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Alexander Isakov and Kimberly Murdaugh have invented a safer and more efficient laparoscopic morcellator. Their invention has won the Grand Prize at the 2013 International Student Design Showcase in Minneapolis, MN! Our warmest congratulations to Alex, Kimberly, William Burke, and their colleagues who helped make it happen.

The device that they invented can help surgeons to remove pieces of tissue from the body through small incisions. The morcellator is like a combination of a grinder and a vacuum cleaner that allows surgeons to cut up and remove a much larger object from the 1cm holes. Alex and Kimberly perfected the current morcelators, which tend to be time consuming, training-intensive, and run the risk of seeding cancerous tissue. Alexander, Kimberly, and William studied the morcellation process thoroughly and developed the prototype, which showed significant improvements over the existing system. On this picture, they are testing the prototype on the animal model of a pig.

Their advice for young researchers? "I'd recommend not being afraid to try new things! Before working on this project, designing a medical device seemed difficult and daunting, and I hadn't done anything like it before. But I realized it would be a fun opportunity to learn something new. With a lot of teamwork over the course of the semester, we were able to come up with different ideas, work hard, and make something that might help patients one day."

Congratulations to our newest #ResearchSuperstars!