Shark Tank Awards Two Brigham Researchers

Congratulations to the winners of the BWH Health & Technology Innovation Fund!

Choi-Fong Cho, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, BWH

    • Miniature “missiles” to precisely seek and attack brain cancer cells
    • We are developing next-generation brain cancer-seeking “missiles” that can carry various therapeutic drugs or imaging agents selectively to brain tumor sites. The ability to precisely view and deliver therapeutics to brain tumors can significantly improve treatment effectiveness while reducing unwanted toxicity, as well as benefit long-term clinical management of the disease.


Gerald Pier, PhD, Professor, Department of Medicine, BWH

    • Targeting microbes on the brain with a monoclonal antibody: A new treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease?
    • We propose that the brain pathology found in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is accelerated by infectious microbial cells and/or fragments that contribute to destructive inflammation leading to neuronal dysfunction and cognitive decline. We will test a human monoclonal antibody that has already been shown to be safe in healthy people as an intervention in a mouse model of AD to prevent the inflammatory response to microbes and protect the brain against neurodegeneration and memory impairment as primary support for clinical trials in humans with early signs of AD.


 Since 2012, the Brigham has been hosting shark tanks to fund innovative and high-risk/high impact projects in the basic, clinical, digital and translational realms through its Health & Technology Innovation Awards. Sponsored by the Brigham Research Institute (BRI) and the BWH Health & Technology Subcommittee, these awards aim to advance projects that have the potential to make an impact in one or more of the following domains – biomedical research, healthcare delivery, the generation of new companies/products/services, cost savings, care quality and provider burnout.

This year, there were five finalists in the competition. Each of the finalists had five minutes to give their presentation and five minutes for Q&A with the review committee. The five competitors were Choi-Fong Cho, PhD, Sanjay Divakaran, MD, Adrian Dubac, PhD, Gerald Pier, PhD, and Aaron Sodickston, MD, PhD. The reviewers then voted for who they believed should receive the $50,000 prizes based on a specific set of criteria. We want to thank the dedicated review committee, as well as all the finalists who participated in this event!