RPC Hackathon and Workshop Series

The Rapid Prototyping Center recently completed a 5-week workshop for Mount Sinai students and staff to teach design and prototyping skills. The weekly workshops taught skills in 3D design software, 3D printing and other fabrication tools, electronics prototyping and software development. Three teams made progress throughout on developing lab automation technologies including a transport incubator and a notification system for incubator and freezer alarms. An all day hackathon took place on April 30, where teams made great progress on the prototypes that are currently still being completed with help from the Rapid Prototyping Center.

IT Town Hall Meeting: 3D Printing and the Mount Sinai Rapid Prototyping Center

Kevin Costa and Peter Backeris presented a talk at the monthly IT Town Hall Meeting at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai entitled “3D Printing and the Mount Sinai Rapid Prototyping Center.”  The objectives were to provide a general overview of biomedical applications of 3D printing, and to describe the facilities and services available at the RPC, including a variety of example models used for research and surgical planning purposes.  The slides presented are available here.

Distilling Your Message

Led by Evonne Kaplan-Liss, MD, MPH and Louisa Johnson of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, the Mount Sinai Institute of Technology (MSIT) hosted an interactive session entitled "Distilling Your Message," that introduced participants to general principles in how to craft short, clear, conversational statements, intelligible to nonscientists. The session consisted of an interactive presentation and discussion on interpreting technical material using examples and analogies to illuminate unfamiliar concepts to an audience. Problems and solutions in public interactions was discussed, as well as peer-to-peer communication. Participants were introduced to clarity in speaking to non-scientists about their work and were actively engaged in improvisation exercises and explaining scientific material to lay people. 

OpenBCI Hardware Hackathon: Recap

Ultracortex assembled and near completion

Ultracortex assembled and near completion

The MSIT Rapid Prototyping Center has recently organized and sponsored Sinai's very first on-campus hackathon. The RPC teamed up with OpenBCI and 3DSystems, and individuals across many disciplines came together to hack OpenBCI's Ultracortex, which first needed to be 3d printed and assembled to test the applications.


Dr. Steven Wolf presenting work being done by Mount Sinai to treat pediatric epilepsy and current issues regarding EEG technology

Dr. Steven Wolf presenting work being done by Mount Sinai to treat pediatric epilepsy and current issues regarding EEG technology

On the first day, presentations were made by Conor Russomanno, Co-Founder and CEO of OpenBCI, to explain the potential uses of their brain-computer interface technology, several attendees presented their ideas to solicit team members, and Dr. Steven Wolf, Director of Pediatric Epilepsy at Sinai and Sinai's EEG Lab, presented on the needs of epilepsy patients and how EEG technology can be used to improve outcomes.


Some people gathered together to tackle the EEG reading capabilities of the Ultracortex, while another team focused on muscle-monitoring applications through EMG sensor designs.  Others came up with new ways to attach electrodes to clothing and other materials, or worked on enhancing the software for OpenBCI. On Sunday, several teams presented their finished products, some of which are still being continued today.

Hackathon #1 -­ OpenBCI Hardware Hackathon

The MSIT Rapid Prototyping Center is pleased to announce the first RPC Hackathon to take place the weekend of November 7th. The OpenBCI Hardware Hackathon is a two full-day intensive design and prototyping event where teams will work together on developing hardware for and using the innovative OpenBCI open-source EEG platform. The event will be jointly sponsored by the MSIT Rapid Prototyping Center3D Systems, and OpenBCI, and will take place Saturday, November 7th from 11:00am to 7:00pm and Sunday, November 8th from 12:00noon to 6:00pm at the MSIT Rapid Prototyping Center (Atran BMC-24). Existing RPC Hackathon members and other students, faculty and staff affiliated with Mount Sinai are invited to attend. A “plus one” system has also been established to allow attendees to bring one other person to the event who is not affiliated with Mount Sinai.

Anyone who wishes to attend must REGISTER HERE, and fill out the required background information. Space is limited so please register as early as possible.

Materials and equipment will be provided by the RPC and sponsors, as well as lunch on both days. Attendees may also bring additional supplies if they feel they will contribute to the projects. Projects will include:

  • Developing novel hardware for the OpenBCI EEG system
  • Constructing the UltraCortex electrode headset
  • Modifying or improving the Ultracortex headset
  • Controlling robotic arms and other devices from EEG or EMG signals
  • Developing other wearable technologies to record electrical signals in the body using OpenBCI (including EEG, EMG, ECG)

Attendees can also propose their own applications of the technology that will be assessed for feasibility and voted on by the group to potentially be worked on at the event as well.

The itinerary for the event is as follows:

Saturday, November 7th

11:00 to 11:30am       Introductions and networking
11:30 to 12:00noon   OpenBCI overview presentation
12:00 to 12:30pm     Team-forming and brain-storming
12:30pm                    Lunch
1:00pm                      Hacking Begins

Sunday, November 8th

12:00noon                  Hacking continues
1:00pm                       Lunch
5:00 to 6:00pm         Demonstrations

KiiLN is a Winner of the 2015 SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition

KiiLN - whose co-founders are graduates of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai - has been selected a winner among hundreds of entries for this year’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, awarded by the US Small Business Administration (SBA). The awards were announced on August 4th, 2015 at the first-ever White House Demo Day. President Barack Obama hosted this event to highlight the contributions made by innovators to the nation’s economy, with a focus on inclusive entrepreneurship. KiiLN got its start in a Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences/Mount Sinai Institute of Technology (MSIT)-sponsored course for the Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (DTE) training area called The Q.E.D. Project. 

More information can be found at http://kiiln.org/blog/

Dean Charney Meets with DTE Students

The Icahn School of Medicine's Dean Dennis Charney met with the Design, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (DTE) students to discuss his vision for graduate education, project-based learning, and the Mount Sinai Institute of Technology (MSIT). Students described their graduate studies and research project(s) highlights, as well as their experience with and plans to develop translational projects, clinical collaborations, and commercializable products.  

Dean Charney is very committed to insuring that research impacts clinical science to improve health care. He is also very eager to continue increasing the impact and profile of the Graduate School here at Mount Sinai.

MSIT Roundtable Discussion with Dr. Bob Linhardt, RPI

Dr. Bob Linhardt of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute visited the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to provide scientific and educational sessions, and to meet with potential collaborators on campus as part of our growing collaborative efforts between Mount Sinai and RPI. Dr. Linhardt is an eminent chemist with dozens of patents and a world leading expertise in glycosaminoglycans. Dr. Linhardt’s scientific presentation was entitled ‘Chemoenzymatic synthesis and structural analysis of glycosaminoglycans.’ Dr. Linhardt also hosted an MSIT roundtable to discuss his experiences moving basic science to patented technologies and business development in the creation of bioengineered heparin.

Dr. Linhardt's biography can be accessed at http://www.rpi.edu/dept/chem/chem_faculty/profiles/linhardt.html

QED Student Team Wins Venture Award

Competing against 60 teams in the 2014 Columbia Engineering Venture Competition, PhD Devices, a product of Mount Sinai’s QED course, won second place and was awarded a $15,000 prize. PhD Devices has since then formed NovoCount, LLC, which focuses on developing microfluidic technologies allowing patients diagnosed with neutropenia to monitor their neutropil count at home.

See www.novocount.com for more information. 

MSIT in Science-Business eXchange

Geoff Smith and MSIT were recently covered in and article on New York's biotech beginnings:


“What's new is that now we're trying to retain the commercial value of our brains here,” added Geoffrey Smith, director of the Mount Sinai Institute of Technology and a professor in the Department of Population Health Science and Policy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The commercial strength of our biology has been overlooked because of the strength of the financial services. We're in the conversation now as a place that this is happening.”

See http://www.nature.com/scibx/journal/v7/n21/full/scibx.2014.603.html for the full article.

4D Class Winners Announced

During the past six months, several project teams have participated in the second cycle of the 4D Technology Development Program at the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. The teams have learned how to turn technology proposals into business propositions by working with entrepreneurs, industry scientists, IP specialists, and biotech executives.

Two of the teams were selected by a panel of industry experts to earn cash awards to further development of their product ideas:


Pupillometry: a test to diagnose and treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Team members:  Juan Pedraza, MD, Jeffrey Newcorn, MD, Stéphanie Duhoux, PhD

Therapeutic mAb for the treatment and prevention of Cytomegalovirus-associated diseases

Team members:  Dom Totorella, Tom Kraus, Tom Moran, Andy Duty