Pitt Innovation Challenge 2023


The Pitt Innovation Challenge 2023

What is your bold solution to a challenging health problem?

Enjoy the highlights of our live event!

The Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh®) is a program designed to support diverse teams who generate innovative solutions to challenging health problems. PInCh provides funding and project management to help develop high-quality health science research that serves people and communities outside of the university.

For our tenth year, we awarded Bonus Awards to anyone who engaged with the Makerspaces at the Pitt Swanson School of Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship program.

Congratulations to our PInCh 2023 awardees!

Want to contact one of our PInCh teams? Email us at pinch@pitt.edu.

Watch the full PInCh 2023 presentation here!

$100,000 Awardees


Description: An artificial intelligence-based tool to assess the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm patients that can reduce imaging costs, radiation, and prevent adverse outcomes.

Team: Timothy Chung, PhD; David Vorp, PhD; Nathan Liang, MD, MS.

BITE Tick Repellent

Recipient of $15,000 Makers Bonus Award.

Description: A green alternative to DEET derived from naturally-occurring carbon binding compounds. 

: Jill Henning, PhD; Matthew Tracey, PhD; Manisha Nigam, PhD; Luis Bonachea, PhD.

Cerebral Aneurysm Test 7 (CAT-7)

Description: A simple blood based diagnostic test that can detect cerebral aneurysm formation and risk of rupture, opening the door for high-risk screening and early detection of those with aneurysms. 

: Adi Mittal; Michael McDowell, MD; Robert Friedlander, MD; Daniel A. Wecht, MD, MSc.

$35,000 Awardees


Recipient of $15,000 Makers Bonus Award.

Description: A bioengineered Autologous Serum Ocular Insert for Dry Eye Disease, using a patient's own blood serum proteins to treat dry eye disease with convenience, comfort, and efficacy.

Team: Morgan DiLeo, PhD; Vishal Jhanji, MD.


Recipient of $15,000 Makers Bonus Award.

Description: A groundbreaking rotator cuff telehealth rehabilitation platform that combines the safety of mechanical motion exercise equipment with motion tracking and remote monitoring to improve patient recovery. 

Team: Kevin M. Bell PhD; Michael P. McClincy, MD.

Lexi Medical

Description: Deep brain stimulation of the motor thalamus after stroke to improve movement in paralyzed or weak facial muscles, resulting in improved speech, breathing, and swallowing. 

Team: Jordyn E. Ting; Elvira Pirondini, PhD.

$25,000 Elevator Pitch Competition Awardees

Lyme Disease Test Kit (LDK)

Recipient of $5,000 Makers Bonus Award.

Description: A better diagnostic test for Lyme disease that is simple, cost-effective, and reliable to allow early disease detection and reduce antibiotic misuse. 

Team: Audrey Ward, Danielle Tufts, PhD.

One Pass Epidural Needle (OPEN)

Recipient of $5,000 Maker Bonus Award.

Description: A single, simple epidural needle which can be used to place multiple leads or catheters for epidural delivery, eliminating the need for second skin puncture to minimize pain. 

Team: Trent Emerick, MD, MBA; Gaurav Chauhan, MD.

MPower Hub: From Personal Data to Diabetes Health

Description: A mobile platform that empowers people to achieve diabetes health by visualizing their combined personal data, helping them transform data insights into healthier diabetes habits. Carissa Low, PhD; Ann-Marie Rosland, MD MS; Timothy M. Bober, MD.

Team: Mary Woody, PhD; Murat Akcakaya, PhD 

Pitt Innovation Challenge 10 Year Anniversary logo.

Challenge Details


Up to $555,000 in total is available, with one-year project awards of up to $100,000 (minimum $25,000).

Each winning team will also receive project management support to help execute a 12-month project that moves the team’s solution further along the Path to Impact.

Makers Bonus Award

For our tenth year, we are awarding Bonus Awards to anyone who engages with the Makerspaces at the Pitt Swanson School of Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship program.

Bonus Award eligibility is not a requirement for PInCh – it is separate from PInCh awards selection, only assessed during the final round of the competition. Bonus-eligible projects will receive additional funding, but will not otherwise have a competitive advantage.



Email us at pinch@pitt.edu.