Deans' Health and Life Sciences Challenge fb

Harvard University announced 20 student-led teams today as finalists in four Deans’ Challenges. The competitions drew 161 proposals from across 13 Harvard Schools, each articulating a plan to tackle a pressing issue facing society. Sponsored by five deans and the director of athletics, and hosted by the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab), the competitions, along with the President’s Challenge, give Harvard students and fellows an opportunity to create and develop solutions that have meaningful impact for people around the world.

Drawing from their expertise and experience as entrepreneurs, industry experts, faculty, and investors, the judges for each contest reviewed dozens of applications to determine finalists. The finalists:

Blue Therapeutics
Blue Therapeutics is developing painkillers that are more potent than morphine at relieving pain but are not addictive.

Canary provides ultrasensitive protein pregnancy detection for point-of-care and home testing.

FLEEThealth is creating an interoperable application programming interface (API) for medical data to bring health care into the Internet age.

LuminOva aims to increase in vitro fertilization success rates by monitoring the viability of embryos.

Poly6 Biotechnologies
Poly6 Biotechnologies develops synthetic, bioresorbable polymers for drug delivery, anti-adhesions and tissue regeneration.

To read the Harvard Gazette story about Finalists in this and other Deans' Challenges, click here.

2015 Health and Sciences Challenge Topic Areas

Diagnostics and Population Disease Management

Diagnostic tests that are fast, accurate, low cost and accessible are crucial to the timely and effective care of patients. So too are tools to collect
manage and interpret data. We are interested in technologies that impact how we identify and manage disease.

Devices and Materials

Medical devices have the potential to improve clinical outcomes and/or a patient’s quality of life. We are seeking ideas that combine engineering, science,
medicine and attractive business models to develop novel materials or innovative devices that will play a role in improving health delivery and care.

Health IT and Wearables

Wearable and other related personal measurement technologies have the potential to redefine how individuals and caregivers understand and manage health. We are calling for solutions that either generate or interpret data streams to improve health outcomes.

Prevention and Safety

Our accumulating knowledge of the genetic, behavioral and social factors that cause disease, injuries and accidents can help us create means of avoiding
unnecessary stress and burden on individuals, families, and society. We are looking for entrepreneurial solutions that prevent, decrease or eliminate harm
and danger to individuals and society at large.

When we bring people together across disciplines and across schools, as this challenge has done, things happen that would otherwise be unimaginable. I have great confidence that we’re going to see some great outcomes from the work in this competition.”

- Jeffrey Flier, HMS Dean and co-chair of the Challenge