Atam Dhawan is a pioneer in the field of point-of-care technologies in healthcare, focusing on optical imaging devices. His patent on low-angle transillumination technology for examination of skin lesions has led to the formation of two start-up companies with Veinlite and DermLite products that are now being used, respectively, for treating spider vein diseases and the examination of skin lesions for diagnosis of skin cancers, specifically, malignant melanoma. His research also includes a new method and instrumentation for in-situ measurements of concentrations of melanin, oxygenated hemoglobin, de-oxygenated hemoglobin and glucose in the blood through skin-tissue imaging. He is in the process of commercializing a wearable, painless glucose monitor. In the health technology arena, Dhawan has worked assiduously to develop a community of stakeholders, including policymakers, entrepreneurs, clinicians, academics and insurers to discuss policy and practice around POC devices in order to speed the pace at which vital technologies reach doctors and patients. He is currently helping lead a federal initiative backed by the National Institutes of Health to map out strategies for better integrating POC technologies such as heart monitors, cancer-testing kits and rehabilitation devices into the healthcare delivery system. As part of this effort, he is chairing a diverse panel developing a plan of action for POCs that will be published sometime next year in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine and distributed to all NIH institutes. It is expected to discuss ways in which patients, care providers and insurers can collaborate to develop these technologies and to optimize their use.
· Somenath Mitra, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Somenath Mitra, a distinguished professor of chemistry and environmental science, and Atam Dhawan, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, were named this week to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for diverse technological innovations that have had impacts in areas ranging from environmental monitoring to point-of-care (POC) devices in healthcare. Mitra has achieved global prominence for his work in several areas, including trace measurements and diverse nanotechnology applications ranging from flexible batteries, to solar cells, to sea water desalination. His work in real-time trace measurement plays a central role in environmental monitoring. He has, for example, developed a variety of air monitoring techniques for parts-per-billion-level measurements in ambient air and industrial stacks.
· Kenneth J. Blank, Rowan University
· Anthony M. Lowman, Rowan University
· Richard H. Frenkiel, Rutgers University
Frenkiel, who is a cellular pioneer recognized for his contributions to establishing the world’s first cell phone networks, earned a master’s degree in engineering mechanics from Rutgers in 1965. He joined Bell Labs in 1963 and quickly became involved in the design of cellular systems, which he worked on for 16 years. He co-authored the technical report on cellular that AT&T submitted to the FCC in 1971, which became the basis for the first cellular systems. For his work in cellular and cordless, Frenkiel received the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal in 1987, the Achievement Award of the Industrial Research Institute in 1992, the National Medal of Technology from the president of the United States in 1995 and the Draper Prize in 2013. He was named N.J. Inventor of the Year in 1995 and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997. He received the Rutgers University Alumni Association’s Engineering Achievement in 2004.
· Martin L. Yarmush, Rutgers University
Martin Yarmush, M.D., Ph.D., is as the Paul and Mary Monroe Chair and Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and director of Rutgers’ Center of Innovative Ventures for Emerging Technologies. He is internationally recognized as a pioneer in numerous fields of biotechnology and bioengineering, including applied immunology and bioseparations, metabolic engineering, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, BioMEMS and nanotechnology and medical devices. He is the recipient of more than 25 local and national awards, such as being named a 2013 Top 20 Translational Researchers by Nature Biotechnology and the 2015 Pritzker Distinguished Lecturer Award from BMES. He has published more than 500 articles and book chapters, and serves as editor in chief for three peer-reviewed journals. Yarmush holds 22 patents in the field of biotechnology and bioengineering, 11 of which have been licensed. His most significant patents are his double gel/collagen sandwich patents and his micropatterned hepatocyte patents, which helped to revolutionize drug discovery and toxicology in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries by providing robust techniques for long-term culture of hepatocytes for drug testing. Yarmush has co-founded 10 start-up companies and has recently been instrumental in the development of two breakthrough technologies. One is an automated robotic venipuncture device (Vasculogic) and another is stem cell bioreactors for treating organ failure (Sentien Biotechnologies).
· Yu-Dong Yao, Stevens Institute of Technology