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Graduate students in the Innovators-in-Training program have the opportunity to engage with projects in the Institute’s Catapult program, working with the Catapult project’s technical team on key non-technical objectives.

Participation in this effort is entirely voluntary, and trainees typically work on projects outside of their current thesis programs. They effectively act as a project manager for pre-commercialization efforts, employing the skills and knowledge they have obtained through the IIT program.

Getting Granular: A Catapult Pitch Session

11:20am to 12:00pm

This year we are pleased to showcase the following IIT trainees, who will present short pitches for the Catapult projects they work on.
Laura Muehlbauer 4x5

Laura Muehlbauer

Novel non-viral CAR T therapy for treatment of sarcomas

PIs: Kris Saha, Christian Capitini

Laura Muehlbauer is a Ph.D. candidate in the Chemistry program, working in the laboratory of Joshua Koon. Laura joined the IIT program to explore different career paths and learn about technology development and commercialization pipelines. A graduate of St. Olaf College, she has found the program to be a highly valuable and unique experience to gain insight into project management, business, risk assessment, and regulatory aspects.

Dan Pham 4x5

Dan Pham

Endogenous signal-based cell enrichment for immunotherapy

PI: Melissa Skala

Dan Pham is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biomedical Engineering program, working in the Skala laboratory. As someone interested in pursuing an industry career, she believes that it is important to understand not only the science, but relevant topics such as the regulatory landscape and industry’s current needs. The IIT program provides for a unique learning experience to discuss and study these topics, which in turn helps her to better identify her research goals and develop professional skills.

Aaron Simmons 4x5

Aaron Simmons

Exosome-mediated therapy for acute radiation syndrome

PIs: Peiman Hematti, Christian Capitini

Aaron Simmons is a Ph.D. candidate in the Chemical Engineering program, working in the laboratory of Sean Palecek. Aaron joined IIT upon establishment of the program in 2019. He has found value in the program’s ability to shed light on the nuances of the biotech sector; such as how regulatory environments, business strategies, and seemingly unimportant aspects, all impact the ability of translating one’s research out of the lab.

© 2018