CPH Entrepreneur Aims to Halt the Spread of Infectious Diseases caused by Contaminated Hands
Shanice Cheatham’s career aspirations took a detour after her father’s life was threatened by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) contracted when a health-care worker with contaminated hands touched his IV site. Instead of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, the molecular and cellular biology major became an entrepreneur—launching her own biotechnology company focused on solutions to fight infectious diseases.
“I credit Dr. Mark James (Professor and Chair) and Dr. Tara Smith (Associate Professor), both of the Department of Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences and Epidemiology, for my ability to successfully start Endemic Solutions. LaunchNET Kent State also has helped tremendously.” Currently, Shanice is developing the Endemic Filtration Portable Handwashing System—a backpack-style filtration system for use by healthcare professionals in countries with undeveloped water sources.
“More than 60,000 healthcare facilities worldwide do not have adequate hand-washing accommodations due to inadequate water systems,” Shanice said. “Our vision is aimed at prevention, diagnostics and treatment of infectious diseases with high quality products, services, and marketing programs to solve these types of issues and stop the spread of touch-borne diseases.”
In addition to being given a 2015 Kent State Elevator Pitch Competition award sponsored by LaunchNET, Endemic Solutions was recognized this year as a ProtoTech: PITCH finalist by The Incubator at MAGNET in Cleveland.
“Kent State has opened so many doors for me,” she explained. “If I hadn’t chosen this school, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am who I am because of my science professors.”