School: Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Management
Team members: Richard Gaddis, Kristina Crockett, Laura Huffman, Brad Kairdolf, and Eric Galvez
Concept: When biomedical student Brad Kairdolf's wife was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, the medical crisis fueled an urgent new mission, an invention -- and now, perhaps, a business.
The cancer was successfully treated, but Kairdolf cites the experience as the catalyst for his work on a diagnostic tool that aims to provide a more accurate and efficient methodology for cancer diagnosis. Using fluorescent semiconductor nanoparticles, or "quantum dots," pathologists will potentially be able to examine multiple disease markers per test, an advance on current methods that can test only one marker at a time.
Kairdolf and his COO, Kristina Crockett, lead a team of Emory law students with backgrounds in healthcare, biochemistry, patents, and engineering.
Timeline: DiagNano has already filed for a provisional patent, and its creators published their work in the March 2008 issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry. The company hopes to begin conducting research tests next year at the National Cancer Institute's nanotechnology centers. - Soo Youn
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