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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

University at Buffalo: Students Face Global Innovation Challenge

Some 90 students engaged in team-building and creative problem-solving with international experts and faculty during the University at Buffalo’s 2020 Global Innovation Challenge. An annual weeklong competition and workshop for undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and nontraditional students, the challenge focuses on developing solutions to some of the world’s major, unsolved global-health challenges. This year’s challenge: How do we communicate complex health information like advances in genomics, toxic chemical exposures, and climate change to people across ages, cultures, and geographies?

The teams were asked to focus on issues of equity by seeking to work with populations from low- or middle-income countries, or under-resourced communities in the United States.

In all, 15 teams presented their ideas to judges who evaluated their efforts based on criteria like the team’s understanding of the science of the topic, the degree of innovation of the proposed communication, and the clarity and impact of the team’s verbal and visual presentations.

Team Epigeniuses won the competition. Their innovation was a multi-day community-based intervention to educate women over the age of 12 in Abuja, Nigeria, on the transgenerational epigenetic effects of exposure to alcohol or drugs during pregnancy.

Epigeniuses team members were Ms. Rachel Seibert (PhD student in epidemiology), Ms. Ramya Kommidi (NY Institute of Technology), Ms. Delaram Haghdel (architecture), Ms. Liz Schlant (biochemistry), Ms. Taylor Quinn (biomedical engineering), and Ms.Laura Schultz (biomedical engineering). The team will receive mentoring to further develop their ideas as well as $5,000 to implement their idea in partnership with faculty and international partners.

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