Collegiate Inventors Competition(R) Announces Winners for 2007

Student innovators receive cash prizes for their work, including CPR

assistance, measuring pain medication effectiveness, improving cancer


Nov 02, 2007, 01:00 ET from The National Inventors Hall of Fame

    PASADENA, Calif., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- A novel way to treat cancer
 has won the top honor at the 2007 Collegiate Inventors Competition, an
 annual program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. Ian
 Cheong of Johns Hopkins University was announced as the grand prize winner,
 receiving a $25,000 prize, during a ceremony last night on the campus of
 the California Institute of Technology.
     This year's winners also include John Dolan of the University of
 California, San Francisco in the graduate category for his work on the
 Dolognawmeter, a device to measure the effectiveness of painkillers, and
 Corey Centen and Nilesh Patel of McMaster University in the undergraduate
 category for their work on creating a CPR assist device. The McMaster team
 and Dolan each received a $15,000 prize from the competition, which is
 sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the
 Abbott Fund.
     The finalists were scrutinized during an initial evaluation process by
 30 experts from industry, government and academic research who judged
 entries on the originality of the idea and the potential value and
 usefulness of the invention to society. Then, on October 31st, the
 finalists presented their inventions to a final panel of eight judges,
 including six inductees from the National Inventors Hall of Fame and
 representatives from the USPTO and Abbott.
     Jeffrey Dollinger, President of Invent Now, Inc., the subsidiary of the
 Hall of Fame that administers the Competition, noted, "One of our goals is
 to encourage college students to celebrate the role that the inventive
 process plays in their science and technology research, and this year's
 class of finalists represents the true spirit of invention in our society.
 We look forward to seeing the impact of their innovations as they progress
 in their careers."
     The Hall of Fame inductee judges for this year's competition included
 Robert Bower (self-aligned gate MOSFET), Edith Flanigen (molecular sieves),
 Marcian "Ted" Hoff (microprocessor), Donald Keck (optical fiber), George
 Smith (charge-coupled device), and Rangaswamy Srinivasan (excimer laser
 surgery). This year's additional guest judges were Jasemine Chambers,
 Biotechnology Group Director for the USPTO and Jeffrey Pan, Advanced
 Technology, Global Pharmaceutical Discovery for Abbott.
     "At Abbott we are deeply committed to fostering the next generation of
 innovators," said Jeff Pan, Ph.D., Advanced Technology, Global
 Pharmaceutical Discovery, Abbott. "And as a scientist, I am encouraged by
 the depth of talent demonstrated this week in the competition. It is a
 thrill for me to serve a role in this important event."
     "All of the Competition finalists have already contributed to making
 our world a better place," said Jon Dudas, Under Secretary of Intellectual
 Property and Director of the USPTO. "The hard work and ingenuity that they
 have demonstrated during this competition are truly exceptional, and I'm
 encouraged that this generation is making scientific advances like the ones
 we're celebrating."
     Ian Cheong, 33, arrived at Johns Hopkins University from his native
 Singapore prepared to focus on cancer therapy. Drugs used in cancer
 treatment routinely kill the healthy cells as well as the cancer cells
 because they are potent but nonspecific. Cheong took on the task of finding
 a way to make the cancer drugs more specific. He injected bacterial spores
 into the subject which made their way to oxygen-poor areas within cancerous
 tumors. Then, Cheong put a cancer-fighting drug in lipid particles and
 injected those liposomes into a subject. The germinated bacterial spores
 also secrete a protein that makes liposomes fall apart when the
 drug-containing liposomes are in the proximity of the tumors, and the drug
 is released only in those specific areas. Cheong, originally educated as a
 lawyer, received his Ph.D. in cell and molecular medicine from Johns
 Hopkins and is currently working on postdoctoral research. His advisor,
 Bert Vogelstein, receives a $15,000 prize.
     John Dolan, 38, invented a device to measure the effectiveness of
 painkillers when tested in laboratory animals. Dolan was in dental school
 when he realized that many patients had oral and facial pain related to a
 variety of disorders. He also understood that finding ways to measure the
 effectiveness of painkillers on such pain had great importance. He created
 a device that could measure the gnawing function in experimental animals by
 taking advantage of their gnawing instinct. His Dolognawmeter automatically
 records the time it takes for a mouse to gnaw through a series of dowels.
 Slower gnawing shows greater pain, providing Dolan with a way to study the
 effectiveness of painkillers. Dolan, who attended high school in Bozeman,
 Montana, received his B.S. from Montana State University. His M.A. in
 anthropology was from the University of California, Berkeley. After
 spending several years as an artist, he attended the University of
 California, San Francisco and received his Ph.D., and is currently a
 student in the oral and craniofacial sciences there. His advisor, Brian
 Schmidt, receives a $5,000 prize.
     Corey Centen, 22, and Nilesh Patel, 21, are undergraduate prize winners
 for their CPRGlove: Wearable CPR Training, Testing and Assist Device. The
 pair was in their senior year when they were discussing ideas for a final
 project, and they realized that neither could remember how to do CPR even
 though both were trained in high school. Their research showed there was a
 need for a device to assist with CPR, and they created a custom-made glove
 with sensors and an LCD screen to give instructions and feedback when the
 user performs CPR. The glove is able to provide information on the rate,
 depth, force, and angle of compressions as well as the heart rate. It also
 speaks, providing verbal cues for the user. Along with a fellow electrical
 and biomedical engineering classmate from McMaster, they formed Atreo
 Medical, Inc. to refine and market the device. They have been pleased to
 receive support and funding for working on the glove from various Canadian
 sources, and they are making headway in the U.S. as well. Their advisor,
 Hubert de Bruin, receives a $5,000 prize.
     The Collegiate Inventors Competition is designed to encourage college
 and graduate students to be active in science, engineering, mathematics,
 technology, and creative invention. This prestigious challenge recognizes
 and rewards the innovations, discoveries, and research by college and
 university students and their advisors for projects leading to inventions
 that may be patented. Introduced by the National Inventors Hall of Fame in
 1990, the Collegiate Inventors Competition has annually rewarded
 individuals or teams for their innovative work and scientific achievement.
 For more information on the competition, visit
 For more information on the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation,
     About Abbott Fund
     Abbott Fund is a philanthropic foundation established by Abbott, a
 global, diverse healthcare company, in 1951. The Fund's mission is to
 create healthier global communities. Abbott Fund invests in creative ideas
 that promote science, expand access to health care and strengthen
 communities worldwide. For more information on Abbott Fund, visit
     For over 200 years, the basic role of the USPTO has remained the same:
 to promote the progress of science. Through the issuance of patents, the
 USPTO encourages technological advancement by providing incentives to
 invent, invest in, and disclose new technology worldwide. Through the
 registration of trademarks, the agency assists businesses in protecting
 their investments, promoting goods and services, and safeguarding consumers
 against confusion and deception in the marketplace. By disseminating both
 patent and trademark information, the USPTO promotes an understanding of
 intellectual property protection and facilitates the development and
 sharing of new technologies worldwide.

SOURCE The National Inventors Hall of Fame