Vesalius Cardiovascular, a venture supported by entrepreneurship @ UBC and led by Dr. Peter Skarsgard, won the $300,000 Judge's Choice Award in the VGH/UBC Hospital Foundation's Innovators' Challenge. The competition aims to accelerate health care innovation in BC.

Dr. Peter Skarsgard discovered an innovative way to achieve the result of surgical valve repair with an implantable medical device. The device, based on proven surgical concepts, is delivered to the heart percutaneously (through a vein in the leg). Open heart surgery, and its associated risk, is completely avoided.

This innovation will reduce hospital and recovery time from 2-3 months to 2-3 days. Most patients will return to normal activities within a week. This will drastically reduce cost to the medical system, and provide a solution to the large group of patients who are not suitable for open heart surgery.

The other two award winners also went to innovations led by UBC faculty members.

Dr. Eitan Prisman's Real Time Reconstruction: A 3-D surgical cutting guide for head and neck cancers project won the $50,000 Audience Choice Bradshaw Prize.

The Headband, Dr. Martin McKeown's project, was awarded the $25,000 Ricci Penn Prize.