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2020 Expedited Funding

CMI awards a novel biomedical project with $15,000 in Round 1 2020 Pilot Funding


PITTSBURGH (April 28, 2020) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) has awarded a $15,000 grant through an “expedited” 2020 Round-1 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development. The one-year award starting May 1, 2020 was granted in response to a request for proposal (RFP) for projects with an immediate impact on the COVID-19 pandemic. The project co-investigators are Dr. David Turer, MD (Department of Plastic Surgery, UPMC), Dr. Heng Ban, PhD (Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sciences, Swanson School of Engineering), and Dr. J. Peter Rubin, MD (Chairman, Plastic Surgery, UPMC). The project title is “Individual Biocontainment Unit for Reducing Viral Transmission to Healthcare Workers and Patients”. The IBU is a device which brings a new level of portable contamination protection for health care workers and for other patients in intensive care facilities. 

CMI, a University Center housed in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE), supports applied technology projects in the early stages of development with “kick-start” 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 ninth 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.”

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 2012 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 70 early-stage projects have been supported by CMI with a total investment of over $1.4 million since inception.