Please join me in congratulating the Medical Physics group for placing 2nd place in the Summer COVID Challenge.
The COVID Challenge was a competition for undergraduate students and their mentors across all disciplines to create a video pitch for any research, product, or service that addresses one of the many issues we’re dealing with due to the COVID pandemic including the virus itself, mental health in isolation, and alternative learning opportunities. The combined Physics/BioEngineering Creative Inquiry group proposed expanding our previous radiosensitizer work — typically used for cancer treatment — to target and destroy COVID-infected cells with low-dose x-ray radiation and, hopefully, reduce or eliminate the viral load on the patient’s immune system. If successful, the treatment would be as simple as getting a basic imaging x-ray and could improve outcomes for infected patients.
The undergrads’ video pitch (https://youtu.be/KYRCHRW10rQ) won second place and $2500 to do our proof of concept experiments! They also have a lead on private funding. Jaclyn D’Azvanzo is now doing preliminary calculations to make this a reality in the lab. We are excited to see where this leads!