A Carleton College team won the gold award for their IMPACT hypothesis along with $1000 per student and the chance to pursue an active collaboration with researchers in the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Teams from Century College and Carleton College took home silver awards while the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University team took home the bronze award. Each winning team will be recognized with a plaque to be displayed at their institution.
Seventy-two students (19 multidisciplinary teams) submitted their hypotheses for the underlying cause of HLHS in this year’s competition. During the IMPACT Symposium hold on February 16, students presented posters at Mayo Clinic and the top ten teams were selected to give oral presentations to a team of researchers and clinicians in the HLHS Program.
In the spring of 2014, Mayo Clinic launched the “Innovative Minds Partnering to Advance Cardiac Theranostics (IMPACT)” initiative. In collaboration with the HLHS Program, IMPACT is sponsored through the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine as well as the Office of Applied Scholarship and Education Science. Inspired by competitions that engage non-professionals in answering real-world problems, the initiative asked undergraduate students to hypothesize the underlying cause of HLHS. Now in its second year, the IMPACT program has engaged a total of 124 undergraduate students from eight different Minnesota colleges and universities.
At Mayo Clinic, the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for HLHS recognizes the need for creativity and innovation to delay or prevent heart transplants in HLHS patients. Plans to further expand IMPACT to more Minnesota institutions are currently underway. 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 HLHS patients.
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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