Reimagining Spineboards


How might we reimagine the Long Spine Board (LSB) to help medical professionals transport supine patients?

The U.S. Consortium of Metropolitan Medical Directors emphasize “a growing body of literature that points to the potential deleterious effects of spinal immobilization [using a Long Spine Board],” which includes pressure sores, tissue hypoxia, respiratory compromise, rib fractures, increased pain, and spinal cord damage. For this Tiger Challenge, a team of students will investigate the factors that limit the potential of current long spine boards (LSBs), and develop a medically-focused, commercially-viable LSB for use by first responders and EMTs.


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    Robby De La Espriella

    Robert De La Espriella is a rising sophomore at the University of Notre Dame. He is currently studying chemical engineering and also plans to obtain an MBA. This summer he is excited to be working on the spine board team for the Princeton Tiger Challenge.

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    Yash Huilgol

    Yash Huilgol is a rising junior at Princeton concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School. Yash’s past medical and research experiences have developed his drive to solve medicine's most hidden problems. He is interested in applying technology to improve medical services. Yash’s curiosities and scientific interests will propel him to develop a human-centered technology solution through the Tiger Challenge program.

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    Jade Park

    Jade is a rising senior at Princeton University, majoring in English on the pre-med track. On campus, she's extremely involved in the a cappella community and loves running and yoga. This summer, she looks forward to working with design-thinking to bridge her humanities and science interests to have positive and personal impact.

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    Jorge Reyes

    Jorge is a rising sophomore at Princeton University majoring in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and doing a certificate in Applications of Computing. Jorge is passionate about promoting human wellness through the application of engineering and technology and promoting a stronger interest in STEM through involvement in activities such as the Princeton Rocketry Club.


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    Vijay Chakravarthy

    A designer of systems, processes and artifacts, Vijay Chakravarthy, IDSA, applies design thinking as a strategy to envision and facilitate meaningful outcomes. The senior designer, researcher and strategist at Michael Graves Architecture and Design previously worked with manufacturers and design consultancies on projects encompassing process design, change management, brand research, design research and product design. His portfolio includes award-winning work in consumer product design, wearable technology, personal transportation, industrial safety, healthcare and furniture design. His approach is influenced strongly by having worked and studied in Australia, Italy, India and the United States. As the current chair of IDSA’s New York City and the former chair of  IDSA’s Western Pennsylvania Chapters, his community leadership portfolio includes planning and overseeing several successful events.

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    Rick Curtis '79

    Rick ’79 has been the director of the Outdoor Action Program at Princeton University for the past 35 years. He has had a pivotal role in outdoor education as the author of the best-selling Backpacker’s Field Manual and as the founder of the Web site for outdoor education professionals. Rick received both a US and British patent as co-designer of a safety system for whitewater kayaks and is the founder of OE-Software, which develops software-as- as- service solutions for the outdoor industry.

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    Alec Jones '75

    Dr. Alexander Jones has practiced orthopedic surgery for over 25 years as a spine specialist. His medical career experiences include: Chief Resident of Orthopedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins, Lieutenant Commander of the Medical Corps in the U.S. Navy Reserves, director of the Spine Clinic and Services at the U.S. Naval Hospital (Oakland, California), and founding member of the Denver Spine Institute. Dr. Jones is Board Certified with the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgery. He is a member of 9 medical societies, has over 60 medical publications and 3 US patents for Medical devices. He was the recipient of the Traveling Fellowship Award from the Cervical Spine Research Society. Dr. Jones earned an A.B. from Princeton University, and an M.D. from the University of Virginia. His internship and residencies in general and orthopedic surgery were completed at Johns Hopkins hospital. His spine surgery fellowship was at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. 

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    Bon Ku

    Bon Ku, MD, MPP is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and an Associate Dean at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Bon founded and directs JeffDESIGN, a program that teaches medical students to solve healthcare challenges using design thinking. The first ever design program in a medical school empowers future doctors to redesign healthcare services, physical spaces and medical devices. Bon received his B.A. in Classical Studies from Penn, M.D. from Penn State College of Medicine, and M.P.P. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He completed an emergency medicine residency at Long Island Jewish Hospital where he was a chief resident and a fellowship in point- of-care ultrasound at Penn.

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    Anne-Marie Maman '84

    Anne-Marie is the Executive Director of the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council. Formerly, she was a Senior Executive and Business Leader with US and International success in developing business strategies and roadmaps for achieving immediate and long-term objectives in M&A, startup, growth, and Fortune 500 arenas. Leverages valuable blend of business acumen, finance expertise and technical knowledge to lead product development from concept to commercialization. 

    • Founded 3 startup companies, each with innovative, leading-edge technology; secured funding, licensed IP, led all aspects of the businesses, and negotiated acquisition of 1 company for nearly $10 million within 3 years of formation.
    • Launched J&J Interventional Systems’ stenting products in European market; achieved 88% share for coronary stents and 57% share for peripheral stents, representing 70% of global JJIS business prior to US FDA product clearance.
    • Key role in product development and strategic planning which helped to position US Surgical for profitable sale to Tyco.
    • Instrumental in raising VC funding in excess of $5 million.