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OncoLogic – Oncology Gamification Case Study

DRACO Partnering with Sioux Falls-Based Physician to Bring Oncology Learning to the Next Level!

Project Deliverables and Outcomes

Peer-Reviewed Case Study

This DRACO team created a case study based on part of our Oncology diagnosis game to be used by medical students and medical professionals currently working in oncology across the country. Our case study has been accepted for publication by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science.


New Intellectual Property

We are working with a developer to digitize our OncoLogic game and create a prototype! We expect to pitch to Kaplan, Osmosis, and other companies in the medical education field.

Community Outreach

This project is one example of how DRACO works with local physicians, inventors, or researchers and brings their idea to life! Dr. Steven Powell is actively engaged in educating the public about oncology through participation in the Science Pub Talk series. We wanted to take some of his ideas and create something with an even wider reach.

Project Summary

The idea of gamification is simple; take a concept and turn it into a game. The challenge is effectively communicating that material and applying it in a way that is engaging to the player. Gamification of complex subjects, like cancer and cancer research, is a great example of how medical students can engage with information that constantly changes and build a mental framework of new knowledge in a fun and engaging way.

With OncoLogic, we are developing a platform that allows students to build upon their knowledge of cancer and cancer treatments while exposing them to new information about cancer research and the new methods used to combat cancer.

We developed the original concept with Dr. Steven Powell, a hematologist and oncologist at the Edith Sanford Cancer Center, Researcher at Sanford Research, and an associate professor with USD Internal Medicine. Our team, along with Dr. Powell, believes this innovative approach towards learning about cancer and cancer research will enhance their understanding of the field in a more effective and memorable way.

Project Team

Oncology Subject Matter Expert – Steven Powell, MD

Dr. Steven Powell is a medical oncologist and associate scientist at Sanford Cancer Center. His focus is on investigational new cancer therapies with an emphasis on immunotherapies. He is a lead investigator an numerous clinical trials that bring treatments from the lab to the clinic.  Dr. Powell was born and raised in Vermillion, South Dakota.  He received his undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering at Arizona State University and his doctor of medicine at the University Of South Dakota Sanford School Of Medicine.  He completed his Internal Medicine residency, chief residency, and Hematology and Oncology fellowship training at the University of Minnesota.

Case Study and Game Development – Brooklyn VanDerWolde

Brooklyn is a medical biology and mechanical engineering student at South Dakota State University (SDSU). Her current research focus is motion analysis for the Orthopedic Surgery Department. As the president and co-founder of the SDSU Biomedical Engineering Society student chapter, she has experience planning and executing multidisciplinary student projects. Her background in medicine and engineering contributed to the development of our OncoLogic case study and interactive cancer diagnosis game.

Case Study and Game Development –  Jessica Zylla

Jessica is an N3 fellow pursuing her Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering at the University of SouthDakota,  specializing in Bioinformatics and Machine Learning. Her passions include helping others and studying improvements in cancer treatment. During the OncoLogic project, she was able to use her experience as a teacher to create the materials used in this unique case study.

Case Study and Game Development – Adison Kleinsasser

Adison is pursuing a master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of South Dakota, where she also works in the Research Computing Group to help researchers utilize USD’s supercomputer. Her bachelor’s degree is in Medical Laboratory Science, which gave her helpful background knowledge for this project.

Case Study and Game Development –  Maddy Valentin

Madeline is pursuing a Masters’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Dakota. Her work involves researching the isolation and characterization of nanoscale drug carrier molecules. Her involvement with DRACO projects has allowed her to use these research skills for a variety of new applications.

Project Manager – Eric Sandhurst

Project Manager – Jevin Meyerink

Project Manager – Thomas Vierhout