Researchers to Compete in ‘Shark Tank,’ Demo Technology, More at Research Day, Feb. 13

University of Arizona researchers will compete in a “Shark Tank”-style competition, demonstrate their medical technology and more during Research Day, a first-of-its-kind event coordinated by the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. – University of Arizona researchers will go head-to-head for a $10,000 prize on Wednesday, Feb. 13, in a “Shark Tank”-style competition hosted by the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

Innovative ideas will be pitched to a panel of “sharks,” a cast of UA celebrity judges who include UA President Robert Robbins, MD; the competition will be emceed by UA Provost Jeffrey Goldberg, PhD.

The event is part of Research Day, a first-of-its-kind, daylong event coordinated by the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

Research Day will take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Forum (ground floor) of the UA’s Health Sciences Innovation Building (HSIB), 1670 E. Drachman St. A full schedule of the day’s activities is available below.

“Research Day will connect basic scientists and clinicians across disciplines — and also spur a bit of friendly competition,” says Irving Kron, MD, interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and host of the event. “By the end of the day, more than 125 researchers will have shared their unique projects and brought exposure to the work they are doing in their labs.”

In addition to the “Shark Tank” competition, attendees will listen to three TED Talk-style keynotes that explore the frontiers of integrative medicine, brain science and machine learning. Data blitzes, brief two-minute snapshots of a researcher’s problem, tools and goals, also will be presented throughout the day.

Research Day will close with a select group of UA College of Medicine – Tucson physicians and researchers demonstrating their medical expertise and innovations. Demos include ultrasound imaging technology to improve patient care, wearable motion-detecting technology to monitor patient health and safety and 3D-printed scaffolds — plastic bone-shaped frames — to help regrow long bones.


Schedule of the Day (subject to change)

  • 7:00 AM | Early Bird Data Blitz Session
  • 8:00 AM | Breakfast
  • 8:50 AM| Opening Remarks
  • 9:00 AM | TED Talk-style Keynote by Esther M. Sternberg, MD
    • Measuring Health, Wellbeing and Performance Non-invasively: From Molecules to the Environment
  • 9:30 AM | Data Blitzes 1 & 2 Begin (concurrent sessions)
  • 11:15 AM | TED Talk-style Keynote by Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD
    • Innovations in Brain Science of the Future for Those Who Need a Cure Today
  • 11:40 AM| Lunch
  • 1:00 PM | Data Blitzes 3, 4, & 5 Begin (concurrent sessions)
  • 2:25 PM | TED Talk-style Keynote by Nirav C. Merchant, PhD
    • Working Alongside Thinking Machines
  • 3:05 PM | “Shark Tank” Competition
  • 4:30 PM | Research Demonstrations and Networking Session

About the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university’s partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, visit

Posted in AZBio News.