2018 KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD
Professor of Surgery
Deputy Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Director of the Center for Preclincial Testing
Authored over 340 peer reviewed publications and 40 book chapters
Holds more than 60 issued U.S. patents and 30 patents worldwide
Co-founder of ECM Therapeutics, Inc.

Dr. Badylak’s laboratory specializes in the use of biologic scaffolds composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) to facilitate functional tissue and organ reconstruction. 

http://www.mirm.pitt.edu/badylak/team.asp


“Dr. Badylak is one of Pitt’s most prolific innovators, and we look forward to the positive impact that these regenerative medicine technologies will have on people’s lives.” - Alex Ducruet, PhD, CLP, director for licensing and intellectual property in Pitt’s Innovation Institute.


2018 Awards

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PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD FOR COMPANY DISPLAY
AS VOTED FOR BY ATTENDEES.

Laborjack

Company summary:  Laborjack is a software platform that provides a variable workforce for individuals and businesses. We do this by hiring vetted, background checked, and friendly workers for a variety of tasks. As soon as a job is posted through our website, we distribute it to our supply of workers who then have the ability to accept it. Then, the 'Laborjacks' will show up on time, ready to work on job day. After the work is completed, customers pay onsite for the hours worked. Typical jobs we perform include moving, yardwork, or any other form of general labor work. We bring the muscle!

 

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD FOR STUDENT RESEARCH POSTER  
VOTED BY ATTENDEES.

1st place
Hamed Vahabi
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Walter Scott College of Engineering

Research Summary:  This project described the fabrication of free-standing, flexible, and stretchable, super-repellant films that can repel virtually all liquids. The fabricated films can be used in industrial, commercial, or in-home settings and does not require specialized equipment or training to install.

Runner Up
Kelly Haugen
Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise MBA Program
College of Business

Research/Business Summary:  This project described the development of the company, Nobilis Aqua, a venture focused on bringing sustainable solutions to the aquaculture industry. Our company is currently working on developing ways to make fish feeds more sustainable through processing invasive Asian carp into fishmeal. Our goal is to help conservation efforts on eradicating invasive species while improving aquaculture fish farms throughout the United States.

 

VR/AR AWARD  
SHOWCASED THE BEST USE OF VR/AR IN PROJECT, AS JUDGED BY FACULTY, ALUMNI, AND COMMERCIALIZATION SPECIALIZATION JUDGES.

Brendan Garbe
Department of Biomedical Science
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Advisor:  Tod Clapp

Research Summary:  A novel education platform utilizing stereoscopic and interactive 3D tools to assist students, physicians, and patients in understanding complex anatomical and physiological structures.

 

CREATIVE WORKS AWARD
SHOWCASED THE BEST NON-PATENTABLE PROJECT, AS JUDGED BY FACULTY, ALUMNI, AND COMMERCIALIZATION SPECIALIZATION JUDGES.

Raina Benford
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
College of Health and Human Sciences
Advisor: Stephanie Barr

Research Summary:  This project describes the creation of a Lifelong Housing Certificate program that would certify design concepts that maximize affordable, healthy, and safe home options for seniors.

 

SOFTWARE AWARD
SHOWCASED THE BEST USE OF SOFTWARE IN PROJECT, AS JUDGED BY FACULTY, ALUMNI, AND COMMERCIALIZATION SPECIALIZATION JUDGES.

Bryce Asay
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Advisor:  Anne Lenaerts

Research Summary:  This project involved the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) based software to analyze histopathology samples (stained diseased tissue placed on slides), which is crucial in diagnosing and analyzing a variety of illnesses such as cancer and infectious diseases, and can be automated to significantly enhance productivity.

 

ENERGY INSTITUTE AWARD
SHOWCASED THE BEST INNOVATION IN REGARDS TO ENERGY, AS JUDGED BY ENERGY INSTITUTE ASSOCIATED JUDGES.

Ryan Pearson
Department of Chemistry
College of Natural Sciences
Advisor:  Garret Miyake

Research Summary:  This project described the development of a low-cost paintable coating for windows that creates a transparent heat-reflective film.  This inexpensive film transforms energy-inefficient windows into energy-efficient surfaces, thus reducing cooling costs for homes and commercial buildings, which will reduce energy consumption and decrease CO2 emissions.

 

NON-STUDENT/COMPANY RESEARCH POSTER
SHOWCASED THE BEST INNOVATION IN REGARDS TO COMPANY RESEARCH, AS JUDGED BY FACULTY, ALUMNI, AND COMMERCIALIZATION SPECIALIZATION JUDGES.

Stephen Hughes
KromaTID
Research Innovation Center

Research Summary:  This project described the development of a fully automated, machine learning tool to analyze large sets of genomic data allowing for much faster, more consistent, and efficient analysis of these data sets.

 

INNOVATION AWARDS
SHOWCASED THE MOST INNOVATIVE RESEARCH/PROJECT WITHIN EACH COLLEGE, AS JUDGED BY FACULTY WITHIN EACH COLLEGE, ALUMNI, AND COMMERCIALIZATION SPECIALIZATION JUDGES.
 

College of Agriculture
Sam Jalali
Department of Animal Sciences
Advisor: Terry Engle

Research Summary:  This research described the generation of a novel system that recycles the copper sulfate used in dairy farm footbaths, benefiting both the farmer and the environment by reducing heavy metal contamination in surrounding soils.   

College of Business
Scott LoMurray
Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise MBA Program
Advisor:  Troy Mumford

Research Summary:  This research described evidence-based strategies to interrupt the cycle of trauma amongst refugee populations, creating local networks of support that enable a social contagion effect of resiliency, connectedness, and healthy coping that drives down the social, economic, and health costs of the refugee crisis.

College of Health and Human Sciences
Marjan Sadeghi
Department of Construction Management, Civil Engineering
Advisor:  Jonathon Elliot

Research Summary:  This research described a multidisciplinary project that integrates state-of-the-art Building Information Modeling software tools into Facilities Management. The result is a compelling framework for decision makers to identify their specific information needs and capture, store, retrieve, document, and manage timely building lifecycle information accordingly.

College of Natural Sciences
Deana Davalos, Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology, Davalos Laboratory

Research Summary:  This project described an innovative community based intervention (BSHARP) that focused on a type of cognitive stimulation (e.g. musical performance), and stimulated participants in terms of physical requirements (trip to Lincoln Center and mingling during the social hour preceding the symphony), social requirements (participants engage not only with their caregiver, but also with the research team and with others), to improve cognitive and psychological functioning in people with dementia.

College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Jared Luxton
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
Advisor:  Susan Baily

Research Summary:   This project described a re-designed whole genome screening process that detects genomic structural variations; enabling diagnoses in undiagnosed and rare disease patients. This unique screen looks directly at structural variation and merges cytogenetics-based interrogation of structural variations with genomics-level analysis.

Walter Scott College of Engineering
Jenna Gallegos
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Advisor:  Jean Peccoud

Research Summary:  This project described a novel way to track, monitor, and verify unique nucleic acid sequences. This technology takes principles utilized in digital-security and applies them to DNA. This allows for better IP protection, as well as general verification and management of biological materials.

Warner College of Natural Resources
Katherine Rocci
Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
Advisors:  M. Francesca Cotrufo, Steven Fonte

Research Summary:  This project described the use of a soil amendment (biochar) as a promising solution for climate stability, food security, and soil health. We hypothesize that adding biochar to soil can increase plant growth and nitrogen retention in the soil, leading to reduced need for fertilizer and fewer environmentally harmful nitrogen losses. Creating a more sustainable food system is crucial for feeding our growing population and reducing the negative environmental effects of agriculture.