Michael DiCaro wins the Katheryn B. Willock Award

Michael Dicaro describing the ACABI Medical Device Innovation study to the judges of the Katheryne B. Willock Award.

Impactful research performed at the Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation (ACABI) on the "Origination and Dissemination of Inventive Knowledge in the Medical Device Industry", came up big at the Graduate and Professional Student Showcase, taking home the Katheryn B. Willock Library Research Award and a $1000 prize.

The Student Showcase is an annual research conference that takes place on the University of Arizona Mall, and has been held during the spring semester each year since 1993. The showcase attracts more than 130 graduate and undergraduate students each year and gives them an opportunity to present their research to fellow students and faculty. There was over $15,000 in prize money awarded to top research projects. The Willock Award, presented to excellent library-based research, was awarded to ACABI Researcher Michael DiCaro.

Michael presented ACABI research that outlines the origination and dissemination of inventive knowledge in the medical device industry. The study has been performed over the last 15 months in conjunction with the the College of Law and the University Libraries. “The assistance of Jason Dewland, Neda Mousavi, and many others was crucial in performing the study. When we first started, I didn’t know much about medical device patents – I’m a Cellular and Molecular Medicine Master’s Student. I really enjoyed delving into something totally new and building research skills that will aid me in my career as a physician and researcher.” The study used data mining algorithms to link the most impactful medical inventions of the last two decades to relevant academic literature over a 30-year time period. The goal in mind was to track the origins and dissemination patterns of inventive knowledge that leads to disruptive medical innovations. Michael, an employee of ACABI, graduates from the Cellular and Molecular Medicine Master’s program as well as the McGuire Entrepreneurship program in June, and hopes to matriculate into Medical School after that. 

The study, overseen by ACABI Director Dr. Marvin Slepian and former United States Patent and Trademark Office Commissioner Jon Dudas, is directly in line with the Innovation Center’s goal. “ACABI is a 'creativity engine' that will fuel translational research at the UA," Slepian said. "It will align emerging major drivers that will produce the next generation of inventions, commercial opportunities and clinical impact that are going to be transformational for the University."

The innovation center is always looking for novel research, ideas, and experts to work with. Other Novel ACABI research includes stretchable electronics, virtual reality education technology for patients, and big data analysis technology for use in healthcare.