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A DNA microscope. A gene therapy for “bubble boy” disease.  The restoration of cellular activity in pig brains four hours after death. Nano-robots that might clean teeth better than flossing.

These are just some of the 64 important discoveries and inventions included in this year’s STAT Madness, a bracket-style competition to honor the best biomedical research published in 2019.


The contest is modeled on college basketball’s March Madness, but rather than head-to-head competition for athletic glory, STAT Madness pits 64 U.S. universities, medical schools, and other institutions against each other in a hard-fought battle for scientific renown.

The winner of each matchup will be decided by popular vote. The first of six rounds of voting in the single-elimination contest begins Monday, March 2. The bracket will go live at 12:01 a.m. Sign up below to be notified by email when voting begins.

Each entry consists of a summary of the research and a link to an abstract or the full paper.


STAT Madness is a competition, but one with a not-so-hidden ulterior motive: Scanning through the entries should give readers an appreciation of the ingenuity and breadth of biomedical research being pursued around the U.S.

The popular vote champion, as well as an editors’ pick, will be announced April 6.

The contestants were culled from 128 entrants, based on the scientific rigor of their research, the originality and novelty of the work, and its potential beneficial impact in its respective field or for patients and society. They come from 18 states and Washington, D.C., spread across every time zone and region: New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the South, the Midwest, the Mountain states, and the West Coast.

Here are the teams selected for STAT Madness 2020. (There are fewer than 64 entries listed because some institutions have multiple entries.)

American Cancer Society

Baylor College of Medicine

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Boundless Bio

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Children’s National Hospital

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute

Emory University School of Medicine

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Georgia State University

Gladstone Institutes

Institute for NanoBioTechnology at Johns Hopkins University

Institute for Protein Design (University of Washington)

Institute for Systems Biology

Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

McGovern Institute for Brain Research (MIT)

NYU College of Dentistry

NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Penn Medicine

Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT

Rockefeller University

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Stony Brook University

Texas A&M College of Medicine

Texas Heart Institute

UC Berkeley

UC Irvine School of Medicine


UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

UC San Diego School of Medicine

UC San Francisco

University of Iowa Health Care

University of Massachusetts Medical School

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

University of Michigan

University of Michigan College of Engineering

University of Michigan Depression Center

University of Notre Dame

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

University of Utah Health

University of Virginia School of Medicine

University of Washington

Weill Cornell Medicine

Whitehead Institute (MIT)

Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University

Yale University


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