2016 IMPACT Winners

Jun 20, 2016 | Suzanne Ferguson | @suzannerferguson

Held on March 5, the Innovative Minds Partnering to Advance Curative Therapies (IMPACT) program engaged 135 undergraduate students from 19 different Minnesota colleges. In addition to the students, there were 21 faculty sponsors from the respective undergraduate institutions along with 35 Mayo Clinic researchers and physicians who came out to support the event. Sponsored by Regenerative Medicine Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic Office of Applied Scholarship and Education Science, IMPACT is a competitive program open to Minnesota undergraduate students that encourages them to submit hypotheses for different challenges. 2016-Group-Picture This year, teams of students were tasked with choosing one of three challenge topics and answering the following questions:

  1. What is the underlying cause of hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)? (This question was sponsored by the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for HLHS.)
  2. What is the non-genetic cause of bipolar disorder? (This question was sponsored by Dr. Doo-Sup Choi’s laboratory.)
  3. What is the cause of sporadic fallopian tube epithelium transformation to ovarian cancer? (This question was sponsored by Dr. Scott Kaufmann and Dr. Larry Karnitz's laboratories.)

One winning team from each category was chosen after a day of poster and oral presentations. The winning team members received $1,000 along with the opportunity to conduct their research at Mayo Clinic for the summer. Congratulations to the first place winners!

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Ryan Hershey, Sol Jin (Crown College)

Bipolar Disorder Anant Naik, Bhavani Murakonda (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

Ovarian Cancer James Pathoulas, Christopher Pathoulas, Joseph Pathoulas, Nicholas Pathoulas (College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University)

2016 IMPACT Students 2 (Pictured left to right: Joseph Pathoulas, Nicholas Pathoulas, Sol Jin, James Pathoulas, Christopher Pathoulas, Ryan Hershey, Anant Naik)

IMPACT was launched in the spring of 2014 and has continued to expand each year. By engaging undergraduate students with a spirit for innovation, this initiative will continue to forge partnerships toward the common goal of advancing the health and well-being of patients. For more information on the IMPACT program or how you can participate, please contact Katie Campbell, IMPACT Program Director, at 507-284-0820 or email her at HLHSIMPACT@mayo.edu.

To learn more about the teams that participated in this year’s IMPACT challenge, visit College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, University of Minnesota Crookston, University of Minnesota Rochester, Minnesota State University Mankato, Minnesota State University Moorhead and St. Olaf College.

The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies.


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