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2018 CoMotion Mary Gates Innovation Scholars advance UW projects

Written by Debra Bouchegnies / September 10, 2018


Along with road trips, barbecues and Labor Day Weekend, summer 2018’s official end was also marked by the wrap up of this year’s CoMotion Mary Gates Innovation Scholars internship program. Run in collaboration with the UW Center for Experiential Learning & Diversity, and funded by the Mary Gates Endowment For Students and UW CoMotion, the program permits selected research-oriented undergrad students to contribute to the development of UW researcher-led commercialization initiatives, while gaining valuable experience in and exposure to various aspects of building a new product or business.

Check out some of the 2018 CoMotion Mary Gates Innovation Scholars and the UW projects they worked on, bringing them closer to making a positive societal and economic impact:

Erika Lee

Quinton Phsh team

Erika Lee, now a University of Washington graduate, worked with Dr. Mika Sinanan and the Quinton PHSH team to help bring their noninvasive hernia support belt closer to commercialization. She had just completed her senior capstone project, an automated insulin loading device for geriatric or visually impaired patients, for which a provisional patent was filed, in the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Engineering Innovation in Health program.

During her summer internship, she learned about research investigation, patents and the IP process, and was also able to review market analysis documentation. She helped the UW team advance their project by exploring different manufacturing paths to save money and by conducting a usability investigation which led to a modified design. The Quinton PHSH team are currently looking for funds so that Erika can continue to work with the team.

Marcos Miranda

Institute for Protein Design

Marcos Miranda, majoring in microbiology and public health at the University of Washington, worked on a project with the Institute of Protein Design and post doc/Washington Research Foundation (WRF) Fellow Anindia Roy.

Marcos conducted competitive market analysis as well as analysis of the population, over time, to help determine the projected net profit. His work will contribute to the commercialization strategy and will influence the next research conducted by PhD student and WRF Fellow Lauren Strand.

Marcos’ takeaways from the internship were learning how science research can be translated to technology, and ultimately into society’s hands–how you can take something scientific and make it marketable. Through the support of his post doc, senior director of strategy for the IPD Lance Stewart and IPD director David Baker, Marcos hopes to continue doing research on this project in his senior year.

Idanis Cruz

Bilingual pesticide safety

Idanis Cruz, now entering her senior year seeking a BA in Public Health with the University of Washington, worked on Etiquetas bilingues de pesticidas (Bilingual Pesticide Safety Project) with mentor Kit Galvin through the Department of Environment and Occupational Health Sciences. The platform connects with agricultural workers to help eliminate language barriers.

Her contribution towards bringing this project closer to making a positive societal impact focused primarily on her involvement in the recruiting process for testing the app. While immersed in the usability and customer discovery process, Idanis grew her own customer service skills. During her internship, she also learned about branding, product positioning and advertising as well as the breadth of CoMotion’s resources and services. Going forward, Idanis aspires to continue to disseminate information about injustices in the healthcare field and to keep advocating for under-represented communities.

Undergrad students interested in becoming a 2019 CoMotion Mary Gates Innovation Scholar can learn more about qualifications and how to apply here. If you are a UW investigator, contact CoMotion to learn more about how your team can benefit from this program, or submit a consultation request or record of innovation here.