Meet the Pitch Challenge Contestants: Q&A

As the Mount Sinai Pitch Challenge approaches, we’re excited to introduce the first two teams who will be presenting their healthcare discoveries for a grand prize at this exciting event! These teams won MSIP’s Poster Presentation Competition, where they received a prototyping cash prize and automatic entry to the Pitch Challenge on May 5. Take a look below and get to know the team leads!

Interested in attending the Pitch Challenge? Register to attend virtually and be the first to hear the newest ideas in healthcare technology.

CHILL – Turner Baker

Turner Baker, team lead for CHILL

Turner Baker is the project lead for CHILL, a cooling device to be utilized post-brain surgery to reduce inflammation and perihematomal edema in patients. Baker, a PhD Candidate and Project Manager at Sinai BioDesign, works closely with Christopher Kellner, MD, Director of the Intracerebral Hemorrhage Program within the Neurosurgery Department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, to develop this technology.

Q: How did CHILL evolve from an idea to a device?

A: Dr. Kellner and I realized there’s a need to reduce secondary injury and inflammation in brain surgery while minimizing the negative effects of full body cooling. Mount Sinai has recently pioneered new techniques to treat intracerebral hemorrhage, which has opened a whole new treatment paradigm in this patient population.

Q: What do you think distinguishes Chill from its potential competitors at the Pitch Challenge?

A: We’re creating a marketable product with a proven mechanism of action, and building a solution for a pressing, prevalent healthcare need in a unique way. The CHILL team has been focused on the translational element of this device since the beginning. We have a clear plan for how to advance this and I think we’re well positioned from a strategic standpoint.

Gender-based Violence Education Clinical Platform- Christina Blackburn, MS

Christina Blackburn, team lead for the education clinical platform

A public health professional at Mount Sinai, Christina Blackburn, MS, created an educational platform designed to support medical professionals in caring for vulnerable patients who have experienced abuse. The platform will focus on providing research-informed education for emergency and acute care service departments.

Q: What was your inspiration for this idea?

A: I saw a gap in medical education around family, intimate partner, and gender-based violence. This idea can improve health outcomes by reducing injury and the long-term impact of chronic trauma. The platform will support clinicians in achieving optimal patient care for those in crisis by empowering the frontline with the information, resources, and the practical knowledge necessary for this specific population.

Q: What steps did this idea evolve into an educational platform?

A: My career at Mount Sinai began in the Department of Environmental Medicine & Public Health, where I worked on creating a new professional development training program for the department’s postdoctoral fellows. This winter, I had the opportunity to create a program for the Department of Pathology. Through my experiences training medical professionals, and the knowledge I’ve received regarding commercialization from MSIP team members, I’ve been able to grasp the real-world application of this platform and tailor its advancement to meet those needs.