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Northwestern Inventors Take First Place

Students’ invention will increase safety for breast cancer surgery patients

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June 12, 2014

NEW YORK --- A team of Northwestern University students won first place in a prestigious national competition for developing a device that will reduce treatment time and cost while increasing safety for breast cancer surgery patients.

They received the first place title and a cash award of $10,000 at the annual Biomedical Engineering Innovations, Design, and Entrepreneurship Awards, June 11, in New York, hosted by the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

The award recognizes the best and the brightest in student-driven, innovative biomedical engineering design with high commercial potential and social impact. The Northwestern team, called Innoblative Designs, includes students from the Law school, Feinberg School of Medicine, the McCormick School of Engineering and the Kellogg School of Management.

The Northwestern team designed a device to be used during surgery to destroy cancer cells immediately and reduce the need for post-surgical radiation therapy.

Breast cancer is typically treated by a lumpectomy to remove the tumor, followed by a long series of radiation treatments, but studies show as many as 30 percent of women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer do not complete treatment and are more susceptible to cancer recurrence.

The long-term goal is to get the device through preclinical and clinical trials and ultimately into operating rooms, helping women and their families worldwide fight breast cancer in a way that is faster, safer, more convenient and less expensive.

Members of the Innoblative Designs Team: 

  • Oyinlolu “Lolu” Adeyanju, Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Daniel McCarthy, M.D., senior general surgery resident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Brian Robillard, McCormick School of Engineering
  • Jason Sandler, School of Law and the Kellogg School of Management
  • Tyler Wanke, Kellogg School of Management, McCormick School of Engineering and Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Adam Piotrowski, CD2 Medical Device Innovation fellow at The Center for Device Development; founder of Create Big Ideas
Topics: People, Campus Life