Stanford grad student wins top prize at Merck Innovation Cup

MBA student JOSHUA YANG is part of an international team of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who won this year’s Merck Innovation Cup for an invention that could lead to treatments for cancer and other diseases.

Stanford GSB student Josh Yang is part of an international team of graduate students and postdocs who won this year’s Merck Innovation Cup. (Courtesy Josh Yang)

Now in its 10th year, the week-long competition is for graduate students and postdocs from around the world who work in teams to develop innovative ideas with the potential to address unmet medical needs. Participants ­also develop business plans for bringing their designs to market.

Participants were grouped into 10 teams of six students and researchers. Yang was on the Drug Discovery Technologies team, which included students and postdocs from the University of California, Berkeley; Cambridge University; the Francis Crick Institute; Aarhus University; and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Yang and his teammates’ winning design was a unique platform that identifies and produces novel protein degraders that could potentially treat cancer.

After a week of developing the idea and then presenting it to judges, the team claimed the top prize of €20,000. They will also work with Merck to further develop their idea.

Read the full article on the Stanford News website.