News & Media

Anna Horn wins UW-La Crosse WiSys Quick Pitch competition

Photo credit: Jen Towner, UW-La Crosse

La Crosse-Anna Horn, Seth Polfus, and Nainil Jariwala were recognized for their research and pitch skills at the UW-La Crosse WiSys Quick Pitch competition on Friday, May 3.

Senior Anna Horn earned first place for her pitch, titled “Drug Efficacy of Genipin for Treatment of Chemotherapy Resistant Glioblastoma.” Horn explained that glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain and spinal cord cancer with a low 5-year survival rate, with standard treatments including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Genipin, which is used in Chinese alternative medicine, has been shown to trigger apoptosis (programmed cell death), and Horn’s research looks into the possible utilization of genipin as a treatment for glioblastoma.

Horn’s faculty advisor is Dr. Mary Zimmerman, an assistant professor in the biology department. With her victory, Horn receives an automatic bid to compete in the WiSys Quick Pitch State Final. The competition will be held during the WiSys SPARK Symposium this July on the UW-Superior campus.

Seth Polfus, a graduate student, earned second place for his pitch, titled “Immediate Effect of Transcutaneous and Percutaneous Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on Quadriceps Neuromuscular Measures: A Pilot Study.” In his pitch, Polfus discussed the difference between dry needling and electrical stimulation, how they’re used in physical therapy clinics, and the impact of each on range of motion and strength.

Nainil Jariwala won the audience-voted people’s choice award for his pitch, titled “Assessing the Predictive Abilities of GPT-4 in Stock Market Analysis through individual Technical, Fundamental, and Sentimental Analysis as well as Multi-modal Analyses.” Jariwala’s study explored the predictive capabilities of generative AI (Chat GPT) in the stock market, its drawbacks and benefits, and how it can be trained with the use of historical data, economic indicators, and additional analyses.

Additional participants included:

  • Cheyenne Banasik, “Associations of Polymorphisms in Vitamin D and Iron-Related Genes with Vitamin D Supplementation and Iron Status in Women”
  • Christine Starshak, “Use It or Lose It: Putting Student Dollars Back Into The Community”

The judges included:

  • Dr. TJ Brooks, Dean, UW-La Crosse College of Business Administration
  • Nancy Clift, Innovation New Venture Partner, Gundersen Health System
  • Dr. Betsy Morgan, Interim Chancellor, UW-La Crosse

Pictures from the event can be viewed here. Thank you to Jen Towner, UW-La Crosse photographer, for attending the event and taking pictures.

To learn more about WiSys Quick Pitch, click here. For questions about Quick Pitch, please contact Margot DeBaker, Regional Intellectual Property and Licensing Associate, at [email protected].