Andrew DiMeo, PhD, a professor in the UNC/NC State
biomedical engineering program.
Drs. Haithcock, left, and Long, 2nd from let, talk to Richard Goldberg, Ph.D.,
at the “speed dating” event in summer 2015.
The surgeons ended up working with Andrew DiMeo of the
UNC/NC State biomedical engineering program.

It all started with a “speed dating” event in the summer of 2015 that brought together engineers from the UNC/NC State biomedical engineering program and doctors at UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center, including two UNC cardiothoracic surgeons.

The UNC surgeons – Jason Long, M.D., M.P.H., and Benjamin Haithcock, M.D., – and a biomedical engineering professor at North Carolina State University, Andrew DiMeo, won a $10,000 award at the event to build a collaboration between NC State engineering students and UNC School of Medicine faculty and residents to use a surgery simulation laboratory to develop ideas for innovative devices.

The idea was to have a space where surgeons could share device or technology ideas and work on them with engineering students, or with entrepreneurs. Students in DiMeo’s biomedical engineering course made a business plan for the project.

The project received an $85,000 grant from Catalysts for Innovation, a program created by the RTP Foundation and TUCASI (Triangle Universities for Advanced Studies Inc.) earlier this year to encourage university researchers to collaborate with each other and the corporations and businesses in Research Triangle Park.

Now, with the new grant and office and work space in RTP, the Medical Innovators Collaborative (MEDIC) is becoming a reality. Read more here, in a story by Laura Baverman of Exit