Falling Walls Lab showcases revolutionary research

    Twenty young UAlberta researchers make first cut in international competition of ideas for breaking down barriers to progress.

    By Michael Brown on September 23, 2014

    The Falling Walls Lab brings together some of the world's most talented young researchers to pitch their innovative ideas and discoveries. (Video: Falling Walls Berlin)

    (Edmonton) Twenty up-and-coming University of Alberta minds have made the first cut of an international competition designed to sift out breakthrough ideas capable of breaking down walls.

    The finalists were chosen as part of the Falling Walls Lab, a new German-led competition designed to showcase the quality, passion and talent of the next generation of outstanding innovators. In a format that has been described as a “dash of Dragon's Den mixed with a dash of TED Talk,” 35 U of A students were given three minutes to present their idea, discovery or project to a panel of judges. The field was trimmed down to 20, who will compete Sept. 25 for a chance to participate in the Falling Walls Lab international final in Berlin Nov. 8.

    The finalists are:

    • Roman Agustin – conventional fermentation
    • Matthew Benesch – cancer therapy resistance
    • Ashley Dalrymple – deep vein thrombosis
    • Brooks Hanewich – unrecognized human potential
    • Fahim Hassan – bully-proof Internet
    • Muhammad Faheem Khan – timely cancer detection
    • Muhammad Faizan Khan – fracking flow backs toxicity
    • Diana Martinez Tobon – plastic waste accumulation
    • Naresh Miriyala – heart disease diagnosis
    • Moslem Noori – health-care-associated infections
    • Adam Parker – machine interface
    • Chris Rueda-Clausen – knowledge dissemination
    • Abdullah Saleh – health access in urban slums
    • Zia Saleh – innovative character development
    • Abhinav Sharma – medical education
    • Leandro Rafael Solis Aguilar – pressure ulcers
    • Zachary Storms – food safety
    • Amirali Toossi – paralysis
    • Charles Van Neste – energy transmission
    • Nermeen Youssef – Type 1 diabetes

    Lorne Babiuk, vice-president (research), says he is both proud and thrilled that the U of A was one of only 20 sites for these international labs.

    “The Falling Walls Lab is a wonderful venue to showcase the amazing ideas, talent, passion and capability that is resident here—particularly among the next generation of researchers, scholars, innovators and entrepreneurs,” he said. “It will also help foster connections among these young innovators and expose the audience, and business and government attendees, to some new and fascinating ideas.”

    The 20 finalists will vie for top spot on Thursday in room 1-440 of the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science. Pitching begins at 6 p.m. Falling Walls Lab UAlberta is a free event and is open to all, but registration is required.

    Register for the Falling Walls Lab