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Bench 2 Bedside and the U Libraries Fund Student Start-up

Every year the Eccles Health Sciences Library and the J. Willard Marriott Library combine forces and participate in the U’s Bench 2 Bedside (B2B) program, a major competition for students who have developed medical innovations to significantly improve, or save, human lives.

About the B2B Competition

Over the course of seven months, student teams form startup companies to identify needed medical products and interventions; they then design solutions. Each team has access to health care providers from a broad range of specialties, as well as engineering and business professionals from the Salt Lake community. Opinion leaders and stakeholders are also involved in the development. In that seven-month time period, students will have defined the clinical problem, evaluated the patent landscape, determined a regulatory course, created a prototype, and developed a market strategy for commercialization.

In April students present their team projects at the annual B2B competition. Projects are presented by team members, then evaluated and scored by a VIP panel of judges. Top teams are awarded milestone funding to support further project development.

How Are the Libraries Involved?

Members of the Libraries Innovation Team (librarians and staff from Marriott and Eccles libraries) serve as judges in the B2B program. A $5,000 Library Award is given by the University Libraries to the team that demonstrates they have utilized Library resources, services, and assistance, and have effectively applied the knowledge and information received into their team’s project.

This year, the team selected Nala Diagnostics as the winning team. Nala Diagnostics has developed a rapid, at-home diagnostic test called Insight GBS, to prevent Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in babies in developing countries.

The winning team of Nala Diagnostics included four students and a physician from the University of Utah; the team included Dr. Patrick Eucalitto, M.D. (OB-GYN), Hannah Duffy (Ph.D. student, Department of Biomedical Engineering), Briana Zak (MBA Candidate, David Eccles School of Business), Emily Stewart (undergraduate student, School of Biological Sciences) and Tanner Frahm (undergraduate student, Department of Biomedical Engineering).

Congratulations to the team for receiving the award and for their excellent work in developing this life changing test that will save thousands of lives worldwide!

Watch the presentation of the winning team.

Librarians and staff who make up the Innovation Team. Back row, left to right: Brandon Patterson, Willis Holle. Middle row: Tallie Casucci, Alfred Mowdood. Front row: TJ Ferrill, Mark Howell.
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