Celebrating innovation in St. Louis, the St. Louis Business Journal on June 23 honored area individuals and companies with the publication’s third annual Innovation Awards. Among those honored were Washington University’s student-run IDEA Labs, and Sasa Mutic, PhD, director of the Medical Physics Division in the university’s Department of Radiation Oncology.
The Business Journal selected individuals and companies demonstrating cutting-edge advancements that have propelled St. Louis to become one of the nation’s top tech hubs.
IDEA Labs (Innovation, Design and Engineering Action Labs) was honored in the awards’ education category as a “driving force” of innovation and “a key ingredient to business success and prosperity.”
IDEA Labs, which formed in 2013, is a bioengineering design and entrepreneurship incubator that brings together medical, engineering and business students to brainstorm solutions to real-world clinical problems. Teams of students from the various disciplines spend several months developing prototypes and then present their ideas to investors, entrepreneurs and physicians at an event dubbed Demo Day. Stephen W. Linderman, an MD/PhD student with an emphasis on biomedical engineering and orthopedic surgery, is president of IDEA Labs’ national network. Ian Schillebeeckx, a PhD student in computer science, is president of the St. Louis chapter, and Ramin Lalezari, an MD-MBA student, is the chapter’s vice president.
Mutic, who was honored in the award’s medical category, was recognized for his innovations in radiation therapy to treat cancer.
Among his achievements, Mutic co-founded Radialogica, a health-care information technology company that is helping the university perform audits of its radiation oncology facilities. The company’s aim is to empower health-care providers and payers with tools and data to manage the quality of treatment.
Mutic also has published more than 120 manuscripts in radiation therapy- and medical physics-related journals and has been named an inventor on four patents.