Christopher Cali, an entrepreneurship master’s (ESTEEM) student and a 2014 science-business alumnus, is part of a team that will compete in the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition in Austin, Tex. in May. The group, Enlightened Diagnostics, Inc. (EnDx), qualified at a regional competition in February at the University of Louisville’s Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge. EnDx is developing a three-dimensional molecular imaging device to provide abundant data for breast cancer diagnosis and research, with potential application to colon, prostate, and other cancers.
The enterprise is based on the research of three Notre Dame faculty members – Dr. Siyuan Zhang, an M.D./Ph.D. specializing in breast cancer pathology at the Harper Cancer Research Institute, and Jeremiah Zartman, Ph.D. and David Hoelzle, Ph.D. of the College of Engineering, who focus more on development of the device.
“It takes tissues and, without deconstructing them, can render that tissue on a molecular level in three dimensions,” says Cali, who expects that the project will spin off into a company to provide diagnostic services that improve the lives of breast cancer patients within the next few years.
“It would offer clinicians much more data info that they currently have to make more precise and accurate diagnoses.”
In addition to Cali, the EnDx team includes Victoria Zellmer, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences; Megan Usovsky, a student in the Master of Science in Patent Law program; Scott Manwaring, an MBA student; and Colin O’Toole, a Master of Science in Accountancy candidate.
Photo (L-R): (L to R): Gaylene Anderson (advisor), Colin O'Toole, Scott Manwaring, Christopher Cali, Megan Usovsky and Victoria Zellmer.