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HomeProgramEarly Career Professionals ▶ ATS 2019 BEAR Cage Competition FAQ
ATS 2019 BEAR Cage Competition FAQ

Bear Cage FAQ


  1. What is the BEAR Cage?

    The BEAR Cage (Building Education to Advance Research) is a competition held annually at the ATS International Conference. 2019 will be our fifth year holding a “Shark Tank”-style live pitch session for early career professionals to share their research and innovative ideas with veterans of translational science in the areas of academia, industry, and government. After the initial submission period, The ATS Drug Device Discovery and Development (DDDD) Committee chooses three finalists from the applications and invites them to pitch their ideas at the conference. Each finalist will have 10 minutes to present their findings with a Powerpoint presentation, then the judges will have 10 minutes to query the finalist on their research, and finally the audience will have 10 minutes to ask the presenter any questions about their project. Once all finalists have presented, one is chosen as the winner and all three win a small sum of money and distance mentor/s for the upcoming year.

  2. Am I eligible?

    The program is open to all ATS members. All applicants must be at an early stage in their career as defined by NIH guidelines and must hold a research or health-professional doctoral degree or its equivalent. Clinical doctorate degrees include, but are not limited to: MD, DrPH, DO, 2 DDS, DMD, OD, DC, PharmD, ND, PsyD, as well as epidemiologists, behavioral scientists, and nurses with doctoral degrees.

  3. What about confidentiality of my research?

    If you are a finalist, while we do not publish your slides anywhere in order to keep your confidentiality intact, we do publish the title of your research on our website and materials for use at the conference. Onsite we will be recording the footage of the program as well as taking pictures. We use these recordings and photos only for marketing purposes for use by ATS in printed materials and on the ATS website. We cannot guarantee that your likeness or slides will be kept completely confidential, but don’t want to deter you from applying. If you have any further questions about confidentiality before submitting, please send us an email: dddd@thoracic.org.

  4. If I already applied once, am I eligible again?

    If you applied to be a finalist at a past BEAR Cage event at the ATS International Conference and did not make it to the final three, we welcome another application! All of our applicants receive constructive feedback from our expert reviewing panel and are encouraged to reapply. Please note, if you have already applied twice, it is unlikely that your application will be accepted a third time.

  5. Can I send in more than one application?

    Yes. For example, if you have two separate innovative research projects you are welcome to submit more than one application for that year.

10-Minute Presentation Perfection: Tips from a BEAR Cage Winner

John Fessel, MD, PhD

Joshua P. Fessel, MD, PhD, 2015 BEAR Cage Winner encourages all young researchers and junior faculty with great ideas to apply! If your application is selected as one of the final three, Josh shared four helpful ways to streamline your slide presentation:

1. Mind Your Numbers
Be careful not to bury audience members under a mountain of numbers and statistics. One or two startling statistics will speak volumes.

2. Choose Visuals Wisely
Pare down your slides to the best ones that directly impact your message.  You don’t need a ton of text—you want people listening to you! 

3. Packaging the Solution

Remember what your audience needs to know in conclusion. What problem are you addressing, and why is it a problem? What is your proposed solution? How are you going to do it? 

4. Practice Makes Perfect!
Practice your pitch with a naïve audience. BEAR Cage panelists and spectators are a mixed group. Your job is to get everyone to understand and to also pique their enthusiasm.


Where are they now?

BEAR Cage Alumni Accomplishments

Joshua P. Fessel, MD, PhD, 2015 Winner

Fessel
Project Title:
A Novel System to Detect and Prevent Impending Aspiration –
AspirGard IT-NGT


Since winning the first BEAR Cage, Dr. Fessel:

Laura Crotty Alexander, MD, 2015 Finalist

Alexander
Project Title:
Effects of E-Cigarette Vapor on Viability, Inflammatory Responses and Antimicrobial Function of Airway Cells

Since participating in the BEAR Cage, Dr. Crotty Alexander:
  • Became an Associate Professor at University of California at San Diego
  • Was selected as Chair of the ATS Training Committee
  • Received an AHA Award for her BEAR Cage research
  • Received an R01 for her BEAR Cage research
  • Was featured in an ATSNews Spotlight

Tiffany Powell-Wiley, MD, 2015 Finalist

Powell
Since participating in the BEAR Cage, Dr. Crotty Alexander:
  • Promoted to Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator at NHLBI (with joint appointment at NIMHD)
  • BEAR Cage research approved as an NHLBI Protocol (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03288207)
  • Presented research at NIH Clinical Center Grand Rounds
  • Served as a co-chair and speaker for ATS Scientific Symposium titled “The Promise and Reality of Wearable Health Technology”

Jake Brenner, MD, PhD, 2016 Winner

Brenner
Project Title:
Pulmonary Endothelial-Targeted Liposomes (PELs) for the Treatment of ARDS

Since winning the BEAR Cage, Dr. Brenner:
  • Became an Assistant Professor and Attending Physician in Pulmonary, Allergy, & Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Invited to give a 2016 NIH Talk: "Pulmonary nanomedicine for the treatment of ARDS"
  • Received a K08 Career Development Award from NHLBI for his BEAR Cage Research
  • Received a McCabe Fund Pilot Award for his BEAR Cage Research
  • Received a Sponsored Research Agreement from Insmed Corporation for his BEAR Cage Research
  • Was published in the ATS AJRCCM in 2017
  • Was featured on an episode of The Penn HealthX Podcast for “Thinking Like a Medical Entrepreneur”
  • Published three papers related to his BEAR Cage Research

Katherine N. Cahill, MD, 2016 Finalist

Cahill
Project Title:
Targeting Mast Cells in Aspirin-exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD)

Since participating the BEAR Cage, Dr. Cahill:
  • Moved from Brigham& Women’s Hospital to accept position of Young Assistant Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of clinical asthma research at Vanderbilt
  • Had her work funded by a K23 Award from the NIH
  • Was awarded an Innovation Evergreen Fund grant from Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Medicine in 2018 for the following project: Therapeutic benefit of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists in asthma

Valentin Prieto-Centurion, MD, 2016 Finalist

Pietro
Project Title:
Promoting Activity After COPD Exacerbations (PACE)

Since participating in the BEAR Cage, Dr. Pietro-Centurion:
  • Is currently funded by a NHLBI K23 to conduct a clinical trial based on his BEAR Cage project research
  • Accepted role of Assistant Professor at University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Was published in the ATS Annals in 2018


 Sanghyuk Shin, PhD, 2017 Winner

Shin
Project Title:
Impact of Low-level Drug Resistant Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Infections on Molecular Diagnosis of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

Since winning the BEAR Cage, Dr. Shin:
  • Left UCLA and accepted new role at UC Irvine Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing as Assistant Professor
  • Received a K01 Grant for tuberculosis research
  • Received a R21 Grant for tuberculosis research
  • Was invited to give a talk at the NIH

Marcus Chen, MD, 2017 Finalist

Chen
Project Title:
Chest CT at Chest X-ray Radiation Dose

Since participating in the BEAR Cage, Dr. Chen:
  • Won an NHLBI Innovation Award
  • Was invited to give a talk at the NIH


Sean Agbor-Enoh, MD, PhD, 2018 Winner

Agbor-Enoh
Project Title:
Precision Genomics: Early Detection of Antibody-Mediated Rejection to Improve Survival

Since winning the BEAR Cage, Dr. Agbor-Enoh:
  • Presented his research at the NIH
  • Was invited to give a Sunrise Seminar at ATS 2019 – “State of the Art and Future “Omic” Approaches to Detect Lung Transplant Rejection”

For any questions about the BEAR Cage Competition and to submit your application, please contact dddd@thoracic.org.