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Cooperathon Grand Prize winners invent a prototype that could reduce the impact of heart disease worldwide
Dec. 2, 2019
Source: RI-MUHC. At the largest open innovation competition in Canada, the 2019 Desjardins Cooperathon held this November in Montreal, the Grand Prize was awarded to a team trained at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC).
The winning prototype is known as PLAKK, an online platform that will utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize the prediction, treatment, and prevention of heart attacks and strokes. The user-friendly tool will allow researchers and clinicians to better characterize atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid and coronary arteries, with the ultimate goal of reducing the impact of heart disease worldwide.
Team members Kashif Khan, a PhD student in Experimental Surgery, and Karina Gasbarrino, a recent PhD graduate in Experimental Medicine, both in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, have trained in the Cardiovascular Health Across the Lifespan Program at the RI-MUHC. Nicolas Bent spent time in the RI-MUHC’s Brain Repair and Integrated Neuroscience Program prior to launching his career as an entrepreneur.
The Coopérathon innovation competition provides funding and support to early-stage start-ups with social impact. The 2019 competition gathered more than 250 teams and 1,300 competitors from across Canada. With their impressive Grand Prize win, the PLAKK team will receive mentorship and support to bring their start-up to the next stage, as well as $65,000 in seed funding.
Congratulations Karina, Kashif and Nicholas!