Back in January, nearly 50 MCIRCC members attended the first annual MCIRCC Critical Care Grand Challenge Symposiumtargeting sepsis, an incredibly complex public health problem that represents more than one million cases annually, a mortality rate up to 40-percent, and the single largest hospital treatment cost in the United States.

The two-day educational symposium concluded with the release of a request for proposal to support high-impact sepsis projects up to $100,000 for milestone driven research guided by co-principal investigators from the U-M Medical School and College of Engineering. Funding for the MCIRCC Grand Challenge was provided by the Deans of the Medical School and College of Engineering as well as the Department of Emergency Medicine.

MCIRCC received a total of 14 proposals and following a rigorous evaluation process by an external panel of experts, shortlisted eight projects to work hand-in-hand with assigned mentors and other U-M support groups to prepare a detailed project plan and budget that addressed real-world challenges and practical uses for their solutions. On July 16, these eight teams pitched their final proposals to an evaluation committee – comprised of ICU physicians, members of the U-M Office of Technology Transfer and Fast Forward Medical Innovation, and industry and venture capital professionals – for final funding decisions.

Based on the depth and breadth of the science and the apparent commercialization potential in these proposals, the evaluation committee recommended funding the following six projects at $50,000 each:

  1. Chiroplasmic Nanorod-PCR (NR-PCR) for Rapid Determination of Bacteremia and Antibiotic Resistance in Sepsis, J. Scott VanEpps, MD, PhD (U-M Medical School) & Nicholas A. Kotov, PhD (U-M College of Engineering)

  2. Development of a Sepsis Point-of-Care (POC) Platform Utilizing Redox Measurements with Integrated Protein Markers of Sepsis as a Bedside Biomarker for Sepsis, Severity of Septic Shock, and as a Gauge for Resuscitation Endpoints, Rodney Daniels, MD (U-M Medical School) & Shuichi Takayama, PhD (U-M College of Engineering)

  3. Real-Time Ultrasound Local Lung Ventilation Measurement, Jonathan Rubin, MD, PhD (U-M Medical School) & Cheri Deng, PhD (U-M College of Engineering)

  4. Sepsis Endotheliopathy Assessment Panel, Rodney Daniels, MD (U-M Medical School) & Xudong (Sherman) Fan, PhD (U-M College of Engineering)

  5. Immunotherapy and Immuno-phenotyping for Treatment of Sepsis, Jean Nemzek, DVM, MS (U-M Medical School) & Jianping Fu, PhD (U-M College of Engineering)

  6. Non-Invasive Portable System for Continuous Monitoring of Sepsis, Kayvan Najarian, PhD (U-M Medical School) & Kenn Oldham, PhD (U-M College of Engineering)

Moving forward, these six funded teams will work with MCIRCC’s Commercialization Coach to achieve their key milestones and ultimately the next phase in the product development roadmap.

MCIRCC would like to take this opportunity to congratulate each of the funded teams identified above and to thank all 14 teams for their hard work, creative thought and support of this important initiative. It took all of you to make MCIRCC’s first annual Critical Care Grand Challenge a success!