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Wake Forest Graduate Students Finalists in Collegiate Inventors Competition

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Three graduate students from Wake Forest University School of Medicine were finalists in the 2007 Collegiate Inventors Competition (CIC), a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. The students created a life-like lung that can be used in motor vehicle crash tests.

The team of student inventors included F. Scott Gayzik, Amber Bonivtch and Kerry Danelson, who are all pursuing doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering. The faculty advisor for the team, Joel Stitzel, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and technical director of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University Center for Injury Biomechanics.
“This is something that really has the potential to help save human lives in car crashes. That’s a big deal,” said Stitzel.
The project will help predict the injury caused to the lung during a motor vehicle crash and will evaluate the overall safety of airbags and seatbelts. The life-like lung is built to be durable, so it can be used in repeated testing. These tests will help further the development of advanced safety devices in motor vehicles.
“Being involved with this project has been an incredible learning experience,” said Gayzick. “As a team, we tackled not only the technical issue, which as graduate students we are accustomed to, but also the many other challenges that go along with turning a concept into a functioning prototype in just a few months.”
Gayzik is the son of Al and Fran Gayzik of Middlesex, N.J.; Bonivtch is the daughter of Doug and Becky Rath of Charlotte, N.C.; and Danelson is the daughter of Tom and Beth Smith of Winston-Salem.
The CIC encourages college students to be active in science, engineering, mathematics, technology and creative invention. The competition specifically honors students and their advisors for innovations, discoveries and research projects that lead to inventions with the potential to be patented.

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Media contact: Lisa Davanzo, (336) 716-6906, ldavanzo@wfubmc; Bonnie Davis, , or Karen Richardson,, (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. U.S. News & World Report ranks Wake Forest University School of Medicine 18th in primary care and 44th in research among the nation's medical schools. It ranks 35th in research funding by the National Institutes of Health. Almost 150 members of the medical school faculty are listed in Best Doctors in America.

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