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HomeProgramEarly Career Professionals ▶ Join us at the 5th Annual BEAR Cage Competition in Dallas!
Join us at the 5th Annual BEAR Cage Competition in Dallas!

BEAR Cage 2019

The application period for the BEAR Cage Competition is now closed, but please join us at our live event to watch three innovative researchers present in Dallas at the Science & Innovation Center on Monday, May 20th – more details to follow soon.

The ATS Drug Device Discovery and Development (DDDD) Committee is excited to announce the launch of the 5th Annual BEAR Cage (Building Education to Advance Research) competition at ATS 2019 in Dallas. 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.

Early career investigators are invited to submit your research proposals to the BEAR Cage competition by January 14th, 2019 for a chance to win up to $10,000 at ATS 2019.

The top three submissions chosen by the ATS Drug Device Discovery and Development (DDDD) Committee will be invited to pitch their highly innovative research proposals to a panel of translational science experts representing academia, industry, and governmental sectors in front of a live audience during the ATS 2019 International Conference. ATS will comp conference registration costs for all three selected finalists for ATS 2019 in Dallas.

The panel, with audience participation, will “vet” these proposals with each presenter, providing a unique “shark-tank” like learning environment that fuels real time feedback and propels the strategic thinking required for these novel ideas to become innovations. After each presentation, the panel and the audience will have sufficient time to ask questions to each of the top three contestants. Ultimately, the panel will award one grand prize winner a $10,000 prize and the two runner-up proposals $2,500 each. 

The competition is open to all ATS members who are early career investigators.

Please see full details and application criteria below.



FAQ – Do you have questions about what to expect at our event or wonder what past finalists and winners are doing now? Please visit our FAQ page for this information and more!

For any questions about the competition and to submit your application please send an email to

Sean Agbor

Sean Agbor-Enoh, MD, PhD from the NHLBI (left) was selected as the 2018 BEAR Cage winner for his proposal on “Early Treatment of Antibody-Mediated Rejection to Improve Outcomes.” Dr. Agbor-Enoh was awarded the grand prize of $5,000 for his project. The two runner-up finalists, Carlos Barrero, MD from Temple University School of Pharmacy (“Identifying Novel Disease Modifying Drugs for the Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases”) and Jatinder K. Juss, MD, PhD, FRCPC, from the Keenan Research Institute for Biomedical Science at St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto (“NEMISIS (NEutrophil MEchanical StabillSation): A novel extracorporeal technology to modulate and monitor pathological inflammatory responses of neutrophils (PMN) in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)” were each awarded $2,500 for their work. All finalists receive a distance mentor from the DDDD Committee to help them further develop their projects during the ensuing year.

2018 Bear Cage Finalists
ATS 2018 BEAR Cage Finalists and Competition Co-Chairs. From left to right: Jatinder K. Juss, MD, PhD, FRCPC; Sean Agbor-Enoh, MD, PhD; BEAR Cage Co-Chair and DDDD Vice Chair, Gregory B. Diette, MD; BEAR Cage Co-Chair, Mark S. Forshag, MHA, MD; and Carlos Barrero, MD.