JHU Students Win ABC News "Be the Change: Save a Life" Grand Prize

Johns Hopkins University engineering students who have been working with Jhpiego on low-cost solutions for global health problems won $10,000 in a video competition sponsored by ABC News, the Lemelson Foundation and the Duke Global Health Institute, the network announced Wednesday.

The Hopkins team from the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID) won the network's Maternal Health Challenge with their Antenatal Screening Kit, an inexpensive, easy-to-use prototype of a marker that would enable women in the developing world to self-test  for a series of preventable but potentially fatal conditions and illnesses. The self-test could be used at home or in the community and help advance detection of problems in women who don’t have access to the more customary, laboratory tests for prenatal care. The JHU team's 5-minute video beat out more than 65 video entries submitted by students from around the world.

Students Sean Monagle, Maxim Budyansky, Shishira Nagesh, Mary O’Grady, James Waring, Sherri Hall, Matthew Means and Peter Truskey learned the good news from ABC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser in a Skype interview Tuesday night. "Sean Monagle and the team from Johns Hopkins did an outstanding job," Besser said in a statement. "When it comes to global health, cost is an enormous barrier to care. The antenatal screening test is an incredibly innovative approach to saving the lives of pregnant women."

The students have been working on this project through a unique partnership between CBID and Jhpiego, led by Dr. Harshad Sanghvi, Jhpiego's medical director and innovations chief, and Dr. Soumyadipta Acharya, director of the CBID graduate student program and an assistant research professor at the Whiting School of Engineering.

The students will receive $10,000 from the Lemelson Foundation and assistance and support in further development of the antenatal screening kit. The competition is part of ABC News' year-long, "Be the Change: Save a Life" series on global health.

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