Trust scholars in winning teams to commercialize new breast cancer technology

Trust scholars Tim Xu and Julia Powles have contributed to two of the winning ideas in the Breast Cancer Startup Challenge.

Their teams are among 10 overall winners, each of which receives $5,000 from the Avon Foundation for Women and the Center for Advancing Innovation, to enable them to take their startup businesses to the next stage.  They will also be put in contact with venture capitalists and other funders who may be able to provide additional seed funding.

Tim's team focused on developing a new gene-based diagnostic for early-stage cancers. There is currently no quantitative tool available to help distinguish between some forms of early-stage cancers at biopsy, limiting patients' ability to make the most informed decisions about their treatment.  Tim, who is a medical student from the USA, is studying for a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, with the help of a Cambridge Trust Scholarship.

Julia's team project concerned finding a versatile delivery method for cancer therapeutics.  Current methods of delivering proteins or ribonucleic acid to mammalian cells are limited by a lack of target specificity and by toxicity.  Julia is from Australia, and is the recipient of a prestigous Poynton Cambridge Australia Scholarship; she is working towards a PhD in Law, and her specialisation in patent law was instrumental in the centrepiece innovative IP and financing strategy of the project.

Short videos from all the winning teams can be found on the website of the US National Cancer Institute.