CAMBRIDGE, MA—A business plan with a focus on developing technologies for manufacturing cancer therapies emerged as one of the top honorees at this year’s Rhode Island Business Competition. The centerpiece of the proposal is an ultrasound technology that can acoustically separate T-cells to be genetically engineered to fight against cancer, a promising improvement over traditional centrifuge machines.
Brown University Ph.D. student and Draper Fellow Ryan Dubay was a top presentation honoree among 40 participants in the competition’s Elevator Pitch Contest. The contest was open to all Rhode Island entrepreneurs and all business sectors.
The technology at the heart of Dubay’s business proposal is a blood cell separation method and device developed at Draper called acoustophoresis, which has shown to be a promising advance over traditional blood-separation methods that are difficult to automate. In tests, the ultrasound method can surpass centrifugation in the purity of T-cells obtained from a blood sample. Draper is the first company to separate blood using acoustics in a safe, cost-effective, disposable plastic device.
In graduate school, Ryan is studying biomedical engineering with an emphasis on fluids and materials for cell analysis. At Draper, he will support the development of novel techniques for cell and particle sorting as well as improve the general understanding of inherent heterogeneities within cell populations.
Dubay’s co-advisors are Eric Darling, Associate Professor of Medical Science at Brown University, and Jason Fiering, Distinguished Technical Staff at Draper.
Established in 2000, the Rhode Island Business Competition has been recognized as one of the top 40 business plan competitions in the country. To date, it has awarded prizes valued at more than $2.6 million to developing companies across many industries.
The application deadline for the Draper Fellow Program for the academic year 2019-20 is January 15, 2019. Find details and an application here.