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BrickStreet Center awards M.D. Ph.D. students with $5,000 and a team of graduate students

Steve Cutright, Director of the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Brandon Lucke-Wold, Ph.D. Student; Zachary Wright, Ph.D. Student and Joyce Heames, Associate Dean of Innovation, Outreach and Engagement.

Two M.D. Ph.D. students from the West Virginia University School of Medicine have been awarded a $5,000 Economic Development Grant from the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship within the College of Business and Economics to progress their commercialization efforts for Wright Wold Scientific, LLC, a new small business in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Students Brandon Lucke-Wold and Zachary Wright are the creators and co-owners of Wright Wold Scientific, a technology company that works specifically with the management of laboratory animals and inventory. Since one of the biggest problems they deal with on a day-to-day basis is related to antiquated paper-tracking systems that are too time-consuming to continue using, the pair aims to create an inventory system with readily available technology in order to track specific animals in the research laboratory setting.

“Extending beyond what barcodes do in a grocery store, we want to create the next step forward in inventory and tracking. The system we are developing will give us the information we need automatically, through the use of small ear tags on the animals that are wireless and do not require batteries. More importantly, smartphones will be used to read these tags at a range that is useful,” Lucke-Wold said. “We want to develop a software system for smartphones which will enable researchers to easily track their subjects. This will make our work in the laboratory more efficient.”

In addition to the grant, Lucke-Wold and Wright will receive assistance with business and development research and work with four graduate students participating in a faculty-led, student-based consulting team through B&E’s Experiential Learning Center during the fall 2016 semester.

“We’re excited to utilize the resources here and get a better business background to really strategize in terms of marketing, how we can integrate our product into the market, and ultimately find our niche for developing the company going forward,” Wright said.

Lucke-Wold said the recent developments with Wright Wold Scientific are stemming from an idea the pair had almost a year ago, talking it over while rock climbing.

“When we thought of the idea, we were discussing some of the problems we have in doing animal tagging and how it is so very inefficient, the system we’re working with now. Our job as M.D. Ph.D. students is to propel medicine forward. Having improved technology, such as what we’re working on, could really help streamline the process going forward, not only for ourselves but for others as well,” he said. “We started brainstorming ideas and met with some engineers to see its feasibility, and once we realized it was a unique niche and that there is a market for it out there, we hit the ground running.”w