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WVU entrepreneurs selected to participate in National Science Foundation I-Corps training

photo of a classroom with a female leader, screens in front of rows of students

Two West Virginia University entrepreneurs have been selected to attend the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) training program beginning May 5 in Nashville, Tenn. The researchers were chosen after completing the WVU program, which was hosted by the Evansdale Innovation Center and the WVU LaunchLab Network.

Joining more than 1,800 teams from across the country who have already gone through the program, Dr. Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, research assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute and Nanda Siva, an incoming medical student at WVU Medicine program at WVU Health Sciences, have been competitively selected for this intensive mentored training program to learn how to accelerate their product into the marketplace.

Through an intense six-week program, Brefczynski-Lewis and Siva will learn the characteristics and strategies that are needed to help commercialize their new technology – a neuroimaging tool to help physicians and researchers monitor brain activity in a cost-effective and versatile way. Called the PET Helmet, the WVU team will interview more than 100 potential customers to promote their product as a low-dose, portable, wearable brain-imaging device, with the hope that they can successfully introduce this technology into the markets of selected customer segments.

“We are thrilled to see two of our talented researchers be selected to join some of the brightest minds in the country at the upcoming National I-Corps training program,” Randy Quinn, associate director of the Evansdale Innovation Center, said. “This opportunity is second to none in helping advance some of WVU’s groundbreaking research into the real world, making a lasting impact on future medical treatments and long-term health. It brings pride and joy that two of our very first I-Corps trainees can be a part of this national program. We look forward to following their journey moving forward.”

The Evansdale Innovation Center, founded by the WVU Research Office, is home to the WVU I-Corps program and is a part of the WVU Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Applied Hub. The IDEA Hub encompasses a university-wide network of centers, offices and programs that fosters and supports innovation and entrepreneurship in WVU students, faculty and staff while engaging the statewide community.