Catalyst Fellowship Spring 2021
Spring 2021 Innovation Priorities
Catalyst brings together innovators and researchers with diverse backgrounds to work in teams to identify unmet medical needs, brainstorm and evaluate potential solutions and plan research project proposals. The program starts with a dive into several priority areas for potential innovation as a way to stimulate thinking and identify unmet needs. At the end of the initial six month experience, projects with demonstrated potential for impact establish longer-term efforts and initiate research programs to realize impactful solutions. Learn more about the Catalyst process
We seek scientists, engineers, and clinicians from any field interested in tackling medical challenges within the following Innovation Priorities, in a program designed to accelerate impact.
Focused on real-world medical innovation opportunities
Collaboration across medicine, technology, and business
linQ Innovation Method accelerates impact
New project discovery with high potential to achieve health impact and without the constraints of a single lab organization.
Process driven by you in a multi-disciplinary team based environment. Past teams have established new lines of research, launched start-ups, and embarked on new career trajectories.
Mentored by a unique network of leading experts in their field from academic research and industry that shortens the time to realize meaningful healthcare outcomes.
A proven MIT linQ Innovation Method that focuses on real-world medical innovation opportunities and accelerates impact.
The first six months
Proof of Need
Proof of Need: Identify and evaluate relevant unmet medical needs by visiting laboratories, talking with clinicians, and exploring the literature.
Proof of Opportunity
Proof of Opportunity: Identify and evaluate a set of possible solutions. Meet with key stakeholders to assess their potential of solving the unmet need.
Project Proposal: Develop a research project plan with milestones over a 12-18 month time frame.
Outcome: Portfolio of validated research projects for ongoing mentorship, with real opportunity to transition to the project execution phase, project execution—exploration of funding and commercialization opportunities. Learn more about the Catalyst process
Who should join
Catalyst is open to those with interest and willingness to spend time in research, innovation, and health and who live or work near one of the 2021 Hubs—Boston, Memphis, and Salt Lake City.
We seek a multi-talented cohort, including:
- Early stage professionals, postdocs, fellows, graduate students, clinical, and other professional degree candidates, etc.
- VA- and non-VA-affiliated engineers, scientists, clinicians, designers, entrepreneurs, MBAs, etc.
Participants join as individuals to form teams and identify new lines of research, rather than working to advance their existing research projects.
There is no need to know anything about the innovation priorities. In fact, individuals working in teams sometimes have to forget what they think they know about a problem to better understand another’s perspective and learn even more about the nature of a problem.
Applicants don’t need to know a lot about innovation in biomedical research either. Faculty serving as mentors will help guide you through the Catalyst process, which involves cycles of convergent and divergent thinking, trial and error, iteration, progress, reassessment, creativity, critical thinking, and more iteration.... Seldom a linear path, it is always an exciting one for those who are ready for a journey from insight to impact. You and your teammates decide which projects to move forward.
Several slots are reserved for clinicians from the Veterans Healthcare Administration sites in Boston, Memphis, and Salt Lake City.
A limited number of funded slots are available. Accepted candidates may inquire further.
Other Catalyst roles
Catalyst depends on input and participation from a wide range of individuals, and for various roles. Roles include (but aren’t limited to): serving as a subject matter expert, reviewing interim work by Fellows, professional development advising, teaching workshops, making connections, allowing shadowing experiences, access to labs or data, longitudinal mentoring, and curriculum development. If you're interested in participating in Catalyst, please complete the short survey linked below.
- Sessions will be held 10am – 1pm (EST),
Monday, January 4 through June 28, 2021
- First Session: 10am – 1pm (EST),
Monday, January 4, 2021
Intensifications will be held in-person (assuming COVID related travel restrictions are not prohibitive):
- Intensification I (Boston), January 12-14, 2021.
Theme: Need generation/validation
- Intensification II (Salt Lake City), March 9-11, 2021.
Theme: Solution Generation
- Intensification III (Memphis), May 11-13, 2021.
Theme: Plan Generation
Workload: 20% dedication. Full time during the 3 Intensifications.
Apply to join
Applications are closed
- Friday, August 14
LIVE Information Session Webinar, 10am-11am EDT
- Tuesday, August 25
LIVE Information Session Webinar, 4pm-5pm EDT (will be recorded)
Watch the session recording
- Tuesday, September 1
Application deadline, 11:59pm MDT
- Week of September 14
Interview invitations to be sent
- Wednesday, September 23
Interviews, 10am-4pm (EDT)
- Week of October 1
Fellows’ acceptances announcement
- Friday, October 2 – Wednesday, October 14
Fellows garner supervisor support and respond to Catalyst offer
- Wednesday, October 14
Deadline to respond to Catalyst acceptance offer
- Week of November 9
Catalyst Fellows Onboarding Materials to be sent
- Monday, January 4, 2021
First Catalyst Session, 10am-1pm (EST)
About the application
Documents and information you will need to submit in the Application Form include:
- Curriculum Vitae (required)
- Reference letters (recommended)
- Reference contacts (required)
- Application questions (previewed below)
The objective of these questions is to know more about you and your experiences. Remember that Catalyst will guide and train you to identify and validate unmet needs, define solutions, and design new research projects with high translational potential during the program. You are not applying with an existing project to the Catalyst program; you are applying as a talented and passionate individual with valuable skills to make an impact in healthcare.
Please list your core competencies, including domains of expertise and experience (75 word max)
Help us understand your CV in context. Tell us about one or two of your non-classroom, professional or research experiences—describe your role in understanding challenges, applying learnings, and influencing outcomes. (150 word max)
Logical reasoning skills are foundational to the Catalyst process. Please tell us about a past research or professional experience where the application of logical reasoning skills were critical.
Please tell us why you are interested in being a Fellow in the Catalyst 2021 Program (75 word max).
What else should we know about you? (Optional)
Spring 2021 Fellows
Tracy Bruen, DCN, RD
Clinical Assistant Professor / Director MS Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic Internship University of Memphis
Victor Ekuta, BA
Biological Engineering Instructor, MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Programs
Software Engineer, 3M Health Information Systems
Graduate Research Fellow, University of Utah
Samantha B. Miles, MSN, RN-BC
Informatics and Education RN, Memphis VA Medical Center
Alison Quinn, MD
Staff Physician, Psychiatrist, Memphis VA Medical Center Memphis
Ritu Raman, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT
Jason Ramirez, MD
Staff Physician, Veterans Health Administration, Salt Lake City
Anita Ranade, MPH
Chief of Business Office, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston
Paolo Renigar, PhD
Education Program Specialist, Veterans Affairs, Salt Lake City
Fatima Shahzad, MPH, MBA
Senior Project Manager, All of Us Research Program / VA Boston HealthCare System / Boston VA Research Institute (BVARI)
Jack Tsao, MD, DPhil
Staff Neurologist, Memphis VA Medical Center
Taylor Wahlig, PhD
Post Doc, University of Utah
Spring 2021 Faculty
Pamela Bellino, MA, OTR/L
- Director of Patient Safety VA Boston Healthcare System
- Lean Healthcare Black Belt
- Faculty of the Medicine/Surgery/Psychiatry VA Chief Resident in Quality and Safety (CRQ&S) training program at VA Boston Healthcare System
- Faculty of the Ambulatory Patient Safety and Quality Improvement (QI) rotation BMC Medicine Resident Program at VA Boston Healthcare System
- Industrial Engineer – Systems Redesign VA Boston & VA New England Health Care System (VISN 1)
John Flaherty, MD, MPH
- Chief Emergency Medicine, Memphis VA Medical Center
Lars Frølund, PhD
- Research Director, MIT Innovation Initiative
- Visiting Fellow at the MIT Sloan School of Management
Stephan Gaehde, MD, MPH
- Boston VA Medical Informatics Fellowship Program Director
- Boston VA Chief of Emergency Services
- Chief Business Officer, MyGenomeRx
- Venture Partner, MBX Capital
- Medical Device Diligence Lead, Keiretsu
- AimHi Accelerator Fund
- Formerly with Baxter International
Martha Gray, PhD
- J. W. Kieckhefer Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Director, MIT linQ
- Chief Science Officer at Sofregen
Jacob Hooker, PhD
- Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport MGH Research Scholar
- Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
- Director of Radiochemistry, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
Timothy Padera, PhD
- Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School
- Assistant in Biology, Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology
Alice Lin Pomponio, MPP
- Managing Director, American Cancer Society BrightEdge
- Advisor, Red Sky Partners
- Founder, Accendo
Contessa “Tess” Ramos, MSNED
- Chief of Education / DLO Center for Learning Excellence George E. Wahlen, Salt Lake City VA
Ravi Rasalingam, MBChB
- Catalyst Alumnus ’19
- Staff Cardiologist, Medicine/Cardiology, Boston VA Healthsystem
- Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School
Indranill Basu Ray, MD, FACP, FACC
- Staff Cardiologist & Cardiac Electrophysiologist, Director of Cardiovascular Research, Memphis VA Hospital
Andy Shin, JD, MPH
- Chief Operating Officer for the AHA Center for Health Innovation
Nancy R. Steele
- MIT linQ Faculty
Daniel Torocsik, MD, PhD
- Dermatology Unit University of Debrecen Hungary
Iván Uray, MD, PhD
- Senior Research Scientist & Associate Professor, Dept of Oncology, University of Debrecen Hungary
Benjamin Vakoc, PhD
- Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
- Massachusetts General Hospital Wellman Center for Photomedicine
Spring 2021 Independent Advisory Board
Bonnie Charland, PhD
- Associate Director of Quality Management, VA Boston Healthcare System
Heather Davidson, MD
- Deputy Chief of Staff, VA Boston HCS; Hospitalist
- Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine
- Chief Commercial Officer, Mymee
Samuel “Mooly” Dinnar
- Founder of Meedance
- Instructor at Harvard and MIT
- Author of "Entrepreneurial Negotiation"
- CEO of OptimizeRx
Christiana Iyasare, MD
- Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine Innovation Program
- Co-Founder, Dyrnamix, Inc.
Angela James, PhD
- Director of Global Development Project Leadership in Oncology at Astellas Pharma
Terry Keane, PhD
- Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development at VA Boston Healthcare System
- Director of the National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder’s Behavioral Science Division
Jagesh Shah, PhD
- Vice President, Gene Therapy Technologies at Sana Biotechnology, Inc.
Barry Stein, MD, MBA, FSIR, FACR, RPVI
- Chief Clinical Innovation Officer at Hartford HealthCare
Frances Toneguzzo, PhD
- Intellectual Property and Business Strategy Consultant