Student-team Presents Innovation Scholars Recommendations to Mayo Clinic

The next big thing?

What’s the next big technical innovation in the medical field? And where will it come from? Answers to these questions may be years away … or as close as Rochester, Minn.

Annually the Mayo Clinic in Rochester hosts each of Minnesota’s private colleges for its Mayo Innovation Scholars Program, in which each university sends a team – consisting of two science and two business undergraduates along with an MBA program student leader – to present recommendations concerning a medical innovation that they have been working on in collaboration with a Mayo Clinic physician or executive.

The University of St. Thomas team made its presentation March 7, represented by Ryan Augustin, Biochemistry; Andrea Paetznick, Marketing; Henry Pitera, Marketing; Cammey Young, Biology; and Laura Randgaard, graduate student, St. Catherine University. Randgaard, an administrative nurse, is in the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program at St. Catherine University.

Due to potential patent and copyright issues, details surrounding the team’s research cannot be revealed; however, as Augustin notes, "At Mayo, teams presented research regarding a wide range of innovative products – addressing important issues dealing with an aging population, surgery, global health and much more.”

Colleges were paired with physicians or executives who came up with various potential innovations. The St. Thomas team began working on its innovation in October 2012, meeting twice a month early on and then twice a week during spring semester 2013.

Although the formal program is completed, “We will stay in contact with our physician at Mayo to see where he takes our recommendations and if he could use our help in whatever direction he decides to proceed,” Augustin said.

According to the Mayo Clinic website: "MISP offers an opportunity for selected graduate students and undergraduate science and business students to research projects submitted by Mayo Clinic professionals through several Mayo Clinic departments, including Mayo Clinic Ventures, the College of Medicine, the Center for Innovation and Global Business Solutions. Now in its seventh year, MISP continues to be an innovative model for student experiential learning."