Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Student Technology Prize for Primary Health Care

The competition is organized annually by Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology  (CIMIT), a nonprofit consortium of Boston's leading teaching hospitals and universities.

The goal of the project is to develop a reliable and low-cost platform for rapid diagnosis and screening of sickle cell disease and other hemoglobin disorders in under-resourced environments, so that children can be diagnosed and their treatment can be initiated to reduce the risk of death in childhood.

About 50-80 percent of the estimated 400,000 infants born yearly with sickle cell disease in Africa die before the age of five. It is estimated by World Health Organization that 70 percent of these deaths are preventable with simple, cost-efficient interventions, such as the technology developed by the team.
 
Team members include: Yunus Alapan, principal investigator and a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Ryan Ung, a biomedical engineering undergraduate student, M. Noman Hasan, a mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate student, and Tolulope Rosanwo, a first-year student in the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.  
 
The student team is supervised by Umut Gurkan, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Jane Little, director of the Adult Sickle Cell Anemia Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Connie Piccone, clinical director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Anemia Center at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine.
 
The team has received $10,000 for research expenses and to prepare for the full application in July 2015, in which they will compete for three top prizes: $150,000, $100,000, or $50,000.