University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Four engineering and computer science students have conceived a startup company with the goal of circulating life-saving vending machines that can dispense over-the-counter medicine 24 hours a day to anyone with a pressing ailment, such as fever, diarrhea, indigestion, or aches and pains. The team called TransPharm will be competing in at least two entrepreneurship competitions in the coming weeks, and has already been selected as a finalist in one.

The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department recently held its fall-semester poster contest, and the three winning teams produced a trio of brilliant and practical inventions aimed at solving key engineering problems. The three winning teams conceived an inexpensive and comfortable alternative to ski boots, an assistive steering aid for a physically challenged young boy and his power chair, and a nifty wheelchair brake redesign.

A December 22 article in the Boston Globe reported on Assistant Professor Jungwoo Lee and his colleagues in the Chemical Engineering (ChE) Department at UMass Amherst who are developing microenvironments that allow them to study how cancer cells that move around in the human body change from dormant to active, and also what causes or prevents that change. Understanding this process, the researchers say, could lead to new treatments that prevent cancer from metastasizing throughout the body. See News Office release.