Shape the Future of Medicine: Cast Your Votes

August 13, 2015 Brigham and Women's Hospital

Two compelling competitions to advance medical innovation the BRIght Futures Prize and Stepping Strong Innovator Awards – are currently under way at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and you can help determine the winner. (Click this link to Tweet to your followers.)

BRIght Futures Prize

The BRIght Futures Prize supports BWH investigators as they work to answer provocative questions or solve vexing problems in medicine. This year’s BRIght Futures Prize finalists – Christopher Fanta, MD, from the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the BWH Lung Center; Wilfred Ngwa, PhD, from the Department of Radiation Oncology; and William Savage MD, PhD, from the Department of Pathology  are pursuing forward-thinking and inventive research to improve patient care. Each of the three finalists hopes to receive the $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize, which will be awarded on Discover Brigham Day on Oct. 7, 2015.

Learn more about their projects and vote for your choice.

  • Wilfred Ngwa has developed a powerful new technology designed to kill cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body by combining microscopic nanoparticles with medicine – all packed into a tiny drone the size of a grain of rice.
  • Dr. Christoper Fanta is developing a smartphone application that will alert people with asthma that their breathing is deteriorating and suggest interventions that can reverse the decline before it becomes severe.
  • Dr. William Savage’s project will make apheresis, a specialized blood treatment, easier for both patients and the people who administer the treatment. The current apheresis process uses a large, complicated, centrifuge-based machine that can require donor blood transfusions and a catheter placed into a large vein near the patient’s heart.

Stepping Strong Innovator Awards

The Stepping Strong Innovator Awards, one of three program areas funded by the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund, supports groundbreaking projects to inspire innovative research in trauma treatment and recovery. The fund was established by the Reny family following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, which left Gillian Reny, a student and aspiring dancer, with severe injuries to both of her legs. The fund’s goal is to support and advance clinical and research efforts related to trauma, enabling patients who have suffered from traumatic, athletic, military, or disease-related limb injuries to return to their highest level of function and mobility.

This award seeks to inspire innovative research addressing clinical problems in areas related to limb reconstruction, limb transplant, advanced stem cell technology, orthopedic and plastic surgery, bioengineering, and rehabilitation. The Stepping Strong Innovator Awards winner also will be announced at Discover Brigham Day.

You have the opportunity to chart the course for trauma research by voting for a deserving research project. The winner will receive a $100,000 Stepping Strong Innovator Award grant to fund a deserving research project. Three BWH finalists – Omid Farokhzad, MD, from the Department of Anesthesiology; Bohdan Pomahac, MD, from the Department of Plastic Surgery; and Su-Ryon Shin, PhD, from the Department of Medicine – are competing head-to-head in a public competition.

Learn more about their projects and vote for your choice.

  • Dr. Omid Farokhzad is using nanodrones – tiny biodegradable robots that deliver antibiotics – to promote bone growth and wound healing.
  • Dr. Bohdan Pomahac has developed a portable machine that can keep detached arms and legs alive up to three times longer than what is currently possible.
  • Su-Ryon Shin uses 3-D bioprinting to create functional muscle tissue for patients who have lost muscle through traumatic injuries.

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