Caltech Graduate Students Named Finalists in Inventors Competition

Pair was selected for work in antibiotic-resistance testing

Published : Friday, October 27, 2017 | 5:44 AM

"Nathan Schoepp and Travis Schlappi"

Nathan Schoepp and Travis Schlappi Credit: Caltech

Graduate students Nathan Schoepp and Travis Schlappi have been named finalists in the Collegiate Inventors Competition, an annual contest that rewards innovations, discoveries, and research by college and university students and their faculty advisers.

Schoepp, who is studying chemistry, and Schlappi, studying chemical engineering, were selected for their work on a test that reveals antibiotic-resistant bacteria in 30 minutes instead of the usual three days, and could help reduce the spread of superbug bacteria. (Read more about their new test here.) Both Schoepp and Schlappi work in the lab of Rustem Ismagilov, Caltech’s Ethel Wilson Bowles and Robert Bowles Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and director of the Jacobs Institute for Molecular Engineering for Medicine.

Ismagilov says the students’ work “is a great example of why I enjoy being at Caltech: it is inspiring to see students form a truly interdisciplinary collaboration to target a societal grand challenge.”

Schoepp and Schlappi will travel to Alexandria, Va., on November 3 to present their inventions to a panel of final-round judges, including National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office experts.

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