Bench-2-bedside competition to showcase Utah students’ medical innovations

The innovations are ready to be unveiled. After six months of research, planning, problem-solving and light-bulb moments of inspiration, more than 20 teams of University of Utah students participating in the fifth annual Bench-2-Bedside competition will showcase inventions that could change the way medicine is delivered. The event will be held Wednesday April 8, 6-9 p.m. at the Utah State Capitol Rotunda, 350 N. State Street.

The Bench-2-Bedside program is designed to introduce medical students, engineering students and business students to the world of medical device innovation. Student teams form interdisciplinary “start-up” companies and are given the task of identifying an unmet clinical need.

Last year’s competition yielded a varied crop of gadgets, devices and web apps. The four-student team behind an anti-infective intraocular needle took home the $15,000 grand prize. This year’s teams will vie for more than $70,000 in prizes designed to serve as initial funding to support further project development.

“Through the Bench-2-Bedside program our students tap into University of Utah values of innovation, teamwork and unearthing new discoveries,” said John Langell, M.D., Ph.D., executive director of the University of Utah Center for Medical Innovation. “The competition highlights what we as educators at the U. already know: that our students are capable of transforming science and medicine in ways we never thought possible.”

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