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We are an enthusiastic team of students having life science, business and law expertise, dedicated to develop and translate novel cancer therapeutics from the bed to bedside
Tell us about your core team members
Our core team consists of 5 students with expertise in cancer biology, cancer drug development, business and law.
Hirak Biswas is a PhD students at Washington University in St. Louis. Hirak is conducting his doctoral thesis research in Dr. Greg Longmore's lab where he studies cell movement (metastasis) and the process of fibrosis in cancer and in heart disease. Hirak is part of the Cancer Biology Pathway at Washington University where he attends cancer clinic to understand the clinical aspects of treating cancer patients. He attended Johns Hopkins University for his masters degree in Biotechnology (High Throughput Screening and Drug Discovery). At Johns Hopkins University he conducted research on pancreatic cancer stem cells and cancer immunology which is the basis of the technology #2. Hirak takes a keen interest in technology commercialization and has previously won a business model competition and does scientific consulting for SCIMALS.
Anurag Agarwal is the in the lab of Dr. Helen Piwnica-Worms and his research focuses on cell cycle checkpoints in cancer. Anurag obtained his B.Tech degree in Biotechnology from Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). Anurag is the founder of SCIMALS, a company that provides scientific and market due diligence for early stage life science investments. Anurag has experience writing business plans for seed stage biotech companies to help them attract investment. Anurag has prior consulting experience with BALSA group and is an active member within the St. Louis Life Science Entrepreneur community.
Whitney Grither graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A in Chemistry and Public Health. She is currently pursuing her MD/PhD degree from Washington University in St. Louis. She joined Dr. Greg Longmore's lab for her thesis work. Whitney is a expert chemist and uses her skills to develop targeted therapies for cancer metastasis and aspires to translate her discoveries to the clinic. Her experience with patients and chemical synthesis are valuable to understand the clinical challenges for our technology adoption and also chemical synthesis of CpG-ODN which is a critical component of our chosen technology.
Gurudatta Begur Nadiger is a an Executive MBA student at Kellogg School of Management. He is a business and Technology leader with extensive management experience and proven record of accomplishment in strategic planning, customer engagement, product development and implementation in start-up and corporate environment. He has outstanding skills in leadership, collaboration, global delivery,
problem solving, and managing cross functional teams. His ambition is improving global healthcare. He is the Practice Director of Client Services at MeKesson Health Solutions and is responsible for managing client service engagements for top tier health insurance companies and stakeholders of the engagement and collectively helps generate a revenue of $45M. He also mentors and supervises a team of managers, engineers, developers and testers in America and Asia. He also engages in Breast Cancer Awareness Program in rural India.
Erik Nyre graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a BS in genetics. He is currently a MS/JD student at the University of Minnesota graduate and law schools. He also works as a Research Assistant at the Office of Technology Commercialization at University of Minnesota where he is in charge of assessing the commercial viability of new scientific inventions, reviewing patent literature for existing technologies, developing marketing materials for new technologies and identifying potential licensees. He has previously interned with the Missouri Biotechnology Association. Erik works in the laboratory of Dr. Timothy Starr, primarily investigating cancer gene discovery and therapy development.
Please tell us about your advisors/mentors
Our science mentors and advisors are experts in the field of cancer immunology, breast cancer vaccine development and breast cancer vaccine clinical trials. They have the expertise and experience to help the core team develop the technology and carry it to clinical trials.
Our business advisors and mentors have extensive experience in life science and biotechnology start-ups. They are experienced in licensing technologies, raising seed funding, biotechnology regulatory affairs, clinical trials and exiting companies. All of them have science backgrounds (including immunology) and have experience leading large research teams. They are leaders in the biotechnology start-up revolution in the St. Louis Cortex Innovation Community and Business District.
Why are your team members in the challenge
There is no dearth of innovating scientific discoveries being made in research labs there is a large opportunity to harvest the promising inventions. Our team members feel passionately about driving technology commercialization and this competition is an excellent platform for the same. Drawing from our collective previous experiences of drug discovery and immunology research, interacting with cancer patients, working with technology commercialization and healthcare technology implementation, we feel confident of our abilities as a team to take technology #2 from the clinic to the patients. We also found excellent mentors who could guide us through the entire process.