficacy of the antibody so the ability to predict this, with 90% accuracy, can improve the rational design of therapeutics. Team members: Chris Boughter, Jay Pittman, Matt Reyer, and Will Riedl.

Data-Driven Adaptive Diagnosis System // Data-Driven Adaptive Diagnosis System is developing a computerized diagnosis system which can make accurate and comprehensive diagnosis and can work for a broad range of diseases. This system will be adaptive with minimum number of questions or tests so that the diagnosis process is quick and easy. Team members: Atif Khan, Chao Zhang, and Hanxin Zhang.  

ImmunoT // ImmunoT develops stapled peptide inhibitors of protein-protein interactions implicated in a variety of cancers. The initial therapeutics are designed with immunomodulatory function in mind by developing inhibitors to target key transcription factor interactions of Regulatory T cells (Tregs), which frequently suppress cancer immune responses. Team members: Andrew Hawley and Katrina Maxcy.

Microbiopeutics // Microbiopeutics is developing a platform that can determine the impact a patient’s bacteria has on drug metabolism to minimize clinical frustration, unwanted side effects, and patient anxiety. Team members: Abhinav Bhushan and Teesta Jain.

NanoMR // NanoMR consists of a Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) passive driver that uses MRI capabilities to detect head and neck tumors more effectively and economically than current technologies. Team members: Ilan Naibryf and Juvencio Maeztu Orellana.

Non-Axially Symmetrix Optics for Compact ICOS Instruments // ICOS instruments are used to measure trace gases in industry and research however, their optical layout results in ‘skewness’ in the output light, reducing light collection efficiency. The non-axially-symmetric optical components can reduce skewness, resulting in better collection efficiency, especially for small and compact instruments. Team members: Benjamin Clouser, Fatima Alibana, and Jacob Joergens.

Novi Agreement Solutions // Novi Agreement Solutions is a stand-alone platform that services funding agreements that throughout a healthcare organization. At its core, the platform will automate the reconciliation process between entities, define a shared approval workflow, and establish a transparent documentation repository for streamlined reporting and insights. Team members: Samantha Noehre, Braydon Thompson, and Sadie Ziesmer. 

Sanoseat // Sanoseat is developing a solution to improve elder health through IoT and have a prototype of a sensor that goes on a wheelchair. Team members: Robin Seaberg and Winnie Wu.

Quantitative Biology Educational Program (QBEP) // Undergraduate biology education is lacking the fundamental skills and knowledge in understanding the underpinnings of how and why complicated biological processes occur. Quantitative Biology Educational Program is working to develop a new curriculum that utilizes the skills of applying mathematics to complicated biological processes. Team member: Elizabeth Kovar and Payal Motwani.

WiserYounger Leadership Program // WiserYounger Leadership is a practical, interactive educational program that teaches essential leadership skills based on the discipline of social psychology. The program takes as its starting point the lessons and activities presented in Choosing Leadership: A Workbook (Agate, 2018). Team members: Sara Chan, Linda Ginzel, Matt Ramoundos, and Jane Sheppard.

Learn more about the Polsky I-Corps program by visiting the website.

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