ECU professor wins nationwide STAT contest

Dr. Jitka Virag (Ashley Boles, NewsChannel 12 photo)

East Carolina University and researcher Dr. Jitka Virag found out officially on Monday they were winners of the nationwide STAT Madness competition.

The competition is held to find out the best best innovations in health and medicine. People have been able to cast votes throughout the process. Virag has beaten the defending champion Michigan along with Yale during the process. The final round saw ECU beat Children's National Health System at George Washington University.

According to the contest, Virag’s research could change the protocol for treating heart attack patients, lead to a significantly higher survival rate and increase the quality of life for survivors. The research centers around EphrinA1-Fc and its ability to significantly reduce tissue damage that occurs during a heart attack if administered while the event is taking place.

Virag's innovative research will receive $5,000 in press coverage – including an article written by STAT journalists, native advertising articles and newsletter sponsorship.

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