Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize

An award that celebrates cross-disciplinary collaboration within the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition Applicants


About the Ricci Prize

The Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize is awarded annually within the $100k New Ventures Competition. The purpose of the prize is to promote the advancement of research at Tufts through projects that assist in translation of research discoveries from the laboratory to applications that benefit society. To win the prize, students must demonstrate the commercial potential of the technology within their $100K online application. Winners are selected that best demonstrate interdisciplinary engineering design and entrepreneurial spirit in their venture.

The winning team will receive a cash prize of $15,000, split evenly among the student team members.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The team must satisfy eligibility requirements for the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition
  • The team must consist of at least two (2) members
  • At least two of the team members must be undergraduate or graduate students or recent alumni (graduated within the last five years) from Tufts University
  • Team members must represent at least one engineering discipline within Tufts University and at least one additional discipline within any of the 11 schools and colleges  

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property shall be managed according to the practices and policies of Tufts Office for Technology Licensing and Industry Collaboration. Details here.

Application Process

As the Ricci Prize is an additional prize administered along the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition, there is no separate application process. Eligible teams simply need to indicate their eligibility within the $100k application and they will be considered for the Ricci Prize.

Past Winners

2021 Winners


Cerobex is developing a novel lipid nanoparticle-based drug delivery platform. Our platform is the only technology, demonstrated in animal models, to safely and effectively deliver a wide variety of compounds across the blood-brain barrier, improving existing treatments, and enabling the treatment of currently untreatable neurological diseases.

Team Members: Lia Aftandilian (EG21, EG22), Kayla Fisher (EG21, EG22), Darian Matini (EG21), and Benjamin Webb (EG21, EG22)

2020 Winners


How do we monitor bladder cancer? Current clinical methods are painful, provide low clinical accuracy, and have hardly evolved in decades. Cellens, a Tufts University spinout startup, develops a high-performing, efficient cell surface scanning technology platform for bladder cancer diagnostics. The core technology leverages the power of atomic force microscopy imaging and machine learning modeling. There are two main applications for our technology. First, we are developing a clinical non-invasive urine-based cancer monitoring test for bladder cancer survivors. Second, we provide a laboratory-developed test (LDT) for biotech and pharmaceutical companies that want to use this test for R&D purposes.

Team Members: Srushti Acharekar (EG20), Nathaniel Niemiec (A20), Jean Phuong Pham (EG21), Jonas Pirkl (EG20), Igor Sokolov (School of Engineering Faculty), Fiona Xueying Wang (EG20)