There, the pitch by company CEO John R. Lewandowski, who opened with the line, "What if I told you I could save one million lives every year with just refrigerator magnets and a laser pointer?", got raves and a replay on Fortune Magazine/CNN online.
The team's product, based on those common items, is a hand-held device that detects a magnetic substance that malaria parasites release when digesting red blood cells. The Rapid Assessment of Malaria device, called RAM for short, can provide a faster and more accurate diagnostic test than those used now, at a lower cost of about 20 cents per patient, the team members say.
Lewandowski, the Founder of DDG, is earning his master's in engineering and management and has teamed with his brother Mark, a first-year student who plans to major in computer science and accounting, the company's CFO. They are the sons of John J. Lewandowski, the Arthur P. Armington Professor of Engineering II in the department of materials science and engineering.
The third team member is Brian Grimberg, an assistant professor of international health at the School of Medicine, who is one of the device inventors, startup co-founder and president. Grimberg currently also leads an international and interdisciplinary team of experts investigating malaria treatment and prevention options in countries around the world.
The team has worked with a long slate of researchers across campus to create, test and build prototypes of the device.
"There are currently an estimated 1 million deaths resulting from malaria infections every year, and 95 percent of those are children under the age of 5," Grimberg said. "If we could accurately detect all the malaria infections in the world and then quickly deliver treatment, there would be almost no deaths from this parasite."
Today, diagnosis is confined to government or NGO-run clinics that require either a highly trained microscopist onsite to determine the p
|Contact: Kevin Mayhood|
Case Western Reserve University