Who Will Win the 2019 BEAR Cage Competition?

Which of these early career investigators will walk away with $10,000? With eyes on the prize, the three finalists will compete in a Shark Tank-style presentation to determine the winner during the ATS BEAR Cage Competition on Monday, May 20, at 1 p.m., in the Science & Innovation Center, Hall B, at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas.

This is the fifth annual Building Education to Advance Research (BEAR) Cage Competition. While the top winner will claim the grand prize, the two runners-up will not walk away empty-handed. They each will win $2,500 for making it to the finals. All finalists also receive yearlong mentorship on their projects from members of the ATS Drug Device Discovery and Development Committee (DDDD). 

Past competitors have presented their BEAR Cage research at the National Institutes of Health, published the research in journals, entered into a sponsored research agreement with a corporation, started a clinical trial based on the research, and received major NIH grants, including an RO1 award.  

The BEAR Cage was developed to promote productive discussion of novel translational research ideas in the setting of a fun, yet competitive, forum promoting opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and growth. It is hosted by the DDDD, which chooses the top three finalists each year to present their research at the International Conference.  

The 2019 finalists and their research projects are:

Campbell-Washburn, PhD
National Heart, Lung,
and Blood Institute 

Functional Lung MRI


Scott M. Gordon, PhD
University of Kentucky

Targeting Pulmonary
Protease Activity With an
HDL-Binding Protease
Inhibitor Peptide


Jasleen Pannu, MD
Ohio State University

Steerable Electromagnetic
Navigation Guided Endobronchial
Radial Ultrasound With Biopsy Needle