A stop in “The Deuce”, a VR breakthrough for med testing, & Flyover U innovation – December 4, 2019
Welcome to the future in "Tree Town"
December 4, 2019
WHEELS DOWN: ANN ARBOR
The 411 on the A2
Ann Arbor - corner of Main & Liberty St looking north
Ann Arbor, MI, consistently ranks at the top of prominent “best cities” lists. Last year, it took the #1 spot in Livability’s Top 100 Best Places To Live rankings. This year, it earned second place on Niche’s list of Best Cities to Live in America. Other recognition that has rolled in this year include Bloomberg’s Top New U.S. Tech Hubs, WalletHub’s Most Educated Cities in America, and CityLab’s list of Top 5 Car-Free Small Metros.
Criteria for such ratings include things like economics, housing, education, cultural amenities, infrastructure, and health care—and Ann Arbor is firing on all cylinders. Let’s take a look.
Entrepreneurship, education, and economic growth
When you hear “Ann Arbor,” your first thought might be the University of Michigan. After all, it anchors the city with its topnotch academics, broad range of grad schools, and groundbreaking research programs.
The university is also dedicated to advancing entrepreneurial endeavors. The unit responsible for commercializing research discoveries, Tech Transfer, reported that a record 22 startups were launched at UMich this year, covering sectors such as computer hardware, software, IoT, therapeutics, medical devices, health care information tech, and materials science. In addition, the university’s Innovate Blue hub offers more than 15 programs and centers and 30 student organizations focused on cultivating entrepreneurship.
On top of that, numerous accelerators, incubators, and programs in Ann Arbor are geared toward supporting new founders, growing businesses, and promoting economic development. For instance, Desai offers a three-month program that gives tech startups funding, mentorship, and resources to help them get off the ground. Then there’s Ann Arbor SPARK, which offers services that help jump start fledgling ventures, supports established companies, and cultivates “a network of business and manufacturing excellence.”
Things to do in Ann Arbor
Outdoor enthusiasts will find options for hiking, fishing, boating, kayaking—you name it, Ann Arbor’s got it.
Foodies will be happy to hear that Livability says Ann Arbor boasts more restaurants per resident than any other US city. And there’s a year-round farmer’s market that bolsters the locally sourced options.
Ann Arbor’s famous Main Street area has garnered nationwide attention, with its expansive array of upscale and funky shopping venues, special events, food tours, and nightlife.
And one final note: If you’re looking for museums, art galleries, unique retailers, and fabulous indie bookstores, you’ve come to the right place.
Ann Arbor data from the flight deck:
Disrupting the $60 billion drug development industry
It’s a major move toward making clinical trials faster, less expensive, and more patient-centric. Belgium’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals is partnering with The Research Triangle’s PRA Health Services company to perform the first fully virtual trial for a heart failure drug.
PRA’s chief medical information officer Greg Licholai says that the research is the next evolution of clinical trials. They are seeking to get approval of a new class of heart disease drugs called Canagliflozin. The drug has FDA approval for treating adults with Type 2 diabetes but has been found to be effective in heart failure patients as well.
The trial, called CHIEF, will break ground in several ways. It will be fully virtual, meaning that patients can participate from home using their phones and computers. Patient responses will be collected using these devices so there are no required hospital or doctor’s visits.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the US. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease and kills more than 370,000 people annually.
PRA hopes this trial will impact HF patients moving into the future of healthcare.
FLYOVER U INNOVATION
Purdue pits anthrax against bladder cancer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 74,000 Americans are stricken with bladder cancer every year. Treatment of the disease is expensive and invasive, and there’s a high rate of recurrence.
But now, a seeming unlikely player has entered the treatment arena: anthrax. Purdue University researchers, with the help of partners at the IU School of Medicine, MIT, and Harvard, have been studying the effects of using anthrax toxin to kill bladder cancer cells—and the results appear encouraging.
While the bladder has its own protective layer that shields it from the anthrax, the cancer cells have no such protection. And that anthrax is efficient. This approach has shown an ability to reduce treatment time from hours to minutes.
According to R. Claudio Aguilar, an associate professor and the assistant head of biological sciences in Purdue's College of Science, the strategy holds a lot of promise.
"We have seen outstanding results with our treatment," he said. "It is fast and effective, both of which are critical for people dealing with this devastating disease."
Park Point University launches new Masters Program
Park Point University, located in downtown Pittsburgh, announced a new graduate program beginning in Fall 2020 for students interested in careers in the rapidly expanding and highly competitive field of information systems and business analytics. The 36-credit hour Master of Science in Information Systems and Business Analytics program offers students flexible class scheduling and manageable tuition rates, as well as the opportunity to complete the degree in just 18 months.
Rigorous STEM-focused course loads will prepare and equip Park Point graduates with the tech-based skillset to succeed in a global marketplace where science and technology reign supreme.
Students will also have the opportunity to pair their MSISBA degree with an MBA by completing 21 additional credit hours at PPU's Rowland School of Business. For more information, visit Park Point University online.
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