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UWEC, Mayo Clinic Health System collaborate to offer IMPACT in Eau Claire

Mayo Clinic Health System and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire are launching a new program to encourage creative solutions to critical health care questions. The Innovative Minds Partnering to Advance Curative Therapies (IMPACT) Program will invite teams of two to four undergraduate students to submit hypotheses to address a specific question. A prize of $1,000 per student will be awarded to the winning team at the 2019 IMPACT Symposium in Eau Claire in March 2019.

While new to Eau Claire, the IMPACT Program has engaged more than 700 students in Minnesota since its launch in 2014 at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus. The program builds upon a master collaborative research agreement announced by Mayo Clinic Health System and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2017.

“Mayo Clinic Health System and UW-Eau Claire are bringing together faculty, physicians and students to explore new health care solutions,” says Timothy Nelson, M.D., Ph. D., research and innovation director for Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin. “This research could ultimately lead to innovative therapies for patients.”

Teams participating in the 2019 IMPACT Program will address the question: “What is the underlying cause of hypoplastic left heart syndrome?” Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a rare and complex congenital health defect in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped.

“The IMPACT Program offers an incredible opportunity for students at UW-Eau Claire and across the Midwest to participate in the research process with Mayo scientists and physicians,” says Mike Carney, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW-Eau Claire. “Our students can explore a complex clinical issue and gain a better understanding of how fundamental research in health can have a direct impact on patient outcomes. IMPACT is a wonderful extension of our collaborative research agreement with Mayo Clinic Health System. UW-Eau Claire is excited to be part of the program.”

For more information on the upcoming program, please visit the IMPACT page.