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Lightning research event features innovative projects with commercial potential


On September 7, Tufts Gordon Institute hosted a Lightning Research Roundtable, which brought together scientists from across Tufts who are working on innovative projects with commercial potential. The researchers came from Tufts School of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and the Medical School, and each pitched their cutting edge research to an audience of M.S. in Innovation & Management students, who will have the opportunity to partner with the projects for one of their Innovation Sprints.

The diverse set of projects included:

  • Engineering probiotics to treat phenylketonuria, a rare genetic condition that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in the body – Zachary J. Mays, Nair Lab
  • Non-invasive optical sensing for measuring blood flow in the brain – Giles Blaney; Diffuse Optical Imaging of Tissue Lab
  • Differentially polarized light (DPL) imaging to detect metastatic cancer –Robert Trout, Georgakoudi Lab
  • Silk microneedles for painless drug delivery, Aydin Sadeqi, Nanolab
  • Detection of brain aneurysms using a Writhe number algorithm – Adel Malek, Chief, Neurovascular Surgery at Tufts Medical Center

The event provided a valuable opportunity for Tufts researchers to explore collaborations with interdisciplinary partners outside of their own department. With the help of MSIM students, they have the potential to actually bridge the gap and bring their product to market.

“This was a great opportunity to engage with a stimulating group of bright students,” said Adel Malek, who presented his algorithm that can be used to detect brain aneurysms. “I look forward to more collaboration in the future, and continuing to build interest and IP around our useful product.”

Each semester the team-based Innovation Sprints gives MSIM students the chance experience the whole cycle of innovation by learning how to create compelling solutions with scalable business models, and to develop leadership skills to persuade, negotiate, and lead others to drive impact.