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Two Cornell graduate students have won the top CIMIT (Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology) Primary Healthcare Prizes -- with awards that total $250,000 -- one for instant, accurate testing of sore throats and another for a portable, low-power ultrasound device that promotes healing.
Mark R. Hartman, a Cornell doctoral candidate in biological and environmental engineering, received the $150,000 top honor for his instant-diagnosis test of sore throats, a project that applies DNA-based fluorescent "nanobarcodes" to provide accurate results on whether the sore throat is caused by strep, flu or other diseases.
George K. Lewis Jr., a doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering, won the $100,000 second-place award with a low-power ultrasound device -- the size of an iPod -- to promote pain relief and healing.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology won third place and a $50,000 prize.
In announcing the awards, Ronald Newbower, chief technology officer and co-founder of CIMIT, said, "We are delighted with the passion this prize competition has elicited amongst engineering students. They are clearly eager to develop innovative technologies to address our national challenges in primary care. The winners of our major awards are headed toward terrific careers and may well serve as role models for others in their field. CIMIT is proud to be able to support their efforts."
CIMIT, a non-profit consortium in Boston, held the competition to encourage graduate and undergraduate engineering students to develop creative, technological solutions that could enhance the frontline of medical delivery.
Hartman graduated from Sayre High School, Sayre, Pa., and earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and a master's degree in biological and environmental engineering at Cornell.
Lewis is a National Science Foundation Presidential Fellow and graduated from Andover Public High School in Andover, Mass. He earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical and mechanical engineering at the University of Miami (Fla.) and a master's degree in biomedical engineering and neurobiology at Cornell.
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