Nine projects selected for UW/WARF COVID-19 Accelerator Challenge

Nine projects selected for UW/WARF COVID-19 Accelerator Challenge



$100K fund to accelerate solutions being developed by UW–Madison researchers.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation announced that nine highly deployable projects have been selected to receive development funding through the UW/WARF COVID-19 Accelerator Challenge. From improved respirators to accelerated testing, these innovations are designed to be rapidly advanced over the coming months to combat the pandemic.

WARF received dozens of submissions from PIs and their teams across a wide range of affiliations, including the State Lab of Hygiene, UW Makerspace, statistics, design studies and engineering.

The selected projects are led by the following PIs:

  • Azam Ahmed (neurological surgery) and Terrence Oakes (radiology) for safe and sanitizable technologies to help prevent virus spread in a hospital setting
  • Kayley Janssen (Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene) for surveillance of the virus in wastewaters
  • Tim Osswald (mechanical engineering) for mass production of cleanable and reusable respirators
  • Kalpana Raja and Ron Stewart (Morgridge Institute for Research) for a drug repurposing discovery system
  • Joshua Medow (biomedical engineering) for a digital assistance system for medical staff
  • Lennon Rodgers (UW Makerspace) for a compact air-purifying respirator
  • David O’Connor (pathology and laboratory medicine), Thomas Friedrich (pathobiological sciences) and David Beebe (biomedical engineering) for accelerated COVID-19 testing
  • Nathan Sherer (oncology) for an assay to identify virus inhibitors
  • Brian Yandell (statistics) for a method to track and visualize the outbreak in counties with small populations


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